Barnes and Noble is experiencing severe discounts on its entire Nook Tablet line in the USA. Target and Walmart are all offering very solid savings and it might be a good investment with the recent addition of Google Play on the entire line of devices.
Walmart and Target are both offering the Nook HD 8GGB for $129 and the Nook HD+ 16GB for $149 and the Nook HD+ 32GB for $179. Target might be the best deal in town if you have the REDcard, which saves you a further 5%. I have received many emails from people who said most retail locations are sold out and they had to call EVERYONE in their area to find at least one or two units laying around.
Barnes and Noble’s tablet future is full of uncertainty, with many sources claiming the nation’s largest bookstore chain might be getting out of the tablet business altogether. Tablets have very slim profit margins, and the US and is very competitive. Likely, we are seeing these discounts spread across the entire distribution network because new hardware is coming down the pipe.
Thursday, June 6, 2013
Giving books a chance and being able to find the right read for you is something the entire publishing industry is very focused on. The process of ebook discovery is prompting thousands of new companies to simplify the process and create a Wild West free for all. HarperCollins is all too aware of this problem and it has prompted the company to initiate the BookSmash Challenge. This new program invites software developers to “unleash the book” in a $25,000 software competition for the best reading/book discovery apps.
The BookSmash challenge is a four-month-long contest that encourages developers to create new digital products that "break the binding" and re-imagine the book. HarperCollins is providing full access to its API for a number of authors participating in the program, which includes copyrighted books, covers, and complete metadata.
"Developers who wish to innovate around book products often find challenges in gaining access to authors' content, as well as understanding rights, distribution, and legal issues," said Chantal Restivo-Alessi, HarperCollins Chief Digital Officer. "We hope to bridge this gap by making content and guidance available, and encouraging participants to think outside the box about the reading experience as a whole."
From the eligible submissions, there will be four prizes awarded: Grand Prize, Runner-Up, Popular Choice, and the HarperCollins Recognition Award. A group of judges, including entrepreneur and author of Curation Nation Steve Rosenbaum; entertainment industry veteran Paul Vidich; co-founder of N3TWORK and former Apple Executive Erik Lammerding; CEO of LiveDeal, Inc. Mike Edelhart; and HarperCollins Chief Digital Officer Chantal Restivo- Alessi will review the entries and select the Grand Prize and Runner-Up winners. Additionally, the projects will be posted to the ChallengePost online gallery this fall, where members of the public will be able to vote for their favorite submission for the Popular Choice category. Lastly, the HarperCollins Recognition Award, a non-cash prize, will be awarded to a participating large organization. A total of $25,000 in cash prizes will be awarded to the creators of the winning projects.
If you have the fortitude to tap into the HarperCollins ebook API and design a new ebook discovery engine, this may be the contest for you! Apps will be accepted from June 6 to September 5, 2013 at http://booksmash.challengepost.com/
Barnes and Noble is taking advantage of the publishing industries growing trend of short fiction. The company has announced Nook Snaps program, which features high-quality short fiction and narrative non-fiction handpicked by Nook editors offering fresh perspectives on modern life. The program offers 3 to 5 new Nook Snaps selections of at least 5,000 words every other month for only $1.99 each.
Guardian Shorts, Kindle Singles, Atavist, and many other companies have entered the short fiction space, to take advantage of people wanting shorter reads. It is basically books too short to be a novel and too long to be the cover story in a magazine. How do authors submit their works to Nook Snaps? A Barnes and Noble representative told us that “Nook Snaps is an editorially driven program, and we are selectively adding content to the program for the immediate future. Authors may submit titles via a submission box we are setting up now. We will be posting submission guidelines to our website shortly, and we will accept submissions through our email box.”
"We believe our collection of bite-sized Nook Snaps, refreshed bimonthly and offered at a great price, provides a wonderful new way for our readers to connect with some of today's most compelling voices," said Theresa Horner, Vice President of Digital Content at Nook Media. "Nook Snaps are sure to delight readers with their smart, incisive and provocative points of view told through wonderfully crafted stories. It's an editorially driven program that reflects our ongoing commitment to high-quality short content delivered on our innovative Nook platform."
There are four debut titles in the collection that should appeal to a wide audience. High-Status Characters: How The Upright Citizens Brigade Stormed a City, Started a Scene, and Changed Comedy Forever by Brian Raftery. Also, How to be a Playgirl by Jessanne Collins and Willing to be Lucky by Mickey Rapkin. The last title is The Insurrectionist by Michael Dahlie.
