Nook gets webby, Baldur Bjarnason gets angry, and publishing gets surveyed.
Here are a few stories that caught my attention in the publishing space this week.
B&N launches Nook for Web
Just last week, Valobox co-founder Anna Lewis (@anna_cn) wrote a post about the strengths of the web and lamented that ebook publishers have “remained oblivious” to the advantages — her post was part of last week’s Publishing WIR. This week, Barnes & Noble stepped up to the webby plate and announced Nook for Web.
Chris Davies at SlashGear reports that “the new service runs in Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Internet Explorer, with instant access — registration free — to ebook samples, and then the same purchase options as on a Nook Tablet or similar device. … There’s also synchronization with any other Nook device or app you may be using, so you can stop reading on the web and pick up where you left off on your tablet.”
B&N also is giving away six bestseller titles as a promotion until July 26, but as Matt Elliott at CNET discovered, “before you can add one to your library, Barnes & Noble forces you to sign up for an account, which entails providing a credit card number, billing address, e-mail, and phone number.” So, anything beyond reading a sample will require registration.
The company also hasn’t completely embraced the advantages of the web — as Davies points out in his post, readers still can’t annotate on the platform, and on a browser-based system, “it would be easy enough for B&N to add such a feature.”
The other thing you can’t do with this new platform is view it on your iPad or iPhone, as Sarah Perez reports at TechCrunch. As counterintuitive as this seemed on first blush (B&N’s website says iPad support is “coming soon”), I recalled statistics from a recent survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project (which I wrote about here):
- 42% of readers of e-books in the past 12 months said they consume their books on a computer.
- 41% of readers of e-books consume their books on an e-book reader like original Kindles or Nooks.
- 29% of readers of e-books consume their books on their cell phones.
- 23% of readers of e-books consume their books on a tablet computer.
A call for NewCo to expand its focus, ereading data is influencing content, and Hugh McGuire talks ebooks at TEDxMontreal.
B&N plans to open Nook stores worldwide; Joe Wikert says their store focus need a technology turn. Elsewhere, WSJ reporter Alexandra Alter looks at data generated by ereading, and Hugh McGuire argues ebooks belong on the web at TEDxMontreal.
MIT's Technology Review ditch apps for HTML5, B&N needs to balance sales, and Sara Nelson heads to Amazon.
The publisher of MIT's Technology Review talks apps and HTML5, RWW's Antone Gonsalves reviews B&N's chances of survival, and Amazon hires Sara Nelson.
The DoJ sues Apple and five major publishers, Yahoo files patents to put ads in ebooks, and B&N one-ups Amazon.
Amazon does a happy dance as five of the Big Six publishers and Apple are sued by the DoJ. Elsewhere, Yahoo looks to increase revenues with ebook ads, and B&N lights up its Nook.
B&N considers a spin-off, news organizations launch NewsRight, and the Apple rumor mill is churning again.
B&N mulled a Nook spin-off, news organizations decided it’s time to capitalize on aggregators, and the 2012 Apple guessing revs up with rumors on iBooks and publishing.
B&N takes issue with Microsoft's patents, Congress held a SOPA hearing, and authors decry Amazon's Lending Library.
B&N’s position against Microsoft was made public, causing quite a dust-up. Also, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) hearing was as controversial as the Act itself, and the Authors Guild says the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library breaches contracts.
We (finally) received our nooks (pre-ordered quite some time ago), and the early results are … disappointing. Loading one (any) of our EPUB ebooks causes the nook to hang, and the book never opens. I tried loading a number of O’Reilly Media titles that are valid and work on the Sony Reader and every other ePub device. The Nook only brought up the “Formatting” message, and then hung. Only a full restart would bring it back. This is an extremely serious problem.