Friday, April 4, 2014

Kobo Begins Offering eBook Refunds


Last week Amazon and Barnes & Noble begun issuing credits for eBooks that customers purchased from 2010 to 2012 under the agency model. Kobo has now begun to issue credits to customers accounts for titles purchased from Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin, and Simon & Schuster. New York Times bestsellers are eligible for a credit of $3.17 per ebook, and non-NYT bestsellers get a credit of $0.73.

Kobo has just sent out the first run of emails that let you know how many credits you have owing. All of the emails are not sent out all at once and will be dispatched during the next week. You want to make sure if you are eligible for credits that you use them by April 2014. Below is a copy of the correspondence they are sending out.

Dear Kobo Customer,

You previously received an email informing you that you were eligible for a credit in your Kobo account. This credit results from the Settlements reached with publishers Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Penguin in antitrust lawsuits filed by the State Attorneys General and Class Plaintiffs about the price of electronic books ("E-books"). If you did not receive that email, you can read more about the Settlements at

We are happy to inform you that the Court in charge of these cases has approved the Settlements. As a result of this settlement, an account credit of X has been added to your account. You can use it to purchase eBooks regardless of publisher.

Kobo Begins Offering eBook Refunds is a post from: Good e-Reader

Screwpulp’s Launch May Be the Salvation of Book Reviews

Readers and authors alike have been crying foul over book reviews from a variety of sources lately. Between the mysterious disappearing act that happens quite often with reviews posted to Amazon, the widespread news of authors buying favorable reviews from pay-per-star services, and the scandalous situation with author and reviewer bullying, reading consumers have had a hard time trusting any sort of reader feedback on a book.

A new startup has devised a mechanism that stands to erase most of those issues, even while not intentionally setting out to solve these problems. Screwpulp, a mash-up of the name of Gutenberg’s original printing press and the term for inexpensive yet intriguing reads, actually sought to be a new discovery marketplace for books that worked to price them according to what they’re actually worth. The end result, however, can be a revamping of the entire structure of book reviews.

“The idea was to come up with a way to price books properly,” explained Screwpulp’s CEO Richard Billings in an interview with Good e-Reader. “We felt like Amazon and some other places were devaluing what a book is worth, and there seems to be no mechanism that shows what the market can bear, supply and demand being the typical way. There’s an endless supply of digital products, and even major publishers are having trouble with pricing.”

Screwpulp works by letting authors or publishers submit their books to the site, then those books are available for free until they have twenty-five reviews. Once a book reaches that threshold, its price goes up to one dollar. It continues to increase in increments based on the number of reviews.

Since it would be far too easy to play the system and gather supporters to post fake reviews in order to monetize on the book, Screwpulp has come up with an ingenious system for weighting the reviews, for giving more credence to reviews from habitual users (as opposed to an author’s college roommate coming in and leaving one review), and for helping ensure that bullying is not an issue by comparing the reviews against each other and giving more weight to reviews that are obviously genuine. Readers and authors will have the ability to flag a review for removal for inappropriate content or for very obvious signs that the reviewer did not read the book.

While the platform is in beta, there’s a submission process for new titles. Once the platform goes public, there will be a submission form that lets anyone upload titles. A vetting process will look for offensive content or plagiarized material, but otherwise everyone is welcome to submit their work. Other tools are expected to roll out as the platform progresses, including design tools and promotion.

“We see indie authors as a start up, and we want to provide them with all of the viable tools to be a business.”

Screwpulp’s Launch May Be the Salvation of Book Reviews is a post from: Good e-Reader

Top 10 New Android APPS of the Week – April 4th 2014


Last week was a big week for new apps with Cut the Rope 2, Captain America Winter Soldier and many other big titles. This week kind of slowed down in comparison and we still don’t have Angry Birds Epic yet. Today, we look at the Top 10 new android apps to come out this week and they are all available on the Good e-Reader App Store.

Inkling eBooks – Beta – Inkling's interactive eBooks are designed to help you learn, study, and discover just about anything, whether it's for school, work, or play. Our books cover the gamut from anatomy to photography and travel to cooking.

