How to Win the Ebook War

[Editor's Note: Former Amazon manager Jason Merkoski, one of the early leaders of the company's Kindle team, is the author of the new book Burning the Page: The Ebook Revolution and the Future of Reading. This excerpt is reprinted with permission.] Ebook innovation is a game of cat and mouse. Unfortunately, one of the drawbacks of… Read More

Public Information Kiosk's book vending machine.

Paper trumps tech at national library conference

I went looking for the digital future of libraries at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting this week. Conveniently, the conference was held in Seattle, near a couple of very forward-looking library systems that make eBooks, mobile apps and digital downloads expected, almost routine. But if the exhibit hall represented the near future for libraries,… Read More


Why eBooks won’t rule the Earth

The certainty in the headlines is almost palpable. “eBooks Now ‘Dominant Single Format’ in Adult Fiction Sales,” shouted book publishing site GalleyCat. “Kindle ebook sales have overtaken Amazon print sales,” trumpeted UK’s The Guardian. “E-book revenue outstrips hardbacks in first quarter,” trembled The Bookseller. But if these stories led to you to believe that the… Read More


Kindle Touch to launch in Europe April 27

Amazon’s Kindle Touch will finally make it across the pond to Europe, five months after its U.S. launch — but not the advertising-subsidized version. The BBC is reporting that April 27 is the launch date of the touchscreen-driven Kindle in the UK, Germany, France, Spain and Italy. However, notes the Beeb, “there will not be… Read More


Amazon adds DRM to ‘DRM-free’ Harry Potter eBooks

Those expecting to unwind with all seven Harry Potter volumes in glorious, DRM-unencumbered pixel are likely in for a disappointment, according to early buyers. An original announcement about the pending digital publication of J.K. Rowling’s epic said Rowling’s Pottermore site, “will sell DRM-free eBooks of the series for the first time.” Apparently, not exactly. Nate Hoffelder of… Read More


Can ebooks fuel innovation? Startups explore the potential

A group of startups met up this week in Redmond for the first Ebook Innovation Summit, a small gathering of companies involved in different aspects of the electronic book business — spending the day demonstrating their latest projects and talking about their common challenges. The summit highlighted the emergence of an innovative segment of the startup… Read More


When eBooks attack, mass paperbacks die

The mass market paperback is dead. It just doesn’t know it yet. Ailing for months, its demise is now all but assured by Amazon’s recent bold announcement. Not the over-analyzed, over-iPad-compared Kindle Fire announcement. Rather, by the far less interesting news – to the gadgetphiles – that the least expensive, wonderfully readable and portable Kindle… Read More

Micah Bowers

Startup Spotlight: Bluefire looks to spark eBook sales

More consumers are turning to electronic reading devices. And Seattle’s Bluefire Productions, which emerged from founder Micah Bower’s 10-year-old design and development services company last year, is looking to help booksellers make the transition. Bowers is at the Frankfurt Book Fair this week, showcasing the company’s iOS and Android applications for publishers and booksellers. The… Read More

Hart (Wikipedia Photo)

Michael Hart, inventor of the eBook, dies at age 64

Tacoma native and electronic book pioneer Michael S. Hart has died at the age of 64. Before Kindle, Nook or iPad entered the lexicon, Hart was tinkering with electronic books. In 1971 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Hart created Project Gutenberg with the goal of making electronic copies of books available to the public. It became… Read More


Lawsuit claims Apple and publishers colluded on eBook pricing in fear of Amazon.com

A Seattle law firm has filed a class-action lawsuit accusing Apple and five book publishers of engaging in price fixing around sales of electronic books. The suit, filed today in U.S. District Court in Northern California, alleges that Apple and HarperCollins Publishers, Hachette Book Group, Macmillan Publishers, Penguin Group Inc. and Simon & Schuster “colluded” on… Read More


Kobo inks $50 million round for electronic reading gadgets, digital bookstore

Amazon.com’s Kindle may have a leadership position right now in electronic reading devices and digital books. But the market continues to heat up. Today, Toronto-based Kobo is turning a new page in its history, announcing a whopping $50 million investment from Fidelity and existing investors. The company also announced that the Kobo eReader application has… Read More