Monday, April 15, 2013

Pinterest Now Being Pre-Loaded on Barnes and Noble Tablets


Pinterest and Barnes and Noble have signed a new agreement to have the app pre-loaded on any future Nook HD and HD+ tablets that are sold. Any tablets in the stores will be temporarily pulled to load a new firmware update that will give you Pinterest has a native application.

Pinterest joins Facebook and Twitter as one of the handful of apps pre-loaded on NOOK devices. Claudia Romanini, who is the vice president of NOOK apps at Barnes & Noble, says that Pinterest has "long been one of" the company's most requested apps, so we're positive that most NOOK users will benefit greatly from the addition of Pinterest.

So what exactly is Pinterest? It is basically a cool photo sharing app, that a recent PEW Report said 15% of online adults use it. Kobo has also integrated it into their platform, alongside many other companies.

Barnes and Noble is trying to revitalize their digital division during the last few weeks. The company recently launched their revised self-publishing program, Nook Press. UltraViolet is also a growing segment within their new television and movie ecosystem.

Pinterest Now Being Pre-Loaded on Barnes and Noble Tablets is a post from: E-Reader News

Happy National Library Workers Day!

More than 228 million people used a library card in 2012 (, and each of them has a library worker to thank for that opportunity. Maybe you helped a patron locate a book in the stacks; assisted a student in finding resources for a research paper; hosted a book club discussion; loaded MARC records into your catalog; scanned a library card; selected books for your collection … the list could go on.


In celebration of National Library Workers Day, Team OverDrive extends our sincere recognition and appreciation to library staff across the country for the valuable contributions you make to our communities every day. We are also grateful for the tremendous efforts you've invested in bringing eBooks and digital audiobooks to the forefront. More than 70 million OverDrive digital titles circulated last year, and that feat could not have been reached without your commitment, support, and time.

To library workers from Salt Lake City to Dallas to Minneapolis to New York and beyond, we salute and thank you for helping foster literacy—in every format. In honor of your day, we are giving away "eBook Swag Packs" complete with t-shirts, hats, and buttons for library workers to continue helping patrons access eBooks. Tell us in the comments section below why your library loves eBooks and we will choose the top 10 responses and contact the winners by Wednesday, April 24.

Enjoy your well-deserved day!


Adam Sockel is a Marketing Specialist at OverDrive

Kobo Unveils Kobo Aura HD eBook Reader with Unique Screen (Video)

Kobo just pulled a surprise move on everybody today by unveiling a new limited edition E Ink ebook reader called the Kobo Aura HD. The most interesting detail about Kobo’s new ereader is the screen, which Kobo is calling ClarityScreen+. First off, the screen is supposed to be more durable than typical E Ink screens. [...]

Exclusive: Kobo Aura HD e-Reader Announced

kobo aura hd

Kobo has announced a new e-reader that will certainly appeal to a wide demographic of users. In a world where the standard electronic book reader is only six inches, the new model bucks the trend with a 6.8 inch HD screen.

The Kobo Aura HD features a 6.8 inch e-ink Pearl HD display screen with a resolution of 1440×1080 with 265 DPI. This model is one of the most impressive units on the market and the resolution really sets it apart from the competition. It also sports a front-lit screen, much akin to the Kobo Glo. You will be able to read in the dark and swipe the bar that gives you the ability to customize the illumination levels. Underneath the hood is a Freescale i.MX507 1 GHZ CPU processor and 4 GB of internal storage. The one thing Kobo has done very well is incorporate SD support to enhance the memory even further. You should be able to voraciously read to your heart's content, because the battery life is a very solid 1 month if you read 30 minutes a day. Dimensions are 128.3 mm x 175.7 mm x 11.7 mm (6.97 in x 5.05 in x 0.46 in).

One of the big advantages Kobo has over the competition is the expanded font support. There are 10 styles and 24 different font sizes that you can employ to find the sweet spot. If you are an advanced user, you can actually load in your own fonts that come from the internet. There is also a ton of support for different languages, such as English, French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, Portuguese, and Japanese.

