Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Libraries Websites Key to Book Discovery


Overdrive recently had their annual Digipalooza conference and they polled close to 60,000 librarians on book discovery. The majority of readers are tending not to visit their local branch anymore and instead are visiting the online website. Many librarians in the US and Canada are finding the websites are woefully out of date. Making it more current is key to being more accessible and building a strong gateway to loaning out digital eBooks.

Overdrive is chiefly responsibly for being the number one provider of eBooks via their online distribution platform. Libraries that do business with them often have their website automatically populated with the audiobooks, videos and eBooks they have purchased into their collections. This data is sent automatically and the libraries websites are updated whenever new titles are added or titles are loaned out. This type of data is fairly current but there are quite a number of elements that allow in obscurity.


Library blogs tend to be one of the things that go neglected and remain consistently out of date. The blogs are normally established by the younger staff and interns hoping to make their mark and stay current. When young librarians are starting their career they often float around to different branches, depending on their placements or series of starter jobs. Once they leave the library the blogs often have no one effectively managing them. It is quite important that if a library decides to pull the trigger and make a blog, keep it current or kill it.

Sometimes libraries curate their own special reading lists or editor’s picks. This type of data is not automatic and must be manually adjusted. These lists often go neglected in the long-term as day to day library life gets in the way.

There is no denying that older people can’t visit the library like they used to and rely on borrowing books digitally to satiate their literary thirst. Younger folk tend to roll around with their smartphones, tablets and e-Readers and are more digitally savvy. Libraries need to focus on these demographics and make sure their website is current on a day to day and weekly basis. They should not bother with blogs or editor’s picks lists unless it can be mandated to be apart of someones specific job description. The worst thing libraries can do is appear out of date and out of touch with their audience.

Libraries Websites Key to Book Discovery is a post from: E-Reader News

The Bad Guys Take Over for DC’s Villains Month

Forever Evil 1

Warning: Spoilers ahead for Justice League and Trinity War!

DC Comics is known for its good-guy superheroes, but this month they will turn all that upside down.

The DC brass has dubbed September “Villains Month,” and they will turn their New 52 comics over to the bad guys, with standalone stories featuring the most notorious villains of the DC Universe.

But that’s not all: Also this month, DC is launching a new seven-issue series by Geoff Johns and David Finch, titled Forever Evil, whose centerpiece is the Crime Syndicate of America, the evil counterpart to DC’s Justice League of America that arrived at the end of the recently concluded the Trinity War crossover event. In this series, the CSA sweeps in most the other villains, except for Lex Luthor, who isn’t much of a team player—he sets up his own army to fight them instead.

Meanwhile, each of the New 52 stories will spotlight a different super-villain. Some are origin stories, while others shed light on their motivations, and in order to get them all in, there are extra issues of some comics; so, for instance, there will be issues 23.1, 23.2, 23.3, and 23.4 of Batman this month, each featuring a different villain. In Batman 23.1: The Joker, we see one of The Joker’s early adventures and get a sense of his origins as a villain. If you’re wondering where Bane is, he shows up in Batman 23.4. Some of the other comics look interesting as well. Superman meets his exact opposite, created by Lex Luthor by manipulating his DNA, in Superman 23.1: Bizarro. I’ll also point you toward Justice League of America 23.1: Deadshot because it’s scripted by the very clever Matt Kindt, so we can expect some twists in the story.

In an interview with USA Today, DC co-publisher Jim Lee explains that heroes and villains aren’t all that far apart: “When you look at a character as determined and obsessed as Batman, and you look at the flip side of that and see a horrifying villain in Joker, you see why Batman’s a hero. You see the line that separates him from the dark side,” he said.

The Bad Guys Take Over for DC’s Villains Month is a post from: E-Reader News

Wattpad Unveils Exclusive Content from Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam Trilogy


Today, to coincide with the global release of Margaret Atwood's MaddAddam, Wattpad and Doubleday have teamed up to share an exclusive essay from Atwood revealing insights into the development of the critically-acclaimed dystopian trilogy which also includes Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood. This behind-the-scenes glimpse into Atwood's inspiration for the series mixes her famous wit with a earnest exploration of the increasingly blurry line between speculative fiction and fact.

"Wattpad is such a welcoming and highly engaged community of readers. With its millions of users from all over the globe, we truly believe it's the perfect place for us to get our writers in front of an even larger audience," said Judy Jacoby, Advertising Director at Doubleday Books. "We are thrilled to be using Wattpad as part of our marketing strategy surrounding Margaret’s MaddAddam release, and we look forward to bringing more Doubleday authors into the community in the near future."

