Thursday, July 11, 2013

Aquafadas Releases New Version of Its Digital Comics Publishing System


Today Aquafadas announced a new suite of digital comics publishing programs, the Aquafadas Digital Publishing System 3.0, which is designed to make it even easier to publish comics digitally across a variety of platforms.

Aquafadas makes software that allows users to export their comics to a number of digital platforms. With version 3.0, those platforms include the web, iOs, Android (including Kindle Fire), and Kobo products. The web export option, which allows users to publish their comics directly to a web reader, and the Kindle Fire export are new with this release. Not surprisingly, given that Kobo owns Aquafadas, users can now export to the Kobo e-reader platform as well.

Also new with this release is the AVE AppFactory for Android, which allows users with little app development experience to create custom apps by simply dragging and dropping content. Aquafadas already has a similar product for iOS.

I spoke to Aquafadas general manager Rainer Heckmann at Book Expo America last month, before the new release was out, but it was clearly on his mind. “We will soon also have support for the Amazon format KF8,” he told me then, “which means publishers can start from a single source file and design and publish into any channel—into Apple apps, Android apps, Amazon apps. They can publish into ePub and they can even publish into a web reader.”

At BEA, Heckmann demonstrated the Aquafadas Comic Composer, which allows the user to split up a comic into panels for a panel-by-panel reading experience and either choose the types of transitions they want (slide, fade, etc.) or go with the default settings. “What you do in Comic Composer is draw rectangles, creating scenes, over the page image of a comic book,” Heckmann explained. “There is always a transition by default, and you can modify that. You can do it very quickly if you simply go with the default transitions; you only draw the rectangles and say ‘I want to move from this panel to this panel,’ but you can also modify the transition manually. It’s also possible to add video an audio to the comic. When the comic is complete, the user then exports it to the AppFactory to make it into an Android or iOS app.”

Making the process complete, Aquafadas also has its own digital comics store, AveComics, which is both a webstore and a app. It carries a wide variety of digital comics and has a strong European focus, although there are plenty of American comics in it as well.

Aquafadas Releases New Version of Its Digital Comics Publishing System is a post from: E-Reader News

Good e-Reader Radio – B&N CEO Departure, New Amazon Tablets and Apple DOJ News


Welcome to another jaw dropping edition of the Good e-Reader Radio Show! Today Michael Kozlowski of Good e-Reader and Jeremy Greenfield of Digital Book World give you a sense of the biggest news items of the week!

Today, we talk about the executive shakeup at Barnes and Noble and what it all means to the Nook Media division of the company. Many people are agreeing with us that Nook Media LLC may spin off into its own entity. Apple has lost its case against the Justice Department and already many people are talking about damages. Really, Apple will appeal this decision and it will be heard by the Second Circuit and will drag on for another year. Finally, Amazon is rumored to be working on a refreshed tablet lineup and the big seller is a huge boost in resolution.

Good e-Reader Radio – B&N CEO Departure, New Amazon Tablets and Apple DOJ News is a post from: E-Reader News

African Publishers Make Digital Content Accessible


As publishers across the US spring up to meet the needs of digital readers, and as even more existing publishers shift their focus to ebook opportunities, readers have responded with an increase in ebook sales. On an international scale, however, some of the choices for readers and authors are far more limited.

Thanks to Africa-based ebook distribution platform Snapplify, independent publishers across the continent are more easily able to place their content in front of readers, no small task in an area where illiteracy rates still soar due to a lack of access to books, even for educational purposes.

“African publishers have successfully taken advantage of digital distribution to combat this problem; however there are still some that are lagging behind the curve,” the company stated today. “Very little African content ever makes it to the international market via traditional publishing, but digital publishing renders all size publishers equal, allowing them to compete in the digital sphere amongst some of the largest publishing houses internationally.”

This centralization of content, titles that should rightfully be shared globally, is an issue that publishers and authors have faced in a variety of countries. eBook-first companies, such as LeFrench Book and Spanish Publishers, have come on publishing scene to make content available to audiences who would have never even found their titles under a traditional publishing model, let alone bought and read them.

