Friday, March 22, 2013

Good e-Reader Radio Show – March 22nd 2013


The Good e-Reader Radio Show is BACK! New e-Reader and Tablet announcements and publishing events have slowed down the last week, so we are able to bring you guys up to speed on the most essential news of the week.

Today, we talk about the German Publishing Industry, Digital Manga and Piracy in North America and how you can get out-of-print RPG books in digital form. Of course, we break down all the major stories of the week, to give you a sense of the essential news items, you might have missed. Also, the Blackberry Z10 launched in the USA this week, we talk about new things we’re doing on our app store to help people get content not available on Blackberry World

During this episode, of course, I rant and rave like always and play a few great songs!

Good e-Reader Radio Show – March 22nd 2013 is a post from: E-Reader News

Good e-Reader Android Sideloading Video Tutorials for the Z10 are Live


The Blackberry Z10 is seeing a wider release due to the release on AT&T and many American networks. This new phone is running the latest BB10 OS, and has the ability to load in Android apps on it, to offset the lackluster selection on Blackberry World. It is no secret, we run the worlds largest Blackberry Android App Store for BB10 and the Playbook and we have made the service more user friendly, via new videos. We have shot new app loading videos for Pulse, Flipboard, Kindle, Kobo, Marvel Comics, Wechat and Whatsapp. These videos should help the sideloading process a bit easier for people new to the scene and provides a very comprehensive walk-through of all steps involved.

When you click on an any of these apps on our BB10 App Store, and click on the video link, you will see our new app loading tutorials. We intend on shooting a wider series of the most popular apps out there, so you all can get a sense of what software you need to install the apps on your BB10 phone and where to find the app to begin with.

The Good e-Reader BB10 and Playbook App Store has almost 1500 apps available, with the vast majority not having any presence through the official Blackberry World App store.  Below, is an example of the types of new videos we are adding, with Marvel Comics.

Good e-Reader Android Sideloading Video Tutorials for the Z10 are Live is a post from: E-Reader News

Rumor: Samsung Attempting to Sell Off Liquavista to Amazon


Rumor has it that Samsung is keen to offload its Liquavista acquisition to Amazon for an amount that is not likely to exceed $100 million. The move comes in the wake of the South Korean manufacturer shifting its focus increasingly towards tablet computers and smartphones, while dedicated ebook reading devices aren’t as lucrative. Samsung had acquired the Netherlands based digital publishing company that specializes in electrowetting display technology in early 2011, though we have yet to see any product based on it entering large scale production.

“We are currently reviewing many plans, including the sale, but nothing has been confirmed yet,” Chenny Kim, a spokeswoman for Samsung.

Interestingly, while ebook readers represent a declining trend, basic LCD based displays continue to be in vogue while others seem to be shifting towards oblivion. A clear advantage with the Liquavista display is that it allows for good readibility even in direct sunlight while also consuming the least amount of energy in the business. However, that does not seem to be enough to incite excitement among both manufacturers and consumers. What remains to be seen if Amazon will bite the bait given less of consumer acceptance of ebook reading devices, while it is pushing for greater sales of its Kindle Fire tablet range.

Editor Update: When attending CES this year, a number of companies such as Plastic Logic also confirmed that Samsung was attempting to sell this division. We did not report on it, because of conjecture. However, now that this is public knowledge, it’s worth it to note that most players in the e-paper industry are all well aware of this.

Rumor: Samsung Attempting to Sell Off Liquavista to Amazon is a post from: E-Reader News

Buy a Nook HD+ and Get a Free Simple Touch e-Reader


Barnes and Noble is running a promotion for all of its USA bookstores, Target, Walmart, and Best Buy. Between March 24th and 30th, if you buy a Nook HD+ tablet, you will get a free Simple Touch e-Reader!

In the United States, Barnes and Noble is the closest competitor of Amazon and the company has been running tons of promotions in the last few months. One of the best things about this deal, is that it is a two for one. You can get a tablet to watch your videos, television shows, and surf the web. The e-Ink Simple Touch Reader makes a fairly good dedicated device to just read books.

Buy a Nook HD+ and Get a Free Simple Touch e-Reader is a post from: E-Reader News

Amazon Kindle for BB10 Released

kindle for bb10

Amazon has just released a new BB10 app for the Blackberry Z10 and upcoming Q10 line of smartphones. The new app is available for all countries that Amazon currently supports. One of the downfalls is this app is a simple Android port of the Kindle e-Reading App that has been available on the Good e-Reader App Store for quite some time. It is NOT a native app, and you will not enjoy any of the features that are evident in the dedicated apps the company writes for a myriad of operating systems.

The Kindle App for BB10 always needs a WIFI or data connection. You will not be able to initiate offline reading. Still, this is great news for customers who do not know how to sideload in their own Android apps or just don’t want to be bothered with jumping through a number of hoops. You can download it today via the official Blackberry World entry. Blackberry Playbook owners do not have access to the Kindle App, as it is flagged BB10 only.

