Monday, January 27, 2014

Video: Reading Digital Magazines on the iPad Mini with Retina


Welcome to another Good e-Reader Video! Today Michael and Peter look at the overall magazine reading experience on the Apple iPad Mini with Retina Display. The high resolution tablet really makes graphic heavy content shine and you will get a sense how everything looks.

The iPad Mini with Retina handles magazines differently then dedicated platforms like Zinio offers. Each magazine is in essence its own app, and the entire magazine section in the iTunes area just houses publishers singular delivery vehicles. We installed the Rolling Stone Magazine and first had to install their official app. You can select to buy a single issue or take out a subscription to have them all instantly delivered to your account.

Rolling Stone handles things a bit differently than your average digital magazine. There is iTunes integration that will allow you to both play and buy music. This is handy if you read an article about an up and coming folk artist and wonder how they sound. Going digital allows you to hit play, and get a 30 second sample of it, which is perfect for a music magazine.

Video: Reading Digital Magazines on the iPad Mini with Retina is a post from: E-Reader News

Podcast: Executives Flee B&N and Discussion on eBook Bundling


Welcome back to another awe inspiring edition of the Good e-Reader Radio Show. Today, Michael Kozlowski and Digital Book World’s Jeremy Greenfield discuss the exodus of Barnes and Noble and Penguin executives. They also talk about why the publishing industry needs to bundle more eBooks and audiobooks together, to make purchasing multiple books easier for the customer.

Digital Book World occurred fairly recently and Jeremy shares his thoughts on the most captivating events and sessions. There is also a new survey that has just been released that gives us an introspective on the childrens eBook industry. Apparently the older kids get, the less educational content they consume and publishers are starting to rush to appeal to the lost generation.

Podcast: Executives Flee B&N and Discussion on eBook Bundling is a post from: E-Reader News

Video: Top 5 iOS Games for January 2014


Welcome to another exciting edition of Good e-Reader Video News! Today Michael and Peter look at the top 5 most compelling games that they were fiendishly playing all January. Some are very new and others are old favorites. Good e-Reader gives you a sense on what these bring to the table, discuss micro-transactions and show in-game footage.

Video: Top 5 iOS Games for January 2014 is a post from: E-Reader News

Energy Sistem Energy eReader E4 Mini

Earlier I posted about a couple of Icarus ereaders that I found listed on Amazon. I also found another oddball ereader that I hadn’t noticed before, even though it’s been listed on Amazon since April of last year. The ebook reader in question is the Energy eReader E4 Mini put out by a Spanish electronics […]

Let the wedding planning begin!

weddingbooksIf you're looking at your Facebook News Feed, Twitter account, or email inbox and thinking "Everyone I know just got engaged," you're probably right. According to WeddingWire, 33% of engagements happen between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day.

I actually fell into that 33% on New Year's Eve and one of the first things I did was go to my local library's OverDrive site to checkout and download some eBooks to start the planning process.

To help manage the influx of newly engaged patrons, I created a list of our 100 most popular titles about Wedding Planning. These titles cover everything from budgeting, photography, eco-conscious, cake and flower design, speeches, themes and anything else wedding-related you could imagine.

Be sure to stock up on extra copies! If you would like more suggestions, your Collection Development Specialist is available to help create recommended lists. Email for more information today!

*Some titles are metered access and may have limited regional or platform availability. Check OverDrive Marketplace to find what is available for you.


Rachel Somerville is a Collection Development Analyst at OverDrive.


Welcome to the new Collection Development Blog!

Welcome to our brand new Collection Development blog! This is the best destination to keep up with all the news relating to the great content that your patrons will be interested in. We will be transitioning our Big Books Blasts to this new space in the next couple of  weeks as well, and the Collection Development Team will use our new blog to make sure your library's selectors know all about new content, what's hot, and anything else related to the thing we all care about the most—the eBooks, the audiobooks, the movies, the music!

Please click on the link in the right hand column to subscribe to the blog to make sure you don't miss any of our posts.

Retailers Name Image Comics Publisher of the Year

Diamond Gem award

Image Comics, which has made a strong showing in recent years with such creator-owned titles as The Walking Dead and Saga, was named the Publisher of the Year in the Diamond Gem Awards, sponsored by Diamond Comics Distributors. BOOM! Studios took the Publisher of the Year award for publishers with a market share of less than 4%. The awards were chosen by a vote of comics retailers.

