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On this blog we will track down the latest Amazon Kindle news. We will keep you up to date with whats hot in the bestsellers section, including books, ebooks and blogs... and we will also bring you great Kindle3 tips and tricks along with reviews for the latest KindleDX accessories.

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Forbes for Kindle

Forbes Magazine is a bi-weekly publication that is available for $2.49 on the Kindle.  Overall, the reviews of the Kindle edition are good, but suggest that Amazon insert better tables and graphics.

Forbes was founded in 1917 by B.C. Forbes, a Scottish immigrant who lived and worked in South Africa and New York City prior to starting the magazine.  The original title was said to be Doers and Doings, but this phrase ended up as part of the official title: Forbes: Devoted to Doers and Doings.

Forbes was to be a magazine about doers and doings, “faithful to the facts and fair to the man whom it writes about” and written, as a blurb on the back cover promised, in a way “that does not necessitate the laymen engaging an interpreter.” more

Some of the topics covered every issue of Forbes include articles on the worlds of industry, finance, international business, marketing, law, taxes, science, technology, communications, investments, entrepreneurships, etc. This publication boasts more than 5 million readers in the business world on a global scale, including seven foreign language editions.

The Forbes Empire remains one of the largest and most successful family businesses of its kind in the world. Steve Forbes, once a political candidate for President of the United States of America, is the magazine’s Editor-in-Chief and has a column in every issue called “Fact and Comment” which is popular with Forbes readers.

Every year, Forbes publishes its very popular list of the richest people and the biggest companies on Earth. The magazine and the stories in each issue focus on the movers and shakers of the financial and business arena. Forbes is also the best of the business periodicals that are published today for discovering new investment ideas and is more investor focused than other business magazines. Today’s market is incredibly volatile and rapidly changing so Forbes is a great resource to keep abreast of the trends and issues concerning the market.

B&N for the iPad

This Thursday, perhaps a little behind the crowd but better late than never, Barnes & Noble(NYSE:BKS) put out their very own eBook Reader application optimized for the iPad.  The impact has the potential to be greater than one might expect at first glance, especially given the unexpected success the chain has had in marketing their nook eReader device against the more established Kindle.

The big selling point, from my point of view, is the extensive customization of the reading experience available to the user.  There are several premade themes for you to choose from, including fairly ideal settings for nighttime reading.  You can also make your own reusable themes by adjusting font size(10 available), font style(5 available), background and foreground colors, margin sizes, text justifications, and link coloring. Dictionary integration isalso  mentioned, which is fairly useful sounding.  The LendMe feature that B&N is becoming known for is intact in this reading application and users will be able to lend books directly from the iPad.  Page turning should be intuitive for most users, with simply a tap or swipe doing the job. In general, all the features we’ve come to expect and desire out of software like this and a few nice little additions.

While I would ideally like to see integration with the nook device, at least to the point of syncing up the last-read page in a given book, that’s still not to be found so far.  You do, however get integration with the PC app that will allow notes and progress to be saved between devices.  Overall, I’d say it’s a great offering and worth checking out if you happen to have an iPad that you like to read on.

Bezos Comments on Kindle’s Future

Tuesday, at the annual Amazon(NASDAQ: AMZN) shareholders meeting, Jeff Bezos made some comments about the state of the Kindle and what we can expect for the future.  While it may come as a surprise for some, the goal is consistency and refinement rather than revolution.  Many feel that the Kindle should be making every effort to become some sort of eInk iPad in order to survive, but Bezos emphasized the presence of the Kindle as a device for “serious readers” and insisted that this is not meant to be a multipurpose device so much as a specialty tool with a distinct purpose.  Future plans for Kindle development may include the color screen that some have been pushing for, but certainly not the next model, to judge from his comments about what a complicated technology it is to get right.  While it would, of course, be simple to make a device with a color LCD display, it would run counter to the purpose of the device; namely to create a reading device for those who love reading.

So what can we expect from the new Kindle?  It’s pure speculation, but I’d say we can look forward to a more refined UI, faster refresh rates, a lighter form, and a better screen-to-frame ratio.  Let’s not dwell on what gimmicks and alternate purposes we might want to add in and focus on what matters.  Namely, that the reading experience be as clean, immersive, and enjoyable as possible.

The Natural Page

Everybody has their little pet peeves when it comes to their favorite eReader.  Nobody ever has every feature quite the way we want it and nothing will ever be quite perfect.  One of the complaints I’ve heard surprisingly often with the Kindle has been its lack of normal page numbering.  While this seems like a simple sort of thing to deal with, since we are given a progress counter of sorts anyway, I can certainly understand it getting on the nerves of some.

