Friday, May 2, 2014

Consumer Protection Attorneys File Anti-Trust Suit Against Google

News came out this week that Hagens Berman, the same Seattle-based law firm that initiated the class action lawsuits against Apple for its role in the anti-trust violations and price fixing collusion with the now-Big Five publishers, has filed a suit against Google, alleging anti-trust violations that led the search engine and tech powerhouse to hold an illegal monopoly in North America. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, all stems from Google’s purchase of the Android operating system, meaning that it holds consumers hostage if they wish to have any alternative to iOS. The attorneys for the plaintiffs claim that Google’s pre-loading of its suite of apps into the operating system leaves consumers no choice in making future purchases.

"It's clear that Google has not achieved this monopoly through offering a better search engine, but through its strategic, anti-competitive placement, and it doesn't take a forensic economist to see that this is evidence of market manipulation," said Steve Berman, the attorney representing consumers and a founding partner of Hagen Berman, in a press release this week. "Simply put, there is no lawful, pro-competitive reason for Google to condition licenses to pre-load popular Google apps like this."

The suit goes on to state that Google’s distribution agreements requires third parties to default to Google as their search engine, essentially weakening the power of the internet. Ironically, the firm feels that this strict adherence requirement not only hinders outside companies, but Google as well. The suit seeks damages on behalf of all US-based Android users.

Consumer Protection Attorneys File Anti-Trust Suit Against Google is a post from: Good e-Reader

BookBub Secures Funding to Continue Serving Book Discovery

As authors and publishers alike experiment with the sweet spot for ebook prices, promotional pricing can serve as a useful tool in driving book discovery. But with so many inexpensive ebooks in the retail space, it can still be difficult to foster book and author discovery. BookBub, a book discovery engine that makes its three million-plus members aware of the best ebook deals each day, helps increase discovery by targeting users’ interests and pointing them to daily deals.

BookBub announced its recent fundraising partnership that helped secure nearly four million dollars in revenue for the site, the first type of funding initiative since the company’s launch in 2012. This venture will enable its membership to add to its current state of purchasing nearly one million ebooks every month due to the information the site provides.

"BookBub's traction proves it's filling a huge need for readers, authors, and publishers," said David Beisel, partner at NextView Ventures, in a press release on the deal. "We meet with countless startups, but it's uncommon to find one that has become such a meaningful part of an industry so early in its existence."

But what does a book discovery site need with that much revenue? BookBub plans to use the funding to grow its team, to expand its reach and services into international markets, and finally to offer even more powerful tools to its member readers and authors.

"Since starting BookBub, our dual goals have always been to help readers discover great books and to provide publishers and authors an effective way to get their books discovered," said Josh Schanker, BookBub’s president and co-founder. "A daily email featuring deals on ebooks is part of that mission, but we believe it's just the beginning for BookBub, so we've raised money to widen our scope."

BookBub Secures Funding to Continue Serving Book Discovery is a post from: Good e-Reader

Breaking Audio – HarperCollins and Harlequin Merge


Welcome to a breaking audio edition of the Good e-Reader Radio Show! Today Michael Kozlowski and Mercy Pilkington discuss the merger between HarperCollins and Harlequin. The entire deal is for $455 in cash and will likely give HC the international distribution it needs to make a serious play in overseas markets. What does this mean for self-published authors or authors wanting to branch out from Romance into Mystery? This is the show that dives deep into all of the issues.

Breaking Audio – HarperCollins and Harlequin Merge is a post from: Good e-Reader

The Consolidation of the Publishing Industry Continues – News Corp Acquires Harlequin


The book publishing industry is not used to the type of mega-mergers that we have seen in the last few years. It would have been unthinkable a decade ago that Penguin and Random House would  have joined forces, now they account for 1/4 of all books printed in the world. News Corp is continuing this trend with its recent acquisition of Romance publisher Harlequin.

Harlequin is one of the world's leading publishers of women's fiction, with titles issued worldwide in 34 languages and sold in over 100 international markets. The acquisition will incorporate all of their titles into HarperCollins' global platform, particularly in Europe and Asia Pacific, helping to fuel its international growth strategy. The deal will complement HarperCollins' current business by expanding a key content vertical. It will also accelerate the digital evolution of both companies.

