Friday, December 6, 2013

Overdrive Secures the Rights for 500 Penguin Audiobooks


Overdrive and Penguin have come to terms on a new agreement that will see over 500 audiobooks become available to libraries.   These new audio editions will be available for public and college libraries in the U.S. and Canada under the one copy/one user lending model in both the WMA and MP3 format.

The Penguin audiobooks are mainly backlist titles, but there are a number of great authors works now available.  Libraries will be able to buy older audio titles from Ken Follett, Clive Cussler, Anita Blake, Maya Banks, Roald Dahl, W.E.B. Griffin, Nick Hornby, Stephen King, Jen Lancaster, and Lee Child.

Penguin and Overdrive have had a tumultuous relationship, to say the least, over the course of the past few years. In May 2012 Penguin cancelled the contract they had with Overdrive because they felt that libraries lending out eBooks for free, devalued the overall product. It was only late in 2013 that a series of pilot projects were initiated to get Penguin back in the game with backlist and frontlist titles.

So whats changed with Penguin? Well, Overdrive suspended the ability to deliver eBooks to Kindle users wirelessly and instead have to be downloaded to the users computer and then synced to an Amazon product. Penguin harboured great resentment towards Amazon for their strongarm tactics of getting deals on selling eBooks and it pissed off management.

Still, libraries now can benefit from more audio editions in their library, and this sector is on the rise. The entire audiobook industry is currently worth around 1.6 billion dollars and that figure should climb further. The main reason? Audio book producers have been increasing their output. 13,255 titles came out in 2012, up from 4,602 in 2009.

Overdrive Secures the Rights for 500 Penguin Audiobooks is a post from: E-Reader News

Good e-Reader – Top 5 e-Reading Devices for 2013


The staff at Good e-Reader have been working on fumes this year with such a copious amount of e-reading devices that have come out in 2013. We have reviewed close to 70 different tablets, e-readers, smartwatches and the tech that goes into consumer devices. Today, Peter looks at the top 5 e-reading devices of 2013!

Good e-Reader – Top 5 e-Reading Devices for 2013 is a post from: E-Reader News

Top 10 New Android Apps of the Week – Dec 6 2013


Welcome to another popular installment of the Good e-Reader Top Android Apps of the Week! Tons of popular games and apps have just hit the street and it is our job to inform you about the most essential ones that are worth your time.

Ski Challenge 14 – Enjoy a little suspense, action and thrills? Then Ski Challenge 14 is right for you! The rapid 3D ski simulations game offers exciting races and spectacular downhill runs this winter. FOR FREE! Experience exciting events and fly down the slope at 130 km/h – your new personal best is within reach!

Stickman Soccer – Experience pure soccer fun with fast paced gameplay, an astonishing atmosphere, stunning smooth animations, simple controls, insane action and tons of replay value. Choose your national soccer team and rank up while playing various seasons in spectacular stadiums or simple dominate in street soccer style matches. Decide whether you want full control over your players with manual running and shoot timing or use the automatic running mode where you have control over precise pass timing and watch your players tackle your opponents. Choose your favorite national soccer team from more than 32 different skilled teams and lead them to glory!

Chromecast – hromecast is the easiest way to enjoy online video and anything from the web on your TV. Plug it into any HDTV and control it with your existing smartphone, tablet, or laptop. No remotes required. Cast your favorites from Google Play, YouTube, Netflix, and Chrome to your TV with the press of a button.

Bible for Kids – The Bible App for Kids is the newest member of the YouVersion family of apps. Available now for Android smartphones and tablets, the Bible App for Kids is always completely free! Through interactive adventures and beautiful animations, kids explore the big stories of the Bible. The Bible App for Kids is a delight-filled experience designed to encourage kids to return again and again. It's the beginning of a lifelong love of God's Word.

FIFA – NEVER MISS A MOMENT. Download the most comprehensive football app on the planet and unlock the world of football. Hundreds of competitions, thousands of goals and over a million minutes of football every single week!

Sonic Dash – Play as Sonic the Hedgehog as you dash, jump and spin your way across stunning 3D environments. Swipe your way over and under challenging obstacles in this fast and frenzied endless running game.

Skee-Ball Arcade – Combining the fun of classic boardwalk arcade action with stunning new game boards, explosive power ups, and high-stakes tournament competition for both smartphone and tablet players, Skee-Ball Arcade has it all.