In response, we have The Natural Page(TM) from Forbidden Stitch Press.  Their first book, Spirit in The Sky, is now available for download from the Kindle store for $9.99.  The basic premise is that by setting a page length at right around 400 words, it is possible to put a page number, formatted as (Page 12), at the bottom of each screen as the reader moves through their book.  It’s a novel concept, if you’ll pardon the pun.  While there’s little chance that this will work out as a long term solution, being rather un-dynamic and therefore breaking any time the reader changes font size or a Kindle DX, it’s a good thing to have around, most likely.  If nothing else, the reader response could point out to Amazon(NASDAQ:AMZN)  that this is a desired, and quite possibly easy to include, feature for a future patch.  The best way to get your point across about a product has always been to vote with your wallet, after all.

Foreign Affairs for Kindle

Foreign AffairsThe Foreign Affairs bimonthly magazine is available for Kindle for a monthly subscription of $1.99.  The reviews for the Kindle version of this journal are the best I’ve seen so far.  Foreign Affairs is a 200 page journal/magazine, and is text and content based, which makes it a good fit for the Kindle.

The Council on Foreign Relations set the idea in motion to start a quarterly magazine that would become what is now called Foreign Affairs. The first issue of Foreign Affairs was published in September, 1922.  Foreign Affairs includes expert analysis and serious discussion on international relations.  Some major international subjects throughout history include: World War II, U.S relations with China, the Vietnam War, the Cold War and more recently the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars.

In the beginning, there were two editors: Archibald Cary Coolidge of Harvard and Hamilton (Ham) Fish Armstrong.  Coolidge was near retirement age at 57, and Armstrong was just his late twenties.

Coolidge remained in Boston, loosely handling the magazine while still teaching at Harvard and managing his scholarly work. Armstrong ran the magazine’s New York office and handled all of the day to day issues and problems. He was also responsible for the magazine’s distinctive format, the choice of a very special light blue paper cover (from a remarkable Italian papermaker), the logo of a man on a horse. It was typical of the sense of style that Armstrong, son of a painter, Old New York and Hudson Valley to his fingertips, brought to this and all else throughout his life. More

The initial issue of Foreign Affairs included 12 point Caslon font, which was more legible than many other font types of the time.  The current editor, James Hoge, brought a more modern version of this font back in 1993.

Foreign Affairs has a reputation of recruiting authors who are not mainstream. One particular example involves W.E.B DuBois, a distinguished African American author who wrote five articles for the magazine.  His first article in 1925 helped define “the Color Line” as a major issue of the twentieth century.

Currently, Foreign Affairs is owned by the Council on Foreign Relations and their stock information is private.

A not-so-Novel Device from Pandigital

Pandigital, a company until now known for their digital photo frames, has entered the eReader market with their new device: the Novel.  This 7-inch tablet device features what is described as a responsive touchscreen, 1GB of internal storage, a 6-hour battery, a full web browser, and the ability to store and view both pictures and video, among other things.  At first glance, it’s honestly kinda cool.  Almost like getting an iPad without all the extra expense, maybe. Given the price, however, and the emphasis on it’s status as an eReading device, we find some shortcomings by comparison.

A $199.99 MSRP is a good start, however it hardly makes this a revolutionary introduction to the marketplace with the Kobo coming in at $149.99 and the anticipated nook Lite matching the $199.99 asking price.  Oddly enough, what is said to make the nook price drop so much in the move to the Lite model is the lack of 3G wireless support, which the Novel lacks in the first place.  Makes some sense.

Also, not to belabor a point that most people have probably realized on their own by now, it is an LCD display.  This means that while it’s likely to be pleasant to look at and great for displaying full-color texts(especially magazines and such that rely on this), it is going to be harder on the eyes than something like the Kindle.  No, I haven’t held one in my hands yet, but with LCDs it’s the nature of the beast.  Some are better than others, but for reading eInk puts them all to shame.

The thing that stands out the most for me, however, is the battery life.  One of the most pleasant parts of owning an eBook Reader is the fact that you can treat it just like a book for the most part.  My Kindle comes out once a week for charging, if that, and otherwise sits in my bag or on the bookshelf, always ready to go.  I don’t have to come home and worry about plugging things in.

Needless to say, I’m unimpressed by what’s being presented here so far.  It’s a neat little device, but it’s too late to make a splash.  There are better eReaders out there for the same price, better multi-purpose tablets for just a bit more.  Unless you spend extremely long periods of time with books or magazines that require color displays, this will probably be something you pass on.