Kobo has one of the largest ebook stores in the world with over 3.4 million titles available. You will have full access to buy content in one click. If you want to load in your own books, you can do it with EPUB, PDF, JPEG, GIF, PNG, TIFF, TXT, HTML, RFT, CBZ, and CBR formats. People who love comics and manga will find that the CBZ and CBR formats play very nicely with the Kobo Aura HD.

“To us, the Kobo Aura HD is the Porsche of e-readers and is designed for those in the driver’s seat of their e-reading adventures,” said Wayne White, EVP and General Manager of Devices, Kobo. “It’s fast, powerful, and sleek and pushes the boundaries of e-reading the same way our readers do – together, they’ll know no bounds as they find their next great read.”

The device will be available for pre-order tomorrow on the official Kobo website and Shop e-Readers. It will be shipping out and available at the stores on April 25th. The cost is one of the most exciting factors, at a very solid $169.99. Stay tuned to our full hands on review coming in the next 24 hours.

Exclusive: Kobo Aura HD e-Reader Announced is a post from: E-Reader News

Sony Launches Discover Map Feature on Its Reader Store


has been working very hard over the course of the last few months, totally revising its online experience. In the last few weeks, the company unveiled its new ebook store redesign and recently debuted its Kids Corner with EPUB3 interactive books. Today, Sony has announced a new discover map feature that will help you discover new books by answering a few questions.

Every month Sony intends on updating its Discover Map with new editions every week. The thoughts behind this is to give people a chance to discover new books and genres they might otherwise miss. Sony summed it up by saying, “The map is all about discovery, so try following the opposite of how you’d usually answer to lead you to a wild-card pick. Nonfiction readers: pick up a fantasy novel. Suspense fiction lovers: slow it down with an epic love story.”

Want to give it a try? I assure you it’s very unique, and considering how popular discover maps are in magazines and online, this was a savvy move by Sony. Want to get started? Click HERE to check out the first few maps.

Sony Launches Discover Map Feature on Its Reader Store is a post from: E-Reader News

Simon & Schuster Announces New Library Pilot Program for eBooks


Simon and Schuster is the only major publisher that has never engaged in providing digital content for libraries. Over the course of the last few years, the American Library Association has been meeting with company representatives to try and sway them over. Today, Simon & Shuster announced a one year pilot program for the New York, Brooklyn, and Queens Public Libraries.

The President of the American Library Association, Maureen Sullivan, commented, “"We are pleased Simon & Schuster has recognized the vital roles of libraries in supporting reading in all its formats by announcing a library e-lending pilot in New York City. As we celebrate the 55th annual National Library Week, it is a particularly fortuitous time for the publisher to join its Big Six colleagues by providing access to ebooks through our nation's libraries. We hope that Simon & Schuster will extend its pilot to libraries beyond New York City in the near future. Books and knowledge—in all their forms—are essential. The ALA and our members welcome new and expanded digital access for all."

"We have always recognized the important place of libraries in our communities. They play a vital role in fostering and encouraging reading in every strata of our society, and they help to create an audience for our books and authors," said Carolyn Reidy, President and Chief Executive Officer of Simon & Schuster. "We are delighted to partner with these libraries, which have shown an extraordinary willingness to try innovative models with the potential to be a long-term solution for all involved. In making our full list
available we think we will get a better sense of lending patterns and patron behavior, and I am particularly eager to start seeing the actual data so that we can better understand this still-new phenomenon."

The 3M Cloud Library System has been earmarked to handle the digital distribution for the New York and Brooklyn Public Libraries, while Baker and Taylor will run their Axis 360 program in Queens. What of Overdrive? The company remains the largest force in the library world when it comes to handling the loaning out of digital books and audiobooks. Publishers don’t like the fact that Overdrive deals with Amazon and allows their books to be borrowed on the entire range of Kindle devices, which is why they missed out on the Penguin trial that was announced last June.

