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Google™ May Develop Its Own E-Book Reader, Multi-Platform E-Book Store

With the acquisition of eBook Technologies Inc. (ETI), a company specializing in electronic books-related technologies, both hardware and software, Google has now made an entry in the e-Book market. It has also launched a new e-book online store, a lot like Amazon, which though still is in its early stages.

In a statement by an official, eBook Technologies is excited to announce that we have been acquired by Google. Working together with Google will further our commitment to providing a first-class reading experience on emerging tablets, e-readers and other portable devices.

Up till now Google’s strategy had been to offer a web based platform for distribution of books without entering the e-book reader device market unlike Amazon which had introduced Kindle. Through its online bookstore opened last year it was catering to multiple formats and devices, but this recent acquisition signals Google’s entry into such devices. ETI had been developing 2 designs and software for a reader of its own before acquisition. With this acquisition Google instead of just providing books and using other readers will now make new advances into this industry.

The current Google store provided books in all compatible formats for tablets. It currently caters to approximately 3 million books but it is soon expected to grow up to 50 million books. Google with ETI on board could also be planning to enhance the eBook software on its Tablet influenced Android Honeycomb release. This is a multi-billion dollar market which Google will not want to lose especially with the increase in the student population’s usage of these readers, plus also with an entry in this market Google could further spread its ad business.

Many devices are compatible with Google eBooks, everything from laptops to netbooks to tablets to smartphones to e-readers. It wouldn’t come as a surprise if in the coming months Google introduces an eBook reader bundled with its eBooks store to rival Amazons Kindle. Google’s eBooks store in a refreshing change from other online stores only caters to marketing of books unlike other websites which are a portal for sale of varied products. It also is providing quite a few of classics fro free on its online store to attract more people. Dedicated work on its portal, better reviews and Google might just pose a threat to Amazon.

Google as always is making new headways to capture the already present markets like it did with its Android platform and revolutionizing the phone OS market. What waits to be seen is how Google captures the eBook market, with new software for its Android HoneyComb enabled tablets or a new eBook Reader.

PubIt launched by Barnes & Noble to Rival Amazon’s DTP

Barnes & Noble recently launched a publishing tool called PubIt! which is used to publish work in their website. This is primarily used for the digital distribution of work and a very useful tool for independent authors and publishers who wants an online audience for their work.

The PubIt tool was launched in competition with the similar tool, DTP (Digital Text Platform), designed and maintained by Amazon. There are a large amount of user groups who prefer online books and articles. Tools such as PubIt and DTP have been developed to cater a large database of published content which is easy to maintain.

Booksellers have found that PubIt has started to generate tens of thousands of book titles from various authors and publishers from all over the world. The tool is used by writers who publish their own work if they are already registered with the services.

PubIt is an online tool through which users can upload eBooks, set up account, list the price of their work and also can track the sale of eBooks and the total amount and payments. Publishers are allowed to quote the price between $0.99 from $199.99 and they will receive the royalty amount depending the prices and sale.

The royalty income is also decided and any publisher can get 65 percent of list priced between $2.98 from $9.99 and get 40 percent royalty for the price between $2.98 from $10.00.

On the other hand Amazon provides 70 percent royalty for its publishers and independent authors but there are some hidden terms and fees involved in their payment model.

All the files can be uploaded in various file formats like Microsoft Word, TXT, HTML and RTF file and any company’s title can be added including NOOK book.

Social Ebook Reading Experience: @$99 from Copia

The recent Kindle announcement of a price drop might have you scrambling for your credit card and fill in pre-order forms. That seems fair enough since $139 for a Kindle is quite a bargain. But bargains never stop in this era of competition. Copia, a subsidiary of DMX Worldwide announced that it will release its own eBook reader, the Ocean Reader and The Tidal Reader. But the one who seems to be Copia’s champion on this year’s price war is the 5-inch, Wave5, priced at $99.

Copia Readers were set to hit the market this spring but the schedule changed for undisclosed reasons. Copia’s line includes Ocean Readers, Tidal Readers and Wave Readers.

Aside from the price hype, the only detail that seems to be clear about the Wave Reader from Copia is that it will have a colored display. Even with that it’s unclear if it uses color e-ink. Although, that might seem doubtful since Color E-ink technology is still in its infancy. E-ink technology on displays is known for its very low power consumption enabling users to maximize the battery life of their devices between charges.

Copia Reader’s success depends largely on how the market and other developers will take advantage of the social platform it is offering. A key aspect into this is convincing the public and soon to be partners that the technology is competitive enough to convince users that they still need the limited functionality of an eBook reader with their tablet pcs, smartphones and laptops already in tow.

Copia’s move was to adjust their pricing. It also promises a Copia Platform that lets you start conversations and connect with your kindred spirits—well when it comes to books, that is. If you’re up for an online book club, Copia Reader might just give you that.  The platform is also targeting other eBook reader, iPhones and smartphones, netbooks, tablet pcs and other devices.

