Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Good e-Reader YouTube Channel hits 10 Million Video Views


Good e-Reader has hit another huge milestone today with ten million views on our YouTube Channel! This is where you will see unboxing videos, e-reader reviews, comparisons and drop tests.

Ten million views on a channel devoted to e-readers and the process of reading is a big accomplishment. We have made it a big point over the years to attend big product unveiling’s and give a first look at the latest Kindles, Kobo or Nook e-Readers.

In the last six months we have revised our entire video setup. We invested on a mixing board, SLR Dynamic Mics, studio lights, and a new camera. In the past, most of our videos were hands on reviews of the e-readers, now Michael and Peter are on camera, giving you our take on the news and opinions on new devices.

We have developed a ton of new segments such as Peter’s Drive Time, News Blasts and App Reviews. If you like free e-readers, phones and tablets, we have stepped up our game, giving away many different goodies every single month.

Lets look at some statistics! We have 10,031,99 video views, 28,092,606 minutes watched, 15,000 subscribers and 26,307 LIKES! Thanks to everyone who has shown has support by commenting and participating in discussions.

Good e-Reader YouTube Channel hits 10 Million Video Views is a post from: Good e-Reader

RIP Diesel eBooks


Diesel eBooks has been selling digital content for the last ten years. They have seen the industry grow from simple PDF file sharing to the boom period of 2011. The company is unable to compete against the juggernauts of the industry, such as Amazon, Apple, B&N and Kobo. Diesel has announced that starting April 1st, the store will close.

Diesel eBooks originally launched in 2004, but it wasn’t until 2010 that they dramatically revised the website, and made it accessible. Diesel introduced social elements, a better search engine and the ever popular 'Deal of the Day.' One of the biggest deals they signed was with publisher Macmillan, who contributed titles from Lora Leigh, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Lisa Kleypas, Robert Jordan, Orson Scott Card, Robert A. Heinlein and Jonathan Franzen.

In a statement on their online website, Diesel stated “Diesel eBooks will be closing at the end of this month. It’s been a great ride! We’re exploring our options – eBooks are still in the infant years and there are many opportunities opening up now and in the future. We want to thank you for being such loyal customers. Understand this doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t see Diesel in another form in the near future. IMPORTANT: you must download your eBooks here by month end. Downloads will not be possible on April 1st.”

RIP Diesel eBooks is a post from: Good e-Reader

Students Revolt Over Mandatory eTextbooks


Digital Textbooks may not change the educational industry as much as Amazon, Google, Inkling and other companies would hope. Students in five San Antonio colleges are revolting due to policy that would phase out textbooks and move entirely digital.

Students at five Alamo Colleges have been staging protests over the schools plans to abandon physical textbooks and embrace digital ones. The students claim this move would prevent them from buying used ones on the secondary market or buy them from friends. The chancellor of Alamo Colleges has argued eBooks would actually be cheaper for students and can be delivered straight to their tablets before the semester starts.

The crux of the issue is choice. Local businesses will not be able to sell textbooks anymore, because they will be irrelevant to students. Students won’t be able to comparably shop to get the best deals anymore, in any primary or secondary market.

Digital textbooks continue to disappoint. Over 75% of college students surveyed by the National Association of College Stores say they would rather read print over digital. Amazon and Google both offer textbook rental programs, but are just aimed at people living in the USA. You never hear about how the companies sales are doing or see press releases on breaking any records. Amazon is very well known for issuing press releases on almost a weekly basis, when have you heard anything about textbooks? It is very telling. Other companies are abandoning the market altogether, such as Inkling. Instead of selling books, they are licensing our their platform to people who want to try and make a go of market penetration themselves.

Students Revolt Over Mandatory eTextbooks is a post from: Good e-Reader

Overdrive Suspends Library App for Blackberry


Overdrive has officially suspended support for their Media Console app for Blackberry. The company confirmed that less then .3% of their users actually have a Playbook or Blackberry 10 device, not enough to warrant further support. Starting April 10th 2014, Overdrive will remove their app from Blackberry World.

If you borrow an audiobook or eBook from your local library, chances are you are dealing with Overdrive. They have the largest market share in Australia, Canada, UK and other countries. The company tends to focus the largest amount of their development effort towards iOS and Android.

Users only have a short amount of time to download the Overdrive app for Blackberry. The Good e-Reader App Store will continue to support the App, so you will be able to always download it for BB10 and the Playbook.

Overdrive Suspends Library App for Blackberry is a post from: Good e-Reader

Kobo Starts to put a Priority on Customer Service


Kobo has never had a stellar customer service record when it comes to support for their digital bookstore or their line of tablets and e-readers. This is starting to change as the Canadian based company is putting a heavy priority on developing new technologies and changing the way they go about solving customer issues.

