Monday, December 30, 2013

Marvel Suspends Single Issue Comic Sales to Chapters and Indigo


Marvel has officially acknowledged the suspension of single issue comic sales to major bookstores in the USA. Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million and many other stores have verified with Good e-Reader that they are unable to order anything other than graphic novels. Today, Chapters and Indigo Books, the largest bookstore chain in Canada has verified they will no longer carry single issue comic books published by Marvel. In most stores they have even taken down their comic racks and are not selling comics at all anymore.

Marvel provided CBR News with the following statement from Senior VP of Sales David Gabriel: “The overwhelming majority of print readers get their monthly comics from direct market locations (i.e. brick and mortar comic shops). There's no denying that the direct market is a much stronger business model for monthly single issues than newsstand distribution. This has been the case for some time. New single issues haven't been available in the overall newsstand market for nearly two years now and in book stores for at least three months without notice. We're currently working with Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million on a stronger, more mutually beneficial distribution model. And to be clear, this in no way affects sales of graphic novels in either chain which have continued, as many have pointed out, on an uphill trend in the past year!”

Graphic Novels by Marvel are still being sold and ordered by BOM, B&N and Indigo Books. This is primarily due to the fact that they are sourced by Hachette, and not ordered directly from Marvel.

Indigo would not speculate on the reasons why comic sales have tapered off or why Marvel would suspend their relationship with them over single comic sales. I visit Chapters bookstores at least once a week to buy magazines or books. The only people I see with single issue comic books are reading them in the store and not actually buying them. You can easily breeze through an issue in under ten minutes. This could be the wider trend of diminishing comic book sales and a high return rate.

Many avid comic book readers have stopped buying their single issues at bookstores or grocery stores. Most have switched to a pure digital format and do business with companies like ComiXology. The company has grown significantly and recently has celebrated their 200 million download milestone.

Marvel Suspends Single Issue Comic Sales to Chapters and Indigo is a post from: E-Reader News

Podcast – Top eBooks & Publishers of 2013


Welcome to the last edition of the Good e-Reader Radio Show for 2013! Jeremy Greenfield of Digital Book World and Michael Kozlowski bring you another exciting show! Today, they discuss the breaking news of Marvel suspending single comic sales to major bookstores all over the US. As well, they go into the top eBooks and publishers of 2013.

Excited about wearable tech? Smart watches, Fitbit, and Google Glasses have increased sales by over 500% in the first half of 2013. What does the future hold for this segment? Good e-Reader will be at CES 2014, bringing you all the latest news. We give you a short preview on what to expect and what the industry needs to do to improve their products.

Podcast – Top eBooks & Publishers of 2013 is a post from: E-Reader News

iPad Tops Tablet Sales in 2013, Chromebook Surprise Hit of 2013


With 2013 drawing to a close, it’s that time of the year to look back at how the tech scene has fared. With special emphasis on the personal computing segment and tablet devices in particular, the iPad has emerged as the most used tablet, outselling every other brand by a comfortable margin. However, while this can be expected, what has come as a surprise is the rise in sales of Chromebooks that has now outstripped that of the MacBook Air by five to one.

The iPad accounted for 15.8 percent of all personal computing device sales, which can be a good measure of the clout that Apple wields in the tablet segment. That figure is far more than any single brand of tablet sold on the planet while being almost twice that of its competitors. Android and Windows account for 8.7 and 2.2 percent of the tablet segment, respectively. However, what should still be worrying Apple is that both Android and Windows have registered more than a two fold increase in sales of tablet devices compared to a year ago (respective sales of Windows and Android tablets have been 0.8 and 4.2 percent in 2012).  In comparison, iPad sales declined 1.3 percent from the 17.1 percent sales that Apple tablet had registered in 2012.

However, what should be pinching Apple even more is the emergence of Chromebook, that has risen from virtual obscurity to the limelight in just about a year's time. Chromebooks have gone on to register sales of 1.76 million, which represents a 22.72 percent jump over the 400,000 Chromebooks sold in 2012. With its portion now 21 percent of the entire notebook segment is worrisome enough for both Apple and Microsoft, with the latter even more precariously poised in the fast changing computing landscape. While Apple can take some solace from the sale of its iPad devices, Microsoft is yet to establish a firm foothold in the tablet and smartphone segment while its traditional forte, that of desktops and notebook/laptops, is fast eroding.