First seen at the Consumer Eletronics Show (CES) at Las Vegas this January, Copia Readers have been marketed as the first “social reading” platform. The e-book reader will support social media integration allowing users to access their Facebook and Twitter accounts and its feeds. This can easily be done without opening another web browser and while users browse through their eBook library. They can also share notes, join discussions and give out book recommendations.

Ebook readers have been bent on a price war since Apple launched the iPad. There have been fears that eBook readers’ survival in the market is at stake with more multitasking tablet PCs invading the market this year. Each tablet PC that gets introduced aims to top iPad’ features and win the market with lower prices.

Copia has managed to win the price tug of war and add some interesting features, to boot. Well, at least for now.

Features

Wave5 ($99.99) and Wave7 ($129.99)

  • 5&Prime or 7&Prime capacitive touchscreen LCD (800×480)
  • 64MB RAM and 2GB onboard storage
  • SD card slot
  • Mono speaker and 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Supports most audio and image formats, plus ePub, TXT, and PDF
  • 6.7oz and 12oz respectively

Ocean Color$299.99

  • 10.1&Prime 16:9 capacitive multi-touch LCD (1024×600, GPU accelerated)
  • 512MB RAM and 4GB onboard storage
  • SD card slot, 2 x USB 2.0
  • Stereo speakers, 3.5mm headphone and mic jacks
  • Tilt sensor
  • Wi-Fi, browser, e-mail client, IM
  • Supports MP3, AAC, WMA, MPEG-4 and WMV video, most image formats, plus ePub
  • HTML, TXT, PRC, PDF
  • 1.12lb (18oz)

Tidal ($149.99)

  • 6&Prime E-ink display (800×600, 16-stage greyscale, portrait or landscape mode)
  • 2GB onboard storage
  • SD card slot
  • Wi-Fi (optional, $10 extra)
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Supports MP3, AAC, WMA, most image formats, plus ePub, HTML, TXT, PRC, PDF
  • 9.3oz

Google’s Venture into E-book Market

Electronic books are gaining in popularity and the future of the e-books market looks promising. Currently, web retail giants such as Amazon.com, have been a serious threat for thousands of small independent bookstores. Its all about to be changed with regard to e-books, since Google Edition, the new Google venture on e-books plans on playing the role of a wholesaler so that independent bookstores are able to retail e-books at competitive prices.

Closing deal

Google has been closing in on a deal with American Booksellers Association recently, to make Google editions the sole distributor for e-books to be sold across 1400 member online-bookstores. This will in fact safeguard the small-timers from being decimated by the likes of Amazon, Apple and Sony. Although Google would retail e-books on it’s own site, the overall process helps in standardizing the e-book trading and prices.

Platform independent

Big competitors are already in the game and one wonders if Google is too late to respond to the e-book market. But the experts at Google think they can provide something that none of the competitors provide; a platform independent e-book solution. Which means that e-books should be compatible across many digital readers regardless of the make and model. Google editions believe in a system where people will be able to access their book shelf or buy new books just by entering their Google credentials. The e-books would also be browser compatible, so any computing device that is connected to the internet automatically becomes an e-book reader as well.

Good news for independent bookstores

Google’s way of stepping into the arena has caught the attention of many hundred independent bookstores. Because Google’s plan of action with regard to e-books market has been in line with the business expectations of small timers, Google’s interest of the e-books market has been welcomed by many. However, Google’s intentions of retailing e-books on their own site has not been considered an issue as long as Google alone will handle duties as the only source of e-books in the market.

Threat for the giants

What would be the position of the competitors such as Amazon.com, Apple and Sony? First of all nobody was talking about e-books that are browser compatible until Google did. Secondly Google does not plan on locking the e-books sold to any particular reading device, as opposed to the Apple iBookstore of which the e-books can be read only on Apple devices. Overall the business plan of Google in relation to e-books, seems more efficient and user friendly which means a considerable threat to the big names already operating in the market.

If there are any emerging markets online, apparently Google wants a share of it, and for the right reasons they have succeeded on almost every occasion, such transition took place. Its not clearly evident as to how exactly Google Edition plans to operate, but little clues indicate that Google Editions will have a lot of surprises for both the users and the competitors.

Kobo E-book Reader Trumps in the Price War

The iPad craze didn’t truly succeed in crushing Kindle’s lead in the eBook reader market. Of course it goes to say that we are talking about Kindle II and not the ridiculously ambitious Kindle DX (priced at $500). Foran avid eBook reader, the most important thing to factor in is the screen’s versatility in different lighting settings and the battery’s longevity. But probably what becomes the deciding factor is the price tag that comes with a feature-packed eBook reader. With no pretensions, Kobo eBook reader joins in the price war and just might have aced it.

