Thursday, January 9, 2014

Best Digital Comics for January 9 2014

Detective Comics 27

Here’s a look at some of the more interesting titles that are out this week in digital format.

Detective Comics #27: DC celebrates the 75th anniversary of Batman (who first appeared in the original Detective Comics #27) with seven stories about the Caped Crusader, including Brad Meltzer and Bryan Hitch’s retelling of the first Batman story, “The Case of the Chemical Syndicate,” Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy’s “Twenty-Seven, which explains how the identity of the Batman is passed on from one person to the next, and the kickoff of a new storyline, “Gothtopia,” by John Layman and Jason Fabok. The price tag is a little heftier than usual, at $7.99, but so is this issue, which weighs in at 96 pages. (ComiXology)

The Walking Dead #119: How explosive is this issue? Here’s the blurb: “All Out War is so explosive that even showing the first few pages of The Walking Dead would spoil the surprises.” That’s right, a comic so mind-bending that we can’t tell you anything about it! Well, either that or the marketing staff decided to knock off early and have a couple of martinis. Anyway, it’s The Walking Dead so at this point it pretty much sells itself. (ComiXology, Image Comics)

All New Marvel NOW! Point One #1: As the title so subtly suggests, this comic is aimed at new readers who want to enjoy the Marvel universe without having to figure out a whole tangle of confusing continuity. It’s actually a collection of lead-in stories to get you started on six different series: Loki: Agent of Asgard, Silver Surfer, Black Widow, Ms. Marvel, All-New Invaders, and Avengers World. (ComiXology)

All-New X-Factor #1: Peter David picks up his story of mutant detectives, which ended in X-Factor #262 last summer, with a new team of Polaris, Quicksilver, Gambit, Warlock, Cypher, and Danger, all superhero investigators who are on retainer for Serval Industries. This story actually follows from the events of X-Factor #260. David answered some questions about the new series for CBR this week. (ComiXology)

Sex Criminals #4: Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky continue their tale of a couple who can stop time by, er, doing it, and who use that power to rob banks. It’s an odd premise but a very funny story; It’s also too hot for Apple so you can’t buy it in-app, but you can get it from the comiXology or Image websites or even iBooks. If you’re new to the series, check out the first issue for free on comiXology. (ComiXology, Image Comics)

Best Digital Comics for January 9 2014 is a post from: E-Reader News

French Senate Approves Bill to Stop eBook Retailers Offering Free Home Delivery


Senators at the upper house of the French Parliament have come together to approve of a bill that would make it illegal for online retailers to offer free home delivery. This no doubt will hit Amazon’s French operations hard where the retailer has been doling out discounts as well as the bait of free home delivery to lure buyers. While the bill will continue to allow Amazon to offer the five percent discount on ebook prices, the retailer will now have to charge a price for delivering print books to customers.

The move is being seen as part of the French government’s plans to save independent booksellers from becoming extinct, a notoriety that online ebook sellers have earned no matter how convenient it is for consumers to place orders and have them delivered at home for free. Now with the latter option gone, the brick-and-mortar shops will be at a level playing field vis-a-vis their online counterparts. Theoretically, the bill should act as the nudge for consumers to make the trip to their nearest physical bookstore though it remains to be seen how much of a positive increase in footfall that the bookstores experience.

What also can’t be denied is that there will be some increase in visitors to the bookstores for those of whom it still works out to be cheaper to be at the store after factoring the traveling costs. This way, the physical bookstores should at least get the chance to survive the digital boom that has doomed many booksellers around the world.

French Senate Approves Bill to Stop eBook Retailers Offering Free Home Delivery is a post from: E-Reader News

Books that will soon become movies

In my last post, I talked about books that were made into movies throughout 2013. I didn't hit all of them, trying instead to focus on the ones that I found intriguing.  In this post, I'll talk a little about some movies destined for the big screen in the near future that are already popular books.

After the list, I'll include some ideas we've come up with to promote these titles in the library.

Coming attractions

  1. Divergent by Veronica Roth: People are saying that this is the next Hunger Games. I don’t know about that, but I can definitely see the similarities in the book synopses and the movie previews. I plan on giving this one a read soon so I can see what all the hype is about. In any case, you've got until March of 2014 to squeeze this one in before the movie comes out.
  2. The Maze Runner by James Dashner: This movie isn't coming out until September of 2014, so you've got a little time for reading. I'm told the book is quite good, and it's pretty popular. With a major motion picture coming soon, it's only going to become more so.  This one also has a bit of the Hunger Games feel to it from what I've heard.
  3. Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin: Apparently io9 loves this book, and I'm a big fan of io9, so I'll probably be reading it shortly. With the movie coming in February of 2014, there's no time like the present to start building hype.
  4. The Ocean at the end of the Lane by Neil Gaiman: There's no definite date set for this movie's release, but it's got some big names attached to it already. Personally, I find Neil Gaiman to be pretty fantastic, and am excited to read this book just as soon as I can get to it. If you haven't guessed by now, I have a whole lot of books on my "to-read" list. Gaiman’s Stardust (both the book and movie) was awesome (if underrated).
  5. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (January 2014): As far as I know, this movie isn't based on a specific Tom Clancy novel, but Jack Ryan is a recurring character in 16 of his books. The first novel (chronologically) is Without Remorse if you'd like somewhere to start before the movie comes out.  I've read a few of these books and enjoyed them.  Kenneth Branagh is directing the movie, and I'm definitely a fan (mostly for his Shakespeare stuff), so my hopes are high.
  6. The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney: This novel is known simply as The Spook's Apprentice in the U.K.  I haven't gotten around to reading this one yet, but the movie has been pushed back to 2015 (and is now called "Seventh Son") so we have some time. The book has garnered quite the following, and, as for the movie, who doesn't love Jeff Bridges?


