Friday, November 15, 2013

Smashwords Adds Dropbox Delivery for eBook Reading

Along with the incredibly wide variety of devices that ebook distribution platform Smashwords’ customers can choose from is a new offering, Dropbox. By selecting the “Send to Dropbox” feature when they buy ebooks, readers can access their ebooks on any compatible device, including iPad and most smartphones.

Interestingly, this new feature will be compatible with ebooks that consumers have already purchased and stored in their libraries, making the virtual storage application a cloud-based access-anywhere portable library. Readers simply have to click the Send to Dropbox button that will appear next to their titles.

According to a blog post on the announcement by CEO and founder Mark Coker, “Each time you purchase an ebook at Smashwords, we'll automatically transfer up to three file formats – epub, mobi and PDF – to your Dropbox account. File format availability is determined by the author or publisher. You'll find your files in Dropbox's "Apps/Smashwords" folder. You can transfer previously purchased books to Dropbox by clicking the Send to Dropbox button in your Smashwords Library.”

Smashwords Adds Dropbox Delivery for eBook Reading is a post from: E-Reader News

Kindle Fire HDX Alternate Launchers and Wallpapers

Amazon’s Kindle Fire HDX tablets come with software based on Google’s Android 4.2 operating system. But you would never know it by using the HDX tablets because Amazon has customized the software in a number of ways to better reflect their products and services instead of Google’s. The software for the HDX tablets is called […]

Digital Comics Bargains for November 15, 2013


Just in time for the holiday travel season, we have a ton of great digital comics deals. Load up your e-reader now, and you’ll be good until the holiday gift cards come in.

Indie publisher Top Shelf is having a big digital sale across all platforms—that’s comiXology, Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and Comics Plus. The sale includes steep markdowns on two of the most acclaimed books of the year, Rep. John Lewis’s March, the first volume of his memoir of the Civil Rights movement, and Rob Harrell’s Monster on the Hill, an all-ages tale (set in a delightful alternate Victorian England) of a monster who can’t quite sum up the energy to be scary any more. Pick up the two of them plus Diana Thung’s delightful Splendour in the Snow and you’ll get a couple of cents back from your virtual sawbuck. There’s plenty here for all tastes: Alan Moore, Eddie Campbell, Jess Fink, Jeff Lemire, Harvey Peckar—you can’t go wrong.

Here’s another cross-platform sale: Superman comics by Grant Morrison, on comiXology, Kindle, and Nook, for 99 cents an issue. This includes his much-loved All Star Superman, a good starting point if you’re new to superhero comics or maybe just haven’t read Superman in a while; it’s one of those comics that you don’t have to be a hard-core comics fan to enjoy.

There’s been a lot of talk about women in comics lately (just Google it!) so it’s nice that comiXology is stepping up with a Women of Marvel sale on titles with strong female leads, such as She-Hulk, Spider-Woman, and Captain Marvel, all for 99 cents each.

Over at Dark Horse, they’re marching to a different drummer, literally, with a selection of rock and roll comics for 99 cents each. Check out a couple of Gerard Way’s Umbrella Academy miniseries or his The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys (with art by the always awesome Becky Cloonan), or maybe Orchid, by Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine).

Digital Manga is having an Autumn Sale with 25% off 15 different manga titles; be warned that some of them are adult manga and the link may be NSFW. But there are also some teen-friendly yaoi titles and Harlequin romances available at good prices.

The best price of all, of course, is free. So check this out: You can get a free bio-comic about Alan Moore, in which writer Gary Millidge strings together panels from different Moore comics to tell the writer’s life story. You’ll have to download the Sequential app, which is iPad-only, but go ahead as it’s a nice app and they have some interesting free content (including a collection of lost Neil Gaiman comics) and they are also marking down some of Moore’s comics.

Finally, you can stay home on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and all those other shopping holidays and pick up some free digital comics from DC—they will be giving away the first issues of a number of their digital-first series, including Batman ’66 and Adventures of Superman, but just one a day, so check the list and mark your calendar.

Digital Comics Bargains for November 15, 2013 is a post from: E-Reader News

Can you hear me now? Audiobook checkouts hit the roof in 2013

Audiobooks are on fire! In the past year, OverDrive mp3 audiobook checkouts have gone through the roof, growing 127% from November 2012 through October 2013. Total checkouts exceeded 13 million just in 11 ½ months. Last month saw more than 1.4 million checkouts, and this month is on pace to double last year's November checkouts.


With thousands upon thousands of bestsellers and popular titles, from the Hunger Games series to Philippa Gregory's The White Queen to learning Japanese on the road or brushing up on your interview skills, it's no wonder people are flocking to audiobooks now more than ever.  Recently available, inexpensive mp3 audiobooks include Veronica Roth's The Transfer, Robert B. Parker's Stranger in Paradise, and Sandra Brown's Unspeakable.  Best of all, they're compatible with any device with Internet access or through the OverDrive Media Console app, including virtually any modern smartphone, tablet and computer. They're perfect for on-the-go book lovers at the gym, grocery store or waiting room. My personal favorite time to listen to audiobooks is in the car on my long commute – it makes me almost hope for slow traffic! …Almost.


Millions of others agree, highlighted by an average 8 percent month over month increase in audiobook checkouts. Libraries and schools across the world are stocking up on titles from OverDrive Marketplace to make sure they have the audiobooks their patrons and students want.


Want to see what all the noise is about? Go to to browse our catalog of mp3 audiobooks, and get listening!


Heather Tunstall is the Public Relations Specialist at OverDrive.


