Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Kobo e-Readers and Tablets to be Available 60 Eason Locations in Ireland


Kobo has just signed off on an agreement to their entire line of e-readers and tablets available at over 60 Eason bookstores in Ireland. Everything should be available within the next month and readers will be able to buy over 4-million titles across 68 languages, including international bestsellers, color-rich kids content, and works by local authors such as A Gift to Remember by Melissa Hill, The Guts by Roddy Doyle, and The Honey Queen by Cathy Kelly.

Conor Whelan, Managing Director at Eason & Son commented on the partnership, "After reviewing a number of different options for the business we are delighted to partner with Kobo in offering our customers the best platform we believe for content and devices. This partnership is a key component of our digital strategy and will ensure that Eason remains a leading retailer of physical and digital books in Ireland. This partnership with Kobo will allow our customers to explore a vast digital catalogue at home or on the go. The devices will be available to buy in local Eason stores where our teams will be on hand to help you when buying your new Kobo device."

In order to facilitate growth in Ireland, Kobo has taken advantage of government grants to setup a satellite office. They are employing 30 different people, mainly programmers, who will help facilitate customization of the online store experience for businesses Kobo does business with in Ireland, UK and Western Europe.

"Ireland is home to some of the brightest minds in the tech sector, and we're excited to announce the opening of the Kobo office in Dublin," said Michael Serbinis, CEO, Kobo. "Our team in Dublin helps to deliver the best eReading experiences and localized offerings for our bookselling partners like Eason, which we announced today."

Kobo e-Readers and Tablets to be Available 60 Eason Locations in Ireland is a post from: E-Reader News

Bookeen Unveiled the Cybook Ocean e-Reader


Bookeen has borrowed a page out of Kobo’s playbook by offering a new e-reader whose screen is flush with the bezel. The new Cybook Ocean is likely the most sexiest device the French company has ever released.

The Cybook Ocean features an 8 inch screen and has a resolution of 1024×758. This model adheres to the current trend of packing a front-lit display on the e-reader and I was told that it is on par with the Kindle Paperwhite 2, in terms of overall screen clarity. Underneath the hood is a 1 GHZ processor, 512 MB of RAM and 4 GB of internal memory. If this is not enough to store the books you have purchased from the on-board bookstore, you can simply insert an SD Card.

Tactile purists will enjoy the physical page turn buttons on the bottom of the device. It can also be interacted with solely via the touchscreen if that is your thing.

Most e-reader companies exclusively rely on the firmware on their devices by whatever factory they purchase the e-readers from. Pocketbook and Icarus are most notorious for this, which is why their interface and features are so different from device to device. Bookeen has a dedicated R&D department that actually designs their own Linux based system. You get such notable features such as inertia scrolling and a very solid web-browser with tons of settings.

Bookeen Unveiled the Cybook Ocean e-Reader is a post from: E-Reader News

Free Enhanced eBook Giveaway: Macbeth by Wordplay Shakespeare

Good e-Reader recently featured an enhanced ebook launch by a company that is taking full advantage of the capabilities that tablet-based reading has to offer. By incorporating embedded video within the pages of the text–as opposed to hyperlinks that require buffering–Wordplay Shakespeare has brought actors to the page, allowing the reader to watch the scene unfold in Shakespeare’s own words while reading along with the text. Readers also have the option to hit the Translate button, and to read that same text in a more modern rendition.

"We have one goal," said The New Book Press founder and publisher Alexander Parker at the time of the launch of this title, "to present Shakespeare's plays in a way that makes the best use of the new capabilities of tablets. That means bringing together text and video on the same page, providing communication and analysis tools, and ultimately lowering the barrier to enjoyment and understanding that have bedeviled student and adult readers of Shakespeare over the last 400 years."

A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Macbeth are currently available, and two other titles, Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet, are due to be released soon. Now, readers who subscribe to the publisher’s email newsletter have the opportunity to win a free download of the full ebook by subscribing at

Free Enhanced eBook Giveaway: Macbeth by Wordplay Shakespeare is a post from: E-Reader News

Taking NaNoWriMo Direct to Distribution


As 500,000 authors in over 100 countries gear up to kick off National Novel Writing Month in two days, companies have stepped forward to encourage and support these would-be novelists. Today, FastPencil announced its incentives for NaNo participants, offering support and help with distribution in ebook and print.

