Saturday, November 23, 2013

Amazon Coins Launches in the UK

Amazon Coins

Amazon launched their digital currency in the US in the summer and allows customers to make in-app purchases and purchase apps using them. They really only work on the Kindle Fire line of devices and most new owners get 400 coins that are worth $4.00 by buying a new model. The service has now launched in the United Kingdom.

Amazon Coins is only relegated to purchasing apps and content within them! The scheme has already attracted a range of comments on the Amazon site, with many complaining that Amazon Coins should be extended to allow the purchasing of books and other items from the retailer.

Amazon Coins Launches in the UK is a post from: E-Reader News

Sony PRS-T3 Drop Test


Welcome to another popular installment of the Good e-Reader Drop Test! Today we check out the new Sony PRS-T3 e-reader with built in case. How exactly does this protect the reader from the type of falls that are most common tech devices?

The Sony PRS-T3 e-reader is bundled with a magnetic case that physically attaches to it. Obviously people drop their digital readers all the time and if you are going to spend $149 on it, it has to perform.

There are a number of tests we perform! First of all we simulate the quintessential pocket miss. This is done from the three foot mark and done on concrete. We also drop it on the back, side and front with the case on from the five foot mark. As an added bonus we also drop it from the five foot mark with the case open, as you were reading it and someone bumped into you.

Sony PRS-T3 Drop Test is a post from: E-Reader News

Valiant’s First Digital-Only Comic Is an 8-Bit Adventure

Valiant 8-bit

Valiant Entertainment kicked off its latest incarnation last year with four series based on the original Valiant properties (it’s a long story), and this month the company debuted its first digital-first comic, Valiant 8-Bit Adventure: Unity #1.

Unity is Valiant’s first big crossover, and back in September, they put a QR code on the cover of the first issue that led to a little video, done in the retro-gaming style known as 8-bit, which gave a brief introduction to the different characters in the crossover.

Now they are going a step further with a digital-only comic that features several of their characters training for the big battle. It’s a Guided View Native comic, which means it uses comiXology’s Guided View features to create digital-only effects such as word balloons dropping into place and panels popping up when the reader swipes the screen. When you read a regular comic, you go page by page or perhaps panel by panel, but with a Guided View Native comic, the creator can reveal the scene a little at a time.

That technique works quite nicely with this little comic, which features three of the Valiant characters: Livewire, Ninjak, and Eternal Warrior. The conceit is that the three of them are doing a training exercise that’s a video game, so the comic starts out with a fairly realistic style and then shifts into 8-bit when the action begins. The story unfolds exactly like an arcade game—the three characters are searching for three gems, hazards appear out of nowhere, and various types of points are tallied at the top of the screen. While the story is pretty simple, it’s fun to watch the whole thing unfold as if the characters were really in a game (yet able to control themselves). There’s a bit of a twist at the end, and then it goes back to the real-life style. It’s not really necessary to be familiar with the Valiant characters to enjoy this comic; everything you need to know is there, although obviously it’s more fun if you know the characters who are being gently parodied.

With this first comic, Valiant follows DC’s tactic of using a digital-first comic as a story that is not necessary to follow the continuity of their other series and is easily accessible to first-time readers. If the story whets your appetite for more Valiant, comiXology carries all their regular series as well.

Valiant’s First Digital-Only Comic Is an 8-Bit Adventure is a post from: E-Reader News

Barnes and Noble Nook Glowlight 2013 Drop Test


Welcome to another edition of the Good e-Reader Drop Test Series! Today we round off the entire line of Nook e-Readers and see how the new Nook Glowlight 2013 holds up! The one interesting thing about this e-reader is the rubber that surrounds the unit and the overall design change from previous iterations. How does it stack up against the prior models and does it survive?

In today’s drop test we drop it from the three foot mark, which is the average height in which you mean to put it in your pocket or bag and accidently drop it. We then drop it from the five foot mark on its back, side and directly on the the screen.

Barnes and Noble Nook Glowlight 2013 Drop Test is a post from: E-Reader News

A Roundup of the Best Black Friday iPad And iPhone Deals

Apple Black Friday

Black Friday is just round the corner and retailers too are busy making last minute adjustments to their sales strategies. It's raining discounts right now and justifiably so as this marks the onset of the holiday shopping season in the US. Consumers too are ever on the lookout for the best deals that offer maximum bang for their hard earned buck.

Mentioned here are the deals currently on offer for the Apple iPad series. As things stand right now, the best place to procure the iPad Air seems to be Target that is offering a gift card worth $100. This makes the iPad Air to be essentially priced $379. Target also has a scheme going for the iPad Mini with Retina Display as well, with the offer inclusive of a $75 worth gift card to accompany any iPad Mini version they pick up. Similarly for those who'd like to bring home the original iPad Mini sans the retina display, its Walmart that they should be headed to where the tablet is priced $299 including a Walmart gift card worth $100.

The latest iPhone devices too are very much part of all the shopping fun and Walmart is offering the best deal with the iPhone 5s, priced as it is at $114 including a gift card worth $75. The same is a bit more pricey at Target, where the iPhone 5s can be availed of for $150 after a $50 discount. As for the iPhone 5c, its Walmart again that is offering the best deal, $45 for the device which includes a $75 gift card. What this means is that Walmart is actually paying $30 for each iPhone 5c they sell.

