Kindle Fire Blazes onto Market for Just $199

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Kindle Fire
With the unveiling of its new Kindle tablet, Amazon isn't just catching up to its competitors, it's upping the ante.
As expected, the Kindle Fire is a seven-inch, full-color, touchscreen tablet. What wasn't expected is the price point.

At $199, Kindle's tablet is much cheaper than its presumed competitor - the iPad.

Amazon also introduced three new Kindle devices. The most basic Kindle - a non-touch - is just $79. A Kindle for under $100. Wow.

$79 non-touch Kindle
The other Kindles include a 3G  black-and-white touch for $149. The same model with wifi - but without 3G - is $99.

Kindle Fire starts shipping on November 15.

It makes me wonder whether Apple will react to Amazon's latest move by lowering prices on the iPad.

Regency Fashion Up Close & Personal

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Here's the closest we'll ever get to an authentic Regency fashion show.

This video of actual garments of early 19th century clothing gives us a close-up view of the high styles of the day.

The high-waisted gowns, which were fashionable during the Regency period of the early 1800s, were known as the Empire look. You'll see a lot of white, which was a sign of social status since white had to be cleaned more often.

I particularly love the yellow cape and the detailing on some of the evening dresses is gorgeous.

If you'd like to see even more, check out this earlier post on Regency fashion.

Publisher Offers Books on Demand

Friday, September 23, 2011

Major publisher HarperCollins is launching an on-demand book service which will allow customers to print out and buy unstocked or backlist trade paperback titles in a matter of minutes.

The new on-demand service will be made available through the Espresso Book Machine.

According to a HarperCollins press release, books can be printed, bound and trimmed to a bookstore-quality paperback with a full-color cover, in minutes with the push of a button.

"Even as digital book sales grow, bookstores continue to be an important place for customers to shop for physical books. The goal of this initiative is to give the local bookseller the capability to provide customers with a greater selection of HarperCollins titles in a physical environment,” said Brian Murray, president and chief executive officer of HarperCollins Publishers. "For authors this is a win; titles will be more broadly available, which increases sales with full print royalties. Depending on the size of the store, 25%-80% of our backlist titles are not stocked due to physical space limitations. DPR technology means the books will be there for the consumer at small and large bookshops."

HarperCollins trade paperback books, including adult and children's titles, will be available on Espresso Book Machines starting in November.

Kindle Library Lending Gets Off to Bumpy Start

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Kindle's library-lending program sparked a wave of confusion when it launched nationwide this week.

Amazon said customers would be able to borrow Kindle books from more than 11,000 local libraries across the country.

However, according to Publishers Lunch, library ebook service provider OverDrive didn't have all of its library customers activated at the start of Monday's rollout.

On its blog, the company said it was "quickly updating all US public and school library partner websites to support Kindle compatibility and will complete this update as soon as possible."

Meantime, some publishers have questions about how Kindle's library lending program will impact them. They told Publishers Lunch that they were not asked to consent to the Kindle library program when it was announced in April.

Up until now, OverDrive has lent library ebooks using their own servers, however, Kindle lending will operate through Amazon's servers.

Kindle Books Now Available at Local Libraries

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Starting today, Kindle and Kindle app customers can borrow Kindle books from more than 11,000 libraries in the United States. That's the word today from the Kindle folks.

According to Kindle, the following features will be available:

-    Whispersync automatically syncs your margin notes, highlights and bookmarks – even once you return a Kindle book to your library, we’re going to back up your notes and bookmarks, so the next time you check out the book (or if you decide you want to buy the Kindle book) your notes and bookmarks will be there, waiting for you.
-    Read Everywhere – when you check out a Kindle book from your local library, you can read it on your Kindles and your free Kindle apps for the most popular devices and platforms.
-    Real Page Numbers – our page numbers match the page numbers in print books, so you can easily reference and cite passages and read alongside others in your book club or class.
-    Facebook and Twitter Integration – Share meaningful passages with friends and family with built-in Twitter and Facebook integration.
-    Wireless delivery – Your Kindle library books can be delivered via Wi-Fi, so there’s no need to transfer books to your Kindle via USB

Here's how it works:
You can borrow Kindle books from your local library's website and, with the click of a button, have them delivered to your Kindle device or free reading app.