The Nook Snaps page is now online, but seems to put the focus on Barnes and Noble’s entire catalog. The various sections are tending to put the emphasis on the popularity of the author and the word count of the entire book. There are short reads and novellas on the front-page by Karin Slaughter, Jeff Kinney, and Diane Chamberlain.
|Tired of giving boring presentations? Make your PowerPoint slides shine with these tips.|
|Charbax from ARMdevices.net is at Computex 2013 this week and once again posted an interesting video that shows off some of Onyx International’s new Android-powered E Ink ebook readers as well as their 4.3″ E Ink Android smartphone. Unfortunately Onyx has virtually no presence in the United States so unless you follow the field of [...]|
Are you looking to enrich your digital collection with the newest titles in Content Reserve? Interested in saving a bundle during sales? Want to be the first to know which publishers' titles will be available for purchase? Then don't miss our collection highlights podcast series, which brings you all this and more every month.
Our short June podcast is now live on OverDrive's Learning Center. Tune in to learn all about the wealth of content that's newly available in Content Reserve, including TED books from the same folks who bring you these famous talks, bestsellers from Hachette and Hachette Audio, Spanish language classics, horizon-expanding content for kids, and much more. We'll also share news about June's many discounts and promotions, along with our recommended reads for the month—all in under 15 minutes.
June's podcast is available all month. Enjoy, and make sure to check back in July for the next installment of this monthly series.
Carrie Smith is a Technical Writer at OverDrive.
June marks the official beginning of summer, which means long hours spent soaking up sun beside the pool, cutting the grass on warm evenings, and going on road trips to wondrous destinations. Why not spend these nostalgic summer activities enjoying a great audiobook?
June also is national audiobook month and to celebrate, we’re offering big discounts on thousands of audiobooks from some of our biggest publishers! With subjects like business, self-help, adult fiction, nonfiction, classics, juvenile fiction, and more to choose from, you're sure to find something you'll enjoy! We now have our largest collection of MP3 audiobooks ever, which means universal compatibility and ease of use for whatever gadget you have in your sun-tanned hands this summer.
Please look for these sales in your Content Reserve Marketplace:
However, the summer love is not just for audiobooks; we also have some great June sales on eBooks as well:
So before you hide your eyes behind a dark set of shades and permanently attach yourself to your beach chair, stop into Content Reserve and check out all these great deals! Because, like summer, they won't last long!
Rob Mooney is a Collection Development Analyst with OverDrive
At last week’s BookExpo America event, GoodEReader spoke with Mark Lefebvre, Director of Self-Publishing and Author Relations for Kobo’s self-publishing platform Writing Life, to discuss the global potential for indie authors. While so many companies have not yet extended their reach into many foreign markets, Kobo has made its catalog of ebooks available in 194 countries, and it’s writing platform is allowing authors to reach readers on a regular basis in almost as many.
“Some of our bestselling authors are selling regularly in over sixty different countries. They’re selling in markets they never even thought of. But from an author’s perspective, you might have a following in a local market, but to sell your book in a foreign country because you made it available globally is incredible.”
“What is always fun is that typically an author’s first sales will be in the territory they live in, but what is exciting is the opportunity for cross-promotion.”
Lefebvre explained that Kobo’s algorithms suggest titles based on previous purchases, like so many other online retailers, but with its truly global reach, readers who select a title are then offered similar suggestions that don’t necessarily have to come from that original book’s territory. Readers are discovering a wealth of new authors to read, and Kobo has the connection to help those readers discover international authors that they never would have read in the era of brick-and-mortar purchases.
“We have one set of authors who are doing really well through Kobo.com, but we have a different set of authors and publishers who are doing really well through our partnership with the ABA [American Booksellers Association]. The sales that are coming through the independents is a list that is more on par with the types of books that sell really well in an independent store as opposed to a chain store. You’ll get more non-fiction, political science, higher end titles, literary titles, and those customers haven’t been trained to drive towards the 99-cent price point. Customers are already comfortable supporting independent bookstores and paying for quality.”
This understanding that comes from supporting independent bookstores through the ABA has translated into an understanding that indie authors also need the same support and reader following.
“When those books are available through the ABA stores, those customers haven’t been brainwashed into thinking the ebooks aren’t worth anything.”
Kobo Writing Life’s International Reach, Indie Reach is a post from: E-Reader News
GoodEReader had meetings with a number of well-known authors at last week’s BookExpo America event, such as CJ Lyons and Stephanie Bone, but one thing about these authors makes them standouts: their success. By standard definitions from the traditional publishing model, these authors would by all rights be considered bestselling, successful authors. But by the age-old preconceived notions about self-publishing, the audience reach and book sales from authors Hugh Howey, Bella Andre, Barbara Freethy would be considered nothing short of amazing.
