Indie author Rachael Lucas has landed a deal with Pan MacMillan that covers publishing three of her books as well as an ebook. The titles covered include Sealed with a Kiss which will be launched in paperback form in May 2014. This will be followed by a sequel of it which will be released during Christmas 2014 along with a novel slated for a release in the Spring of 2015.
Lucas' Sealed with a Kiss has seen over 70,000 downloads and has made it to among the top 10 Kindle titles. The story dwells on the topic of romance, friendship and rescued seal and is set on a remote island in Scotland.
“I fell hook, line and sinker for Rachael’s writing from the first page. She writes with a warm, natural humour and creates characters that you feel you’ve spent years with, not just chapters,” said Senior commissioning editor Caroline Hogg explain the motive behind the deal.
Saturday, November 16, 2013
Kobo and Barnes and Noble both have new six inch e-readers that will be vying for you attention this holiday season. These devices feature illumination technology that have been refined over the course of a few generations for each company. Today we compare the Barnes and Noble Nook Glowlight and the six inch Kobo Aura.
The big difference between these two e-readers is the fact Kobo uses a five point capacitive display screen and the Nook runs a rather old Neonode IR that was popular a few years ago. This allows for Kobo Aura users to enjoy more pin point procession when navigating around or turning the pages of a book. The glowlight technology is fairly similar on both units, but I think the Aura edges the Nook out again.
In the video below we compare eBooks, PDF files and other written content. The objective is to provide you with the same content right next to each other. If you are thinking about buying or upgrading to either of these readers this is the video for you.
There are millions of self and traditionally published out there and trying to discover the next good read is something everyone is focusing on. A new website launched today that is billing itself as the Stumbleupon for eBooks and at the click of a button presents over 10,000 eBooks.
Developer Raimonds Plavenieks launched the site only today and has gained a ton of traction with hundreds of users online and 10,000 eBooks added. Authors can automatically submit their books into the discovery engine by Tweeting @stumblary with your teaser and link to the book. Books can be added from a myriad of websites such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords and Kobo.
Raymond cites the reason for launching the platform as “ a fun experiment in recommending books.” The entire project is a bit of a lark with authors encouraged to submit ideas for features directly to Ray. Considering how much money is being sunk into discovering digital books by major publishers, this is a unique way to go about finding the next great read.
Book Discovery Enhanced with Stumleupon for eBooks is a post from: E-Reader News
The first Children’s Book Fair held in China ran from 7th till 9th November and publishers who had been part of the inaugural edition of the fair report to having made a killing at the event. Publishers had to themselves two days before the fair was thrown open to the public which was marked by hectic activity. This also proved to be a golden opportunity for the publishers from the west and elsewhere in the world to interact directly with the public and their Chinese counterparts, something that they had to rely mostly on agents to get going.
“It has been phenomenal: overwhelming at times. I have been in back–to-back meetings since I arrived. I planned to have 40–50 meetings but I have had about double that. I could have sold rights 10 times over if I was able to,” said Andrew Sharp, groups rights and digital director for Hachette Children's Books while speaking to ‘The Bookseller’.
“The culture is very much that children read to learn but I have sensed that this fair is trying to get out the message of reading for pleasure,” said Sharp saying the focus has been more on fiction and picture books. “What this has really done is given us an opportunity to meet Chinese publishers,” Sharp further added.
Abdul Thadha, founder of Leicester-based Sweet Cherry Publishing echoed similar feeling saying: “There was massive interest from librarians who wanted to buy books in different languages, which is a bonus I wasn’t expecting. Picture books have been of the main interest. I haven't signed any deals but I have got so many leads that I can’t help but think there will be a lot to come from it.”
He also added: “I think this show has been absolutely brilliant. Those who have not come have missed out. I did not anticipate there would be this many publishers here . . . on the first day all my slots had gone, there was no time for lunch and I was meeting with publishers back to back. The only thing I would change for next year is to have more distributors here as there doesn’t seem to be any and obviously they are important."
The Chinese publishers though weren’t as enthusiastic with the results they met, claiming there were less interest in their titles from UK publishers.
This can be made for the words of Zhu Jing, foreign rights manager for Zhejiang Juvenile & Children’s Publishing House as revealed to The Bookseller: “We publish about 500 new titles a year, of which around 20% are imports. We do a lot of business with Dorling Kindersley in the UK. We really hope to sell more titles into the UK but right now we don't have much understanding of what the young readers are looking for or interested in. We have been to the London Book Fair, Frankfurt and Bologna and tried different agents to sell titles to the UK but it hasn’t been very successful so far.”
