Here’s our weekly look at the digital comics best-sellers on four different platforms. The lists are constantly changing; this is a snapshot of what they were on Sunday evening.
1. The Walking Dead #113
This week’s ComiXology chart demonstrates the power of the 99-cent sale, as that’s what Kick-Ass was going for this weekend. Slots 11-15 on the best-seller list are also taken up with issues of Kick-Ass, and I think that’s all there is. The fact that I do these charts on Sunday evening should maximize the impact of those 99-cent sales, but many weeks the featured comics don’t show up at all. Of course, this was also the weekend that the movie Kick-Ass 2 opened, and maybe people were buying the comics instead of going to the movie.
1. Batman: The Killing Joke
We wrote earlier about Batman: The Dark Knight Returns surging on the news that it will be the basis for the next Superman/Batman movie; it has been on the charts pretty steadily since July. Batman has been hot lately, and maybe folks were picking up copies of Batman: The Killing Joke because of the commentary in Kevin Smith’s recent interview with Grant Morrison. Or maybe lots of folks just felt like a good summer read.
1. Injustice: Gods Among Us #23
The usual suspects are dominating this week, but it’s interesting that those Peanuts e-books, which first popped up on the Nook chart last week, have a bit of staying power.
1. Injustice: Gods Among Us #31
It’s interesting that the only platform on which people aren’t keeping current with Injustice: Gods Among Us is the Kindle; on all the others, the most recent issues are on the charts, but on Kindle it’s just issue #1. We’re also seeing Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, as noted above, and plenty of My Little Pony comics, which is typical for iBooks. For some reason, that’s where people buy them. It’s also interesting to see that comiXology and iBooks are the two places readers go to get their monthly The Walking Dead fix.
Sunday, August 18, 2013
Verdict: 4 Stars
One of the original adopters of early onset digital publishing was the romance imprints. While other critics were still arguing over whether or not people would actually read on a tiny little screen, publishers like Harlequin were forging industry-changing imprints like Carina Press, which offered unheard of royalties and a turnaround time of only a matter of weeks.
Soon, it was the romance readers once again who changed things up in the industry, as they were some of the first fans to fully embrace digital self-publishing by creating one of the first million-title sales indie authors, Amanda Hocking.
So it’s no surprise that it’s once again romance that is changing things up.
Sylvia McDaniel, who penned the title The Wanted Bride, broke with convention by creating a romance heroine who could frustrate Satan himself with her witty comebacks and take-no-names attitude towards coming out on top. On the very first page, Valerie Brown bought a one-way bus ticket while still wearing the charred wedding dress she had on when she set fire to her lousy fiance’s Corvette. She ended up in a tiny Colorado town barely ahead of a blizzard with no money, no wallet, and only her Louis Vuitton luggage to keep her company.
The kindness of strangers saves the day, as she quickly finds a waitressing job and a room to rent in order to avoid calling on her wealthy father to save her skin one more time. The only person not buying her poor-little-me situation is Matt Jordan, one of the most notoriously ruthless lawyers in the state and a handsome devil on top of it.
But where McDaniel parts with convention is in the bold attitudes of her heroine, one of the most resourceful romance leading ladies on the market. It’s this type of new voice in romance that makes the genre so appealing to so many, but still keeps with some of the formulaic traditional story pacing that steadfast fans have come to expect from their favorite romance authors.
The Blackberry Q5 is the latest smartphone to be released that has the Blackberry 10 operating system. One of the great things about Bb10 is that it has an Android emulator, that allows you to load in your own Android apps. It is not as cut and dry as simply sideloading in an APK file, but there is a few steps involved. Today, we show you exactly what you need to do to load in your own apps.
The first thing you need to do is turn on development mode on your Q5. This is accomplished by going to the settings menu, selecting security and then development mode. You want to turn development ON and then select a password, this password is important to remember. Turning development mode on, allows you to load in Android apps on the Blackberry Q5.
The next step is to download DDPB, which is a program that allows you to load in BAR files onto your Q5. A BAR file, is simply an Android APK file, that has been converted to a Blackberry friendly format. We have over 5,000 BAR files on our official BB10 App Store, so you can simply download any of our apps. If you want to convert your own paid or free Android apps, you can use our free APK to BAR Convertor.
When you download DDPB, you will have to plug your Q5 into your computer with the Mini USB to USB cable. Simply hit scan, and it will scan for your development mode IP. I recommend disconnecting any other Android tablets or phones from your computer, as it may screw up the scanning progress. If you see an error message when connecting or if you enter your password, and you know its correct, you may need to download JAVA 32. Once you have logged into DDPB you can simply download any BAR file and then click Install.
