A reviewer given a sneak preview of the new Nook devices left with a “good impression,” citing its lighter weight and smaller frame.
Also – surprise! – the Nook tablets are cheaper than their closest Amazon Fire competitors. Most notably, the 9-inch Nook tablet starts at $269 while the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD starts at $299. If it were only about tablet features and price, Amazon could find itself squeezed by B&N at the bottom of the market and Apple at the top (Apple’s new iPad starts at $499 and Kindle has a souped-up version of its Kindle Fire HD for the same price).
However, it’s not all about price. From the New York Times: “If this decision for consumers was just about devices, then Barnes & Noble would be pulling ahead,” said James McQuivey, a media analyst at Forrester Research. “These are better devices than what Amazon has announced, and they’re comparably priced. Amazon just has a much bigger service offering to go behind their device.”
If potential buyers are concerned with how they might discover their next book (rather than how they might borrow one for free from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library), they might prefer the Nook, which offers a new reading interface to promote discoverability. Kobo has something like this on its latest line of tablets, too.
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The rest of the day’s top news:
E-Book Prices Going up? (PaidContent)
Why is J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy e-book priced at $17.99? Because Hachette, the book’s publisher, is no longer restricted by its Apple contract, which would have set the max price at $16.99. The DOJ settlement with the publishers incentivizes such pricing. Related: Penguin’s Winter of the World Debut’s on DBW E-Book Best-Seller List at $19.99.
Standardizing E-Book Lending (Art Info)
British culture minister Ed Vaizey has called for a review of how UK libraries lend e-books. It’s not standardized or widespread in the UK and “by acting now we can help influence the growth of e-lending to ensure that libraries, authors, publishers and the public all benefit from this potentially valuable new service,” said Vaizey. Meanwhile, here in the U.S., associations representing publishers and libraries are trading aggressive missives.
Buy Before You Try (Daily Finance)
Pearson has launched a new service for some of its more technical titles: Buy the e-book before it’s done. For some titles, like books on how to code for iOS 6, the new Apple mobile operating system, readers can purchase the e-book before it’s gone through final editing and formatting to get the content early. Those who purchased will automatically get an updated, finalized e-book sent to them when it comes out.
Discovering Good News (DBW)
One of the best pieces of news to come out of the DBW Discoverability and Marketing conference? The industry’s decision to focus its attention on seriously tackling the issue of discoverability in an increasingly digital world, writes DBW blogger Rich Fahle.
German Self-Publishing Industry (Pub Perspectives)
Self-publishing platforms are sprouting up and growing in Germany, but competition for authors hasn’t reached fever pitch like it has in the U.S. with pricing for distribution still above “free.”
Record and Share (PR Web)
Oceanhouse Media, publisher of many Dr. Seuss e-books and other children’s titles, launched a new feature today for its books: “record and share.” Users can record themselves reading a Dr. Seuss story and then share that recording with family and friends.
E-Book That Soy Sauce Built (TalkBooksWorld)
Soy sauce producer Kikkoman has partnered with Great British Chefs, an online cooking brand in the UK, on a new e-cookbook all about soy sauce. Digital cookbooks have yet to take off.
Do You Read Books on Your Phone? (Pub Perspectives)
Smartphones are the most commonly owned e-reading device in the U.S. Question is, do you read on one? Answer this survey.