Thursday, February 17, 2011

Kindle News 2/15-17, including costs of putting out a newspaper Kindle edition - UPDATE for Borders-Aus. & Lendle

KINDLE NEWS SNIPPETS actually.  Saw a few interesting articles and just want to mention them and give links for those interested in reading any of them at the source.  There are more than a few, so I'll keep these relatively brief.

UPDATE - 2/17 to include the new Lendle book lending site and to note that Borders Australia is telling customers that gift cards there can be redeemed only if customers buy double the amount of the card.

BARRONS: "Amazon Is Smoking With Kindle"
Barrons says they are raising their estimates for Amazon and taking their price target to $230 [from $195].  Reasons are higher unit shipments anticipated or assumed (for both models of the K3) and Amazon's web services (AWS "gaining traction much faster than expected.")  It's not just a shopping place anymore.  They add that:
'In our view, Kindle remains the best ebook reader in the market and competition is unable to dent its market share.

... As far as the influx of tablets is concerned, there is no doubt that reading ebooks is one of the dozens of features offered by the tablets, but we believe that for the core book readers the value proposition offered by Kindle remains unmatchable (i.e. selection of ebooks, battery life, no backlight and glaring screen, free 3G, overall form factor, convenience to buy new books, etc.). '
A lot more detail at the link, of course.

"E Ink Holdings reports record-high earnings"
Amy Su, reporting for The Taipei Times, writes that "E Ink Holdings Inc, the world’s biggest e-paper display supplier, yesterday reported record-high quarterly net earnings, aided by the global uptake of e-readers, such as Amazon’s Kindle series."

"Fourth-quarter net income grew more than seven times to NT$1.92 billion (US$65 million)..."

This is happening despite the flood of color tablets with e-reader capabilities flooding the market.

CNN: "Best business decision of decade: Kindle app?"
CNN Money's David Goldman writes that:
  "AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson called Amazon's Kindle e-reader app the 'gutsiest and savviest business decision of the past decade' during a keynote address on Tuesday."

  "At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the wireless giant's CEO said Amazon's decision to put its application on every conceivable kind of device -- even though it sells its own e-reader -- made the company 'the poster child' of the cloud computing movement."

  "When Amazon met the iPad challenge by giving users a chance to buy a competitors' tablet over its own [probably knowing they are so different and complementary that they would be co-existing devices for most], analysts called it a brave and bold move.  But Stephenson said it is now clear that Amazon's decision was incredibly intelligent."

The article discusses the cloud-computing aspect, which Stephenson considers "the path forward."

Computer World's report on Stephenson's talk, including opinions on Apple
There is also an extremely detailed report by Matt Hamblen on Stephenson's entire talk and his mentions of Apple policies, at Computerworld.

KindleLendingClub renamed BookLending Club
The size of the Kindle Lending Club seems to have caught Amazon's attention and it's been "rebranded" at Amazon's request.  The estimated 20,000 members going to the site will be automatically redirected to its new home,

LendInk - Lending club for Kindles and Nooks
The Next Web's Martin Bryant reviews a new e-book lending club, LendInk, which offers a lending hub for Kindle and Nook users.  He considers using the site "as simple as could possibly be" and "the best-looking solution we've seen," adding that LendInk’s interface is "a little more streamlined and is targeting a wider audience with support for the Nook in addition to the Kindle."  Obviously, there's no reason why Kindle owners interested in using the feature would not use both.  While publishers might be concerned, it also creates even more interest in e-readers and e-books (though the large publishers seem queasy about e-book interest).

Update - 2/17 (Original posting 2/16, 3:40 AM)
Lendle - New lending club, this one for Kindles only
  The Guardian (UK) has a story on the new lending site,
    Note to publishers: Lendle founder Brian Ericford posts that, in the first week, they've actually sold more books than they've lent.
    The availability of these lending sites for Kindle books should be especially useful for those lamenting the lack of public library loaning.

BORDERS and bankruptcy filing - Giftcards
One story had an interesting last thought:
"One possible upside?  The demise of superstore booksellers could revitalize the neighborhood bookstore."

  Update continued - 2/17
  Borders did file for bankrupcy and the U.S. offices said they will honor giftcards and try to do business as normal while shutting down hundreds of stores and losing 75% of their value, with the stock at 23 cents.  However, Borders in Australia announced that their customers will have to buy double the amount in order to use their gift cards.  This is not going over well, per the Sydney Morning Herald.

