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Report: Amazon May Launch Three New Tablets This Year

Back in September of last year, Amazon bucked the trend on eReaders and launched the full-color touchscreen Kindle Fire tablet. Unlike the previous Kindles, which had highly readable e-ink, the Fire was deigned to give users a more functionality -- all backed by Amazon's growing media infrastructure. Now, it seems that the popular Fire might have some new friends coming this year.

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Is Manga Obscene? Canada and Amazon Seem to Think So


Things aren't going so well for graphic novel and manga publishing. In March of 2011, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund issued an advisory about transporting comics and graphic novels across international borders. Two months later a comics fan named Tom Neeley was detained at the Canadian border, and his copy of the comic anthology Black Eye confiscated by customs. CBR reported then that Canadian censorship seemed particularly aimed at Japanese comics and gay-themed material. Last week Comics Alliance reported that criminal charges of child pornography possession had been dropped against U.S. citizen Ryan Matheson, who, in 2010, "entered Ottawa on vacation with a laptop that contained comics images that Matheson described as 'anime illustrations from art books' and 'drawings of fictional anime and manga characters.'"

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Kindle’s Bestselling Author Is The Hunger Games’ Suzanne Collins!

May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor

Amazon's Kindle e-reader created a storm when it was first announced. Readers flocked to the portability and ease of use and pretty soon you started spotting them on people everywhere. And guess what? Every single one of them was reading Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games. That's why it was just announced that Collins is the best-selling Kindle author of all time.

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Amazon Ditches Entire Independent Publisher; Sci-Fi & Fantasy Writers of America Ditches Amazon

Inside of a dog it's too dark to read

Amazon is sitting pretty at the top of the pecking order of the eReader market, in part because its spot atop the online retail market gives it the freedom to set Kindle prices low. Lower, in fact, than most other eReader formats; in a world where the Kindle takes 60% of the market in ebooks and is getting perilously synonymous with an electronic device dedicated to reading print publications. This means that when the company decides it doesn't like that its affiliates want to charge more for their books, they can simply refuse to make some perfectly compatible ebooks unavailable on the platform, with devastating results to that publisher.
“This should be a matter of concern and a cautionary tale for the smaller presses whose licenses will come up for renewal,” said Andy Ross, an agent and a former bookseller. “They are being offered a Hobson’s choice of accepting Amazon’s terms, which are unsustainable, or losing the ability to sell Kindle editions of their books, the format that constitutes about 60 percent of all e-books.”

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What’s in the Graphic Novels Section of the Nook Store? Novels That are Graphic (By Which I Mean Porn)

Elsewhere on the internet

The number of times that I have been asked "Graphic novel? Is that, um, pornography?" is not insignificant. I know it's something my mother has had to explain a few times after telling people what my hobbies and interests are. But the Nook apparently has a slightly different problem. Its system that allows writers to self-publish their ebooks to its network also allows them to choose what genre their work is displayed in... apparently without much moderation. Which means that there's a ton of porn in the Graphic Novel section. Or so Sascha Segan of PC Magazine found, while trying to pick up for Eric Shanower's Oz series.

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Amazon Likely To Have Physical Store Locations Soon

Oh Really?, the go-to online website for discounted products and lazy shoppers (myself included) is about to test out an actual physical store location to sell its products. If successful, you could soon have an Amazon store in your neighborhood. 

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Amazon To Pay Independent Authors for Making Books Available on Kindle Library

Inside of a dog it's too dark to read

The burgeoning field of ebooks is rife with controversies over exclusivity, ownership, piracy, and big corporations against meek and powerless independent authors. And so it'll be interesting to see how's new $6 million initiative to pay authors royalties on how many "borrows" their books get from the Kindle's free lending library pays out. All the authors have to promise is that their work will be available digitally only on the Kindle, for people who own Kindles. Here's how Amazon says it's going to work:

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Every Book in Skyrim is Now Available in eReader Formats

For how humongous and detailed the worlds in Elder Scrolls games tend to be, it is continually impressive that the huge, detailed worlds are filled with many long, detailed books. Elder Scrolls players tend to become obsessed with the books, collecting them and arranging them on the bookshelves in their in-game housing, to the point where users have madd mods for past iterations of the franchise installments that make the book-arranging an easier process. The problem, though, with the long, detailed in-game books are that they're long and detailed, and we have a world to explore and quests to complete. Now, however, has compiled all of the in-game Skyrim books and made them available for you to read on the go, in both Kindle and Nook formats.

