Monday, March 31, 2014

Amazon Student Program Rolls Out in the UK


Diligent young scholars may benefit from the Amazon Student program  launching in the United Kingdom today. The service is free for the first six months and gives discounts on Kindle devices and textbooks.

Students who wants to participate in this program will need a valid email address from the college or university. Amazon is asking a few questions such as your chosen vocation of study and graduation date.  One accepted, there are a bunch of free benefits such as free one day delivery and special rates for things being sent out in the evening. You can also get a 20% discount on the Kindle Fire and also physical textbooks.

One of the main benefits of this service is for students to tap into the used textbook market via Amazon. Instead of visiting ebay, Craigslist or other secondmarket student sites, Amazon is hoping to entice students with their expansive ecosystem.

The primary drawback of this program, is that students will automatically be enrolled in a discounted version of Amazon Prime at the end of the free six month program.  Amazon is hoping to rope in a large percentage of the students who forget to cancel or read the terms and conditions.Still, Prime has benefits in the UK, such as Instant Video, Kindle Lending Library and many of the other flagship Amazon programs.

Amazon Student Program Rolls Out in the UK is a post from: Good e-Reader

New website design is here!

As you’ll know if you’ve been following us here and on social media recently, we’ve been hard at work redeveloping the Raspberry Pi website. We’re excited to announce our new-look site today! You’ll find this new site has the following features:

  • Optimised for use with the Raspberry Pi
  • Handsome retro look and feel
  • Elegant colour scheme
  • ASCII art for the new millennium
  • Tastes of electric limes when licked.

Mooncake knows what you've done

Have a look around and tell us what you think! Many thanks to Ben Nuttall for his design work, which we plan on using to repel new customers from now on.

Nook Glowlight Gets New Firmware Update


The Barnes and Noble Nook Glowlight is the only e-reader the Nations largest bookseller actively markets. It came out at the tail end of last year and is their second generation e-reader with a front-lit display. Today, the company announced that there is a new firmware update available to install.

- Improved Shop browsing
- Easier search capabilities
- Ability to redeem access codes on device
- Newsstand list view now displays issue count
- Whole page viewing now the default setting for side-loaded PDFs
- Bug fixes for stability and performance

The firmware 1.3.1 update is now available to be pushed out via WIFI. Its important to note that B&N tends to do a staggered release and if you don’t see it right away, just wait a few days.

Nook Glowlight Gets New Firmware Update is a post from: Good e-Reader

Humanoid Comics Enters the Digital World


Humanoids Comics, one of the world's most successful graphic novel publishers, has entered the digital age by offering its ebook catalog on iTunes, Google Play and it's own store. It has also released an app for the iPad where users can sync their Humanoid account and browse catalogs but cannot purchase new material.

The company is currently providing $25 to those who download the new new app in the first month. The funds can be used to purchase the first volumes of a graphic novel series in the Humanoid store. The store also provides free digital copies with the purchase of a physical one and other promotions like one free digital novel a month.

According to Humanoids' Director, Alex Donoghue, "This offer, will be a great opportunity for our readers to discover new titles, as well explore the Humanoids App as not just a graphic novel and comics reader, but also a useful and easy platform to browse the Humanoids catalog on the iPad, full of many exciting features and exclusive deals."

Although the app is a good first step, in our view, we are still looking forward to the ability to purchase titles within the app if a cheaper ebook option in not available on the Humanoid store. Hopefully, the 30% Google and Apple toll on all in-app purchases is not going to be a significant barrier for the company in the future.

The only incentive to download the app, we believe, is to access the free content that Humanoid is providing. Otherwise, if you are only interested in digital copies, your best bet could be to look to Google Play or iTunes.

We noticed that the Google Play bookstore provides the best price for some graphic novels. For example, Human Women of the Sacred Heart #3 could be purchased from Google Play for $4.75 or from the Humanoid store for $5.95 or iTunes for $5.99.

The company recently relocated to California, from France last year and is expanding its offerings into new mediums. It is currently adapting many of its Humanoid titles into feature films. Humanoids is considered revolutionary, having influenced generations of writers and artist worldwide.

