News – 1) This just in: Reuters reports that a settlement in the anti-trust investigation of Apple and some of the Big 5 Publishers may be reached in a few weeks that would end the so-called agency model of e-book pricing. 2) Scientific American in its 60-second science podcast reports on a survey highlighting advantages young readers see in the Kindle. Click here for the research paper cited. Laura Hazard Owen reports on Association of American Publishers data showing a big jump in e-book sales in the children’s/young adult category. 3) Le Figaro and TechCrunch report that the Kindle Touch is coming to Europe on April 27. But, alas, no Fires anytime soon. 4) TheNextWeb reports that Amazon is readying three new Kindle Fires this year.
Tech Tip – You will miss the good, old one-click method of buying an e-book when you start here and travel to Pottermore. But it’s worth the effort to land a Harry Potter book on all your Kindle devices. And with no discernable DRM, you can download an ePub copy to your computer and convert it to Kindle format with Calibre for very convenient personal use. Also, click here for info on the Kindle Fire 6.3 download.
Interview (starts at 22:54) – Margaret Atwood, the award-winning author of The Handmaid’s Tale as well as forty other books of fiction and nonfiction, including The Blind Assassin, Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood, and Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth, which has been made into a new documentary film, spoke with me by telephone on March 29th from Toronto. Her dystopian short story, “I’m Starved for You,” was published this month by Byliner and is available as a Kindle Single for $2.99. Atwood, who maintains a lively and generous presence on Twitter, says e-books have revived the opportunities to publish short stories as traditional magazine outlets have declined. Would she advise a major younger author not constrained by current publishing contracts to make a deal with Amazon’s New York publishing arm? Will there be a sequel to “I’m Starved for You”? Listen in for some surprising answers.
Next Google Plus TKC Video Hangout – Monday, April 2, at 2 p.m. Mountain Time. Please stop any time during the hour for an informal chat about Kindles, e-books and everything else. If you are not in my TKC Hangout Circle, just email the URL of your Google Plus profile URL to me at PodChronicles AT Gmail DOT com for an invitation.