Monday, June 3, 2013

e Ink Unveils new e-Paper Display Screen for Watches


e Ink has experimented with watches in the past with Seiko, a Japan based company. Pebble has really captured the mainstream imagination with their watches that sync with your most major phones on the market. This has prompted this emerging segment of the display screen industry to all work on solutions. Today, e Ink has announced a new business deal with Sonostar to release a new line of watches using a 1.73-inch display.

The new watch will be unveiled at Computex, in Taiwan later this week. It is designed to be a smart watch, and will be able to connect to your Android or iPhone. You need to download the companies official app to pair it to your watch via Bluetooth. Likely, you will be able to receive Google Now and Facebook updates pushed to your watch, to curb the reliance on pulling out your phone all the time.

The essence of this new 1.73 inch e-Paper display is the new Mobius technology that is found in the new Sony 13.3 inch e-Reader. The resolution will be 320×240 and will be able to display 16 levels of grey. It is said that this watch will last for a full month, before needing a recharge.

E Ink's Director of Product Management, Giovanni Mancini, said: "The joint development between Sonostar and Transmart is the perfect example of the how E Ink can help its customers get their product to market. E Ink displays enable unique products that capture the customer's imagination. Our business development team has the expertise to help our customers design the displays into their products in ways never before thought possible."

E-Paper watches will be the next major trend in the wearable technology industry. SID Display Week in Vancouver had both Mirasol and e Ink showcasing a new breed of technology, designed specifically for watches. This will allow for more of a mainstream adoption of e-Paper in general, chiefly due to the synergy between a smartphone and a secondary device. Smart watches are an emerging trend and it remains to be seen if customers will adopt it in significant droves to drive the manufacturing cost down. Developer support will also be a key component, to make exclusive apps for the growth of an industry. It will interesting to watch, no pun intended, if Pixel Qi, Neonode or Liquavista will also develop small screens also.

e Ink Unveils new e-Paper Display Screen for Watches is a post from: E-Reader News

Adobe PDF Reader Now Available for Windows Phone 8


Adobe has been the literal pioneer of PDF Reading and now Windows Phone 8 users have something to cheer about. The seminal document reader is now available for download for those who have the latest Windows Phones to have hit the market.

The Windows 8 phone platform is starting to attract major developers, something Blackberry has been unable to do. The new app will allow people to search for specific text within the app and also copy & paste. If you need to zoom in on images or specific text entries, there is a robust feature to aid you in that quest.

Nokia is now seeing 75% of their entire revenue stream stem from Windows Phone sales. The operating system has a whole, barely has 6% of the entire market, but is growing. Microsoft has had some troubles with Mango and previous iterations of the operating system, but they seem to be committed to the Windows 8 platform.

Adobe PDF Reader Now Available for Windows Phone 8 is a post from: E-Reader News

Interview: Otis Chandler of GoodReads Talks about Amazon

otis chandler goodreads

Otis Chandler is the CEO of GoodReads founded the company in 2006 and launched the first iteration of the company in 2007. Recently, he sold the company to Amazon for $100 million dollars and delivered a keynote speech at IDPF, talking about the growth of the platform and the future. He then spoke exclusively to Good e-Reader, talking about the future of GoodReads and alleviating concerns about the Amazon acquisition.

GoodReads is an online bookclub where users can rate and review books they have read and create their own collections. There are over 18 million members that participate in the culture and over 570 million books are currently on users shelves. Every single month 11 million books are flagged as “Want to Read” and every single second 250 more are added. Reviews are off the charts right now with over 857,000 currently in the system.

Authors are attracted to the GoodReads ecosystem, mainly because this is where the users are and the entire interface is fairly intuitive. Over 74,000 authors are registered in the system and engage in Q/A and address questions from their fan base. James Patterson, Margaret Atwood, John Grisham, Nicolas Sparks, E.L. James and Neil Gaiman are a few examples of the more active names.

One thing that GoodReads does very well, is organize collections of quotes by famous authors and from specific books. You only have to Google for a specific author and likely the first result is from GoodReads. Over 1 million quotes are currently in the system and more are added every single day.

Before GoodReads ever got bought out by Amazon, they used to do business with them. They used their API to gather book cover art, the number of pages and other critical metadata. In early 2012, they switched over to Ingram, who is the largest book distributor in the world. GoodReads also developed their own public API that allowed companies such as Kobo and Sony to use their rating system and reviews. I asked Otis, does the Amazon acquisition mean the end of the public API and what should the bookstores do that depend on it. He mentioned “We have no plans to discontinue our API for the foreseeable future, we know companies depend on it, and while I am in charge, it will be status quo.” Still, companies are worried about the future of their metadata and Sony has recently switched from using GoodReads to dealing with Sony and formed a partnership with iDreambooks to tap into their wellspring of ratings and critic reviews. Their business model centers around the aggregation of literary reviews from publications like the NYTimes and Washington Post and recommends books that were given a positive rating by 70% of critics. It functions a bit like RottenTomatoes or Metacritic in terms of eBooks and mainly focuses on bestsellers or perennial favorites. Currently the company is adding reviews from all top-tier publications going as far back as 2008 in the next couple of weeks. They have thousands available right now, and tend to add more every day.

