Nook Brings B&N’s Might to eBook Fight

BNs NookAmazon is having a great year. Huge earnings. Lots of buzz around the Kindle. Maybe too much buzz.

Well, it looks like the sleeping-giant of book retailing has awoken. Barnes & Nobles, which forever changed the landscape of book stores is jumping into the burgeoning ebook marketplace. The recently announced “Nook” is looking pretty good from the initial press releases and announcements. Nice size. Great screen. Neat extras.

As a Kindle user, I am excited about more players in the marketplace. More devices means more options. If the industry can settle on a digital format, it’ll all come down to hardware.

Even though Amazon has a huge presence in the online retail world, they don’t have the physical storefronts that Barnes & Nobles enjoys. This could be a big deciding factor for most people, since buying a Kindle is a leap of faith. If you can walk into the local Barnes & Nobles and handle one of these, it could lead to a purchase of a Nook.

Let the ebook-reader wars begin. (Oh, and let’s all skip the “nookie” jokes, okay?)

Other Kindle Posts:

Tumor on Kindle – Comics as eBooks

tumorcover1As ebooks grow in popularity, we’re starting to see more ebook exclusive releases. What’s impressive is the recent announcement by Amazon and Archaia, a comic book publisher based here in New Jersey, (disclosure: I know the people at Archaia personally) to release a comic book on the Kindle before the print release.

The Kindle 2 handles images pretty well, but it’s still black and white and, well, pretty small. So most people who create comic books (including me) are trying to understand how to best format their existing comics for ebook readers.

What makes the Archaia deal so interesting is that their comic book will be formatted specifically for the Kindle a full six months before it is released in print. That gives the publisher plenty of time to decide how to package the print edition.

According to Publisher’s Weekly, the first issue of the comic book “Tumor” will be free and then the next seven issues will be 99 cents, bringing the total to $7.92 for the whole series. The print edition will sell for $14.95.

When you consider that many new comic books retail each week for $3.99, you have to wonder what’s going to happen to that core business. And when high-quality color ebook devices become available, will many people still be willing to pay $3.99 for a print comic when a 99 cent version is available?

Now that comics are going to the Kindle, get ready for even more interesting changes in the comic book publishing industry.

My Dear John to Kindle 2

Dear Kindle 2,

Hey, baby, I love you, you know that right? So as I write this, please know that my love for you is undying. You were my first eBook reader, and everyone remembers their “first.”

I am in love with another. And like a bad romance novel…I love your sister, Kindle DX.

Now, before you freak out and delete all my eBooks, I want you to remember that I DO love you. (And, quite frankly, I paid for those books and I am planning to transfer them to DX as soon as she’s available this summer.)

Kindle DXYour sister Kindle DX…where do I start? I fell in love the first time her picture was leaked on CNet.

She’s thin and white, just like you. I can see the family resemblance. But she’s tall and really easy on the eyes, if you know what I mean.

And compared to your perfectly acceptable QWERTY keyboard, her ergonomically cute button keyboard seems so…I don’t know…futuristically relevant? Is futuristically even a word? I will have to check my Kindlictionary. Yes, good. Words matter.

Anyway, DX does things for me that you just refuse to do. And I have needs.

For example, DX supports PDF right out of the box. You may not think it’s a big deal to convert to PDF, but…she just knows how to do it automatically. I don’t even have to ask.

Speaking of needs, she can rotate my images just like my Apple iTouch. And while you hold an impressive 1,500 books…she’s deep enough to accommodate 3,500 books. I don’t know why that matters…since I don’t even have that many books…but I guess I am just impressed by girth.

Well, that’s it. Please don’t hate me. I do not hate you. I just found someone I like better. Don’t dwell on the fact that she’s younger than you.

There are so many things I will cherish about our relationship. And until DX comes out, I’d like us to remain “friends with benefits” okay?

Fondly forever,

Buddy Scalera
http://www.buddyscalera.com

More Kindle blogging by me:

LINKS, NOT NECESSARILY ENDORSEMENTS

My First Self-Published eBook for Kindle

I’ve officially entered the eBook age. As an author, I have published my first eBook for the Kindle. Gimme a big “whoo hoo!”

To explore the technology, I wanted to get something up there on the Kindle store. So I took the complete scripts for my comic book series “7 Days to Fame,” reformatted it, created a Kindle account, and published it on Amazon.com.

