Navigating the eBook Revolution

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.

Read more at americanlibrariesmagazine.org.

Waterstones Makes Deal to Sell the Amazon Kindle, Dismaying Many

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.

Read more at latimes.com.

Microsoft Partners with B&N’s Nook in eBook Business

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.

Read more at seattletimes.com.

Fifty Shades of Grey in High Demand at Clinton-Macomb Library

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.

Read more at macomb.patch.com.

Amazon Removes Kindle Versions of IPG Books After Distributor Declines to Change Selling Terms

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.

Read more at publishersmarketplace.com.

eBook Sales Reach 10% in Canada in January 2012

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.

Read more at bookcentre.ca.

Microsoft Narrows its Barnes & Noble Lawsuit

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.

Read more at redmondmag.com.

Kids On Kindle: Amazon Starts Publishing Children’s Books

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.

Read more at paidcontent.org.