Margaret Atwood and Wattpad have had somewhat of a love affair since last year. In 2012 she shared an original serialized fiction with the release of The Happy Zombie Sunrise with award-winning author Naomi Alderman. Atwood is also a judge of the Atty Awards, an annual poetry competition on Wattpad. Author and eBook company are both proudly Canadian, so you can see the synergy that has developed.

"Margaret is a great supporter and true friend of Wattpad and we are excited she's continuing to share her work with the community," said Wattpad CEO Allen Lau. "Wattpad is a place for for writers of all stripes to showcase their stories to millions people looking for their next great read." he added.

Wattpad Unveils Exclusive Content from Margaret Atwood's MaddAddam Trilogy is a post from: E-Reader News

Barnes and Noble Announces College and University Newspapers Program


Barnes and Noble has added hundreds of college and university newspapers to their Nook line of e-Readers and tablets today. Major newspapers from leading colleges like Harvard, Columbia, Louisiana State University, Northwestern University, University of Michigan and University of Texas at Austin, can now be purchased for as little as $0.99 cents per month. Most of these newspapers are free from the websites and RSS Feeds, but now they are all in one place.

"Through NOOK's exclusive partnership with UWIRE, we are providing a new and convenient way to stay connected with your favorite college or university," said Jonathan Shar, Vice President & General Manager, Emerging Content, NOOK Media LLC. "NOOK is now the only place that provides easy access to over 500 digital editions of college and university newspapers, delivering them to students, alumni, faculty, and sports fans, across all NOOK devices and NOOK reading apps."

College and university newspapers will be delivered to NOOK customers and will feature an intuitive design that makes it even easier and more fun to read newspapers digitally. Subscribers to these newspapers will have new issues automatically delivered to their NOOK Libraries™ as soon as they are available to read across all NOOK devices and Free NOOK Reading Apps. In addition, NOOK Newsstand already features the largest digital collection of the top 100 bestselling magazines available for both digital subscriptions and single copy sale in the U.S., plus a large selection of leading daily and weekly newspapers, all available to try free for 14 days.

Barnes and Noble Announces College and University Newspapers Program is a post from: E-Reader News

Amazon Announces Kindle Paperwhite 2

kindle-paperwhite-front-freetime-parentAmazon traditionally holds press events for new product launches, but today they announced a new e-reader very quietly. The 6th generation Kindle has just been announced and you can think of it as the Paperwhite 2. It is available for pre-order right now from Amazon and Shop e-Readers.

The new Kindle Paperwhite does not deviate design wise from the prior model and still maintains the six inch display screen with 212 ppi. Amazon has confirmed they are using a new front-light which should give you a brighter screen. The company is claiming that they have increased the page-turn speed by 25%, which should appeal to voracious readers. It also has 2 GB of internal memory  and no expandable memory.

The big changes with the Paperwhite 2 are mainly software driven and now has GoodReads integration. On the main home screen is the G logo that allows users to have a customized e-Ink version of the social eBook website and aids in book discovery. You can check out the books that are recently added to the system and rate/review books right on your e-reader.

Another big change is Page-Flip which allows you to jump accross chapters and pages, without losing your current place. This will certainly help if you are say reading the Hobbit and want to jump to another page that has a map of Middle Earth.

Smart Look-up is yet another new feature, which integrates a full dictionary definition with other reference information about a word, character, topic or book via X-Ray and Wikipedia. For example, using an ordinary dictionary to look up "credit default swaps" in Michael Lewis' The Big Short would give the individual definitions of "credit," "default" and "swaps." Smart Lookup recognizes this is an important topic and phrase in the book, and gives you the correct definition of "credit default swaps" via X-Ray.

Finally, two other new features are New In-line Footnotes, with a single tap, read the complete text of each footnote in-line without changing the page or losing your place in the book. New Kindle MatchBook allows customers purchase Kindle editions of print books purchased from Amazon—past, present and future—for $2.99 or less.

The new Kindle Paperwhite is only $119. Kindle Paperwhite is available for pre-order starting today at www.amazon.com and begins shipping September 30. The new top-of-the-line Kindle Paperwhite Wi-Fi + 3G is only $189. Customers can sign up to be notified when Kindle Paperwhite Wi-Fi + 3G is available for pre-order at www.amazon.com. Kindle Paperwhite Wi-Fi + 3G is expected to ship November 5.