Visit the website of a U.S. library that offers digital services from OverDrive.

Check out a Kindle book (using a valid library card).

Click on "Get for Kindle" and then sign in to your account to have the book delivered to your Kindle device or reading app. 

Amazon's New Kindle Will be $250 Color, Touch-screen Tablet

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Amazon jumps into the tablet wars this November, when it releases its newest version of the Kindle, a $250 touch-screen, color, 7-inch tablet, according to ReadWriteWeb.  

At $250, Amazon's Kindle tablet costs about half of what you'd pay for an iPad. It's pretty much the same price as Barnes & Noble’s Nook Color. Both are color, backlit, have 7-inch screens and run on Android.

Techcrunch's M.G. Siegler, who apparently had a chance to check out the new device, says the home screen is a carousel that looks like Cover Flow in iTunes. It displays the content you have on your device, including  books, apps and movies. 

Amazon has made no public comment about its new Kindle Tablet, but that hasn't stopped the analysts from predicting the retailer could sell five million units of the device in the fourth quarter.

The Kindle tablet is expected to debut in late November, just in time for the holiday buying season.

E-Book Deals!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

  I just finished reading Isabella by Loretta Chase. It's only $.99 right now on Nook and Kindle. The cover isn't great and I noticed the formatting is a little off, but the story is classic Chase - an excellent read.  

I haven't read this yet, but I just downloaded Vanquished by Hope Tarr. It's free on Nook and Kindle.

Hearts Aflame by Johanna Lindsey is $.99 on Nook and Kindle. It's also on my to-read list.

Another title on my to-read list is Conor's Way by Laura Lee Guhrke. It's $.99 on Nook and Kindle.

Heart of a Knight by Barbara Samuel, which won the 1998 Rita for Best Historical Romance (short category), is now $.99 on Nook and Kindle.

Amazon Explores Netflix-like Ebook Lending Service

Monday, September 12, 2011

Amazon is thinking about launching a "Netflix" for digital books, which would allow readers to pay an annual fee to read ebooks without actually buying them.

However, it appears the plan would limit how many ebooks subscribers could read each month. 

According to a report in the The Wall Street Journal, publishers aren't thrilled with the idea because they worry it could devalue books, as well as hurt the publishers' relationships with other retailers.

Amazon has reportedly told publishing executives the ebook library would feature older titles.

According to the Journal article, the ebook content would be made available to customers of Amazon Prime, who pay $79 a year for two-day shipping and for access to a digital library of films and television shows.

The publishers would receive a substantial fee for participating in the program, but it is unclear whether any of them have agreed to participate.

According to Publishers Weekly, Amazon intends to launch the new service in time for the holiday season.

There's also a question as to how far-reaching the service would be. Publishers Weekly reports  Amazon is telling publishers that fewer than 10 percent of its Prime customers own a Kindle.

I'm guessing quite a few more will sign on, if and when an ebook reading feature is added.

2011 Golden Gateway Finalist

Friday, September 9, 2011

I just got word that two of my Regency manuscripts, Tempting Bella and Compromising Willa, are finalists in the From the Heart Romance Writers' Golden Gateway contest.  

A double finalist! What a great way to kick off the weekend.

FTHRW is an internet-wide, online chapter of the Romance Writers of America.

The contest judges the first 50 pages of the manuscript along with a five-page synopsis. The final round judge in the historical category is editor Deb Werksman with Sourcebooks.

The final placements will be announced at the end of October.

Regency Fashion Show

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Here's a terrific up-close look at some authentic gowns and accessories worn during the Regency period. I love the embroidery detail. The video includes some interesting factoids, too. For example, I didn't know Indian shawls were popular during this time as much-needed protection against those drafty manor homes.