Monday, March 18, 2013

ABA Announces Celebrate with Indies Program


The American Booksellers Association is launching their new Celebrate (With) Indies program this year with four main components.  The new promotions give ABA member bookstores the opportunity to celebrate the three major buying periods surrounding Mother's Day, Father's Day, and graduations. The fourth major campaign will target indie authors and put the spotlight on the best books of the year.

Joy Dallanegra-Sanger, senior program officer, BSI, Inc says, "We hope even more booksellers will take advantage of these new specials to offer customers a great array of titles for the very busy spring gift-buying season and beyond. All titles in the Celebrate (With) Indies promotions were chosen by booksellers."

The ABA will provide extensive marketing materials for stores to promote the sales well in advance. There is no word yet if ebooks will play a role in this promotion and if Kobo will be swayed to get involved. Stores can choose to participate in one, some, or all four of the promotions. Signup opens today and runs through April 4 at

ABA Announces Celebrate with Indies Program is a post from: E-Reader News

DriveThruRPG Pioneering Digital Distribution for Out-of-Print Books


If you are into Dungeons and Dragons, Rifts, White Wolf or a myriad of other gaming materials, you are normally out of luck in today’s digital world. Finding an online retailer to buy DND source materials is like finding a needle in a haystack, it might be easy to find a pirated version, but not the legit edition. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and iBooks aren’t really in the business of selling source books or Monster manuals. DriveThruRPG has been quietly corner-stoning the RPG market since 2004 and is betting on the future of digital.

In 2004, Mike Todd, Chris McDonough and Steve Wieck started DriveThruRPG. DriveThruRPG and RPGNow's combined efforts made both out-of-print and in-print RPGs easily available in electronic format to fans around the world. The company does business with a whose who list of the RPG world, including White Wolf, Wizards of the Coast, Palladium Books, and more.

The companies main delivery method is PDF files that are watermarked and do not have digital rights management. Long before most eBook stores like Pottermore and TOR adopted the watermark approach, DriveThruRPG did it first. This insures that customers can easily transfer the PDF files between their smartphones, tablets or e-readers, by simply dragging and dropping the files.

All of the RPG gaming materials are available not only in English, but there is a solid offering in German, French, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese. There are hundreds of eBooks currently available and the company does not do out-of-print editions but also all the new stuff too.

The prices on the website vary, as publishers choose their own pricing structure. DriveThruRPG recommends 30% off normal cover price for new books and 50% off cover price on anything over 6 months old. Almost half of all the eBooks available fall into the 50% off category, which amounts to hefty savings to RPG fiends.

I really approve of niche websites like this one, because they cater to a heavily populated segment of people that love RPG gaming material or play with their friends. They don’t really get much publicity in the gaming world, but are a very solid website to get a ton of great material.

DriveThruRPG Pioneering Digital Distribution for Out-of-Print Books is a post from: E-Reader News

Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code eBook Available for Free

da vinci code free ebook

The Da Vinci Code has sold over 81 million books since it was first released in 2003. Publisher DoubleDay is celebrating the ten year anniversary this week by giving away the eBook version for free! You can download it from Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and other major retailers.

Dan Brown is going to be releasing a new book called Inferno on May 14th 2013. The eBook version of the The Da Vinci Code will have the first chapter made available, to give you a taste on what it is all about. The free eBook is only available for US and Canadian residents.

“The landscape of publishing has changed dramatically over the past ten years,” Knopf Doubleday Chairman Sonny Mehta said in a release. “The original publication of ‘The DaVinci Code’ preceded the e-book era. What better way to celebrate the 10th anniversary of this modern classic than by making it available on a multiplicity of platforms and devices while simultaneously offering fans a riveting sample of Dan’s latest work.”

Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code eBook Available for Free is a post from: E-Reader News

Kindle X-Ray Feature Review (Video)

Lately I’ve been making a lot of use of the X-Ray feature on the Kindle Paperwhite so I thought I would go ahead and put together a review detailing how the X-Ray feature works and what it is exactly. Amazon first introduced the X-Ray feature with the launch of the Kindle Touch back in November [...]

Infographic: eReading on the Rise

Readers of all ages are discovering the power and convenience of eBooks. The results of a recent Pew Research Center study show that eBook reading is on the rise across every age group. At the same time, people are reading fewer physical books. More than half the population still reads physical books, but the percentage of eBook readers has increased dramatically. Nearly a quarter of all readers aged 16 and up reported reading an eBook in 2012, up 16 percent from 2011.


This growth in eBook reading coincides with the growing popularity of eReaders, tablets, and other devices. One-third of those polled reported owning at least one eReader or tablet device.


As more readers become aware of libraries' digital collections, the popularity of eBook lending continues to soar. Readers checked out more than 70 million eBooks and audiobooks from OverDrive-powered libraries in 2012, more than double 2011's totals. Libraries throughout the OverDrive network are seeing increased digital circulation, more page views, and more engagement with eBooks, audiobooks, music and video.


To show how engagement at OverDrive-powered digital libraries mirrors the continued growth of the eBook industry, we've created this infographic. Feel free to download, print, and share with your patrons however you see fit.


As a reminder, for marketing and outreach tips to help increase your circulation, you can always contact OverDrive's Marketing Specialists at


Adam Sockel is a Marketing Specialist at OverDrive.



