Sunday, April 20, 2014

Top 10 New Android Apps of the Week – April 20 2014


This week saw a number of apps released from Google for Chromecast and new picture app. We have also seen a number of great new games unveiled, but we are all eagerly waiting the new Angry Birds Epic to finally depart iOS. Today, out of the thousands of new apps issued last week, we look at the best ones you need to know about.

Cross DJ Free – Mix your music – The best pro DJ app on Android. Mix tracks in perfect sync on a powerful audio engine. Engineered by Mixvibes, digital DJing pioneer for 15 years.

The Brave Summoners – Brave Summoners" is an RPG that takes place in a breathtaking, dark, fantasy world. With gorgeous cards to summon, simple and easy tap-and-select action, and a rich soundtrack, you won't wanna miss out on all the thrilling action!

The Gate – Free RTS CCG game – Another soul passes through The Gate only to discover an underworld of demonic armies and infernal battles. Your journey unfolds as you capture disciples and train them in combat. Can you unlock mysterious skill upgrades and build an army powerful enough to help defeat fire-belching world bosses? The Gate uniquely combines Real Time Strategy (RTS) and Card Collecting Game (CCG) mechanics. Battles are rendered in hand animated 3D while collectable cards are presented as beautifully illustrated artistic masterpieces. Solo battles provide a chance to strengthen your army, while Raids, Arena Battles, and World Bosses get your friends in on fight.

Followers+ for Instagram – Track your lost/gained followers… PLUS MUCH, MUCH MORE!

Chrome Remote Desktop – Securely access your computers from your Android device.

Google Camera – Google Camera snaps quick and easy photos and videos, and has creative picture modes like Photo Sphere, Lens Blur and Panorama.

CONTRA EVOLUTION – Contra: Evolution is the first official Contra game for Google Play, bringing all of the run-and-gun action of the 1987 original with 21st century graphics and controls to the palm of your hands.

Enchanted Fairy Spa - Get ready for a magical makeover with Enchanted Fairy Spa treatments! Use 12 magical instruments to transform your fairy into the most beautiful fairy of them all! Mirror, mirror on the wall– check out the magic mirror and mesmerizing spell in this enchanted app!

Mountain Sniper Shooting 3D – The beautiful mountain range, which was a key tourist attraction is now taken over by enemy forces. The authorities of the area is sick of their weird ideas about the mountains and its habitat. They are looking for a brave and smart sniper, who is willing to take all the necessary risk, and make full use of his sniping skills in this hilly tourist resort to finish this problem once and for all.

Top Farm – A totally new way to enjoy a good ole farmin' experience is now available for your tablet or smartphone!
In this fantastic farm you can grow, harvest and craft lots of products, manage orders and sell your goods! Managing and making your own business prosper was never this easy!

Top 10 New Android Apps of the Week – April 20 2014 is a post from: Good e-Reader

Marketing through Book Clubs and Paid Reviewers

Now that the world of self-publishing has become more commonplace and tools are in place to help authors from a variety of skill levels complete their works for publication, one of the chief hurdles that authors still seek help for is marketing. Book promotion continues to be a huge obstacle to success for authors, regardless of publishing mode. A panel at the recent PubSmartCon, chaired by Shari Stauch, CEO of Where Writers Win, discussed the merits of professional book reviews and book clubs as avenues for book discovery.

NetGalley’s Tarah Theoret spoke about the service that links books with reviewers. “We have over 200,000 publishers as clients, and we work with traditional publishers, small publishers, and self-published authors. For the most part they are pre-pub, but there’s no set rule for when a book can go up on NetGalley. They are for review, and not purchase and consumption directly on the site.”

In the case of NetGalley, the fee to the rights holder is not paid in any way to the reviewer, it is instead paid to keep the site in operation. But other representatives from companies like Chanticleer Book Reviews & Media and Kirkus Reviews spoke about the importance of quality reviews from vetted sources, even if those reviews come at a cost. While paid book reviews continue to be a hotly contested issue among authors and readers alike, panelists Kiffer Brown (Chanticleer) and Eric Liebetrau (Kirkus) explained the difference between an honest review from a long-standing publishing industry entity, and the option to pay an individual in exchange for a “good” review.

