Thursday, July 18, 2013

JK Rowling’s The Cuckoo’s Calling is Sold Out and People are Switching to eBooks

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JK Rowling attempted to release a mystery under a pseudonym and posed as a retired military policeman named Robert Galbraith to write “The Cuckoo’s Calling” that was released in April to strong reviews but minimal sales. The only reason people found out it was her was due to a few tweets from the wife of one of the heads of the law firm that represents Rowling. Ever since she was outed the book has toppled many of the worlds bestseller lists and bookstores can not keep up with the demand.

Barnes and Noble, Chapters and many of North Americas leading bookstores are simply sold out and customers are unable to purchase Rowling’s latest book. You will be also hard pressed to find it at WH Smith and other UK bookstores as well. Mulholland Books said it is going back to press for 300,000 hardcover copies in order to meet the demand.

Many book readers are switching to the eBook format and bookstores are lamenting the entire situation. Likely, we are not going to see another 50 Shades of Grey phenomenon this year, but the prospect of one makes bookstores salivate. Bookshop owners are pining their hopes that the new mystery novel will get people in the stores and gain a bunch of sales. Tech savvy customers are buying the book from Amazon, Nook, Sony and Kobo, simply because the electronic version does not have limits.

This leads into the deeper discussion of a book with a low print-run starts to catch on, and it will be at least two weeks before stores get more copies sent over to them. In the meantime, digital readers are instantly able to read it and may influence them to continue to buy eBooks, so they don’t encounter another situation like this in the future.

JK Rowling’s The Cuckoo's Calling is Sold Out and People are Switching to eBooks is a post from: E-Reader News

BookWood Seeking to Make your Reading Experience more Fun and Enjoyable

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In the outgoing transformations of the publishing sector new and old, large, medium and small companies are trying very hard to ensure their futures. This is not as easy as you may think, since the grounds under their feet are in constant movement causing serious harm. It may sound trivial, but "What is reading in the digital world?" Prior digital era, reading was a personal event and even with some varying degrees of readers isolation. Content wise, it was always restrict to what was written on the published material. In the digital era, this can still be the case if the reader choses so, but much more can be done. The readers still have full control over his reading but it became just global!

We at BookWood, a Brazilian start up decided to face up the challenge and take it face on with this critical question on our minds! Our approach to have a winner App is to win over the readers with cleaver, innovative, fun, enjoyable and knowledgeable reading. Once we succeeded in win over the readers, self-publishing authors, writers, bloggers, companies and publishing professionals will join up the community.

We are doing it by first giving the reader o lot of new and patented things for him to use as he reads. First our BookWood will open all file formats available. We think that file format is not a very clever way to guarantee your client basis. Second, the reader will have full control over the e-Reader with no strings attached. We want our reader staying with us because we deserve this honor due to our good and hard work! The most innovative aspect of BookWood is our ability to make the reader to take a virtual trip as he reads to the places mentioned on the reading. This is done by an easy to use link with Google Earth or any other Geo location software. As a reader did you ever wonder "I really would love to see this place!". If you are a reader as voracious as I am, you know that there is no chance to go visit all these places! But you can see them and make your reading more fun, enjoyable and this helps me to better understand some aspect of the reading!

Readers all over the world would like to read from a variety of countries, cultures and experiences to enrich the. The reader in the digital era does not need to be restricted on languages, cultures, geographically or any form of restrictions. The reader may have no boundaries or may have as he pleases. In BookWood we decide to fully empower the reader by allowing him the get more information as he reads. The amount of information and from it comes will also be under readers control. In BookWood you can have definitions, translation, make note, and publish them on social nets and much more.

Since we think the reader will expand his reading horizons, we decided to help him also in finding his next reading material. So BookWood will have a new visual search tool. As the reader uses BookWood to read, in Google Earth (or any geo software) we will create a layer that will allow readers to select the publication profile he is interested in reading. Once done it, all the reader needs to do is to turn the globe to the place he wants to find his reading and start clicking on the icons! Each icon is a small information window and link. If the reader likes what he reads, click to go the page.

