Monday, March 10, 2014

e Ink Based Onyx Ink Phone has an April Release Date


Here is another take on the concept of a smartphone offering an e-ink display. The Midia InkPhone made its debut at the CeBIT show with rumors of it being finally ready to hit the streets soon enough. We have been seeing the unique phone design from Chinese manufacturer Onyx for over a year now and it's really good to see it emerge in its production ready avatar at last. Engadget has mentioned that the e-ink phone will be hitting streets in Germany and Poland where it will be cost 140 Euros, which comes to about $195.

As for the salient features of the device, the biggest of them all is the 4.3 inch e-ink display that it comes with. Also with a resolution is 800 x 480, images and texts are pretty sharp too. Then of course there is the energy saving attribute that e-ink display have come to be known for, which in case of the InkPhone stands at 2 weeks of usage on a single charge. This no doubt will be a boon for business users or for those who'd prefer to give up on some fancy features just to gain battery life.

The rest of the specs speak of a 1 Ghz Rockchip CPU, 512 MB of RAM and 4 GB of storage. There is also a micros SD card slot, 1800mAh battery along with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth. The device runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread. There is no camera though, something that is increasingly becoming the biggest USP of modern day smartphone devices. The black and white display together with slightly less screen refresh rates compared to conventional LCD panels wouldn't have made the InkPhone suited for photography in any case. Apart from photography, the other aspects that the InkPhone will be seen lacking will be its inability to playback video or game playing.

The InkPhone will however serve as an excellent mobile ebook reading device and should serve well to die-hard ebook enthusiasts. Being equally readable in direct sunlight will no doubt be another definitive plus for the InkPhone. E-Book reading apps such as the Kindle too works well enough with the InkPhone as should other popular ebook reading apps such as the Kobo, B&N and such. Overall, the InkPhone may not be a mass market device but should serve well in a niche market, which again could be big enough if the device work delivers what it promises.

e Ink Based Onyx Ink Phone has an April Release Date is a post from: Good e-Reader

Good e-Reader is the Media Sponsor of IDPF Digital Book 2014


Good e-Reader is proud to be alongside Publishers Weekly as being the two main media sponsors of IDPF Digital Book 2014. This is now a two day conference that takes place May 28-29, 2014 at the Javits Center, New York City. This is the first year the conference has moved to a full two day format and many of the top publishers, tech companies and authors will be in attendance.

This is the second year in a row that Good e-Reader has thrown in their support for the IDPF. The International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) is the global trade and standards organization dedicated to the development and promotion of electronic publishing and content consumption.

The work of the IDPF promotes the development of electronic publishing applications and products that will benefit creators of content, makers of reading systems, and consumers. The IDPF develops and maintains the EPUB content publication standard that enables the creation and transport of reflowable digital books and other types of content as digital publications that are interoperable between disparate EPUB-compliant reading devices and applications.

The final list of speakers and sessions have not been publically released yet, but is one of the can’t miss events of the season.

Good e-Reader is the Media Sponsor of IDPF Digital Book 2014 is a post from: Good e-Reader

Hugh Howey Gives Toxic Advice for Self-Publishers


Hugh Howey is a self-published author who leveraged Kindle Direct Publishing to distribute his Silo Saga about a post-apocalyptic wasteland. They have sold over 300,000 copies in the US and have been optioned for a movie to be directed by Ridley Scott. You might say that Howey is a self-published professional author whot did well for himself. Lately, he has transcended from being a writer to perpetually standing on his virtual soapbox. Indie authors have elevated him to being a poster child for self-publishing and he is giving unrealistic expectations to writers who want to emulate his success.

Wool was one of the breakout success stories for self-publishing. It has been featured on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists, and was the number one bestseller on Amazon, where it was also named winner of Kindle Book Review’s Best Indie Book of 2012. He has signed international distribution deals with Random House to have the works translated into foreign languages.

Aside from the success of his books, Hugh is a non-stop promotional machine. Most of his blog posts are endlessly dissected throughout the media and his new Author Earnings website tracks how much some self-published authors are making. In a recent report he said, “Indie authors are outselling the Big Five. That’s the entire Big Five. Combined. Indie and small-press books account for half of the ebook sales in the most popular and bestselling genres on Amazon.”

Hugh is a whirlwind of interviews and Twitter chats that tend to make him accessible to almost anyone who asks. The more hype he builds, the more ebooks he sells. One blogger referred to him as a “patron saint of empowering authors

But there is a darker side to being Hugh Howey, more than anyone realizes. Indie authors have elevated him to practically a religious figure of the self-publishing movement. He has become the poster child for any writer who has a dream of making it big. He is consistently cited by journalists, bloggers, and indie writers as being a stalwart vanguard of self-publishing and a mirrored reflection of everything indie writers aspire to be.

