Monday, August 26, 2013

Helicon Books Announces New Social DRM for eBooks


Helicon Books, an ebook technology and services company from Israel, announces a new service for publishers: Social DRM. Social DRM is a solution for publishers who wish to protect their ebooks and prevent copyright violation at reasonable prices.

The new Social DRM platform is going to be announced at the Frankfurt Bookfair in Germany in October and Good e-Reader will be live on the scene. The essence of this technology is that it stamps the book with the buyer’s name. The visual information can appear in text or an image, according to the publisher’s needs. One creative way to present Social DRM is through a personal dedication from the buyer to someone he wishes to give the ebook. The Social DRM is also hidden inside each chapter in the ebook. This hidden information can only be recognized by a software.

Social DRM intends to prevent end customers' use of an ebook in an illegal manner. When the digital book is personalized and stamped with the customer’s name. This will discourage people from uploading their eBooks to torrent and file sharing websites.

What is the difference between watermarking and social DRM? Not much, Helicon is hyping the fact their technology is less obtrusive and their books are easier to share among users. They know people want to loan books out to their friends and Social DRM does not detract from the reading experience.

Helicon Books Announces New Social DRM for eBooks is a post from: E-Reader News

Now You Can Buy Back Issues of Shonen Jump

Shonen Jump #39

Viz’s digital magazine Shonen Jump carries a variety of popular manga series—Naruto, Bleach, One Piece—as well as some lesser-known titles such as Nisekoi and One Punch Man, in weekly (or sometimes monthly) episodes the same week they come out in Japan. Since the collected print volumes lag behind the digital serials, that can make jumping in a bit of a challenge.

Until now: Viz has just announced that it will make the last three month’s worth of back issues of Shonen Jump available at the regular price of 99 cents per issue. The back issues can only be purchased on their website, but once you buy them, you can read them on any device that supports Shonen Jump.

Also, as they announced earlier this summer, Viz is making Shonen Jump available in the UK, Ireland, Austraila, New Zealand and South Africa. They posted an article today with pricing and other information, including where you can get it: For now, readers outside North America can purchase it via the iTunes Newsstand app or the Viz iOS or Android apps—not through the website, which means they won’t be able to get to those back issues just yet. But maybe soon…

Now You Can Buy Back Issues of Shonen Jump is a post from: E-Reader News

Comparing Reading Features on Kindle Fire and Kindle Android App – A List of Differences

One question that comes up frequently here on The eBook is about the differences between the Kindle Fire HD and Kindle for Android app when it comes to reading features. I notice people questioning the differences when trying to decide between the Kindle Fire and some other Android tablet like the Google Nexus 7 […]

Children and Audiobooks: Clear Educational, Enjoyment Benefits

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

When ebooks first evolved into the digital editions that readers consume today, children were often left out of the mix. Parents weren’t eager to put expensive devices into the hands of young readers, and a cycle ensued as publishers didn’t create an abundance of content in the children’s publishing sphere. Now that the original stigma against children’s ebooks is dissolving, parents and educators are looking at new ways that children can best utilize literacy materials, including audiobooks.

While children’s publishing has long used read-alongs, those colorful story books that came with an accompanying cassette or CD, a new push for children to enhance their literacy and vocabulary skills through strictly audiobook stands to help readers make strides in fluency, comprehension, and thematic recognition.

A post by children’s publisher Scholastic outlines some of the benefits to children’s audiobooks, most notably perhaps being the erased stigma of a student reader having to use lower-level texts; once a student is listening to an audiobook, his peers have no way of knowing what he’s reading and if that book is far easier than books read by the rest of the class. Whereas as a struggling reader might have shunned all efforts at reading due to having to demonstrate his lack of ability for his classmates, now he’s encouraged to read under the anonymity provided by audiobooks.

For the complete post by Scholastic on the benefits of audiobook use by children, click HERE.