Demon Clash – The Lord of Death has been banished for centuries, but mysterious forces have revived this mighty fiend. Now evil creatures gather under his banner to march against the races of the Alliance. Not a single force has been strong enough to stop them… until now!

Nitro Nation – Nitro Nation Online takes drag racing to the next level with a 3D world full of stunning new customizable cars, amazing racing physics and unlimited in-depth gameplay that guarantees racers an unforgettable experience, all on your mobile device!

Unriddle Riddle – Unriddle Riddle – you are about to play something really cool! FREE levels of awesomeness! Every level consists of riddle – and we challenge you to unriddle it! Some pictures are partially hidden to make it even more interesting for you! Collect plenty of coins and spend them however you want. It's a fun, simple and super addictive brainteaser! You can play it with your family, friends and if you'll need some help (we've got plenty of tricky ones for you) you can share puzzle on Facebook! Just tap the Facebook icon and post it on your wall!

SUMMON MASTERS – Realistic Real-time Battle system! Turn the Battle in favor of You with Brilliant and Powerful Skills!
Take 7 Units in total with 1 Helper, And You're ready to go into the Battle!

CSR Classics – A brand new game in the CSR series, CSR Classics is setting a new benchmark in graphics and gameplay. Get ready to race!

RunBot – A stunning 3-D infinite runner where you're RunBot, an advanced robotic weapon system. You've rejected your protocol as a killing machine and now you've made a brave dash for freedom – you won't let laser towers, drone attacks, or obstacles slow you down!

Talking Tony Stark – There are so many different super heroes living in the world. Some of them got their ability by successful or failure scientific experiment. Someone born with super powers, and someone got them accidentally. But what to do, if nature did not give you such abilities, but you still want to be a hero? Then all you need is charisma, and three milliard money. About such super hero will be discussed in the game Talking Tony Stark. Famous playboy, genius, billionaire and philanthropist, visited the famous series of talking games to tell you how to become a super hero without super powers!

Chilie – Follow this simple animated story with funny characters in an imaginary Asia world, and try to help Chilie and her guardian to achieve their goals. Get ready to rack your brain in this stylish pastel colored promenade !

Real Football 2014 – Pick your favorite premier league team and lead them to glory by scoring the most goals.Face different opponents as you make your way through the competition and attempt to become the champion.

Top 10 New Android APPS of the Week – April 4th 2014 is a post from: Good e-Reader

New Inkling eBooks App Hits Android


Inkling, a leader in the reimagining digital publishing, has released a beta version of its app for Android. Once downloaded, users have access to Inkling's entire library of learning content both online and off.

The company's catalogue, which focuses on innovative learning, can now be read and synced across Android and iOS devices as well as on your PC or Mac. The ebooks promise a rich media experience, which includes access to embedded videos, images and audio.

"Today marks an important milestone for us," said founder and CEO, Matt MacInnis. "We've realized the promise of build-once, publish-anywhere reflowable content on virtually any device. For consumers, that means buy once, access anywhere. In a multi-platform world, this is critical to both our partners and our consumers."

Users must remember that the app is a beta version, so functionality is still limited. For example readers cannot highlight content or make notes within the ebooks. We view this as a major limiting factor for textbooks. Nor can they adjust the brightness of the screen to provide a custom level of brightness for their eye's comfort. Furthermore, videos cannot be viewed offline as they are streamed in order to reduce the size of the ebook file.

If you're a price sensitive shopper, like a student accessing textbooks, you may not be that excited. In a random sample of six books we noticed that only once did Inkling provide a cheaper alternative than Amazon Kindle's offerings. However, the company does provide the ability to purchase a book by chapter and offers one free chapter to every book it has available.

In our view, the reading experience on Android is seamless and provides an intuitive interface both on the phone and tablet. The media within the ebooks allow for a more indepth understanding of concepts and breaks up the tiresomeness feeling of seeing a wall of words. The company is sure to provide frequent updates, adding in features like highlighting, as it focusing on growing the Android platform.

Inkling provides publishers with a collaborative publishing platform called Inkling Habitat to build and distribute media rich ebooks. The company has signed leading publishers like Pearson, McGraw Hill, Wiley, Kaplan, Elsevier, DK and Lonley Planet. It is also backed by Sequoia Capital.

