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Tag: E-Books (21-30 of 57)

Poll: Will you buy 'Harry Potter' e-books?

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In 2007, the publishing industry was rocked by two colossal events: the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and the debut of Amazon’s first Kindle e-reader. Nearly five years later, these phenomena will finally collide — as of today, all seven of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels are available in e-book form.

But here’s the potential fly in the Amortentia: HP fans already own copies of the septet. Heck, because I have two siblings and we all hate sharing, there are no fewer than three copies of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince floating around my childhood home. Audio versions of each book in the series — recorded by Jim Dale in the U.S. and Stephen Fry in the U.K. — have also been available for years at this point. Do Potterheads feel the need to own the series in up to three formats?

Shelf Lifers, I want to know if you’re planning on stocking your Kindle, Nook, iPad, or generic knockoff e-device with Sorcerer’s Stones, Prisoners of Azkaban, and Goblets of Fire — or if you’ve already got enough Harry in your life. Take to the poll below to share your thoughts. READ FULL STORY

J.K. Rowling's 'Harry Potter' e-books are finally available on Pottermore

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For many eager fans, there’s something magical about tapping a button on an e-reader and getting transported to Harry Potter’s wizarding world.

After months of delay, J.K. Rowling’s seven mega-best-selling Harry Potter books are now available in e-book form for the first time ever on her Pottermore website. The prices reflect the length of the novels; books one through three are priced at $7.99, while the four remaining tomes are $9.99. READ FULL STORY

Chinese writers accuse Apple of online book piracy

A group of prominent Chinese writers have demanded millions of dollars in compensation from technology giant Apple Inc. for allegedly selling unlicensed versions of their books in its online store, a lawyer said Monday.

The case is a departure from the usual pattern of U.S artists or companies going after Chinese copycats. Trade groups say illegal Chinese copying of music, designer clothing and other goods costs legitimate producers billions of dollars a year in lost sales.

Three separate lawsuits have been filed with the Beijing No. 2 Intermediate Court on behalf of 12 writers who allege 59 of their titles were sold unlicensed through Apple’s iTunes online store, said Wang Guohua, a Beijing lawyer representing the writers.

The three suits together demand 23 million (US$3.5 million) in compensation from Apple, Wang said. Well-known novelist and race car driver Han Han is among the writers taking the legal action, he said.

Carolyn Wu, a Beijing-based Apple spokesman, said that the company respects intellectual property and responds to complaints quickly.

“As an IP holder ourselves, we understand the importance of protecting intellectual property and when we receive complaints we respond promptly and appropriately,” she said. She declined to get into the specifics of the Chinese writers’ claims.

Wang said the Chinese writers’ works was made available via the Apple Store without their permission, violating their copyright, and while Apple deleted some books after the suits were filed in January, some works quickly appeared again, apparently uploaded by developers that sell apps through the Apple Store.

“Some developers, with whom Apple has contracts, put them back online again,” said Wang of the United Zhongwen Law Firm. “It is encouragement in disguise, because they did not punish the developers. The developers could have been kicked out. But nothing happened to them.”

Apple has more than 585,000 apps available through its Apple Store, and according to guidelines posted online, requires the developers themselves secure the rights to any trademarked material within those apps.

Wang said 10 other writers have also gotten involved since January but their suits have yet to be filed. In all, 23 writers have registered their complaints with Wang and claim that Apple sold 95 pirated titles.

The official Xinhua News Agency reported late Sunday that the writers were collectively seeking 50 million yuan ($7.7 million) in compensation from Apple but Wang could not confirm that figure.

Product piracy is a major irritant in China-US relations, but usually involves complaints that Chinese are copying American products.

However, it’s not the first time Chinese have cried foul over copyright infringement by an American company either. In 2009, the government-affiliated China Written Works Copyright Society complained that Google had scanned nearly 20,000 works by 570 Chinese authors without permission as part of its digital library project, drawing an apology from Google.

