At a press briefing tomorrow morning, Amazon.com is expected to introduce a new version of the Kindle with a larger screen that is designed to appeal to textbook, newspaper and magazine publishers and users.
In a bit of news, the Wall Street Journal reported that in connection with the text emphasis, Amazon has arranged with several textbook publishers to have material available on the e-reader and is working with six universities on a test that involves students being given Kindles with texts on them. At least one school, Case Western Reserve in Cleveland, Ohio, plans to compare the experiences of students with Kindles and those with traditional textbooks.
The new Kindle also features a "more fully functional Web browser," the Journal wrote.
This is just what college booksellers need.
In a story about the requirement of the Higher Education
Opportunity Act, passed last year, that college-owned and -operated
bookstores disseminate ISBNs and retail prices for course materials as
of July 2010, Inside Higher Education
noted that this "poses new challenges for colleges, college stores, and
the firms that operate college stores (and the store Web sites) under
Already, Inside Higher Education wrote,
"Student Monitor's fall 2008 survey of full-time undergraduates reveals
that 16 percent of undergraduates 'bought most of their textbooks
online,' up from 12 percent in fall 2007. Additionally, Student Monitor
reports that 'the share of students who purchase most of their
textbooks from their on-campus bookstore continues to trend down: fewer
than six in ten students (57 percent) purchased most of their textbooks
at their on campus book store,' compared to 64 percent in fall 2006 and
down from 72 percent in fall 2005."
And online booksellers are
becoming more sophisticated: "Apple's student-oriented iPhone ad
broadcast during the NCAA men's basketball championship game on April 6
highlighted SnapTell, an iPhone app that supports 'photo commerce':
take a picture of a book (including college textbooks) and the SnapTell
app will link you to multiple Web sites that sell the book. On the
institutional side, Verba Software, a Cambridge, Mass., firm launched
by some recent Harvard grads, offers an application that links course
lists to IBSNs and then searches the Web for the best prices for new
and used textbooks and course tomes."
With a share price that has been above $1 for the past 30 days--and yesterday hit $3.25, its highest level since early November last year--Borders Group has been advised by the New York Stock Exchange that it is again in compliance with the Exchange's requirement that all listed companies have share prices of at least $1. In addition, the company's capitalization of nearly $200 million is also above the Exchange's current minimum standard of $15 million, which recently was reduced from its former minimum of $25 million.
President Obama continues to have an effect on Netherland by Joseph O'Neill, whose sales shot up 40% in the week following the Sunday New York Times Magazine's mention that he was reading the book (Shelf Awareness, April 29, 2009). Now Vintage Books has moved up the publication date of the trade paperback edition to this coming Thursday, May 7, from June 2, and has gone back to press for a second printing, resulting in 70,000 copies in print. Pantheon has sold some 95,000 hardcovers of the PEN/Faulkner Award winner.
A-Rod: The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez by Selena Roberts (Harper, $26.99, 9780061791642/0061791644) entered the bookselling game yesterday. Scouting reports are mixed, and it's hard to tell how much opinion of the book by the Sports Illustrated writer is colored by team and player loyalties.
Still in Newsday, Wallace Matthews had a jaded take: "All the good, juicy stuff came out in February, when A-Rod kinda sorta acknowledged having used steroids for at least a three-year period of his career. What's left over is the equivalent of discovering a felon also has some overdue library books.
"I mean, all of us who have covered his Yankees tenure already knew he was an egotistic, insecure narcissist, which didn't particularly make him stand out in any room of highly paid professional athletes.
"So he's a lousy tipper of money, an (allegedly) accomplished tipper of signs, and too pampered to be bothered loading his own toothbrush. As Peggy Lee once memorably sang, 'Is that all there is?' "
In celebration of National Poetry Month, Michele Filgate, events coordinator of RiverRun Bookstore, Portsmouth, N.H., and winner of this year's NEIBA Isaac Epstein Scholarship, read the poem "Those Winter Sundays" by Robert Hayden from the anthology Essential Pleasures, compiled by Robert Pinsky. The piece was originally on Books on the Nightstand and is available on Poemsoutloud.net, a poetry site that Norton launched this year. During poetry month, Poemsoutloud featured daily blog entries by Robert Pinsky, the former Poet Laureate, and included essays, readings and interviews with various poets. Originally the site was to last only as long as National Poetry Month, but because of the warm reception it received, it will carry on.
As polls closed yesterday, more than 220,000 children and teens nationwide voted on the 2009 Children's Choice Book Awards, quadruples the total of voters who participated last year, according to the Children's Book Council. Winners in all book categories will be announced at the Children's Choice Book Awards Gala honoring Whoopi Goldberg on Tuesday, May 12, in the Edison Ballroom in New York City. Ambassador Jon Scieszka will emcee the event. For Gala tickets and sponsorships, call 212-677-3173, ext. 240, or e-mail CBC@PaintTheTownRed.net. For a comprehensive list of Children's Book Week events, including storytelling and author autographing, from Manhattan to Chicago to Seattle, click here.
Nice move: Bookazine has given $1,500 to the Independent Booksellers of New York City, "the first major contribution from a fellow industry independent and NYC-area business" to the year-old organization. IBNYC put the donation into its general account and likely will apply it to its website redesign project and for promotion of NYC Indie Bookstore Week, to be held November 15-21.
in Los Angeles featured the "Cute (and Smart) T-Shirt of the Week,"
otherwise known as the classic "Who says people in L.A. don't read?"
tee available from Vroman's Bookstore, Pasadena, Calif. The shirt,
"designed by Anne Edkins of the great Pasadena book emporium," was
described as having "a bit of cheek that tickles."