Friday, May 31, 2013

New Ingram Spark Publishing Program Revealed

ingram spark

Ingram Spark is a new digital publishing solution aimed at small and boutique publishers. This new service is aimed primarily at publishers who expressed dissatisfaction with Ingram Lightning Source. Spark, has a very simple user interface that can be used to convert your word document or PDF file into a proper eBook and then distribute them to Kobo, Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble. Not only can your book be offered digitally, but you can opt into physical distribution to bookstores, and when the book is ordered from the catalog, Ingram will print and ship it for you, at no cost.

The entire backbone of Ingram Spark comes from Ingram Lightning Source. This is a very well developed platform that many large publishers use to distribute content digitally or to physical bookstores. The main complaint that we have heard over the years is that it was inaccessible to small and medium sized publishing companies due to the bulky and advanced interface.

There are a few key features to Ingram Spark that are worth mentioning. They have a conversion service that will take your PDF, Word or other document and convert it to a proper eBook. Most of the time, eBooks and tangible books require an ISBN number and customers will be diverted to Bowker to complete the transaction. You can track your sales on a unified portal that tracks all of the important metrics. Every 24 hours the data is repopulated, so most of your data will remain current. Speaking of sales, you can establish different prices, depending on the markets you want to target. Right now on the beta version we saw, it only supports USA, Canada, European Union, and Australia. You can establish a publication date on when you want the book to be live, which aids publishers in adding their entire catalog in advance. When it comes to getting paid you can attach your bank account to the portal and set a threshold limit on when the direct deposit will be made.

The most compelling feature on Spark, is the ability to bundle your digital and physical version at the same time. There is plenty of advanced options to setup the tangible copy of the book, before its ever shipped. You can setup the interior type to be Black and White, standard color or premium color. There are even options to establish the binding type such as; Case Laminate, Cloth Bound, Perfect Bound, and Saddle Stitch. Finally, you can even tweak the Paper Type and Laminate type.

Ingram is one of the largest distribution companies in the world and handle millions of book titles being shipped to bookstores all over the world. They are responsible for actually shipping the Kobo brand of e-Readers all over the world and many others. The far reach they provide actually make doing business with them in the best interest of any small, medium or large publishing house. So obviously, Ingram Spark is not free, if you want to have your eBook and Print on Demand edition available it will cost $49.00 fee per title. If you want to distribute the electronic version only, it will cost $25.00. No matter how many titles you have on Spark, there is an annual $12.00 fee to be continuously listed in their catalogs.

Ingram Spark is tentatively set to launch this July, but final release date may change as the system undergoes refinement. Once this has a full launch, I would seriously recommend this to most small and boutique publishers who are looking for further distribution than what Kindle Direct Publishing and Create Space can offer.

New Ingram Spark Publishing Program Revealed is a post from: E-Reader News

Steve Potash shows off New Overdrive Media Station

overdrive again

Overdrive is currently the largest company that facilitates the digital lending of books from libraries all over the world. Today at Book Expo American 2013, the company unveiled their new Media Station. This is a new solution for libraries, bookstores and retail shops to sell eBooks and garner a 30% commission on every sale.

The Overdrive Media Station is a HTML5 driven solution that allows customers to read samples and make purchases. Over one million eBooks, audiobooks and videos are available to be purchased. The underlying technology being employed for this software driven solution is Overdrive Drive. This is the same front-end interface currently being employed for the majority of libraries to read eBooks in the cloud.

Overdrive supplies eBooks to WH Smith, Books-A-Million and many other companies. They buy them at wholesale and this allows bookstores or libraries that buy into the system to charge what they want and only pay for the titles that are sold. For example, if you are an indie bookstore you can offer over one million titles, earn 30% commission on every sale and the rest goes to Overdrive and the Publisher.

One of the exciting factors about the Overdrive Media Station is that it is a white label solution. You can customize the name of the service and theme to suit your individual branding. The platform is also hardware agnostic, so you can buy an ‘all in one PC’, as demonstrated in this video, or setup tablets in your shop or even just offer an online bookstore. How much does it cost to deploy this ecosystem into your shop? It varies, there are no set in stone price points, and Overdrive will custom tailor the price, depending on the size and scale of your business.

Steve Potash shows off New Overdrive Media Station is a post from: E-Reader News

Zoological Society of London: saving rhinos with the Pi

We’ve been talking a bit about London Zoo’s efforts with the camera board to set affordable camera traps in Kenya, looking not only for wild animals, but also for poachers. This is incredibly important work; rhinos, elephants and other terribly endangered animals are targeted for their body parts, which fetch large sums in some markets.

This project is one of several up for a £500,000 grant from Google, but to get that grant, they need your help: please go and vote for them this evening on the Google Global Impact Challenge website.

You’ve only got a few hours left to vote, so please get clicking!

Kindle Fire Update Adds Battery % Meter and Breaks Wallpapers on Alt Launchers

While Barnes and Noble is making their Nook HD tablets more appealing by adding support for Google Play, Amazon is taking the opposite approach by locking down their Kindle Fire tablets even more from outside influences and forcing people to use the custom Kindle interface to keep the cycle of spending more money at Amazon [...]