Countless eReader Snippets, Kindle Book Extras, Free Books

Book Extras feature for Kindle Books?

Update: This ‘Book Extras’ information only shows up when you browse the Kindle Store from your Kindle. It isn’t showing up from Amazon.com.

Amazon has supposedly added a new feature to the Kindle Store where below customer reviews you can find Book Extras –  Information like which Series a book belongs to and what the other books in the series are. 

This is from a discussion at the official kindle forum. Couldn’t find this feature myself – perhaps it’s being gradually worked in. Courtesy Robert Vinson at the official Kindle Forum we have -

Fablehaven by Brandon Mull

The Argeneau Vampire series by Lysay Sands
The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan
The Lost Continent by Catherine Asaro
The twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer

Those are just some of the series I saw. I also noticed there were some series that had not done so yet.
There is also a notice at the bottom of the page on each of these series that states “The content on this page is editable by the community. You can update it at Shelfari.com, an Amazon company“.

It probably means Amazon is beginning to leverage its Shelfari acquisition a bit more. Please do leave a comment if this ‘Book Extras’ feature shows up for you.

Free Books from around the Pipes of the Internet

Lots of free books from outside of the Kindle Store -

  1. Borders has 5 free books in ePub format – free only till July 14th. You can download them and read them on your PC using Adobe Digital Editions or use one of the numerous Borders Apps to read them on other devices. Thanks to koland at the official kindle forum for writing about these.

    One Shot: A Reacher Novel by Lee Child.
    Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom by Julia Child.
    Frankenstein: Prodigal Son by Dean Koontz.
    The Alchemyst by Michael Scott. (Not The Alchemist).
    Master Your Metabolism by Jillian Michaels. 

  2. Barnes & Noble has Weddings can be Murder by Christie Craig free. Courtesy koland at MobileRead.    
  3. Smashwords has a site-wide 50% promotion that isn’t really site-wide and is called Summer/Winter Sale although it lasts only till July end.
  4. Glenn G. Thater has The Gateway free at Smashwords. 

    When mad sorcerers open a gateway to the pits of hell, releasing demons of darkest nightmare, only the intrepid knights of House Eotrus stand in their way.

    Claradon Eotrus recruits the mysterious knights Angle Theta and Gabriel Garn to stand with him against the growing darkness, a darkness from which only one will emerge.

  5. TeleRead point us to a collection of 4 free books, The Ware Tetralogy by Rudy Rucker, and let us know that it’s available in PDF and in Kindle formats (there’s a link to ManyBooks later on in the post).

Hopefully you find something you like.

Pixel Qi displays available in DIY Kits – for $275

Well, it seems we are still aways from a time when ‘Pixel Qi screens will cost just as much as eInk screens’. It is, however, great to see actual screens appear and to see them working.

Pixel Qi have $275 Pixel Qi displays that you can buy from Maker Shed and put into 2 netbooks to see what the screens are like -

MAKE and Pixel Qi announce the availability of a revolutionary LCD display technology from Pixel Qi–the 3Qi display. This one-of-a-kind, plug-and-play 10.1-inch display offers two modes–an easy-to-read, real color, multi-media mode or a crisp, low power e-reader mode. The sunlight-ready, e-reader mode makes it easy to use outdoors.

These screens rival the best e-paper displays on the market today but in addition have video refresh and fully saturated color.

Please note: These screens replace those found in the Samsung N130 & Lenovo S10-2.

Wired have an article about magic Pixel Qi screens and it includes a detailed video showing how to swap the Pixel Qi screen into a netbook.

B&N updates its eReader app with a brightness control

Here’s what Wired writes about the B&N eReader app improvements -

Brightness is one of my biggest niggles with the iPad in general: I’m forever heading over to the settings app to tweak it. There should be an always-available shortcut.

Anyhow, in the B&N e-reader, it’s fixed.

The changes include an in-app brightness control, a new two-page view in landscape mode, the ability to delete samples from within the app, speed improvements to syncing, and bug-fixes. With the ‘speed improvements’ and ‘bug fixes’ it sounds more like a Nook update than an app update.

Wired adds another snippet -

We have Kindle, B&N, Kobo, iBooks, Borders (or is that Kobo?). I kind of like that I can get content from any of these without having to buy a whole bunch of e-readers. On the other hand, it’s a pain to have to jump between them.

The post highlights two iPad disadvantages that rarely get mentioned – the screen brightness is an issue and has to be adjusted based on the type of lighting around you and the time of day, and you might be able to get books from different sources but you have to read them on completely different apps.

Sony working on a hybrid eReader plus Netbook plus Gaming Machine

Wall Street Journal report that Sony are working on a do-everything device that will also work as an eReader -

Meanwhile, Sony is developing a portable device that shares characteristics of hand-held game machines, e-book readers and netbook computers, according to people familiar with the matter. Some Sony e-book readers already come with 3G connections but it isn’t clear if a new wireless gadget will use carrier networks.

That’s not very surprising given that Sony is struggling a bit in each of the eReader, Gaming, and Netbook markets.

Electronista uses 24 person survey to claim iPad is already the best reader

We’ve looked at Jakob Nielsen’s 24 people, 17 minutes study and how it’s pretty much useless. However, there have been thousands of articles using it to claim books are better than the Kindle.

Electronista finds a new angle in their iPad > Kindle article -

It also found that, on a scale of 1 to 7, Apple’s iPad provides the best reading experience out of all e-readers with a 5.8 rating. It was closely followed by Amazon’s Kindle, which tallied a 5.7 rating.

This little snippet based on 24 people’s assessment is what Electronista use to claim the iPad is a better reader. Not only do they do this they also claim that the rest of the study (which favors books over the iPad) doesn’t apply -

The problem with those folks is that they’re very short-sighted. And they fail to realize that although some people like to read books the old way, Apple’s iPad delivers an experience that simply trumps any other reading option out there — for now, at least.

They use such priceless logic as ‘Kindle is simply a collection of text’ and this gem (used to criticize the Nook) -

It’s a single-purpose device; an isolated experience where you can’t have the full context of a book.

This is an amazingly inaccurate claim – Are we expected to believe that ‘the full context’ of a book involves video and games?

Does this person even read books?

Cool-er is Dead-er

The company behind the Cool-er eReader, Interead, has been put into Liquidation. It’s yet another tiny eReader company unable to compete with Kindle and Nook.

The Bookseller chimes in with some snippets -

Interead was founded in 2009 by former banker Neil Jones. Jones told the Guardian in September 2009 that he had big ambitions for the company. “I’m pretty confident we’ll be number two in America by this time next year in terms of sales, and number one in the UK.”

Earlier this year Dutch e-book manufacturer iRex Technologies, which produced the Iliad, filed for bankruptcy.

Interead did put up quite a fight and they were the first eReader company to introduce eReaders in 6-7 different colored variations (colored casing, not colored screen). They certainly didn’t lack for ambition – However, the eReader market needs a company with deep pockets.

The death of all these eReader companies makes you wonder whether Borders is getting into the wrong fight with its eBook store and its investment in Kobo eReaders.

One Response

  1. The Book Extras showed up for me when I was looking at the Steve Berry books in the Cotton Malone series. I really liked it because it helps me to know the order of the books without having to go to Wikipedia to look it up, something I have always done for series.

    Thanks for all your GREAT WORK reporting on things in the Kindle sphere!!! Please keep it up!!!

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