Tag Archives: iPad

The Line Between Print Books and E-Books Just Got Cloudy

As e-books continue to become more accessible and convenient, the Amazon Kindle reveals its latest development: the Kindle Cloud Reader.

Much like Apple’s iCloud — which weaves together your Apple products in a way that you can access your apps from whichever platform you choose — the Kindle Cloud Reader will allow readers to access their downloaded books on multiple platforms.

According to the L.A. Times, it will work with Google Chrome and Apple’s Safari. So whatever book you’ve downloaded onto your Kindle may be accessed via desktop or iPad.

That being said, the Kindle Cloud Reader solidifies a friendship between Amazon’s Kindle and Apple. With the app, those who own Kindles andĀ  use Apple products will be able to directly access the Kindle store, instead of the current in-app purchase option, which is subject to additional Apple fees.

To be honest, it sounds a little confusing to me. But the idea of accessing already downloaded Kindle books online or through other platforms is intriguing. What do you guys think?

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iSteve: The Bio Has Been Moved Up!

There’s more news on the way from Steve Jobs. No, it’s not a newer version of the iPad, iPod, or iPhone, but rather a history of iSteve.

The uber-rich, turtleneck-loving Apple CEO’s biography will now be released November 21st, according to the L.A. Times. The book, written by Aspen Institute president Walter Isaacson, was initially set to come out March 6th.

With the release still 3 months away, the bio has already undergone a number of changes. First: its title — originally iSteve: The Book of Jobs — is now Steve Jobs: A Biography. And the cover has also changed from this (somewhat clever, but unrecognizable) mock-up to the one included in this blog post.

There’s no question that Jobs’ bio will do well, like all of his other products. In fact, it’s already an Amazon bestseller thanks to pre-orders.

But what’s most interesting is what will be included in the biography. According to this L.A. Times article, it’s more than just his rise to the head of an internationally-renowned technology company.

A quote from Jobs in the [Barnes and Noble] description seems to hint at what the Apple CEO has to say in the book.

“I’ve done a lot of things I’m not proud of, such as getting my girlfriend pregnant when I was 23 and the way I handled that,” Jobs said, according to the description. “But I don’t have any skeletons in my closet that can’t be allowed out.”

The Barnes & Noble listing said that Jobs was, at times, brutally honest “about the people he worked with and competed against,” and his friends and foes were the same.

Sounds like Steve Jobs had a juicier life than we all thought! He’s man who’s created so much and shared so little…until now.

So, are you going to read it?

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Borders is a Bust

All sales are final. As of tomorrow, Borders Bookstore is officially a bust. The once-popular chain will begin closing its remaining 400 stores nationwide, not only emptying shelves, but eliminating 11,000 jobs as well.

This comes after months of bankruptcy and failed attempts to sell and resurrect itself. So where did Borders go wrong?

1. The obvious reason; we are entering the digital world of paperless-ness. In fact, we are already in it. As online [book] shopping, e-readers, and tablets become more popular, the desire to buy a physical book is null and void.

2. As this WSJ article explains, other products in the store were beginning to hide the books altogether. As we all know, bookstores aren’t really just bookstores anymore. They’re fully equipped entertainment outlets, selling CDs, DVDs, and magazines. But once you start shielding the core of the store behind other products, the focus becomes unclear, as Matthew Dolan explains in his article:

Customers began to notice what made Borders distinctive was also disappearing. In Store No. 1, there are still books galore. But to reach them, customers must navigate through aisles of toys, stuffed animals, greeting cards, gift bags, compact discs and DVDs.

3. Barnes and Noble is better. I’ve always been a B&N girl myself. It may be the Starbucks cafe in each store. It might be the layout and look of the store. There’s also a good chance it’s the growth the company has seen after taking on the Nook, which is far more popular than Borders’ Kobo. Either way, it’s the number one bookstore nationwide, and Borders just couldn’t top it.

Whatever the reason, it’s sad to see such a staple leave the industry and say goodbye to thousands of employees, as well. What I’m wondering is, is there something Borders could have done to improve and save itself? What do you think?

***Here is another WSJ article that explains more about the financial struggle of Borders.

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Why the NY Public Library is Flourishing

“The New York Public Library is getting webbier by the day,” wrote The Atlantic reporter Alexis Madrigal in his compelling piece about the NYPL, one of the most famous libraries in the world.

In an age where libraries are dying due to e-books, budget cuts, and the ever-expanding “go green” and “paperless” movements, the New York Public Library not only remains open, but it makes significant profits. Granted, the NYPL receives massive donations unlike most other small libraries around the country. But the reason it’s succeeding is because of itsĀ  web-savvy ways. By connecting with library users through social media, the library is allowing people to expand on the information it’s already collected. Madrigal explains.

“Every magazine, television network, or radio station with an archive is sitting on gold. Get that stuff out of the basement and put it online for free, where people can link to, remix, and use it. But don’t just dump it there. Take advantage of what the web can do. Structure the work, as NYPL’s strategy head says, so that people can improve on your collection…When you put information in the hands of people, they come up with all kinds of stuff that people within an institution might not think about.”

For instance, the library has created its own iPad app, Biblion. And most recently, it launched a new log-in system through Bibliocommons, which both simplifies and strengthens the library’s catalog.

You can read much more about all of this in Madrigal’s article, “What Big Media Can Learn from the New York Public Library.”

It’s lengthy, but interesting and might give other media a clue about how to better connect with users, increase profit, and improve resources simultaneously.

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Who’s Ready for More Potter?

Oh Harry Potter, how we love you.

After 7 books and (almost) 8 movies, we still want more. And though J.K. Rowling has repeatedly said she won’t be writing anymore Harry Potter books, we’re still getting more Potter, thanks to Pottermore.

Rowling officially announced a new web site Thursday — Pottermore — which would not only allow people to purchase Harry Potter e-books, but also let readers into the mind of Rowling herself. Pottermore will offer never-before-read text about the characters and stories in the books. It will also feature games, wand fights, and what appears to be some sort of virtual map.

Needless to say, it sounds awesome. It debuts July 31st –Harry’s birthday, of course– but only for a select few. Those who want early access must register now and compete for it. For the rest of the universe, the site will go public in October.

Pottermore will be the only place for people to purchase e-book versions of the successful series. (Though they will be compatible with Amazon’s Kindle, Sony’s Reader, and Apple’s iPad.) Understandably, bookstores and other e-book retailers (ie Amazon) are upset to not have been included in what will surely be one helluva money-maker for Rowling. But retailers hope, and I agree, that it will probably once again boost paper copies of the series.

The true beauty of the Harry Potter series is that it sparked an interest in reading for children and adults. Who’s to say that it can’t continue to do that 14 years later?

For ALL the information about Pottermore, click here.

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