7 Days to Fame eBook cover

7 Days to Fame eBook cover

Check out my 7 Days to Fame – The Complete Scripts eBook for the Kindle. It sells for a whopping 99 cents.

To be honest, it wasn’t very hard to reformat for the Kindle. Mostly it just came down to reformatting for the smaller screen and checking for bad line breaks and hiccups in the code. Just a few hours of work and now it’s done.

This isn’t the first time I was part of an eBook. There’s a transcript of a podcast interview that I did a few years ago with Paula Berinstein called Writing Comic Books: A Writing Show Interview and I was a technical consultant on the photo book Artist’s Digital Photo Reference – Landscapes.

But for me, this is much more fun, since I actually did the reformatting myself and published it. It’s…addictive.

Kindle 2 Day 1 – Newspaper Renewal

Today was my first full day with the Amazon Kindle 2.  It came yesterday when I was at work.

By cosmic coincidence, so did the renewal reminder for our daily newspaper subscription. I wonder if the gods of media were trying to tell me something.

The cost of subscribing to my daily newspaper The Record is a mere $2.25 per week. That comes to only $117 per year. That’s pretty low.

Unfortunately, my newspaper is not available on the Kindle (yet), so I opted for a test subscription to The New York Times. Ironically, the cost of the times is actually $167.88, even though it is delivered wireless to the Kindle.

Although, I have to admit, getting the New York Times on the Kindle was actually rather cool. The images were sharp, the text could be increased, and it was a pretty good feeling to know that I didn’t waste any paper…y’know, reading the paper.

It was also nice to read a few of my favorite blogs, including Read-Write-Web on the Kindle.  It was a gorgeous day outside and I just sat in the park and read. The display was perfect.

So…Day 1 with the Kindle 2…pretty impressive all around. And the newspaper gets another renewal. At least for now.

Free Music I Paid For

Ever since the dawn of cheap, recordable tapes, you really haven’t HAD to pay for music. If you knew someone with an album, you could buy a cassette tape and make a copy.

With the ‘Net, getting free music became even easier. Every song you could ever want. Free. No strings attached. Awesome!

That is, until the musicians pointed out that the music wasn’t actually “free.” It was kinda “stolen.” But most of us didn’t feel like thieves. Paying $18.99 for a new CD? THAT feels like robbery.

When iTunes added 99-cent downloads, it became easy to “do the right thing.” Affordable. Good for the environment. You actually feel good about buying music.

I won’t say that you should pay for music (you should) because it’s the right thing to do (it is). I won’t mention that you wouldn’t want your work stolen (you wouldn’t). Even though some of these musicians are nauseatingly rich (they are).

I’ll just say this…here are my:

Top 10 Best Songs that I Paid for This Year

  1. My Apocalypse – Metallica – Seriously, the finest headbanging masterpiece in a long time. Every track on this fast, furious album makes up for their last album (awful). It’s that good.
  2. On the Radio – Regina Spektor – I discovered this on Pandora. Offbeat and quirky. Catchy too.
  3. Chicks = Trouble – Motley Crue – The title says it all. Classic Crue.
  4. Woke Up This Morning – A3 – Yeah, that song from the Sopranos. It’s much longer than the version used on the show, but has the same groove.
  5. LDN – Lily Allen – Another song discovered on Pandora. It’s got a great video on YouTube.
  6. Distractions (Live) – Sia – That amazing singer from Zero 7. Her big break was on the last episode of Six Feet Under (clip on YouTube). This song showcases her amazing and unique voice.
  7. Love Song – Sara Bareilles – A good pop tune that I heard on the radio.
  8. End of the World – Great Big Sea – A much, much faster version of the song by REM. With fiddles.
  9. Woodchipper’s Ball – Hugo Montenegro – Unlike anything else on this list. If you don’t like it, don’t be surprised.
  10. Bad Girlfriend – Theory of a Deadman – Heard it on the radio. Didn’t like their other songs, so I didn’t have to buy the whole album. Perfect.

What’s on your list of favorite songs you paid for?

Hulu & Pandora Got Me Through Book 3

Well, I finally got the “all clear” signal from my editor Amy. She told me today that all of my deliverables have been accepted and my book is moving to final production. Whoo hooo!

