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Posts Tagged ‘eBook Readers’

For those who can afford Christmas this year, and in a recession of this magnitude that doesn’t include everyone, 1 in 5 gift recipients could find an eReader device under the tree.

In a study by Gadgetology, commissioned by electronics website Retrevo, 21% of respondents stated that they would be buying an eBook reader this season. If the study is any guide, it appears that Kindle could be the big winner of such a buying spree, with 62% of prospective buyers leaning toward Amazon’s reader, versus 32% who expressed interest in buying one from Sony, and only 6% shopping among the multitude of other readers hitting the market this year.

Other findings from the study:

  • More men than women planned to purchase an eReader this Christmas (26% to 17%).
  • 69% of prospective buyers were under the age of 35. Only 10% of those above the age of 45 planned to buy one.
  • Those with household incomes of $100K-$200K (33%) were twice as likely to state they would be buying an eReader, than those in the $50K to $100K bracket (16%). No word if those making less than $50K could afford one.
  • Prospective buyers in the Northeast region of the U.S. outnumbered buyers in the West by a margin of 2:1.

You’ll find more info on the study at Retrevo, as well as some fairly cool graphs to illustrate the above statistics.

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Just when you think the eReader market couldn’t get any more crowded, next month consumers in the U.S. will have yet another dedicated eBook device to choose from. This one, however, has a little more juice going for it. Reports The New York Times:

The budding market for electronic reading devices is about to get two powerful new entrants: Best Buy and Verizon.

On Wednesday, iRex Technologies, a spinoff of Royal Philips Electronics that already makes one of Europe’s best-known e-readers, plans to announce that it is entering the United States market with a $399 touch-screen e-reader.

Owners of the new iRex DR800SG will be able to buy digital books and newspapers wirelessly over the 3G network of Verizon, which is joining AT&T and Sprint in supporting such devices. And by next month, the iRex will be sold at a few hundred Best Buy stores, along with the Sony Reader and similar products.

The iRex comes with an 8.1 touch screen, a significant advantage over current Kindle models. It will come preloaded with links to Barnes & Noble’s eBookstore. iRex owners will also be able to buy books in ePub format.

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Book retailer Barnes & Noble, which launched its eBookstore in July, announced Monday that 1 million+ visitors to the site have downloaded its free B&N Bookstore and B&N eReader apps for the iPhone and iPod touch. In addition, the chain has logged 2 million “complimentary AT&T Wi-Fi Sessions,” meaning that shoppers have used the apps to:

  • Brows bestsellers and B&N Recommends lists, new releases or watch video interviews with authors.
  • Check the events calendar for celebrity book signings, readings, musical performances and children`s Storytimes.
  • Find the closest Barnes & Noble, get maps and directions.
  • Use the iPhone`s camera to snap a photo of a front cover on a book, CD or DVD and retrieve product details, editorial reviews, and customer ratings
  • Find and reserve copies of books at the nearest store.

I won’t sport with your tolerance for corporate press releases and quote excited Barnes & Noble talking heads. Instead, here is a link to the full press release on Reuters.

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Two quickie eReader stories from the blogosphere…

Now Which One Should I Buy?

I don’t know about you, but the sheer number of press releases for new eBook readers is leaving me dizzy and wanting to take a nap. Good thing there’s Kindle Review, which recently posted an exhaustive list of readers currently for sale on the market. You may decide you don’t need a reader at all, preferring a netbook, iPhone, or plain old vanilla laptop for your eBook reading pleasure, but at least with this list you’ll know what you’re missing.

Wondering What Buyers Want Most in an eBook Reader?

File it under the category of duh, but Internet connectivity, longer battery life, and email capabilities are the most requested features current and future buyers of dedicated eBook readers would like the devices to have. This, according to a survey by in-stat.com. Among the survey’s other findings:

  • Amazon is the leading brand of eBook owned.
  • The largest percentage of eBook owners (45.5%) spend between $9 and $20 a month on eBook content.
  • Eleven percent of total survey respondents said they planned to purchase an eBook over the next 12 months.

No mention in the company’s press release, of how color screens rank in the survey.

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Via Paul Biba of Teleread: Bring the eBooks Home, is this tidbit from the Financial Times, “Hatchette Feels eBook Pricing Could Kill Hardbacks.”

Hardback books could be killed off if Amazon’s e-books and Google’s digital library force publishers to slash prices, Arnaud Nourry, chief executive of French publishing group Hachette, has warned.

Mr Nourry said unilateral pricing by Google, Amazon and other e-book retailers such as Barnes & Noble could destroy publishers’ profits.