So with all these and more, we truly believe that the readers will choose BookWood as his main and most used e-Reader. BookWood will be available in the future to all OS and hardware. We also will develop special versions of BookWood for Education, Comics 3D and Reading Socially.

BookWood for education is a new form of making the students more interested in each class by showing him the places related to the class and let him to search specific sites related to the class. The system will also allow teachers and parents to reactive reports on student use and places visited.

BookWood for Comics 3D is new form of comics where by using the Open GL platform, comics writers will be able to develop a full story in 3D in one or several files. On the device, the screen will be split into two. The 2/3 upper part will display the 3D files. In the 1/3 bottom part the window will display the text of the story with no limitation on length and details. Each comic box in a traditional comic will be translated into a scene in this new version. A sequential of scenes will make the story. The text and scenes will be synchronized using flags, so the reader reads the scenes above change to fit. If the reader changes the scene, the text will change to fit. This allows also for small special movements to be placed along the story, like opening a box and a rabbit comes out!

Social reading is our version of BookWood to the share writing. You will need to wait a bit to enjoy it!

BookWood Seeking to Make your Reading Experience more Fun and Enjoyable is a post from: E-Reader News

Publisher Spotlight: Kensington Publishing Corp. & Urban Books, Part 1

 

In a recent article published by Drexel University, How Urban Fiction is Helping to Bring Readers Back to the Library, the author discusses a book by Dr. Vanessa Irvin Morris called "The Readers' Advisory Guide to Street Literature". In her book, Dr. Morris encourages librarians to understand the importance of offering a diverse collection that includes 'street lit', also known as urban fiction. She believes that librarians should read what their patrons are reading to better connect with their community, offer recommendations and know what type of titles to add to their collection. Urban fiction continues to grow in popularity and as Dr. Morris says, "Street lit has proven to be a meaningful gateway through which people become dedicated readers."

 

If you're new to the genre, here are a few recommendations from publishers Kensington Publishing Corp. & Urban Books to jump start your collection.

 

For some, these eBooks offer the opportunity to dive into the scandalous underworld of gangs, drugs and violence from the safety of their eReader. For others, the steamy romances in these stories fill their "Fifty Shades of Grey" fix. While plot lines may seem outrageous, your readers may find characters they can relate to, even if those characters are often put in extreme situations.  Many of the most popular books are a part of ongoing series so you can stock your collection with multiple titles at once. Click on the book titles to start reading a sample.

  • "Naughty" series by Brenda Hampton
  • The "Flint" and "Baltimore Chronicles" series by Treasure Hernandez
  • "Girls from Da Hood" 5, 6 and 7, a collection of short stories by various authors
  • "The Cartel" series by Ashley and JaQuavis

Writing team Ashley and JaQuavis also publish successfully on their own, as Ashley Antoinette or Ashley Snell and JaQuavis Coleman.  Make sure to check out "Guilty Gucci" by Ashley Antoinette and "The Dopeman Trilogy", starting with "The Dopeman's Wife" by JaQuavis Coleman.

 

Check back next week for more urban fiction recommendations, including Christian fiction and YA eBooks!

 

Melissa Marin is a Marketing Specialist at OverDrive.

 

Google Play Books Now Available in 9 New European Countries

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Google Play Books has expanded into nine new countries today, bringing their total footprint to 26. Residents in Denmark, Czech Republic, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, and Sweden can now access millions of free and paid eBooks.

One of the most interesting aspects of the entire Google Books experience is a new program the company unveiled a few months ago. It is a user portal that allows you to upload your own DRM-Free books in EPUB or PDF formats and have them synced to your Google Account. Any type of book with a digital watermark will also work on the service, such as Pottermore and TOR.

