Amazon’s user reviews for books are problematic because they serve more than one master. They’re meant to help inform consumers, sure, but they’re also meant to drive sales, and sometimes they’re even used by angry consumers as a form of protest. If you’re looking for more honest feedback on books, try Goodreads. [More]
Shortcovers, an ebook retailer that I recommended to a Sony Reader owner last month, has morphed into something called kobobooks.com, and it’s now partially owned by Borders. If you own an ereader other than a Kindle, or if you read ebooks primarily on a smartphone, you might want to add it to your list of sources for ebooks. [More]
Update: Barnes & Noble says they’re changing this policy. If you or someone you know is getting a nook, Barnes & Noble’s version of the Kindle, this year and you want to use a gift card to fill it with books, forget it. For mysterious reasons, the retailer won’t allow it. (By contrast, Amazon does.)
One of the big selling points about the Nook, the new ebook reader introduced this week by Barnes & Noble, is that unlike Amazon they’ll let you virtually “loan” your ebook to a friend for up to 14 days (if the publisher allows it). What they don’t tell you–some smart readers over at MobileRead sussed it out–is that you can only do this one time per book. You’d better lend wisely–and your friend had better finish that book within 14 days.
The ebook “war” is a race to the bottom, apparently, with Barnes & Noble trying to out-do Amazon on DRM stupidity. A reader emailed B&N customer service to point out that their “free books” offer consists of 5 public domain titles that are no longer protected under copyright, yet are still locked down with digital rights management (DRM). Their response? “For copyright protection purposes, these files are encrypted and cannot be converted or printed.”
Oh jeez, AT&T, don’t you have enough on your plate? You can’t handle your iPhone customers as it is. TechCrunch says some customers’ voicemails go missing for days or even weeks, you can’t enable MMS because there’s no room for it on your system, and the “faster” 3GS isn’t any faster at all on your network. Now comes word that you’ll be the one providing so-called “connectitivty” for Barnes & Noble’s new ebook reader coming out next year. The result: more congestion for every AT&T customer.
Barnes & Noble’s new iPhone app comes with a virtual coupon–there’s a one-time-only code you show the in-store barista to receive a free cup of coffee. [MocoNews.net]
It’s bad enough when a glitch on a retailer’s side screws up your method of payment, but Barnes & Noble took so long to investigate and respond to one customer’s emails that by the time they acknowledged they’d made a mistake, they said it was too late to do anything about it.