Business Week for Kindle

The monthly price for the Kindle edition of Business Week is $2.49.  The magazine is delivered weekly and the plus side of the Kindle edition is that according to one Amazon reviewer, you get it every Friday.  The print edition hits newsstands on Monday.

The Kindle edition of Business Week does not have images and this is a drawback based on what is reflected in the reviews, however, the articles read much faster.

Business Week, now owned by Bloomberg, began publication on September 7, 1929.  Note that this date is less than two months before the stock market crash of 1929.  The stock market crash signaled the beginning of the Great Depression that plagued most of the 1930’s.

Business Week is known for reporting the latest business and economic trends.  The magazine is also known for predicting the trends of the future.  Business Week reported on women in the war work force during World War II, which was a revolutionary concept because before the war, it was virtually unheard of for women to work outside of the home.  Business Week covered the successes of Katharine Graham, CEO of Washington Post Company.  She was the pioneer of female CEO’s.

Business Week also stays on top of the Information Technology arena, which is a vibrant, constantly changing one.  When the magazine was first published, typewriters began to come and become an integral part of businesses.  During the 1960’s, the first computers started to appear, but only in a few places.  As time progressed, Business Week followed Bill Gates and his PC software endeavors in the 1980s and the Internet boom of the 1990’s.  During the 2000’s, Business Week has covered Facebook, Google, smartphones and all of the other latest gadgets we use today.

In 2009, Bloomberg LP, a company owned by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, bought Newsweek from its parent company McGraw-Hill for $5 million.  The official name for Business Week is now Bloomberg Business Week. more

The Nation for Kindle

The Nation is available on the Kindle for a good deal at $1.49 a month.  It is a weekly, mostly text based magazine.  The reviews are favorable and say that the Kindle version is easy to navigate.

The Nation will not be the organ of any party, sect, or body. It will, on the contrary, make an earnest effort to bring to the discussion of political and social questions a really critical spirit, and to wage war upon the vices of violence, exaggeration, and misrepresentation by which so much of the political writing of the day is marred. more

– from The Nation‘s founding prospectus, 1865

The Nation is a self described left leaning publication that was founded on July 6, 1865 by abolitionists, and is the oldest running weekly magazine in the US.  It covers topics such as Art, Politics, Music, Legal Affairs, Environmental Issues, Peace, and many others.  The magazine is primarily funded by donors called The Nation Associates whose names are listed in the end of the year issue.

The current editor of The Nation is Katrina vanden Heuvel.  She has been the editor, publisher and part owner since 1995. Notable contributors to The Nation include: Albert Einstein, John Steinbeck, who wrote the well known novels, The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men, Martin Luther King Jr., poet Langston Hughes, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Kurt Vonnegut, author of Slaughter House Five, and many others.

The Nation runs a selection of regular columns with contributors who have been writing for over 20 years.  These columns include: Diary of a Mad Law Professor, Beneath the Radar, Deadline Poet, The Nation: a cryptic crossword and others.

Some of the major topics that are being covered in The Nation today are the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the plight of welfare mothers and the effects of the recent wars on the economy.  So, if you want a leftist view of current events, The Nation is the magazine to check out.

Science News for Kindle

Science News is a  biweekly publication and it is available for Kindle for $2.25 a month.  Considering that cost includes two issues a month, that is a really good deal.  The reviews are excellent. The pictures are included and can even be enlarged to be viewed in full screen mode. The reviewers also pointed out that the Kindle edition was very easy to navigate.

Science News was first published since 1922 under the name The Science News Letter by the nonprofit group, Society for Science & the Public in Washington DC. In 1966, the SS&P decided to change The Science News Letter to The Science News.

This award-winning biweekly news magazine covers important and emerging research in all fields of science. It publishes concise, accurate, timely articles that appeal to both general readers and scientists, reaching nearly 130,000 subscribers and more than one million readers.

Audible.com distributes an audio edition of Science News.  Having an audio edition is a great idea for the blind and for anyone who prefers audio over reading text.  The Kindle has a text to speech feature as well.  It is in the experimental stages and is up to the publisher as to whether to enable it.  At least the idea is out there. The online component of the magazine was introduced in 1996. More news from the Science News reporting team also appears at the www.sciencenews.org. Updated daily, this site covers all areas of science. more

Science News includes topics that are up and coming in the science world.  Some of the topics include the status of planets and moons in our solar system and others around us, genes, science and society, science and kids, science and young professionals. One particular topic of interest is the controversy about cell phones causing cancer.  So, the magazine covers a great deal of interesting stuff.

