Tag Archives: online

Amazon Offering One-Hour Delivery in Manhattan

Amazon started out as a web site from which you could order things — primarily books. Then it became a brick-and-mortar store. Now it’s a brick-and-mortar store from which you can order things and get them (in New York City) in less than an hour.

According to Entertainment WeeklyAmazon has opened a location on 34th Street in Manhattan. Using a new service called Prime Now, people who live in Manhattan can order from the site and have the items delivered to them from the 34th Street location in an hour or less for $7.99, or in two hours or less for free.

Prime Now is a mobile app from which orders can be made everyday between 6 a.m. and 12 a.m. Amazon’s SVP of worldwide operations Dave Clark said this is good alternative for many people:

“There are times when you can’t make it to the store and other times when you simply don’t want to go.”

Now you can get what you want without leaving your home…in less than an hour.

For now the service is only available in New York City, but there are plans for it to spread to other cities in the future. My guess? LA would be next.

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Fight Intensifies Between Amazon, Hachette

It’s one of the biggest book brawls since the 2012 fight over e-book pricing. Once again, Amazon and Hachette are involved.

This time, according to The New York Times, it’s believed that Amazon wants to offer discounts on Hachette e-books, and apparently negotiations aren’t going well. In fact, they’re going so poorly that Amazon is now supposedly delaying shipment of some Hachette books and preventing preorders of some Hachette books.

It would seem that this is a battle strictly between Amazon and Hachette, but rather, it appears to be the start of a war between Amazon and many publishing companies, as Jonathan Mahler explains.

As part of Hachette’s antitrust settlement with the government, the company agreed to allow Amazon to continue to discount the price of e-books for two years. That agreement has expired, and for some reason — no one is sure why — Hachette is the first publisher to find itself in the position of negotiating a new one.

Other publishers are holding their breath. It is in their interests for [Hachette Book Group’s chief executive] Mr. Pietsch to drive a hard bargain, and they are cheering him on, but silently. They have their own relationships with Amazon to protect […]

So is the squabble close to being resolved? Doesn’t seem that way, but with many of the details of the negotiations being kept under wraps, it’s hard to know exactly what’s going on and when it may finally end.

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History of Quidditch Posted on Pottermore

pottmoreSo you think you know everything there is to know about Harry Potter, huh? Well, probably not — unless you’ve already read through the new additions to author J.K. Rowling’s Pottermore web site.

Just last week, Pottermore was updated with information about the history of Quidditch, the beloved wizard and witch game, played on broomsticks. According to Entertainment WeeklyHarry Potter author J.K. Rowling wrote a 2,400-word essay on Harry Potter-centric web site entitled History of the Quidditch World Cup.

The story was posted in two parts, one detailing the history of the tournament, how the tournament is played, and information about controversial tournaments. The second part deals with recaps of some of the recent tournaments played within the last 20 years.

So, who’s read the story? What do you think of it? Always cool to have additional background, right?

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New Kindle Checkout System In the Works

amazonWhen Amazon first created the Kindle, it was meant to be used for reading e-books. Then it became a tablet. Now it might become a cash register.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Amazon — the creator of the Kindle — is working with brick-and-mortar stores and retailers to create a checkout system that uses Kindle tablets. If it’s a go, stores would use the new system as early as this summer. More and more retailers are using handheld devices for checkouts, such as food trucks, Apple, and even Nordstrom.

Amazon officials say retailers would receive Kindle tablets and credit card readers, or receive services from Amazon, such as data analysis.

The plan is still in the works. Nothing is officially set in stone. For now, Amazon is looking to start at small stores, since larger chains generally already use  complex, expensive checkout systems.

The real benefit of checking out with a Kindle would be how fast and easy it is to do. But it’s clear than an underlying benefit for Amazon is all the exposure the company itself would get; plus it’s a pretty sneaky way of bringing the Kindle — available online only —  into stores.

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Judge Rules in Favor of Google in Book-Scanning Lawsuit

It took eight long years, but a judge has finally ruled on a lawsuit filed by the Authors Guild against Google, concerning the web site’s library book scanning project. The judge dismissed the Authors Guild’s lawsuit.

So what is the library book scanning project? According to the Google Books web site, “[Google is] working with several major libraries to include their collections in Google Books and, like a card catalog, show users information about the book, and in many cases, a few snippets – a few sentences to display the search term in context.”

According to Publishers Weekly, the Authors Guild argued that copyrights were ignored only to ultimately impact the book market in a negative way. But Judge Denny Chin ruled that Google’s book scanning project is a benefit for books, readers, and authors, as Andrew Albanese explains:

“In my view, Google Books provides significant public benefits,” Chin wrote. “It advances the progress of the arts and sciences, while maintaining respectful consideration for the rights of authors and other creative individuals, and without adversely impacting the rights of copyright holders.”

The Authors Guild plans to appeal the decision, but it could run into a problem. The Second Circuit is already handling a similar case, in which the judge also initially ruled against the guild.

What do you think of Google Books and its library book scanning project? Good for books/authors or bad?

 

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Amazon Announces Kindle Matchbook Service

Expanding the digital library on your Kindle just got a whole lot cheaper. Amazon announced a new service this week called Kindle Matchbook.

According to Entertainment Weekly, people looking to buy e-books for their Kindle that they’ve already bought in print can now do it through Amazon for a discounted price. Amazon Matchbook applies to any print book a customer has bought from Amazon since 1995, when Amazon first started. Matchbook will allow customers to check their purchase history to see what they’ve bought and buy the books in e-book form for $2.99 (some are even free), rather than paying full-price for the books they already own.

The program is set to launch next month. Amazon spokespeople say it will have 10,000 e-books available for discounted prices.

On a personal note, I think this is a great idea. I’ve always thought it was bad business to have to buy two copies of the same book if you want it on your e-reader. I wondering how long it will take for Barnes & Noble to come up with a similar plan for its Nook?

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Daily Deals Boosting E-Book Sales

Everyone loves a good sale, and in the case of e-books, this doesn’t apply just to readers; it also applies to authors.

According to The New York Times, one-day deals that e-book sites like Amazon and Barnes and Noble offer have resulted in huge sale boosts for authors. Any book is subjected to becoming a daily deal — usually those that are years old or that have never reached bestseller status. It’s easier to offer sales like these with e-books, which don’t have a sticker price attached to them. Publishers can change the prices frequently from $14.99 to $9.99 to $1.99.

When people see those $1.99 offers — for one day only!! — they’re more inclined to buy a copy; not only is it cheap, but it’s also easy to download, as Julie Bosman explains.

[Amazon vice president for Kindle content] Mr. Grandinetti said one book, “1,000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die,” was selling, on average, less than one e-book a day on Amazon. After it was listed as a Kindle Daily Deal last year, it sold 10,000 copies in less than 24 hours.

Some titles have tripled that number: on a single day in December, nearly 30,000 people snapped up digital copies of “Under the Dome,” by Stephen King, a novel originally published in 2009 by Scribner. For publishers and authors, having a book chosen by a retailer as a daily deal can be like winning the lottery, an instant windfall of sales and exposure.

The success of the those one-day deals often boosts sales for the next couple days or weeks as well or encourages readers to read other books by the same author. Web sites that track the deals from online stores have also popped up, making it even easier for readers to find the best sales.

So what does this all mean? Hopefully it means the book business is alive and well, despite the ongoing closure of brick and mortar stores…

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