Here’s my weekly look at the digital comics best-sellers, or at least a snapshot taken on Sunday evening.
1. Injustice: Gods Among Us #33
ComiXology had a lot of comics on 99-cent sale this weekend, but the only one to crack the top ten list is Justice League #8, at number 10. Five more made it into the top 20, though, all of them Justice League issues (leading up to the Trinity War crossover; apparently some folks had some catching up to do). In fact, the first non-Justice League sale comic to pop up on the best-selling pages is the Red Hulk graphic novel, which is below number 60 in the rankings. This is interesting because it shows that however many comics comiXology is selling at that 99-cent price point, there are far more customers willing to pay full price for this week’s new comics.
1. Injustice: Gods Among Us #33
Amazon also had Justice League comics on sale for 99 cents, and again, only one made it into the top ten list, but the long tail is much shorter here—there’s only one additional Justice League comic in the top 20. This is the “Comics & Graphic Novels with Kindle Panel View” list; the other list, of straight-up Kindle comics, consists entirely of single issues of Injustice: Gods Among Us except for two issues of Justice League; three more show up when you stretch it to the top 20. While the Panel View readers go for quite a few graphic novels, the other list is entirely single issues.
1. Injustice: Gods Among Us #32
What you’re not seeing here, because I filtered them out, is a lot of free Nook books, both previews and full issues of comics, including several issues of the digital manga magazine Gen. The number 10 comic on my list is number 37 on the Nook best-seller list, meaning there were 26 free books that did better.
1. My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic #10
Last week, I commented that this list had the most variety; this week, the ponies and Injustice dominate once more. And Batman: The Dark Knight Return continues to enjoy its post-San Diego sales bump.
Sunday, September 1, 2013
Welcome to another Good e-Reader Video! The New Kobo Aura e-Reader has a built in front-light that allows you to read in the dark and have control over the luminosity. Being able to properly configure the brightness depending on your environmental conditions allows for more flexibility to get them most out of your Kobo. Today we compare the Kobo Aura against the Aura HD, Kindle Paperwhite, and Kobo Glo. You can get a sense of how this device stacks up against the competition and how the overall reading experience is in complete darkness.
From its initial days when parents were reluctant to put expensive devices in their kids’ hands, the children’s digital publishing market has exploded into an industry all its own. Part of the reason for that is there are very special considerations when introducing content to children via a tablet or smartphone. The typical methods of embedding ads or offering in-app purchases are not popular with parents who may have concerns about what their children view or what they have access to buy.
Zuuka, the parent company of popular children’s novelization app book developer iStoryTime, has now teamed up with TapJoy to offer the value pricing that users can benefit from thanks to ads and purchases, but without putting young users at risk. Under this new model, parents will earn points towards free content by interacting with the ads offered through TapJoy’s mobile value exchange system, although young readers will not be exposed to them. Additionally, parents can make new book purchases, but can feel confident that their kids cannot stack up an expensive bill by accessing those purchase options.
According to Steve Wadsworth, CEO of TapJoy, "With Zukka and the iStoryTime app, we are empowering parents to earn credits for use toward their family's favourite narrated books. We are seeing a trend of app publishers utilising the mobile value exchange model to enable their users to get the premium content they want."
Some of the ways parents will be expected to interact with an ad are to take a survey or watch a video, while some of the companies have opted to allow parents to simply scroll through the ad. Zuuka has ensured that all of the advertising is pertinent to their customers’ needs and that none of it detracts from the reading experience for the children.
In a mass email to its customers yesterday, Amazon announced some good news for customers who’ve been awaiting news of the results of the Apple/Big Five settlement. Despite the fact that the email didn’t contain any concrete information on when customers will receive account credits or when those credits will appear, it was a small reassurance to customers that the wheels are at least turning.
According to the email, “You do not need to do anything to receive this credit. If the Court approves the settlements in December 2013 and there is no appeal, a credit will appear automatically in your Amazon.com account that can be used to purchase Kindle books or print books. We will contact you when the credit is applied to your account. While we will not know the amount of your credit until the Court approves the settlements, it is estimated that it will range from $0.73 to $3.06 for every eligible Kindle book that you purchased. To be eligible, you must have a U.S. billing address and must have purchased a Kindle book published by Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Penguin or Macmillan between April 1, 2010 and May 21, 2012. These publishers will provide the funds for the settlements. If you have already requested a check instead of a credit in response to the notice you received last fall, that request will cover these additional settlements and you do not need to do anything else. If you would like to request a check, you may do so by following the instructions included in the formal notice of the settlements, set forth below. You can learn more about the settlements at www.amazon.com/help/agencyebooksettlements.”
The most interesting news in the email was also the least discussed. Throughout the investigation and the trial, Amazon has remained somewhat quiet, cautiously not weighing in on the alleged price-fixing. They seemingly only answered to how the actual resulting pricing model has affected their business model and not really discussed who may have said what behind closed doors, and whether or not it was intended to bring down the retail giant.
But in the email, Amazon very pointedly mentioned that this settlement, if it goes through, will ensure that their customers continue to receive the best possible prices on ebooks.
“In addition to the account credit, the settlements impose limitations on the publishers' ability to control eBook prices. We think these settlements are a big win for readers.”
Flip PDF is a new software tool that can be used to create page flipping ebooks using HTML 5 . This will ensure the ebook will be compatible across platforms such as iOS, Android or Windows. Or in other words, the ebook can be read on popular devices such as the iPad/iPhone, Android devices, MAC and PCs.
The software enables the user to create the page flipping ebooks in just three simple steps. The first step after having invoked Flip PDF will be to import the content in PDF format. Users will next have the option to select the theme and template that will go with the ebook. The last step will yield the ebook in HTML 5 format while also offering the option 'Also Make Mobile Version'.
Following these easy steps will allow one to have their own ebooks that is compatible across platforms while also offering the look and feel of turning the pages of a real book. Users will also be able to send the ebook via email or published online. What's more, the Flip PDF application is completely royalty free, which means there are no fees to be paid to the company even if the book is published for commercial gains. This should come in handy for those in business as the software can be used to create some nice looking catalogs or reports where the page flips just as it would have done in the real world. All of this is achieved without having to write even a single line of a computer program.