The Society for Science & the Public is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the public engagement in scientific research and education.

Amazon and ASUS Team Up

A while back, as some of you may remember, we mentioned the news that Barnes & Noble(NYSE: BKS) and HP(NYSE: HPQ) were teaming up to offer the B&N reader software as a prepackaged tool in many new HP computers.  Well, it looks like Amazon(NASDAQ: AMZN) has taken the cue and moved with it.  Today we got a press release announcing that, in the near future, Kindle software will come pre-installed on many ASUS models including the 1005PE line of Eee PC Netbooks and their UL Series of notebooks.

This isn’t necessarily quite as pointless as it seems at first glance.  While there is no doubt that preloaded software isn’t a new concept, the implied partnership in this area bodes well for upcoming months; rumors that the upcoming Eee Pad tablet device will be unveiled by the end of this month lend some weight to this development.  In spite of the shortcomings compared to an e-Ink display, these devices are useful and well-regarded as reading tools. Having an existing partnership for users’ ebook consumption needs addresses a key point in the obviously inevitable comparisons to the iPad that consumers will have to be making.  There is some hope, it can be hoped, that a valid competitor is about to enter the market.

Barnes & Noble Opens Self-Publishing

After years of Amazon’s dominance in the self-publishing ebook marketplace, Barnes & Noble(NYSE:BKS) has decided to enter the scene.  Eligible independent publishers and self-publishing authors will be able to add their content directly into the BN.com and Barnes & Noble eBook Store Catalogs, giving them immediate exposure to one of the largest electronic book marketplaces on the net with all the perks already built in.  Books published through this PubIt! system, as it is called, will be accorded the usual digital rights management one would expect out of Barnes & Noble, an industry standard ePub format for distribution, and a presence accessible through any of B&N’s many platforms including the nook eReader and their many computer-based software and cellular downloads.  While there has not, as of yet, been any discussion of what the royalty model will be for these publishers and authors, there have been assurances that it will be competitive and simple to use and understand.

Make no mistake, this isn’t a groundbreaking new technology or idea.  It does, however, bring Barnes & Noble in line with Amazon(NASDAQ:AMZN) as they attempt attempt to secure their place alongside or even ahead of the Kindle and its ever-growing pressence in the ebook market.  Sure Amazon got there first, but who will make it most worth their authors’ while as time goes on?  More options have to be good for the lesser known names out there.

Sony eReader Gift Idea

With all the recent hype regarding the forthcoming Kobo eReader, the most frequently mentioned perk, even by us, is the amazingly low price.  This makes it an attractive option for people who aren’t quite sure of their need for such a device or even for those who want to give a really cool gift without breaking the bank.  Some of us, however, are very impatient, and the Kobo won’t be around in the US until next month!  Especially for those with students they know graduating, this can be an issue.  Fortunately there’s another option.

The Sony PRS series isn’t exactly new, but they seem to have fallen by the wayside in the eyes of a lot of reviewers these days.  Sure, they don’t have a lot of the bells and whistles that newer devices do, but they’re an established and proven brand.  The reason I bring this up is the recent realization that you can find brand-new PRS-300 models for just $140-150 these days.  They’re not quite as nifty as, say, the Kindle, but they’ll display books as well as anything.  My only complaints about the design are the 5″ screen and the positioning of the page turn button.  If you can put up with those, however, it might be an option for you!  They’re cheap, they read ePub formatted books, they’ll carry a charge for weeks, and they’re affordable.  Quite possibly the perfect gift for that holdout reader friend, grad, or relative to get them used to the idea of the technology before working them up to something a full featured as the nook or Kindle.

The Atlantic for Kindle

The Atlantic magazine is delivered wirelessly to your Kindle each month for $1.25.  It publishes ten issues a year and has about 400,000 readers.

The first issue of The Atlantic Monthly, as it was known back then, appeared in November, 1857.  The magazine was a huge success and considered itself “a journal of literature, politics, science and the arts”.  The magazine was conceived by notable figures such as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Oliver Wendell Holmes and James Russell Lowell.

Lowell was the first editor from 1857 to 1861.  He was an abolitionist who brought up controversial issues that included topics such as giving women the ability to get an education.

