Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Marvel Phasing out Retail Comic Distribution to Focus on Digital


Marvel is endeavoring to focus almost exclusively on digital distribution to maximize revenue. In the past few months the company has pulled their comics from bookstores all over the world. You would be hard-pressed to find anything but the odd graphic novel in your favorite bookstore, such as Barnes and Noble.

Marvel is finding that they are selling more comics online, than they are in the retail environment. Comixology is their main partner in the digital sphere and they have dedicated reading apps on every major platform. They have sold over 125,000,000 comics since 2009, most of them from Marvel.

Selling digitally obviously has its merits. Marvel does not have to worry about printing as many comics anymore and having them shipped back to the supplier if they don’t sell. This is more or less how bookstores handle books, magazines, newspapers and comics. If they don’t sell before they become irrelevant they get cash back from the supplier from the inventory that is unsold. Comic shops on the other hand, are normally stuck with whatever inventory they purchase. If single issues go unsold, they go right into the bargain bins.

Marvel has trained their audience to buy digitally. Whether you have an iPad, Android, Windows or a myriad of others, you can buy comics in the comfort of your own home and get them the second the clock hits midnight on comic book Wednesdays. The process is simplified and digital comics don’t take up as much room as the physical thing.

Bookstores in the US and Canada are still carrying graphic novels by Marvel. This is primarily due to the fact they are being sourced by Hachette, instead of Diamond Comic Distributors. Diamond is still the ones who are selling individual comics and graphic novels to comic shops, but for how long?

What are Marvels plans for the future? The company is trying to be less reliant on Comixology and develop their own digital infrastructure. They have been hiring developers, designers and coders to make their own comic selling app. They hope to incorporate Marvel Unlimited, Marvel AR, Marvel Events and their new comic store into a singular experience. They basically realize that digital is their future and they don’t want to have all of their eggs in one basket with Comixology.

Marvel Phasing out Retail Comic Distribution to Focus on Digital is a post from: Good e-Reader

eBookSoda Launches New Daily eBook Subscription Service


One of the big quandaries of buying eBooks is trying to discover new content, without having to break the bank. Sure there are a number of book discovery sites out there that will email you a bunch of cheap Kindle books, but few sites have a wide appeal. eBookSoda has just launched a new free subscription that lets you deal with many different companies and has a huge genre list of specific titles.

One of the more compelling aspects of eBookSoda is the ability to choose what eBook store you want to deal with. Their selection is basically the whose who of the digital book industry, such as Amazon, B&N, Google, Kobo, Sony, Smashwords and iBooks. There are also over 30 different genres you can select, this will deliver a curated list of titles that are exclusively relevant.

Indie authors often find themselves getting lost in the shuffle. Sure you might have written a good book, but how do you make it stand out in a crowd? Soda has a new system where indies can submit their books into the daily newsletter, to put their titles in the hands of readers who really like a particular genre. To submit your titles is currently free, but they may start charging in the future as it begins to get traction.

eBookSoda Launches New Daily eBook Subscription Service is a post from: Good e-Reader

Stories Etc Launches eMemoir App Powered by Pubsoft

Exciting new uses for digital publishing are taking place every day, whether it’s standard digital editions of text-based books or enhanced academic titles with embedded video. Now, a company called stories etc is bringing a new functionality to the digital space by helping families create lasting memories through ebooks.

stories etc. is an e-memoir app powered by Pubsoft that enables anyone to create a powerful tool for recording and sharing the stories through web-based reading that make bonds stronger.

"People think their grandparents had great stories—but they don't realize that their grandchildren will think they had amazing stories too," said Patrick Talley, founder of stories etc., in a press release. "That's why people need a simple way to preserve and share all the stories that future generations will cherish. We've made the app simple and fun. My 84-year-old mother is already picking questions, recording her answers and creating her ebook all from her iPhone or iPad. We're changing the way that family history is created and shared."

Part of the allure of the platform is the ability to easily create video and audio recordings–of older generations of the family, for example–and embed those in a narrative text before sharing the ebook with others through Pubsoft’s HTML5 capabilities.

