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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March 2018
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Kindle Store Coming To Seattle?

Sources have recently reported that Amazon may be about to open up a whole new direction for their Kindle marketing.  Before the end of this year we can expect to be seeing the first small store or stores arriving in Seattle.  This seems to be intended as a preliminary effort directed at determining the viability of such outlets as a real money maker, but there is some reason to think that this could be a big factor in the future of both the Kindle and Amazon’s new publishing imprints.

With Barnes & Noble’s recent decision to effectively ban all of Amazon’s new efforts in the field of publishing, the company is going to be needing new ways to showcase their products.  These boutique style stores would offer them the chance to make up for the lack, especially as it seems likely that their intention is to increase their involvement in publication rather than let it fall away under external pressures.

While it seems less likely, given that focus will probably be at least somewhat important, there is even the chance that this will be Amazon’s biggest move so far to show off their product lines in various other areas aside from books and eReaders.  Their AmazonBasics consumer electronics line has at least some connection to things like the Kindle Fire, even if their Strathwood furniture wouldn’t fit so well.  Hard to imagine that even a small store could be properly stocked using nothing but three Kindle eReaders, the Kindle Fire, some accessories, and whatever books they are able to get published before the end of the year.

Interestingly, this is not the first time that Amazon has been rumored to be working on building themselves a physical presence.  Unlike previous instances, though, the details do seem to add up here.  In addition to the fact that the proposed pilot store would be in Seattle, home of Amazon and a state where sales taxes are already being collected by the company, the initial report indicates that they have already contracted store design through a shell company.  It will be small rather than something intended to compete head to head in every area at once with other retail giants like Walmart, which also makes a good deal of sense for a company that derives a great deal of benefit from being highly distinct from such stores while still offering amazing savings.  Most importantly, unlike the 2009 rumors Amazon has not jumped in to quash this one before it takes hold.

While there are downsides to building a Brick & Mortar presence for the Kindle line, especially given the numerous partnerships that Amazon maintains with the likes of Best Buy and Target to keep their hardware available on the local level, being able to highlight something with as much investment behind it as the Kindle Fire and its anticipated successor might well be worth the risks.  Hopefully over the next few months we will learn more about how Amazon intends to show off the Kindle to their advantage.

Kindle Library Lending Has Begun (In Seattle)!

The long anticipated release of Kindle library lending has begun!  Beta testing for the new integration with Overdrive Library, a product of the Cleveland-based company whose software powers most library eBook lending in the country, is now going on in Seattle libraries.

Ever since the initial announcement that these two companies would be working together to bring the feature to the Kindle, there has been an impatient audience waiting to take advantage.  Library lending has often been touted as the one thing that allowed anybody to claim a significant advantage over the Kindle in the eReader marketplace.  With recent hardware updates for both the Barnes & Noble Nook and the Kobo eReader, news that this feature gap will finally be closed will be a big asset for the Kindle line.  While at present only the Seattle Public Library and the King County Library System will get to borrow Kindle Editions, the opportunity will be making its way to over 11,000 libraries nationwide once the testing is complete.

The user experience should be remarkably familiar for most Kindle owners, as it is essentially just a short step before the procedure normally employed for purchasing a Kindle eBook in the first place.  To rent a book, you start off in the library’s website and browse their available content.  Seattle Public Library, for example, has around 25,000 eBooks at this time.  Not all of those will be in stock at any given time, of course, so waiting lists are available to handle anybody who doesn’t get to the latest new acquisitions in time.  The library’s collection will be browse-able through OverDrive’s software and you will check out as would normally be the case.

Once the eBook is put on your library card, for whatever period the library allows, presumably, there is a button labeled “Get for Kindle”.  Clicking on that brings you to an Amazon.com store page with “Get Library Book” in place of the usual purchasing button.  Click it and you’re done!  You’ll be notified three days before the loan expires.  There are, however, some minor inconveniences.

One, you will not be able to use the 3G coverage on a Kindle to download your library books.  Either WiFi or USB connections will manage it just fine.  Should you happen to have an older Kindle or Kindle DX that does not have WiFi capabilities, and should you be unfamiliar with the method for putting eBooks onto your eReader, it’s as simple as downloading the file to your computer and dragging it over the the Kindle in your Computer menu like you would any other removable drive.

Two, some library patrons are apparently unhappy with the recommendations presented during the Amazon.com steps of the borrowing process. Given Amazon’s eBook sales business and the fact that the library rentals will be offered freely, I think it unlikely that they will make any significant effort to remove the unobtrusive sales pitch but it is something to be aware of if you find such things truly unpleasant.

These aside, it sounds like the process is smooth and should generally be more streamlined than any other eBook borrowing procedure at this time.  Library patrons will finally be able to make the most of their Kindles.  With luck we can expect to be seeing this service pop up nation-wide by the end of the year.