E-book refunds coming for millions of customers


If you bought an e-book in the last 2 years, then a refund might be coming your way!

Hachette, HarperCollins, Penguin, Macmillan, and Simon & Schuster have agreed to a settlement with the State Attorneys General for price-fixing of e-books.

As part of that settlement, you may receive $1.32 for each bestselling e-book you bought and 30 cents for each non-bestseller you bought between April 2010 and May 2012.

You’ll know if you bought a participating title because you’ll be notified by e-mail or postcard in the mail about this settlement.

For Amazon customers, the money will comes as an automatic refund to you in the multistate settlement. Barnes & Noble expects to announce a similar refund plan in the coming days, according to The Wall Street Journal.

More info about the settlement is available at ebooksagsettlements.com.

The e-reader market is so incredibly fluid. The sweet spot seems to be e-readers that are $100 or less for a simple book reader and $200 for a multipurpose tablet.

Meanwhile, there are a couple of much cheaper options out there. A German company is readying a $13 e-reader called the Txtr Beagle. As best I can tell, this device will be bundled with cell phone contracts, which is a shame because it might work as a standalone unit.

The Beagle offers a 5″ E Ink display with 8-levels gray scale and 800 x 600 pixels resolution. But there’s no wifi capability and it is battery powered. So you have to download an Android app and send the books you purchase on your phone via Bluetooth to your Beagle.

Sounds interesting, but that complicated process reminds me of the words of former Continental CEO Gordon Bethune: It’s possible to make a pizza so cheap no one will want to buy it.


Rather than being what the Beagle is about, I predict marketers will soon be selling you a dedicated e-reader for $100 with $100 in e-book credits to make it a net zero purchase. That’s a way to overcome what happens where people get an e-reader for Christmas and it winds up gathering dust and becoming e-waste.

Of course, the cheapest option of all is to borrow free e-books from your local public library!

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