Poland and many other countries are seeing major booksellers are peddling digital books with watermarks and not bulky DRM encryption. It will be interesting to see if customers will gravitate towards the Google Platform, which is the operating system of choice for many of the top smartphones and tablets. Once readers get into a routine of being able to transfer books to any device and not have to rely on Adobe Digital Editions and propitiatory software, it is hard to break.

Google Play Books Now Available in 9 New European Countries is a post from: E-Reader News

San Diego Comic-Con: Play Along at Home with Digital Bargains and Apps

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The high holidays of the comics world are here: Comic-Con International in San Diego, which kicked off last night with Preview Night and will run through Sunday afternoon. Comics publishers bring their A game to this con, with panels full of editors and creators breaking news and giving special insights into their work.

If your heart is in San Diego but the rest of you isn’t, here are some ways to follow the action from the comfort of your e-reader.

Marvel Comics has a free app for iPhone or Android that brings you photos, Tweets, and live coverage from the convention floor.

Dark Horse Digital is hosting a Not at SDCC Sale featuring 99-cent issue of their flagship properties, including Abe Sapien, Brian Wood’s new Star Wars comic, and—highly recommended—the first two issues of Francesco Francavilla’s Black Beetle, a stylish retro noir comic. You really can’t find a better use for two bucks than getting these two comics.

Top Shelf, home of some of the best original graphic novels around, is holding a digital sale on all platforms, including comiXology, iBooks, and Kindle. Some highlights: Nate Powell’s moving Swallow Me Whole, a story of two children in family haunted by mental illness; Ed Piskor’s manic Wizzywig, the story of a phone phreak (hacker), and Jeff Lemire’s critically acclaimed The Underwater Welder. There’s also a lineup of children’s books, from Korgi to Pirate Penguin and Ninja Chicken, priced at an allowance-friendly 99 cents to $1.99.

Asylum Press is also having a half-price sale on Comics Plus.

Finally, the Oscars of comics are the Eisner Awards, which will be presented in a special ceremony on Friday evening. You can get ready for the inevitable post-awards discussions with a little help from comiXology, which has thoughtfully grouped all the digital editions of Eisner nominees on a single page.

San Diego Comic-Con: Play Along at Home with Digital Bargains and Apps is a post from: E-Reader News

4 Tips for Getting the Most out of Google Image Search

Learn how to find the pictures you're looking for with these simple tips!

OverDrive users’ favorite book series unveiled!

Last week we asked a simple question on our Facebook page: What is your favorite book series?

 

Using the Facebook questions tool we provided 10 initial answers but also allowed for anyone to write in their personal favorites if they weren't already on the list. Throughout the week hundreds of people chimed in with their votes, excitement and comments about what should be number one. What we ended up with was a list of the 25 book series that readers around the world told us were their favorites!

 

Highlights from the list include the (unsurprising) fact that the saga of The Boy Who Lived received nearly 1/3 of all votes to take the top spot.  What was interesting was that the 'Outlander' series received the same percentage of votes as George RR Martin's 'A Song of Fire and Ice' despite being a write in option! Additionally, despite toping the 'Most Downloaded' charts month after month, the 'Fifty Shades' series received less than 1% of the votes.

 

Thank you to everyone who participated and, if you don't already, follow us on Facebook to be a part of the next poll. Feel free to share the infographic and these results wherever you like and be sure to leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

 

Adam Sockel is a Marketing Communications Specialist with OverDrive

Guest post: Happy birthday, Pimoroni!

Here’s a guest post from our favourite Sheffieldites. For us, one of the most exciting things about Raspberry Pi has been watching the other businesses that have started to thrive as part of the Pi ecosystem. I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep repeating it until I’m blue in the face: we believe that entrepreneurship makes the world spin, and seeing Jon Williamson and Paul Beech bring some manufacturing back to Sheffield, a city once famous for making things, has made us very, very proud. Here’s a guest post about the journey they took going from a standing start with no premises, no equipment and nothing but a great idea, to shipping more than 60,000 Pibows to more than 70 countries. Congratulations Pimoroni – we’re looking forward to seeing what you accomplish in year two!
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We’re celebrating what feels like a decade of work on Pimoroni and the Pibow, even though it’s only our first birthday.