"Harlequin has built one of the largest and most widely recognized consumer brands in publishing with a highly focused publishing program for women," said Brian Murray, President and CEO of HarperCollins. "We are thrilled to welcome Harlequin's management and staff in Toronto and around the world to the HarperCollins family. The Harlequin name and rich heritage will be preserved independently, with the aim to leverage capabilities to bring the book-reading public more choices. Harlequin's business has grown internationally, and will give HarperCollins an immediate foothold in 11 new countries from which we can expand into dozens of foreign languages for authors who choose to work with us globally."

The entire deal is worth 455 million dollars on paper and is subject to regulatory approval before the deal could be closed. Considering this is a smaller transaction than the Penguin/Random House merger, it it basically a done deal.

Harlequin has seen diminished sales over the course of the last few years because the vast majority of up and coming young talent are self-publishing, instead of going through a traditional publisher. 25% of all sales stem from eBooks, but their new imprints are not doing that well. Some of the most recent initiatives, such as The Harlequin, Harlequin TEEN, Harlequin MIRA and Harlequin HQN have only published a few books since launching in 2013.

Harlequin and HarperCollins should do well together. The Romance publisher has been floundering on their own and will have a second life under the News Corp. rule. HarperCollins gets all of their international distribution contacts and could feasibly start marketing their own titles in key markets.

The Consolidation of the Publishing Industry Continues – News Corp Acquires Harlequin is a post from: Good e-Reader

Smart School Update: Educator Resources

Attention school librarians and educators! Recently, I wrote about how easy it is to share digital titles via email and social media in More Smart Updates: Email Share Feature. The Educator Resources Section is another great new feature of the digital library website that is designed to help you. It's a one-stop place for all educators.

Included in the Educator Resources section:

  • Printable getting started guides and device specific aides to share with students and staff members.
  • The Learning Center, to help with staff training.
  • OverDrive Help Videos (ranging from 5-25 minutes) that can be shared with students and parents to better explain how to navigate different devices and platforms.
  • OverDrive Marketplace, where your staff with the appropriate permissions can browse, add titles to a cart, view circulation reports and contact OverDrive Support.
  • The Partner Portal Marketing and Outreach materials, such as web graphics, promotional posters and bookmarks and information on school digital library best practices that can help continue to increase awareness of your eBook collection.
  • An easy link directly to the OverDrive Schools Blog to stay updated on what's new and get tips on collection development, marketing and read success stories from other schools.

You can find the Educator Resources in the Help section. Just click on the question mark icon and look for the green apple! You can also find a link in the site footer.

educator resources

This new section of the Help pages offers a tool for school librarians to connect with teachers and promote incorporating digital titles into the classroom. We've compiled many of our most popular marketing and training resources into one convenient location that is available 24/7, right on your digital library site. For a print-ready flyer that highlights the Educator Resources, download the “Best of K-12 Marketing Materials” kit from our Partner Portal. You’ll find a “Teacher’s Handout” PDF that can be printed and distributed in staff mailboxes or saved digitally and shared via email or a school intranet.

Contact your OverDrive Account Specialist with any questions!

educator resources2

Living with lag

We put this video up on our various social media sites earlier in the week (here’s our Facebook page, if you’re not familiar with it yet: we’re also on G+ and Twitter if you’d like to chat), but so many of you have emailed me about it since then that I’m giving it a spot here, too. are a Swedish broadband provider, and they conducted this experiment to demonstrate just how sucky lag would be if you had to put up with it in real life, using an Oculus Rift headset and a Raspberry Pi. In the end, this is just a piece of advertising: but it’s a beautifully realised project which made us laugh, and if my inbox is anything to go by, it seems that a lot of you liked it too. Enjoy!

OverDrive Marketplace Basics training

Many users are granted access to OverDrive Marketplace each day. With their newly assigned login ID, permitted users are empowered with access to reports, the latest news updates, support tickets, OverDrive's robust content catalog and much more.

We know that having all this information to explore at your fingertips can sometimes make for a difficult journey to navigate. That's why we are proud to announce that Marketplace users of all abilities will now have a weekly opportunity to take a guided tour. Beginning May 8, OverDrive Trainers will be hosting Live Online "Marketplace Basics" classes for you and your team.

During these brief trainings you'll learn many Marketplace tips, including:

  • Compatible formats available from OverDrive
  • How to perform a search
  • Marketplace alerts
  • Managing the Support and News tabs

With one staggered session on a rotating day each week, there will definitely be a time slot that fits your schedule. The calendar for the first four trainings is below. You can register for the session that best suits you by visiting our Online Learning Center.