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Airport Scanners May Be Able to Brick Kindles

Several Kindle users have reported that after going through security at an airport, their Kindles have stopped functioning. As you might be able to expect, the culprit is none other than the x-ray scanners in security. "After my Kindle went through the X-ray scanner at Madrid airport, it no longer worked. I had been reading an e-book on the way to the airport so I knew there could be no other reason," said affected user Michael Hart, from London. Now, many Kindles have made it through security unscathed, so this isn't a rampant problem, but there is evidence to suggest that the security x-ray's might be to blame.

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Marvel Announces Barnes & Noble Nook Deal For Digital Comics


This morning, editorial director of, Ryan Penagos, live tweeted from Barnes & Noble's NOOK event in New York City. Why was the Marvel employee in attendance? In addition to revealing their new Nook tablet, Barnes & Noble announced they would soon be carrying Marvel digital comics on the device in their first-ever electronic pairing with the bookseller. 

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DC Digital Comics Will Not Be Exclusive To One E-Reader

Highly Successful Marketing Strategies

DC Comics made a few people angry recently when they decided to make an exclusive deal with Amazon for over 100 of their digital comics to be available on the new Kindle Fire. Barnes & Noble notably took offense to such a decision and pulled DC graphic novels from their physical store shelves. Books-a-Million followed soon after. Well now it seems as if the publisher is backtracking a bit to quell this particular fire. They've told the New York Times the exclusivity is not quite as exclusive as they first claimed. 

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Barnes & Noble Pulls DC Graphic Novels Off Shelves After Kindle Deal

Officially Official

It's official. Barnes & Noble book sellers have removed all DC Comics Graphic Novels from their store shelves after learning of the comic company's exclusive digital deal with the Kindle Fire. DC responds with, "oh yeah, why don't you go cry about it?" Just kidding, DC hasn't actually responded to the news yet, but this is an interesting move by the bookseller. 

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Kindle Touch 3G Can Only Browse the Web on Wi-Fi

It appears that the Kindle Touch 3G, despite having 3G right in its name, will only be able to surf the web with Wi-Fi. The 3G capacity can be used to sync books and browse Wikipedia, but anything aside from those two activities will require a Wi-Fi signal. The weirdest part of that limitation, however, is that a previous Kindle model, the Kindle Keyboard 3G had, and appears to retain that very feature.

The limitation came to light after a clarification was posted on the Amazon forums. While the Kindle Touch 3G's website touts "free 3G wireless" which is technically true, it doesn't say anything about the restriction. The post on the forums, however, makes it perfectly clear: The 3G is expressly for syncing books and looking at Wikipedia. The "experimental" web browsing present on the Kindle Keyboard is going to stay were it is.

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Amazon Announces Kindle Fire at $199 Price Point

The Internet has been buzzing about the possibility (the inevitability, really) of a new Kindle-branded Amazon tablet for a while. Now it's finally here. Announced officially at an Amazon press conference this morning, the Kindle Fire is the newest addition to the Kindle family and brings some remarkably new functionality to the Kindle we're familiar with, all for a competitive, come-at-me-iPad price of $199.

So, let's break it down, the Kindle Fire is a touchpad. Although it only has two-finger touch support, it has touch support, which sort of elevates it to the big boy tablet arena. As for physical specs, the Kindle Fire operates on Android, weighs about 14.6 ounces and has a 7-inch touchscreen which clocks in at around 3 inches smaller than competitor iPad. Whether you see that last bit as an advantage or a flaw is matter of preference.