We did a guest post 10 weeks in. This is the journey 42 weeks later from being a couple of web and design hackers with ideas, to being a Maker business with some help for those looking to develop their own ideas.

The first step was the idea. Ideas are abundant on the Internet (but never cheap), and it’s amazing how many people will have the same basic idea, independently, all around the world. This is why ‘execution is everything’.

Making an idea happen can be hard work and expensive though. There are 2.4 billion people in the world in abject poverty, and during a global recession not many people have cash to spare to try something new and unknown.

Ancestor of Pibow

When it comes to making things and trying things with minimal or no costs, and lots of help and advice, hackspaces are amazing. Every city should have 10 of them. Support your local hackspace.

Our local one is Access Space, running for over a decade now, and it’s where we cut the prototypes of the Pibow and worked out how long it would take to cut a lot of them, should need arise. We spent less than £50 in hard cash getting a Pibow we were happy to ship.

After Jon got tired of me saying “just one more little change!” and put http://pibow.com/ live, things went a little nova. Mainly because Liz featured the Pibow here in one my favourite mash notes ever.

From there, it was all about making as many Pibows in as short a time as possible and shipping them to you lot.

The advice for anyone trying this comes down to ‘just keep doing stuff’. Need a workshop? Ask people you know, walk around the neighbourhood looking for ‘To Let’ signs. Not sure if an idea works? Prototype it as simply and cheaply as possible. Cardboard and spreadsheets are great for this. Google stuff a lot, it’s unlikely you’re the first person to do most of the nuts and bolts stuff.

Our first piece of luck was finding a supportive landlord, through a friend, who had some space to fill for a good deal.

Our second piece of luck was the help we received from Perspex (Lucite in the USA), who were quite happy to give us an account and a stack of quality acrylic sheets in bright colours based on minimal information.

The third thing was not luck. It was the amazing friends and family we have. Without them we wouldn’t have been able to get our first laser cutter, Bert, or cut, pack, stamp and ship so many Pibows from a standing start. I highly recommend having excellent friends.

Early boxing and shipping and the first printer we killed

We’d also like to give a shoutout to our distributors around the globe as well, especially Maplin for their early help getting the Pibow into shops, and Adafruit for being super supportive of the Pibow, especially with awesome videos.

Keep an eye on the stack of wood there, it’s been hanging around the workshop for nigh on a year now for good reason ;-)

Oh, and expect Paypal/Amazon to restrict your account at some point if you’re selling well. There are good reasons they do this, and if you’re prepared for it, and have all the documents you need, then you can expect to release enough funds to keep doing business and fulfilling promises, and then wait a few months for them to decide you’re decent folk after all and give you the bulk of the cash.

We found them both fairly helpful, but if we hadn’t be prepared, then there would have been a few months where shipping Pibows 2000 through 4000 would have been delayed by cashflow, the boggart of any new business, rather than us being too tired to run the laser cutters any longer.

From August through to sometime around January I think we had 3 days where no Pibows were cut. Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and the day Everyone Was Ill. We ran the laser cutters 18 plus hours a day. Britain decided to leave the gulf-stream again in 2012, so the workshop was bitterly cold and we wore many layers.

We got through this mainly through the amazing support and buzz from you guys, and the inventive things people were doing with the Pi. We gained another four laser cutters and a nice extraction system, so we could no longer be located by the smell of acrylic, and named them all after Sesame Street characters as well.

Delivery of a stonkin’ laser cutter

We also found time to run the UK’s first official Kickstarter, the Picade, which we’re happy to say is going into official production today, only 4 months late! We’ll talk more at some point about why manufacturing is hard when many other suppliers are involved and some are halfway around the world, but that story is being told to our wonderful backers first.