One of the topics covered at the event were the inherent ineffectiveness of blog tours, especially in the climate where anyone with a blog can charge money for arranging blog tours among their friends, regardless of how appropriate various blogs are for a particular title, the high or low Alexa ranking for those blogs, and more. Stauch spoke at length about what other options authors have when planning a virtual tour, as well as key tips to look for in online promotion where users’ sites are concerned.

Peer reviews were highlighted as a valuable tool for authors, especially through sites like Goodreads, despite some of the recent difficulties users have found in trusting the reviews found on the site due to its terms of service. BooksILove, a free app for book reviewing and discovery, is another option for reviewing titles, but with a lot less intensive involvement.

The second half of the panel focused on the feasibility and benefits of finding book clubs to read an author’s work, not just in terms of sales to the participants, but also for the buzz and word-of-mouth aspects of being a book club selection. Lynn Bettancourt of Savannah Bound to Please runs a book club with both live and virtual participants numbering over 300 members, and spoke about the ability of authors to reach out to groups with their titles.

Recordings of the panels from the PubSmartCon will be made available soon.

Marketing through Book Clubs and Paid Reviewers is a post from: Good e-Reader

Overcoming the Scarcity of Attention for Books

One of the more crowded panels at the recent PubSmartCon was the Bowker-sponsored panel, Discoverability in the Digital Age, a session which addressed the increasingly difficult task authors face–both traditionally published and self-published–in finding an audience for their works. With independent bookstores closing at an alarming rate and even libraries facing door-shuttering budget cuts, authors have lost a lot of the champions who once sold books by hand, who knew the titles on their store shelves and recommended them to their customers. Coupled with the influx of content as new books are published daily, quality material can still languish without a reader to find it.

One of the recommendations for authors in attendance was to begin the marketing three to six months before the anticipated release date, something that still takes place in the traditional industry. Whether it’s through the author’s own social media and website or through joint promotion and virtual word of mouth, the time to generate that all-important buzz is well before it makes its way to market.

Panelist Tarah Theoret of NetGalley spoke on the ability for self-published authors to generate advanced reader copies and galleys of their books through CreateSpace by simply building a copyedited version of the book and ordering a set number of proofs. This can not only provide reviews to be posted upon the release, but can also give the author feedback from willing and concerned participants. Digital galleys are also secure ways to inexpensively share copies prior to release.

“Not all discovery is equal. Study after study has shown that eighty percent of books are discovered through word of mouth from trusted friends,” explained Elizabeth Dimarco from BooksILove. “That other twenty percent is not to be disregarded though.” BooksILove designed a discovery tool app that people can use while actively having conversations about books by accessing the app on their smartphones or devices. “What we discovered is that recommendations aren’t meant to be done in isolation.”

Dimarco stated that avid book readers not only recommend books to their friends, but they also want feedback at a later time on what those friends ultimately decided about those books, or whether they read them at all.

In a lunchtime keynote address, Hugh Howey explained that the loss of physical bookstores has done more harm for discovery than any glut of self-published titles could ever do. He recounted his days working in a bookstore and recalled the many times he physically pointed to a particular book by way of recommendation to a consumer. With the continued loss of these recommendation engines, authors are having to do more work to stay relevant and be noticed among other authors.

Overcoming the Scarcity of Attention for Books is a post from: Good e-Reader

eBook Bestseller Firm Result Source Disappears


Result Source has been one of the premier businesses that appeals to writers looking to game the system and get their book on bestseller lists. Due to a myriad of factors the company has shuttered their online presence, all but disappearing.