Humanoid Comics Enters the Digital World is a post from: Good e-Reader

JK Rowling to Write New Harry Potter Screenplays

British author JK Rowling, creator of the Harry Potter series of
If anyone in the publishing industry has everything under control, it’s JK Rowling. First, she penned one of the bestselling series of all time with her seven book Harry Potter story line, followed up by a couple of other associated works that added more detail to the world of the boy wizard.

But it’s her business acumen that is really praiseworthy. After retaining the digital rights to the entire series long before ebooks and e-readers were expected to reach their current penetration in the industry, Rowling launched her own company and website to sell the ebooks, brokering deals that managed to make the titles available through major online retailers while still driving that traffic to her site.

A few side projects later including three adult fiction titles, Rowling is back to the world of Harry Potter, this time penning new screenplays that feature the wizarding world. What was originally intended to be a stand-alone film based on a book that makes an appearance in the series, Rowling is now set to write three screenplays based on the story line, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Her partner in this project is none other than Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara, who has himself shaken up Hollywood for his calm but insightful decision making, including the recent release of the surprise hit Lego Movie.

While this new set of films will not include Harry, Hermione, Ron, or any of the other characters who featured in the original series, it will actually lay the groundwork in some small way. Set seventy years before Harry is born and staged in New York instead of Hogwarts, the films will feature magician zoologist Newt Scamander.

JK Rowling to Write New Harry Potter Screenplays is a post from: Good e-Reader

IPR License Launches Trade Rights to Foster International Rights Sales

One of the world’s well-known sources for global books rights is the IPR License organization, making international rights deals possible for authors, agents, and publishers. The organization announced today that it has a new item to offer rights holders, namely a desktop solution to rights selling called Trade Rights.

According to an announcement from IPR License, “Previously only available exclusively to members, the platform has now opened its doors to allow access for all interested parties across the industry looking to buy and sell whole book rights on a global scale. This will allow a wide-range of parties to make offers on titles and complete full transactions to help increase existing, and create new, revenue streams for all links in the publishing chain.”

Until now, international book fairs were some of the only opportunities in the industry for international publishers to acquire rights to titles. This streamlined solution makes rights sales possible in an ongoing way, ideally speeding up the time to market for readers around the world to enjoy new titles.

Tom Chalmers, Managing Director at IPR License, stated in the announcement, "It's evident from speaking to publishers all over the world that they clearly recognise the current wealth of opportunities available in rights and licensing. And that rights deals are no longer solely centred around book fairs and contact books. Rights will continue to be a personal business but through IPR License leads and revenue can be maximised 24/7 thanks to the ability to now complete deals from a desktop.”

The ability to list a title for sale through Trade Rights is only available to members of the IPR License platform. This latest offering is part of IPR’s ongoing features updates that will launch throughout the rest of the year.

IPR License Launches Trade Rights to Foster International Rights Sales is a post from: Good e-Reader

Kobo Now Issuing Credits for eBooks Antitrust Settlement

Last week Amazon was the first to start sending out emails to Kindle customers informing them about credits that have been issued to their account in regards to the antitrust settlement case where the big five publishers had to pay-up for colluding with Apple to fix the price of ebooks. Soon after Amazon started issuing […]

B&N Releases Software Update for Nook GlowLight

Barnes and Noble has started rolling out a firmware update for the latest Nook GlowLight ebook reader. The new software is dated today, 03-31-2014, and the new firmware version is 1.3.1. The update adds a few new features, including an improved shopping experience, better searching, an issue count for list view with Newsstand, and they’ve […]

Verso Reintroduces eBook and Print Bundling

As early as 2010, publishers experimented with offering readers an added value for their book buying purchases by bundling the digital edition and the print edition. Booksellers even got in on the offer, with the members of the American Booksellers Association helping with the cost of a title from Algonquin Publishers, Hilary Jordan’s When She Woke.

Interestingly, ebook bundling didn’t take off in the way that bookstores and publishers might have hoped. While the purpose was to entire digital fans not to have to choose one format over another, the concept never grew into the widespread marketing policy that some industry experts might have hoped. In fact, it’s now the self-published authors who are benefiting from Amazon’s Kindle Matchbook feature, which allows rights holders to offer the ebook at a discount of up to 100% for readers who purchase the print edition.