"National Novel Writing Month is a crucial time for writers and FastPencil is proud to support NaNoWriMo," FastPencil co-founder and CEO Steve Wilson said in a press release today. "We feel that there's nothing more important than helping writers write. It is our hope that this contest and all of our activities during the month help to get more people writing and reaching the ultimate goal of completing a novel."

One of the rewards issued to a chosen winner will be the opportunity to talk with bestselling author Angela Sage Larsen about his or her work, including a free novel consultation. Apart from a contest that is open to all NaNo participants who post activity through the Fast Pencil platform, the company is hosting an ongoing thread for NaNo participants to provide access to resources, incentives, and support.

"I am extremely honored and excited to collaborate with FastPencil to help motivate and encourage writers," Larsen said. "NaNoWriMo is an amazing organization that challenges writers and creates a true community of authors to keep each other moving toward completing a novel. I look forward to providing a consult for the grand prize winner, but believe all entrants in this contest are winners because they are writing."

All of the different companies who are offering incentives and sponsorship this year have paid to take part; that funding keeps NaNoWriMo in action and goes to support the classroom programs under the Young Writer’s Program.

Taking NaNoWriMo Direct to Distribution is a post from: E-Reader News

Random House Purchases Teen Writing Site Figment


Random House is hoping to capitalize on the success of teen writing communities with the recent purchase of Figment. The site launched in early 2010 and boasts 750,000 stories by 300,000 registered users.

Figment was started by Jacob Lewis, a former editor at the New Yorker and now on staff at Random House; Dana Goodyear is a poet and and does freelance work at the New Yorker. Goodyear was inspired to launch the site after a trip to Japan, during which she became fascinated with cellphone novels being written mostly by young women for young women. Figment was an idea of how those ideas of collaboration and sharing might play out with American teens.

Random House is thought to have purchased Figment to talk directly to their readers, something they used to rely on booksellers exclusively for. The publisher is now in a position to scout young new talent and leverage their social media connections to purchase their published books.  Random House when signing new talent always looks at how strong of a following a young author has, because they know there are guaranteed sales.

Random House Purchases Teen Writing Site Figment is a post from: E-Reader News

McGraw-Hill, Penn Invest in Edtech Startup


As tech startups spring up around the globe on a daily basis, investors and market watchers alike can be hard pressed to find out which ones have serious backing and research behind them. Today, McGraw-Hill education announced its investment in a University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education  collaboration, Education Design Studio, Inc. The $2.1 million project is a hybrid incubator and seed fund that works to “nurture, support and increase the success rate of early-stage education startups and related business ventures.”

For its part, McGraw-Hill Education will help fund between four and six startups per year, companies that were chosen as part of a competition supported by the Milken Family Foundation and the University’s graduate school.

“As a '125-year-old startup' with a deep understanding of the education market, we welcome the opportunity to collaborate with EDSi and the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania and invest our time and resources in high-quality startup talent," said Stephen Laster, chief digital officer of McGraw-Hill Education, in a press release today. "This partnership presents a unique opportunity to combine the experience of our extensive in-house network of digital content developers with one of the leading and most entrepreneurial education schools in the country."

Designed to help bridge education and business, the six-year funding for the startups will further McGraw-Hill’s mission of creating both innovation and healthy competition in the digital educational marketplace.

"We are thrilled that McGraw-Hill Education – an established leader in the development of top-notch digital learning solutions – is offering its time and resources through this one-of-a-kind collaboration," continued Dr. Bobbi Kurshan, executive director of Academic Innovation at the Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania. "Creating an ecosystem in which startups can thrive is paramount to their short- and long-term success, and we are grateful to companies like McGraw-Hill Education for embracing this new paradigm and for bringing such seasoned professionals and expertise to this program."

