Get a Kobo Mini e-reader for $59.99

Tablets are great and all, but if you're mostly into reading, it's hard to beat an e-reader. Eye-friendly screens, ultra-light designs, amazing battery life -- the perks go on and on.

And let's not forget price. Amazon's entry-level Kindle is now down to $69. But here's an even more wallet-friendly option: Best Buy has the Kobo Mini e-reader for $59.99 shipped (plus sales tax). That's for the white model; the black one literally sold out while I was writing this post.

So that's only a $10 difference, right? And when you factor … Read more

Amazon patents way for you to sell your digital items

Online consumers may one day be able to sell or trade their digital items to other users, at least if a new Amazon patent comes to fruition.

Granted to the retail giant on January 29, the patent dubbed "Secondary market for digital objects" describes an electronic marketplace for swapping digital items.

You'd start off by housing your purchased music, videos, apps, and e-books in your own online storage space, just as many of us do today. When you get tired of listening to the same songs or reading the same books, you can move those items to … Read more

Apple promoting iBooks Author books in iTunes

A little more than a year after introducing its self-publishing book software, Apple is heavily promoting some works that were made using it.

The company today began promoting some of those titles in a new section called "Breakout Books" which rounds up books that have high user ratings. That spans across three genres: romance; sci-fi and fantasy; and mysteries and thrillers, along with a collection of other titles.

The promotion, spotted by The New York Times, comes just days ahead of when Inkling, which was founded by former Apple executive Matt MacInnis, plans to hold an event in … Read more

Nook Media finalizes $89.5 million Pearson investment

Nook Media, the Barnes & Noble subsidiary that covers the bookseller's Nook line and accessories, has completed its investment deal with Pearson.

Barnes & Noble announced the deal last month. Pearson will invest $89.5 million into Nook Media and will receive a 5 percent stake in return. Pearson will have the option to acquire another 5 percent of Nook Media if certain unidentified conditions are met.

Pearson is now partners with Barnes & Noble and Microsoft. In April, Microsoft and Barnes & Noble announced a joint partnership that would see the software giant invest $300 million in the Nook unit. … Read more

Freebook Sifter finds Kindle freebies

E-books are all kinds of awesome. E-book prices? Not so much.

That's why I'm always on the lookout for freebies, relying on sites like Hundred Zeros to help me find gratis reading for my Kindle.

Lately I've been exploring another source: Freebook Sifter, a new site that lists over 35,000 no-cost books available from Amazon. It's not the prettiest site I've ever seen -- all links and text, no cover art or images -- but it definitely delivers on its promise.

When you first visit the site, you'll see a random listing of … Read more

First all-digital library in the U.S. will look like an Apple Store

The first book-free library in the U.S. may look pretty familiar to visitors. That's because it's being modeled after an Apple retail store.

Bexar County, Texas, which includes San Antonio, will launch the nation's first all-digital public library system, dubbed BiblioTech, this year. A prototype location on the county's south side is slated to open this fall, and the county hopes to open similar libraries in the future.

Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff got his inspiration for the all-digital library from Walter Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

"… Read more

Tablets more popular than e-readers among e-book crowd

More people are reading e-books, and more of them are using tablets as their primary way of doing so.

The percentage of Americans who now read e-books rose to 23 percent in 2012 from 16 percent a year ago, says a report out today from Pew Internet. Over the same time, the percentage of those who read printed books dropped to 67 percent from 72 percent.

From the poll conducted in October and November, the percentage of people who own a tablet or dedicated e-reader jumped to 33 percent from just 18 percent a year ago.

But among the two … Read more

CNET's holiday gift: Our first CNET How To e-book -- free!

CNET How To has grown leaps and bounds in 2012, so we wanted to celebrate our first year with a surprise gift: Some of our very best advice about the Kindle Fire to read on a Kindle Fire.

The precocious Sharon Vaknin, CNET's How To expert, has compiled our very best Kindle advice, tips, and tricks into a comprehensive e-book, Mastering the Kindle Fire. From now through the day after Christmas, we're making the book available for free in the Kindle store. Starting on December 27, you can pick it up for just $4.99.

CNET's guide … Read more

Penguin settles DOJ lawsuit over alleged e-book price-fixing

Penguin has become the latest book publisher to settle federal charges of e-book price-fixing, leaving only Apple and Macmillan to fight the Justice Department allegations.

In an antitrust lawsuit filed in April, federal prosecutors accused Apple and five book publishers of conspiring to artificially hike prices. The same day, the Justice Department announced it had reached settlements with three publishers but said Apple and the other two publishers had opted to fight the charges. Lagardere SCA's Hachette Book Group, News Corp.'s HarperCollins Publishers, and Simon & Schuster (owned by CBS, which publishes CNET) agreed to settle.

Penguin added … Read more

Report: Amazon Kindle store hit by regulatory trouble in China

Amazon's new Chinese Kindle store is reportedly being investigated by Chinese authorities over charges that the store does not have a license to sell e-books in the country.

China's GAAP (General Administration of Press and Publication) agency requires that digital publishers operating in China must receive at least one of four licenses to publish, copy, distribute, or import ebooks, according to blog site MIC Gadget.

But Amazon allegedly did not obtain any of the required licenses. Instead, the company reportedly borrowed a license from one of its partners, which is against the law in China. Amazon did apply … Read more