Otis mentioned that “GoodReads was originally developed just to share my reading lists with my friends and to recommend books to each other. In 2007, the landscape was radically different and there were only a few scant message boards with any kind of book recommendation going on. Honestly, at first when people I did not know started to join, I was ready to shut it down, or limit the people who could join. In the first year, 10 million books where shelves and we knew we were on to something.”

What does the future of GoodReads hold? Otis said that “Amazon is letting us run the company autonomously, similar to Audible and Zappos. Of course, I now have a boss, but they are fairly liberal at letting us run the company the way we always have. We now have access to a larger network and shared technologies to expedite our growth and implement new features.”  GoodReads is also building more functionality into Facebook and working on a number of new of initiatives.

The general consensus at IDPF this year was that Amazon merely bought GoodReads so they did not have to compete with them. Amazon has their own VERY extensive user rating and review system and basically had no need to acquire GoodReads for this type of metadata. Most people believe that in a few years, if Amazon did not buy them, someone else would. It was a preemptive decision to buy the only massive book community that mattered on the internet and decide what to do with it later.

Interview: Otis Chandler of GoodReads Talks about Amazon is a post from: E-Reader News

Good e-Reader Radio – Post BEA and IDPF Wrapup

book expo america 2013

Over the last week the entire Good e-Reader staff was in New York for IDPF and Book Expo America. This is the first year our website was one of the major sponsors of the largest digital book event in the world and we talked to a number of major players in the industry. Today, we have a few audio interviews we did at the show, where we spoke to Kobo and Overdrive about a myriad of issues.

This year was very light on news for Book Expo America. It seems now, more then ever that companies are staging their own private events, instead of using BEA as a platform to announce new products or services. Many of the statups in attendance did not have booths, but were pounding the floor, talking to the bigger companies. In this post show edition, I get into the major trends of the event and what we all took away.

Good e-Reader Radio – Post BEA and IDPF Wrapup is a post from: E-Reader News

Mitch Albom announced as the Digipalooza ’13 Keynote Speaker

OverDrive is excited to announce that bestselling author Mitch Albom will be the Keynote Speaker for Digipalooza '13. Digipalooza is OverDrive's biannual international user conference where hundreds of librarians, publishers and retailers gather in Cleveland for education, networking and, of course, fun.


Mitch Albom, perhaps best known for his all-time bestselling memoir 'Tuesdays with Morrie', is the author of five consecutive New York Times best sellers. His works have collectively sold over 35 million copies in forty-two languages worldwide. Albom is also a screenwriter, playwright and nationally-syndicated columnist and appears on ESPN. His new novel, ‘The First Phone Call from Heaven’ will be on sale 11/12/13.


Digipalooza is held at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel August 1-4. While spots are limited, registration is still open so be sure to sign up today to hear Mitch Albom's keynote speech as well as Steve Potash's Crystal Ball report, library best practices and the newest titles coming from publishers from around the world. You can register here and go to for more information. See you in August!


Adam Sockel is a Marketing Communications Specialist at OverDrive.

ASUS Announces New 7″ and 10″ HD MeMO Pad Tablets

Today Asus unveiled two new Android tablets with high resolution screens ideal for ereading. There’s a 7-inch model and a 10-inch model; both are upgrades to Asus’s MeMo Pad line of tablets. The 7-inch Asus MeMo Pad HD 7 is what the original MeMo Pad 7 should have been: It has an upgraded 1280 x [...]

Penguin and Random House Merger to Complete in July

Printing press

Penguin and Random House have cleared the last hurdle with their proposed merger with China giving their blessing today. These two companies will officially join forces in July and will account for 1/4 of all books to be published globally.

The new publishing merger will have 53% controlling interest by Bertelsmann and 47% by Pearson. When the merger is complete, it will encompass all of Random House and Penguin Group's publishing units in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, India and South Africa, as well as Penguin's operations in China and Random House's publishers in Spain and Latin America. Pearson and Bertelsmann believe that the combined organization, the world's leading consumer publishing company, will have a stronger platform and greater resources to invest in rich content, new digital publishing models and high-growth emerging markets.

Basically, this merger will allow for stronger negotiating power with Amazon and other online eBook stores. Libraries should also benefit, as many people within the American Library Association think that a more unified digital lending strategy may be employed.

Penguin and Random House Merger to Complete in July is a post from: E-Reader News

Introducing the New Out Of Box Software (NOOBS)

If you’re a beginner with a Raspberry Pi, things just got a whole lot easier.