Using movie hype to drive interest in the books

  • Get large movie posters and plaster them all over the place a few weeks before the movie comes out. Somewhere close to each poster, put up a sign that shows off the title in your digital collection. The sign could be as simple as a title details page screenshot or a statement saying "Borrow the eBook or audiobook from our digital collection!" You could also get fancy and generate a QR code with a direct link to the mobile title details page.
  • Once you've got posters (or some other signage) up, talk about the books. Make sure people hear that it was a book first.  Read the books so you know what you're talking about and spread the word yourself.
  • Soon after the movie releases, have some popcorn and hold a book discussion comparing the book to the movie. You can promote the event ahead of time to generate some buzz (and circulation) around the title. The group book discussion will also help generate some word-of-mouth advertising for both the digital content and the library in general.
  • Have fun with it!  When the next Hobbit movie comes out (for example), have someone dress up as Gandalf to promote the fact that people can download the book for free from their library.  You can put out Hobbit-themed food, or hold a trivia contest with a fake golden ring as the prize.
  • Play related movies on Library TVs as release day approaches.  This isn't always possible, but with a series it can work.  You can show either of the Hunger Games movies when the release of Mockingjay draws near, for example. Or build buzz for corresponding books around a TV series like Game of Thrones prior to the next season’s premier.

Need help getting started? We have a few sample “Book to Movie” flyers available for download in the Partner Portal.


Quinton Lawman is a Technical Writer on the Knowledge Services team at OverDrive.



How to Unsend an Email in Gmail

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Wooden tablet: Michael Castor’s PiPad

I’ve actually held this project in my very own sweaty little hands: Michael showed it to me at Maker Faire in NY last September. I’m glad he’s written the project up, because it’s a gorgeous build which really deserves sharing.


In his day job, Michael works for MAKE, and has a heavy workload around each big Maker Faire dealing with Maker Shed setup, making things run smoothly in the Shed, keeping on top of inventory (yes, they sell the Raspberry Pi), and organising a large team of people. He doesn’t usually get time to build his own project for the Faire because he’s so busy, but this year he decided to change that, and make his ultimate tablet. He gave himself two weeks, from conception to finished build.

Michael particularly wanted a device he could use on an aeroplane, and wanted it to look smooth and professional so it didn’t freak out the TSA or whoever ended up sitting next to him as he used it. (Some people are oddly sensitive about home-made electronics on aeroplanes.) He arrived at Maker Faire having used his PiPad on the aeroplane on the way over to watch movies.

 Michael’s aesthetic is minimal and classy: the finish and design of this project is one of the best hand-built efforts I’ve seen. He was lucky enough to find a large, smooth piece of carbon fibre, which he used to back the  I loved the carbon-fibre and birch case he made, and so did Eben, who Michael asked to sign it. Eben was hesitant to spoil the gorgeous finish with his scrawl, but went ahead anyway – you can see his scribble in the pictures on Michael’s website.

If you’d like to make your own version of this build, Michael has made a parts list, instructions, shopping suggestions, CAD designs and lots and lots of photos available on his website, right down to pictures of the fiddly details like this scalpel-work on the ply, which he used to make room for the PiPad’s ports. It’s a great build, a great write-up and a really lovely device: thanks Michael!

Russia Emerges As The Third Biggest eBook Market in the World

Russia ebook

Latest IDC research findings revealed that Russia has overtaken UK and Brazil to emerge as the third largest market for ebooks in the world, behind only the US and China who dominate the top two slots respectively. eBooks have hit a steep popularity curve in Russia in the last few years with the growth rate pegged at 25 percent for the third quarter over the quarter before it.

Sergei Anuriev, CEO of LitRes, the biggest retailer of ebooks in Russia, has some more insights of the domestic ebook market to share. eBook proliferation has reached an astounding 200 percent since 2011, and is estimated to reach 500 million rubles ($16.2 million USD). This will be about twice the 260 million rubles that the ebook market was estimated at in 2012.

What is even more interesting is that ebooks still represent just one percent of the Russian ebook market which means there is still a tremendous scope for growth of ebooks in digital form in the country. The same is expected to rise to five percent by 2017, which will make the ebook market worth around RUB 3 billion (USD $90 million). Further studies have revealed that the majority of ebook purchases were made from Moscow and St. Petersburg with other regions lagging behind significantly.

In another revelation, the majority of ebook purchases were made from traditional PCs with just 34 percent of purchases made from ereaders, tablets, or smartphones. Interestingly, dedicated e-reading devices have witnessed a steady decline in consumer interest. However, J'son & Partners Consulting would like us to believe that the ebook buying trend is expected to reverse by 2016 when 77 percent of ebook purchases are likely to be made from tablet or smartphone devices, while the remaining 23 percent from desktop or laptop devices.

Russia Emerges As The Third Biggest eBook Market in the World is a post from: E-Reader News