While Marvel and DC continue to focus on legacy properties that cater to a fairly narrow range of genre fans and are produced by artists who don’t own the characters they work on, Image has gone in a different direction with an array of creator-owned comics that include superhero, science fiction, and other types of stories. Their other innovations include holding their own event, Image Expo, at which they announced a number of new titles this year, and selling DRM-free digital comics directly via their website.

While Image and BOOM! took the top honors, DC led the pack in terms of numbers, with six awards, including Top Dollar Publisher of the Year (for Superman Unchained #1), Backlist Publisher of the Year, and Reprint TP (trade paperback) or HC (hardcover) of the Year (Batman: Death of the Family, vol. 3). Dark Horse took five awards, including Licensed Comic of the Year (The Star Wars: Lucas Draft #1), Original Graphic Novel of the Year (Hellboy: Midnight Circle), and Manga of the Year (Lone Wolf and Cub omnibus, vol. 1). Marvel was named the Top Dollar Publisher of the Year and their Superior Spider-Man #1 NOW! was named the Comic of the Year in the over $3 category; Archie’s zombie comic Afterlife With Archie was the Comic of the Year in the under $3 category.

Retailers Name Image Comics Publisher of the Year is a post from: E-Reader News

Slashed Budgets Mean Libraries Need Digital Lending More than Ever

Public libraries have been teetering on the brink of extinction for years, a fact that doesn’t seem likely to improve in the near future given the economic situations that lead local governments to take aim at the libraries as a primary target. And despite data that shows 91% survey respondents believe libraries are vital to the overall health and growth of a community, they continue to come under fire.

With news this morning that UK libraries are also feeling the pinch, the situation is taking on a global crisis level of concern. According to an article in The Bookseller, in just the Birmingham area, the city council has proposed a £1.65 million cut to the library system, of which £50,000 is intended to be taken from its fund to purchase books, and an additional £150,000 will be carved out of the fund to host public events, such as author appearances and book signings.

In the US, a Harris/Readers Digest poll proved that 40% of US mayors planned to cut library budgets and make up the difference by reducing the operating hours, shedding some staff members, and further slashing operating expenses. In 2010, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel planned to save money by eradicating almost three hundred vacant library positions in his city, as well as cutting the staff through lay-offs of an additional 284 existing employees.

But what is the solution? Cities are hard pressed to meet their budgets as it is, and an obvious source of extra income is to reduce the amount spent on an entity that does not contribute monetarily to the city coffers.

In light of the need to reduce staff and cut operating hours, ebook lending becomes more vital than ever, especially under systems that allow patrons to browse for ebooks via the library websites and borrow them directly through the online portal for web-based or device agnostic reading. Another initiative would be that which Simon & Schuster has already implemented, in which libraries can use ebooks and then sell those titles to patrons after a predetermined time period. Finally, offering libraries affiliate status to a wide variety of book retailers’ or publishers’ websites for patrons to purchase titles would add much-needed revenue at a time when libraries are simply hoping to keep their doors open.

Slashed Budgets Mean Libraries Need Digital Lending More than Ever is a post from: E-Reader News

The 6″ Icarus Essence and 8″ Icarus8 eBook Readers

Back in 2012 I reviewed an ebook reader called the Icarus Excel, a 9.7″ E Ink ereader with a Wacom touchscreen and Pearl display. It is sold from a company called ICARUS based in the Netherlands, but they also sell through a third-party merchant on called Odyssey Shop. In fact the Icarus Excel is […]

CourseSmart, Naseej Ink Agreement for Arab Digital Textbooks


One of the more exciting applications for digital publishing has always been in the educational sphere, allowing instant downloads and cost-effective purchasing of digital textbooks to penetrate academic markets around the world. As device proliferation continues to move forward globally, the academic content providers are following closely behind to ensure that the content is there for educators and students.

CourseSmart, the world’s largest provider of digital educational titles, has signed an agreement with solutions provider Naseej to bring a library of titles from over fifty educational publishers to the schools that it serves in the Arab nations.

In a press release today, CourseSmart and Naseej explained the potential impact this can have on the hundreds of schools throughout the Middle East that will benefit from going digital on the device agnostic platform.