 Another story cautions those holding giftcards to use them before the bankruptcy filing sometime this week.  Often they're not accepted after that, though Circuit City did honor mine.

"The True Cost OF Publishing on the Amazon Kindle" (in the UK)
PC Pro (UK explains the various costs involved with the distribution of newspapers and magazines in Kindle Edition format, in the UK -- why there are few photos (if any) in some editions (photos increase the size of a file by quite a bit relative to pure text), and the calculation of delivery costs of an issue sent over 3G wireless there (no delivery costs involved when/if delivered over WiFi).
  Notes in Brackets are mine.
' Amazon charges 10p per MB [about 16 cents per MB U.S.] for delivery of newspapers and magazines in the UK.

  By Amazon’s own estimates, a “typical newspaper” with 100 articles and 15 to 20 images would have a file size of between 0.5MB and 1MB – or around 10% of the overall revenue [16 cents per megabyte], considering most newspapers sell for 99p [$1.60 US] per day.
  It [distribution costs] would be an even greater share of the publisher’s profits if users signed up for a cheaper subscription.

  For a magazine like PC Pro those costs would be significantly greater.  Each issue of the magazine has somewhere around 75 new reviews – each with a picture – plus dozens more articles and features.  An issue of PC Pro with around 150 separate articles, and 100 photos would likely incur delivery costs of 50p-60p [80-97 cents) an issue.  We can pop a magazine in the post to subscribers for significantly less than that. '
 To make things worse -- in the UK, Value-Added Tax is charged on e-magazines but not on paper
Read more, including calculations for revenue sharing.  They point out that Amazon sets the pricing of the periodicals, just as they do for the blogs.  Too low a price means PCPro would "take a hit on the delivery costs" and could "severely undercut" their print edition, and if Amazon pushes for maximum profit, that can create extreme unhappiness with a newspaper's subscribers.

Kindle 3's   (UK: Kindle 3's),   DX Graphite

Check often: Temporarily-free late-listed non-classics or recently published ones
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.
UK-Only: recently published non-classics, bestsellers, or highest-rated ones
    Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers. Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
-- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.

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  1. vs vs -- Which one to use, or maybe join all three? Your thoughts?


  2. Peter,
    I'd written, "Obviously, there's no reason why Kindle owners interested in using the feature would not use both."

    So that would apply to the three. Haven't seen Lendle yet. I do like the speed and ease of LendInk but if I were looking for a book I'd care more about which had it.

  3. I just found your website and it looks very useful, but I have one little frustration: is blocked by my work's firewall, so I can't follow any of your interesting looking links.

  4. Kate, is Twitter's first choice for shortening.

    Also, it allows custom wording that lets us remember them easily as we reuse the link.

    And, it keeps a count of clicks so we know which links and types of stories are of interest to people that they'd click on it.

    Maybe save the follow-ups for when you're home?

  5. The AT&T CEO's praise of the Kindle is legitimate, but we shouldn't forget the money angle. While there's now a Verizon iPhone, in the US the Kindle you buy runs exclusively on AT&T's GSM network--not Verizon, Sprint (anymore), and not T-Mobile. That's good news for AT&T's business, particularly since a lot of Amazon downloads take place in the wee hours of the night when their system is idle.

    Baron's is right. Amazon is 'smoking with Kindle.' For far too long Apple has been almost the only one to come with products that excite the imagination. It's good to see them get competition.

    I can only hope that Amazon captures a bit of Apple's vision. If Amazon expanded the range of their apps, the Kindle could become much more than a ebook reader without compromising the latter. The more people use their Kindle for other purposes, the more often they are likely to use it as an ebook reader.

  6. I recently got a Kindle after checking your site for the last few months. I got a great deal because of some gift cards. Despite some initial reservations, I have found reading on it to be great. I even occasionally try to turn a physical book page without thinking. But one important thing is that I am reading a lot more now than before. And I'm reading at least three books at a time, which I never did with paper books.

  7. Mark,
    Glad you came to really enjoy it. Your reactions with physical book pages and greatly increased reading (plus several books at a time) is really similar to mine.

    The thing I find most of all is that when I'm reading a physical book, I keep trying to SEARCH for a name or I want to put a cursor on a word to get an enhanced definition. I really miss those two features.

    I even miss highlighting w/o messing up a book's pages.

    Thanks for the feedback!


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