Publishers Pulling Out Of Kindle Library Lending Programs?

It seems that publishers are pushing back on the many ways Amazon is now allowing users to borrow books. The Kindle Library Lending program is starting to take heat, and it could find itself in jeopardy soon.

Note:the Kindle Library Lending program and the Kindle Owners Lending Library are different beasts. In this post we are specifically talking about the program in which local library members can download Kindle books for a short time from libraries as if they checked out the paper book.

Penguin Publishing this week removed all of their books from the local library program citing security concerns. They were completely unclear as to what those “security” concerns were, but we can probably guess from the pushback these programs have received from publishers.

What publishers like Penguin (who may only be the first of many to pull out so it seems) are concerned about is this fact that there is the possibility that people could sign up for just about any library they wanted (in theory) and download whatever books they want without paying for them. So, it’s not so much abotu security as it is about the fear of loss of sales due to people using potential loopholes in the program.

Personally, I find Penguin’s position somewhat questionable. I understand the desire to prevent pirating of copyrighted material, but is taking books away from libraries the way to do that? I mean, we are talking about libraries – the place where all citizens are supposed to have access to knowledge. Surely the problem isn’t so rampant that publishers must ban libraries from the use of their materials altogether.

But hey, that’s my two cents, and I expect that we may see this trend continue, as publishers have many concerns as they face the brave new world of ebooks.

Kindle Fire Hits Shelves Today!

Finally, the Kindle Fire hit shelves today, giving us all a chance to finally get our hands on the newest ereader from Amazon. Have you got yours yet? If so, let us know what you think in the comments.

Amazon is now going head-to-head with several new devices in the ereader and tablet market. There is of course the iPad, along with the Kobo Vox, the new Nook Tablet, and all the Android tablets out there, the biggest one right now being the Samsung Galaxy Tab. So how does it stack up?

Pricing

Of all the devices mentioned above, the Fire is the cheapest or tied at $199. The Vox is also $199, but lacks many of the features of the Kindle. The others are quite a bit more expensive.

Features

I would put the Kindle Fire up against any of the tablets and ereaders mentioned above when it comes to features. Instead of rehashing everything here, you can read all about it and/or watch the video on our Kindle Fire review page.

Reviews

Now that people actually have the Kindle Fire in their hands, they seem to be very pleased overall. Many are even calling for a Fire phone to match the tablet (and I think that is actually in the works).

Tomorrow, I am going to show you how you can install the Nook app on the Fire, for those of you who are making the switch to the Kindle, but still want your books from Barnes and Noble. Make sure you check back for that!

Also don’t forget to check out our Kindle Fire case and cover reviews!

Kindle Fire Getting Voice Recognition?

It appears that Amazon intends to add voice recognition to their line of products in the very near future.

As you may have seen, Apple recently added Siri, the intuitive voice recognition software, into the the newest iPhone. It looks liek Amazon wants to get in the game with voice recognition as well, with the company’s recent acquisition of Yap. According to Mashable, Amazon tried to keep it a secret by merging the company with one of its obscure subsidiaries known only as Dion Acquisitions. However, someone took notice that the address for the merged company was the same as Amazon’s corporate address.

Why would Amaozn want to add such a feature to the Kindle Fire? The first thing I can think of is the fact that they are continuing to try to compete directly with Appl and want to offer the same bells and whistles that they can. Also, I think voice recogntion could be a good selling point for the Kindle Fire, as it seems to be a big selling point for the new iPhone.

The bigger question will probably be functionality. Most of the other attempts out there at voice recognition have either filed or had at least questionable success. However, most accounts seem to show the current Siri setup as working quite well, at least anecdotally. I personally don’t think it would be something that I would use that much unless it could significantly reduce or simply the time for me to do a task on the Fire.

What do you think? Would you use this? Let us know if the comments below!

Kindle Owners’ Lending Library!

Img Source:Amazon.com

Add one more great reason to purchase the Kindle – the new Kindle Owners’ Lending Library! – coming soon to a Kindle near you!

Kindle users have been trying to find a good way to lend books to one another for a while, and there have been some great systems; however, this seems like it will be the easiest way to do so up to this point.