Children and Audiobooks: Clear Educational, Enjoyment Benefits is a post from: E-Reader News

OverDrive end user survey results – Spring 2013

Earlier this year, OverDrive surveyed 70,000 end users around the world to learn how they interact with their library's digital collection. This survey offers insight into who eBook users are and how they are using digital titles. At Digipalooza, OverDrive shared the survey results and we're excited to share them with those who couldn't attend Digipalooza. Here are some key data points that we learned:



  • 77% were female
  • 59% of responses was from users in the 40-64 age group
  • 41% of users said they have a college education
  • Over 65% of responses came from households whose income is over $50,000
  • 53% of users said that, when browsing for digital books, they start at the library's OverDrive-powered site and 62% stated that, when on the digital collection, they use the search to find specific titles to borrow. This shows that many users know what titles they're looking for when beginning the search process. To get them involved in the selection process make sure you have the Recommend to Library feature on your site.
  • 51% of users visit the digital collection weekly, while 30% visit monthly. 35% of these users visit the physical branch less than once a month if at all. This proves the importance of extending your library's marketing efforts beyond the library branches.
  • 61% of responders reported that title availability is the number one factor when deciding what to read. Lesson learned: managing holds and keeping your collection fresh is key to engaging users, both first-time and returning.

Thank you to everyone who participated and stay tuned for another survey next year!


Adam Sockel is a Marketing Communications Specialist with OverDrive

Back to School Tablet Buying Guide


It is that time of the year again when parents and students buy their supplies for the upcoming school year. With tablets being in vogue, these no doubt have superseded laptop and notebook devices as the preferred choice of mobile computing devices. However, with tablet devices that are to be used by the student community, it is perhaps those that come with an attached keyboard that might be better suited. The description of some of the tablet devices (both standalone as well as those with an attached keypad) can help consumers make a choice that fits their educational needs.

For the Budget-Conscious Segment:

Google Nexus 7

The new Nexus 7 is thinner, lighter, and a more powerful (.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU/2 GB RAM) device than the original Nexus 7. The 7 inch display is brighter and more spectacular (1,920 x 1,200 display) than before. On-board storage can be either 16 or 32 GB, with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean providing the OS support. It is at a convenient $230 starting price.

The reason why it's mentioned here is that it is compact, handy, portable, and powerful, while still being quite cheap.

Kindle Fire HD 7

The Kindle Fire HD 7 is another tablet that is light on the hands as well as the pocket. The display is among the best out there and is backed by one of the most well stocked web stores, offering one of the best collections of ebooks, which can be important for use in the education environment. However, the tablet is too closely tied to the Amazon store front and this can be its biggest or worst credential depending on which side of the fence you’re on. Prices start at just $160, and are available in memory size options of 16 and 32 GB.

For the Mid-Range Segment:

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0

Price might not be the biggest benefit of the Galaxy Note 8.0, though it makes up for that in other areas. These include the S Pen stylus that it comes with it, which will allow for some serious note taking, something that should come extremely handy for students. These notes can also be easily shared or stored in the cloud for later reference. It's thin and light, which along with the size makes it just perfect for stylus operations. With an Exynos 1.6 GHz Quad-Core mated to a 2 GB RAM, users can expect top notch performance. The pixel-rich (1280 x 800) display also makes for easy comprehension. However, it doesn’t come cheap, priced as it is at $400 for the base version. The Note 10.1 version is slightly more bulky and more pricey.

Apple iPad/iPad Mini

These two tablet devices perhaps have the highest appeal among consumers. To begin with, there are plenty of educational apps, course materials, lectures, magazines, books, and more that can make the Apple tablets great devices. The only factor to consider here is the screen size, available as these are in two size options of 9.7 and 7.9 inch. Also, being Apple devices, factors such as performance and quality should beof little concern. However, with there being a new and improved iPad 5 and iPad Mini 2 coming soon, not everyone might feel comfortable enough to invest in a device that's sure to become outdated soon. The iPad and iPad Mini range start at $499 and $329 respectively.

Kindle Fire HD 8.9

Qualities in its favor include a nice 1080p display, decent levels of performance along with the backing of the Amazon store. However, as has already been stated, the last point would mean remaining stuck with only the Amazon app and ebook store. Price starts at $399 and it is available in memory size options of 16 and 32 GB.