"stories etc. demonstrates the adaptability of Pubsoft for different publishing projects," said Dougal Cameron, COO at Pubsoft. "We've built a comprehensive publishing platform that can handle ebook creation, marketing, direct sales, distribution and analytics, and now we're seeing how innovative apps like stories etc. can take several Pubsoft tools to offer a unique e-memoir engine. We're excited to help stories etc transform family memories into timeless ebooks."

The app that powers the platform is currently available for iPhone and iPad, allowing the portability of recording important families stories and events without the hassle of extensive setups.

Stories Etc Launches eMemoir App Powered by Pubsoft is a post from: Good e-Reader

Amazon Discounting the Kindle Paperwhite 2 e-Reader


There might be some credence to the rumor that Amazon might announce the Kindle Paperwhite 3 before Mothers Day. The Seattle based e-Commerce giant is not really known for big discounts on their current generation devices. Today only, you can get the Kindle Paperwhite 2 for $99 and the 5th generation Kindle for $49.99. It is basically a twenty dollar savings to pick either of these up from the US Amazon website.

Amazon Discounting the Kindle Paperwhite 2 e-Reader is a post from: Good e-Reader

A map of your Pi

A quick post today: I’m pretty behind on work. (I’ve wasted most of today trying to find a new hotel room in San Francisco that, unlike the one I slept in last night, doesn’t have biting insects. I have now found one, and a wifi connection. And immediately after posting this, I am going to scrub myself vigorously in the shower. It has been a testing 24 hours.)

To keep you busy while I carefully wash everything in my suitcase, here is an excellent interactive image of a Raspberry Pi, created by the EverPi folk in Brazil (let us know your names, guys, so we can credit you properly) with all the components, down to the tiniest resistors, labelled when you hover over with the mouse pointer. Ever wondered what the component marked D2 does? Here’s your chance to find out.

Please excuse me while I go and cry in the bathroom.



Don’t miss these sales in March!

March is upon us, and with it, great new deals to save you some green while building your digital collection. Choose from discounted must-haves such as titles from the For Dummies series, in-demand audiobooks, and popular eBooks from HarperCollins, Workman Publishing and more. See the list below for the full list of March sales, and visit Marketplace today to get the most out of these great deals!

Dummies Month – March 1-31

  • Over 1,500 titles in the For Dummies series by Wiley at 30% off
  • More than 60 categories
  • special collections available
  • Click here to view the sale!

March Audiobook Sale – March 3-17

  • Select titles from top publishers 30-50% off
  • Hundreds of audiobooks, including 2014 releases
  • Blackstone, HarperCollins, L.A. Theatre Works, Gildan Media and many more
  • Click here to view the sale!

Workman Publishing – March 1-31

  • The Blue Plate Special brings you easy weeknight dinners this March with three titles full of recipes families will love. Each cookbook is just $2.99 for the full month. As a bonus, Desperation Dinners is now offered as an eBook for the first time, for only $6.99 for all of March.
  • Algonquin's Lucky Stars is coming of age this March with a selection of bildungsromans – including The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green, recently named by John Green as one of the 18 Great Books You Probably Haven’t Read – and other tales of friendship, heartbreak, and growing up.  Each eBook is $3.99 or less for the month.
  • Storey's Fresh Picks brings you into spring with a theme of “plan your homestead,” offering five titles centered around the home. From tutorials on home cheese making, to raising farm animals, to starting a vegetable garden, Storey's March titles will help you prepare a productive home. Each pick is priced at $2.99 for the full month.
  • Get ready to plant your gardens with Timber's eBooks in Bloom‘s First Signs of Spring theme in March, offering three titles to help create beautiful and edible gardens.  Each title is only $3.99 for the month.
  • Click here to view the sale!

HarperCollins Book Club Sale – March 1-24

  • Stock up on popular book club selections on sale up to half off til March 24th
  • 15 realistic fiction teen reads from $4.99 from March 10-24
  • Click here to view the sale!



Sharing is Caring with New Facebook Paper Update


Facebook Paper is an iPhone only app and has proven to be quite popular to consume news items and check out your friends feeds. The app has received a big update today that puts the emphasis on the sharing of digital content.

Previously, if a news item caught your fancy you could only share a link on your timeline. Now, you have the ability to share it via Facebook Message, email or text message. This will encourage more articles to go viral, because you have many options to share the story. Speaking of options, there is new language support for Chinese, Japanese, Korean and a host of others.