The first Children’s Book Fair held in Shanghai saw attendance of publishers such as Publishers Association, Hachette Children's Books, HarperCollins, Nosy Crow, Top That!, Windmill Books and Brown Bear Books, World of Books, Digital Leaf, Sweet Cherry Publishing and Small World Creations, along with several other from around the world.
The Harry Potter interactive website Pottermore is now available on mobile connected devices such as tablet PCs and smartphones. Up until now, the same was limited to just web browsers on traditional computing devices such as notebooks or desktops. Good to see the same transcending to the new age devices such as tablets which has emerged the most preferred device for personal computing needs. Pottermore though didn't reveal which platforms the site is compatible with except that it has got 'leading tablet devices' covered. This should include iOS and Android platforms at the least.
As for the site itself, Pottermore has been found to be just as responsive and interactive as it has been known to be when accessed via a browser on a PC. Sure the smaller screen of a smartphone can't make up for the all the fun that the site provides for when viewed in a bigger display of a PC or even a tablet, though nevertheless, its availability in a smartphone provides a greater penetration than that was possible when it was exclusive to web browsers to be viewed on PCs.
As with the site to be made accessible via mobile devices, there is also a huge demand for a Pottermore app and the good news here is that sources – though unconfirmed – have announced a collection of apps is already under development.
Pottermore Debuts on Tablets and Smartphone Devices is a post from: E-Reader News
Welcome back to another popular installment of the Good e-Reader Video Comparison Series! Today we look at the first e-Reader to use front-lit technology with the Barnes and Noble Simple Touch with Glowlight against the second generation Nook Glowlight. If you have the older model and want to see what all of the fuss is all about with the newer reader, you want to watch this video.
Today, we directly compare the two e-readers against each other with the same book, magazine, PDF File and show you the entire digital reading experience. You can get a sense of the strengths of each model and even witness a nighttime reading test in action.
Both e-readers have similar specs, they have six inch IR display and feature an e-ink screen. The newer Nook has 1024×768 for the resolution, whereas the older model has 800×600. There is also enhanced tech underneath the hood to eliminate the full page refreshes you are used to and instead the Nook Glowlight provides a more seamless experience.
Welcome to another Good e-Reader comparison video! Today we take a look at two of the latest generation e-readers that will be vying for your attention this holiday season. The Barnes and Noble Nook Glowlight just came out last week and the Kindle Paperwhite 2 has been available for the last three weeks. We directly compare eBooks, magazines, newspapers, PDF Files and show you how the glowlight looks.
The Kindle Paperwhite 2 and Nook Glowlight both have comparable hardware specs on paper. They have six inch screens with 1024×768 for the resolution and both solely rely on the touchscreen to interact with content. The Kindle has a capacitive touchscreen, while the Nook has Neonode IR Touch. This gives the advantage to Amazon because you can pinch and zoom, while you cannot on the Nook. The Kindle has a 1GHZ processor whereas the Nook has 800 MHZ. When you take them both out of the box for the first time you have 2 GB of memory on each one to load in your own books and purchase content.
Getting into book publishing business isn't generally the most preferred post-retirement plan that most sportsmen would opt for though Derek Jeter, that is exactly what he had set his sights on. The New York Yankees shortstop and captain has already got on to the act, having sealed a deal with Simon & Schuster that would act as a partner to his own firm, Jeter Publishing. Jeter spent the most of this year nourishing injuries that had limited him to feature in just 17 games. However, that also provided him enough time to introspect what he'd like to achieve once he hangs up his boots.
“I've had a lot of time to myself to think,” he said. “The whole last year has been sort of a blur. Being away from it for so long gave me the opportunity to think about what the future may hold after baseball.”
As for his getting into the publishing business, Jeter explained that saying he has always harbored interest in business and content which made enough sense to set up Jeter Publishing.
“I've always had an interest in business, and my interest in business has really expanded over the years,” Jeter said. “And I have an interest in content. So this gives me the opportunity to really combine the two. And it gives me the opportunity to curate and share interesting stories and share content with the public.”
Among the first titles that Jeter Publishing wishes to release will be ‘Derek Jeter guide to baseball’, which is hardly surprising. Jeter also added the book will be updated every year. Among the other titles forthcoming from Jeter Publishing include children's titles, picture books as well as adult fiction, middle grade fiction, biographies among others.
