Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Humble Bundle Offers First Digital Comic Collection


Humble Bundle has a storied history to offering video games in a pay-what-you-want model with incentive bonuses to people who meet a certain dollar threshold. Humble is starting to get away from just being known for video games and has experimented with offering various eBook packages. Now, they are doing something different. In a new deal with Image Comics, we know have the first ever comic Bundle.

Customers can name their price for Jonathan Hickman and Nick Dragotta's EAST OF WEST, VOL. 1, Greg Rucka and Michael Lark's LAZARUS, VOL. 1, Nick Spencer and Joe Eisma's MORNING GLORIES, VOL. 1, and Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips' FATALE, VOL. 1. Those who pay more than the average price will also receive Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples' SAGA, VOL. 1, Tim Seeley and Mike Norton's REVIVAL, VOL. 1, and John Layman and Rob Guillory's CHEW, VOL. 1. Paying $15 or more will unlock Robert Kirkman's THE WALKING DEAD, VOL. 1 and VOL. 20, completing the bundle of nine comic books.

Saga, the Walking Dead are the two best known ones on the list, both series have been on various bestseller lists for years. Customers can choose how their payment is allocated: between the comic book creators and/or the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of the First Amendment rights of the comics art form and its community. Since Humble Bundle's launch in 2010, $37 million has been raised for more than 20 different charities and non-profit organizations.

Humble Bundle Offers First Digital Comic Collection is a post from: Good e-Reader

List of eBook Subscription Services – Netflix-style Options for eBooks

Below is a list of ebook subscription services. Instead of buying ebooks at list price, these companies give customers the option to pay a monthly fee, usually in the $5-$10 range, to get access to as many ebooks as they want to read, depending on the individual service (some allow limited ebooks per month, like […]

Are Kobo and Sony Collaborating on a new e-Reader?


Kobo and Sony are very strange bedfellows, but they have slowly begun to do more business with each other in the last four months. The Sony Reader Store officially closed and all purchased eBooks are being sent to Kobo. All existing e-Readers issued by Sony will be getting a firmware update so people can buy content directly from the Kobo Store. A leaked document reports that Kobo and Sony are working on a co-branded e-reader that uses e Ink Mobius technology.

e Ink Mobius has tremendous benefits for e-readers because of its lightweight nature and super high resolution. Sony and E Ink actually collaborated on developing this new e-Paper and the only commercial release thus far is the 13.3 Sony Digital Paper. The reason why no other company has released a product using this tech is because Sony has an exclusivity agreement with E Ink. Other companies are simply not allowed to use it until the initial contract expires.

The leaked document we saw shows a co-branded e-reader that uses e Ink Mobius cut to a six inch display. E Ink had verified with Good e-Reader at SID Display week that Mobius can be cut to any size that the customer wanted. The design of the e-reader is much akin to the Sony PRS-T3 with the physical page turn keys and other buttons. One of the hardware features that is new is that the screen is flush with the bezel, much akin to the Kobo Aura. Although the document did not state it, I have a feeling this device will have both Carta and Regal. E Ink Carta delivers a dramatic 50% increase in contrast over earlier generations of e-Paper, giving e-Readers a contrast ratio close to that of a paperback book. The crisp text and detailed graphics are also highly readable in direct sunlight. Carta’s 16 levels of grey produce the sharpest rendering of images with smooth tones and rich detail.

The new e-reader will be made by Sony, in a partnership with Kobo and will be marketed worldwide. The firmware and operating system will be developed and maintained by Sony, allowing them to tie in their own Reader Store in the UK, Europe and Australia. In North America and the greater worldwide audience Sony will be using the Kobo bookstore to deliver content to customers.

Beyond this, the document did not really outline how the operating system will work and if the PDF rendering engine will be made by Sony or Kobo. Sony uses the Android operating system, which Kobo e-readers have been traditionally Linux based. The core belief is that this will be a Sony thing, with a small assist from Kobo. Will this be called the Sony PRS-T4 or under a new name? Will it have the consistent September release date as prior Sony models?

This might be a good play for Sony. They could make some solid margins on selling the hardware through other retailers, much like they are doing with the Digital Paper. When the T1, T2, and T3 e-readers get the Kobo store built into them, Kobo will be paying Sony a commission for each book sold. This cuts down the costs of maintaining a separate store in North America and advertising it to publishers. Also, no other Sony e-reader in recent memory has created the type of buzz that their 13.3 model has garnered. This has prompted Sony to make a six inch consumer model that will read the ePub format, instead of PDF exclusively.

Are Kobo and Sony Collaborating on a new e-Reader? is a post from: Good e-Reader

Smaller Publishers Now Benefit from Zinio


Zinio has just acquired Audience Media and the marriage between the two companies marks an industry-first in the space between a company focusing on consumers merging with one that focuses on business relationships in the magazine publishing industry.

This acquisition will make Zinio the dominant player in magazine content for mobile devices, as well as expanding their footprint into the digital publishing services space by creating a mobile first experience for consumers that prefer a dedicated magazine app. Zinio will be the industry's first magazine content aggregator to make white label branded apps for consumers.

