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Tag: E-Readers (11-20 of 33)

Sloane Crosley on her new Kindle Single and how bad experiences make for funny stories

Book publicist turned best-selling author Sloane Crosley doesn’t have a new book coming out any time soon, but for those of us who are eager for more of her hilarious, perceptive observations, it’s lucky she’s gotten into the digital publishing game. Up the Down Volcano, Crosley’s first full-length essay since the publication of her second collection How Did You Get This Number, is available exclusively on Amazon as a Kindle Single. This hilarious yet harrowing account of summiting the Ecuadorian stratovolcano Cotopaxi — Crosley-style — reads more like an epic than her previous works, yet it retains her signature brand of intelligent humor, which stems from keen observation and honest self-assessment. EW caught up with this busy writer to talk about her new Single, the ways digital publishing can resemble the music industry, Arrested Development, and a lot more.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I laughed out loud while reading “Up the Down Volcano,” but I was also very conscious of the fact that your experience couldn’t have been funny when you were going through it. Are many of the experiences you write about only funny in retrospect?
SLOANE CROSLEY: Yes. Those generally make for better stories. I think that if you can see the humor while it’s happening – this is cliché – you’re tempted to not live in the moment, or it’s already fermenting into a story in your mind as it’s happening. You start mentally taking notes; that doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t come out as funny or a worthwhile story on the other side, but for me personally, it’s more rewarding if there’s something [deeper] going on. Part of me thinks that it’s a defense mechanism that takes the pressure off of just trying to be funny, but most of me thinks that’s where people need humor the most, both as readers and as writers. READ FULL STORY

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

'Steve Jobs' biography by Walter Isaacson: What's been said so far


While EW’s official take on Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs is forthcoming, there’s been a lot of advance buzz out there about details from the book. We’re promised a good deal of unprecedented access to the late, famously closed-off Apple chief, as Jobs relinquished all editorial control to Isaacson and continued to speak to him after his resignation as Apple’s CEO and up until the weeks before his death. Until you can read Steve Jobs itself — it hits bookstores Oct. 24 — here are some of the book’s most talked-about leaked details.

• According to the New York Times, the book offers new details about Jobs’ struggle with pancreatic cancer. Upon his diagnosis with cancer in Oct. 2003, he delayed surgery to experiment with “exotic” treatments, including “fruit juices, acupuncture, herbal remedies and other treatments,” much to the distress of friends, family, and medical professionals. Once he chose to pursue more traditional treatments, Jobs became “one of 20 people in the world to have all the genes of his cancer tumor and his normal DNA sequenced,” the price tag for which was $100,000.

• During a last-minute meeting at the San Francisco airport in 2010, Jobs warned President Obama that he was headed toward a one-term presidency and that he needed to be friendlier to businesses.  READ FULL STORY

Pottermore delays 'Harry Potter' e-books


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

Kindle Touch: A closer look at cool new features, and what it means for book lovers

At a press event this morning, in which Amazon announced its game-changing new products, there were a whole lot of tech writers and a handful of books people in attendance. You could tell who was who pretty easily: The techies’ fingers were atwitter, either Tweeting or frantically live-blogging Jeff Bezos’ every word, whereas a number of the books people carried pads (not of the “i” variety) and pens. To the techies, the most interesting person in the room was obviously Bezos; to a lot of the books people, the man of the hour was Larry Kirshbaum, the popular New York publishing veteran who’s now heading up the Amazon Publishing unit.

Kirshbaum probably personifies the meeting of traditional and digital publishing better than anyone else, having headed up Time Warner Books before wrangling authors to write Amazon originals. Before Bezos took the stage, Kirshbaum chatted up the print folks, including The New Yorker‘s Ken Auletta and a couple of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt editors who were visiting from Boston. Traditional publishers generally have mixed to negative opinions of Amazon — I’d imagine Kirshbaum has some complicated feelings himself — but Bezos started off the proceedings with a somewhat conciliatory message to put the old school publishers at ease: Amazon still sells plenty of physical books. In the slide above, you see that sales of physical books are increasing; Kindle book sales are increasing, too, just exponentially.

Bezos launched into a lengthy speech on the current Kindle’s incredible success before he made the first big announcement of the day: the Kindle Touch. 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. 22: New Decemberists video's literary roots, Obama's summer reading picks


++ Parks and Recreation showrunner Michael Schur, a David Foster Wallace fan, based the “Calamity Song” video he directed for the Decemberists on Wallace’s seminal novel Infinite Jest. Let the tennis balls fly!

++ Self-published author John Locke, not to be confused with the 17th century philosopher or a Smoke Monster, has entered an exclusive deal with Simon & Schuster to handle the distribution of physical copies of his books. Locke’s Donovan Creed novels, which have sold more than a million digital copies, will be available in traditional bookstores starting February 2012. READ FULL STORY

On the Books August 2: Stan Barstow passes away and Half Price Books lends a helping second-hand

++Stan Barstow, the British author known primarily for his tough, realistic portraits of post-war, middle-class life in England, died yesterday at the age of 83. The Guardian‘s obituary takes a look at Barstow’s life and works and his impact on British literature.

++It’s nice to see a little book store camaraderie. According to the L.A. Times blog, a company rep from Half Price Books posted a note on a site for the unfortunate, soon-to-be former Borders employees, welcoming them to work at their stores. “I wanted to let you know that Half Price Books would like to encourage Borders employees to apply at our stores,” the rep wrote. Doesn’t that just make you feel all bubbly inside?

++In other fledgling bookstore news, there is a rumor floating around of a potential Apple takeover of Barnes and Noble. According to an “unproven source,” the tech giant plans to buy the country’s biggest book retailer and incorporate its ebook market into Apple’s already established iBookstore. The purchase would do away with Barnes and Noble’s Nook e-reader and see the addition of Apple stores to the already standing Barnes and Noble locations.

Barnes & Noble announces new, cheaper Nook

Even as bidders look to buy Barnes & Noble, which put itself up for sale in August, the company has announced a new version of the Nook, their portable e-reader. The new device will be smaller, possess a longer battery life, and, most importantly, the price has plummeted from last year’s $249 Nook Color to match the Kindle’s impressively low $139 tag. (The Kindle is also available for $114 if you’re willing to accept ads on your home screen.) And while it will feature a touch screen, the intent is to focus solely on the reading experience and not compete with other functions already provided by the growing tablet industry.

Barnes & Noble also announced that they had managed to capture a full quarter of the e-book market, which, if true, will be key for the company’s continued success. The long, slow, death-of-a-thousand-papercuts demise of competitor Borders, along with the news the e-book sales have surpassed those of printed books on, probably has the retailer more invested than ever in the digital side of things. The new Nook is expected to ship by June 10.

On the Books Apr. 12: Gay penguin book tops list of controversial books, Amazon offering ad-supported Kindle, and more


And Tango Makes Three once again waddles into the top spot of the American Library Association’s Top Ten List of the Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2010. The adorable children’s book tells the true tale of two male emperor penguins in the Central Park Zoo who find an abandoned egg and raise the chick together. For the past five years, the book has had human parents up in arms due to its positive portrayal of same-sex bird parents and has been banned in school districts around the country. Other books on the list: The Hunger Games, Twilight, and Brave New World. READ FULL STORY

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