3M is really being put on the map with the last few major business deals they have scored with major publishers. The company got in with Penguin last year and ran its trial in New York, which eventually got expanded and now the publishers titles are available in libraries all over the US. Recently, Penguin announced it will offer its entire line of front-list titles, so libraries can have access to the digital editions, the same day the printed counterparts come out. This is worth noting, because S&S is likely going to follow the same pattern. "These pilot programs are a first step for publishers to engage in the library ebook market," said Tom Mercer, marketing manger, 3M Cloud Library. "Through collaborations with publishers, 3M has been able to help expand the overall market, bringing more digital titles to libraries."

When it comes to publishers and libraries, the entire process remains convoluted. They can’t seem to agree on a unified distribution strategy and makes the entire process complicated for librarians. Some offer the ebook at three times the amount the paperback costs, while others impose a 26 checkout limit before you have to buy the ebook again. Can you imagine being a librarian and having to deal with different pricing and distribution methods for every month publisher you deal with? I know most that have given up on digital and just went with normal books, because its simpler.The one cool thing Simon and Schuster is doing is giving the ability for patrons to buy the books. Libraries will earn a small commission whenever someone reads and then buys the book, or decides the waiting list is too long and just makes the purchase.

Simon & Schuster Announces New Library Pilot Program for eBooks is a post from: E-Reader News

Much faster USB transfer speeds in the works


PCs and mobile devices connected to peripherals via USB ports will in the future be able to transfer data at twice the speed possible today.
A new specification that doubles the data transfer over USB to 10 gbps (gigabits per second) is in the works, said the USB Implementers Forum, a standards-setting organization that defines specifications for the data transfer technology. The announcement was made at the Intel Developer Forum in Beijing.
The speed improvement means users will be able to move gigabytes of data between PCs and peripherals such as portable hard drives in a matter of seconds. That is especially useful when transferring large high-resolution video files.
The new specification is an improvement over the existing USB 3.0, which can transfer data at 5 gbps. Most PCs today ship with USB 3.0 ports, while smartphones and tablets have micro-USB ports based on the older and slower 2.0 specification. Mobile devices are expected to get faster signalling rates with micro-USB 3.0 ports.

Arrival date uncertain

The speed increase comes on the heels of Intel's announcement this week that it is doubling the speed of Thunderbolt, an interconnect based on PCI-Express and DisplayPort that is viewed as a faster alternative to USB.
By the end of the year, Thunderbolt will boast data transfer rates of 20 gbps, but USB 3.0 has an advantage of wider adoption and backing of some top hardware makers including Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, and Microsoft. Intel views USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt as complementary technologies.
USB-IF did not say when the new specification would be approved and released.
Peripherals based on the new standard will be able to plug into existing USB 3.0 ports. However, new cables will be needed to handle the faster speeds.
The last major update to the USB 3.0 specification in July involved the connector cables being able to deliver up to 100 watts of power, which could charge mobile device batteries faster and enable televisions to be powered via a USB port.

What is Your Favorite eBook Font?

One of the great benefits of reading ebooks over paper books is the amount of control you have over the most important part of a book: the text. You can adjust how small or large it is, and depending on the reading device or app you use, you can often change font type, font weight, [...]

Ganxy Updates Features to Steamline Sales, Promotion for Authors and Publishers


A number of companies will be piggybacking off the buzz and attention of this year’s London Book Fair to make important announcements of their own. One such company, Ganxy, will release information on how its unilateral sales platform can help authors and publishers not only with the streamlining that comes from compartmentalizing all of their potential sales channels into one place, but also in terms of providing instant promotional support.

Ganxy recently established itself as a simple format in which authors and publishers could easily bundle ebooks or video together for promotional sales purposes, but now the showcase platform will launch a push-button method of allowing rights holders to create single-use coupon codes for easy ebook distribution.

“Think about what’s going on in the world of content today. There’s an inability for those who create content to take advantage or extract value from that kind of content in the way that they’d like to,” explained Ganxy’s co-founder Joshua Cohen in an interview with GoodEReader. “It’s very difficult for authors and publishers to give away the content in the way that they’d like to.”