This app is flagged US only right now, but we do have a tutorial available for people who want to install it.

Sharing is Caring with New Facebook Paper Update is a post from: Good e-Reader

Vook Launches Amazing New Book Tracking Tool, Author Control

A lot of focus in the publishing industry lately has centered around the need for more sales data for authors in order to let them exert more control over their writing careers. Until very recently, that data was closely guarded by retailers and unavailable even anecdotally to other authors. A series of surveys by different sources have given authors and publishers at least a glimpse of how book sales are faring, but of course the information is incomplete.

Vook, an eBook developer and distributor, announced today the launch of its newest author-centric tool, aptly named Author Control. This program, which is free for authors to track the 2013-to-present sales of up to ten titles, uses major retailers’ databases to give rights holders a clear picture of how their titles are selling across different markets. Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Smashwords, CreateSpace, Apple, and other retailers are included, as is OverDrive, placing important data in one single location for authors to track and check on their sales activity.

One feature of this tool that stands to eliminate a major reason that increasing numbers of authors are choosing self-publishing is the ability for even traditionally or small press published authors to use this tool. Essentially, the publisher will set up their accounts with their authors titles and retail distribution platforms, then be able to isolate each author so that they can only see their data. With Author Control, there is no reason for a publisher to not give its authors daily access to their sales data, rather than making them continue to wait for quarterly sales reports.

While sales data is the only real information available at this point, other features are already in the works, including rankings, ratings, reviews, and more. For now, Author Control provides nearly instantaneous updates on the data.

Matt Cavnar from Vook spoke to Good e-Reader this morning about today’s launch, as well as the possibilities for this tool based on author feedback from their dashboards.

“We want to give our authors one place to get every piece of data on their books. We pull what’s in the retailers now, and every four days our system will go back and recheck. That’s when the sellers themselves restate the data, so you’ll see our system continually being updated with the audited sales data.”

Some of the data is supplemented through existing channels that help follow the sales of books. According to a press release issued by Vook, Beat Barblan, Director, Identifier Services, Bowker, a ProQuest Affiliate, said, “One of Bowker’s key objectives is to provide authors with quality services and products at prices that deliver high value. We expect our business partners to subscribe to the same standards and to share our value of putting the customer first. In Vook we have found an ideal partner. Our customers tell us Vook’s service is fast, efficient, and excellent, and that its staff is among the most responsive and customer friendly anywhere.”

In terms of what authors really need in order to control their writing careers, initiatives like this help provide tools for authors who intend on taking an active role in the business side of being writers.

“Our goal is to provide authors with what they actually need, and we’re going to learn that by actually working with real people.”

Vook Launches Amazing New Book Tracking Tool, Author Control is a post from: Good e-Reader

How to merge carts in marketplace


One of the great features of OverDrive Marketplace is the ability to work within five carts simultaneously when ordering new titles. Using multiple carts can be helpful when selecting titles of different formats and genres to order, or when multiple selectors collaborate in purchasing new content.

Once all carts have been finalized, Marketplace makes it very easy to merge multiple carts together into one order. Here are the steps on how to merge carts in OverDrive Marketplace:

Step 1: Log into OverDrive Marketplace and visit the carts page.

Step 2: Select the two (or more) carts you would like to merge by checking the box in the top left corner.


Step 3: Once the desired carts have been selected, select the “Copy/merge cart(s)” button in the top right-hand corner of the carts page:


Step 4: When the pop-up window appears, choose the option to “Merge selected carts into a new cart”:


Step 5: Provide a cart name and description for the new cart that will be created, and select “Merge”:



Rob Mooney is a Collection Development Specialist at OverDrive.


Today Only: Kindle Paperwhite on Sale for $99, Basic Kindle $49

Amazon is running a one-day sale on the Kindle Paperwhite and basic Kindle today for $20 off the regular price of each. Amazon has been doing a lot of sales on their tablets lately; it’s good to see they are finally including their E Ink Kindles this time around. In fact this is the lowest […]

Smartwatches Still Not Smart Enough


It is only a matter of time before smart wearable devices are available from every company. There are already more than a handful of smartwatch and fitness tracking devices available right now. However, while there have been two distinct wearable segments so far, smartwatches and fitness trackers, experts have started to predict an integrated device could be coming our way, and in the not too distant future.