He said publishers were “very hostile” to Amazon’s pricing strategy – over which the online retailer failed to consult publishers – to charge $9.99 for all its e-books in the US. He also pointed to plans by Google to put millions of out-of-copyright books online for public use

Personally, I doubt it. Did video kill the radio store? Did DVDs kill the movie theater? No. People like a variety of formats and continue to patronize all of them. As much as I love eBooks, I love hardbacks and paperbacks as well. Each has their separate pleasures and merits.

Even when the day comes and eBook readers have color (“multiple years” in the future, according to Amazon’s Jeff Bezos), this still won’t equal the “romantic” experience of holding a beautifully designed hardback in your hands.

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Blogger David Rothman of TeleRead: Bring the eBooks Home offers a current guestimate of the number of Kindles vs. Sony eReaders now sold in the U.S.:

Of U.S. dedicated e-reader sales of a bit more than a million a year, Kindles make up 45 percent, according to the Cleantech Group. Sony is 30 percent, while rivals are just 25 percent.

In some ways this parallels the eBook Stats reports here on Kindling Romance each Friday, which show Sony is well behind the Kindle in terms of romance titles available, 18.7K titles in the Kindle Store as opposed to 11.4K titles at Sony’s The eBook Store.

The same blog post predicts 29 million eBook reader devices, all brands included, will ship in 2013. Hyperbole or no, eBooks are gaining critical mass with consumers.

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It may not be a scientifically designed or executed poll. No professional pollsters called up households across America to pester them for their opinions, but here at KR, at least, it’s official. When asked “Are You Embarrassed Reading Romance in Public?” a resounding 63% say, no. Only 7% stated that they were worried what people would think.

It’s a question that definitely resonates with romance readers and writers. I posted links to the poll on various writers forums, including  Absolute Write Water Cooler, where a week later, the discussion continues.

Below, are a variety of responses, representing the No, Yes, and Sometimes Embarrassed camps.

Nope! Don’t mind the bodice-ripping or even the waxed mantitty…Oddly enough, the only ones I might hesitate to lug around in public are the real old-school, white cover-couple-in-clasp Har/Sil’s. They just seem so…old. But, yeah, considering a good portion of the world doesn’t read AT ALL, I dare someone to challenge me about WHAT I’m reading!

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Heck no. I’ve taken Harlequin Presents, Silhouette Desires, and even Kensington Aphrodisia books with their super steamy covers into the waiting room of my OB/midwife. Since I’m there, like, every week now that I’m pregnant, I need something interesting to read. You can only read so many baby magazines before you gag.

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YES!! This is a major reason why I love my Kindle and my romance novel readership has gone way up. No way would I want someone seeing my “Lord of Scoundrels” or “Wed Him Before You Bed Him” book covers. Some of the cover art is very embarrassing and more information than I want total strangers to be able to glean about me.

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No way. I read them proudly because I refuse to let someone else’s opinion make me feel bad about my personal tastes…I read ebooks because I have thousands of books rotting in storage already. I have no room left for physical books. It’s so much easier to load a few novels on my PDA and stick that in my purse than it is to stick a few books in my purse.

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I actually had one guy try to hit on me at a Starbucks once because of what I was reading. I guess he thought partially naked guy on the cover = me wanting to jump in the sack with him??? Nowadays, I’ll take a mystery or thriller with me instead. It sends a different message and tends to keep the weirdos away.

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I like romance covers. Really I do. I adore bare, six-pack laden stomachs and rippling pecs. That said, I don’t want someone I normally work with in a professional setting (like my office) seeing that I read steamy books…For me, it’s less about being embarrassed, and more about keeping a professional appearance and distance between myself and my co-workers or casual acquaintances.

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I don’t mind being seen reading smut, although I don’t think that the daily bus commute is either the time or place for damp panties… it’s the mushy crap with the period costumes I find embarassing. I find most of the covers as embarrassing as softcore porn DVDs.

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I think it’s up to the publishers to change the perception if they want it done, not me. They should stop making them so tacky if they want to expand the fan base into readers of women’s fiction and literary fiction. It’s certainly possible. I loved Diana Galbadon’s first book. I would not have bought it if it had the standard lurid romance cover on it. I wouldn’t have looked at it twice.

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I’m not embarrased at all to read romance in public, in fact, I love to do it! I flaunt the fact that I like to read dirty books, and sometimes I find the dirtiest passage and make my friends read it just to see their reactions.

It’s an open, very frank discussion, which, as one commenter pointed out, publishers would be smart to follow. You’ll find many more thoughtful, and irreverent, responses in the threads at The Cooler.

Are You Embarrassed Reading Romance in Public?” will remain active through August 30, so if you haven’t already chimed in with your opinion, please do!

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