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Tag: Apple Tablet (1-7 of 7)

'Elephant and Piggie' author Mo Willems on his latest best-seller and his new Pigeon app -- VIDEO

it should be a new copy.” That might just be his secret: His most recent book, Elephant and Piggie’s Happy Pig Day! is currently a New York Times best-seller. The author chatted with EW about his most pliable characters — the sensitive pachyderm and the irrepressible swine — and discussed his first app, Don’t Let the Pigeon Run This App, which becomes available today.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: My wife and I have read all your books to our two children, including your Knuffle Bunny series, and I’ll just throw it out there, we’re a nuffle family, not a k-nuffle family.
MO WILLEMS: It’s all fine. I don’t really care much. The knuffle/nuffle thing became so brother against brother and it split up families. So if you’ve figured out a way to make that work, I’m all good.

A knuffle kerfuffle.
Right, when people ask me how to pronounce it, I often say, “It depends on how you pronounce it.” READ FULL STORY

Amazon rolls out Kindle library lending service


Want to write in the margins of your library books? No problem, now that you can check out books on a Kindle app. Amazon announced that starting today, more than 11,000 libraries will be able to loan out Kindle books to readers. The Kindle library books will include all the e-reader’s signature features, including Whispersync, which automatically syncs up any digital notes, bookmarks, or highlights you might make — and even cooler, all of your notes will be available the next time you check out that particular title.

You don’t need to have an actual Kindle device, although you do need an account. Library books will be available READ FULL STORY

On the Books Aug. 30: 'Maggie Goes on a Diet' creates a stir, Michele Bachmann announces book


++ The children’s book Maggie Goes on a Diet is meant to help kids with making the right eating choices, but it’s riling up nutrition and body image experts and causing controversial garcinia cambogia reviews even before its publication in October. It tells the story of a girl who diets, loses weight, and becomes more popular and successful at school. READ FULL STORY

What's an e-book really worth?

Oh, if only Johannes Gutenberg could read the Amazon message boards, he would probably be…horrified. Readers turning against authors, publishers, and each other; readers lamenting $10 price tags because new books just aren’t worth that much; readers admitting that they read more from a screen than they ever would on paper. The value of the printed word that Gutenberg invented, some 500 years ago, just isn’t what it used to be.

Until the iPad came along, that is, and breathed new life into a wilting publishing industry. The device’s iBook store follows an agency model approach to selling electronic copies, meaning publishers can set their own prices (from $12.99 to $14.99) and keep 70 percent of the profits. Naturally, five of the country’s six biggest publishers—Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, the Penguin Group, and Simon & Schuster—cut deals with Apple to be part of its new e-book marketplace even before the iPad launched. These newly empowered publishers also began rethinking their deal with, which has dominated the e-book market since the Kindle’s 2007 debut. Despite competition from Barnes & Noble and Sony, the company still enjoys 90 percent of the e-book market, thanks to a $9.99-per-book mantra that helped lure millions of customers to the Kindle store (and also pissed off publishers, who had to settle for a much-slashed “cover” price until the iPad’s promise of pricing autonomy went public).

So the publishers took their post-iPad bargaining chip—their revalued content—straight to Amazon and demanded more per e-book for the Kindle. First it was Macmillan, who won their case when Amazon agreed to raise consumer prices; and then it was HarperCollins and then Hachette Book Group. All of them argued for higher price points that, as Hachette CEO David Young said, “reflect the value of our authors’ works.” In other words, something that the bargain-basement prices do not.

Another wrinkle in the saga, according to last Thurday’s New York Times, is that Apple may have added its own discounting terms into their contracts to keep its competitive edge. Which begs the question at the heart of this pricing melee between publishers and Amazon (and now, frustrated readers and authors): What is an e-book really worth, when you can’t share it or store it on a (physical) shelf once you’ve finished it? Does a higher price tag validate an author’s craft, or just make it more inaccessible to the audience?

If you just looked at the Kindle store, and examined which titles are flying off the virtual shelves, books would seem to be one of the company’s least valuable commodities: 15 of Amazon’s top 25 e-book bestsellers are free, and eight more cost less than $9.99. There’s no doubt these deep discounts also help sell the Kindle itself—the lower the book prices, the more useful the device is, so more people buy the e-reader and the company can compensate for the lower per-book price. It’s great for the devoted reader—many commenters on the company’s Macmillan deal discussion thread say they read way more on a Kindle than they ever did before.