If you have any questions or concerns about this entire process, drop us a line and we can assist you. It sometimes takes a bit of a learning curve to understand exactly what you are doing, but after awhile, it becomes second nature. Loading in your own Android apps allows you a tremendous amount of freedom to get access to content not otherwise available in Blackberry World. This is applicable to apps like Instagram, Netflix, Mint, Kindle, Vine and many more!
Brazil may not have enough school libraries at the moment, though they surely can look up to the cloud of books they have at their disposal. The pun is intended, as it’s Nuvem de Livros (which means cloud of books in local dialect) that it’s being called. The brainchild of Jonas Suassuna, who hails from a business community, Nuvem de Livros is being put forward to make up for there not being enough books at affordable price for the students. No wonder there already are over a million subscribers of the online library in the two years of its existence, and that it currently boasts over 10,000 titles. Students are charged just a dollar a month for unlimited access to the ebooks, while the same for general subscribers is also a quite affordable $3.50 per month.
“The government signed a law that says that by 2020 all Brazilian schools, public and private, must have a library with at least one book per student. Anyone familiar with the reality of Brazilian public schools knows that will be very difficult,” said Suassuna to explain the justifiability of his project. As per a recent estimate, 34 percent of schools in Brazil lack a dedicated library for its students. Surely an online library is an easier solution in a country that ranks 5th in computer usage and 7th in internet usage.
A positive aspect of the online library, which can be located at http://www.nuvemdelivros.com.br/, is that the books can be read on any platform, be it a PC, a tablet device, or even a smartphone. Readers will also have the option to search through the ebooks chapter-wise, along with the usual features of bookmarking or searching any specific term. Set up in partnership with the Spanish telecom firms Telefonica and Vivo, the online library is already accessible in Argentina and is slated to debut in several other countries in South America as well as in Spain in September. Others who have contributed to the project include Itautec, manufacturer of computer equipment, as well as the newspapers O Estado de S. Paulo and O Globo. Publishers who have been signed to contribute to the online library include Moderna, Ediouro, Conrad, A Girafa, Vermelho Marinho and several others.
Microsoft is not the only one to be fiercely backing its Windows RT platform, for it has an ally in Nokia, who also said to be readying a tablet based on the beleaguered Windows version. Interestingly, it's not the first time that the Finnish phone maker has been associated with a tablet running Windows RT, though Nokia loyalists surely hope this is the last time they see Nokia being linked with a Windows RT tablet. While a tablet from Nokia is welcome, there is less excitement for a platform that has been debunked by almost every other hardware manufacturer on planet earth.
Nevertheless, a tablet carrying a Nokia badge has emerged online. The tablet further carries the logo of Verizon 4G LTE, along with Windows RT. The tablet has been done up in bright red, which shows Nokia is not shying away from implementing its “colorful” approach to the smartphone segment for its tablet business as well. It’s uncertain, though, if bright and attractive shades alone can save a product when the OS has the least takers in the industry right now.
As for specs, the purported tablet seems to offer a full HD 10.1 inch display, a 2.1 GHz quad core Snapdragon 800 chip, 32 GB of internal storage, along with several USB as well a microHDMI port. Sources also mentioned a detachable keyboard being offered.
Meanwhile, there is some good news for Nokia or for the Windows platform as a whole. While Windows Phone 8 has emerged as the third preferred OS in the smartphone segment (Nokia being the single largest manufacturer of Windows handsets has lots to cheer about here), Windows has also increased its margin in the tablet space as well, albeit just marginally. Windows’ share of the global tablet market has grown to 4.5 percent, up from 3.7 percent. Windows has also defied the global downturn in the tablet space during second quarter where it recorded a growth of 11 percent when the segment itself shrunk by 8 percent. What remains to be seen now is whether Nokia can change things around for the Windows RT operating system.
Lenovo reported selling a higher number of tablet devices and smartphones than other forms of computing, despite the fact that the tablet segment in its home country of China itself has shrunk a bit. Total tablet sales during the second quarter have turned out to be 3.57 million, which represents a growth of 5.2 percent over the previous quarter. This represents a slight drop from the 6.3 percent growth recorded in the first quarter.
However, those statistics are far better than the 10 percent decline that the tablet segment recorded in the second quarter the world over. The trend is likely to reverse and sales are expected to pick up steam once again once Apple launches its new line of tablet devices. The California-based company is slated to launch the successor to its current tablet offerings, iPad 5 and iPad Mini 2, during fall season or even later. Amazon, too, is slated to refresh its tablet lineup with new devices around the same time, while Google’s New Nexus 7 has already reached markets.
This should explain the steep drop in demand for the current generation iPad, which recorded the biggest decline in sales at about 25 percent. Shipments dropped from 19.6 million in the first quarter to just 14.6 million in the second quarter.