Specifications

  • Size:- 120mm x 184mm x 10mm thick.
  • Weight: -221 grams
  • Memory capacity:- 1 GB of internal memory, expandable with the built-in SD card slot
  • Connectivity:- Bluetooth
  • Sync: – Comes with a USB for syncing

Design

Kobo’s very basic design almost is a statement in itself. The front plate is made if white plastic with a matte finish. Surprisingly the back cover offers more personality and texture with its canvas-like rubbery finish, offering a tighter grip and a more comfortable feel to the Kobo.

The front has a 6 inch LCD screen utilizing E-ink technology which can display up to 8 grey colors. E-ink technology offers a highly adaptable display of fonts that is friendly to the eyes. It also makes it possible to save as much as battery power—making it possible for eBook readers to last up to weeks between charges.

The highly intuitive five-way D-pad controls sit at the bottom left. At the left side of the screen, four buttons are aligned on top of each other: Home, Menu, Display and Back.

Features

Kobo reader offers Bluetooth compatibility for syncing with other Bluetooth devices. It doesn’t offer Wi-Fi connectivity though. Uploading books to the eBook reader would have to be through a PC sync. The system can search for new books if an SD card is inserted in its slot.

Out of the box Kobo eBook reader comes with free 100 eBooks preloaded. Surely a great deal for those who haven’t heard of Project Guttenberg. Although a few new titles thrown-in might get a few smiles.

The Kobo reader has been very upfront with the simplicity it offers. From the get go, Kobo reader left no surprises or mysteries that may whet a users appetite. Simply put, its features only deal with the rigors of reading an eBook, syncing with the laptop or other Bluetooth devices and the killer battery life (which allegedly can last up to two weeks). Even the package shows Kobo’s confidence of its battery life. The Kobo eBook reader does not ship with a wall charger, just the average USB data cable. This probably would surely irk some in the future for sure.

But what makes it blip in the eBook reader radar is its reasonable price. Selling for not more than $150, the Kobo is every gadget fellow’s practical solution while he’s waiting for the good stuff to make its way in its market. Every six months brilliant minds and designers churn out at least one innovative product that puts it predecessors to the valley of death. While others may opt to grab at the chance to upgrade, others would choose wait a few months until the device becomes stable.

Verdict

With no Wi-Fi and no other features to awe users, the Kobo reader might very well be buried into obscurity. That is, if the price is not included in the equation. The Kobo ebook reader is cheap and yet effective enough for its promised eBook reading experience. Most serious eBook readers, especially those who know where to get their free ebooks fromwill not miss the WiFi absence. It all depends to one’s creativity to maximize the already reasonable deal that the Kobo eBook reader offers.

How To Format Your eBook for Kindle Sales

Do you have a passion for writing? Do you treasure your articles? Well, if you do then why keep them as a bundle of paper? You are welcome to publish your treasure be it a story, biography, journal or a novel for the Kindle eBook Reader. Your written data is electronically stored in the Kindle eBook Reader and is digitized in the form of eBooks or electronic books which can be read by different types of readers. The users usually download several books and stack them under desired titles in Kindle. Are you getting bored of carrying heavy books in your bag? Well, there is nothing to worry as you can organize and save your books in your Kindle which acts as a library. Kindle is easy to manage and carry as it is slim and weightless.

Format your eBook using Microsoft Word

Amazon’s Digital Text Platform shortly DPT offers you a wide range of audience for your eBook. When you place your eBook in Amazon for sale, the readers may buy and download it to their Kindle Reader. You just need to format it before you place it for sale in Amazon DTP. You can format it using Microsoft word and save it for web in HTML format. Open Microsoft Word and go to the “File” menu. Click “Open” and choose the location of your document and open the document. Scan for any spelling or grammatical errors and correct them accordingly. After scanning, save the document to its original name and get ready for the next step. Now, again go to the “File” menu, as the document is still open at the behind and click “Save as”. Give a new name to the document and choose location of saving as Desktop, as it is more convenient to locate your files instead of searching your entire hard disk.

Now under “Save as type” tab click the drop down menu and select “Web Page” format. Then click the “Save” button to exit from the dialog box. Now your file is ready for uploading.

Uploading your eBook

You have your book in HTML version now. Go to the Amazon DTP website and log in to your account with your user name and password. At the Amazon panel choose “My shelf” and then choose the “Add New item” option. Feed in the title of your eBook and give a concise narration on your book. Try to give keywords that are very close to the contents of your eBook, which will fetch you more readers to the site. Now, move on to the “Upload and Preview Book” part locate your HTML file document, which is in your desktop. You can use the preview button to check for mistakes that escaped while checking. Last but not the least, enter the cost price of your eBook and click “Done”.

You might find this procedure and its result to be demanding with Amazon DTP at the beginning. As you find lot of Kindle eBook readers scattered all over the world, you get an opportunity of showcasing your creativity in writing and this in turn will establish your readership.

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