She gave the editorial thumbs up to the final pages and the CD-ROM on my third photo reference book “Comic Artist’s Photo Reference: Men & Boys.” I did this book at the same time as I was doing the last book “Comic Artist’s Photo Reference: Women & Girls.”Men & Boys

It was, I now admit, a lot harder to complete two books at the same time than I’d originally thought. My day job is busy, but I managed to juggle both and keep everything going. However, I did NOT account for was how much work kids are as they get older. Sports, parties, and staying up later means less time for freelance. I do my work on the weekends and that’s when the kids need me most.

BUT…! It all got done. I am exhausted, but satisfied. I’m looking forward to a short mental break, but I am also excited about getting started again.

These things kept me sane during the last two books:

Pandora.com – The best personalized-music station ever. Wow. Make a playlist and Pandora makes it better. I discovered a bunch of new music through Pandora.

Amazon.com – There’s a good alternative for buying music. I love iTunes, but I hate the DRM restrictions. Amazon sells complete albums for under $9.00 and there are no DRM roadblocks. I can listen at home or at work. Music I discovered on Pandora I bought on Amazon….if it was available. Amazon doesn’t have nearly as many songs as iTunes, but I that’s already starting to change.

Hulu.com – While I work, I keep Hulu.com playing in the corner. They have tons of shows from NBC and their affiliates. I caught up great shows, including 30 Rock, The Office, SNL, Family Guy, and Cops. I even discovered a genuinely scary webisode show called Devil’s Trade. It’s one freaky, creepy show.

iTunes – I still love my iTunes. I can’t live without my podcasts. They keep me going as I grind through 1000+ Photoshop files. My favorites include: KCRW: The Business, CBC: Search Engine, KCRW: Martini Shot, On the Page: Screenwriting, PC Mag Radio, NYT Science Times, Secret Identity, The Grim Reader’s Screenwriting Advice, the 60 Minutes Podcast, and the awesome Vodcast Tiki Bar TV.

So, I’m excited to be done, but I’m already looking forward to taking more pictures.

Now…sleep.

Hulu & Pandora Got Me Through Book 3

Well, I finally got the “all clear” signal from my editor Amy. She told me today that all of my deliverables have been accepted and my book is moving to final production. Whoo hooo!

She gave the editorial thumbs up to the final pages and the CD-ROM on my third photo reference book “Comic Artist’s Photo Reference: Men & Boys.” I did this book at the same time as I was doing the last book “Comic Artist’s Photo Reference: Women & Girls.”Men & Boys

It was, I now admit, a lot harder to complete two books at the same time than I’d originally thought. My day job is busy, but I managed to juggle both and keep everything going. However, I did NOT account for was how much work kids are as they get older. Sports, parties, and staying up later means less time for freelance. I do my work on the weekends and that’s when the kids need me most.

BUT…! It all got done. I am exhausted, but satisfied. I’m looking forward to a short mental break, but I am also excited about getting started again.

These things kept me sane during the last two books:

Pandora.com – The best personalized-music station ever. Wow. Make a playlist and Pandora makes it better. I discovered a bunch of new music through Pandora.

Amazon.com – There’s a good alternative for buying music. I love iTunes, but I hate the DRM restrictions. Amazon sells complete albums for under $9.00 and there are no DRM roadblocks. I can listen at home or at work. Music I discovered on Pandora I bought on Amazon….if it was available. Amazon doesn’t have nearly as many songs as iTunes, but I that’s already starting to change.

Hulu.com – While I work, I keep Hulu.com playing in the corner. They have tons of shows from NBC and their affiliates. I caught up great shows, including 30 Rock, The Office, SNL, Family Guy, and Cops. I even discovered a genuinely scary webisode show called Devil’s Trade. It’s one freaky, creepy show.

iTunes – I still love my iTunes. I can’t live without my podcasts. They keep me going as I grind through 1000+ Photoshop files. My favorites include: KCRW: The Business, CBC: Search Engine, KCRW: Martini Shot, On the Page: Screenwriting, PC Mag Radio, NYT Science Times, Secret Identity, The Grim Reader’s Screenwriting Advice, the 60 Minutes Podcast, and the awesome Vodcast Tiki Bar TV.

So, I’m excited to be done, but I’m already looking forward to taking more pictures.

Now…sleep.