HP SlateBook X2

Here is a tablet with a nice 1080p display, together with great performance brought about by a Tegra 4 chip which makes for a very compelling choice in the mid-range segment, more so for Android addicts. A strong point with the tablet is its battery life which can easily be the best out there. This is aided by the extended battery life brought about by the separate battery unit attached to the keypad which should allow the students to make the best of the device without running out of charge. The added keypad unit should also appeal to those who have to type a lot. The keypad unit also houses quite a few extra ports which make for additional connectivity options.

To be available in both 16, 32 and 64 GB variant, the range starts at a decent $479 for the base version which includes the keypad dock.

HP Envy X2

Here is another tablet that is a lot like the SlateBook X2 but runs the Windows 8 operating system. As expected, battery life is big in the Envy X2 thanks to the twin battery units fitted inside the tablet and keypad unit of the device. However, in what can be considered to be the biggest bane of the device, it has an Atom dual core heart which hampers performance. While the tablet would suffice for most operations, performance fans will no doubt be disappointed. The device otherwise is light and quite handy. Onboard storage options include 64 and 128 GB with prices starting at $600.

Money is No Object:

Surface Pro

Here is a tablet that can be as good as any ultrabook out there. Sure, it's a bit heavy both on your arms and your pocket, but it’s able to make up for those with its superb performance thanks to an Intel Core i5 heart and exemplary built quality. The device also includes a stylus and is available in memory size options of 64 and 128 GB. However, the biggest concern with the tablet is its paltry battery life of only about 4 hours.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has also been trying to entice the student community with its Surface RT device by offering hefty discounts, though the lack of quality apps seriously inhibits its acceptance among students.

Samsung ATIV Smart PC

Here is a hybrid tablet device with ultrabook like performance. It can satisfy even the most ardent of performance fans with its 1.8 GHz Intel Core i5-3337U processor and 4 GB of RAM combination. The device includes a stylus while the hard keyboard (unlike the Surface Pro keypad) allows for convenient data entry. However, the device continues to be dogged by battery life issues, which lasts no longer than 7 hours. If that is not enough, it's not cheap either, priced as it is at $1,200 for the base model.

Back to School Tablet Buying Guide is a post from: E-Reader News

Swedish Company Revolutionizes EU eBook Lending


As US publishers and libraries still struggle to create a mutually beneficial yet fluid ebook lending model, Swedish company Atingo thinks they have the solution, one that has worked in several thousands public and school libraries in both Sweden and the UK. By recognizing ebooks not as a commodity that can be bought, sold, and consumed, but rather as a service item with pricing structures to go along with it, Atingo feels they have brought a whole new perspective on ebook lending, one that can and should work around the world.

According to a guest post by Jonas Lennermo for Publishing Perspectives,”Publishers look at e-lending as a threat to their business, arguing that it might cannibalize print sales or even block the rise of a commercial ebook market altogether. Libraries on the other hand, may lose their role altogether if they lose access to ebooks. The only thing that is bigger than their mutual fear, is the mutual opportunity for collaboration.”

Atingo serves as an interface between libraries and publishers, allowing publishers the freedom to price their ebooks as they see fit for library consumption. For their part, libraries know that they are providing up-to-date and sought after digital content to their patrons without having to direct them to a third part site for lending.

Where Lennermo’s model might not take hold in markets like that in the US library arena is in his belief that both publishers and libraries are so small that they need each other. While companies like OverDrive have conducted studies that prove the benefits of library lending–especially in terms of book sales, sequel sales, and patron loyalty to authors–the US publishing model has long been criticized as being slow to adapt and reluctantly incorporating new technology. Publishers as of yet are working to adopt ebook lending on a larger scale, but have not wholly embraced it across the board.

Swedish Company Revolutionizes EU eBook Lending is a post from: E-Reader News

$119 Kindle Paperwhite No Longer Available from Amazon

Here’s an interesting twist. As of this morning, Amazon is no longer selling the base Kindle Paperwhite, the cheapest model that comes with Special Offers that normally sells for $119. The $139 Wi-Fi Paperwhite without Special Offers is still available, as are both 3G Paperwhites. But what happened to the other one? It might very […]