Nook to enter UK market

US book seller Barnes & Noble are entering their rival Nook device into the UK market and it will be sold exclusively through chain store John Lewis Partnership. There isn’t much competition here at the moment in the ebook reader market. Amazon has the majority share and the Kobo, which sells exclusively through WHSmith, has not fared as well in the UK as it has done in North America. The Guardian suggests that Amazon Kindle sales represents a wapping 90% of the market share. Continue reading

Amazon say Kindle sales outstripping those of physical books

They said it was coming but now, online retail giant Amazon have claimed that Kindle ebook sales have overtaken those of printed books. Combining all hardback and paperback sales, digital downloads for Kindle devices is winning the war. But is it? Is there more to this story than meets the eye?

I’d like to go all “2012 and all that” on this post (my secondary blog where I challenge publicly believed nonsense and misinformation) and try to explain my understanding of how this is panning out in real terms. My alarm bells started to ring when I read this excerpt:

Much to the consternation of the publishing industry, Amazon has refused to release audited figures for its digital book sales, something it does for printed books. It told The Guardian that the company would not discuss future policy on the matter.

Continue reading steampunk offer

Just a quick heads-up people. yesterday started a Kindle Reading Marathon with the best part of 600 books on sale from 99p upwards. Despite this large selection, there are only four in the science fiction genre.

I bought two of them for the grand total of £1.98. Nothing else in the collection interested me though if I hadn’t already read it, I’d have bought Rivers of London for £1.99

These were The Mammoth Book of Steampunk and The Mammoth Book of Nebula Awards.

I’m still eager to explore steampunk a little more. I’m still very much the beginner and I’ve come to the subgenre through the artwork… someday I will discuss some of my favourite examples even though it is off-topic for this blog.

Arc 1.2 – First impressions

For those of you who didn’t already know, the second volume of Arcfinity was released yesterday. Like volume 1.1, Arc 1.2 comes in at a price of £4.99 and is a digital download only (presumably as before with a handful of print edition copies available that come with a hefty price tag).

Volume 1.2 is on a theme of humanity and the human condition in futurism and subtitled Post Human Conditions. Looking through the contents I’m afraid to say that this list of contributors is far less familiar to me than in Arc 1.1. Where I knew most of the names in the first volume, here I recogmise only Frederik Pohl and Jeff VanderMeer. Anne Galloway, Nick Harkaway, Sonja Vesterholt (who contributes Prometheus art), Paul McAuley, Regina Peldszus, T.D. Edge, Gord Sellar, P.D. Smith, Holly Gramazio and Kyle Munkittrick are completely alien to me. Feel free to berate me if I’m clearly not geeky enough in that respect. Continue reading

The holiday reading dilemma

The holiday that I am currently on (I’m writing this post four days before I leave by the way) is my first without The Holiday Reading Dilemma. And when I have such a large backlog as I generally do, it can often cause me a lot of stress. Seriously, I used to spend hours deciding which of my books to take with me and I had a very specific ritual:

* No fewer than three (in case I run out)
* No more than five (because I’ll never read more than that)
* Try to avoid having two of the same sub-genre (avoids repetition if the books are inadvertantly too similar)
* Paperbacks only (for weight)
* Light reading only (nothing too deep – I am on holiday!)
* Not too thick (for weight) Continue reading

Kindle Touch UK release

It’s available one week earlier than expected. It comes with a price tag of £109 and the following extra features:

* X-Ray. I can’t quite get my head around how it works but it seems to be a tool for analysing a document, almost getting the equivalent of a bonus disk for a book. I like the idea and it would useful for academic books and journal papers but not sure it would interest me all that much on a day to day basis. Continue reading

Arc 1.2 needs you…

I know I’ve yet to review Arc 1.1 as promised (I’ve barely skim-read it) but already I’m receiving promotional material about the next volume. Due out in May (so it is quarterly then), unsurprisingly it will be called Arc 1.2.

Today I received a call for submissions for a competition they are running:

Enter our writing competition & you could be published in Arc 1.2

Arc has teamed up with The Tomorrow Project, Intel’s futurism project, to run a competition soliciting near-future stories with a heavy technological emphasis. Not only will we publish the winning entry in issue 1.2 of Arc, and pay £500 for it, we will also pay £200 each to five runners-up, whose stories will then be published on the Tomorrow Project website and used to stimulate conversation about our shared future. Continue reading

Arc 1.1 – first impressions

On my way to work this morning, I was listening to Radio 4 (as you do) and Simon Ings, the editor of the new magazine Arc was on to discuss the publication. Despite that he did not say anything I hadn’t heard / read before I made a mental note to give it a serious think.

When I got home from work I noticed that my hit rate on this blog for the last few days has been higher than in recent weeks and the Google search terms that brought people here were overwhelmingly about arc 1.1. Encouraged by this I decided to bite the bullet and purchase it. Continue reading

Expanding my reading scope through Kindle

One of the great advantages of having an ebook reader is the volume of stuff that you can download free. That is always a good selling point in itself but out of copyright work can be obtained in masses without having to part with hard-earned cash.

Today, while flicking through an old edition of SFX magazine, I saw a name that meant nothing to me: Ambrose Bierce. Intrigued by the quick summary in the “Penny Dreadful” horror column, I switched on my Kindle and went straight to the marketplace to download a collection (Present at a Hanging and other ghost stories) for free. Continue reading