Both Andre and Howey were the first of what will hopefully be a long line of authors who made the semi-transition to traditional publishing. Other authors, like Amanda Hocking, gained notoriety for leaving a lucrative self-publishing career to become a traditionally published author, but Andre was the first to receive a substantial advance from a well-known major publisher for her existing titles; Howey was quickly able to follow suit. Both of these authors will retain the ebook and foreign language rights to their work, but were given an advance on the print-only rights to books that they had already published.
Howey talked about the clamoring of the readers for new content, where fans will reach out to these authors immediately asking for updates.
“We have this rapport between reader and writer, which is one of the best things to come out of this revolution. They know they can say, ‘When’s the next one coming out?’” Howey said. “We can write fast enough for these readers, so I recommend other reads from the authors that I love. I’ve just never felt like it’s a competition.”
Howey mentioned that the real competition in the publishing industry is not between authors or genres, but with other forms of entertainment. Reading has to become an integral part of the audiences’ lives in order to hold their interest when there are so many other sources of entertainment vying for their attention.
Freethy, who just passed the three million paid sales mark for her romance titles, is about to release the next title in series next month. Andre has sold more than 1.5 million paid downloads of her ebooks and her print titles have already been released, but her newest title will be released later this month and will be released simultaneously as ebook and print.
All three of the authors had an interesting take on how their publishing journey has not forced them into a genre. Howey has a young adult title coming and has been working on a romance novel, while Freethy has incorporated elements of paranormal into her work.
“I know my readers and I know what they want,” explained Freethy. “My fan base is still going to like it because it’s still my voice and it’s still my story. My readers are going to come along with me and I don’t have to be pigeon-holed into any kind of category, or what’s hot, or what’s selling now. It’s just going to be the latest Barbara Freethy book.”
“I agree,” said Andre. “The amazing thing about indie publishing or self-publishing is you can connect with your readers and you can definitely write the kind of books that they want, but you can also branch out and try something new. Give it a whirl. You have to prioritize, but it’s exciting to know that I can reach readers directly.”
GoodEReader sat down with audiobook creation platform ACX at last week’s BookExpo America event to talk about the popularity of audiobooks. More importantly, the discussion evolved into what their creation and marketing can do in terms of discovery, sales, and reader fan base for indie authors.
What most indie authors may not be aware of is that platform’s like Amazon’s ACX and the opportunities to reach even more readers exist at all.
“ACX is the Audiobook Creation Exchange,” said Jason Ojalvo, VP of Content Creation at ACX. “We are a marketplace where audio rights holders, like authors and publishers, can meet audio producers, like actors and recording studios. When they come together, they can meet one another and create their audiobook through the ACX system, upload it when its completed, and it goes for sale through our distribution network.”
That network includes ACX’s portal, Audible, and iTunes. This distribution system to a broader reading audience can include exclusive or non-exclusive distribution. Under exclusive distribution, the royalty rate can be as high as 90%, while under non-exclusive it can still be distributed to those three major outlets but can also be pressed to CD, or sold through other websites or brick-and-mortar stores, but the royalty rate is significantly lower.
But is this actually lucrative for the self-published authors? According to the variety of ways to create the audio file and the different methods of finding and compensating the voice talent, at the very least it stands to not be a risky investment, but many authors are finding the even more of their sales come from the audio version than from their print or ebook sales.
“Indie authors are finding a lot of success, in fact, the majority of our books are from indie authors. We have a few Big Six publishers who use ACX, but the indie authors are really our bread-and-butter. They’re selling extremely well, and one of Audible’s bestsellers last year came through ACX, we had a couple of audio award nominees who came through ACX, and it’s becoming more mainstream.
“That’s really our goal for ACX, to bring audiobooks more into the mainstream and have it be a form of entertainment along side film, TV, video games, newspapers, and audiobooks.”
Ojalvo appreciates the comparison some people have made between ACX and Amazon’s other do-it-yourself platforms like Kindle Direct Publishing, as though it is the KDP of audiobooks, but it is especially the sentiment surrounding Amazon’s print-on-demand platform that he connected with. Much as with the idea that there’s no longer any reason an author should not make his indie title available in print, there’s no longer a reason not to create the audiobook edition.
“I love that comparison. There’s no reason not to make an audiobook. That’s one of the reasons that ACX launched. We did the research and found that only about five percent of professionally published books were turned into audiobooks. What about the other 95%? They deserve to be heard. So we created ACX so that any author or publisher can turn their books into audiobooks. There’s no reason for any audio right to lie fallow.”