Today, though, Verso Books has reinstated the concept in bookselling by announcing that all of its new titles a great number of its back list titles will be bundled. This is a bold move, considering the most that major publishers were willing to do was “experiment” with select titles for bundling promotions. Readers who purchase a print edition will be able to download their ebook edition from Verso’s online library for use on any device.

More important than the extra value to readers, however, is the method of selling the bundled editions. With so much effort spent and wasted in 2013 on publisher-branded websites in an attempt to get consumers to purchase directly from the publisher instead of Amazon, the end result was that readers had no genuine source for book discovery without checking each publisher’s website. Verso Books will sell the bundled editions through its website and offer free shipping, making it more likely that its customers will come to the site hoping to find that extra value.

The program will go into effect on April 8th.

Verso Reintroduces eBook and Print Bundling is a post from: Good e-Reader

Podcast: New Nook Strategy Needed


Welcome back to another awe inspiring edition of the Good e-Reader Radio Show with Michael Kozlowski and Jeremy Greenfield. Today on the show, we discuss the merits of Barnes and Noble taking advantage of their publishing unit to stock self-published titles in their bookstores and distribute them to libraries. Also, we talk the London Book Fair, Kids Reviews, digital reading surveys and eBook subscription services.

Podcast: New Nook Strategy Needed is a post from: Good e-Reader

Paper Lantern Lit and the Rise of the Hybrid Agent

Screen shot 2013-01-29 at 10.44.18 PM
In all of the recent debate surrounding traditional publishing versus self-publishing, both models appear to be emerging as valid options for books. But while the Big Five aren’t closing up shop entirely any time soon–despite recent mergers and rumors of future mergers–and self-published authors continue to earn accolades and income, one entity in the publishing industry has been largely overlooked: literary agents.

Agents, once considered the first-round gate keepers to getting your book published, have had to look for new ways to continue their relevance in a rapidly changing book market. Some agents, such as Deidre Knight of The Knight Agency and Scott Waxman of Waxman literary, were the first to embrace digital publishing as a viable option for their clients, citing the desire to get a client’s book “out there,” regardless of the interest from publishers. Ebook-only or digital-first became an opportunity to not cast aside a quality book that just hadn’t found its place in the market.

What first grew out of a desperate need to not dismiss a book that agents felt strongly about has now grown into a viable first option for many authors and agents. Just as the industry has embraced hybrid authors and hybrid publishers, companies like Paper Lantern Lit and its resulting publishing arm The Studio, co-founded by Lexa Hillyer and bestselling author Lauren Oliver, have emerged to work with these authors in a one-on-one capacity.

“The Studio is a boutique digital imprint,” explained Hillyer in an interview with Good e-Reader. “We publish e-only, with the intention that we build a platform for authors and attract the attention of others rights holders like print publishers and foreign publishers. We grow authors from the ebook format first, even though we come from a traditional publishing background.”

In the traditional industry, the first step was always a hardcover edition to build an audience, then follow up with the lesser expensive paperback. But in a time when ebooks are selling in record numbers, it makes sense to begin with an edition that reaches almost as many readers as print without the prohibitive investment in printing. Powered by Vook’s award-winning ebook construction tools, The Studio will release the digital edition ahead of any plans for print.

The Studio’s parent company, Paper Lantern Lit, grew out of a desire to work with authors to develop their books in a way that would appeal to a larger readership. “We wanted to come in and work with really talented writers and help them to develop their stories,” explained Hillyer.

Once the work was complete, PLL would then shop the books to publishers, just as any literary agency would do. But with the advent of ebook readership, the company realized that a much more streamlined process would be to release the ebooks first in order to build a following for the books, just as those same publishers once did with hardcovers. But unlike self-publishing services, PLL’s The Studio works with authors in the same type of royalty structure that a publisher would, absorbing the cost of services to later be compensated by royalties from the sale of the books.

The company launched last week with its first four titles: The Boyfriend Thief, Dollhouse, Eternal Night, and Beautiful Girl. While focusing on YA and NA, PLL does have projects in various genres and is open to submissions.

“There’s a space in between self-publishing and traditional publishing where we can live.”

Paper Lantern Lit and the Rise of the Hybrid Agent is a post from: Good e-Reader

School Libraries Adapt or Face Closure in Digital Age

Most of us have fond memories of our school libraries, remembering them as colorful places with overly friendly librarians. It may be hard to believe, but school libraries are in almost as much danger of closing due to lack of funds as public libraries, even in the era of digital subscription content providers and Bring Your Own Device compatibility.