What do you think, Shelf Lifers? Do you think that e-books devalue the published word or promote authors and reading itself? Would you pay $14.99 for an e-book?

Amazon is no longer selling Macmillan books; Macmillan CEO John Sargent issues statement

Amazon has pulled books from publishing giant Macmillan, according to the New York Times. Authors — and book buyers — began to notice last night that Amazon was no longer selling any of Macmillan’s titles (although they can still be purchased on the site from third-party sellers). The skirmish is most likely the latest chapter in the bitter war that Amazon and publishers are waging over the cost of e-books. Along with other companies, Macmillan has been pressing Amazon to raise the price of e-books, while Amazon is keen to keep prices low to promote its reader, the Kindle. (The $9.99 e-book prices advertised during the holiday season were a special point of contention.) So it is any coincidence that Macmillan is emboldened to make such demands  just days after the unveiling of the iPad from Apple? Probably not. Apple, after all, made it clear it will allow publishers more freedom to set their own prices for e-books. And when Steve Jobs was asked at the iPad press conference why customers would buy an e-book for $15 from Apple if they could get it for $9.99 on Amazon, he replied, “That won’t happen…Publishers are actually going to pull their books from Amazon because they’re not happy.”

Macmillan is, of course, one of the biggest book companies in the world and its imprints include Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Henry Holt and St. Martin’s Press, which publishes Janet Evanovich and Augusten Burroughs, amongst many others.

UPDATE (6:00 p.m.): Amazon did not respond to a request for comment. Macmillan CEO John Sargent issued this statement moments ago, addressed to Macmillan authors, illustrators, and the literary agent community:  “This past Thursday I met with Amazon in Seattle. I gave them our proposal for new terms of sale for e-books under the agency model which will become effective in early March. In addition, I told them they could stay with their old terms of sale, but that this would involve extensive and deep windowing of titles. By the time I arrived back in New York late yesterday afternoon they informed me that they were taking all our books off the Kindle site, and off Amazon. The books will continue to be available on through third parties. I regret that we have reached this impasse. Amazon has been a valuable customer for a long time, and it is my great hope that they will continue to be in the very near future. They have been a great innovator in our industry, and I suspect they will continue to be for decades to come. It is those decades that concern me now, as I am sure they concern you. In the ink-on-paper world we sell books to retailers far and wide on a business model that provides a level playing field, and allows all retailers the possibility of selling books profitably. Looking to the future and to a growing digital business, we need to establish the same sort of business model, one that encourages new devices and new stores. One that encourages healthy competition. One that is stable and rational. It also needs to insure that intellectual property can be widely available digitally at a price that is both fair to the consumer and allows those who create it and publish it to be fairly compensated. Under the agency model, we will sell the digital editions of our books to consumers through our retailers. Our retailers will act as our agents and will take a 30% commission (the standard split today for many digital media businesses). The price will be set for each book individually. Our plan is to price the digital edition of most adult trade books in a price range from $14.99 to $5.99. At first release, concurrent with a hardcover, most titles will be priced between $14.99 and $12.99. E-books will almost always appear day on date with the physical edition. Pricing will be dynamic over time. The agency model would allow Amazon to make more money selling our books, not less. We would make less money in our dealings with Amazon under the new model. Our disagreement is not about short-term profitability but rather about the long-term viability and stability of the digital book market. Amazon and Macmillan both want a healthy and vibrant future for books. We clearly do not agree on how to get there. Meanwhile, the action they chose to take last night clearly defines the importance they attribute to their view. We hold our view equally strongly. I hope you agree with us. You are a vast and wonderful crew. It is impossible to reach you all in the very limited timeframe we are working under, so I have sent this message in unorthodox form. I hope it reaches you all, and quickly. Monday morning I will fully brief all of our editors, and they will be able to answer your questions. I hope to speak to many of you over the coming days. Thanks for all the support you have shown in the last few hours; it is much appreciated. All best, John.”

More on e-books:
Apple’s iPad is officially here
Amazon says e-books outsold physical books on Christmas Day
Kindle’s popularity fires up

Apple's iPad: What book lovers need to know

Apple has revealed the first steps in its iPlan for stepping into the world of digital publishing. At a press event in San Francisco today, Steve Jobs introduced us to the iPad, his company’s hotly anticipated entry into the tablet market that is set to release worldwide in 60 days. Moments later, they announced their iBook app, which will let iPad owners create their own library of titles purchased and downloaded from a central iBooks store.