For Samsung, the second largest player in the tablet space, the drop in shipment has been less sharp, having shipped 8.1 million tablet devices during second quarter, a slight dip from the 8.6 million tablet devices it shipped during the first quarter. That still represents a 277 percent year-over-year growth, having shipped just 2.1 million tablets in Q2, 2012.
Tablet Segment in China Grows Defying Global Downturn is a post from: E-Reader News
Barnes & Noble has announced a price cut for its Nook Simple Touch ereader. What this means is that the front lit e-Reader for only $99.99. This undercuts the ad supported Kindle Paperwhite by $20 which sells for $119 while a similar offering from Kobo, the Kobo Glo sells for $129.99.
B&N may not be in the best financial shape right now with their entire line of hardware, but this is a fairly solid deal. The price cut though can be considered to be perfectly timed as the company is known to drop prices during the back to school period. A new model is also under development and the move to slash prices could be seen as a way to clear existing stock. The company has earlier stated it is quitting tablet business, but will remain committed to its ebook readers.
The last time we have seen B&N slash prices of its ebook reading devices was during the Get London Reading initiative it was promoting. However, that was a limited period offer.
"At just $99, our high-quality, top-rated NOOK Simple Touch GlowLight is an unbeatable value for customers who are seeking an unparalleled, pure reading experience that goes from beach to bed, day or night," said Michael P. Huseby, President, Barnes & Noble, Inc. & CEO, NOOK Media LLC. "NOOK Simple Touch GlowLight is the first Reader to hit the market with built-in illumination for reading in the dark and is the perfect way to experience NOOK's best-in-class digital reading experience at an unbelievable price."
With every self-publishing success story, the door opens a tiny bit wider for the acceptance of indie authors. For every Amanda Hocking, Abbie Glines, David Gaughran, Bella Andre, or Hugh Howey (the list goes on and on), industry watchers and consumers alike begin to show a small measure of greater respect for the choices authors are making.
But there are still a few facets of the book industry who remain holdouts, who refuse to acknowledge the contributions of these authors by right of not having been traditionally published. Everything from major book awards to health insurance can be determined simply by whose name is on the back cover of the book, and if there is even a back cover at all.
Bookstores top the list as being one of the last major hurdles for indie authors. Even through inclusion in book distribution catalogs, which often incurs an additional fee, authors still have to take it upon themselves to contact bookstores individually and ask them to stock their titles. Interestingly, it is often independently-owned bookstores that are more likely to form that connection with authors, as major chain retailers often use exclusive distribution agreements.
Major book awards are also typically off limits to self-published authors, regardless of how high the title may have climbed on the best seller list, and for how many weeks it stayed there. The Guardian reported today on the fact that the criteria for consideration includes being published by a known publisher, and that certain award-winning titles only received that accolade after the book was re-released by a traditional publisher. If the book was good enough to win the price, why couldn’t it have been considered before a well-known publisher decided to take a percentage of the royalties?
Finally, book reviews in major publications continue to frustrate authors, as many of the well-known news outlets refuse to review self-published books. Sadly, this phenomenon can even be found at the local, hometown newspaper level.
Some headway is being made, though. The Authors Guild, for one, allows self-published authors and freelance writers to join their club, as long as they’ve earned $5,000 in an 18-month period from the sales of their books. Authors who haven’t quite earned that much but have earned at least $500 in that same period are eligible for Associate membership, meaning they can pay the $90 annual dues but cannot vote.
Variety ran an interesting short article this week saying that digital sales of Frank Miller’s Batman: The Dark Knight Returns shot up after Zack Snyder said the Batman character in his followup to Man of Steel will be inspired by Miller’s take on the Caped Crusader.
In fact, DC Comics says that digital sales of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns were up 161% in July over June’s numbers, setting a record for sales of a full-priced digital graphic novel. Print sales were also up by a similar margin, according to BookScan.
The problem is that because neither publishers nor distributors release sales numbers for digital comics, we have no idea what that means. If ten copies sold in June and 16 copies sold in July, that would account for the increase—but that’s not a lot of books. On the other hand, if 10,000 sold in June and 16,100 sold in July, that would be something to crow about.
It is true that Batman: The Dark Knight Returns made some of our digital best-seller lists in the second half of July. On July 21, the last day of Comic-Con, it was in the #2 spot on both the Kindle and iBooks lists. On July 28, it was at #6 on the Kindle list. It wasn’t on any of the best-seller lists in the first two weeks of July, not surprisingly as the announcement hadn’t been made yet, so that 161% increase all came in the last two weeks of the month. The best-seller lists are revised hourly so the ones I publish weekly are just a snapshot, but it gives an idea of how the book was doing relative to other digital comics.