When it began, The Atlantic Monthly’s Declaration of Purpose went something like this:

“In politics, The Atlantic Monthly will be the organ of no party or clique, but will honestly endeavor to be the exponent of what its conductors believe to be the American idea. It will deal frankly with persons and with parties, endeavoring always to keep in view that moral element which transcends all persons and parties, and which alone makes the basis of a true and lasting prosperity. It will not rank itself with any sect of anties: but with that body of men which is in favor of Freedom, National Progress, and Honor, whether public or private.” more

The magazine has won many awards, including the coveted National Magazine Award.  The staff is young, averaging  age 35.  Other literary tidbits to note are: “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” a well known relic of America, and “Fifty Grand,” Ernest Hemingway’s first ever short story, both appeared in The Atlantic.  The magazine published early works of Mark Twain and important essays by Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt.

The magazine has a rich and influential history that I can only touch on. The current editor is James Bennet.  The Atlantic recently moved their offices from Boston to Washington DC, thus breaking away from their New England roots.

Currently, The Atlantic is owned by The Atlantic Monthly Group.

Amazon Announces Update for Kindle for PC Application

kindle for pcA day after Amazon’s May 10 announcement regarding plans to offer Kindle for Android, Amazon announced updates for its Kindle for PC application.  The article from eWeek suggests that Amazon’s recent actions might be in response to increased competition from the iPad, Nook, Sony E-reader and others.

Kindle for PC’s new features include the ability to edit notes and marks, change background color, adjust screen brightness control and includes a full screen reading mode.  Amazon’s Whispersync technology transfers notes, bookmarks and “last pages read” between a PC, smartphone and the Kindle.  By adding these adjustments to the application, Amazon has made it much more user friendly.

Jay Marine, Director of Amazon Kindle wrote: “Kindle for PC lets customers enjoy more than 540,000 books in the Kindle Store even if they don’t yet have a Kindle, and it’s the perfect companion application for the millions of Kindle and Kindle DX owners.” Amazon seems to be heading into the predicted direction of gearing their market towards software, despite solid Kindle device sales.

Amazon also recently announced plans for a new update to the Kindle and Kindle DX called Version 2.5.  In this version, users will be allowed to share passages with friends on Facebook and Twitter.  It will also include Collections, which categorizes books and documents on the Kindle into different sections based on the subject, and Popular Highlights, a passage from a book or document that the Kindle community finds the most interesting.  Content sharing is “the big thing” right now.  It will be an interesting trend to watch in terms how how the Kindle will work with it.

Amazon Launches Publishing Imprint

All over the world there are people doing their best to, and sometimes managing to, publish the next great novel.  Not even the most shortsighted reader can truly indulge the thought that all enjoyable literature comes from their native or preferred language.  Apparently Amazon.com(NASDAQ:AMZN) has come to the same conclusion and decided that this market will lend some uniqueness to their brand.  AmazonCrossing, as it is to be called, will concentrate on bringing international authors to the English speaking audience.  Their first publication, The King of Kahel by Tierno Monenembo, is the winner of the 2008 Renaudot Literary Prize and should be available on your Kindle, or even in paperback, on November 2nd.

This is Amazon’s second publishing endeavor, so it is safe to say they know something of the ins and outs of the process by now.  According to what information we have regarding this move, titles chosen will be heavily influenced by the standing they have in terms of favorable reviews on the Amazon website, thus allowing readers to directly influence how well distributed their favorite authors become.  This new imprint promises to be a positive move for authors, readers, and hopefully investors alike.  There aren’t nearly enough international authors represented well in English just yet, much to many of our monolingual dismay.

Kindle for Android Announced By Amazon

It appears that we have a major addition to the Kindle platform’s family coming up this summer.  Kindle for Android has been announced and issued its preview page, where interested users can look into the details first-hand and sign up to be notified the moment the application is openly available.  The features listed are basically those that one would expect:  Availability of purchased books across all Kindle platforms, Whispersync across your entire account keeping track of last page read and annotations, five font sizes to choose from, and a generally intuitive touch-screen page turning interface in either portrait or landscape mode.  All of the features we’ve come to expect from the Kindle Store should translate as well.

While it’s no secret at this point that LCDs aren’t quite as pleasant as eInk displays to read off of, the overwhelming sense of convenience and availability for most people in a day when cell phones go everywhere with us makes this a truly exciting announcement.  It also raises the question of what effect will a Kindle Android app have on the openness of development for the nook.  There was some excitement after the highly successful competing device’s last patch brought the first instance of Android app use and a great deal of speculation about what this could mean.  Perhaps this announcement is related?

It looks like Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is looking to become the most cross-platform eBook reader on the market.

PC Magazine for Kindle

PC Magazine is delivered wirelessly on the Kindle monthly for $1.49.  The Kindle edition is released the same day the magazine’s digital edition is released to subscribers.