Recently Howey mentioned, “The key to making it as a writer is to write a lot, write great stories, publish them yourself, spend more time writing, study the industry, act like a pro, network, be nice, invest in yourself and your craft, and be patient. If you can do all of these things, you'll earn some money. Maybe enough to pay a bill every month. Maybe enough to get out of debt. Maybe enough to quit your job. Thousands of writers are doing this, and we are welcoming all comers with open arms.” You can see by this quote that some of it makes sense. It is also apparent that he is feeding people dreams and wants people to self-publish more.

Howey also tends to make inflammatory remarks to drum up support for himself, his books, and self-publishers in general. “For a long time now, self-publishing has been dismissed as an act of vanity – mainly by frightened executives in publishing houses, who hold up terrible examples of self-published works and say ‘See? This is why we exist.’” You can see by this quote he is alluding that the traditional publishing industry is the evil empire, something self-publishers do not need. Quotes like this manage to rope in more writers who say, “I feel the same way.”

Mike Shatzkin, publishing expert and founder of The Idea Logical Company, called Howey out, saying he is “a much better author and self-promoter than he is a business analyst,” and warns authors his advice is potentially “toxic.”

Hugh consistently makes inflammatory remarks, trying to build resentment towards the traditionally published industry. Recently, he said, "When I was a kid, everybody wished their father owned a candy store." Hugh's advice for publishers is to eliminate things that annoy him (non-compete clauses, length-of-copyright licenses, New York City offices) and to lower prices, give away ebooks with hardcover purchases, and pay authors monthly.

His latest business inspirationa call to arms suggesting to independent authors that they should just eschew traditional publishing or demand it pay them like indie publishing — is potentially much more toxic. Is he most interested in getting more authors self-publishing, or in organizing authors to demand better terms from publishers? Well both, as he is becoming a spiritual figurehead that indie writers with no voice can get behind. He is leveraging popular opinion to try and change the industry. The potential victims of this effort are the very authors he is trying to save. Likely, the outcome of this “revolution” is to widen the gap between self-publishing and traditional publishing. Instead of banging down walls, he is raising them up. Instead of building bridges he is arming them for detonation.

Hugh Howey Gives Toxic Advice for Self-Publishers is a post from: Good e-Reader

Podcast: Authors or Writers? Harlequin Market Share Diminished by Self-Publishing and Lots of News


Welcome back to the Good e-Reader Radio Show, your definitive news broadcast on the world of publishing, eBooks and e-Readers. Today, Michael Kozlowski and Jeremy Greenfield discuss the recent attempts to quantify authors in a more simplistic way. This is ruffling the feathers of indie authors that feel they should be called whatever they want. You can weigh in on the discussion HERE at Good e-Reader and HERE at DBW.

Jeremy recently conducted a great interview with the CEO of Harlequin. They discussed the current business climate and how most romance/ertoica writers are self-publishing. This is creating a problem where not enough new writers are publishing the traditional way anymore and is forcing the publisher to get lean.

The DOJ case against publishers in the USA is having reverberating effects on Canadian based Kobo. The Government of Canada is mandating that Kobo abide by the DOJ settlement terms, outside of the USA. Kobo contends the DOJ does not have jurisdiction in Canada to impose their will. We might see Kobo’s catalog dimmishing very soon.

DBW is hosting a series of web lessons to help indie authors. You can find out more information on their latest one HERE.

Podcast: Authors or Writers? Harlequin Market Share Diminished by Self-Publishing and Lots of News is a post from: Good e-Reader

Raspberry Pi Projects: a big book by Andrew Robinson and Mike Cook

Ben here – Liz is currently non-functional due to her body having no idea what time it was when she arrived at the office this morning after landing back from San Francisco at the weekend.

Raspberry Pi Projects is a fantastic book from Wiley, the publishers of Eben and Gareth’s Raspberry Pi User Guide and Carrie Anne’s Adventures in Raspberry Pi. It’s written by two great Pioneers: Dr. Andrew Robinson (creator of PiFace) and Mike Cook (co-author of Raspberry Pi for Dummies and creator of many awesome hardware projects).

The book comprises of 16 practical software and hardware projects for the Raspberry Pi – all put together and documented by Andrew and Mike (with help) that are designed to help you better understand the system and become more confident in development of a range of projects. The projects are handily presented in rough order of difficulty, starting with the easier ones to get you going – and move on to more complex ones.

The book covers interactive text based games in Python, graphical games with PyGame, interactive game hardware, application with PiFace Digital, making a toy chicken send tweets, chaotic pendulum hamonographs, car racing and more – as well as a chapter on Minecraft by Sean McManus, and Home Automation by Jonathan Evans.

I wrote on here recently about things you can do with your Raspberry Pi – and this book is crammed full of amazing examples. Books like this and Carrie Anne’s will guide you through a given project and provide you with learning points along the way, which is a great way to learn about Linux, Python, hardware hacking or anything. Beginner or not you’ll learn lots by following the guide set out by experts such as these.

