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Kindle Nation Daily Readers’ Alert for Saturday, May 22: The Editor’s Pick of the Week from Paul K. Biba at Teleread

For all who enjoy keeping up with the Kindle revolution and its various offshoots and tributaries, here’s our weekly portion of the top posts and insights as chosen by colleague Paul K. Biba, editor over at Teleread:

Feedbooks outstrips Apple in ebook downloads

Teleread’s Paul Biba has just posted a very important set of juxtaposed numbers with an elegant economy of expression, and I re-post his words here in their entirety with his permission:

Feedbooks outstrips Apple in ebook downloads

By Paul Biba
logo.pngThere are numbers, and then there are numbers that mean something.
Engadget has reported that 1.5 million ebooks were downloaded to the iPad in the first 28 days after its introduction. Wow! the press says. “It shows that the iBookstore will rule the world”.


I picked up a Tweet from Hardrien Gardeur of Feedbooks, the site that specializes in public domain and original books from new authors. Get ready ….. here it comes ….

Feedbooks distributed 2.6 million books during the same period!!

Enough said.

Around the Kindlesphere, April 30, 2010: Top Teleread Picks, $9.99 New Release Hardcovers, Kindle’s 2.5 Upgrade, The Kindle Chronicles Scores B List Talent, and Cisco’s Valet Hotspot

A big thank you and shout out to estimable Teleread editor Paul K. Biba for including two of my posts among his nine choices in his weekly round-up, “The Editor’s pick of the week’s top posts.” All’s fair in love and the ebook wars: one of mine (Summing Up the Last Week for Amazon: Phases I, II, and III of the Kindle Revolution Are Over, and Amazon Has Won All Three) was from Kindle Nation Daily and the other (High Quality free audiobooks can be read on app for iPhone/iPad) was from iPad Nation Daily. Here’s a rundown of Paul’s other top choices:

What else is going on in the Kindlesphere? Plenty, and here are a few nuggets that may be of interest:

  • It would be silly of me not to acknowledge that most citizens of Kindle Nation, myself included, have grown to prefer reading books on our Kindles, as opposed to other formats. However, sometimes we just want to read the book in whatever way it is available to us, right? So it’s worth mentioning that, while we may lament the current unavailability of Kindle editions of many Penguin/Pearson titles due to the difficult ongoing negotiations between Amazon and the Big Six publisher over the agency price-fixing model, it’s refreshing to find that Amazon is now offering a number of recently released Penguin and Viking hardcovers, including a few bestsellers, at the

    same $9.99 price to which we have grown accustomed for their ebook editions in the Kindle Store. We won’t try to figure out Amazon’s strategy here or to psychologize about exactly how the authors or publisher in question feel about it all, but here are some of the titles we’ve found: The Black Cat: A Richard Jury Mystery by Martha Grimes, Lies of the Heart: A Novel by Michelle Boyajian, The Secret Life of the Grown-up Brain: The Surprising Talents of the Middle-Aged Mind by Barbara Strauch, Miss Julia Renews Her Vows by Ann B. Ross, The End of Wall Street by Roger Lowenstein, This is Just Exactly Like You by Drew Perry, The Line by Olga Grushin, Imperfect Birds by Anne Lamott, and Stuart Woods’ novel Lucid Intervals Most of these titles have been released this month, and our assumption is that Amazon is paying the publisher $12 to $15, or half of suggested list price, for each copy. Most forthcoming Penguin titles for release during the next few months are discounted more modestly for pre-order, at about $17.

  • We’ll be drilling down in detail soon on some of the elements in Amazon’s recent upgrade, but we like it, from the “Collections” folders to the larger snappier fonts to the social networking features to another element that should make for improvements in the delivery of blogs like Kindle Nation Daily to our loyal Kindle edition subscribers. That being said, of course there are other things we would have loved to see included, include the audible menuing accessibility features promised by Amazon for “the first half of 2010,” an extension of the Twitter and Facebook features to include Amazon’s own reading-oriented Shelfari and some kind of Kindle Store credit for Kindle owners whose social sharing leads others to purchase Kindle content or, for that matter, Kindle hardware and accessories. Of course we’ve been calling for that since early in 2008, so I’m just saying…. But I’ll choose to hope that these things are in the pipeline rather than seeing the glass as half empty.
  • Not to get too relentlessly self-referential in my Around the Kindlesphere round-up here, but I don’t think I’ve mentioned Len Edgerly’s excellent The Kindle Chronicles podcast in a few weeks, and more often than not it makes for 40 minutes of interesting, informative, easy-on-the-ears enrichment. Will that be true of this week’s show with yours truly as the featured guest?

    To quote a pop song that rather dates me (leave Donny & Marie out of this, I’m thinking Dale & Grace covered here by the King), I’m leaving it all up to you.