McGraw-Hill, Penn Invest in Edtech Startup is a post from: E-Reader News

Raspberry-flavoured haunted house

Remember Amelia and Oliver? Earlier this year, aged seven and five, they programmed, soldered, modeled and painted a simply fantastic school project that we featured here. (We liked the Bee Box so much that we’re including something very similar in the primary school materials we’re working on at the moment.) This Halloween, with some help from Dad, Amelia and Oliver have used a Raspberry Pi to rig up their house to scare any trick-or-treaters who might visit tomorrow. Here are a witch, Dracula and a pirate, to talk you through what they did.

Dracu-Dad has documented how they set the whole thing up, using the doorbell as a trigger for the whole audiovisual extravaganza. We’re expecting some more from him after Halloween itself; he’s planning on videoing the reaction of visiting trick-or-treaters. Only tangentially related to the matter at hand, but so damn cute that there was no way I could keep it to myself, here’s a picture from another reader, Andrew Waite. This is Andrew’s daughter, Grace, in her BBC Micro Owl costume, accompanied by her cat for Halloween. I predict a great future for this particular 14-month-old. We hope everybody has a great time tomorrow evening, and we hope that plenty of you are putting your Pis to good use this Halloween. Check out all the posts under the Halloween tag for ideas, and stay safe!

The GCF Keyboarding Tutorial is HERE!

After years of requests from our users, we are excited to finally announce the launch of our free touch typing tutorial.

Fundraising for your school’s digital library


One of the best ways to increase circulation of your digital collection is to consistently add new content for your students to enjoy. While in an ideal world you would be able to easily acquire funding to constantly add new carts of titles, we understand that this isn't a realistic expectation for all schools and districts. In order to continue providing new and exciting reads for your school community to enjoy, we suggest looking into the time-honored tradition that schools have used for sports, drama clubs and many other extracurricular clubs: fundraising! Here are a few suggestions for ways to raise money to support your digital collection:


Parent donations

One way that physical school libraries obtain titles is through donations by the community. Make this idea digital by showing off book jackets during open houses and parent-teacher conferences and offer parents the chance to "donate" these titles by giving money towards the purchase of the eBook or audiobook. You can thank them in newsletters or programs for school events.


Crescent School in Ontario successfully introduced this idea for their school last year. Library Technician Lisa Elchuk shares,


"At our Parent Volunteer reception, we chose and displayed titles for donation to our collection. I slid the covers into glass photograph frames, which we displayed on a table, for selection by the parents. Once a parent chose a title, they autographed small labels that we affixed to the eBook covers. We will display them on the library shelves, as well as recognizing the Parent Volunteer in our ILS and on a specially created shelf on our OverDrive site!"


Vote for your favorite eBooks

If you've ever been to Starbucks (and I'm guessing you have), then you may recognize tip jars that look like this:



By making tipping a game, Starbucks baristas make giving money fun. You can do the same by posing questions to your school community about which eBooks they would rather read. Whatever title wins, put the money towards purchasing it for your collection. If you get enough money, buy both titles! You can put these out at lunch, at events or at the front of classrooms to raise awareness. Even if students just donate small change from their pockets, it can add up.


50/50 Raffle

50/50 raffles are also popular at many high school events. People purchase raffle tickets and a winner is drawn. They get half the money earned through the raffle and the other half can go towards new digital content.


Pass the Hat

Passing the hat (or boot if you're a fireman) is a time honored tradition at baseball and football games here in the United States. Simply pass a hat amongst the crowd during halftime at a game or a break in the action and use the donated money to purchase new titles. Make an announcement to explain what you're collecting for and help raise awareness about your school's digital resources!


Cookies and Candy

Who doesn't love a good bake sale!? I personally think "Cookies for eBook-ies" would draw in a good crowd, if you're looking for a clever poster.


Grant Writing

While not technically fundraising, grant writing is an excellent way to increase your digital collection. You can find programs like the Innovative Approaches to Literacy Program, which North Little Rock High School wrote about previously that help provide new titles for your students as well as funds for devices and much more.


Just Ask!

The easiest way to raise funds can simply be asking for donations from parents, staff and the community. This is also a great way to introduce them to the service if you haven't done so already. You can use our Letter to the Community template to inform parents, alumni and your neighbors about the exciting digital collection you offer, share how it benefits your students and ask for donations to add new titles.