“I understand how important content is this day and age,” Jeter told reporters for the Daily News. “You get an opportunity to share people's stories–it doesn't necessarily have to be baseball–that I find interesting, I'm happy I get an opportunity to do it. I'm looking forward to it. This is my publishing imprint. It has my name on it. I'm going to try and make everyone proud.”
Jeter though said his number one priority right now is to bow out of the game on a high. The 40 year old has recently been signed for one year in a deal worth $12million.
Meanwhile, Jeter Publishing will have a working relationship with Wicked Cow Entertainment, a firm ‘that manages strategy for sports and entertainment brands and will be looking for “brand extensions” for books.’
Barnes and Noble has just released their second generation glowlight e-Reader and has dropped the “Simple Touch” naming convention. The Nook Glowlight has a design that is entirely unique and features a piece of rubber that circulates the device in a bid to minimize the damage from dropping it. The company has refined the lighting technology that allows you to read in the dark and can now give Amazon and Kobo a run for their money in terms of clarity.
How does this device perform under real world conditions when reading newspapers, magazines, eBooks and other content? Is the new design a boon or bane for the average customer? Is this worth the upgrade if you own previous Nook e-Readers? Today we look into all of these issues and more to give you the definitive answers.
The Barnes and Noble Nook Glowlight features a six inch IR touchscreen display with a resolution of 1024 X 758-pixel and 212 PPI. This is a huge upgrade from the previous generation Nook that only had 800×600 for the resolution. Under heavy tests we noticed that the blacks were deeper in cover art and the way fonts look when you maximize their levels.
The Glowlight technology that allow you to read in the dark has been dramatically enhanced. B&N still continues the philosophy of bucking the major industry trend of putting the LED lights on the top of the device, instead of the bottom. Overall, the light is now almost pure white, where the NST with Glowlight would often have a blue hue to it. The entire Good e-Reader review team think that that the new model has 75% brighter and clearer lighting.
We did notice some drawbacks with the way light was handled. When you have it above 65% in brightness you tend to notice a layer of grey film at the very top of the screen. This is where the 5 LED lights are positioned and point downwards. To turn the light off you can access it in the settings menu or hold down your finger on the home button for two seconds. The settings menu itself is at the top right hand corner and the Nook screen is sunken, much like the Kindle is. You will often have to try and few times to hit the settings menu to control the brightness.
Underneath the hood is a 800 MHZ processor and 256 MB of RAM. There are 4 GB of internal memory that you can use to store purchases made from the bookstore. When you take it out of the box for the first time and power it on, there is only 2.1 GB available. If you like to load in your own PDF Files or eBooks there is only 500 MB reserved for user files. Unlike prior models of the Nook line of e-Readers, there is no expandable memory via SD in the Nook Glowlight. The specs on paper are very much akin to most other e-readers on the market by Sony, Amazon, Kobo and most of the indie companies.
The Nook Glowlight has a full piece of rubber that circles the entire length of the e-Reader. You can take it off, but it exposes some of the assemblies and the motherboard is showing. It also is a bit jagged in parts, so you don’t want to do this. This was one of the most oddest design choices ever in e-Readers. Why they did this is beyond me, they don’t even offer different colored bumpers to buy to customize your device, which I would have done. I realize the essence of the rubber is to protect your device from drops, as the weight of it would change the momentum to land on its side, rather then face down. Really, how many people are reading when they are walking down the sidewalk or in a position to truly damage their e-readers from big falls? We run a drop test on the previous generation Nook Simple Touch and it was fine after dropping it from five feet in the air on concrete.
Battery Life is on this device is somewhat consistent with other e-readers on the market. You will get two months of battery life out of a single charge and you power it up by hooking it into your computer with the USB cable. Barnes and Noble has elected to not bundle a wall charger, so you will have to buy your own.
In the end, the overall resolution and glowlight enhancements are the main drivers to upgrade to this device if you own one of Barnes and Noble’s earlier devices. Text and pictures look way better and the light is more evenly distributed across the screen. The physical construction of the device has a bit to be desired for and I quite frequently found myself starting to peel off the rubber when holding the device. It is not held in place very tightly and easily comes off.
Many uninformed tech sites cited that the Android 2.1 OS that comes bundled on the Nook Glowlight to be old and outdated. It is true that its an older version but to the average user no one cares. You certainly would not gain any compelling benefits of a recent version of Android because B&N heavily skins their UI, so you wouldn’t even know.
The UI has been really simplified on this version of the Nook. You no longer have to tap the home button to bring up all of your quick options, instead they are persistently at the bottom of the screen. Library, Store and Search are the only three options available. The settings, social and other functionality is now at the top right hand side of the screen. No one really changes their settings on a daily basis or adjusts the lighting every few minutes, so I dig the fact its neatly tucked out of the way.