For Apple, the latest case is just one of several legal battles being fought in China. The company is embroiled in a battle over the iPad trademark with Proview Electronics Co., a Chinese computer monitor and LED light maker that says it registered the trademark more than a decade ago.

Proview wants Apple to stop selling or making the popular tablet computers under that name.

Apple says Proview sold it worldwide rights to the iPad trademark in 2009, though in China the registration was never transferred.

'Harry Potter' site Pottermore to launch in early April, six months after scheduled opening

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Pottermore, the much-anticipated Harry Potter website that’s part social media, part interactive reading experience, will finally be open for all users in early April.

The site was announced last year, with beta testing beginning in the fall and a scheduled launch in October. However, as more users were invited into the open test, it became apparent that the site was far from ready to open as planned.

A statement on the site’s official blog said that after gathering feedback from users, “it became clear that our original platform wouldn’t be suitable when millions more users came on to the site. So we made a big decision: to move Pottermore to an entirely different platform set up.” READ FULL STORY

So you got a Kindle (or other e-reader) for Christmas! Here are 10 free books to fill it with

If Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos is to be believed, “many millions” of you received a Kindle product as a gift this holiday season. When I unwrapped my brand new Kindle last Christmas, I was itching to go on an e-book shopping bender. It can feel like you have every written word at your fingertips, and you want to read as much of what’s out there as you can. In the early days of Kindle ownership, I got download-happy and made some poor, money-wasting choices because buying books became so easy. If a friend recommended a title over lunch, I’d drop $12 on it on the spot without researching it first, or I’d get impatient and buy a title that someone would end up giving me a few days later.

When my e-book buying habit started getting expensive, I looked to the many free books available in the Kindle Store to feed my hungry reader. Many public domain books are classics, ones that you might want to revisit from school or others that you feel guilty for not having read. Haven’t read Anna Karenina or War and Peace? Now you can’t use the excuse that you don’t want to lug those huge tomes around. I’m ashamed to admit that somehow I’d managed to reach my twenties without having read a Dickens all the way through, so I dutifully made my way through Great Expectations and Bleak House. Even if you don’t plan on actually reading some of these free books (will I actually read my e-copy of Ulysses? Probably not), simply owning them can give you the warm fuzzies. Here are 10 books/authors that won’t cost you a penny in the Kindle store! READ FULL STORY

'Fahrenheit 451' finally becomes an e-book despite Ray Bradbury's opposition to nonflammable media

Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury’s seminal work of science-fiction about the perils of book burning, is finally available as an e-book. Simon & Schuster released the novel for download on Tuesday. It might surprise you to hear that Bradbury, now 91 and apparently a little further into the future than he would like to be, was previously dead-set against making it available in any form other than traditional paper-and-glue, calling the internet “meaningless” and commenting that e-books “smell like burned fuel.” To get the obvious joke out of the way, given his fear of literary conflagrations, maybe he was just uncomfortable putting his book in something called a Kindle.

When Fahrenheit 451 (Celsius 233, in its European editions) was first published in 1953, it was coming only two decades after the infamous Nazi book burnings and in the midst of America’s own wave of anti-literary fervor courtesy of McCarthyism and general think-of-the-children hysteria. But coming in 2011, this e-book release presents an opportunity to ponder the continuing relevance of the novel in a time when words aren’t quite so flammable. It’s pretty difficult to burn an e-book—unless it’s onto a CD—and a thumbdrive is much easier to smuggle than an armful of texts, so you’d think that Bradbury might be willing to forgo his traditional curmudgeonliness to embrace a technology that would spell the end to the act he deplores. Then again, in many cases, firewalls can be just as effective as fire and, as Amazon’s ironically Orwellian faux pas showed us, readers may not be as in control of their electronic library as they are their bookshelf.

Of course, Fahrenheit 451 is not just about the act of burning books in the same way that Animal Farm isn’t just about animal rights (and wrongs). It’s about all varieties of censorship, something from which digital media are far from immune, and in that way its themes are as pertinent as ever. Maybe in fifty years, an updated version will replace Guy Montag’s bonfires with a simple Select All + Delete.