International expansion has been the primary focus at Kobo for the last few years. Their template is making agreements with the largest bookstores in the country to get the hardware in the hands of serious readers and strike publishing deals. Kobo customers statistically buy four books a month from the online bookstore.

The Kobo expansion into international markets has subsided and they have recognized that customer service often played second fiddle. Marc Hollenberg is the current VP of Customer Care at Kobo and has been on the job for six months. His focus is aligning the various hardware, software and book departments into a unified customer service department.

One of the new initiatives Kobo has developed is a platform called Virtual Que. This allows people to fill out an online form, such as what device they have, where they purchased it from, nature of the problem and their Kobo account. They can talk to a live agent or instead of waiting on hold, get a call back. This saves time, because the agents have all of the customer data and don’t have to spend the first few minutes of the call confirming a million details.

Technical problems with tablets or e-readers used to raise customers dander. Often, the first point of contact was the Tier 1 representative, who was able to solve most common problems. If the situation was not something that could be fixed, Tier 2 agents would call the customer back. We have heard many stories about calls never coming or customers being given the runaround, when it came to returns or warranties. Marc is trying to change this by “eliminating the tier agent system, all agents now have the tools necessary to solve 99% of customers issues”

Marc mentioned that “Kobo has initiated a cultural shift for customer service and all departments are aligning themselves with the new priority.”

I think Kobo is in the position where they have expanded into almost every major market with a localized bookstore and the ones they haven’t can still easily buy books. With close to six million book titles in their library and millions of users all over the world, retaining those customers is a huge priority. This has been challenging for the Customer Care department because they have to deal with a myriad of new languages such as Spanish, Portuguese, French, Dutch, German, Japanese and a ton of others.

During the year you can expect the customer service program to get more refined. If you have had an issue in the last year, drop a comment below! Kobo will be dropping by to address specific customer issues and listen to feature requests.

Kobo Starts to put a Priority on Customer Service is a post from: Good e-Reader

Buy comics digitally – your patrons will thank you

How much space does a physical collection of manga and comics take up? Well, to put it in perspective, I only got through buying physical copies of three different series of manga and half-way through one of those, I looked at the amount of shelf space it was taking up and audibly said, "Nope." It's bananas, really. I can only imagine how much space is taken up by these collections in public libraries.

These series are popular content to be sure. Comics and manga have a devoted readership, as many librarians will point out. I repeatedly hear, "I just can't keep it on the shelf!" Well, there is a very good reason for this. For one person to collect and enjoy, manga alone is expensive. Absorbing the cost of an entire set is an investment, one that many individuals cannot justify today. Couple that fact with the tremendous strain the collection places on shelf space (and the shelves themselves in general), and many patrons, myself included, vastly prefer to get their content out from the local library. We comic and manga readers are pretty patient when it comes to getting our fix. (You have to be when most of the content you read is first released in Japan and won't be coming to you for several months. #hobbyhazzard) Furthermore, typically, we don't mind file restrictions like PDF-only. If we can get the content, we're going to read it – I for one am VERY used to reading on a computer screen.

Furthermore, buying manga and comics digitally is much more economical and cost effective. Getting it digitally is a huge bonus – both for the readers of comics, as well as for the libraries who make the content available to their patrons. No more massive amounts of shelf space! For anyone! Ever! Everyone wins. Your patrons get the content they want in a convenient format and your library makes a great investment. Finding comics and manga in Marketplace is easy, too. Simply log in and click on "Advanced Search." Then for subject, enter Comics and Graphic Books, or just "Comics," and the search engine will finish it for you. Happy Reading!


Kate Seivertson is a Collection Development Specialist at OverDrive.


ASCD 2014 rocked!

March 15-17 ASCD rocked Los Angeles (literally) with their 2014 annual conference. Over the course of three sunny days, educators from around the world gathered to explore new ideas and techniques to reach students.

At the OverDrive booth, there was a lot of talk about Pearson textbooks. Now your OverDrive digital library can be the place that students go when they forgot their (very heavy) math textbook in their locker.

Not surprising at this conference, we also discussion about Professional Development playing a role in the digital library. OverDrive offers many of the leading PD publishers, including: ASCD, ISTE, Corwin Press, Jossey-Bass, and many more! (Here are some highlights in Marketplace).

Overall, ASCD 2014 was a great show in a beautiful city. See everyone next year in Houston!



Bailey Hotujac is a Collection Development Specialist at OverDrive.