Amazon Kindle for BB10 Released is a post from: E-Reader News

Help Patrons Prepare for National Park Week


Free eBooks and audiobooks from your library should automatically rank highly among the best ideas ever, but the claim that the national parks are “America's Best Idea” does hold some merit. This year’s National Park Week runs April 22 – 26, where every one of the 398 national parks waives the entrance fee (although 265 of them are always free!).


Thousands of nature-loving patrons will be taking advantage of the opportunity at parks like Yellowstone, Everglades and Badlands national parks, and to help them prepare for their trip, they can also borrow titles from their local library. Lonely Planet's ”Discover USA's Best National Parks” is a great starting point, but there are many others that explore America’s beautifully unique terrain including “The Rough Guide to Yosemite, Sequoia & Kings Canyon” and “Frommer’s National Parks of the American West.”


While you can certainly gain practical information from an eBook guide, it takes a video to really see the breathtaking wonder of the national parks. A few visual guides that truly convey the wonders of the parks include: “National Parks of Alaska,” “Glacier National Park” and the six-part PBS series “The National Parks: America's Best Idea” from Ken Burns. For those having difficulty finding someone to join them on a road trip, these videos make a convincing argument.


Personally, one of my favorite trips included driving from Las Vegas to Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park and the Grand Canyon. At a normal price of $25 per car for each park, who wouldn't want to save $75 during such a trip while seeing some of the most spectacular scenery this world has to offer?


Inspire your users to explore “America's Best Idea” with eBooks and videos from the library! To find these and other awe-inspiring titles, visit Content Reserve.


Beau Livengood is a Training Associate at OverDrive.

Apple Warns Developers Against Using UDID, Apps to Be Rejected Staring May 1


Apple has released new guidelines that those into developing apps for iOS need to be wary of. For one, all new apps that make use of the Unique Device Identification or UDID will be deemed not fit for inclusion in the Apple App Store. The deadline comes into effect from May 1 which is when the official crackdown will begin. This was revealed on its webpage dedicated to News and Announcement for Apple Developers.

“Starting May 1, the App Store will no longer accept new apps or app updates that access UDIDs. Please update your apps and servers to associate users with the Vendor or Advertising identifiers introduced in iOS 6. You can find more details in the UIDevice Class Reference.”

Apple has had a typical dislike towards app developers using UDIDs and the company has also been pushing its app developers for some time now to give up on using the UDIDs. This also stems from the commitment it had made to a Senate sub committee towards bringing in more transparency to privacy related issues. As for app developers, their penchant for using UDID is that it allows them to track the device, which in turn enables them to deliver targeted ads, though it also leaves device owners at risk of other nefarious acts. Apple compensated for restricting the use of UDID by providing them with Advertising Identifier in iOS 6. While this does serve the purpose to some extent, it obviously can’t be considered the perfect alternative to UDIDs.

As for the common man, the above will mean owners of the Apple iPad or iPad Mini tablets can have better control over privacy and can limit the extent of info that consumers wish to share with the developers.

The new guideline for app developers also mentions all new app submissions must include support for retina displays along with the 4 inch display of its iPhone 5.

Apple Warns Developers Against Using UDID, Apps to Be Rejected Staring May 1 is a post from: E-Reader News

Latest experiments in improving low-light camera performance

Thanks Gordon!

What Kirtsaeng v. Wiley Means for Consumers

The US Supreme Court handed down a landmark ruling this week. No, it wasn’t about the death penalty, abortion, gay marriage, or gun control. It was about books. More specifically, it was about the right of first sale that allows consumers to sell a book when they have finished with it. This protection under copyright law essentially allows everyone from dusty used paperback stores to first-edition antique book dealers to stay in business.

Under a decisions that was nearly five years in the making and which overturned a Second Circuit court decision against Kirtsaeng, the Supreme Court handed down a 6-3 ruling in favor of a foreign student attending school in the US who was buying less-expensive textbooks through his family in his native country and selling them at a slight markup to US students. The purchasers were essentially buying a used book at a significant savings. Wiley & Sons, Inc. argued that the right of first sale did not apply since the books did not originate in the US.

While this is not exactly on par with a shocking ruling on gun control, it is still a hotly contested issue that could have had farther reaching implications for other copyright issues, notably the music and software industries.

Jonathan Band of the American Library Association issued a press release on the ruling, stating how it is actually a victory for all readers:

“The 6-3 opinion is a total victory for libraries and our users. It vindicates the foundational principle of the first sale doctrine—if you bought it, you own it. All who believe in that principle, and the certainty it provides to libraries and many other parts of our culture and economy, should join us in applauding the Court for correcting the legal ambiguity that led to this case in the first place. It is especially gratifying that Justice Breyer's majority opinion focused on the considerable harm that the Second Circuit's opinion would have caused libraries.”

Band continued, “The Court’s decision ensures that libraries can rely on the critically important principle of first sale to continue lending the estimated 200 million foreign-made volumes in our collections. Wiley and others who sought a right of perpetual control over these materials may turn to Congress to roll back the Court's wise decision. Libraries and our allies remain vigilant in defense of first sale and all of the rights that make it possible to serve our communities.”