"We are delighted to join with Naseej in the common goal of increasing educational access and improving learning outcomes for students in the Arab world," said Sean Devine, CEO of CourseSmart. "Together we are responding to the strong market demand and potential in this region, and we are providing eTextbooks already to twelve universities in the region, including such visionary institutions as Higher Colleges of Technology, Saudi Electronic University, and University College of Bahrain. Naseej's strong local presence and technical expertise are integral to our international growth strategy overall, and our ability to provide excellent service to current and future customers throughout the Arab world."

"As we continue our mission to spread knowledge and information throughout the Arab World we are pleased to join with CourseSmart to provide digital course materials to students and institutions throughout this region," said Eng. Abdullah Al Turaifi, VP of Naseej. "The combination of CourseSmart's large catalog of digital course materials, strong technical and process expertise, and flexible business models meet our rigorous standards for providing world-class digital solutions to customers in this region."

Along with access to CourseSmart’s catalog of titles, Naseej will now be able to offer its schools CoruseSmart’s Analytics platform for measuring students comprehension and academic improvement, as well as a full complement of interactive learning titles.

CourseSmart, Naseej Ink Agreement for Arab Digital Textbooks is a post from: E-Reader News

Daily Deals & Freebies – January 27

Kindle Daily Deals 4 books in The Kathleen Turner series by Tiffany Snow Being a bartender by night and law firm runner by day helps make ends meet for Kathleen Turner. Mostly. Being 23 and single in Indianapolis wasn't exactly a thrilling adventure, but then again, that's not what Kathleen wanted. At least, not until […]

Dave Hunt’s time-lapse touchscreen controller

Regular readers will know Dave Hunt well. He’s behind some of the…no, scratch that; he’s behind THE most beautiful posts we’ve featured here. (There’s a new example of Dave doing something beautiful with the Pi in this post: you’ll have to read to the bottom before you get to it.)

Dave is a photographer, and he’s used the Raspberry Pi in several different rigs to replace much more expensive specialised hardware. His water droplet photography rig is easy and inexpensive to set up, and it produces extraordinary results. His focus-stacking Pi solution will save you around £600 on a clean macro photography setup; his rising/falling time-lapse rig has taken video that will have you running to the travel agent to book tickets to Ireland as soon as you’ve watched it.

A quick reminder of some of Dave’s previous work with the Pi. Click the image to find out how to take a photo like this yourself.

Dave said last year that he was looking to add more elements to the time-lapse rig (amazing, really, given that it already has features like a little heater to evaporate any dew that threatens to condense on the lens). The rig already raises and lowers the camera in tiny incremental stages as the time-lapse is being shot, so the camera moves as the footage is being taken, which adds a lot of interest to the shot. Dave’s now refined that action by adding touchscreen controls using Adafruit’s PiTFT Mini Kit (which we saw recently being used by the good folks at Adafruit to turn a Raspberry Pi Camera Board into a touchscreen point-and-shoot camera). He adapted Phil Burgess’ graphical user interface (GUI) from that project to create one that controls the length of the pulse sent to the motor, the delay between shots, the number of shots and the motor’s direction.

All this means that where previously the Pi-powered time-lapse rig had to be sent commands wirelessly via a phone or a laptop, it can now be controlled directly from the touchscreen panel mounted on the Pi itself.

The user interface he’s built allows you to position the dolly on the rail via the motor control buttons; change the motor pulse duration between shots; change the delay between shots; change the number of shots; see what time is left for the current sequence; and start and stop the time-lapse.

Dave has provided, as always, a parts list (the whole controller, including the Pi and the screen, will come in at around $100), full instructions, and all the code you’ll need on his website. And the results? We think they speak for themselves.

Mobile Bloatware Banned in South Korea


Here finally is some respite for those who hate being bogged down by the sheer number of unwanted apps that manufacturers or various service providers cram the devices with. For the same has now been banned by the South Korean ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning. What this entails is that the apps should be allowed to be deleted if desired by the owner of the device though this won't be applicable to those apps that allow for Wi-Fi connectivity, near field communication or App Store themselves. Nevertheless, this should still make for a great precedence for others to follow elsewhere in the world where bloatware is looked down upon almost unanimously. The next best thing users are left to do is root their device to get rid of the unwanted apps that opens some storage space though not everyone is technically competent enough to root their devices. The bloatware is often blamed for an unnecessary drain on the battery as well.

Mobile Bloatware Banned in South Korea is a post from: E-Reader News