How It Works

Basically it will work like this -

  1. First, you must own a Kindle and be an Amazon Prime user (totally worth it if you by much on Amazon, as you get free hipping on just about everything)
  2. Once you are part of the program, there will be a new option in your menu on the Kindle for the Lending Library.
  3. You can go to the Library and browse what books are available to borrow.
  4. You choose to either borrow or buy the item.
  5. You can borrow one book per month.
  6. You do not have to worry about deleting it or getting rid of the book. It will stay on your Kindle until you borrow another one, if you choose to do so in future months.

The book selection will not be too shabby, either. You will be able to pick from over 5,000 books at any one time, along with lots of NYT bestsellers in the list.

I think this is a great idea from Amazon. Some have said that it may cause Amazon to lose some money up front, as people will be borrowing and not buying. However, I think it will instead lead to more purchases of Amazon Prime, which can only be good for Amazon in the long run.

Read more here.

Also, check out our Kindle Fire Review!

Kindle Fire – Good for Apple?

As we have mentioned before in many of our Kindle reviews, Amazon has been working to model Apple when it comes to the way they implement their technology. They are hoping to build an infrastructure around the Kindle Fire and their other Kindle devices to allow for you, the end user, to use their products for almost all of your media and technology needs. About the only thing they lack right now is their own computers.

However, it is not Amazon that Apple i worried about – it’s Android. Since the Android operating system for phones has hit the market these phones in total have now outsold the iPhone, and their share continues to grow.

If that’s the case, then why would Apple come out this week and say that the Kindle Fire is actually a good thing for their company? According to them, it’s about fragmentation. Since the Kindle Fire runs on a form of Android that does not support the usual setup – the Android Market, etc., while it runs on Android, it will not be like other devices that run the system and will not be familiar to customers who currently have the platform on their phones.

An example – if you use the iPone and you go get an iPad, the interface will be very familiar to you. However, An Android phone and a tablet with the operating system might be completely different.

This makes it difficult for developers as well. App creators will have to make sure their app works on Android in all its forms plus on the Kindle Fire as well. This can be difficult and could move some developers to focus more or primarily on iPhone.

At this point, it is all nothing but speculation, as the market is not yet flooded with the many Kindle Fire units that have been sold already. I don’t think it will have the effect that Apple thinks it will, at least not on a strong level, but only time will tell!

Click here to read our Kindle Fire review.

5 Million Kindle Fire Units Expected to Sell This Year

Analysts have now seriously ramped up how much they expect the Kindle Fire to sell this year. Bigtime.

They now expect them to sell more than 5 million units in the first quarter alone!

This is great news for Amazon, obviously, and I think it reflects that people are really starting to come over to the “Amazon brand.” Amazon has begun to adopt an Apple-esque strategy, in that they are looking to brand their own Marketplace for apps, their own marketplace for books, their own marketplace for music, etc.

Soon, Amazon may have the type of cross-platform abilities that Apple has. They are missing a few elements, such as a smartphone, although they do sell them but they don’t have their own brand, but it seems to me that the Kindle Fire could easily be adapted to a phone operating system.

I know I personally love my Kindle in the way that some people love their iPads. Do you agree? Do you think people will be as excited about Amazon in the future (or maybe even now) as they are about Apple products?

I think it can happen – if they keep developing their platform. They may need their own computers as well to pull it off, and they will definitely need to break into the smartphone market.

And 5 million units of the Kindle Fire? I think they will do that easily, and they will probably beat it. I wouldn’t be surprised if they have to up that number before Christmas comes around.

John Locke First Self-Published Kindle Million Author

Here’s a neat story I stumbled across today! – John Locke, the self-published Kindle author, just went over one million sales and joined the Kindle Million Club!

He is mostly known for his fiction work on the Donovan Creed novels, and these are the ones that have had the most success. One of the ways he got here is by offering his Kindle version books at 99 cents. The paperback copies were $8 to $15.

What has been funny and interesting to me is that Locke has actually been criticized by the media for his low pricing of the books. Yes, that means he got a very low commission on his self-published sales (about 34 to 35 cents per Kindle sale), but at a million copies, he still made over $300,000. I think he is doing just fine!

He has also written a non-fiction title about his success as a Kindle author. I am going to pick this up and will report back here when I do about his method. I know several of you who read this blog are looking for more than a Kindle review – you are Kindle authors as well! I will write a quick review on it once I have had the time to go through it. I am a bit interested myself, as I hope to publish my on Kindle book in the near future.

So, does this change the face of authorship even more? If nothing else, I think it proves, if it even needed to be proven anymore, that you really do not need a major publisher to be able to succeed and to truly get a wide distribution as an author!