Amazon ships Kindle Fire a day early; read reviews

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Amazon announced today that it would be shipping its best-selling new tablet, the Kindle Fire, today, one day earlier than expected. This is great news to consumers eager to get their hands on the iPad challenger.

Retailing for $199, the Kindle Fire is Amazon’s response to pricier tablets, and it’s clear they are hopeful that the mass quantity they anticipate selling will offset costs. Research firm iSuppli estimates that Amazon spends about $210 to make each Kindle Fire that it sells for $199 — a business model that can’t be sustained long-term. The affordability is the Fire’s main selling point. (That, and the Amazon name, which is already synonymous in consumers’ minds as one-stop-shopping for entertainment needs.)

The earlier release date also moves up the all-important reviews. Gizmodo has called the Kindle Fire “puzzlingly simple” and has highlighted the Amazon Prime membership as a selling point. At a time when Netflix is struggling, Prime is picking up the slack, allowing users to instantly stream everything in their Prime catalogue on the Kindle Fire. This kind of ease could spell major trouble for Apple and other tablets.

Engadget is also rather positive in their detailed review, stating that its biggest competition is still to come: The Barnes & Noble-backed Nook tablet, slated to release November 16.

Shelf Life-ers: Excited about these developments? Will you be picking up a Kindle Fire?

Read more:
Amazon unveils gamechanging new products, including Kindle Fire tablet 
Barnes and Noble removes Sandman, Watchmen, and other graphic novels from its shelves
Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet unveiled — CEO calls Amazon’s Kindle Fire ‘deficient’

Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet unveiled -- CEO calls Amazon's Kindle Fire 'deficient'

As many anticipated, Barnes & Noble announced its entry into the tablet race this morning, and it’s clear that the bookseller is positioning its new 7-inch NOOK Tablet ($249) as a “faster, smaller” alternative to Amazon’s similarly sized Kindle Fire ($199). In fact, B&N CEO William Lynch devoted a large portion of his presentation, given to a room full of journalists in the Union Square Barnes & Noble bookstore, to disparaging the Kindle Fire, which ships Nov. 15. READ FULL STORY

Barnes and Noble removes Sandman, Watchmen, and other graphic novels from its shelves

My attention was caught this morning by a tweet from Neil Gaiman: “Really? Barnes and Noble will no longer sell Sandman or Watchmen?” It turns out to be true: The company was angered by DC Comics’ deal  with Amazon to sell 100 graphic novels –including Gaiman’s — exclusively on the Kindle Fire. So it ordered stores to begin stripping the DC books from their shelves. Later today, B&N issued a statement to CNN that said, in part,

“Regardless of the publisher, we will not stock physical books in our stores if we are not offered the available digital format…To sell and promote the physical book in our store showrooms and not have the e-book available for sale would undermine our promise to Barnes & Noble customer to make available any book, anywhere.”

Some Barnes & Noble stores — like the one nearest EW’s office — had completely removed the graphic novels in question by midafternoon. Other branches, like the one not far from my house in upstate New York, appear to not have heard the corporate message.

Has anyone seen this today at a Barnes & Noble? What do you think about it?

Pottermore delays 'Harry Potter' e-books

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For all you Harry Potter fans who can’t wait to conjure up some Hogwarts magic on your e-readers, you’ll have to wait just a bit longer. The Pottermore website — currently available to a million people using it in a trial period — will be open to everyone by the end of the month, but the online store, which will be stocking the e-books, won’t be open until the “first half of 2012.” This news might be disappointing for some, but at least the Harry Potter universe is still giving us something to anticipate, even after the book and movie series have ended. Anyway, this delay will give you plenty of time to get acquainted with your Kindle Fire before the e-books hit.

Read more:
Pottermore Finally Opens for Business
Pottermore: First impressions of the new interactive Harry Potter site

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