The main library shelf has not received an upgrade and you can sort your collections by newspapers, eBooks, documents, and even an “Everything else” option which shows your apps and other content you may have purchased using the Nook HD line of tablets. This is actually their “cloud” option, but everything listed in here is a bit of a tease because you can’t even use it. You can also do a cover art few, or a list few, fairly basic stuff and nothing advanced of note.
If you have the Nook Simple Touch or the Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight most of the menus and sub-menus look exactly the same. There are no exciting software enhancements of note. Things are organized a bit differently and I think its more intuitive now than before.
The Store experience right now is quite buggy and we reached out to Barnes and Noble for comment. If you are reading a book and select “more” it brings you to the store. In the past, there were options to change your e-reading experience from the stock portrait view to landscape. If you go into your settings menu and click on LENDME titles, you would think it would bring you into the section of the Nook store with titles you can share with your friends, nope, its the same stock store. If you try clicking on any eBook you can’t actually click on it to get the book description and even to buy it. Instead, you have to login to the Nook website and sync your content directly. Finally, if you click on Social and try and enter passwords to connect up your Facebook or Twitter account all of the password fields are blank when you enter text. I ran into the situation where I knew the password I entered was correct but there was no place holder symbols to let me know how many characters I typed. When I scrolled up the page the it for a second showed me the password in plain text but then quickly disappeared. Maybe we have a bum unit, maybe its the software acting up, maybe its the fact we live in Canada but could buy content on our other Nooks, likely the device was rushed out too fast, who knows.
In the end, most e-reader companies release a new model every year and some have some cool new software features that offer a compelling reason to upgrade. Kobo unveiled “Beyond the Book” which is their answer to Amazon X-Ray. Amazon announced GoodReads integration and Kindle Freetime for their e-readers, both are not available yet, but will be soon. Sony and B&N generally remain fairly consistent with slowly refining core elements of their device but not introducing any new software enhancements that make users turn their heads around and take notice.
Barnes and Noble has always maintained an elegant e-reading experience and not providing a ton of advanced options to confuse their customer base. When it comes to reading you are mainly using EPUB and PDF Files. EPUB is what the Nook store sells and you can load in your own PDF’s.
The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 2 and Nook Glowlight have similar text augmentation features when it comes to changing the size of your font, line spacing, margins and font size. If you hold your finger down in the middle and select text you are able to customize your changes and it dynamically updates. There are six different fonts, 7 different font sizes and 3 different ways to edit margins and line spacing.
When inside a book you can make highlights, look words up in a very basic dictionary, share a specific passage with your friends on Facebook or Twitter. You hold down your finger on a word to drop an anchor and then can select an entire sentence or page of text. You can load in your own books on the Nook and have access to all of the functionality as books purchased from B&N.
One thing I noticed about the reader is the lightning fast page turns! You do not have full page refreshes at all. We turned 100 pages and did not even experience one refresh. I don’t know what Barnes and Noble did to make this happen but its pleasant. The last two Nook readers did one every six pages and every single page you turned tended to blur the text. The Nook Glow is the best reader to date for the company in terms of not taking you out of the immersive reading.
The PDF experience on the Nook Glowlight is lacklustre to say the least. You cannot pinch and zoom on this unit like you can on the Kobo Aura or Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 2. Instead, you will have to chance the size of the font to initiate a reflow. This is much akin to the old way that Sony used to do things by relying on you to switch up your Zoom level. The page numbers change depending on this. Our DND Monsters Manual was around 280 pages but on the first level of zoom changed to 600 pages and 3rd 800 pages. You also don’t get a preview window that helps orient you on where in the document you actually are. This is likely the weakest part of the Nook e-Reader and likely a deterrent to anyone looking to purchase one.
Finally, you can purchase magazines and newspapers via the Nook ecosystem but you can think of them as eBooks. Aside from the cover art everything is basically the Nook Edition, and allows you to augment the text size, font type and add notes. Anything you can do in a standard eBook you can do in either of these.
Wrap Up – Is it Worth It?
If you have the Nook Simple Touch or the Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight this is worth the upgrade if you read a ton in the dark and if font clarity matters to you. Aside from those two things this reader is very much the same as previous generations in terms of the hardware. The lack of SD card is a black mark on this device, because it does not allow you expandable storage to load in more content.
Resolution is on par with Kobo Aura and Kindle Paperwhite 2
PDF Experience is Woeful