Amazon Announces Kindle Paperwhite 2 is a post from: E-Reader News

Back to school, back to marketing

Click to learn about the School Library Design Contest

With the start of the 2013 school year, we're excited to announce the School Library Design Contest.  The idea is to have students create promotional materials for your digital collection. We'll share our favorites on the blog and award prizes to the schools who submit the most creative entries. Click on the image to learn more about the contest.


The start of the school year is the perfect time to promote your digital collection. In the Marketing & Outreach section of our Partner Portal, we have recently added some great materials for schools.

We love seeing all the ways schools are promoting their digital collection. Feel free to share your ideas with us at librarypartnerservices@overdrive.com.


Cassie Renner is a Marketing Specialist with OverDrive

Local Content in OverDrive Marketplace

Give your digital collection a personal touch while increasing your holdings and circulation at no additional cost by adding local content to your digital library website in OverDrive Marketplace! On the Local Content tab, you can upload new content or edit existing content for which your library has copyright, such as historical documents, local author interviews, community resources, and more.


Local content is supported in the following formats:


  • eBook: EPUB, PDF
  • Audiobook: MP3
  • Music: WMA
  • Video: WMV


eBooks uploaded in EPUB or PDF format will appear on your digital library website within 24 hours. All EPUB files will be added to a processing queue where an OverDrive Read version of the title will be created.


MP3, music and video files will be submitted via FTP to OverDrive for processing, ensuring they are optimized for viewing or listening in OverDrive Media Console.


OverDrive Marketplace users with high level permissions have automatically been enabled with the 'Local content' user right.  If you think you should have access to 'Local content,' contact your library's Marketplace administrator to enable this for your account.


For additional information, including steps to get started with local content, view the Marketplace User Manual located on the Support tab in OverDrive Marketplace. Please contact your OverDrive Account Specialist with any questions.


Heather Valentine-Gold is an Account Specialist with OverDrive



Amazon Kindle Matchbook Offers Readers Print and Digital


Amazon announced a brand-new value-added feature for its consumers in its new Kindle Matchbook program. Under this new structure, readers can have a low-cost shook edition of any book they have already purchased in print, dating back to 1995. There are already over 10,000 titles approved by their publishers for inclusion in Matchbook, some going back as far as eighteen years ago.

"If you logged onto your CompuServe account during the Clinton administration and bought a book like Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus from Amazon, Kindle MatchBook now makes it possible for that purchase—18 years later—to be added to your Kindle library at a very low cost," said Russ Grandinetti, Vice President of Kindle Content. "In addition to being a great new benefit for customers, this is an easy choice for publishers and authors who will now be able to earn more from each book they publish."

Authors who self-published their titles through Amazon’s CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing platforms also have the option as the rights’ holders of their works to include their titles in Matchbook simply by logging into their KDP dashboards and enrolling their content.

This program is something that digital publishing proponents have clamored for since the current state of ebook sales. The ability to bundle content in this way has been experimented with, but this is the first full-scale model of making any title available at the publishers’ discretion.

Amazon Kindle Matchbook Offers Readers Print and Digital is a post from: E-Reader News

Pre-Orders for the Kindle Paperwhite 2 Now Available

So I just got done posting the article about how the details have leaked about the 2nd generation Kindle Paperwhite. At the time I was writing the article, the description page for the Kindle Paperwhite 2 at Amazon wasn’t working. But then I was thinking about adding the link to the article in case Amazon […]

Kindle Paperwhite 2 Details Leaked

Earlier today Amazon slipped up and accidentally started displaying the new product listing page for the 2nd generation Kindle Paperwhite. They have since taken the product listing page down, but not before someone snapped some screenshots listing the new features. The Kindle Paperwhite 2 appears to be an incremental update. Not much has changed and […]

First Look at Sony Reader PRS-T3 (Video)

The folks over on Librista.es, a Spanish-language blog, have somehow managed to get their hands on the new Sony PRS-T3 ahead of launch, which is expected to come as early as tomorrow. There really aren’t any new details about the reader that we haven’t already seen in the earlier leaked documents, but there is a […]

Help fund computing labs for girls in Afghanistan

Will Goldie is a Boy Scout in California, working on his Eagle project. It’s an ambitious one: working alongside Trust in Education, a group that organises educational, economic and business development programs in rural Afghanistan, he’s raising funds to equip a computer lab for a girls’ school. The Pi will form the centrepiece of what Will’s doing, and he has an Indiegogo running, starting today, to raise the money.

