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On e-Reader Tech News we track down the latest e-Reader 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 e-reader tips and tricks along with reviews for the latest devices and accessories.

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February 2012
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Daily Deals: A Noble Cause and Whiteboard Pro

A Noble Cause

For thrillers lovers Amazon offers a good chance to get the following book: A Noble Cause by J. Gregory Smith just for $0.99.

Mark Noble plans a surprise proposal to his beautiful girlfriend during a romantic Caribbean vacation. But before he can pop the question, his girlfriend disappears, and his father–a world famous celebrity doctor who seems to have perfected mind-control–is killed in a mysterious fire back home in Pennsylvania.

When Mark investigates both his girlfriend’s disappearance and his father’s death, he realizes that the two events are connected. He attempts to unravel the mystery with the help of his eccentric grandmother and the courageous crew–one a former Navy SEAL–of her luxury yacht, putting all of their lives in danger as Mark faces a rich and powerful foe determined to pry from Mark a secret he doesn’t even know he possesses.

Breakneck pacing and taut plotting mark Greg Smith’s sophomore effort, a top-notch thriller with keen intelligence and shocking twists that create a brooding, vice-like compression that leaves little room to breathe.

 

Whiteboard Pro

Jot down ideas, sketch plans, or just doodle with Whiteboard Pro, an Android app that offers a simple way to let your creativity roam. Draw shapes and erase them, just like on a real whiteboard. Choose from a variety of easy ways to fine-tune your drawings, and share your creations with your friends.

The Board That’s Never Boring

Whiteboard Pro is all about simplicity. The toolbar interface is a snap to use, and it makes creating a drawing quick and intuitive. Whether you want to express your inner creative self or just play a quick game of tic-tac-toe, you’ll find it easy to get started.

Don’t be fooled by the app’s ease of use, however; there are still plenty of opportunities to customize your work. Choose from four instant shapes (line, rectangle, circle, and freehand), four colors (black, red, blue, and green), and three line widths. It’s easy to set these features and create one-of-a-kind images with very little legwork.

As you draw, use the pan and zoom features to add details. Saving, opening, and deleting files is a breeze, and the “infinite undo” feature means you can modify your work at any step along the way.

When you’ve completed your masterpiece, you can share it via e-mail, picture message, Bluetooth, Evernote, Catch, and more. You can also export any drawing to PNG, JPG, or SVG formats.

Amazon Kindle Loses Access to 5,000 Titles in IPG Dispute

In response to some arm twisting by Amazon, the Independent Publishers Group has decided to take a stand and pull all of their titles from the Kindle Store.  While the Kindle is a great device and the Kindle platform is possibly the best on the market for the consumer right now, this is a move that both makes sense and needed to happen.  The only question now is whether or not either side will be willing to explore the options presented by the situation rather than simply holding their ground and waiting to see who blinks first.

Basically, the problem is over pricing.  The Big 6 Publishers have enough clout to force Amazon to accept the Agency Model price scheme with all of their titles.  I’ve gone into why this is not a good thing plenty of times before and will do so again in the future, so it isn’t really worth indulging in today.  Smaller publishers, including the IPG, sell their content to Amazon wholesale.  This means smaller profits on each individual sale and it allows Amazon to exercise more control over the prices offered to readers.  This is also not necessarily a good thing, as in this case when Amazon is using their position as the main supplier of eBooks in the world to force their suppliers to offer more favorable terms than they can afford.

So we have Amazon wanting to lower prices on Kindle Editions and the IPG wanting to maintain their profits at a level roughly similar to what is made off of print books (based on statements taken from the IPG’s main site).  What we really need is not for one side to win over the other so much as a more adaptive model to emerge.  It makes sense for new releases of Kindle books to be priced similarly to their printed counterparts.  There should always be a premium on new media like that, although the savings inherent in using the eBook format should still be reflected in the price for readers.  When it comes to older titles, though, something else needs to be done.  Unlike physical reprinting, there is no ongoing cost of production.  Aside from the author royalties, they are pretty much pure profit for publishers and distributors.  Perhaps a tiered system would make more sense?

Regardless of any proposals for revamping the system, this is probably going to end messily somehow.  While the loss of a mere 5,000 eBooks won’t make a huge dent in the Kindle’s selection, the press surrounding the drama taking place won’t help Amazon any.  They are as likely to be persuaded to offer somewhat better terms just for the PR boost as to ignore the problem entirely.  On the other hand, the IPG is going to be hurting fairly quickly from the lack of Amazon as a channel.  They can’t last forever.  Where this goes will be based on the support they receive and the pressure that can be brought to bear on Amazon.  If you get the chance, lend your support in some way.  They’re going to need it, and Amazon is going to need an overhaul of some sort sooner or later to keep quality content coming in for their Kindle customers.