An article today for The Bookseller highlighted one school library system in the UK, North Yorkshire County, that will be closing its school library service effective March of 2015. The reason? Lack of use on the part of schools. Sadly, the closure of this subscription-based service that schools could opt to pay into will mean loss of qualified resource personnel to assist the schools, collections and titles that the schools could borrow, and even a 20% discount to some bookshops that children from member schools were entitled to, among other services.

This school library service marks the fifth one that has closed across the UK in recent years.

An interesting conundrum is taking place where libraries are concerned and it now appears to be affecting school libraries in an important way. In the US, studies have shown that less than half of survey respondents reported having visited a library or used its online portal in the last year, yet nearly all respondents stated that libraries were vital to their communities. It seems that citizens want libraries to exist, but much like in the case of North Yorkshire County’s schools, they don’t plan to use them. What is seen as a cause for the greater good isn’t fulfilling a need in the majority of stakeholders’ lives.

One key issue that school systems face in the US is the political segregation of individual school systems. Having an area wide school library service would actually be a tremendous benefit. With some counties having as many as five or six different school systems in that county alone, each system having its own numbers of individual schools, having the option to subscribe to the privilege to borrow books from a centralized–even privately owned–library service makes perfect sense. Unfortunately, it’s not a behavior that school systems are used to engaging in. It is far more common to take an “every man for himself” approach to supplies and funding, leading to a serious amount of wasted funds.

With the acceptance of digital content services like OverDrive, hopefully schools will abandon the notion that they do not share resources, even within their geographic locations, and school library services will continue to grow.

School Libraries Adapt or Face Closure in Digital Age is a post from: Good e-Reader

Quake III bounty: we have a winner!

At the end of February, Broadcom announced the release of full documentation for the VideoCore IV graphics core, and a complete source release of the graphics stack for the BCM21553 cellphone chip. To celebrate, we offered a $10k prize to the first person to port this codebase to the BCM2835 application processor that sits at the heart of the Raspberry Pi, and to get Quake 3 (which already runs on the Pi) running on the newly open ARM driver, rather on the closed-source VPU driver. Our hope was that the ported driver would be a helpful reference for anyone working on a Mesa/Gallium3D driver for VideoCore IV.

Hands up if you spent far too long playing this when you were young.

I’m delighted to say that we have a winner. Simon Hall is a longtime Pi hacker, who also produced the first ARMv6-accelerated copies-and-fills library back in 2012 and wrote the DMA kernel module that we integrate in our Raspbian releases. The prize couldn’t have gone to a more fitting recipient.

So, without further ado, here are Simon’s instructions for getting the driver up and running.


You will need:

  • a Raspberry Pi, preferably a 512MB version, with the latest Raspbian
  • a network connection
  • a monitor capable of displaying 1080p
  • an SD card, at least 8GB (10GB is recommended)

We need plenty of space to build the kernel. Compiling will take around 12 hours, so it is helpful to overclock the Pi for this task. We also require the latest firmware, and the necessary packages we’re going to use to build the code.

Note: We’re going to use gcc 4.7, as the code generated is 10% faster than with 4.6. 4.8 is 10% faster still, but this is not available on Raspbian. If you cross-compile you can get better frame times.

Enter the raspi-config utility with:

sudo raspi-config

Expand the filesystem, set the overclock to at least medium (900 MHz), and reboot. Now perform an update with:

sudo rpi-update

and reboot again. We need to install several packages. Enter the following command to do this:

sudo apt-get -y install gcc make bc screen ncurses-dev g++-4.7 libsdl1.2-dev


Enter the following commands to retrieve the necessary software from GitHub:

git clone --depth=1 git clone git clone git clone


This will take around 10 hours with all kernel modules. Pruning the modules to the bare minimum can improve compile times if you wish. Enter the following commands:

cd linux git apply ~/challenge/kernel/patch.diff zcat /proc/config.gz > .config make oldconfig make menuconfig

