Dispatches from the Digital Revolution
Today’s big news, of course, is the announcement of Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet, $249. Highlighted features include integrated content with services such as Hulu Plus, Netflix, and Pandora; improved battery life; and the introduction of PagePerfect Nook books. PagePerfect Nook books, comparable to fixed layout iBooks, will preserve the integrity of the designed page as opposed to reflowing text. Nook Tablet is available for pre-orders and will be available on November 18. B&N also reduced the price of Nook Color to $199 and Nook Simple Touch to $99. More good news for Nook Color users: a software update will be scheduled before the holidays to update existing Nook Colors with some of the newer Tablet features.
Although B&N’s announcement continues to add tension to the tablet wars, the buzz for Amazon last week was the unveiling of Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. The service is only available to Kindle users with a Prime subscription ($79/year), and users may only borrow one title per month.
Those who use Kindle apps on other devices will not be able to take advantage of this program. There are currently 5,156 titles available in the lending library but, as this New York Times article demonstrates, none of the lending options are current or former best sellers due to contractual limitations. At this time, the “big six” are not participating in the lending program. However, Digital Book World observed that some publishers are optimistic that the program will help sell more backlist titles.