Lonely Planet eBooks Now Available on Scribd


There was a time when Lonely Planet was the definitive travel guide when you would travel to a new city or country. The company has lost some of their luster as many people are using online services like Expedia and other travel websites to read reviews and find out the local scoops. Still, in the last few years Lonely Planet has been undergoing a resonance in the digital world, with the company remaining profitable. Today, Lonely Planet has announced they their entire travel guide library is now available via eBook subscription service Scribd.

Scribd first started out as a document sharing service that many journalists employed to embed content into posts. Due it its open nature, there were many pirated eBooks on the site, which gave it some negative press. HarperCollins purchased Scribd in the hopes of turning the company around and launching a eBook subscription service. Now, readers can signup for around $9.99 a month to download unlimited books.

The Lonely Planet deal is the first travel service that Scribd has signed and it should give new users a reason to signup. Now, instead of having to purchase a book every time you want to travel, you can just open a subscription and get full access to all of the travel guides and 300,000 other titles.

Lonely Planet eBooks Now Available on Scribd is a post from: Good e-Reader

Smart kegerator

We first came across kegerators last year: it never ceases to amaze me how many of you use your Raspberry Pis to both simplify and massively overcomplicate your drinking. The kegerator is not a popular device here in the UK, but, judging by the emails I get from readers, there are enough of the things across the pond to get the whole continent of North America very drunk indeed.

A kegerator, for the uninitiated, is a device that allows you to have chilled draught beer on tap in your house without a cellar – broadly speaking, a fridge with a tun of beer and a pump in it. Wikipedia says: “A Kegerator is sometimes used in a Man cave.”

(As a beer-swilling, technology-fetishising woman who would love the space required for a cave and kegerator of my own, and who does not believe that caves of any sort should be gender-segregated, I am reminded that sometimes I kind of hate Wikipedia.)

Phil Harlow has a kegerator in his house. He shares his beers with friends and roommates, and it’s hard to work out who’s drunk what when splitting the bills for a new keg. So (you knew it was coming), he came up with a Raspberry Pi solution.

You can read much more, including a parts list, references and all the code you’ll need, at Phil’s website. We love it: and we’re wondering if we can squeeze one into the office somewhere. For research purposes, of course.


Renewed Focus on Books from BBC

The high interest in comparing print and digital book sales has led to a renewed interest in looking at the reading habits of consumers around the world. While one recent survey found that 25% of US consumers reported not having read a single book in 2013, digital publishing–specifically with an emphasis on the ability to read on mobile phones and tablets–has been credited with a resurgence in consumer reading. With the advent of ebooks, blogging, and social media, it’s actually been speculated that today’s consumers are reading and writing more than generations before.

The BBC is contributing to this reading revival with more dedicated coverage to books than it has provided in the past from both its radio and television networks, as well as from its online locations.

According to an in-depth report on the new book features in The Bookseller, BBC director general Tony Hall said: "This is the strongest commitment to the arts we've made in a generation. We're the biggest arts broadcaster anywhere in the world – but our ambition is to be even better.

“I want BBC Arts – and BBC Music – to sit proudly alongside BBC News. The arts are for everyone – and, from now on, BBC Arts will be at the very heart of what we do. We'll be joining up arts on the BBC like never before – across television, radio and digital. And, we'll be working more closely with our country's great artists, performers and cultural institutions."

Over a dozen new programs or features are anticipated over the course of the coming year, across the various BBC platforms and from different events. Those readers who do not have access to BBC’s live programing can access a number of these features from BBC Arts Online and from BBC iPlayer.

Renewed Focus on Books from BBC is a post from: Good e-Reader

Sony Says No To Android Wear

sony smartwatch 2

Sony has stated it will continue using its own proprietary software to power its smartwatch lineup. They don’t seem to care about  Google  launching Android Wear, the platform designed specifically for use in smartwatch devices. The Japanese conglomerate had earlier stated it is channelling their resources heavily towards mobile devices, such as phones and tablets.

The above development is interesting, as Sony isn’t the only company to ignore Android Wear, at least for now. Samsung has launched its revamped Galaxy Gear 2 smartwatch running Tizen. As things stand now, it's the Moto 360 and the G Watch from Motorola and LG respectively that have revealed Android Wear based smartwatch devices.

“We’re excited about the potential of Android Wear to extend the mobile OS experience into wearable devices,” revealed Sony. “While we are currently focused on our in-market wearable offering, including SmartWatch 2, we continue to work closely with Google as a key partner and continue to evaluate opportunities across a number of areas as we extend our SmartWear Experience.”

via cnet

Sony Says No To Android Wear is a post from: Good e-Reader