Meanwhile, there still is a few days time before Black Friday sale kicks off, which means there still are chances of other retailers joining in to offer the best discounts. So keep watching!

A Roundup of the Best Black Friday iPad And iPhone Deals is a post from: E-Reader News

New Report on Parent, Teen, Child eBook Consumption

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Non-profit industry tracker BookNet Canada released the results of a fall online survey to investigate the digital attitudes and practices of a variety of readers. Polling participants about the practices of young children, teens, and adults, with 823 adults and 221 teens responding, BookNet Canada discovered some telling things about the perceived state of ebook adoption.

According to the findings, 41% of adults and 27% of teens identify themselves as regular ebook readers; of the teens who state that they do read ebooks, there was a fairly even split as to how many preferred print and how many preferred digital, indicating that ebook adoption–while prevalent–wasn’t a major factor in reading for teens.

The data on devices utilized for reading was very interesting. With more respondents using a tablet than a dedicated e-reader, even the children were involved in tablet activity. Sixty percent of those under four had regular access to a tablet, while that number jumped to 80% for children ages eleven to thirteen. Teens report having access to an average of 4.8 devices each, while parents typically stated the per household number of devices was almost seven. Despite this wide availability, though, parents who responded that they read with their children still choose print; only one in four parents said they read ebooks with their kids.

But what does this data indicate for the future, other than a steady embedding of digital reading in the culture?

"Even parents who don't currently read ebooks predicted that they would be e-reading in the future," says Pamela Millar, BookNet Canada's Director of Customer Relations, in a press release on the study, "so we can conclude that this trend is likely to pick up steam."

The full press release of the survey findings can be found HERE.

New Report on Parent, Teen, Child eBook Consumption is a post from: E-Reader News

OverDrive Daily Holiday Gadget Giveaway

We've got Holiday Fever and we are celebrating by giving away dozens of brand new reading gadgets to say "thank you" for being great library and school partners. In this season of giving, with every purchase order submitted at OverDrive Marketplace from November 24 through January 4, you will be automatically entered into our Daily Holiday Gadget Giveaway and will receive one entry to win a 16GB Google Nexus 7 tablet!


One librarian or media selector winner will be randomly selected every day! To enter, simply login to Marketplace and place an order. Winners will be selected online and posted on the Marketplace homepage every afternoon at 4:30 EST, so check back daily to see if that day is your lucky day! If you are logged into Marketplace at that time, you will see our "Daily Holiday Gadget Giveaway" widget make the live selection and display the winner.  (OverDrive development elves are competing to demo the cleverest selection widget to randomly draw the daily winners.)


Remember to shop often – the more days you submit an order, the better your chances of winning. This may be the perfect chance to invite other members of your library or school team to submit an order. Each user that enters an order is entered into the daily holiday gadget giveaway.


And since Marketplace is compatible on all PCs, Macs, tablets and smartphones, you can shop (and enter the daily giveaway) anytime, anywhere… even at home in your PJs! Show us how you select and develop your digital media collection: send us photo submissions of you shopping for eMedia to for a chance to be featured on the OverDrive Library Blog or the Marketplace homepage.

Best of luck!




Terms and conditions:

Offer is open to Marketplace customers, age 18 or older, except where prohibited by law or policy. The prize is one Google Nexus 7 Tablet (16GB), and is subject to change based on availability. Limit of one entry per day per Marketplace account. Qualifying purchases must be placed between November 24, 2013, at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time ("EST") and January 4, 2014, at 4:30 p.m. EST.  No purchase necessary; to enter without a purchase, mail your contact information (name, address, email, telephone) and your Marketplace account name to: OverDrive, Inc., Holiday Gadget Give-A-Way, One OverDrive Way, Cleveland, Ohio 44125. Mail entries must be postmarked by January 4, 2014. Winners will be selected at random by OverDrive from qualifying entries. Prizes for each winner will be selected by OverDrive. Winners will be posted on the Marketplace homepage every day at 4:30 p.m. EST through the qualifying period. OverDrive will pay all shipping and handling fees for prizes. This offer may be modified, canceled or revoked at any time by OverDrive at its discretion. OverDrive employees and family members are not eligible for this promotion. Odds of winning depend on the total number of qualifying entries submitted.

Digital Comics Bargains for November 23, 2013

Green Lantern

It seems like there’s a big cross-platform sale every week; this week it’s on Geoff Johns’s Green Lantern comics, marked down to 99 cents an issue on comiXology, Kindle, and Nook. ComiXology says it’s a seven-day sale that kicked off on November 19, so it looks like you’ll have till Tuesday night to make your picks.

ComiXology also has a sale on comics from the UK publisher Titan. This is a good time to check out Tank Girl, Death Sentence, or my favorite, Numbercruncher, for just 99 cents a pop. This sale ends Sunday night.

Domo arigato! Dark Horse Digital has marked down three dozen robot-themed comics for the weekend; sale titles include The Bionic Man, Gigantic, Syn, and The Terminator, and prices range from 49 cents (for Syn #1) to $7.98 for The Compleat Terminal City.

And if you’re in the mood for manga, Amazon has a sale on Viz digital manga for $5.99 or less. The three series that are on sale—One Piece, Demon Love Spell, and Case Closed—are the three that are on sale on Google Play for $5.99 per volume; Amazon has knocked them down a bit lower, to $5.79 each.

Digital Comics Bargains for November 23, 2013 is a post from: E-Reader News