PC Magazine is a great resource for expert reviews on electronics and computers.  PC Magazine was introduced in 1982, the year after IBM set the world into a tailspin with one of the first personal computers. PC Magazine chronicled through the evolution of computer technology.  In the 1980’s you could get a desktop for around $6000.  You can get one now with a lot more memory and capabilities for less than $1000.  The 1990’s were  a big decade for computers.  Microsoft took off several versions of its Windows operating system.  The internet went mainstream into businesses and homes.  Apple found it’s niche in graphic design software.  Amazon.com, Yahoo and eBay were introduced in the late 1990’s. more

The last decade has brought evolution of existing technologies by improving them and making them much faster.  The 2000’s have also seen the introduction of PDA’s and mobile devices such as cell phones, blackberrys, palm pilots and others.  The e-book reader market is taking off with the Kindle, Nook and the iPad coming along. The tablet computer market not is too far behind.

Over the years it has been PC Magazine’s job to cover the latest trends, analyze them and share the best results to the consumers so that they can make the most informed decisions in such a rapidly changing market.

PC Magazine stopped selling print editions of its magazine so it makes sense to get it for Kindle if you want a portable device to read it on.  However, based on the comments provided, it is highly recommended that the Kindle team add the images in for the articles.  Many of the articles are based on the reviews of an item and it is helpful to have a picture of that particular item to refer to.

Currently, PC Magazine is owned by Ziff Davis Publishing Holdings Inc and the stock information is private.

SHAPE for Kindle

SHAPE is a monthly magazine available on Kindle for $1.25 a month.  Generally, the print versions of the magazines around $3-4 at the newsstands, so this a pretty good deal.

“SHAPE magazine is the leading healthy-living publication for women. Each month it delivers usable, practical information and how-to advice on everything from health and diet to fitness and active travel to beauty and style that’s flattering for every figure. It’s mission: to help women live better lives—and do it with confidence”. – Amazon

There is not a whole lot of information available online about the history of SHAPE magazine other than that it was started in 1981 by Weider Publications, who later sold it to The American Media Inc. in 2002.  The American Media is the publisher of 16 magazines including SHAPE, National Enquirer, Star and Natural Health.

The print version of SHAPE is very rich in graphics and photography, but is also very advertisement heavy.  One reviewer pointed out that it was nice to read the Kindle version without having to flip through endless ads.  Another reviewer said that they were excited about reading about weight loss, health, celebrities and recipes that are often available in the magazine.  It is always good when you can cut out the unnecessary junk and get to the meat of what the magazine is known for.

The only argument against the Kindle version is that you can get a two year subscription to the print version for $10.  But, a good opposing argument here is that, on Kindle, on you don’t have a stack of magazines lying around.  You can just carry your Kindle wherever you go and when the magazine becomes available, it will appear on the Kindle.  So it is a matter of personal choice between cost and convenience.

Currently, SHAPE is owned by The American Media Inc. and the stock information is private.

Newsweek for Kindle

Newsweek is available for $2.99 a month on the Kindle, which is a pretty good deal considering that Newsweek is a weekly magazine.

This weekly news magazine reports on each week’s developments on the national and global news front through news, commentary and analysis. Its features include national and international affairs, business, lifestyle, society, the arts, politics, the economy, personal business, the Washington scene, health, science and technology.” - Amazon

Newsweek was founded on February 17, 1933 by Thomas J.C. Martyn, a former foreign editor at TIME magazine.  It cost $10 cents a copy and had a circulation of 50,000 readers a year.  The Washington Post Company bought Newsweek in 1961 and today, the magazine has a circulation of about 4 million readers. more

Newsweek holds the most National Magazine Awards of any other newsweekly.  Newsweek’s Editor is John Meacham, Managing Editor is Daniel Klaidman and Newsweek International Editor is Fareed Zakaria.  Newsweek and Newsweek.com include commentaries by notable figures such as Anna Quindlen, George Will, Jonathan Alter and others.  The magazine is mostly current events and politics with a little bit of entertainment or humor mixed in.

According to the reviews, Amazon needs to bring back the character of the magazine by adding columns such as “Conventional Wisdom”, “Perspectives” and “Then and Now” to the Kindle version.  That tends to be a trend across all magazines that are offered on the Kindle.  If you take out certain columns that define the magazine, it no longer has those unique attributes that only that particular magazine has.  The positive feedback pointed out that it was great to go straight to the articles and not worry about the graphics or pictures.  Newsweek is a great magazine that can be adapted for Kindle because the quality of writing portrayed in its articles.  The Kindle version gives the writing a chance to shine.