With Chromebooks, Google has a winning formula that neither Apple nor Microsoft can match. Chromebooks run on Chrome, a web based OS which like Android is devoid of license fees, which helps drive down price.  Further, with the Chrome OS being web based, the entire focus is on online apps, which again nullifies the need for the device to have high end specs, another cost saving option for the manufacturers. All in all, the Chromebooks present a win-win situation for both consumers and manufacturers, which has just added another layer of concern to traditional players such as Apple and Microsoft.

iPad Tops Tablet Sales in 2013, Chromebook Surprise Hit of 2013 is a post from: E-Reader News

LG to Launch First WebOS Powered Smart TV Soon


LG Electronics promised a WebOS powered smart TV back in March after acquiring the beleaguered platform from HP in February, and its good to see the South Korean company sticking to it. This should infuse new life into the OS that failed to make a mark in the smart connected devices segment. However, the OS should make a comeback of sorts thanks to LG, the world's second largest maker of TVs; this should also be seen as an important decision on part of LG, which derives 40 percent of its revenue from its TV segment.

Details are scant at the moment and the only thing that is known right now is that LG will retain the card system of UI that represents a stack of pop-up displays arranged on top of another, representing different apps. Those who have spent time with the OS should find themselves at home with LG TV powered by WebOS, though that fact remains, they make for a very niche segment.

All of HP's efforts with the WebOS platform bombed, which include the epic failure of the TouchPad device. With such a not-so-impressive history behind it, it will be interesting to see how the platform fares in the smart TV segment and whether LG also goes on to design new smartphone and tablet devices with WebOS. Hopefully more details will be available at the upcoming CES 2014.

LG to Launch First WebOS Powered Smart TV Soon is a post from: E-Reader News

Reading Improves Brain Function…Who Knew?


Your fifth grade English teacher was right, you should read a book. According to the study “Short- and Long-Term Effects of a Novel on Connectivity in the Brain,” by Emory University researchers Gregory S. Berns, Kristina Blaine, Michael J. Prietula, and Brandon E. Pye, reading a novel causes recordable, distinct physiological changes in the reader’s brain.

In this study, twelve women and nine men underwent daily MRI scans before, during, and after they read the book Pompeii, chosen for its plot, story line, and pacing. The results of the MRIs showed that brain activity not only increased during the days when the subjects read nightly portions of the book, but also in the days following the completion. The researchers likened the increased brain function in the days following the reading to “muscle memory,” noting significant connections in the language receptors and sensory motor areas of the participants’ brains.

What remains to be isolated is how long the effect lasts, a phenomenon that could be hard to accurately measure since few readers finish a novel and then never read again. The subjects scans continued to show this heightened level of connectivity in the brain for all five days after completing the book that the subjects returned for scans.

One key element of this type of research, though, is the practical application. Educators have long known that certain types of music can stimulate brain development and memory in children, and researchers have already found a correlation between memorizing poetry and staving off the effects of Alzheimer’s and dementia. Studies such as the Emory study can help populations support personal reading, while providing evidence for policy makers where widespread access to literature is affected.

Reading Improves Brain Function…Who Knew? is a post from: E-Reader News

No More Woof

No, it isn’t April 1. I have to admit: we’re very sceptical about the science behind this latest successful Raspberry Pi-powered Indiegogo, which is still at the concept stage; it’s an adorable idea, but backers should be aware that it’s not very likely to bear useable results. But enough people out there love their dogs to have put scepticism behind them, so No More Woof is now funded. I’ll show you the creators’ video so you can find out what it’s all about.

I found myself the caretaker of a cocker spaniel called Fred for a year about a decade ago. Fred belonged to my landlady, who wasn’t around much, so it fell to me to look after him. The really striking thing about Fred was that he was clearly incapable of using his brain to do anything other than wee on things. Fred was from a tragically dumb family. His father died when he jumped from a car window at 40 mph, having decided to chase some of the trees that were sprinting so fast and so enticingly by the side of the road. Fred himself was a racist, and had to be kept on the opposite side of the road from any people with skin darker than that of his owners, because he would lunge threateningly and make wolf-noises if allowed within savaging distance. It was worse if he liked you, in which case he would try incompetently and stickily to have sex with your legs. He was broadly untrainable, only responding to commands about 10% of the time, and then usually the wrong ones. He could not be left alone in the house, or he’d start to bark at the walls for hours on end, annoying the neighbours, and then set to eating your handbag. And subsequently weeing on what was left. And trying to have sex with it.