While other branches of industry may have felt the effects if the ruling had gone the other way, this decision helps ensure that libraries aren’t next to suffer from restricting the rights associated with book purchasing. Libraries are already struggling under the current impositions of trying to lend ebooks while still working to reach patrons who are moving on due to new technology. This decision may not have been the most far-reaching topic the Court addresses in the near future, but it certainly held implications for reading consumers across the country.

What Kirtsaeng v. Wiley Means for Consumers is a post from: E-Reader News

Finding the Best eBook, Print Price Point for Optimum Sales

When computer how-to book publisher In Easy Steps, founded in 1991, looked to release digital editions of its titles, there was no shortage of digital developers ready to create interactive, enhanced app books of the company’s titles. By working with UK-based YUDU, its series of titles was released to great reviews.

“For about a year, we had twenty titles in the iBookstore,” explained Sevanti Kotecha of In Easy Steps in an interview this week with GoodEReader. “We found that consumers wanted more than straight conversion from the print book. In December, we cut the price of the apps and saw an increase in traffic by about threefold. It let us know that they needed to be markedly cheaper than the print editions. To test it properly, we just reduced the price of the titles in the in-app version. It was a substantial reduction and it was interesting to see the response.”

As Kotecha pointed out, consumers were happy to pay less for a digital title that is just straight conversion, possibly because they see that the publisher did not have any costs associated with printing, shipping, or storing the physical editions. In order for consumers to pay the same amount for both the print and the digital, they seem to want the incentive of added content or enhancements in the digital edition.

“When you drop the price in the app by about 30%, we saw a 300% increase in sales,” explained YUDU CEO Richard Stephenson in the interview. “Multiply that through, and that adds up.”

In Easy Steps noticed that the free app was getting a lot of downloads, but less than expected in-app sales of books. They began offering samples and teaser chapters for free, just to gauge consumer interest, and it did result in greater sales once consumers were more aware of the product.

An additional factor that digital publishing has brought to book pricing is the ability to manipulate the prices almost immediately, either to take advantage of promotions or simply to test the waters with consumer purchasing, a tactic that was not feasible with print-only publication sold via brick-and-mortar bookstores.

“What we’re seeing is,” continued Stephenson, “even 18 months ago, if someone changed the price of a book it really wasn’t going to make a big difference. What Sevanti is saying matches up with what we’re hearing from other publishers. If you alter prices, you can substantially impact sales.”

While publishers wrestle with ensuring that their books are priced high enough to turn a profit while still offering a value to their reading consumers, authors and publishers have also noticed that there is a point in which a book is too inexpensive, essentially causing readers to consider it worthless. This has been an especially hotly contested issue among small press publishers and indie authors who see a surge in sales once the price of their books goes up.

At this year’s Tools of Change conference in February, another issue facing publishers in relation to book price was debated: publisher branding for in-house retail sales. A number of exhibitors and presenters were supporting the concept of publisher websites for book sales, as opposed to using online retailers, something which would arguably give the publishers the ability to change the prices of the books experimentally at any time. But will that result in positive sales for publishers, or leave them struggling to reach their readers without the safety net of search capability through a major online retailer?

“That’s something we’ve been trying to urge on publishers for the last year and a half,” said Stephenson. “There comes a point where this model makes sense because of the sheer traffic and the building of a community of readers. By selling directly to the readers, publishers can develop new content directly targeted at their readers.”

Finding the Best eBook, Print Price Point for Optimum Sales is a post from: E-Reader News

Google has Ceased Publication of Frommer’s Guidebooks

Google to buy Frommers travel brand

In August 2012, Google had purchased all of the assets from John Wiley for their Frommer’s Guidebook franchise. The deal cost the big G almost 22 million and the move was made to have a hot property to publish and call their own. They sold the books in physical bookstores and also published the digital editions online. Today, it is official that Google has ceased publication on all Guidebooks and will not publish anything in the future.

The last two guidebooks to be published had to do with the Napa Valley region and and Banff Alberta. Almost 24 titles that were supposed to be made available over the course of 2013 will not see the light of day and have since been cancelled. Most of the existing book titles were not even available on Frommer’s own bookstore since last September.

Google has not commented on the deal and is likely not to divulge this sort of thing to the media. I think that Google experimented with publishing but are focusing their efforts on expanding the visibility of their eBook store online. They just opened in Mexico yesterday and are really bent on opening in as many new markets as possible.

Google has Ceased Publication of Frommer's Guidebooks is a post from: E-Reader News

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to Launch Books for Young Readers


Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is intending on scraping their individual divisions for Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, Harcourt Children's Books, Sandpiper paperback, Graphia, and HMH Books novelty imprints. Instead, they are doing it under one publishing umbrella entitled Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers. This move basically condenses all of the individual imprints, making it easy to manage.

HMC is already beginning their re branding initiative by updating the companies Twitter and Tumblr accounts. The company is betting on having the kids arm of their company being able to promote on social media more effectively and launch new titles. The best first big program is their new interactive Curious George website, that should be launched by the second quarter of 2013.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to Launch Books for Young Readers is a post from: E-Reader News

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