You can download Inkling eBooks for Android from the Good e-Reader App Store.

New Inkling eBooks App Hits Android is a post from: Good e-Reader

Game of Thrones. Are you ready?

1It's almost here. Sunday. Daenerys and her dragons. Jamie Lannister back at King's Landing. Poor Theon Greyjoy. The Red Wedding. Tyrion and Sansa. Bran going after the whitewalkers. And Arya, will she get her vengeance?

While I'm counting down the hours until the season four premiere of Game of Thrones this weekend, I'll be occupying my time reading anything I can remotely similar to the series. Your patrons may want to do the same…

Game of Thrones Readalikes

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

*Some titles may have limited regional or platform availability.


Rachel Somerville is a Collection Development Analyst at OverDrive. gets fancy

Bookmobile Blog Pic 2Don't get us wrong: we loved our old It served its purpose, and was a great place to find pictures, updates on where OverDrive's 74-foot-long tractor-trailer would be next, and what local media are saying about the events. But really, there's no comparison to the newly redesigned website.

If you haven't had a chance to look around, we invite you to take some time and explore the new website. The design is clean, modern, and beautiful with large graphics and simple navigation. All of your old favorites are right there on the home page: local news coverage, a list of upcoming events, and the ability to search for a library near you that offers OverDrive eBooks and audiobooks. The blog is a brand new feature, giving you the opportunity to not only hear directly from the Digital Bookmobile staff on the road, but also to join the conversation and share your thoughts with us.

From the menu in the upper-right corner (or simply by scrolling down), you can learn more about the Digital Bookmobile experience, watch a video on the traveling exhibit, have a sneak peek of what's inside the truck, connect with OverDrive on social media, or contact us. The new calendar of events gives a clear view of where we're heading next, along with driving directions via Google Maps.

Libraries and schools who would like to schedule an event with the Digital Bookmobile are able to fill out a simple form directly from the home page. Members of the media can also contact us using this form, or browse our robust media kit, packed with high quality images free for use and videos for B-roll.

We'd love to hear what you think about this new website, the Digital Bookmobile in general, or the OverDrive service. Please feel free to contact us using the form on the home page of, or by leaving comments here on the blog. We hope to see you soon at your local Digital Bookmobile event!




PA Consulting Raspberry Pi Competition

The PA Raspberry Pi competition challenges young people to use the Raspberry Pi to help the environment. Last year I helped judge the competition, and was amazed by the creativity and innovation of the entries (the excellent AirPi was one of last year's winners). This year's event was held in the Science Museum, and I went along to judge the Year 4-6 and Year 7-11 categories, and to run some workshops along the way.

The Sonic Pi workshops were fantastic—they almost ran themselves, with the students continually trying out new things in quest to make the best music or silliest sounds (the exploding farmyard was a particular favourite). I've said it before, but Sonic Pi is genius.

In the afternoon I joined my fellow judges: Rory Cellan-Jones, the BBC’s technology correspondent, and Claire Sutcliffe, co-founder of Code Club. We spent 15 minutes talking to each of the seven teams.  The winning project had to have the potential to benefit the world in some way and we were also looking for things like innovation, creativity and originality. What really stood out was the energy of the teams—they all talked passionately and knowledgeably about their projects and how they had used the Raspberry Pi to solve real world problems.


St Mary’s CE Primary, with Pi ‘n’ Mighty, their recycling robot

The year 4-6 category was won by St Mary's CE Primary School with their recycling robot Pi 'n' Mighty. The robot scans packaging barcodes and then tells you if it can be recycled and which bin to put it in. The team was bursting with energy and falling over themselves to explain how they'd made it and what it did. I'd love to see a Pi 'n' Mighty in every school canteen, encouraging recycling and helping children learn about the topic. And it looks fantastic, exactly how a robot should look!


Frome Community College won the year 7-11 category prize with their prodigious Plant Pi, a system to care for plants and monitor their environment. The team had covered every aspect including hardware and web monitoring, and they had even created an app. It really is a brilliantly designed and engineered solution that already has the makings of a commercial product. The project is open source and includes code, instructions, parts list and documentation.