Rumor: Google Developing Nexus 7 HD

Nexus 7

Given Apple’s obsession with retina displays, it’s pretty safe to assume Apple’s next iPad Mini version will also sport a retina display. Such a move has also prompted Apple’s competitor to offer higher resolution displays and word on the street is that the next Google Nexus might also be seen sporting the HD moniker. The current gen Nexus 7 already impresses with its 1280 x 800 pixel display that translates to a pixel density of 216. This already scores ahead of the iPad Mini that comes with a 1024 x 768 pixel display, which makes for a 162 pixel density. A retina makeover for the iPad Mini will make it jump to 324 pixels per inch.

Google already offers the Nexus 10 that boasts of a range topping 2560 x 1600 pixel display (299 pixels per inch). That betters the iPad 4′s 264 pixel density from its 2048 x 1536 pixel display. Now such a development in the 7 inch genre will no doubt work wonders. The Nexus 7 has already proved itself with its impressive performance and a rich feature set, all made available at an attractive price point. That Google will stick to the these qualities even in its high resolution avatar is almost a surety.

Rumor: Google Developing Nexus 7 HD is a post from: E-Reader News

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Kno Partner on K-12 Digital Textbooks

While digital textbooks abound throughout the country at the college level and new companies spring up almost monthly to provide digital-editions for the thousands of titles in use in US higher education, one of the markets that has been slow to adopt digital textbooks–at great expense to already cash-strapped school systems–is the K through 12 public school arena. Due to constraints on textbook adoption, concerns about device compatibility, and questions as to where the funding for mobile devices will come from, public schools have been slower on the ebook uptake than colleges.

Educational software company Kno has been working to bring more and more digital options to public schools, both for teachers and for student purchase. At the onset, Kno’s publishing model allowed parents to purchase inexpensive digital copies of their children’s textbooks, in order to maintain a personal-use library for homework and study. Now, Kno has grown into a fully-integrated classroom-capable digital provider, offering almost limitless publisher titles and even an interactive learning dashboard to encourage student outcomes.

Today, Kno announced its partnership with one of the most widely recognized names in educational publishing, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. While still making the Kno Me analytics available, the content will include features to optimize student learning while still helping to ensuring that they spend as much time within the digital text as possible in an on-task way.

"As one of the world's leading learning companies, our goal is to provide students and teachers with quality, interactive content wherever and whenever they learn, and no matter which device they use," said Tim Cannon, Executive Vice President of Alliances and Services for HMH, in a press release. "By extending our current parent-focused partnership with Kno into the institutional market, schools and districts will now have access to trusted HMH core curriculum, enhanced by Kno's unique interactive and social features."

As school systems around the country prepare to meet the demands of not only the newly adopted Common Core standards but also the guidelines for instruction based on the 21st Century Classroom model, students and educators need to be hyperaware of the benefits to incorporating technology literacy into every field of study. Digital textbooks are perhaps the most basic level of ensuring some measure of technology instruction into every learning outcome.

"The combination of HMH's world-class content and Kno's interactive learning technology provides educators and students with a rich multimedia experience that ignites curiosity and improves learning outcomes," continued Mark Williams, Vice President of Sales, Kno Inc. "This partnership is an industry first and will allow schools to easily transition to digital using trusted K-12 core curriculum content."

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Kno Partner on K-12 Digital Textbooks is a post from: E-Reader News

BBC: Cracking the Code

Last week’s Cracking the Code had a segment featuring a very familiar little computer, and a guy with a weather balloon whom you might just recognise. Isn’t it interesting how much more technical detail this kids’ show goes into compared to some of the adult tech news coverage we see on TV? Thanks to everyone involved – especially Dave!

Amazon Publishing Announces Two New Imprints

After the original surge of growth from the online retailer and digital publisher, Amazon shook the publishing world to its core in 2010 when it announced the creation of its traditional publishing model, Amazon Publishing, headed up by industry leader Larry Kirschbaum. Already known–and somewhat reviled–at that time for its rumored free-for-all into self-publishing through Kindle Direct Publishing and POD provider CreateSpace, Amazon at the time seemed to be bent on cornering every possible aspect of book development.

While critics mocked Amazon for its “too big to fail” approach to bookselling, Amazon Publishing has flourished, luring some well-known authors to its five distinctly genre-specific imprints, while still leaving the door open for the occasional debut author with a high-quality work.

Now, Amazon has announced the launch of two new imprints under its Amazon Publishing model, and both are meeting a tremendous need in the industry. While Little A, its new literary fiction imprint, will provide a home for works that have previously just been considered Amazon Publishing titles, the real news is from the creation of its second new imprint, digital-only Day One.

Not only will Day One provide a launchpad for debut authors to publish, but will also host a much-needed home for short story authors. While long form journalism and e-novellas have taken off thanks in large part to digital publishing, short story authors are still feeling the frustration of being relegated to anthologies or trying to swim their titles in the sea of other 99cent-ebooks without a platform for discovery.

Little A and Day One will join the other Amazon Publishing imprints: Montlake for romance, Thomas & Mercer for mysteries, Encore for reintroduced out-of-print titles, Crossing for internationally translated works, and 47 North for science fiction, fantasy, and horror titles.

Amazon Publishing Announces Two New Imprints is a post from: E-Reader News

Eben’s keynote at PyCon

On Friday, Eben gave the keynote speech at PyCon. Enjoy!