That’s a recap of old news. So what’s new?

In the course of making and shipping 60,000 Pibows, we got quite good at packing and distribution. Since one box is much like another, we started our shop, shipping to 70+ countries worldwide.

We can confirm that getting stuff into Russia is *hard*. Brazil’s customs are also quite, erm, ‘enthusiastic’, but we’re loving the passion people have for Raspberry Pi in Latin America. We swear Pimoroni was known better in Argentina than Sheffield for a while.

After much badgering, we got to launch the Pi Swag Store, to help support the mission the Foundation is on and spread the word. When you show your love of Pi, 66% of the profits go back to the Foundation and you spread the message of computer education for all.

Mark runs all these shops, shipping and distribution, and is a bona-fide black belt, and gets to play with swords and sticks. He’s also camera shy.

Making the Picade has involved designing a custom PCB and learning a lot about fixtures and fittings and cabinetry, so that’s a new string to our (Pi)bow.

As a result Jon’s kinda got addicted to designing excellent PCBs, and we’ve started a new Robot Lab at Pimoroni dedicated to assembling them here in Sheffield, UK.

Simple and angular

The whole thing is just amazingly geeky and involves the best toys. We’d like you to welcome Gee to the Pimoroni fold as PCB production honcho. You might know him from Maker Faires as the wrangler of JunkBot and other Maker projects.

This is Mallet’s Reflow Oven, the solder association game…

Our first fun little PCB product (after the Picade board) is a nice test card of our abilities, made with love in Sheffield, the PiGlow.

Rory has not been idle as JefĂ© of Operations, he’s been creating and cutting his own designs and we’re happy to say we’ve finally got around to doing the thing we’ve wanted to do since week one of production, make a beautiful wooden case.

Rory doing his ‘Works in Waste Management’ pose

We’ve always been a massive fan of Jeffrey Stephenson’s designs, so this is our little nod. Say hello to the Pibow Timber.

We’ve also had chance to work on education and spreading the message about what’s possible with the Pi, thorough events like Raspberry Jams, Games Britannia, the Deer Shed Festival, Many Maker Faires and a special event hosted by the Guardian. We hope to expand on what we’ve learned by going into schools, and producing excellent educational resources in the Pimoroni style.

The Guardian Workshop at Google Campus in London

In short, we’ve learned how to do hundreds of amazing things that we just plain didn’t know a year ago and thought were impossible for the little guy to do.

We’ve also helped and inspired a lot of people locally to do something with their ideas by providing access to our workshop, and sharing the knowledge we’ve picked up.

Our spread at Maker Faire UK in Newcastle

We’re working our socks off to move forward now. We want year two to be equally special. We’re looking forward to shipping 500 Picades really soon now.

Beyond that, there are two things we’re focusing on this year.

The first is add-ons for the Pi so everyone can make new things and learn with the Pi. We think companies like Adafruit, Seeed and Sparkfun have done great service to the Maker community, and we want to replicate that experience in Pimoroni style in the UK.

The second is education. We want to work with the best and brightest in the Pi community to create online, visual and classroom teaching resources, because there are some very smart cookies out there, and we love what you all do. Education should be fun, inspiring and feel a little bit dangerous. The Raspberry Pi is a great, affordable, universal tool for this.

Thanks for supporting us and what we do, keeping us motivated, berating us when we mess up, then being happy when we fix things, and being patient with us when we’re slow because our brains are noodle soup sometimes :-)

Group hug everyone. Keep talking and sharing and doing and being excellent.

- Pirate & Ninja

Issuu Levels the Playing Field for Smaller Digital Publishers

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Digital publishing has proven to be a great equalizer in the industry, in more ways than one. While self-published authors are now afforded the opportunities to publish their work and app developers have a marketplace to share their content, the same is now true for smaller magazine publishers who otherwise wouldn’t necessarily produce the requisite volume to display their titles among the household names in a physical storefront. Additionally, readers now have the ability to find these smaller, often niche magazines, something that wouldn’t have been as feasible before companies like Issuu made their production tools available.