“Not only will the rest of the world now have access to genuine African content; but with the introduction of more and more affordable e-reading devices, including tablets with e-reader apps, we will see more Africans reading local content. Already the increase in digital sales of this content is encouraging. More affordable e-Readers and tablets in Africa should encourage the uptake of local ebooks, which will have a positive effect on the continents’ reading habits.”

African Publishers Make Digital Content Accessible is a post from: E-Reader News

Baker & Taylor Works with Bookmasters, Offers New Services


In a wildly changing industry like publishing, companies–even those whose names go back decades and who are considered some of the mainstays of books–have to be able to evolve and adapt, or risk falling by the wayside. With both confirmed and rumored mergers among some of the largest publishers in business, other companies are looking to form alliances that will strengthen their standing in the market.

Baker & Taylor, the world’s largest book distributor, announced today that it has bought publishers services provider Bookmasters. this acquisition will help place B&T in a stronger position to reach out to publishers as a one-stop option for their titles.

“Baker & Taylor is excited to offer our publishing partners the unique benefits and value of Bookmasters’ suite of services. The book industry is going through periods of unprecedented change with the migration to digital. We see remarkable opportunities for the entire publishing supply chain to reduce costs while improving service levels to customers,” said David Cully, President of Retail Markets and Executive Vice President of Merchandising for Baker & Taylor.

Cully, whose role will be to reach out to clients on behalf of Bookmasters, told Publisher’s Weekly that this is a great opportunity for both companies.

"This partnership enables us to go from zero to 60. Baker & Taylor is excited to offer our publishing partners the unique benefits and value of Bookmasters's suite of services. This is a real complement. We've offered so many services to our retail, education, and library partners. We thought it was time to offer a complete suite of services to our publishers as well."

Both Baker & Taylor and Bookmasters are both owned by investors through the private equity firm Castle Harman, Inc., based in New York. As such, a partnership to increase their brand while offering a new suite of services is only one way to stay afloat in an industry undergoing so much progression.

Baker & Taylor Works with Bookmasters, Offers New Services is a post from: E-Reader News

Tribune to Split Company and Form a Dedicated Newspaper Publishing Division

Tribune Co. Files For Bankruptcy Protection

Tribune Co. is mostly known for its newspapers, such as the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun, Sun Sentinel, Orlando Sentinel, Hartford Courant, The Morning Call, and Daily Press. The company is splitting in two, with one segment focusing exclusively on publishing and the other on the television properties.

The main company will be drafting separation plans over the next nine to twelve months. After the split, each company will have its own board of directors and senior management team. The publishing division will have a dedicated revenue stream of around $1 billion dollars.

With the recent announcement of wanting to spin off its publishing division, Tribune is following in the footsteps of News Corp., which just completed its move into forming two separate entities. The prevailing belief within media circles is that—at least for the foreseeable future—broadcast and movie companies have a much rosier, more profitable future than does the print business, which is trying to develop a new template for the rapidly-evolving digital news age.

Tribune CEO Peter Liguori said, “Moving to separate our publishing and broadcasting assets into two distinct companies will bring single-minded attention to the journalistic standards, advertising partnerships, and digital prospects of our iconic newspapers, while also enabling us to take advantage of the operational and strategic opportunities created by the significant scale we are building in broadcasting.”

The main reason Tribune is spinning off its newspaper division is because it could not find a buyer for it. Last December, the company tried to sell its business to other companies, but no suitors had met its price point. The hope is when the publishing division is a separate entity, it will be easier to sell.

Tribune to Split Company and Form a Dedicated Newspaper Publishing Division is a post from: E-Reader News

Simultaneous Use titles- training both staff and users

Here's the situation: you have a roomful of users, and you want to teach them how to use their eReader devices or the OverDrive app on a tablet or smartphone. Perhaps your first instinct is to search your collection for the latest bestseller, only to find that there's a mile-long waiting list for that book. What can you do?