The move into white labeling will allow Zinio to leverage their massive experience with developing apps for Android, Blackberry, iOS and Windows 8 to allow other companies to make their own digital storefront. This is similar to what Overdrive has accomplished in the digital book field.

The acquisition of Audience Media will also enable Zinio to expand its publisher service offerings. With the cross-platform editorial content management system (CMS) capabilities enabled by Audience Media, publishers who have struggled to address the software challenges and cost implications of the move from print to digital will now have a seamless way to manage their content and publishing experience across multiple platforms, countries and languages.

The digital magazine market is anticipated to represent a whopping 25% of total circulation by 2016. The Zinio app enables readers to access more than 5,000 digital magazines from titles such as GQ, Wired, Fast Company, National Geographic and many more.

Smaller Publishers Now Benefit from Zinio is a post from: Good e-Reader

Kobo Mini e-Reader Officially Discontinued


In 2012 Kobo released their first five inch e-reader, the Kobo Mini. This was the first time the Canadian based company deviated from the standard six inch screen size to a five inch model. This allowed it to be more lightweight and pocket friendly to carry it on the go. According to the Kobo website and various retail partners it seems to be officially discontinued.

The main Kobo website has a featured images area where their entire product lineup of e-readers are listed. The Kobo Mini is now absent from this list and is unavailable to order directly from the online store. Major retail partners such as Chapters Indigo, Future Shop, Staples and Toys R US no longer list the Mini on their product pages. In rare cases you might still find one in the retail shops, but once they are sold out, no more will be incoming.

The Mini e-Reader when released was sold for $79.99, which made it one of the most affordable devices around. Around the holiday season and beyond the reader was dramatically discounted to $49.99

Is it possible that Kobo is working on a second generation Mini e-reader? Will we maybe see a Mobius display screen or front-lite technology that will allow you to read in the dark? Only time will tell, the company is seeing critical success with their Aura HD e-reader which nearly accounts for 25% of their e-reader sales.

Kobo Mini e-Reader Officially Discontinued is a post from: Good e-Reader

Microsoft Office Suite for iPad Gains Printing Functionality


Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint were one of the most eagerly anticipated apps to hit the iPad in quite sometime. Today, the entire suite of apps have received a new update that allow them to print over the air.

According to a Microsoft Office Blog post “Your top request is here! You can now print Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations to an AirPrint printer. In Word for iPad, you can choose to print a document with or without markup. In Excel, print a selected range, a single worksheet or an entire spreadsheet. Of course, you can select the pages or slides you want to print.”

You can read Word documents, view Excel data, present with PowerPoint, and print your documents with the free iPad apps. With an optional Office 365 subscription1 starting at $6.99 per month, you can edit and create documents on the iPad.

Microsoft Office Suite for iPad Gains Printing Functionality is a post from: Good e-Reader

The Kobo Mini Appears to Have Been Quietly Discontinued

The Kindle DX isn’t the only ebook reader that has gone missing recently. The Kobo Mini has also seemingly been discontinued, without a word as to why. A complete opposite of the large-screen Kindle DX, the Kobo Mini is a diminutive ebook reader with a small 5-inch screen. I reviewed it back in November 2012 […]

So you like Divergent…

With the dystopian-genre dominating books and films, chances are your readers have already checked out The Hunger Games, Divergent, and The Maze Runner. For those readers looking for their next dystopian fix, here are a few recommendations from our team:


Dystopian fans also tend to enjoy “It’s-the-end-of-the-world” disaster novels like these:


Finally, in these selections the world hasn’t ended yet, but it’s definitely in danger:



You can find all of these fast-paced adventures in the OverDrive Marketplace.

*Some titles may have limited regional or platform availability.


Laura Ruttig is an Account Executive at OverDrive.

OverDrive APIs deliver new opportunities for discovery and circulation through BiblioCommons

The OverDrive APIs have been designed to help libraries increase discovery and circulation of their OverDrive Digital Catalog through as many outlets as possible. OverDrive APIs are currently being used by several partners, and libraries now have numerous opportunities to share their OverDrive Digital Catalog alongside all of their other materials and services. The OverDrive APIs allow approved partners to search and check availability of items and to authenticate patrons to borrow, hold, and download items from the OverDrive Digital Catalog.

BiblioCommons, a provider of solutions for "social discovery" of online library catalogs, has integrated the OverDrive APIs to provide eBook discovery and circulation to their customers. Some of the many OverDrive libraries that have taken advantage of this new opportunity include Seattle Public Library, New York Public Library, King County Library System, Brooklyn Public Library, Vancouver Public Library, and Boston Public Library.