Using the nearly 10-inch color touchscreen, voracious e-readers can place their iBooks neatly onto a virtual bookcase that requires no trip to Ikea or quintilingual instruction manual. The reading process will be expectedly haptic, using the already culturally ingrained motions of flicking, tapping and swiping to turn pages, switch titles and adjust font size. The real question is whether or not there is any sort of software involved to make reading for hours on end easier on the eyes. E-readers like the Nook and Kindle have e-ink technology, which helps to reduce the eye strain that comes with continuous screen-staring, and whether the iPad can offer something similar is an important distinction. If I had to read something like Under the Dome entirely on a computer screen, my eyes would probably melt into a milky goo.

The good news is that Apple’s iBook application uses ePub, which is already the most popular open book format in the world, and not exclusive to the company. Also, they have the early support of Penguin, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and the Hachette Book Group, who all teamed up with Apple to create the iBook store. The store features a top chart list and New York Times bestseller list, while offering readers access to in-book photos (both color and black-and-white) and even videos. And it runs a lot like iTunes, so the millions of current music customers who already shop there will find iBooks easy to peruse and, most important, to purchase. For some techie experts, this familiarity is a huge iPad advantage—the fact that Apple customers are loyal and that its new product could usher even more e-readers into the marketplace.

The thin iPad weighs in at 1.5 pounds, more than either the Kindle or the Nook. Its screen is the same size as the Kindle DX (9.7 inches), with touch capabilities like the Nook, but beyond that, the visual e-reading experience seems completely different–not surprising coming from Apple. This is particularly true for print publications like The New York Times, which took center stage at the iPad debut to show off its own application. The NYT app brought the newspaper format to life, according to live bloggers, with in-article videos and without a lot of ads. Then there’s the host of other applications that iPads offer, apart from reading eBooks—you can open all 140,000 iPhone apps on the new device, in their original size or in double-pixel vision.

iBooks will cost between $7.99 and $14.99, which is both above and below the $9.99 average Kindle edition price. Pricing for the iPad itself occupies an entirely reasonable range of $499 to $829, on Apple’s typical sliding scale of gigabytes. (with reporting by Keith Staskiewicz)

Apple's Tablet: Will it change how you approach print media?

Apples have long been a symbol of temptation, and it’s difficult not be tempted by early reports of Steve Jobs’ latest technological game-changer. The iPod revolutionized how we approach music (and killed the album, according to those hip cats at the RIAA), and pretty much everyone in the country owns an iPhone except me and my grandmother. Now, Apple is likely to make another stab at transforming media consumption with their long-in-the-works tablet.

Tablet laptop sales have always been rather, well, flat, but the key to Apple’s entry is the fact that it’s less a compressed computer than an entirely different beast. The New York Times reports that magazine and book publishers are already in talks to provide Apple with content for the tablet, whose ten-inch color screen is perfect for perusing print media in its original format. This could effectively end up leapfrogging over e-readers like the Kindle and the Nook. Add to that a continuous wireless connection and all the capabilities of the iPhone, and you’ve got a pretty formidable device, even if it will have to deal with a wave of alternative tablets and what’s likely to be a hefty price tag.

But while this could be what salvages some print media, particularly news sources, from the mess in which they currently find themselves, it’s also interesting to note that there is also some apprehension on their part. iTunes essentially became the sole medium through which consumers purchase music online, and there’s a sense that giving Apple similar power as an intermediary could hurt publishers’ own freedom to set prices and make decisions. In my eyes, should Apple become the de facto distribution powerhouse in the world of books and magazines, as well as music, it’ll be hard to continue thinking of them as the little company that could. Their outsider status, which they’ve remarkably managed to keep going for so long, is a little questionable if we’re consuming the majority of our content through them. To put it bluntly, it’s a question of whether they could end up going from being the hammer-throwing renegade in their iconic “1984” commercial to being the media-monopolizing face on the screen.

Despite these qualms, I’m honestly excited by the prospect of Apple’s tablet. Apple has so far been a pretty responsible company, and they have a knack for synthesizing and transcending what everybody else in the market is trying to do, so count me tempted. What about you? Would you buy such a device? And, more importantly, how much would you be willing to shell out for one?

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