Enter “general setup”, select “local version”, enter the string “simon” and then exit to the main menu and save. Now build the kernel with:

make ARCH=arm


Enter the following commands to install the new kernel:

sudo make ARCH=arm modules_install sudo cp arch/arm/boot/Image /boot/kernel_simon.img sudo su echo kernel=kernel_simon.img >> /boot/config.txt echo gpu_mem=128 >> /boot/config.txt reboot

When the devices comes back up, verify that the new kernel is loaded with the following command:

uname -a

You should see something similar to this:

Linux raspberrypi 3.10.33simon+ #1 PREEMPT Sat Mar 22 09:49:59 UTC 2014 armv6l x


Enter the following commands to build the rest of the software:

cd ~/quake3 git apply ~/challenge/quake/patch.diff ./ cd ~/dma cp ~/challenge/kernel/module/dmaer.c . make ./

Next, verify that the module has installed with this command.

tail /var/log/kern.log

You should see something similar to this:

Mar 23 15:22:45 raspberrypi kernel: [ 20.814750] smsc95xx 1-1.1:1.0 eth0:lin1 Mar 23 15:22:45 raspberrypi kernel: [ 21.376702] bcm2835-cpufreq: switching td Mar 23 15:22:45 raspberrypi kernel: [ 21.376710] bcm2835-cpufreq: switching td Mar 23 15:22:46 raspberrypi kernel: [ 24.472575] Adding 102396k swap on /var/S Mar 23 15:25:02 raspberrypi kernel: [ 143.984835] 20c00000 f2c00000 deadbeef Mar 23 15:25:02 raspberrypi kernel: [ 143.984866] major device number 248 Mar 23 15:25:02 raspberrypi kernel: [ 143.984890] vma list size 12, page list 6 Mar 23 15:25:02 raspberrypi kernel: [ 143.984909] allocated dma channel 4(f208 Mar 23 15:25:02 raspberrypi kernel: [ 143.985242] qpu ENABLED Mar 23 15:25:02 raspberrypi kernel: [ 143.985264] V3D identify test: V3D versi2

Now enter the following commands:

cd ~/challenge/source/ make sudo make install


First of all you must ensure that you have the Quake 3 Arena data files on your Pi. You *require* the ‘point release’ pak files installed. There are various ways to do this but you could either transfer them from another machine with SCP, or copy them across on a USB stick. Copy the files into a folder called ‘baseq3′. This should now contain pak files numbered from 0 to 8 (eg pak1.pk3).

Next, enter the following commands:

sudo mkdir /root/.q3a sudo mv baseq3/ /root/.q3a/ cd ~/quake3/build/release-linux-arm/ sudo mknod char_dev c 100 0 sudo cp ~/challenge/quake/demo.cfg /root/.q3a/baseq3/


Enter the game folder with the following command:

cd ~/quake3/build/release-linux-arm/

Run the game using this command:

sudo ./ioquake3.arm +exec demo

If you wish to play the game after a reboot, you must run the following commands to re-load the necessary files:

cd ~/dma ./

If you see multi-second pauses of the game, this is because the system is paging to swap! You can see this by running ‘top’ at the same time, and watch the swap usage jump during a spike. Close some running programs to alleviate this problem. Running the game without gdb and loading minimal kernel modules will prevent swapping.

Google Amends App Store Policy to Regulate Quality


Google has come up with a new set of guidelines for developers to follow, all aimed at establishing a safe environment for apps to flourish. As per the new rules introduced in the Google Play Developer Program Policy, developers will have to ensure their apps does not engage in immoral activities or attempt to deceive users with nefarious advertising policies. This will make it difficult for developers to issue pop-up alerts mimicking official Android notifications. Developers will also be barred from sending unsolicited SMSs for advertising purposes.

Developers often resort to issuing Windows-esque dialog boxes warning users of their systems being prone to serious malware infections and other threats, thereby luring unsuspecting users to download various apps. The new amendment also enforces a clampdown on developers using sexually explicit content to promote such apps. Developers will also be barred from indulging in app installs or redirection to the Google Play Store without explicit user consent.

Google has stated developers will have 15 days time to comply with the new guidelines before it starts banning apps that don't conform to the changed rules.

The new amendment is the latest in a series of new measures that Google had introduced in ensuring its only quality apps that make it to the Play Store.

Google Amends App Store Policy to Regulate Quality is a post from: Good e-Reader