We started this project with the premise that throwing people in at the deep end and making them jump hurdles, to mix my sporting metaphors, is a good way to get them to learn stuff. It is: but it can also put some people off, sometimes terminally. And we don’t want people to put their Raspberry Pi down in horror after five minutes. So with this in mind, we’d like to introduce you to NOOBS.

NOOBS is a way to make setting up a Raspberry Pi for the first time much, much easier. You won’t need network access, and you won’t need to download any special imaging software. Just head to the downloads page, grab a copy of the NOOBS zip file, and unpack it onto a freshly formatted 4GB (or larger) SD card. When you boot up for the first time, you’ll see a menu prompting you to install one of several operating systems into the free space on the card. The choice means you can boot the Pi with a regular operating system like Raspbian, or with a media-centre specific OS like RaspBMC.

The main OS selection menu.

Once you’ve installed an operating system, your Pi will boot as normal. However, NOOBS stays resident on your card, so by holding shift down during boot you can return to the recovery interface. This allows you to switch to a different operating system, or overwrite a corrupted card with a fresh install of the current one; it also provides a handy tool to let you edit the config.txt configuration file for the currently installed operating system, and even a web browser so you can visit the forums or Google for pointers if you get stuck.

Editing config.txt.

Viewing the forums in the Arora browser.

Thanks to Rob, Gordon, Dom and Floris (of BerryBoot fame), who together developed NOOBS from scratch in less than a month. Also, thanks to our army of volunteer translators for the localisation; and to the operating system maintainers, most notably Alex, for producing updated images in time for integration into the final zip file.

Our partners will be offering SD cards pre-installed with NOOBS in the near future, but until then please download, have a play, and let us know what you think.

Amazon Slashes Kindle HD Tablet Prices for Fathers Day


Amazon is reducing the investment cost of the Kindle Fire HD 7 and 8.9 tablets for Father’s Day. You can now get a $20.00 savings on both models by using the coupon code DADSFIRE at checkout.

The Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7 features a seven inch IPS display with 1,280 x 800 pixels. It offers an amazing viewing experience and the ability to watch 720p movies right on the unit. Underneath the hood is a 1.2GHz dual-core TI OMAP4460 processor and 1 GB of RAM, which makes accessing media, books, and other content very fast and easy. Meanwhile, the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 features the highest resolution touchscreen display panel Amazon has ever produced. You are looking at a very respectable 1920 × 1200 pixels, compared to the 1280 × 800 showcased in the Kindle Fire HD 7. The enhanced colors really make more graphic-heavy content very vibrant.

The big hyping factors behind these two devices are the Surround Sound speakers, which gives you the best sound experience ever found on a tablet. Freetime is also a solid program that lets you limit the amount of things your child can do with the tablet. For example, you can set the web-browsing, gaming, and reading sessions. This way, you do not have to take the tablet away from them, you can merely establish how much time they can play games, before the tablet shuts the games down.

Amazon Slashes Kindle HD Tablet Prices for Fathers Day is a post from: E-Reader News

Page to Screen: eBooks on the Big Screen

From Shakespeare to Stephen King, the box office this year is jam-packed with literary tales hitting the big screen. Encourage readers to get the whole story by adding these eBooks and audiobooks to your collection to tie in with movie releases through the rest of the year. To help grab users' attention for some of the most popular titles, hang our book to movie flyers in your library branches or around your community. The editable URL will allow you to add a link to your OverDrive collection.

Download the book to movie flyers to display in your library or share in your community to promote your digital collection.



"Much Ado About Nothing" by William Shakespeare

Movie release date: June 7


"The Bling Ring" by Nancy Jo Sales

Movie release date: June 14


"World War Z" by Max Brooks

Movie release date: June 21



"Despicable Me" (an audiobook novelization of the motion picture) by Annie Auerbach

The sequel is set to be released: July 3



"The Spectacular Now" by Tim Tharp

The movie is scheduled for limited US release: August 2


"Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters" by Rick Riordan

Movie release date: August 7



"The Last Apprentice" series by Joseph Delaney

Movie, renamed The Seventh Son, scheduled for release: October 18


"Carrie" by Stephen King

Movie release date: October 18



"Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card

Movie release date: November 1


"Catching Fire", The Hunger Games Series Book 2 by Suzanne Collins

Movie release date: November 22



“The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkein

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug movie is scheduled for release: December 13


Movie release dates are subject to change and are for the U.S. market. Title availability may vary by geographic region.


To shop for these titles and more, visit the Content Reserve Marketplace. For additional marketing resources, check out our Partners Portal.


Melissa Marin is a Marketing Specialist at OverDrive.


