Friday, March 7, 2014

New Report Suggests Google May Have Forced Asus to Cancel Transformer Book Duet Project

Book Duet

The Asus Transformer Book Duet TD300 seems to have been delayed indefinitely and Google is tipped to have played a part in it, as per a report carried by Digitimes. The reasons are obvious as Google feels the device that dual boots both Windows and Android would provide an undue advantage to Windows that is struggling to gain a foothold in the mobile OS segment. Such a device is being perceived to allow Windows to piggyback on Google’s Android on the path to success that Google had so painstakingly created over the years. Such a scenario could also lead to Google having to wage a two front war, with the Apple iOS on the one hand and Windows on the other.

This isn't the first time though that Google is believed to have forced its hardware partners to cancel projects involving dual booting devices. A Samsung ATIV model that could dual boot both Android and Windows was reportedly pulled off given Google's concerns over letting Windows build on the success Android has made.

The Transformer Book Duet TD300 device was unveiled at the CES event early this year and had attracted a fair bit of consumer response. The one most distinct capability of the device was that it came with a key on the keypad that allows users to toggle between either Android or Windows operating systems. The same could also be invoked via a tab on the tablet as well and was being hailed as a device that would be just right for both business and domestic usage. Chipmaker Intel too had been seen actively promoting the Transformer Book Duet TD300. Currently, it is only Intel chips that can support dual booting of both Android and Windows.

The Transformer Book Duet TD300 was scheduled to be launched by the second half of 2014 though its not known now when is that going to happen.

New Report Suggests Google May Have Forced Asus to Cancel Transformer Book Duet Project is a post from: Good e-Reader

Barnes and Noble Cuts Nook Funding by 74%


Barnes and Noble wanted to tackle the e-reader and eBook market in a big way. The company has lost over one billion dollars on their digital enterprise and are seeking new ways to stop the blood flow. The company has fired most of their executive team and sacked 190 jobs in the last year. New SEC filing has the Nation’s largest bookstore cutting Nook funding by 74%

Barnes & Noble's fiscal quarter ended at the end of January, and the filing shows a $61 million loss on $157 million in revenue. It also notes their capital expenditures where a paltry $7.4 million on the Nook. That represents a massive decline in spending over last year, with a 55% drop in the past nine months. This is about the same time that the rumors starting about the accelerated decline of the entire Nook division.

The management shakeup and employee reorganization has been taxing on B&N. So much so, that they have failed to adhere to the terms of the Microsoft investment of 300 million. Barnes and Noble has not meant the content thresholds Microsoft established by opening up Nook stores in over 30 different countries. Because of this, Nook has not been able to attain the total funding until they meet their goals. Rumor has it, they might be able to do it by the end of April 2014.

Barnes and Noble Cuts Nook Funding by 74% is a post from: Good e-Reader

Self-Publishers Should Not Be Called Authors


The landscape of publishing has dramatically changed over the last five years. In the past, if you wanted to publish a book you had to do it from a vanity press or land a deal with a traditional publisher. Now, anyone can write a book and submit it to Smashwords, Kindle, Kobo or Nook. So the question is, should we quantify a distinction between an writer and a professional author? I think a line needs to be drawn in the sand so that we know who is the real deal.

Just because its easy to upload your written word, so that it can be downloaded to another machine does not make you an author, any more than me buying a stethoscope allows me to be called a doctor. A “singer” is someone who sings. A “professional singer” is someone who makes a living from singing. There is a stark contrast between being a writer and being a professional author. Many indie writers who publish a title or two on Amazon or Smashwords normally think otherwise. They wear the title as an author as a badge of honor.

Major writing organizations such as the Romance Writers of America, Canadian Writing Union and Published Authors Network all accept indie published authors as members and the Science Fiction Writers of America is currently drafting guidelines to do the same. In order to join these organizations you have to earn ‘x’ amount of money over a single calendar year, where the specified amount for indie publishers is a *multiple* of the requirement for traditionally-published authors minimum income, because it is easier to make money by going indie.

The Published Authors Network has strict requirements on who can join their organization. You have to earn $1,000 in the form of an advance on a single Eligible Novel. Or you have to earn $1,000 in the form of royalties or a combination of advance plus royalties on a single published Eligible Novel. Finally, you have to pull in $5,000 in the form of earnings for a Self-Published novel.

Calling everyone authors who puts words on a document and submits them to the public devalues the word so much, it makes it meaningless. Indie Author, Self-Published Author, Hybred Author, Published Author, Blog Author, Forum Author. All of these titles mean different things, depending on who you talk to. I would like to see the process simplified, you are either a writer or a professional author. If you can earn your living from your writing, you are a professional author, anyone else is just a plain old writer.

Indie authors and self-published authors who claim they are real authors makes me laugh. The term basically doesn’t mean anything. Being a photographer means nothing either; as soon as you pick up a camera, you are one. By definition, you would be an “author” because of commenting on this post or a “singer” because you sing in the shower. If you put words on a document, you are certainly not an author.

In the science world, things are very different. In order to be taken seriously, not only do you have to write articles or research papers, but other people have to cite them. The more people you have citing your reports in their books or their own reports, your position as a scientist is elevated.