Kingdom Conquest 2 – It is a time of war and chaos. Begin with nothing and end with a kingdom. SEGA's Kingdom Conquest II is the epic free-to-play strategy game for conquerors. Dominate real players online. Unite the strong and crush the weak until final victory is declared. You decide who joins your cause or submits to your will. Kingdom Conquest II blends the best elements of card battling, real time strategy, MMORPGs, and 3D dungeon battles to deliver a massive and addictive fantasy war game like no other.

Underwater Adventures – Are you an adventurer and a strategic thinker? Now it's time for you to find out by playing the brand new Underwater Adventures game. Enjoy an underwater world filled with strange creatures, mystery, excitement, and fun, with a game that puts your navigational skills to the test.

Westjet – At WestJet, we really like our guests – so much that we want to go everywhere with you. Our app lets you check in, view flight status, reference travel info and connect with us on the go. It won't be long before you'll be able to use our app to book new flights, view upcoming trips and more.

Top 10 New Android Apps of the Week – Dec 6 2013 is a post from: E-Reader News

Pocketbook CAD Reader Debuts in New Commercial


Pocketbook is betting all or nothing on their new CAD Reader and this model has the dubious distinction of not being marketed to the general consumer segment. In order to garner mainstream interest before its Q1 or Q2 launch date of 2014, the company has developed a very polished online commercial.

The Pocketbook CAD e-Reader is aimed at business users who find themselves using software such as AutoCad. It features a 13.3 inch display with full WACOM stylus support to draw and make notes on the fly. Unlike tablets this model will garner around 2 months of battery life. Pocketbook makes it very clear that the CAD Reader is not a replacement for your computer or tablet, but seeks to replace paper and have have new architecture plans updated on the fly.

This is one of the highest performing devices Pocketbook has ever released. It is running Android 4.0.4 on a dual-core 1 GHz CPU with 2 GB RAM, 16 GB Flash storage. The CAD Reader is the first device to use E-ink's new Fina screen tech, which is lighter and thinner than most of the dedicated e-readers on the market.

Pocketbook CAD Reader Debuts in New Commercial is a post from: E-Reader News

The Impact on Winning the GoodReads Choice Awards


Social eBook community and discovery website GoodReads has just wrapped up one of their most successful years for their Choice Awards. Almost two million votes were cast and 19 books were selected by the community. When a book is on the ballot and wins the award what type of traction does it get? We have an internal document from GoodReads which illiminates the situation.

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini won the best Fiction Award for the 2013 GoodReads Choice Awards. Voting initially opened November the 4th and the book saw a spike in user engagement. The most dramatic spike for people who added the book to their shelf and flagged it as wanting to read was when the book won the Fiction Award.  Although GoodReads does not sell books directly, they do end up bringing people to the Kindle Store to make a buying decision if that particular person is using one of the Amazon branded e-Readers and Tablets.

The Impact on Winning the GoodReads Choice Awards is a post from: E-Reader News

The Coming of Age of Flexible Displays

flexible display

There has been no dearth of prototypes of some form or the other showcasing displays exhibiting varying degrees of flexibility. However, it's only now that bendable display technology seems to have matured enough to make the transition to a commercial entity. Both Samsung and LG have come up with smartphone which they claim to incorporate flexible displays. Of course Samsung isn't just stopping with the Galaxy Round smartphone device but has announced flexible displays will form a major chunk of their product portfolio starting 2014 onwards.

Unfortunately, Samsung isn't revealing all its cards which leave a lot of questions unanswered. The broad picture that has emerged is that Samsung will be relying on transparent displays and touchscreen metal mesh panels for its future smartphones and tablets. The company is also reported to have filed a patent application for a transparent display that will have touch based controls both at the front and the rear. These apart, Samsung has also been showing off flexible and even bendable display quite regularly. This makes us wonder if the future Samsung device will in reality be bendable or flexible.

Meanwhile, LG has released a video showing just how flexible their G Flex smartphone really is. Unlike Samsung's Galaxy Round that bends vertically, the LG G Flex bends horizontally along the center. Also, with the G Flex, it is not just the display that is flexible but the entire smartphone device which is flexible. LG is claiming the device can even withstand forces of up to even 32 kilos directly on its rear before returning back to its original curved shape. What this means is that it is not the display alone but the entire smartphone construction that incorporates flexibility. Even the rear has been shown to be self-healing, having the ability to regain its original texture within minutes even after having been scratched vigorously.