Result Source was making millions of dollars from charging authors up to $250,000 for them to buy their own books via bulk discounting. Result Source would break up the sales into organic chunks that made it seem like thousands of people were buying them. This would fool book reporting agencies like Nielsen Bookscan and the book would make the Washington Post, New York Times or Amazon bestseller lists.

Good e-Reader and the New York Times both reported on this company, many times. This has prompted Result Source from deleting all of their social media accounts and taking down their website. There is a single landing page with a contact form and it looks like the company has taken the money and ran with it.

Why exactly is Results Source abandoning their business model? Most of their client base of authors are clergyman and priests. The most notable one was Mark Driscoll who pastors a large church in Seattle and recently paid Results Source more than $200,000 to get his book onto the New York Times bestseller list. The scheme included hiring people to purchase 6000 copies of the book in bookstores, then ordering another 5000 copies in bulk. Apparently the IRS is now investigating Results Source and the Churches for misappropriation of Church funds.

Result Source is no longer a viable option for authors looking to get that extra boost in their book sales and make the bestseller list. The fact that they have abandoned their operations leaves an opening for another company to take their place.

eBook Bestseller Firm Result Source Disappears is a post from: Good e-Reader

The Library ebook Situation is Appalling


Publishers have been heavily resistant about selling their catalog of eBooks to libraries in the US and Canada. It took years of lobbying from the American Library Association and companies such as 3M and Overdrive to finally sway them over. Now, in one way or another, every major publisher has a pilot project or distributes select titles to libraries.

In 2013, both Macmillan and Simon & Schuster, which had not been selling ebooks to libraries, began pilot programs which were eventually expanded. Macmillan now sells its entire back-list of 11,000 titles to libraries nationwide and Simon & Schuster expanded its first pilot to a dozen libraries. Penguin Book Group ended its embargo policy so that all ebook titles would be available to libraries at the same time as in the consumer ones are issued. Hachette Book Group made all its ebooks available to libraries at the same time as print books. Smaller publishers such as Smashwords have also got involved in the distribution of eBooks from their wellspring of self-published content.

Major publishers still see libraries as devaluing their digital product by giving it away for free. Jeannette Woodward, author of a number of books, including The Transformed Library: E-Books, Expertise, and Evolution said "Trade publishers have always had an unrealistic idea of library circulation," she says. "They imagine that library books circulate 50 or more times, causing them to lose 49 sales. This attitude, of course, ignores the many books that circulate rarely and assumes that library readers would purchase every book they borrow. Because the industry is in financial difficulty, it may be even more anxious to lay blame on libraries.”

Major publishers and publishing associations seem to fear that libraries could circulate ebooks to thousands of readers, decimating their profits. "These fears are, of course, largely unfounded," Woodward says, "but they are making it very difficult for libraries to purchase the ebooks
demanded by their patrons. Some publishers refuse to work with libraries
, while others insist on charging libraries many times the prices paid by their other customers. "Since individual libraries have very little clout, professional organizations like ALA will need to devote considerable time and resources to resolving this conflict," Woodward says. "On the one
hand, publishers need to be educated about the real world of libraries and understand that libraries can actually help their bottom line. On the other, libraries need to show their muscle, making it clear that when they act together, they are a force to be reckoned with.

Helping the bottom line is what companies like 3M are doing with their Cloud Library Service. They recently unveiled new tools that actually allow libraries to sell eBooks and make a commission. This puts money in the pocket of the library, the digital distributor and publisher. Libraries as retail, this is a trend that will continue to grow in 2014.

As much headway as Overdrive, Baker & Taylor, 3M and ALA make with publishers, many people still don’t think its enough. Clifford Lynch, executive director of the Coalition for Networked Information, called the library ebook situation "appalling," explaining that denying libraries unfettered access to ebooks threatens the library mission to "preserve cultural heritage, provide accommodation for people with disabilities, and protect individual privacy," according to the report.

If you want to find out more about the recent ALA report, in all of its glory, click HERE.

The Library ebook Situation is Appalling is a post from: Good e-Reader