Good e-Reader spoke with Scott Kinzie, VP of Marketing for Issuu, about how these tools level the playing field, so to speak, in terms of making it possible to produce a high-quality and engaging work, regardless of current publication size, while also aiding consumers with discovery.

“We have a fairly detailed and comprehensive product road map laid out,” Kinzie explained in an interview about Issuu’s platform, “The whole point of Issuu is to connect publishers and readers in a digital environment, making the content that these publishers are working so hard to create accessible to millions of potential highly relevant readers.”

Issuu’s most recent development, launched only within the last few months, was a complete reinvention of the science involved in connecting readers to what they want to read. “Today, Issuu allows you to discover high-quality content that’s been produced by a wide range of publishers globally that you may not have had access to previously. For publishers, we’re providing them with an engaged 70 million-plus member audience.”

One of the concepts that Issuu has brought to the digital publishing sphere is “stacks,” very similar in setup concept to Pinterest for magazines. Stacks let subscribers sort, organize, save, and share mention of interesting content. When a reader discovers new magazine titles or relevant articles, he can add those articles or issues to his pre-named stacks. In addition, that person’s network of readers can follow those stacks, meaning they will only find article content that is of interest to them and that they have chosen to follow. This stack concept can lead to new magazine subscribers as followers in someone’s network choose to subscribe to the source of some of the interesting article mentions, aiding publishers with discovery of their content and in finding a broader audience.

Issuu Levels the Playing Field for Smaller Digital Publishers is a post from: E-Reader News

Now That Google Reader is Gone, Which RSS Reader Are You Using?

Google killed off the most popular RSS Reader on the web earlier this month. Google is always shedding old services, so it’s not a big surprise, but the fact that Google Reader was still being used by a lot people makes the loss questionable. It seems the real reason Google got rid of Reader was [...]

Sony’s Breaking Bad eBook Comes Exclusively to Apple

breaking-bad-podcastjpg-caad172004968a63_largeOne of the best-loved and most highly acclaimed shows currently in production for audiences is Sony Pictures’ series Breaking Bad, the good-guy-turned-bad story of a terminally ill teacher who turns to selling meth with a student to make money for his family. The show originally aired in 2008, and the remaining eight episodes of the final season of the show will kick of next month.

To offer something more to fans, Sony Pictures is releasing a comprehensive, interactive ebook filled with interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, and add-ons like the depictions of ill-fated characters and what went wrong for them. The book, titled Breaking Bad: Alchemy, is available exclusively through iTunes.

"Breaking Bad: Alchemy is a comprehensive anthology that will allow viewers to experience and interact with the show in unprecedented ways," says Chris Van Amburg, Senior Vice President, Marketing for Sony Pictures Television, in a press release. "In the creation of the Breaking Bad book, we wanted to deliver to fans a unique and dynamic experience and unparalleled access into the production of the series that they will enjoy long beyond the final season."

Taking advantage of the capabilities of a fully-interactive enhanced app book, the version that readers purchase now is not the final version. As the series wraps up its final season, new content will be added to the book, so that readers will simply download an update to their book, much as they would with any app or game. This content will focus on the material and concepts of the show that take place in the final eight episodes.

Breaking Bad: Alchemy is not the first offering that the shows creators have made available to fans of the series. According to the press release, further content is available, including content directly related to the as-of-yet unaired episodes: “The digital book is the latest in exclusive offerings from Breaking Bad available on iTunes which also includes deluxe editions of TV seasons one through five featuring over 40 hours of bonus content. Fans can get a Season Pass for The Final Episodes now, plus music, podcasts, and apps. Visitors can access Breaking Bad: Alchemy and all things Breaking Bad at iTunes.com/BreakingBad.”

Sony’s Breaking Bad eBook Comes Exclusively to Apple is a post from: E-Reader News