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Amazon’s New Netflix-Style Library for eBooks Coming Soon?

Just What You've Always Wanted

Has the time finally come for Amazon start start lending out ebooks? The Wall Street Journal says that this might just be a possibility soon, and that the online retailer has been in talks with several book publishers about a service that would involve customers paying a monthly fee to access ebooks temporarily, Netflix-style. All this, just in time for the release of their new tablet.

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Rumor: Amazon has a Working Tablet and It's Coming Soon

TechCrunch's MG Siegler is reporting that not only does Amazon have a tablet in the works, but that he's held it in his hands. The new tablet is reported to be a full-color, 7-inch device with a capacative multi-touch screen that will be branded as a Kindle but will not have an e-ink display. Apparently, the device will have the shocking low price of $250 when it hits the shelves, and will be sold alongside existing black-and-white Kindles. According to the article, though the device uses the Android operating system as a foundation, it has a custom-made Kindle OS built on top of that. Interestingly, impressions of the device seem to indicate that instead of competing with the iPad as a all-in-one device, the Kindle tablet will be deeply integrated into the services offered by Amazon. The Kindle Store will power book reading, the Amazon Cloud Player will play your music, and Amazon's streaming video service will push your videos. The idea, it seems, is that the device be based primarily on the cloud and serve as a hand-held bridge to Amazon's media services. TechCrunch says that the device is slated for a November release. If true, this could have the potential to shake up the iPad hegemony in the tablet market. (TechCrunch via Techmeme)

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Lawsuit Accuses Apple and Publishers of Price Fixing to Stunt Kindle's Growth

Apple, along with book publishers HarperCollins, Hachette, Mcmillan, Penguin and Simon & Schuster are now involved in a class-action lawsuit that accuses them of colluding to fix prices in order to hurt Amazon's Kindle success. The lawsuit, being brought by a Seattle law firm, suggests that all the parties involved had reason to be afraid of Amazon's pro-consumer pricing scheme for both its hardware and for eBooks. The logic of the case goes something like this: Publishers were concerned about lost profits from the sale of Amazon's eBooks, Apple was concerned that the Kindle could seriously damage the iPad's viability as an eBook reader, and therefore, the two teamed up to fix prices to try and thwart Amazon's eBook endeavors.

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Amazon Launches Kindle Textbook Rental Service

Amazon, the maker of the Kindle e-reader, has launched a textbook rental service for the device and its associated apps. According to Amazon, thousands of textbooks will be available for the 2011 school year from major  names in textbook publishing like John Wiley & Sons, Elsevier, and Taylor & Francis.

The Kindle textbook rentals can be customized for however long a student feels they'll need the book, between 30-360 days. The price of the rental will increase the longer the book is rented. Rental time can also be extended if a student realizes they need the book longer than they thought. According to Amazon, renting e-textbooks instead of paying for paper copies could save students up to 80% off the list price of their books. However, the 80% figure is based on only a 30-day rental, and really, who uses a textbook for only one month out of a semester?

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Amazon Pulls Yaoi From the Kindle

Inside of a dog it's too dark to read

Ove at CBR, long-time manga reporter Brigid Alverson informs us that Amazon is pulling Yaoi titles from its Kindle offerings. (Some NSFW images in link.) Digital Manga Publishing and Animate U.S.A. have had several of their titles pulled from the Kindle store (especially a problem for Animate U.S.A, which only publishes exclusively on the Kindle in the U.S.). And it looks like more could be on the way. The problem--surprise, surprise--is that not only is Amazon practicing censorship, it's applying double standards to queer and het erotica.

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Kindle Library Lending Is Coming to Actual Libraries

Good News Everyone!

Amazon has announced that later this year, Kindle users will be able to borrow e-books from 11,000 participating libraries using its new Library Lending service. This applies to all Kindle services including every generation of Kindle devices and all the platforms offering the Kindle app. Not only that, but Library Lending will also incorporate Whispersync technology, which allows users to take notes in the margins of the books they borrow.

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