August 27, 2014

Librarians, Media React to Launch of Kindle Unlimited

Kindle Unlimited

In a long-expected move, Amazon on July 18 announced the launch of Kindle Unlimited, a new subscription service that will give users unlimited access to a selection of 600,000 ebooks and more than 2,000 audiobooks on Amazon Kindle devices and any device with a Kindle app for $9.99 per month. The online retailer’s financial resources, marketing clout, and massive base of Kindle users alter the competitive landscape for all providers of ebooks, including libraries.

Love Whispersync, Hate the Terms: How can schools legally work with Kindle technology?

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It’s the “holy grail of ebook features for education,” writes Chris Harris, of Whispersync for voice. But we need clarity on Amazon’s terms of service before schools can reasonably commit to the Kindle ereader.

Penguin Drops Side Loading Requirement for Kindle Lending

Amazon Kindle

In a quick reversal of its position on Kindle lending, Penguin on September 26 loosened the terms of its renewed agreement with OverDrive, announced only the day before. The publisher has agreed to allow library patrons to download ebook titles wirelessly via OverDrive’s “Get for Kindle” function instead of, as initially announced, first downloading titles to a computer, and then side-loading those titles to their Kindle classic or Paperwhite using a USB cord.

Penguin Ebooks Return to OverDrive, Go National on Axis 360

Penguin Ebooks Return to OverDrive, Go National on Axis 360

“Penguin will resume doing business with OverDrive as of this morning,” Penguin spokesperson Erica Glass told LJ on September 25. According to a blog post by Karen Estrovich, collection development manager for OverDrive, 17,000 Penguin ebooks are already “live and available for purchase in OverDrive Marketplace.” Although Estrovich refers to the transaction as a purchase, the books are being offered for a one year term on a one copy/one user lending model.

Amazon Expands Content on Kindle FreeTime Unlimited, Subscription Service Aimed at Parents

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Amazon Kindle’s FreeTime Unlimited, a subscription service geared for parents, has added 1,000 books, games, educational apps, movies, and TV shows to its offerings for children since its launch six months ago.

Welcome to the Mothership: Travis Jonker’s Take on Amazon/Goodreads

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When word came out that Amazon was pulling social network Goodreads into its acquisitional tractor beam, reaction seemed to fall into one of two categories… Travis Jonker, a librarian who blogs at 100 Scope Notes, falls somewhere in between.

Goodreads Acquisition Presents Opportunity for LibraryThing

LibraryThing

Amazon’s recent acquisition of Goodreads will likely have a ripple effect on other social media sites targeted at book lovers, with LibraryThing and Bookish potentially drawing membership from any defectors unhappy with the sale. Meanwhile, many Kindle owners will be introduced to Goodreads for the first time, as the site’s social media functions are integrated with Kindle devices. “Goodreads was fully independent…. it made them the natural allies of people who wanted to avoid the consolidation of the industry, in particular publishers,” LibraryThing founder Tim Spalding told LJ.

Ebooks 2013: New leasing models, cheaper devices, more content

School books with Tablet

“School libraries, I believe, will be the coming focal point for ebook licensing,” write Chris Harris. “We have strong relationships with our K–12 publishing partners, but now we must reach out to the trade houses. As the print market weakens, the time is right for schools to present a new business proposal.”

Browser Extension Encourages Amazon Searchers to Head to Their Library | LJ Insider

Browser Extension Encourages Amazon Searchers to Head to Their Library | LJ Insider

Avid readers who have made New Year’s resolutions to visit their local library more often might be interested in the Library Extension for Google Chrome. The free extension lets users know whether specific books, ebooks, audiobooks, and music CDs are available at their local library while they browse for those titles at Amazon.com.

National Federation of the Blind to Take Protest to Amazon, Denouncing School Kindle Use as Discriminatory to Blind Students

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Due to their longstanding frustration with Amazon’s failure to make Kindle ereaders accessible to people who are blind, officials from the National Federation of the Blind will be protesting outside Amazon’s Seattle headquarters on December 12.