Currently, Newsweek is owned by the Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO)

Amazon Drops Free Books From Kindle Bestseller List

Apparently at some point recently, somebody over at Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) gave it some thought and found themselves wondering why so many of their Bestsellers(63/100 as of March 12th) were never actually “sold”, as such.  The plan is to eliminate the free book presence from the Kindle Bestseller list.  The date on this is still up in the air as far as we know, but the apparent aim is to have two lists: one for sold books and one for free ones.

To publishers, this seems like a no-brainer.  It highlights what books people are spending their money on and gives readers a chance to vote with their wallet on whether or not a book does well.  Others, on the other hand, may be hit a bit hard by this move.  It has become somewhat common for new or self-publishing authors to give away a free book or portion of a book in order to direct attention to their further works.

We’ll have to wait and see how this is handled, but I for one am hoping to be able to access both lists on my Kindle device rather than having to shop the website.  I find it interesting to know what new finds people have made lately when I’m looking for something new to pass the time with.

The Economist for Kindle

The Economist is available for $10.49 for a monthly subscription on the Kindle.  This is a weekly magazine that is released every Friday on newsstands and wirelessly through the Kindle.  The reviews are quite critical of the price, so hopefully there will be some price cuts in the near future.

According to Amazon:

The Economist is the “premier source for the analysis of world business and current affairs, providing authoritative insight and opinion on international news, world politics, business, finance, science and technology, as well as overviews of cultural trends and regular Special reports on industries and countries.”

James Wilson, a Scottish hat manufacturer, founded The Economist in 1843 to campaign against the British protectionist corn laws. The official name of the publication was: The Economist: A Political, Commercial, Agricultural, & Free-Trade Journal.

In 1845, The Economist went international with part of the sales reaching both Europe and the United States.  WT Layton was appointed editor in 1922 and was the considered the main reason why the newspaper remained a success.

In 1935, the publication changed ownership from Wilson Trust to Financial Newspaper Proprietors Limited and a group of individual shareholders who were influential in maintaining the newspaper’s editorial independence.

In 1967, The Economist published a bi-weekly Spanish version of its newspaper in hopes of reaching out to the Latin American population, but did not have much success.  This attempt was put to rest in 1970.  This project was a good idea, but it could have been targeted for a different geographical location.  If this project had reached out to the Latino population in the United States, particularly, the Southwest, it might have been a greater success.

The Economist began in 1843 with a circulation of 1,969.  In 1970, the circulation reached 100,000.  In 1984, it reached 250,000, and in 2007, 1.3 million.  Economist.com was launched in 1996 and the magazine received a full color makeover in 2001.

2.6 million people visit Economist.com each month and the website is subscriber only and fee based.  Also, visit their website for more information on the history of the publication.

Currently, The Economist is owned by The Economist Group Limited and has a private stock exchange symbol.

Reader’s Digest For Kindle

Reader’s Digest is available on the Kindle for $1.25 a month, which is pretty darn cheap compared to the cost of some of the other magazines available for the Kindle.  It is a monthly magazine and is delivered to the Kindle when the print issue hits the newsstand.

Reader’s Digest is a well rounded magazine that includes a bit of finance, health, humor, stories about every day heroes and even word games.  A few familiar columns that are included each month are “Life in those United States,” “Ask Laskas,” “Humor in Uniform” and others.  Recently the names have been updated.  For example: “Life in those United States” is now just “Life”, but the column content still remains the same.

Reader’s Digest is great for some lighthearted and companionable reading.  The magazine touches on current events such as the Iraq War, Hurricane Katrina, the economy, the recent elections, etc.  The great part about these articles is that they tend to portray the lives and perspectives of ordinary people.  Often, the most inspiring are the ones who struggle financially or otherwise themselves, but continue to give back to their community.  The reading material should fare pretty well on the Kindle.  It’s not always the most exciting material if you’re looking for a thrill.  However, there are many helpful tips or interesting stories to choose from.

According to the brief article from WordFocus.com, Reader’s Digest was founded in 1922 as a monthly magazine by William Roy DeWitt Wallace and his wife, Lila Acheson.  The number of subscriptions peaked in 1984 at seventeen million readers in the United States.  Due to its nineteen foreign language editions, an additional eleven million readers were reached by the magazine.  The number of readers dropped in the 1990’s, forcing layoffs and cut backs.