Here are some examples of the projects Mike put together:

PacMan made in Python PyGame:

Disco lights:

See more previews of the contents of the book on Mike’s blog!

Raspberry Pi Projects is available from Amazon and also as a two-part e-book from Wiley: Part 1 & Part 2

The original Mr. Peabody and his boy Sherman


If you're of a certain age, you probably remember with fondness the animated Rocky & Bullwinkle Show on television, with its occasional episodes of Peabody's Improbable History starring Mr. Peabody and his boy Sherman and their wonderful WABAC machine (pronounced way back). Well, Mr. Peabody and Sherman are back for modern kids this month in a brand new 3-D DreamWorks theatrical release movie.

We thought your young patrons (and their grandparents) might be interested in viewing some of the original episodes of the show from the 60s after they've seen the new movie—and we have 36 of them just waiting for you to purchase, along with four novelizations for different ages to go with the new film.

For those who don't remember the series, Mr. Peabody, a historian who also happens to be the world's smartest dog, has adopted the boy Sherman. The two use the time travel machine Mr. Peabody has invented to travel back in history, where they often find that their intervention is needed to get history back on track, and they manage to get into hilarious misadventures in each episode.

For instance, they visit William Tell, who must shoot an apple off the head of his son, but poor William has lost his spectacles and is nearly blind. Mr. Peabody saves the day by placing a magnet inside the apple to attract the arrow. The best thing about the program was that the dry humor is entertaining for adults as well as kids, and, of course, there was an educational aspect as well. Mr. Peabody's awful puns are not to be missed.

Click below to go to the suggested list of titles:

Mr. Peabody & Sherman

*Geographical rights may vary by region.


Cindy Orr is a Digital Collection Advisor at OverDrive.


What Happens When Amazon Is the Last One Standing?

We’ve heard speculation and criticism for years about how Amazon is ruining the book selling and publishing industries, along with affirmations that Amazon has done more for the business of books than anyone since Gutenberg. But what will the industry look like when Amazon is the last player in the industry, when the dire warnings go unheeded and there are no more booksellers or publishers?

Before Amazon emerged, there were six major publishing houses, each with several imprints; Amazon indirectly had a significant impact on their finances through the ebook price fixing investigation that resulted in settlements in the hundreds of millions of dollars from the publishers alone. As for bookselling, Amazon’s original purpose in life, the industry has already seen the loss of the Borders chain, the life support efforts of Barnes and Noble, the closing of the Sony Reader store 9US), and a significant drop in promotional efforts in the US from Kobo.

Are companies throwing up their hands in defeat because they cannot compete with Amazon’s herculean efforts? Or are they more accurately signifying that Amazon simply does it better, and therefore consumers shouldn’t bother finding an alternative?

In a post for Dear Author, Jane Litte provided an in-depth look at some of the numbers involved in being–and competing against–Amazon. The end result, according to Litte, is going to be a reduction in discoverability for titles and a reduction in profits for authors when there are no other options for bookselling.

We’ve been asking the question for years: what will it take to bring down Amazon? For the time being, it seems like no one has the answer, and no one is looking for it.

What Happens When Amazon Is the Last One Standing? is a post from: Good e-Reader

New Survey Demonstrates Rise in Library Spending

Library Journal has released the results of its 2014 survey, which tracks materials spending in public libraries across the country. The libraries are categorized according to patron size and circulation size, as well as budget size. In what comes as a tremendous surprise given the frightening state of libraries’ crisis-level budgets, spending actually increased microscopically, which is still far better than a decrease.

The spending on print books, movies/DVDs, and CDs or other downloadable music was interesting, despite the easy availability of movies and music from other sources. While music circulation and spending has dropped, DVDs remain the single best investment with the circulation far outweighing the financial cost.

The unfortunate reduction in print book purchasing could go either way; while ebook spending did increase for most libraries regardless of size, overall materials spending decreased in library systems who had suffered branch closing, reductions in staff, and reductions in operating hours.

In even better news, every category of library size reported an overall increase in circulation for a total 2% increase. In a finding that speaks to the vital role that libraries play, it was those libraries that serve rural communities that reported the highest book circulation numbers, largely due to the lack of bookstores in these communities and the unavailability of “one day delivery lockers” or Sunday delivery from online retailers.

Interestingly, libraries that reported a decrease in total book circulation actually pointed to ebooks as the culprit. With the ease of purchase and download and the more affordable price of digital over print, it appears as though consumers are quick to press the “buy it now” button instead of waiting for the book to become available through the library, either in print or in digital. This phenomenon has been shared for years from companies like Kobo and OverDrive, who’ve worked to convince publishers that library lending and ebooks are good for their business.

The full report from Library Journal is available HERE.

New Survey Demonstrates Rise in Library Spending is a post from: Good e-Reader