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Amazon Acquires Lexcycle

Lexcycle, the company behind Stanza, has just announced it’s been acquired by Amazon:

We are not planning any changes in the Stanza application or user experience as a result of the acquisition. Customers will still be able to browse, buy, and read ebooks from our many content partners. We look forward to offering future products and services that we hope will resonate with our passionate readers.

The New York Times says terms of the deal have not been released. It’s not yet known how Stanza will fit amidst Amazon’s Kindle and recently-released Kindle iPhone app.

Karen Templer from the Readerville Weblog poses a number of key questions:

Will the Stanza/Fictionwise store be replaced with a Stanza/Amazon store? (Presumably.) And/or will Stanza be merged with the Kindle app? Will it continue to read ePub and other formats or will it conform strictly to Kindle? (Conversely, will Kindle begin reading ePub?) And, most of all, where does this leave IndieBound and their ebook plans?

(Via the Reading 2.0 list)

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  • bowerbird

    whoa! now there’s one i didn’t expect!

    big congratulations to amazon, for giving us
    the most interesting play this game has seen
    in a very long time…

    so what was the price?

    -bowerbird

  • http://www.carolynjewel.com Carolyn Jewel

    I don’t have a Kindle, but I use the Kindle app on my iPhone, which became my preferred reader ONLY because Amazon makes it so easy to get books. Stanza is, however, a MUCH superior reader and I would really love to see the Kindle app work more like Stanza, or, even better, to be able to use Stanza as my reader for e-books books purchased from Amazon, too. It’s irritating that I have to remember which reader has a particular book, since Amazon doesn’t offer all the eBooks I’d like to read and eBooks purchased from ebook retailers don’t seem to load into the Kindle app.

    What I’m afraid will happen is Amazon will say they’ll keep Stanza separate but all development and partnering with other publishers will stop and the product will essentially die, leaving the Kindle reader a still inferior product.

    Sigh. I hope I’m just too cynical, but I don’t think so.

  • Rory

    Hmmmm… These are all good questions posed. I agree with Carolyn and have many of the same concerns.

    It seems as if the eBook game is slowing becoming a quiet mafia war, with Amazon cutting out it’s competitors one leg at a time. Yes, I may be biased—but only because I enjoy my eBooks and every time I turn around amazon is doing something to undercut my reading experience.

    Their product is shoddy at best, and instead of improving it they have a pattern of monopolizing the business and killing technology that does work. I only hope they don’t do this with Stanza….

    The thing I like about Stanza as is is the availability to purchase from a large amount of retailers–if one iphone store doesn’t have my book, another does. Comparitive shopping–it’s that simple. In addition some retailers have really stepped up the reading experience. Take for example BooksOnBoard ( the first listed retailer on Stanza catalog).

    BooksOnBoard has developed a QikClik technology that takes 3 clicks from selection to download, so I don’t have to go through the huge hassle of most retailers (including Amazon) which made me hesitant on ereading in early on.

    With Amazon taking over Lexcycle what will happen to technological advances like this? Will we be left with the same old Kindle problems ? will all the good advances be swept under the rug in order for Amazon to stay on top?

    Personally, I just want my reading experience to keep improving. There are still alot of bugs that need to be worked out to make it simpler, but I’m afraid that if Amazon keeps aquiring rather than making advances –the readers will be the ones left with the short end of the stick.

  • bowerbird

    rory said:
    > I just want my reading experience to keep improving.

    well, there’s still at least one programmer out here who is
    bound and determined to make sure that happens, rory…

    i’ve been sitting on the sidelines, waiting for things to get
    more interesting, and i think the time might finally be right
    for me to put myself in the game. we’ll see how it plays out.

    so don’t give up hope… :+)

    especially if you are interested in the multitude of voices
    that will be freed by the ability for authors to connect
    _directly_ to their audience via the internet, the authors
    who are willing to begin the process of that connection
    by putting out a few books as _gifts_, in full anticipation
    that if readers see their value, they will gift _back_ cash…
    because i’ll put tools at their disposal which enable them.

    on the other hand, if you want current big-name authors
    — who are owned by the corporate publishing houses –
    you’ll need to go to amazon and do whatever they tell you.

    -bowerbird

  • http://tutorskingdom.com/ Math Tutor

    Congratulations! It would be interesting to see the differences and increased utility.