Short of creating coupon codes on other platforms that can be passed around without limitation, or requiring authors to email PDF files of their books to reviewers and other recipients, until now there hasn’t been a good streamlined method of releasing professional ebook content to limited users. Ganxy’s announcement today allows for content creators to produce limitless codes for recipients, codes that can be used in a wide variety of promotional ways.

Books that are showcased on the Ganxy platform can be given specific download codes, from one copy to an unlimited number of copies, and can also be arranged for user-friendly bulk sales of ebooks. Content holders can use these as promotional giveaways at speaking engagements, can bundle the ebook editions seamlessly with the print editions, can offer them as incentives for signing up on their websites, and much more. Moreover, the Ganxy platform is compatible with a wide variety of devices from different digital reading platforms, virtually eliminating concerns about the device specifics of the ebook recipients.

“It’s really hard to give copies of books to a specific number of people. We’ve created an ebook giveaway tool that works in a variety of ways,” continued Cohen.

An author can set up an open promotion, which allows the first set number of users to receive the book for free, which is especially useful in promotion of an upcoming book release. Additionally, an author who is appearing at a conference or speaking engagement can generate unlimited single-use codes to pass out that are unique to each single recipient; a book reviewer can be given a single-use code, or hundreds of book bloggers can each be provided with their own specific codes in a matter of minutes as all of these features are nearly instantaneous to generate on an established book account.

“We’re essentially saying to authors, ‘We want you to sell your books, but we also want you to have the power to give away your book.’ If you’re an author or publisher who has commerce, you don’t want to be using other tools to give away your books. You want to have one central location where you can sell it from your site or from your Facebook page, but you also want to be able to give it away so you can control what’s going on with your content.”

Ganxy Updates Features to Steamline Sales, Promotion for Authors and Publishers is a post from: E-Reader News

The Kingdom of Bhutan’s first Pi: a Khan Academy server

We were chatting to Natasha Lomas from TechCrunch (no relation to our own Pete) last week about the distribution of Raspberry Pis across the world. Here’s the article she wrote about it. We designed the Pi with the explicit goal of getting kids in the UK coding, but the popularity of the platform has spread well beyond that in the year it’s been on sale, which means we have a job ahead of us. Currently the vast majority of the 1.2 million Pis in the wild are in the developed world, but we recognise that there’s demand in the developing world and will be taking someone on full-time to deal with the work required to get more Pis out to less connected areas very soon. There are some significant problems associated with getting the Pi on general sale in some locations, not least the enormous shipping and import tariffs that many countries impose on electronics imports – a Pi will cost you $85 in Brazil, for example, thanks to those tariffs. It’s a big job, but we’re looking forward to getting our teeth into it.

But Pis are gradually finding their way to all kinds of far-away places, and I saw some tweets a week or so ago from ThimpuTech, who had got their hands on the Kingdom of Bhutan’s first Raspberry Pi. And now, we’ve found out what’s being done with it – it’s been made into a server for Khan Academy Lite, serving up educational content to a local school.

The Kingdom of Bhutan’s first Raspberry Pi

Khan Academy Lite is an offline version of Khan Academy‘s superb curriculum of free learning materials; if you haven’t come across Khan Academy before, head over and have a poke around their website when you’ve finished reading this. You’ll be impressed. With the Pi, a 64GB SD card to put all the learning materials on (which actually costs about twice what the Pi you’ll need to run it on does) and a wi-fi dongle, you’ve got a way to bring the MP4 lectures that make up the core of Khan Academy’s material to areas with no internet. Bhutan’s an interesting place to be doing this sort of thing; the internet didn’t come to the country until 1999, and coverage is still very minimal, so an offline solution is vital.

Khan Academy maths exercise

What this means is that for an investment of about $99 ($35 for the Pi, $50 for the SD card, $5 for a dongle and another few dollars or so for a box and power supply), schools in Bhutan and all over the world can access world-class learning without needing to be online.

We’re really pleased to see the very first Pi in the country being used explicitly to bring educational resources to kids; we’ve been extremely excited about the potential of Khan Academy Lite for a while now, and it’s great to see it in formal use by schools. We hope to hear some more from ThimpuTech soon.