Barnes & Noble Wants To Sell Itself, But Who's Gonna Buy It?

Barnes & Noble Wants To Sell Itself, But Who's Gonna Buy It?

Barnes & Noble shares are soaring after it announced that it was up for sale and may even go private, or merge with Borders. [More]

Geek Squad Will Turn On Your Ebook Device For You For $29.99

Geek Squad Will Turn On Your Ebook Device For You For $29.99

The best way to understand Geek Squad is to realize that they will help you with anything if it means they can charge you a fee. Want batteries in your remote control? Having trouble putting a USB plug into its port? Need to know the time? OPTIMIZE IT WITH GEEK SQUAD. Those are just solid business ideas and not (yet) actual services, but Geek Squad’s real offerings are almost as absurd. For example, Nate from the-digital-reader.com snapped this photo of their newish “eBook Device Setup” service for your Nook or Sony Reader, which promises to turn it on (“provide a functionality check”) and show you how to read (“what to expect when you take the device home”). [More]

Apple Sued Because iPad Does Not Work "Just Like A Book" As Claimed

Apple Sued Because iPad Does Not Work "Just Like A Book" As Claimed

A new class action suit filed in California takes issue with how the iPad shuts off automatically if it overheats. In particular, however, the suit claims that the marketing phrase “reading on the iPad is just like reading a book” is misleading, and that Apple is therefore engaging in fraud and misleading consumers. This is great news for me, because I was thinking of suing Apple for not providing dustjackets for iBookstore titles but my friends told me I shouldn’t. [More]

Is It Okay To Download A Pirated Copy Of A Book You Already Own?

Is It Okay To Download A Pirated Copy Of A Book You Already Own?

Yesterday we wrote about someone who downloaded a pirated copy of a game after he couldn’t gain access to the copy he’d already paid for. In that case, which most of our commenters supported, it was clear that the consumer was trying to resolve a problem created by the DRM. But what about if you own a printed copy of a book and you simply want to read the ebook version? Should you have to pay for a second copy? Randy Cohen, who writes the The Ethicist column for the New York Times, says downloading a copy you find online is ethical. [More]

Publisher: "If You Can Afford An Ebook Device, You Can Pay More For Ebooks"

Publisher: "If You Can Afford An Ebook Device, You Can Pay More For Ebooks"

Imagine trying to buy a book from Big Generic Bookstore and watching the cashier add $5 to the sticker price. “What are you doing?!” you cry out, waving a fist menacingly at him. “You look like you can afford it,” he says back to you with a hint of entitltement. That’s basically what a publishing industry expert said in a piece he wrote last week about ebook pricing. [More]

Six e-Readers Compared

Six e-Readers Compared

If you’re thinking of buying a digital reader in the next six months and you’re wondering what device to get, here’s a handy chart that compares six of the most highly publicized models side by side. As you might guess, bigger screens and more flexibility with file formats means higher prices. Also, the iPad is sort of a misfit here as it’s the only device that’s not a dedicated ebook reader. [More]

Macmillan E-Books Will Now Cost $15 On Amazon

Macmillan E-Books Will Now Cost $15 On Amazon

After refusing to sell any Macmillan books or ebooks for three days, Amazon.com today gave in to demands by the publisher that it start charging $15 for Macmillan ebooks, rather than Amazon’s customary $9.99. In a statement, Amazon warned that customers might “rebel against such a high price for books that cost far less to distribute than physical books.” Will they also rebel against a $259, black-and-white, DRM-laden e-reader that doesn’t let you share or re-sell books that you “own,” and can yank them back without notice at any time? [More]

Goodreads: A Better Alternative To Amazon's User Reviews

Goodreads: A Better Alternative To Amazon's User Reviews

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]

Sony Replaces Customer's Broken Reader

Sony Replaces Customer's Broken Reader

Earlier this week, I posted about Kate’s bad experience getting her Sony Reader upgraded. She hadn’t asked for an update, but was told by Sony to send it in, she says. What she got back was a busted Reader that wouldn’t work, and a demand from Sony to pay for any repairs.
 
Happily, over the past two days Sony reps have been in contact with Kate and made things whole again.

Sony Asks Customer For Her Reader, Breaks It, Then Sends It Back

Sony Asks Customer For Her Reader, Breaks It, Then Sends It Back

I’m not usually amused at the customer service horror stories that arrive in our in box, but this one is just so over the top that I can’t help but laugh incredulously. The lesson here, which Kate sadly learned for all of us, is if Sony ever asks you out of nowhere to send in your Reader for an update, run away. [More]

Borders Gets Into Ebook Business, Relaunches Shortcovers As Kobo Books

Borders Gets Into Ebook Business, Relaunches Shortcovers As Kobo Books

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]

Barnes & Noble Says They'll Accept Gift Cards For Ebooks Before Christmas

Barnes & Noble Says They'll Accept Gift Cards For Ebooks Before Christmas

Apparently Barnes & Noble meant it when they said that they were looking into the gift card issue for ebook purchases. Currently, B&N gift cards can’t be used to buy ebooks, but a new post on one of the company’s blogs says that should change by mid-December.

You Can't Use A Barnes & Noble Gift Card For Ebooks

You Can't Use A Barnes & Noble Gift Card For Ebooks

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.)

Sony's Ebook Store Prices Too High? Try Shortcovers

Sony's Ebook Store Prices Too High? Try Shortcovers

Michael bought a Sony Pocket Reader last month, but with the exception of $10 bestsellers, he’s finding that other books he wants are priced higher than he’s willing to pay. For example, Tad Friend’s memoir Cheerful Money is $10 on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble, but $17.49 from Sony. Michael wants to know if we have any advice on how to get Sony to lower their prices.

B&N Ebook Reader Lets You Loan A Book Just Once

B&N Ebook Reader Lets You Loan A Book Just Once

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.

Amazon Clarifies When It Will Remove Kindle Books

Amazon Clarifies When It Will Remove Kindle Books

As part of a settlement with the customer who sued Amazon over the 1984 fiasco this past summer, Amazon has clarified under what circumstances it can delete your books. Notably, Amazon is not saying that it will never again delete books, which keeps the Kindle in the “do not buy” list for consumers who want unequivocal ownership of the items they purchase. In fact, despite the muted praise Amazon is receiving for doing this, the best we can say about the clarification is that it’s about time, but that it still doesn’t address the fundamental ownership issues raised by the Kindle licensing system.

Now In Stores: Video/Book Hybrids

Now In Stores: Video/Book Hybrids

Great news if you enjoy books, but have the puny attention span of a person raised on television and the Interne—oh, look at the kitten!

Florida State Universities Launch Free Digital Textbook Program

Florida State Universities Launch Free Digital Textbook Program

If you’re going to school at a Florida state university, your fee burden just grew a little bit lighter: