If you’re an Amazon Kindle customer, you may have a check coming your way. Today Amazon sent out an email to everyone who has ever purchased a book via Amazon Kindle informing them that they may have a check coming in for each book purchased between April 2010 and May 2012. Each customer will receive anywhere between $0.30 and $1.32 per eBook. The only books eligible for this refund must’ve been published by either HarperCollins, Hachette, or Simon & Schuster. However, Amazon has informed customers that the Court ruling isn’t final yet, though we should have a final answer by February 8, 2013. If approved, the refund will automatically be applied to the user’s Amazon.com account and can be used to purchase more eBooks, but users can opt to receive a check in the mail as well.
The reasoning behind this refund is pretty simple: Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster have settled an anti-trust lawsuit which will impose restrictions on the publisher’s ability to set eBook prices when selling through third-parties like Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook. If you’d like more info on the suit, we’ve embedded the full email explanation from Amazon below:
Dear Kindle Customer,
We have good news. You are entitled to a credit for some of your past e-book purchases as a result of legal settlements between several major e-book publishers and the Attorneys General of most U.S. states and territories, including yours. You do not need to do anything to receive this credit. We will contact you when the credit is applied to your Amazon.com account if the Court approves the settlements in February 2013.
Hachette, Harper Collins, and Simon & Schuster have settled an antitrust lawsuit about e-book prices. Under the proposed settlements, the publishers will provide funds for a credit that will be applied directly to your Amazon.com account. If the Court approves the settlements, the account credit will appear automatically and can be used to purchase Kindle books or print books. While we will not know the amount of your credit until the Court approves the settlements, the Attorneys General estimate that it will range from $0.30 to $1.32 for every eligible Kindle book that you purchased between April 2010 and May 2012. Alternatively, you may request a check in the amount of your credit by following the instructions included in the formal notice of the settlements, set forth below. You can learn more about the settlements here: www.amazon.com/help/agencyebooksettlements
In addition to the account credit, the settlements impose limitations on the publishers’ ability to set e-book prices. We think these settlements are a big win for customers and look forward to lowering prices on more Kindle books in the future.
Amazon Kindle and the Kindle app is one of the best devices/apps to read books. In addition to reading books, Amazon also allows you to upload your personal books and documents to your Kindle library. This feature is missing in Google Books.
One of the easiest ways to read ePub books on your Kindle is to convert the books to a format which Kindle understands (.azw, .mobi, .PDF) and then upload the books to your Kindle library using the “Send to Kindle” app or through your personal Amazon Kindle email address (Read: How to add or send books to Kindle).
In order to convert ePub files to a Kindle recognized format, you can use an excellent software called Calibre. You can read our earlier guide on converting ePub files to Mobi and other formats to learn how you can do the conversion of your books.
In this day and age of eBooks, there are several different formats which allow publishers to publish their books. Some of the most famous one’s are ePub format, .mobi format, PDF format and so on.
However, these formats do not have a wide known reader for Windows based PCs. If you have downloaded a file with .lit extension, you might not be able to open and read the book on your PC. .lit files were common on devices which ran Windows Mobile.
If you want to open .lit files we will offer you some ways to either open .lit eBooks and also a guide to convert the .lit books to several popular formats like ePub, PDF, .mobi and more.
First off, if you want to open a .lit book, you can download a free reader called Microsoft Reader (which will be discontinued in August 2012) by visiting http://www.microsoft.com/reader. The Microsoft Reader will allow you to open .lit files and read them. However, if you want to read the books with .lit extension you will have to convert them to another popular format like ePub, .mobi or PDF.
On the other hand you can also convert .lit books to other formats like ePub, PDF or MOBI. In order to convert .lit books to other formats you will need a software called Calibre. You can read our instructions on how to convert .lit books and ePub books.
ePub files are an open publishing format to publish books and allow them to be read on multiple devices and platforms. ePub formats are popular on mobile devices, tablets and dedicated eBook readers like the Nook and Amazon Kindle. In fact, you can also read ePub books on your PC or Mac.
However, if you don’t have a compatible device to read ePub files, you can always convert ePub books to PDF format or MOBI format or HTML format and read them on any device.
One of the most famous software and freeware you can use to convert ePub files on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux is called Calibre eBook management (Download). This software not just allows you to manage your eBooks on a computer but also supports multiple formats along with the ability to convert eBooks among different formats.
In order to convert and ePub file to PDF, MOBI or HTML format, you will first have to add the books to the Calibre library using the "Add books" button. Once you have done that, click on the book and then click on the "Convert books" button in the top menu.
Once you have clicked that button, you will be shown several formats to convert the book to. Choose the format you want to convert the book to from the "Output Format" dropdown. You can make several other changes to the output using the left hand side menu. Once you have selected all the options, click on the "OK" button and Calibre will start a job to convert the book into the desired format.
The conversion process for ePub format to PDF, MOBI or HTML make take some time. Once the conversion is finished you will find the book in the same folder as the original book.
In this age of digital books which can be read on tablets and mobiles, there are several new books formats which have come into the picture. One such book format is called ePub which is a short form for electronic publication, just like eMail is a short form for electronic mail.
ePub books allow different devices to display the books in their own format which makes it compatible on different devices. Most devices support ePub files, however, if you have downloaded a file on a PC or Mac, you won’t be able to simply open it as it is.
If you have downloaded a book in ePub format on your computer, you will have to download a special software to read it. There are several software which will allow you to open ePub files or read ePub eBooks.
One such software which allows you to open and read ePub eBooks is called Azardi, which is a free ePub reader. You can download the Azardi ePub reader from http://azardi.infogridpacific.com/html/.
Once you have downloaded and installed the Azardi ePub Reader, you can add your ePub books to the reader by right clicking on the library icon in the right hand side corner and then adding your ePub books to it.