I think a debate in the publishing industry must be made on what constitutes being a writer and an author. These terms are thrown around so loosely that it gets confusing. Some people will say “I want to only read books by professional authors, because I am of the opinion they are of a certain quality, as compared to self-published works.” Others will say “I consider people who have NOT published books by one of the big five real authors. People publishing through the big five just write useless, commercial drivel that sells well. They’re not authors. They just do their job. The self-pubs are doing it for the love of writing, and create original, non-mainstream works. I love that! They’re real authors.”

Self-Publishers Should Not Be Called Authors is a post from: Good e-Reader

Rooster: Subscription Reading in Bite-Sized Smartphone Pieces

Subscription ebook reading is nothing new. Companies like 24Symbols have been offering Netflix-style reading since as early as 2010, all vying for an all-you-can-eat approach to reading. It’s been difficult to get publishers on board with the concept without a clear structure for royalties, and it’s been equally difficult getting readers to shell out money to consume books when they’ve been happy with their reading options all along.

Now, a new company is launching with a new approach to the subscription model. Instead of trying to target readers with a “read everything you possibly can get your hands on in a month” idea, Rooster is looking at reading as something that consumers can do in bite-sized pieces whenever time allows. To that end, the company is building a platform that offers serialized content optimized for smartphones, for a much lower price than the subscription big boys.

Rooster’s co-founder and editorial director Yael Goldstein Love spoke to Good e-Reader today about the appeal of serialized subscription reading. While much of the content is currently in the public domain or sourced from the company’s other site, Daily Lit, a different model is underway in which classics are paired with contemporary content.

“We’ve been working directly with authors to try to create content that is specifically tailored for the Rooster experience.”

The shorter length of Rooster content is perfect for smartphone reading during snippets of time, something that speaks to the company’s model. Rather than luring consumers with a model that affords them the ability to read mountains of content for one price, Rooster’s clientele is expected to read serialized and novella-length works for far less than the cost of a typical ebook subscription plan.

Rooster is working with publishers to stock novella length or shorter novels, especially titles that just–for one reason or another–just don’t take off in the way that had been anticipated.

“Every publisher has this list of books that they loved so much, that they thought were just going to find an audience and be loved by so many people, but for whatever reason, it just doesn’t pick up or find its audience. It’s just this gem that goes unread. Those are the things we want to find, those books that deserve a second chance.”

While Rooster is in beta at this time, full launch of the site is anticipated for March 11. Users can sign up now for a free two week trial at the company’s website at

Rooster: Subscription Reading in Bite-Sized Smartphone Pieces is a post from: Good e-Reader

Blowing in the (fetid subway) wind

A quick post today: I’m at the airport gate waiting to get on a plane.

I sent out a tweet about this brilliant advertising application of the Pi last week, but so many of you missed it on Twitter and have emailed to tell me about it since then (including one Dr Eben Upton) that I thought it deserved a spot here. Here’s a digital billboard that responds to the wind created by an approaching train.

The advertising agency behind this piece of clever is Åkestam Holst from Sweden, working with production company Stopp for Apotek Hjärtat’s Apolosophy products. Stopp says the ad was scheduled to be run for one day only, but it was so popular that the company which owns the screens asked for it to run for the rest of the week “as a way for them to show the opportunities their screens can offer”. When you think about it, a device like the Pi that can run a full HD digital display and can be hooked up to respond to real-world inputs is ideal for this sort of setup. These guys aren’t the only agency to be using a Raspberry Pi behind digital displays: but this is the best integrated use of the device I’ve seen in this context, and it’s made for a very powerful piece of advertising.

Podcast: New and featured content for March

Our March collection highlights podcast is now available on OverDrive's Learning Center. This month's podcast is chock-full of exciting news about eBook, audiobook, and streaming video suppliers who are coming soon to OverDrive Marketplace, including a famously beloved children's TV program, a world-renowned documentary series, and a star-studded major motion picture supplier. As always, we round out our monthly podcast with our personal picks for the month, as well as insider tips about finding sales and placing orders in Marketplace.


You can access our Collection Highlights: March podcast now through the end of the month on OverDrive's Learning Center (find it under "Collection Development").


Carrie Smith is a Technical Writer at OverDrive.


Collection Team Column: Laura Guldeman – Keep calm and Downton on!

Laura_GuldemanHave you found yourself purchasing clotted cream at the grocery store? Or maybe you've been talking in a British accent and ordering random strangers to "bring the car round." If you are, then you may be suffering from withdrawal of BBC's hit show, "Downton Abbey."

In an attempt to fend off this season's withdrawal, I have compiled a list of titles to keep us avid fans symptom-free. If you miss the romance, may I prescribe Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey as well as Jo Baker's Longbourn. If Mrs. Patmores' cooking is what's lacking in your diet then take a peek at Edwardian Cooking: 80 Recipes Inspired by Downton Abbey's Elegant Meals. If a lack of downstairs drama is what you ail from then cozy up with a copy of Jacky Hyams The Real Life Downton Abbey: How Life Was Really Lived in Stately Homes a Century Ago. If your symptoms persist, take a look at the long list of Downton Abbey read-a-likes.



If you would like more suggestions, your Collection Development Specialist is available to help create recommended lists. Email for more information today!

*Some titles may have limited regional or platform availability.


 Laura Guldeman is a Collection Development Specialist at OverDrive.