Kobo took extra steps today to assure LGBT publishing houses that their self-published eBooks were not directly targeted with the recent purge of erotica content. Kobo's content policy reiterated that the parameters for acceptable content included most LGBT material and the main purpose of the "purge" was to remove "overt and illegal" material such as pornography, nudity, and sexually explicit content: Adult or explicit material depicting illegal acts or deemed to be exploitative shall be disallowed for publication on Kobo’s main bookstore and all others that tap into their feed.
"Kobo has been a great distributor to work with and has always been fair to all publishers," says Robert Christofle Publicist for Icon Empire Press.
If you have come to the party late, the purge refers to a large number of hardcore adult content making their way into categories that they shouldn’t of. Parents were finding erotic material in the children’s section and found their kids looking at book covers portraying very depraved acts. This promoted WHSmith and other major bookstores to shut down, while the purge is going on.
Electronic bookstores that offer self-publishing programs are not doing enough to insure that this problem will never happen again. There are no options for customers to just filter out these types of books in their search results. There is no dedicated self-publishing section which puts everything in the same category. Companies are not doing enough to insure that a bookstore is a safe haven and not a den of inequity.
Friday, October 18, 2013
Amazon does not have the most glorious track record when it comes to making their devices accessible to people with vision problems. The company used to include a headphone jack in their prior Kindle models and decided to discontinue it due to competitive nature of the North American market. This has resulted in rampant protests by the National Federation of the Blind. Amazon at least is starting to take the issue of greater accessibility seriously by consulting with the Royal National Institute of Blind People in the development of the new line of HDX tablets.
The new accessible devices mean that blind and partially sighted people will be able read the full range of Kindle books, newspapers and journals in a variety of ways. The built-in screen reader allows readers to listen to titles whilst the magnification function enlarges the screen view. The device can also be used with an electronic braille display and the audio book player also supports accessibility.
The device offers access to TV and film content from LoveFilm through the device's improved media player, meaning that a blind user can enjoy the tablet's full range of features independently.
RNIB firmly believes that blind and partially sighted people should have access to the same choice of books as sighted people and its work encompasses both the digital and traditional worlds of publishing. Although not everyone will benefit from these new devices, increasing numbers of blind and partially sighted people are using new technology and by working collaboratively with the publishing and technology industry, the charity wants to make sure accessibility is at the fore of all new developments.
Blind reader Gary said “I feel like I have been set free in a sweet shop! The whole of the Kindle catalogue is now available to me on a Kindle device not only in synthetic speech but in braille using my electronic braille display as well”.
Some of the new features in the HDX line of tablets include Voice Guide technology will allow menu navigation to be read aloud to the user and Voice Guide Navigation will tell users what they click on. For example, if you are clicking on an ebook, it will tell you what book it is and then read the book to you when you open it.
ComiXology brings on the vampires this weekend with a sale on True Blood, the comic based on the HBO show: Graphic novels are $4.99, single issues are 99 cents, through Sunday evening. You’ll have to act fast to take advantage of their other weekend sale, the Marvel vs. sale (Marvel Universe vs. the Avengers, Marvel Universe vs. the Punisher, etc.), as it ends this evening.
The big sale on Dark Horse Digital this weekend is science fiction comics, with issues of Aliens, Battlestar Galactica, The Bionic Man, and more for 99 cents each.
Amazon offers big-time savings on Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos’s Spider-Man: Big Time in the Kindle store, marking the graphic novel down to $1.99. Not into superheroes? Check out Joe Hill’s horror story Locke & Key; the first volume is just $4.49 on Kindle. And for something truly alternative, check out the first volume of John Allison’s Bad Machinery for just $2.99. Here’s the full Amazon deals page so you can check out all the bargains.
The Amazon Kindle HDX 7 inch tablet is now shipping out to customers to the USA. This is the latest generation offering that is a significant upgrade to the entire product line of Kindle Fire tablets issued last year.
The 7 inch HDX has a resolution of 1920×1200 at 323 PPI. Amazon is hyping up reduced glare, dynamic image contrast, and improved brightness for better viewing in any lighting conditions. Underneath the hood is a quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor that is running at 2.2 GHZ and 2 GB of RAM. There is also a dedicated on-board graphics with the Adreno 330 graphics engine. All of these things combined will be one seriously powerful unit that will be able to tap into the extensive Amazon App Store and be able to run any app or game that you can throw at it. It will also be useful for viewing videos and movies as part of Amazon Video. Amazon has the speakers at the top of the device now and audiobooks/movies will sound really good with Dolby Audio.
Living in Canada, sometimes we get the short end of the stick and although pre-orders are now available, the HDX 7 and 8 tablets won’t ship out until November 26th.
Baker and Taylor have inked a new deal with publisher Macmillan to have their entire back catalog of 11,000 eBooks available for libraries. Anyone doing business with the Axis 360 platform will now have access to have any of these titles to purchase.
In early 2013, Macmillan started a public library pilot program with a select group of backlist ebooks from its Minotaur Books mystery and crime fiction imprint. Now, in addition to the current inventory of romance titles and thrillers from Minotaur books, public library patrons can enjoy best-selling, classic and high-demand titles from all Macmillan imprints such as Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Henry Holt, Macmillan Children’s, St. Martin’s Press and Tor. Newly available titles from Macmillan will be added as they become eligible for sale on a monthly basis.
“We are excited patrons will now have access to even more of Macmillan's ebook catalog to borrow and enjoy," said George Coe, President of Baker & Taylor's Library & Education division. "Baker & Taylor is committed to working with our publishing partners to provide libraries with an outstanding selection of digital and printed materials for their patrons."