Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Blackwell’s Learning Launches this June in the UK

The Blackwell book shop in Broad Street Oxford, England, UK

Blackwell’s is one of the premier bookstores in the UK and the company is launching a new digital learning service that has been built for students, academics and professionals to download and annotate eBooks on any device.

Blackwell’s learning is launching this September and it will provide publishers with a secure additional sales channel, the ability to sell print and digital content in one place whilst gaining access to detailed consumer insight data. The service, which will integrate with university virtual learning environments and learning management systems, has been built in partnership with academics and students to ensure it meets the needs of key stakeholders from day one. Right now, as you can see Blackwell’s is trying very hard to build a system to attract publishers and schools to do business with them.

"Blackwell Learning has been in development for over nine months. It is built by a dedicated British technology team," explains Matthew Cashmore, Blackwell's Digital Director. "In addition to benefiting from Blackwell's inherent understanding of the academic sector across 135 years, it has been actively created in association with a large and diverse group of academics and students."

Cashmore adds that Blackwell Learning will deliver a consistent and enjoyable user experience across all devices online and offline, enabling students to buy and annotate texts which can be shared through a built-in social media interface.

"Students will be able to bring their own technology to access the service free of charge," he adds. "This is just the first stage for Blackwell Learning and for the new digital development team on Silicon Roundabout". "We know from conversations already held that publishers, academics and students are all very excited about its potential and we have already begun looking at additional post-launch features and other new products for this and other market sectors."

Blackwell’s Learning Launches this June in the UK is a post from: Good e-Reader

EBSCO Gains 30,000 eBook Titles from Random House


Random House and EBSCO have come to terms on a new digital book strategy for libraries. Starting today, over 30,000 titles will be available from some of the most notable Random House authors, including Dan Brown, Sheryl Sandberg, Dean Koontz, Gillian Flynn and more.

Random House titles have been added to the nearly 600,000 eBooks and audiobooks that EBSCO eBooks already offers. The titles represent both frontlist and popular backlist titles from all Random House imprints and publishing groups, which publish fiction and nonfiction, both original and reprints, by some of the foremost and most popular writers of our times.

The partnership will help librarians acquire high-demand titles in a cost-effective way since there are no markups or fees of any kind on EBSCO eBook titles. EBSCO makes it easy for librarians to build or grow e-book collections through featured collections. Random House titles will be included in EBSCO's Best-Sellers Collection, New Releases Collection and Youth Award Winners Collection.

Many libraries that do business with EBSCO such as Brooklyn and Philadelphia currently do not have any of the new Random House titles. It is up to the librarians to order the books to make them available to the patrons. Hopefully many libraries all over the US will be putting in orders to stock their virtual shelves with a ton of great titles.

EBSCO Gains 30,000 eBook Titles from Random House is a post from: Good e-Reader

Meet Jasper: open-source voice computing

Meet Jasper. He’s like Siri, but much better, in that it’s open-source and completely customisable. All you need to set up your own is a microphone, a speaker, and a Raspberry Pi.

Jasper already comes with modules to deal with things like time, weather, Gmail, playing your Spotify music, news (and what’s on Hacker News)…and knock knock jokes. You can build your own modules to add more functionality. We’re really impressed by how well-documented Jasper is; new developers should be able to get to grips with building on the platform very easily, and we’re looking forward to watching what you guys get up to with it.

Back by popular demand: Marketplace Reports Training

MP Reports1

OverDrive's Training Team is excited to reintroduce OverDrive Marketplace Reports training now available from the Learning Center. The new "Reports" training menu will expand to reveal four modules covering all of the reports within Marketplace:

  • The Collection Usage module answers common questions about your digital collection, offers practical advice, along with tips and tricks for running a variety of reports. (20 min)
  • The Website & User Statistics module covers two groups of reports that can be used in tandem to evaluate your promotional efforts and gain insight into how your users access the digital library website. (10 min)
  • The Purchases & Subscriptions module offers best practices and tips for sorting and searching your Marketplace records. (10 min)
  • With Exporting Reports you can learn how to export reports from OverDrive Marketplace to Microsoft Excel© for advanced visualization and analysis of your library's digital collection. (10 min)

Have another OverDrive topic you'd like training around? We would love to hear from you. You can contact OverDrive's Training Team directly at


Anders Brooks is a Training Specialist at OverDrive.


New SelfPub Writing Award Backed By The Guardian

With indie authors often barred from prestigious writing and book awards, smaller companies have had to launch their own forms of author recognition. IndieReader and Foreword Reviews are known for two of the more widespread awards, as is Amazon/CreateSpace’s ABNA awards. But in a publishing climate in which many newspapers and media outlets still have policies against even reviewing self-published works, let alone awarding them, those other awards can feel bittersweet.

But some headway has occurred now that The Guardian has announced its monthly award to recognize self-published works, with the support of industry mainstay Legend Times. According to a press release on the award, the motivation for the move is simply the self-publishing has become too important to continue being ignored.

"The phenomenon of self-publishing over the last couple of years has become too big for any of us to ignore. We've showcased some of the proven stars on the Guardian Books website. We're confident that our partnership with Legend Times, who lead the way in industry innovation, will give us a chance to find the brightest and the best in this dynamic new sector," explained Claire Armitstead, Literary Editor of The Guardian.

While judges for the award will still include traditional publishing industry professionals, the acquisitions editor for independent publisher Legend Times will also weigh in. Authors may submit one English-language novel per year, always during the initial two weeks of any calendar month. For entries, go to

New SelfPub Writing Award Backed By The Guardian is a post from: Good e-Reader

Adobe Drops Support for Amazon Newsstand and Kindle Fire Reading Apps


Adobe has quietly dropped support for the newsstand aspects of the Amazon App Store and reading apps for the Kindle Fire. Publishers and developers using Adobe DPS will find that Adobe has removed the ability to create an in-app purchase experience and will affect hundreds of companies such as Conde Nast.

Adobe DPS is basically the system that hundreds of magazine and enhanced eBook companies use to sell and distribute content. Adobe has created a custom publishing solution that includes access to APIs for integration with back-end publishing services such as subscription management, print fulfillment, and dynamic rich media ad platforms. Publishers also have the ability to create custom viewers, unique HTML5 stores for in-application merchandising of content and services, dynamic serving of targeted, rich media advertising, and access to more in-depth analytic reports through tight integration with SiteCatalyst.

Adobe has released DPS30.1 and it only has support for native Android apps. This means ecosystems with custom SDK’s such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble will not allow publishers to utilize the system anymore. This will not affect existing apps, but any new apps that are being made.

Adobe Drops Support for Amazon Newsstand and Kindle Fire Reading Apps is a post from: Good e-Reader