More advancements in the field of battery, storage, display, and computing will play an important role in determining just how the devices will function in future. Current ranges of smart wearables rely on a smartphone, so far as functionality is concerned. These are designed to keep the user informed of notifications in a more convenient manner that normally would have required cranking up the smartphone device each time, communicating via Bluetooth. These devices only function when in range of the smartphone; beyond which these function with much reduced functionalities.

Surprisingly, companies such as Samsung promote this very trend of launching smartwatches that only function with a specific smartphone brand, knowing that standalone smartwatch devices would have allowed for a vastly improved user experience. As Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has said of smartwatches, he'd like to have the entire smartphone and internet experience on his wrist. Users won't have to buy a particular smartphone for a specific smartwatch, and vice-versa. This would break the current trend where smartwatches now only display secondary data. Take the smartphone out, and the associated smartwatch will be reduced to being just another electronic watch with a sprinkling of other functionalities.

The only restriction that has been hampering the growth of smart wearables so far has been adequate technological backup. Manufacturers have come up with devices that offer about 2-3 days of back up time at most, while the use of e-ink display can take that further to about a week. Constant advancement in technology should help ease the limitations soon. but what remains to be seen is whether manufacturers choose to come up with smart wearable devices that will work independently or still be tied to a smartphone. Right now the concern is smartwatches being not stylish enough; let’s hope future smartwatches will also be a lot smarter than they are right now.

Smartwatches Still Not Smart Enough is a post from: Good e-Reader

Is Apple Preparing For an Early iPhone 6 Launch in July?


Following the launch of the iPad Air and the iPhone 5s, the clamor for the next gen versions has already started to pick up pace. Now, rumors making the rounds are that Apple may have an early release of the iPhone 6 sometime around July 2014, instead of the usual September timeline that the Cupertino-based company usually has. Analysts at Mizuho Securities have stated Apple might advance its iPhone 6 launch schedule, basing its claim on the rise in activity among component suppliers based in Japan and China.

Apple is also reported to have assured a sapphire crystal glass manufacturer of profits by the middle of this year (the next iPhone is believed to come with a sapphire crystal display). However, some sources maintain that there is no reason to believe Apple will launch the iPhone 6 early. A September launch is perfect to approach the holiday season as the device will still be fresh enough to appeal to the holiday buyers; a launch in September will also allow Apple enough time to smooth out supply issues.

As for the device itself, the next iPhone is almost certain to offer an even bigger display to keep up with other smartphones of its genre. The current iPhone 5s sports a 4 inch display, which could be bumped up to 4.7 inches for the next version. An even bigger 5.5 inch version is also being speculated, though some believe Apple might carve out a separate niche for the bigger version instead of including it in its iPhone line-up. The phablet, or big screen segment, has already grown to sizeable proportions and Apple surely won't want to miss out on having a contender there this time; Samsung's iPhone, the Galaxy S5, sports a 5.1 inch display.

Display size apart, other areas where the iPhone 6 is sure to upgrade include a 64 bit A8 chip along with iOS 8, offering an enhanced smartphone experience. Apple is also expected to enhance the scope of the finger touch sensor in iPhone 6 to make it play a bigger role in its application for a more secure payment option and integration with more apps.

So far as the iPad Air 2 is concerned, experts believe it is expected to stick to its usual launch schedule of the fall of this year. In fact, analysts believe Apple might not launch a new version of the iPad Mini as well as the purported iPad Pro with 12.9 inch display to focus more on the iPad Air. Further, the iPad Air 2 could also have the touch ID sensor found on the current iPhone 5s, which no doubt will enhance its appeal even more.

Among everything else, Apple is also tipped to release the long awaited iWatch device this year. It's another segment that has just started to boom and Apple surely will like to get in on it before it's too late. Apple is already believed to have gotten interest from batteries from LG Chem. This is on top of earlier reports of Apple hiring fitness and other app developers to develop the iWatch.

Is Apple Preparing For an Early iPhone 6 Launch in July? is a post from: Good e-Reader