Barnes & Noble eBooks & eReaders

Barnes & Noble announced that the have opened the world’s largest eBookstore.  The eBookstore has over 700,000 titles and they anticipate having over 1,000,000 titles by 2010.

Electronic book readers do not need to purchase a separate device to read the ebooks, Barnes & Noble offers a free eReader download in teh eBookstore that is compatible with Blackberries, iPhones/iPods, and PCs/Macs.

eBooks are a great resource for travel since readers do not need to carry separate books.

Library Audiobooks 2.0

Library audiobooks playaway player and casesThe next wave in audiobook technology that libraries are offering are on a small player called a “playaway”. This format developed by leading audiobook publisher, Recorded Books Llc, has an entire book pre-loaded on an mp3 player rather than several CDs.

The tiny players fit in an adult’s palm and are heard through headphones or speakers attached to the player.  They are especially popular with commuters as they are very portable and there is no changing discs.

Library audiobooks The Worst Case Scenario PlayawayReaders like the quality and ease of use, as well as the ability to move back and forth between chapters and within chapters, The device also allows readers to alter the speed of the narrator’s voice and has an automatic bookmark feature that “remembers” where the listener left off.

The players are easier to store since there’s only one unit. Using foam to cradle the players in their storage cases, help to keep them free from damage.

There are over 180 titles in many genres from Stephen Hawkings “A Brief History of Time” to Zlata’s Diary by Zlata Filipovic.

Check out your neighborhood library to see this new way to experience reading.

Booksfree–The Netflix for Audiobooks

If you’re like me, you love to read books, but can’t ever seem to find the time to do it.  That is why audiobooks are so handy and have growing popularity.  You can listen to them while driving, walking, or wherever you take your CD player or mp3 player/iPod.

Booksfree Netflix for audiobooksBut the costs add up for audiobooks, especially if you go through a lot of them quickly.  For one title alone, it can cost around $15-25 in the iTunes store.  This is where Booksfree comes in.  They offer a rental service that is much like what Netflix does with DVDs.  For a monthly service fee, you can continually rent audiobooks from a huge selection without having to worry about late fees.  And you don’t have to pay extra for shipping, each audiobook you receive in the mail comes with a prepaid envelope for you to send it back in.

The amount of your monthly service fee will depend on the membership plan that you sign up for.  Prices are higher if you choose to be able to rent more than one audiobook at a time, or if you prefer the CD membership over the mp3-CD membership.  But you can get a plan for as little as $13.49/month.  If you typically buy at least one audiobook each month, you would be saving money with this membership.

This rental service is both good and bad for authors and publishers.  They get paid for the number of books sold, not by how many times they are rented.Durable Audiobook CD DVD Album Cases But this is not any different than a library offering titles, and it helps them gain exposure for more possible customers in the future.  A rental service is great is you plan to go through a lot of audiobooks, but we hope that they are using extremely durable cases if they are continually being rented and sent back and forth in the mail.  And if you like to keep your wide collection of audiobooks on display and available at all times, you may just want to stick with buying audiobooks and being able to keep them as your own.