  • Okay, we know Jeff Bezos has got our backs when it comes to free wireless connectivity for our Kindles, but if you are an early adopter with an increasing number of computers, gadgets, and devices taxing your home or home office internet connection, you may be interested in a new Cisco Systems product line that is getting a big roll-out on Amazon’s website this week: Introducing the Valet Hotspot: Home Wireless Made Easy. Products like the iPad, the Ipod Touch, and the Roku system that so many of us are getting to bring Amazon’s Video on Demand to our TV sets are bringing some of us to the point where we have more connected devices than matching socks, or Tony Soprano. (Sorry, couldn’t make a decision). The concomitant device compatibility issues can sometimes lead to wifi drops and other problems, but Cisco’s Valet Hotspot promises to clean up and streamline all of this for us:

With the Valet Hotspot, home wireless has never been easier. Valet gives you the power to quickly and simply make your home wireless. The included Easy Setup Key gets you connected to the Internet in just a few minutes. Simple-to-use Cisco Connect software is included and lets you quickly link your other wireless devices and manage your home wireless with ease. Remember when going wireless required technical expertise and hours of effort? Not anymore–the Valet Hotspot just works. (Click on the link for a multimedia presentation!)

Thousands of DRM-Free Books in the Kindle Store

Where Do the Citizens of Kindle Nation Stand on Text-to-Speech, Digital Rights Management, and the $9.99+ Boycott?

Early Results from the First Kindle Nation Citizen Survey

(This post first appeared in the free Kindle Nation weekly email newsletter on April 13, 2009).

Over a thousand Kindle Nation citizens have exercised their citizenship rights during the past week by participating in the first ever Kindle Nation Citizen Survey. The survey will remain open throughout the month of April, and you can still participate by clicking here, but that won’t keep us from sharing some response tidbits with you.

First, let’s take a look at where the Nation stands on three controversies that are now live in the ebook world. I wasn’t attempting to “poll” in the traditional sense so much as to measure interest, so I provided the following choices and got the following result:

With which, if any, of these statements do you agree? (Choose as many as you wish. Please use the comment section to further describe your views or concerns).

1. I believe that it is important for Amazon to remove Digital Rights Management (DRM) from titles in the Kindle Store.

367 33.8 %

2. I believe that it is important for Amazon to maintain Digital Rights Management (DRM) for titles in the Kindle Store.

87 8.0 %

3. The text-to-speech feature on the Kindle 2 is important to me and should be maintained on as many titles as possible.

442 40.8 %

4. I will consider switching to another e-reader in the future if Amazon does not remove DRM from Kindle Store offerings.

81 7.4 %

5. I am concerned that Amazon may be developing a monopoly over digital books.

107 9.8 %

6. I would consider boycotting Kindle books priced above $9.99.

359 33.1 %

7. I’ll make my own decisions about which e-books are worth more than $9.99 to me.

723 66.7 %

Totals 1083 100%

Now for a bit of analysis and follow-up.

DRM. The only real yes vs. no faceoffs under this question came on the DRM question and the $9.99 price boycott, and participants have weighed in with a very strong 367 to 87 against DRM. Of the 81 respondents who said they might switch to another e-reader over the DRM issue, 72 had already taken position 1; so the real vote against DRM stands at 376 to 87. However, this level of response also makes it clear that a very large number of respondents (over 600) don’t know or don’t care about DRM. My guess is that “don’t know” has an edge here, and so I offer some useful Teleread links on the issue and the recently developed anti-DRM campaign, as well as another article in this newsletter:

DRM: A TeleRead primer by Chris Meadows

A Campaign to Organize Against DRM

drmfree tag campaign starts on Amazon: Help identify safer-to-own books and other items!

drmfree tag campaign on Amazon picks up steam: Endorsed by Cory Doctorow and home-paged at MobileRead. More tips, such as how to create Kindle books untainted by DRM.

Not everyone will care about DRM. But if you are buying books from the Kindle Store with the expectation that you will always own those books and be able to use them in any non-commercial way that does not violate copyright, the DRM issue may be more important to you than you yet realize.

The $9.99 Price Boycott. Two things really jumped out at me on this one. One (which exposes the fact that it is not exactly a clear faceoff) is that there has been a very high level of participation: even after subtracting the 105 people who (and this is perfectly plausible) selected both statements #6 and #7, 977 out of 1083 survey respondents (90%) weighed in on the price boycott issues. This confirms for me that, especially in our current economic circumstances, Kindle owners care deeply about price, but also understand its complexities and, in most cases, prize the access to content that the Kindle gives them. To learn more about the nascent price boycott, see this article. And the fact that fewer than 40% of the respondents who did weigh in support the boycott is also reflected in other data, such as the fact that, this morning when I checked, 5 of the top 10 titles on the Kindle Movers and Shakers bestselling (or relative velocity) list had Kindle prices over $14.

Stay tuned for more information from the Kindle Nation Citizen Survey throughout the month of April. And please participate if you haven’t done so already!

(This post first appeared in the free Kindle Nation weekly email newsletter on April 13, 2009).

How Many, How Many I Wonder, But They Really Don’t Want to Tell

(Weekly blog post at TeleRead.com)

By Stephen Windwalker, with apologies to songwriters Don Robertson and Howard Barnes and artists Elvis Presley, Eddy Arnold, Les Paul and Mary Ford for the title of this post

Even if I had never been a guest on the show, I’m sure I would make a regular weekly routine of listening to Len Edgerly’s Friday Kindle Chronicles podcast. Today Len deserves kudos for landing and conducting an interview with Ian Freed, Amazon’s vice-president for Kindle, and for utilizing the wisdom of crowds….

Read more….