Once you have added your ePub books to Azardi, you can then simply double click on it and open the ePub book and start reading it. You can also convert your ePub books to PDF, MOBI or HTML format and start reading it or upload it to your mobile device and read it with a compatible eBook reader app.
Last year, Google launched their eBookstore with more than 3 million eBooks available for free and for purchase. These eBooks could be downloaded by users for their eBook reader devices like Amazon Kindle, Nook, Android and more. In addition to that, users could also make use of a Web Reader application to read those books from any web browser.
eBooks are a big business today and Amazon is one of the market leaders for eBook sales. In-fact, Amazon sold more eBooks than hard covers last year. Much of Amazon’s eBooks business rely on third party affiliates who link to Amazon from their website. This definitely helps them drive sales.
Google, who has been serious about the books offering are now taking a cue from them and launching an affiliate program for the eBooks store. Website owners in U.S. can now become Google eBooks affiliates and link to Google Books from their site and earn commission on any sales driven through them.
Google eBooks affiliates is a part of the Google Affiliate Network. Users of GAN can subscribe to the Google eBooks product feed and get access to links for Google Books. Alternatively, affiliates can also programmatically access the eBooks catalog using the Google Books APIs.
Google already has a huge base of publishers who make use of their Affiliate Network. This platform now gives them a readymade base of affiliates who can help drive the sales of Google Books even higher.
I was not able to confirm the commission amount that affiliates will receive when they sell Google Books. I will update this post once I am able to get hold of that information.
When bookworms stumble across a word we don’t know, we face the classic dilemma of whether to put the book down to look up the word or forge ahead in ignorance to avoid interrupting the reading experience. Well, fret no more, readers, because today you can select words in Google eBooks and look up their definitions, translate them or search for them elsewhere in the book from within the Google eBooks Web Readerâ€”without losing your page or even looking away.
By adding these features, Google certainly has made reading ebooks easier than ever before.
Here’s how you can use these features. Double-click or highlight the word that you want to look up and a pop-up menu appears with the following option: Define, Translate, Search Book, Search Google and Search Wikipedia.
By clicking Define, the pop-up now displays a definition of the word via Google Dictionary.
You can translate a single word or several sentences to any of the languages Google offers.
You can also search for the selected text within the ebook itself or across the web.
Today when I fired up Google for my first search, I was greeted with this cool looking interactive Google Doodle. You can see a video of the Verne doodle in action here.
Naturally, I was curious and after clicking on the doodle, I found out that it’s the 183rd birthday of Jules Verne. As most of you know, Verne is a famous French science fiction writer who died in 1905, at the age of 77.
Verne’s stories are so entertaining, that he’s listed as the third most translated individual author in the world. Even though some the gizmos in his books were unbelievable, many of them later became fact instead of fiction. Here’s a list of 8 Jules Verne inventions that came true. (courtesy of National Geographic)
Here are a few of the books that he has written. I bet you’ll recognize at least one.
Amazon Kindle is a very popular eBook reader available across many platforms, along with the Kindle, Kindle 3G and the Kindle DX eBook readers. The Kindle app from Amazon is available for free across platforms like Android-based devices, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac, iPhone and BlackBerry. Today, Amazon has released the Kindle app for Windows Phone 7 OS. The Kindle app for WP7 handsets includes new features like personalized recommendations and the ability to send book recommendations to a friend.
Here is the list of official’ features supported by Kindle on WP7 :
Seamless integration with Kindle, Amazon’s purpose-build reading device which is light weight, easy on the eyes with a paper-like Pearl e-ink display, and has a full month of battery life.
Amazon’s Whispersync technology lets you read and sync your library, bookmarks, notes, and highlights with the devices and platforms of your choice (Kindle, Kindle 3G, Kindle DX, iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, PC, Mac, BlackBerry, Android-based devices, and Windows Phone 7-based devices).
Read on your Kindle, read on your tablet, read on your phone. We’ll keep track of your last page read, and make it easy.
Access to over 775,000 books in the U.S. Kindle Store – the largest selection of the most popular books that people want to read – including New Releases and 100 of this week’s 110 New York Times Bestsellers. Choose from hundreds of thousands of books at $9.99 or less, including many New York Times Bestsellers and New Releases.
Kindle’s Worry-Free Archive automatically backs up your Kindle library on Amazon, so your books can be re-downloaded wirelessly anytime.
Integrated shopping experience allows you to shop without leaving the app.
Send an email to a friend with a link to the book you’re reading or to any book in your library without leaving the app.
Customize your reading with five different font size and three background color options.
Read in portrait or landscape mode, and to turn pages by tapping on either side of the screen or flicking.
Start reading the beginning of a book for free before buying and receive personalized Amazon recommendations on the home screen of your app.
Amazon Kindle has a Buy One, Read Everywhere’ feature which allows user to purchase one eBook from say their iPad and then read it later on via their Android based handset. Now, Amazon only needs to release a Kindle app for Symbian devices and a tablet version of the app for Android based tablets before their Kindle app will be available for all major OSes out there.
WP7 owners can download the app from Windows Marketplace for free.
HTC, the most popular Android phone maker and one of the biggest backers of Windows Phone 7 is said to be working on its own version of an online application store.
According to a report by FT, HTC is currently hiring staff in Taiwan to prepare for the launch of an online store which would sell apps and ebooks. The application store would be integrated with the Sense UI which HTC uses on Android devices and will possibly use in its Windows Phone 7 devices soon.
HTC recently launched the HTCSense.com cloud based service. HTC CEO, Peter Chou recently commented that it was no longer enough for HTC to just customize the Android UI with Sense. “It is not enough to be skin-deep. We need to go bone-deep“.