Re-kindling an interest in reading


I was a relatively early adopter of the Kindle, thanks to a birthday gift of the Kindle 2 in 2009. It has been a transformative device for me; I’ve read more since I got the Kindle than I had previously, and I pretty much read every day with it.

Sadly, the Kindle 2, which had been in service for so long, has recently decided it had enough. My screen effectively began to divide in two and reading on it became nearly impossible. The time had come to replace it. Continue reading

Kindle users, your settlement has finally arrived!


For those following along here on the blog, my last post on the ebook settlements noted that we should see some movement on the settlement payouts by April.  Sure enough, this morning Amazon emailed me, along with other Kindle owners, to announce the credit had been deposited and was available. Continue reading

Flush with information: The Bathroom Reader series


Before I received a Kindle as a gift a few years back, my reading pattern was pretty predictable. I read paper books, and I tended to read more in the winter time, when it was colder out and I was indoors more.  By the time college hit, I already had established a pattern of acquiring certain annual anthologies, all of which came out in the fall, likely to time for gift-giving season. Continue reading

Book publisher settlments: For now, we wait.


It wasn’t that long ago that I wrote a post about the pending eBook settlements, and how it looked like it wouldn’t be much longer to receive the settlement payments.  I was wrong, but fortunately the news isn’t all bad.

Amazon sent out notices to customers around Labor Day weekend noting that the payments were still pending, but they had grown, due to additional settlements made with more publishers. Thanks to the additional payments, the amount paid per book has now increased, with New York Times bestsellers estimated to garner a refund of $3.06 per book, with non-bestsellers $.73 per book. That’s more than double the previously announced numbers.

Still the same is people who bought eBooks from a major company, such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble, will by default receive the refunds directly from the company as credit towards future purchases. As a result of the additional settlements, however, people have now been given a second window to request a check, as opposed to receiving a credit.  That window ends in mid-October.

Still vague is when the money will be paid, but the earliest will be early December, which is when the final hearing will be; appeals could force further delays, but with all the publishers on board and the payments heavily increased, it’s less likely to happen now.

Bought it in print? Get a digital copy.


Awhile back, I wrote about a technology that let Amazon provide customers a digital copy of CDs previously purchased through the service.  That service is now expanding to Kindle copies of books previously bought in print. The catch with the MatchBook service is that in many cases customers will need to pay a small fee to get the Kindle copy, but the fee (when required) will range between 99 cents and $2.99. Continue reading

Settling up on eBook pricing


This has been sitting in my drafts folder for awhile, but it’s worth talking about now, as the topic continues to evolve and settlement money should be arriving soon.

For those not paying attention, lawsuits were filed against the largest book publishers and Apple for colluding to raise the price of eBooks, which had been held down by Amazon holding the line at a $9.99 price on many titles.  The change to what’s called the agency model of pricing put restrictions on pricing that attorneys general in just about every state fought.  The publishers opted to settle, and the result of that is a credit for each book purchased in a roughly two year window, anywhere between $0.30 (the average book by the publishers in question) and $1.32 (New York Times bestseller).

For purchasers from some of the big book sellers, such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble, the process is frictionless; credits will be placed in purchasers’ accounts for use on other purchases.  For others, the check request deadline has long passed.  Meanwhile, although the settlement was approved in February, a follow-up in March started a six-month clock that will expire in a few weeks, meaning people should finally see their share soon.

Ironically, the reason for the pricing change was to level the playing field, as Amazon was considered to be running away with the eBook market at the time.  Yet Barnes & Noble’s Nook division has long been struggling, and many suspect Apple’s iBooks sales, while certainly decent, haven’t been stellar. Of course, the numbers for most of these companies are shrouded in opaque statements, so it’s hard to know for sure, but at least in Amazon and Apple’s cases, they’re clearly not going anywhere anytime soon.

Puzzling through the commute


I recently wrote about commuting for my company’s blog, some light fare revolving around things one can do during a daily commute to keep busy. It’s actually a process that’s evolved in the almost three years since I said yes to working in the city, something that was not even top of mind prior to this job. Continue reading