Fundraising can help strengthen your school community, improve your eBook collection and raise awareness for your digital resources. The possibilities are only limited to what your imagination can think up!


Adam Sockel is a Marketing Communications Specialist with OverDrive.


Amazon Launches Day One Imprint Focusing on Poetry and Short-Fiction


Amazon is reinventing the literary journal for the digital age with the advent of their new imprint, Day One. It will be a weekly publication dedicated to short fiction—including work from debut authors and stories from around the world translated into English—and poetry. Day One will showcase one writer and one poet per week. The first issue is available today and features the short story "Sheila," by Rebecca Adams Wright, and "Wrought," a poem by Zack Strait.

"Literary journals have long been an important part of giving a voice and a platform to new and undiscovered authors," said Daphne Durham, Publisher, Adult Trade and Children's Group. "We are trying to add to that tradition in a digital age. Day One, with its weekly focus on writers and poets, allows us to showcase unique stories and poems and shine a bright light on these authors."

Each issue will be delivered to your Kindle e-Reader, Tablet or via the companies official apps for iOS or Android. An annual subscription to Day One is priced at $19.99, but for a limited time, Day One will be available at an introductory price of $9.99 for an annual subscription—52 issues in total. You can check out or sign up for the service HERE.

Amazon promised the launch of more  imprints when the leader of Amazon Publishing in New York, Larry Kirshbaum, announced that he was leaving the company early next year. There is an air of uncertainty regarding the publishing future because the new CEO  Daphne Durham is based in Seattle. Amazon Publishing as a whole is not a major player in New York and their bids for exclusive books has waned due to Barnes and Noble and other retailers refusing to stock the books in their stores. Day One might do well because it lives in a digital only environment, which may be an indication on the new direction o f Amazon Publishing.

Amazon Launches Day One Imprint Focusing on Poetry and Short-Fiction is a post from: E-Reader News

New Nook Glow Released, Disappointments Aplenty

Barnes and Noble announced a new Nook GlowLight ebook reader today that is available now in B&N retail stores and online at for $119, with a 10% discount for B&N members. B&N has dropped the “Simple Touch” designation and is calling the new device simply “Nook GlowLight”. B&N is claiming the Nook GlowLight is […]

HarperCollins Begins Selling eBooks Directly to Readers


Major Publishers tend to rely on companies such as Amazon, Kobo, Apple and Barnes and Noble to sell the digital editions of their books. Not content to exclusively buy into this model Harper Collins is now bucking the trend by selling eBooks directly to customers  and launching a dedicated e-Reader app for Android and iOS.

Buying eBooks directly from the publisher will phase out the middleman and allow the company to tailor its own promotions to allow readers to capitalize on deals and season specific campaigns.  Right now the service is only launching on two specific websites; and

Chantal Restivo-Alesi, chief digital officer at HarperCollins, said: “The publishing industry is undergoing a technological transformation unparalleled in our 200-year history. Launching a platform that allows HarperCollins to establish a direct to consumer marketing and sales proposition to expand some of its strongest brands to new audiences means we honour both our past and our present.”

The HaperCollins reading app is actually fairly solid in execution. You have to make an account with the company to actually do anything, but you can activate a trial model. There is a small sample book of Narnia, enough to give give you a sense on how the app works. I think overall it feels slick and polished. You can change the margins, text size, initiate night mode and control the animation of the page turns. There is also functionality to look words up in the dictionary, make highlights and annotations. It looks like a polished first offering, and this is mainly attributed to the company doing business with Bluefire Reader. The only downside in using the Android app, is that you can’t actually buy books with it. You have to make an account with HarperCollins, buy the books from the website and then sync them. Download the app today from the Good e-Reader Android App Store.

This is a big shift in publishing mentality to develop your own e-Commerce system, develop a reading app and sell books directly. This entire initiative seems to be a glorified test to see if readers will buy into it. I think in order for this strategy to succeed they have to go “all in.”