Your best bet is to check your library's OverDrive-powered site for the "Additional eBooks Always   Available" graphic shown here. Clicking this graphic will take you to the library site's collection of Project Gutenberg titles – a collection of thousands of titles offered in Open EPUB format, which are DRM free.


As the graphic says, these titles do not count against checkout limits, meaning no waiting list is created. If you use these titles for training purposes, your users can still get the books because they are always available. Anyone can grab one of these titles if they need something else to read, while they keep a checkout open on their card in case that mile-long waiting list shifts in their favor.


If the Gutenberg titles aren’t quite enough for you, there are many publishers offering Simultaneous Access titles for your collection.  Some of these include Duke Classics, Blackstone, Tantor, Disney Digital, and many more (visit Marketplace, or contact your Collection Development representative for a complete list). Please note that titles in these collections will count as checkouts for your users, however there will be no waiting list for those titles since they are also always available. Now, when you stand in front of your students, you’ll have more options at your fingertips, and demonstrating how easy it is to enjoy OverDrive media should be a breeze.


Also, don't forget about the new resources we have in our Partner Portal. You can integrate what you’ve learned from this post into information from our Marketing & Outreach section, or add it to the "Just the Basics" presentation we offer in the Learning Center. You can also get information about Front Line Tech Support from our Service Enhancements page, if you're looking to connect your users to our professional staff of support specialists.


Justin Noszek is a Support Specialist with OverDrive

Has the Kobo Aura HD Already Been Discontinued?

When Kobo surprised everyone by unveiling the Kobo Aura HD back in April, we knew from the beginning that it was unlikely to stay around as long as Kobo’s other ereaders because it was labeled as “limited edition”, with no real explanation of what that meant exactly. Well, just three months after launch, signs are [...]

PyPy 2.1 beta released

Back in May, we mentioned that we’d been sponsoring the development of the ARM port of PyPy, the high-performance Python interpreter. Earlier today the team released a first beta of the upcoming 2.1 release, which for the first time adds ARM as an officially supported architecture.

You can see the announcement here, and download binaries for Raspbian here. Give it a spin and let us know what you think.

Google Yourself!

Have you ever Googled your name? What did you find? Here are some tips to help you protect your information online, and take charge of your reputation.

The Raspberry Pi Microwave

Thanks to everyone who sent me a link to this today. Nathan Broadbent has turned his microwave into an Internet of Things microwave, with voice control, charming bingly bongly noises, a barcode scanner to look up cooking times on an online database, a touchscreen, iPad controls, a clock that’s synced to the internet, a habit of tweeting when dinner is ready, and much more. You’ll need to watch the video to believe it. Bonus points, Nathan, for making an honest-to-god raspberry pie in the thing.

Full instructions on hacking your own microwave are on Nathan’s blog.

Buy Digital Versions of Your Latest Print Book Order in OverDrive Marketplace

Several of our customers have asked for the ability to duplicate a print book order in their digital collection, and a newly added feature in Marketplace's Advanced Search makes this much easier. Here's how it works:


After you’ve prepared a print order, simply export a list of titles, including their ISBNs, then copy and paste the ISBNs all at once into the Marketplace Advanced Search ISBN box. You'll then get all the OverDrive digital titles that match the print ISBNs that you have ordered. Just make sure there is a space, a comma, or a semicolon between each ISBN (this usually happens automatically). You can copy an entire column or row at once. Highlight and copy all the ISBNs, and when you paste them into the Advanced Search, here is how it will look:



Click Search, drop them into a cart and you're ready to go. Some publishers assign a different ISBN for their eBooks, but if some of the titles don't show up, you can search the outliers by title or author to locate them.


Here's another idea: keep Marketplace open throughout the day, and as you come across titles on the bestseller lists, or in prepub announcements, or reviews, or blogs, or patron requests, search for digital copies at the same time.


We hope this will save you tons of time. Let us know how it works for you.


Cindy Orr is a Digital Collection Advisor with OverDrive