Fred, in common with many dogs (yours excluded, dear reader), was very, very dim. So much so that I’m a little hard-pressed to consider him as an entity that actually had thoughts of any kind: intellectually, Fred was more like a highly developed mollusc. Fred was a being of pure sensation. Fred lived in a world of smell and movement – he did not stop to consider the lilies, or much else.

This causes certain issues for those attempting to parse the thinking of dogs.

So, acknowledging this problem, No More Woof’s team have set their sights low, and will not be aiming to “translate” more complex dog-thoughts than “hungry”, “tired” and “curious”. (There is no point in making one of these for cats. I can tell you what Mooncake’s thinking right now: “asleep”.)

If you imagine a bold future in which you can strap an EEG monitor to your own dog’s head and use a Raspberry Pi to find out what he wants to wee on, you can still back the project, which has 47 days left. We await the team’s results with great interest.

(Fred has long gone to the great kennels in the sky. I like to think that he’s happy, chasing Elysian handbags, and weeing on them.)


The books that influence influential people

They say imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. This is never truer than when news websites and blogs share stories about the world's most successful people. We want to know the workouts they do, the food they eat and what motivates them so we can do those same things. Perhaps mostly though, we want to know what they read because books have the power to do many things. They can move us, inspire us to be better people and even change how we see the world. Sometimes they can even change the course of our lives.


Recently, LinkedIn created a new channel called The Book that Changed Me where influential users can share posts about the books that helped them achieve the goals they've reached. These titles may have changed their daily routine, provided new angles on problem solving they hadn't considered and even helped motivate them to create the companies they now run.

Below you will find a collection of these titles (available in Marketplace) with links to preview them through Who knows, perhaps all you need to become the next Richard Branson is a book!


The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey

  • Chosen by: Denise Morrison, President & CEO of Campbell's Soup Company

Mandela's Way, Richard Stengel

  • Chosen by Richard Branson,  Founder at Virgin Group

How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie

  • Chosen by IIya Pozin, CEO of Open Me, Columnist for Forbes and LinkedIn; Linda Coles, Speaker, Author, Trainer

The Four Hour Work Week, Timothy Ferriss

  • Chosen by Charlene Li, Founder Partner at Altimeter Group

Motherless Daughters, Hope Edelman

  • Chosen by Kristina Salen, CFO Etsy

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, Susan Cain

  • Chosen by Claire Diaz-Ortiz, Twitter, Inc.

The Emperor of All Maladies, Siddhartha Mukherjee

  • Chosen by Glenn Kelman, Redfin CEO

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, Doris Kearns Goodwin

  • Chosen By Phyllis Wise, Chancellor at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Sherlock Holmes, Michael Kurland

  • Chosen by Frank Wu, Chancellor & Dean at University of California Hastings College of the Law

The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand

  • Chosen by Beth Comstock, CMO at GE

The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho

  • Chosen by Padmasree Warrior, Chief Technology and Strategy Officer (CTSO) at Cisco Systems

Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done, Larry Bossidy

  • Chosen by Jeff Miller, EVP & COO at Halliburton

Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card

  • Chosen by Whitney Johnson, Co-Founder Rose Park Advisors

Who Moved My Cheese, Spencer Johnson

  • Chosen by Colin Shaw, CEO, Beyond Philosophy

Stumbling on Happiness, Daniel Gilbert

  • Chosen by Tim Westergren, Founder, Pandora

Against the Gods, Peter L. Bernstein

  • Chosen by Bill Harris, CEO at Personal Capital

Childhood's End, Arthur C. Clarke

  • Chosen by Jeffrey Walker, Vice Chairman, United Nation's Secretary General's Envoy for Health Finance and Malaria

The Baroque Cycle, Neal Stephenson

  • Chosen by Craig Newmark, Founder at craigconnects



Adam Sockel is a Marketing Communications Specialist with OverDrive.