To illustrate the potential of integrating with the OverDrive APIs, we examined the activity of checkouts through OverDrive APIs before and after implementing the OverDrive-BiblioCommons integration. Our subjects were libraries that did not previously offer OverDrive checkouts via BiblioCommons but have started with the OverDrive APIs in either March or April: Tulsa City-County Library, Vancouver Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library, and Hamilton Public Library of Ontario. After integrating with the OverDrive APIs, all four libraries are now seeing 1,000 to 3,000 "BiblioCommons" checkouts per month. That's 30 to 100 new checkouts per day in just one month. In April, after just one month, an average of 5 percent of all of these libraries' OverDrive checkouts were being circulated via the OverDrive APIs. And the number of new patrons in April who discovered each library's OverDrive catalog through the BiblioCommons application was more than the number of each library's new OverDrive users in the previous five months combined.

Libraries wanting to take advantage of the OverDrive integration with BiblioCommons should apply for the OverDrive APIs and indicate their intended integration with BiblioCommons. Once approved, BiblioCommons will use the details of the library's OverDrive Developer/API account, along with the details of their OverDrive Digital Collection and Patron authentication settings, to begin the integration of their library with BiblioCommons and their OverDrive API services.

Start giving your patrons more opportunities to find, share, borrow, and enjoy your digital collection with OverDrive. Apply for the OverDrive APIs today at https://developer.overdrive.com/application.


Clay White is a Product Owner at OverDrive.




How Long Before Amazon Buys Zinio?

Amazon is taking large strides toward acquiring all angles of the ereading market. Amazon has a long history of buying companies involved in the digital book industry, and I think it’s just a matter of time before they purchase Zinio, a leading digital magazine retailer. Amazon already has their own Kindle Newsstand that offers magazines […]

Magic Mirror

Michael Teeuw was out shopping with his girlfriend, when he noticed a display mirror with illuminated lighting. Being one of those people whose minds tends to wander in the frocks department, he decided he’d go home and make a better one.

With one-way mirror glass (the sort they use in TV-show and, for all I know, real-life police interrogation rooms) mounted over a flat display device, outputting white text on a black background, the effects you can achieve are rather special, especially if, like Michael, you really care about typography.




Best of all, for most people the hardest bit of reproducing this project at home won’t be the Raspberry Pi end – frankly, the bit we’d expect you to find most tricky is making the wooden frame. Michael has done all the hard work with the interface, and integrating all the information he needs when gazing at his own beauteous visage: namely a nice uplifting compliment, the weather, clock and calendar, and a news feed. He’s also made detailed wiring instructions available, along with all of his code. (I’m noticing some additions to the codebase have been made since he put the project on his blog, most notably an alert that tells him to empty the dishwasher.)

Visit Michael’s website to see a step-by-step guide to replicating this project at home.

Small Legal Victory for Apple’s Antitrust Battle

Apple’s attorneys have managed to pull off a minor legal victory in what has become almost laughably a war against Apple. On the grounds that Judge Denise Cote’s decision to move forward with the classification and damages phases of the trial on going case, Apple managed to win a stay by the three-judge panel of the Second Circuit court, at least for now.

Essentially, the grounds for Apple’s motion stems from its pending appeals. If it should win the appeal on its damages amount or on the class certification of the suit–two decisions handed down by Cote that Apple is fighting–then this current decision would cause expensive attorneys’ fees to accumulate for nothing, as well as cause severe and irreversible damage to Apple’s reputation, again only to have them emerge victorious.

For now, the Second Circuit panel has granted the stay, meaning that Apple can temporarily hold off on following through with some of the decisions that Cote ordered last year. This recent motion for a stay follows another stay that took place in January, but the three-judge panel in that instance ended up siding with Cote over Apple’s refusal to cooperate with its court-appointed external monitor.

All of these proceedings are leading to the damages phase of the trail. Should things go as legal experts and industry watchers have speculated, Apple could be responsible for more than $800 million in damages for its role in a price fixing scandal involving five of the then-Big Six publishers.

Small Legal Victory for Apple’s Antitrust Battle is a post from: Good e-Reader

Buy Mom a Cheap Kindle for Mothers Day

kindle dals

Amazon is having a big sale with their two current e-readers, just in time for Mothers Day. The basic Kindle is now available at a very respectable $49 and the new Kindle Paperwhite 2 costs a paltry $99.This is basically a savings of $20 on both models.

The 5th generation basic Kindles big selling point is the unit is now black and boasts 15% faster page turns. The text is noticeably crisper when comparing it to the previous Kindle 4. It features a six ink e-ink Pearl display with a resolution of 600×800 pixels. There is no touchscreen controls and everything is navigated with the D-Pad. It has 167 PPI and 16 levels of greyscale. It has 2 GB of internal memory, but only has 1.25 GB of available space, once you account for the OS and default books. There is no expandable memory via SD or MicroSD.

The Paperwhite 2 is likely the best e-reader on the market. It features a six inch e-Ink display screen with a resolution of 1024×768. The front-lit display has received a small upgrade from the Paperwhite 1 and gives a better illumination experience than the previous model.

These Kindle deals are worthy to pick your mom up one. They both allow you to buy eBooks right on the device. The Paperwhite 2 is a bit more intuitive with the touchscreen display, but the basic model has a super sweet price point.

Buy Mom a Cheap Kindle for Mothers Day is a post from: Good e-Reader