As such, what is amply clear is that it is not just devices with flexible displays that are going to win the race but devices that as a whole exhibits flexibility, including the display. As for the benefits of such devices, there are many with the prime being that these are much better off in handling stress and strain. Theoretically, such a device will be able to withstand stress much longer than conventional LCD based devices though it also depends on the design and build of the specific device. Another advantage with flexible as seen on the Galaxy Round or G Flex is that they will have less glare on the eyes. Even Apple is believed to be considering incorporating flexible displays for its forthcoming iPhone 6 though its more wrap around in nature.

Other challenges that manufacturers will have to take in their stride is to come up with economic means of producing flexible devices in enough quantities. Currently the Galaxy Round has only been released on a limited scale which has seriously limited its wider availability. Let’s just hope such issues have been sorted out before companies takes to launch device with flexible displays.

The Coming of Age of Flexible Displays is a post from: E-Reader News

Official Raspberry Pi User Guide: 2nd edition out now!

The Raspberry Pi User Guide, co-authored by our very own Eben Upton with Gareth Halfacree, is your complete guide to the Raspberry Pi, from setup and installing software to learning how to use the Pi to play music and video, using it in electronics projects, learning your first programming language, learning about networking – it’s a complete guide to everything you need to get going, and even if Eben wasn’t involved in this book, it’d be our first recommendation for adults and older kids interested in getting started with the Raspberry Pi.

This second edition is a much, much fatter book than the first – there’s almost half a book’s extra content in there. The first edition only covered the earliest revision of our hardware, and much of the software we now take for granted hadn’t been written back when it was published: this new edition is bang up to date, with new chapters covering use of the camera board, how to use NOOBS to set up your Pi, the introduction of the Pi Store and much more.

We’ve got the Raspberry Pi User Guide for sale in the Swag Store: it’s a great gift for anybody you know who might be getting a Raspberry Pi this Christmas. If you’d like to support our educational mission and help us produce free learning materials and more schools equipment, we’d love it if you could buy from us. It’s also available in the usual places: Amazon currently have it on sale, but it’s been so popular that it’s out of stock there at the time of writing. We hope you buy a copy: and we hope you enjoy it as much as we have.

Give the Gift of Subscription Reading this Holiday Season

Sometimes, it’s not enough to know that Aunt Janet loves to read, and therefore should be given a book for Christmas. Has she read that book already? Does she even like mysteries? Is Aunt Janet going to be offended by the language of explicit nature of this particular book?

With the advent of digital publishing and ebooks, even gift cards can be difficult. An Amazon gift card, for example, isn’t necessarily the right fit for a dedicated Nook user. Your thoughtful gift can languish in a drawer until the day Aunt Janet regifts it…hopefully not to you.

But two subscription-based reading platforms are offering e-cards this season, fully customizable options that include self-selected artwork and the opportunity to read across a small variety of devices while enjoying unlimited content.

Scribd and Oyster, two companies who are finally bringing some much-needed focused attention to the long sought after subscription reading model, are both making their unlimited pay-per-month service available for gifting in easy to purchase increments. Users are not locked into buying long-term subscriptions, with the chance to buy even a one-month subscription to let the recipient try it out before committing. Both companies offer this option to people who are not already registered users, so you don’t have to be a member in order to send this gift to a diehard reader; if your recipient is already a member of either service, this gift simply rolls over into their account so that they still benefit from your purchase.

Bear in mind that Oyster currently only works as an iOS app on devices running iOS7, and Scribd is only compatible with iOS or Android phones, tablets, or via the desktop app. Also remember that a host of other companies, like Spain’s 24Symbols, cater to reading in markets outside the US, as well as gifts from companies like XinXii, Spanish Publishers and Le French Book that focus on translations.

Give the Gift of Subscription Reading this Holiday Season is a post from: E-Reader News

It’s Madness! More than 7,000 MP3 audiobooks are up to 50% off through December

To celebrate OverDrive’s march towards MP3 as the standard audiobook format, we’re providing over 7,000 MP3 audiobooks on sale up to 50% off now through 12/31! MP3s are the easiest to use, most compatible audio format currently available.


The participating publishers discounted at 20-30% off include Listen & Live Audio, AudioGO, Blackstone Audio, and Books on Tape. Audiobooks from Tantor Media and Univerb Publishing are 50% off.


Don’t miss out – click the links below to get started shopping this great sale.