Will’s been emailing with Eben about his idea for a little while now, and we’re really pleased that he’s been able to start putting it in place. The major cost here is the monitor (display technology remains an aggravatingly expensive part of the equation when you’re buying everything as new); Will’s calculations say that it will cost $190 to set up each computer when peripherals are taken into account. He’s aiming to raise sufficient money for ten, but if he exceeds that goal any extra money will go into providing more computers for the girls. It goes without saying, but we would very much like to see him exceed his goal.

This project presses all my buttons. Teaching computing, reaching girls in environments hostile to their education, enabling young women to access opportunities and options that were previously closed to them: making a big difference with a small device. I’ve put my money where my mouth is on this one, and have funded the project – I really hope you will too.

Amazon Japan Overtaking the Competition


One of Amazon’s most recent global marketplace initiations has been in Japan, where device manufacturers at one time found a slow adoption of digital reading. Rakuten, at one time the leading e-reader manufacturer in Japan–and now parent company of Kobo–reigned supreme, but that’s quickly changing, due in large part to Amazon’s model as much as to its devices.

So what is Amazon doing that the other guys like Sony and Rakuten are not? First, the competitive pricing–a tactic that certainly did not win the world’s largest digital retailer and friends in the US, as evidenced by the excuses born out of the recent Department of Justice investigation and lawsuit against Apple and several publishers–that Amazon could support made e-readers finally something more of a tool than an investment. Until the Kindle made an appearance, devices were just too costly to support the everyday reader; Amazon was able to discount the devices and make up the difference in not only ebooks, but also in other products it sells from its online marketplace.

Also, Amazon finally brought Japanese consumers ebooks that they could purchase one time and read forever, unlike the original digital reading models that sprung up which only allowed ebook rentals.

But more importantly than even price or availability of content was possibly the company’s brand itself. Amazon bills itself as a meet-all-needs market portal, and has an easy to use interface that consumers readily enjoy browsing. The recognizable brand and the reputation for stellar customer service all lead readers to stop by Amazon’s website to browse and shop.

Of course, content isn’t hurting. In the nearly one year that Amazon Japan has been open to consumers, it has grown a large catalog of Japanese-language titles, adding several thousand titles each month. This also includes access to Amazon’s English-language titles, as well as the self-published titles through Kindle Direct Publishing from authors around the world.

Amazon Japan Overtaking the Competition is a post from: E-Reader News

News Corp Announces New Digital Newspaper Advertising Exchange


News Corp is developing a new advertising exchange network for their big digital newspaper and web properties. This will allow the company to cut out the middle man and do away with their various affiliates and third party advertisers.  The intention is to have more control and be able to deal with advertisers directly.

The Sun and Times in the UK and the Wall Street Journal are News Corps flagship newspapers and all of them have adapted the paywall approach. In some cases this strategy has not worked out, for example, the Times traffic has dropped by as much as 90% since the launch of the new paywall. Advertisers are often fairly fickle with investing in digital newspaper websites, as the reach is quite low.  News Corp intends to leverage every single one of their properties under one banner and allow advertisers to place ads across a wide spectrum.

The News Corp Global Exchange, will bring together the ad space of 50 websites and mobile/tablet products including Times.co.uk, TheSun.co.uk, NYPost.com, TheAustralian.com.au, MarketWatch.com and News.com.au.

“Content aggregators would like to commodify our content, while data scrapers would like to aggregate our audience,” said Robert Thomson, chief executive of News Corp. “The only way to reach the world’s greatest content and the most prestigious and lucrative audiences is directly through our digital properties. Third parties are no longer invited to the party”.

One potential monkey wrench in News Corps plans is the announcement that Yahoo is launching their own advertising exchange network.  The Yahoo network is based in Australia and recently conducted a trial with 50 major online entities. This is notable because News Corp owns The Australian newspaper and The Australian already signed a contract with Yahoo to use their network. This situation has to be resolved in short order and is likely a huge priority with the upper echelon of News Corp. management.

It will be very interesting to see how much time and energy is needed to build brand awareness in the News Corp Exchange Network. Something like this is going to take a ton of time and money to build proper momentum. Likely, other newspaper publishers are going to monitor this entire project closely for their own properties.

News Corp Announces New Digital Newspaper Advertising Exchange is a post from: E-Reader News