It was a great day and it was a real pleasure to speak to the finalists and to see young people doing remarkable and useful things with the Raspberry Pi. If I could bottle the innovation, enthusiasm, creativity and technical skills in that room then I would have a Phial of Awesome +10. (I would carry it around with me in a belt holster and open it for the occasional sniff when feeling uninspired.) Best of all, I know that we'll be seeing some of these finalists again: skills like computational thinking stay with you for life, and will serve these kids in whatever they end up doing in the future.

Ingram Partnership Streamlines Pubishing Tools

One of the country’s largest sources for printing books has teamed up with one of the largest book data companies to offer a tool set for publishers. Ingram Publisher Services is the most recent entity to work with Nielsen’s PubEasy community, formerly owned by Bowker.

PubEasy, sold last September, allows Nielsen Book to offer “comprehensive B2B solutions, allowing retailers to search, select and order books throughout the English-language book market. The solutions form part of a suite of flexible Nielsen Commerce services incorporating all key book trade transaction types internationally.”

“Joining the Nielsen PubEasy community gives us the tools to expand the reach of titles internationally for publishers that use our comprehensive solutions” said Mark Ouimet, Vice President and General Manager, Ingram Publisher Services, in a press release. "We look forward to growing our reach into new markets using Nielsen services.”

A number of partnerships and launches have taken place in the publishing industry, especially where streamlining services and international rights acquisitions are concerned, such as IPR License opening up Trade Rights to make international rights a smoother process for authors and publishers. Innovations like this are helping move forward a process that has long been held in low-regard, with accusations that the traditional publishing industry still operates under an archaic, outdated model. The tool set offered in the PubEasy community will help make this process a 21st century publishing model.

Ingram Partnership Streamlines Pubishing Tools is a post from: Good e-Reader

Tolino Vision Hopes to be a Kindle Killer


The Tolino Alliance has been making e-readers for the last two years. Major players of the initiative include Deutsche Telekom, Hugendubel, Thalia, Bertelsmann and World View. All of these companies banded together in a bid to fend off Amazon dominance in the German marketplace. The e-readers are sold in major phone shops, bookstores and tech shops. The first two generations of the Tolino Shine were not very compelling and suffered from sluggish hardware. In a few days, the Tolino Vision will hit Germany and bears a striking resemblance to the Kindle Paperwhite 2 and Kobo Aura.

The Tolino Vision features the same e Ink Carta screen technology found on the Kindle Paperwhite 2. This will not only provide higher contrast, but also eliminate the refreshing of the display. The overall resolution is a very respectable 1024 × 758 pixels. One of the things that stands out with this model is that the screen is flush with the bezel. The only other e-reader to do this was the six inch Kobo Aura, it almost feels like a tablet or smartphone in this respect. You might ask, what’s the big deal? 99% of e-readers on the market have sunken touchscreen displays. This makes it very hard to press on menu options or access settings that are near the edges.

Underneath the hood is Freescale iMx6 1 GHz processor and 512 MB ​​RAM. There is 4GB of internal memory, but after you take it out of the box for the first time, you are relegated to two. This will store around 1,500 eBooks on average, but you can expand it up to 32 GB via the Micro SD card if you are a digital hoarder.

This e-reader compared to the Shine line is elegant, sleek and sexy. Not only is the flush bezel a boon but it is packed with a matte and non-reflective glass. In addition, the home button has been replaced by a touch sensitive sensor. It only weighs 178 grams and can easily be held in one hand for long reading sessions.

The main reading formats are ePUB and PDF, which are the most common ones out there. It is certified with Adobe, so you can buy DRM books at other bookstores, other than the default one. You can switch between six different fonts and adjust the font-type on demand. There are numerous languages packed into the Vision, because people tend to use it in countries of close proximity of Germany.

The Tonio Vision should be in our Review labs in the next few weeks. It goes on sale April 5th 2014 for 129 euros.

Tolino Vision Hopes to be a Kindle Killer is a post from: Good e-Reader