PiePal: order a pizza at the push of a button

Here’s a Friday night quickie (no, we’re not nipping off to the pub unfortunately—we’re getting ready for tomorrow’s Manchester Raspberry Jam).

Ordering pizza can be such a chore. At the very least you have to pick up the phone and shout, “Bring! Pizza! Here!” At worst it can actually involve going outside and all that that entails. The fine folks at iStrategyLabs have put paid to this nonsense with PiePal, a one button pizza ordering system.

PiePal was designed in SketchUp and printed on a MakerBot Replicator 2. Inside, the Raspberry Pi hooks into the API of Domino’s online ordering system to automatically order your favourite pie when you press the button.

Press the button. You know you want to.

If this has tickled your taste buds–or, indeed, your fancy–you can sign up as a beta tester.

Now: how to stop people—who have gone to sleep on your floor a bit worse for wear—waking up at 3am with the munchies and mashing the PiePal like a crazed lab rat while repeatedly grunting, “Peeeeee-ZAAAAHH! Peeeeee-ZAAAAHH!”

Pubslush Takes Crowdfunding to Books, Launches New Blog


Crowdfunding has become a widely popular method for startups to secure the funding they need to launch their conceptual services or products while generating much-needed buzz about their pending product. A small number of diverse platforms have begun bringing the same support structure to books, including Pubslush, whose founder Amanda Barbara spoke to Good e-Reader about the growing popularity of readers being invested in a book from the beginning.

“What makes us so very different from some of the other crowdfunding platforms out there is not just that we’re ‘books only’ and that we’re trying to create a community where authors, readers, publishers, and industry professionals interact, but the best thing about us is that we offer small funding, letting authors set a minimum and a maximum goal. Every little bit helps an author, but about 95% of our authors are going to publish no matter what. It enables them to test the market pre-publication and create a buzz.”

One feature that instantly sets Pubslush apart from the typical crowdfunding model is the buy button: “Once an author has been successful and the campaign is over, on a lot of other crowdfunding sites the person never comes back. They receive their money and they walk out the door. With Pubslush, however, we keep the book live on our site and readers can still comment and we switch the support button to a buy button, and we drive traffic over to Amazon when they book is available for sale. It creates a community and lets our authors continue to have a presence on Pubslush.”

Pubslush goes on to support the authors once the book is live, assisting with all-important marketing and promotion, keeping readers engaged through book interaction, personalization and education, and more. And unlike some crowdfunding sites, Pubslush has one of the lowest percentages among the similar platforms in terms of what portion of donations go to keeping the site running. While other platforms like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo might have a much larger reach, Pubslush steers itself towards readers who want to specifically support a book instead of letting an author’s campaign get lost among the various offerings.

“Crowdfunding is all about driving traffic to your book,” continued Barbara, “so whether you’re one of 200,000 projects going on at Kickstarter or you’re on Pubslush, you’re going to be responsible for raising your own funds. Working with a company like us lets you have dedicated followers in place.”

The site recently launched two new versions of the process, Pubslush Pro and Pubslush Custom, along with a new blog which went live this week.

“Readers do enjoy being a part of the discovery process, they like that they were able to fund a book and bring it to life. If the author is really diligent about keeping the reader a part of the process, you see the excitement.”

Pubslush Takes Crowdfunding to Books, Launches New Blog is a post from: E-Reader News

Apple iPad Mini with Retina Display vs iPad Air


Welcome to yet another installment of the Good e-Reader Video Comparison Series! Today we check out the Apple iPad Mini with Retina Display and the Apple iPad Air. Over the course of the video we check out the reading experience with eBooks, magazines, newspapers, and comic books. As an added bonus we look at audio/video to see if the aspect ratio difference is noticeable.

Many people own the first generation Apple iPad Mini or prior models of the iPad. Quite often the burning question is “should  I upgrade?” and “is it worth it?” This video mainly focuses on the e-reading experience because we know more people then ever before are consuming a wide array of written content on their iDevice.

The Air and Mini are almost exact mirrors of each other when it comes to the overall hardware. The resolution is 2,048 x 1,536 on both models, the Air has 264 ppi while the Mini has 326 ppi. They have the same 1.3 GHZ Dual Core processor and 1 GB of RAM. The only other major difference is the aspect ratio for watching movies and the lack of a 128 GB storage option on the Mini with Retina. This video puts the exact same content side by side, giving you an indication on how graphic heavy content looks, as well as the standard eBook.

Apple iPad Mini with Retina Display vs iPad Air is a post from: E-Reader News

Apple iPad Mini vs Apple iPad Mini 2 with Retina Display


Welcome to another Good e-Reader Comparison video! Today we check out the latest generation Apple iPad Mini with Retina Display and the Apple iPad Mini 1. Over the course of our review we focus on the e-reading experience to see if the high resolution display makes a difference. We compare the same comic, magazine, newspaper, and eBook side by side. As an added bonus we show you the same HD video to test how they handle it.

The iPad Mini with Retina has a 7.9 inch screen with a resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels. This is the exact same resolution as the 9.7 inch Apple iPad Air and really shines with HD content. The first generation Mini has only 1024×768, which means the new one doubles it.

During our tests we found that black text really pops out and looks less pixelated. There is also a stark difference with image heavy content like magazines and comic books, but looks exactly the same with newspapers. As far as video goes, we did not notice a huge difference with content from Netflix, but did with HD videos purchased from iTunes.

Apple iPad Mini vs Apple iPad Mini 2 with Retina Display is a post from: E-Reader News