Reader’s Digest began accepting advertising revenue in the 1970’s according to one of the reviews of the Kindle version of the magazine on Amazon.  The good part about the Kindle edition is that it does not include advertising.  The reviewer pointed out they quit purchasing the print version because had become so advertisement heavy.  So, Amazon is heading in the right direction with the Reader’s Digest for Kindle.

Currently, Reader’s Digest is owned by Reader’s Digest Association. (NYSE: RDA)

The New Yorker for Kindle

New YorkerThe New Yorker is available on Kindle for 2.99, and includes the standard 14 day trial Amazon provides for all magazines.

The New Yorker has a very dynamic history full of important figures in the writing and art arena who helped shape the magazine to be what it is today. Based on the Timeline from The New Yorker’s official website, the magazine was founded on February 21, 1925.  It was financially supported by General Baking Company’s Raoul Fleischmann, Dorothy Parker and others.  Rea Irvin drew the cover, a mythical, regency dandy named Eustace Tilley that became the face of the magazine.

In 1926, E.B. White was hired to work at The New Yorker.  He is the author of the beloved children’s book and movie, Charlotte’s Web. Peter Arno began to draw his covers for the magazine that generally consisted of “full page darkwash drawings of wealthy New York men and ample showgirls.”

In addition to E.B. White, other well known writers and poets that contributed to The New Yorker were: F. Scott Fitzgerald who wrote The Great Gatsby, W.B. Yeats, who submitted his poem “Death”, William Carlos Williams and Ogden Nash.  It is fascinating to see the how long many of the contributors stuck with the magazine. We’re talking 40, 50, even 60 plus years.

Saul Steinburg was responsible for the drawing of a New York centered view of the world, which was published in 1976, and defined the magazine following its debut. More recently, The New Yorker has won many awards including National Magazine Awards for General Excellence, Special Interests, Profiles, Essays, and Reviews & Criticism.

The Kindle version of The New Yorker includes all poetry, articles and fiction included in the print version of the magazine.  The Kindle version only includes a selection of cartoons.  The reviews are mixed.  The pros to the Kindle version include the ability to carry around a stack of magazines in just one device.  The cons include navigation issues.  So take your pick.  Are you a traveler and enjoy having a lot of material in one little easy to carry device, or do you value the quality and design of the print edition?

The New Yorker is currently owned by Condé Nast Publications and their stock information is private.

Borders Pushes the Kobo Store

Preorders are now being taken for the June 17th US release of the Kobo eReader through Borders.com (NYSE:BGP), and this is only the beginning of their increased association with eReading devices.  In a move that apparently abandons their previous efforts at an eBook store through Sony’s (NYSE:SNE) distribution channels, Borders will be launching a Kobo-powered eBook store along with the release of the device.  This store will service the obviously affiliated Kobo eReader, but also work with just about anything else you have handy to read on, in keeping with the Kobo store’s existing philosophy. Supported devices currently include just about everything but the Amazon Kindle, including but not limited to the B&N nook (NYSE:BKS) and the IREX DR-1000S.

The Kobo device will not be the only eReader technology being embraced by the Borders physical store presence, either.  Beginning in August, we should be seeing what Borders is calling Area-e(TM) boutiques that highlight multiple devices at any given time including, most likely, the Sony Reader line and the upcoming Spring Design Alex eReader, both of which have existing ties to the company.  Time will tell if this move secures the Borders Group a real place in the eBook market, but the additional exposure of less well known devices will certainly be a boon to consumers as they try to balance budgets against a plethora of options and features.  So far, the nook and the Kindle seem to have a strong lead on the features and functionality in the market, but not everybody needs quite such a wide range of options in their device.

HP and B&N Team Up

This week has brought us the launch of a co-branded HP (NYSE:HPQ) and Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS) eBook store.  What does this bring to the market?  Not a whole lot of new insight.  The new site, accessible at http://hp.bn.com is basically a new black skin on the same old B&N website.  Apparently, many new HP computers will be coming with a link to the B&N eBook store preloaded and may even have the reader software already installed and ready to go.

The most important thing to note here is that there seems to be absolutely nothing new happening.  Maybe it is simply a branding move to help build the presence as eReader sales wars escalate, but you would expect something a bit more substantial from such a teaming up.

The store is the same.  The software is the same.  The selection is the same.  The frequently referenced access to the LendMe technology is nothing more than the same old feature that the software already had.  There is not even any effort made to specifically market it as an eBook store; there are still tabs for normal books and DVDs as on the B&N main site.  This is all distinctly underwhelming.  I suppose they had to come out with something new now that the Kindle has taken the feature lead back with their Collections organization system, but from my perspective this one fizzled.