Red Shelf, Story Sticker Start Ups Showcasing their Companies at BEA


BookExpo America is still one of the premier publishing events in the world, and it has many facets. Authors will be on hand to autograph their books, publishers will display advanced copies of their upcoming titles, and even very real business meetings will take place between publishers and booksellers or librarians. It’s an all-encompassing showcase for everything book related.

In the last few years, this event has grown to include ebooks, and one of the most interesting sections of BEA is the Digital Zone. While ebook mainstays like Amazon and Kobo will set up massive eye-catching booths and have featured authors drop by, it’s really the smaller, out of the way booths from the new startups that can be the most interesting to watch.

This year’s event saw two particularly interesting startups bring their concepts to the event. The first, Red Shelf, was born out of a virtual document storage and sharing concept, Virdocs. The business model isn’t really all that new a concept. It’s a cloud-based ebook retailer that lets anyone read anywhere, on any wi-fi capable device.While the company isn’t only aimed at authors but actually caters to any business that has documents to store and share, it’s publishing concept is profound.

At first glance, it’s tempting to think, “Do we really need another ebook retailer?” But just as the current movement of indie authors decided to take more control over their work and publish their own books, Red Shelf enables authors with the right know-how to sell their content on the Red Shelf platform or the authors’ own websites at a fairly unheard of royalty. With plans ranging from free with a 20% cut, to as much a $199 per month with additional features and benefits, it just might be the answer to major ebook retailers and the lack of control over pricing that authors and publishers have felt.

The second was a company that GoodEReader has been watching eagerly: Story Sticker. This company creates QR code stickers in the shape of a darling teddy bear, and sells the stickers. Each sticker is activated by the Story Sticker app, allowing parents, grandparents, teachers, everyone to turn any book into a read-aloud story. The purchaser of the book and sticker records his own voice via a smartphone or tablet (Android coming soon), and gives the book to its recipient. Now, when the recipient of the book scans the QR code bear with his device, he hears the voice of the person who recorded it for him.

Story Sticker might seem like a sweet way to make a treasured keepsake, but the educational implications of this company are staggering. Apart from the very obvious applications of this product for low ability level readers or small children, the possibilities it presents for special education and ESL (English as a Second Language) students are vast.

Interestingly, this year’s BEA Digital Zone also featured a few startups whose products were still in development, but who had come to the event to display their “coming attractions” for ebooks and digital publishing.  Part of the discovery aspect that makes major events so enticing is the ability to envision what’s coming next, especially in the world of publishing.

Red Shelf, Story Sticker Start Ups Showcasing their Companies at BEA is a post from: E-Reader News

Danish Mofibo eBook Subscription Service Launch Expected this Summer


The Copenhagen Post published an article this week about an ebook startup idea that seems to have already come and gone in the minds of other consumer markets. Again, being compared to Netflix and Spotify, Mofibo plans to be an ebook subscription service to serve the needs of Denmark’s reading customers. And just like other models that never really took off, the same promises of allowing readers to access bestselling titles from the major publishers, the same comparisons to the movie and music industries, etc.

So why is this service going to be any different? It might work this time because it’s taking off in a market that isn’t known for being major ebook consumers yet.

“We are the first in Denmark to offer this kind of service for e-books and publishers have been very positive," said Strunge in the CPH Post article. "In the US, 30 percent of reading is done on tablets and I am sure the same will happen here. I believe the market is ready for this service."

According to the article, ebooks still only account for a tiny portion of book sales in Denmark. At the same time, Mofibo founder Morten Strunge isn’t trying to change the way consumers read their ebooks, he’s aiming at getting consumers to read the digital books at all. And by rolling out a subscription service in a market that isn’t already overrun with ebook retailing options, there’s an excellent chance that as readers take to reading on their smartphones or tablets, that they will incorporate the subscription concept at the same time.

In other attempts to launch subscription-based ebook platforms, some of the major hurdles involved the pricing and compensation. The companies had to be able to guarantee that the publishers and authors were duly paid, but still had to be able to convince the subscribers that they were actually getting a good deal. There’s no incentive to pay to borrow a book if it’s not a better financial choice than simply buying it.

Strunge stated that not only are the publishers he’s spoken with on board with his concept, but that the public libraries are excited about this as well.

“I think Mofibo will be a benefit to the public libraries by creating a stronger overall market for e-books and other digital materials," said Pernille Drost, president of the librarian's union, Bibliotekarforbundet, in the article. Drost’s aim is for publishers to see how beneficial Mofibo could be in terms of book and author discovery, then apply that same forward thinking to library ebook lending.

When launching something new, there’s bound to be some buzz generated by the early adopters, but in Denmark’s case, it might just be that the entire country takes to book subscriptions at the same time that they evolve into ebook consumers. Hopefully, Mofibo will enjoy some level of success that can be applied to other e-reading markets.

Danish Mofibo eBook Subscription Service Launch Expected this Summer is a post from: E-Reader News