HarperCollins Begins Selling eBooks Directly to Readers is a post from: E-Reader News

What’s Next for BookExpo?

Arguably one of the premier book industry events every year is the BookExpo America conference, which takes places in late May at the Javits Center in New York. The event grown quickly to encompass nearly every aspect of the publishing industry: special day-long conferences on the digital industry, a stand-alone event tied to BEA that focuses solely on self-publishing, even a book blogger space with author/speakers, interview opportunities, and more.

But in an effort to stay relevant and reach as wide an exhibiting audience as possible, BEA will be moving from New York in 2016, staging instead in Chicago. But following the test run there, the organizers are looking seriously at other venues to provide as much diversity and opportunity as possible.

The organizers released a blog post asking for input from industry professionals and industry watchers alike. Where should BEA go after Chicago? Critics have argued that you won’t find a US city more bookcentric and publishing oriented than New York City, but NY is also a “destination” city, meaning a lot of attendees will make the trip because…hey, it’s New York.

Some of the other potential locations have been shot down due to concerns about access to plentiful hotel spaces, lack of round the clock direct access flights, complicated ground transportation or parking, and more. Beyond that, BEA organizers understand that a lot of the business of a conference like this takes place off-site at sponsored dinners and events, and that attendees and exhibitors alike are more likely to participate if those venues are unique, intriguing, historical, and more.

For the opportunity to weigh in on where you think BEA’s future should roll out, check out their blog to vote.

What’s Next for BookExpo? is a post from: E-Reader News

Bookviser eBook Reader App Announces New Update For Windows 8


Bookviser, the ebook reading app for the Windows Phone platform has announced an update that will make it compatible with the latest Windows Phone 8 version. Of course all the endearing qualities of the app that has made it among the most sought after ebook reading application for Windows Phone 8 remains intact while a few enhancements has also been added to the list.

Among the new features that have been introduced to the Bookviser app include a more realistic look and feel for the page turning animation including a book jacket that can be added to the open book, with the option to turn off the latter as well if the user so desires.

These apart, there are a few other options that has been made available to work with the text, which includes the ability to copy texts, sharing the same over social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook and such right from within the app itself. Users will also have the option to search a selected word in Google as well as the app's own built in dictionary.

Among the new advanced library features introduced with the app include the ability to sort titles alphabetically, or according to the last date of opening the title. Users will also have the option to group titles according to authors or genres along with means to single out the latest additions.

The new updated app also enables users to import ebook titles located on other devices including those held in Skydrive or other cloud based servers. These apart, the new update to the apps ensure users will be able to "download titles from pre-installed catalogs (Feedbooks, Project Guttenberg, AllRomance, Smashwords), connect any other OPDS catalog of your choice, or download multiple books per session from OPDS catalog".

All of the above mentioned enhancements comes in addition to the usual benefits the app presents such as "color and font customization, bookmarks, footnotes support, search for text in the book, progress bar and 'go to section' function" and so on. The makers of the app also informed they wish to evolve into the best ebook reading app on the Windows platform and have already planned several enhancements towards achieving that goal. These include "synchronization of Windows Phone and Windows 8 versions, built-in dictionary, note taking, highlights, DRM and PDF support." The app right now is compatible with ePub and fb2 formats. Another extremely likeable feature of the app, something that they have vowed to stick to at all times is to keep the app free of ads. This they claim will allow for a pure ebook reading experience with no distraction to worry about.

Bookviser eBook Reader App Announces New Update For Windows 8 is a post from: E-Reader News

Barnes and Noble Simple Touch Drop Test


Welcome back to another installment of the Good e-Reader Drop Test! Today we check out the Barnes and Noble Simple Touch Reader and see how it holds up against common drops!

The first test we conduct is the simple pocket miss. Often, when you are meaning to put it in your pocket or purse, you may miss and drop it. We simulate this event and see what kind of damage occurs from three feet. The next stage of tests occur at the five foot level. We drop it on the back, side and directly on the screen. Some noticeable damage does occur and some parts go flying off! Want to know how it did, check out the video below.

Barnes and Noble Simple Touch Drop Test is a post from: E-Reader News