An American Libraries magazine article which speculates that by the end of 2012 libraries may be spending 20% of their collection budgets on digital content, and possibly 50% by the end of three years. The views of a number of parties in the book industry are discussed, including the reader, the writer, the bookseller, the publisher, and the librarian.
This LA Times article points out, with a number of links, the apparent conflict of interest between British bookstore chain Waterstones and Amazon. I, too, would be interested in knowing exactly what Waterstones is thinking, or what real benefit they are getting out of this. Is this an indication that perhaps Amazon will be purchasing the bookstore chain? I cannot otherwise imagine what benefit there would be to carrying not only a competitor’s product, but a competitor’s product which specifically enables your customers to never be your customers again.
The US Government Printing Office has made an agreement with Barnes & Noble to sell approximately 30 federal eBooks on the bn.com site. The US GPO has over 200 eBooks available through other venues.
After (or as a part of) settling their lawsuit against Barnes & Noble, Microsoft will be investing $300 million (plus another $305 million in future investments) in a new subsidiary of Barnes & Noble, giving them a 17.6% equity stake in the company.
It makes me wonder if perhaps Microsoft decided that their patent-infringement claims weren’t so solid, after all. In any case, I’m hard-pressed to believe that anything good will come out of this for the consumer.
A short news story referencing the 79-person waiting list for the eBook version of Fifty Shades of Grey at a Michigan public library. The incredible popularity of this poorly-edited book (which was originally Twilight fan-fiction on public message boards) speaks volumes regarding the potential market for the erotica genre in eBooks.
A well-written and informative description of the history of the eBook pricing conspiracy between Apple and traditional publishers.
Amazon has taken down the Kindle editions of all Independent Publishers Group titles after the two companies failed to come to an agreement regarding terms for sale of digital products. IPG indicated that Amazon wished to change the terms to substantially change the revenue that authors would see. IPG titles continue to be sold through Barnes & Noble.
The National Reading Campaign in Canada sponsored, between 23 and 29 January, 2012, the second annual National Book Count. During this time eBooks made up 10% of books sold in English Canada. These numbers were compiled from a number of sources and compared with the 2011 numbers. Take a look at the press release, available at The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. The numbers are not necessarily perfect, especially as they are for only a single week, but they are interesting.
Microsoft has dropped one of the five claims it made against Barnes & Noble in its patent-infringement lawsuit.
In March of last year, Microsoft filed suit, alleging various infringements. The one just dropped dealt with the use of tab controls. Microsoft asserts that the claim was dropped to “streamline” the issues, and that it was not a concession on its part. Barnes & Noble, on the other hand, argued that tab controls simply were not patentable to begin with.
While I am not an attorney of any sort, much less a patent attorney, it seems to me that by dropping this issue, Microsoft has neatly avoided a ruling that Barnes & Noble’s declaration was, in fact, correct, thereby saving themselves the patent.
There are now only three claimed infringements remaining.
Amazon has acquired Marshall Cavendish’s 450 children’s book titles to compete with Barnes & Noble’s Nook Kids collection. The introduction of the Kindle Fire allows Amazon to compete effectively in this market, where they were unable to do so with the older black-and-white Kindles with limited graphics capability.