Scheduled Trainings (all times Eastern)

  • Thursday, May 8, 4:00-4:30 p.m.
  • Friday, May 16, 10:00-10:30 a.m.
  • Tuesday, May 27, 2:00-2:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, June 4, 7:00-7:30 p.m.

Sign up early as classes will fill up quickly, and be sure to spread the word to all of your fellow staff so that they can become a Marketplace expert as well!

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to any of your OverDrive contacts or to

1,000+ Macmillan audiobooks now available as MP3


Today, OverDrive Marketplace has been updated to offer more than 1,000 Macmillan audiobook titles previously only available in WMA format, now available in MP3 format. This means your readers can borrow, download, and enjoy all of these MP3 titles on every PC, tablet, smartphone and audio player.

macmillanmp3Top Macmillan authors now available in MP3 audiobook format from OverDrive include Janet Evanovich, Bill O’Reilly, Jeffrey Archer, Louis Penny, and Jackie Collins, as well as popular series including the Lunar Chronicles and recently released film tie-ins like The Monuments Men.

For a complete list of MP3 Macmillan audiobooks in OverDrive Markeplace or to view our featured collection, click here. Macmillan adds up to 15 new audiobooks per month, so check back often for hot new titles. All previously purchased Macmillan WMA audiobooks will automatically be updated to provide your readers with the option to borrow the title in MP3 format.

OverDrive MP3 audiobooks are compatible with all popular devices and will reach more users. For more information, contact your OverDrive Collection Development Specialist.

*Title availability may vary by geographic location.

Adam Sockel is a Marketing Communications Specialist at OverDrive.

Wattpad Gets into the Digital Publishing Game


Wattpad has popularized the notion of serialized digital books on their website. Millions of readers and writers use the free service to hone their writing skills and develop a loyal following. The serialized approach is the most dominant on the platform with readers giving their feedback after every chapter. Wattpad is now getting into the publishing game with two of their most seminal stories.

Wattpad is using Amazon Createspace to make physical versions of the books available .This will give people the ability to buy printed versions of the books and allow the authors to do book signings. Wattpad has also distributing the books digitally with Amazon, iBooks and Kobo.

The first book to get published is A Proscriptive Relationship by Jordan Lynde: Holly finds herself inexplicably drawn to her young teacher, Mr. Heywood, who is a mysterious man with dark and dangerous secrets. Jordan Lynde's prolific writing boasts more than 100 million reads on Wattpad, with A Proscriptive Relationship alone having more that 30 million reads.

The second book is entitled My Wattpad Love by Ariana Godoy: Julie discovers far more than reading and writing in Wattpad's online community. My Wattpad Love has been read more than 19 million times, and it was the recipient of the 2012 Watty Award.

These two books are one of the centerpieces to Wattpads bright and vibrant community. Having a free book read over 30 million times is no small feet, and is a testament to the writing prowess of the authors. It will be very interesting to see how these do in the mainstream sales channels, where they are competing against perennial bestsellers. Will the Wattpad community support the eBook versions of the books? If the book is available for free on the site, will people pay for it?

Wattpad Gets into the Digital Publishing Game is a post from: Good e-Reader

Star Wars Interactive Stories Now Available on iOS


Disney is gearing up for Star Wars Episode 7 in a really big way. The company made waves last week when it announced it does not consider any of the books in the Expanded Universe canon. Instead, they are publishing four new eBooks to set the stage for the next chapter in the Star Wars Saga. In order to get the younger generation enamoured with the movie source material, Disney and Lucasarts are making interactive storybooks.

The Star Wars interactive stories is the first byproduct of Disney and Lucasarts collaborating in an official capacity. It will feature the major plotlines of all six films with mini games and should provide hours of enjoyment.

The first book in the series is entitled Star Wars Journeys: The Phantom Menace. It features around 20 scenes from the movie with a very distinctive art style.  The core activity is to provide interactive reading with the ability to explore a scene to undercover hidden content and also access a database of all characters.

One of the most compelling aspects is the mini games. Each book will feature their own distinctive mechanics. The Phantom Menace will center around Podracing, where users can customize and race based on upgrades they can unlock by reading the story.

The first Phantom Menace book retails for $6.99 and it is basically an app you are going to download from the App Store. Disney plans on releasing their  Journeys apps based on Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith,  A New Hope,  The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, in the coming months.

Star Wars Interactive Stories Now Available on iOS is a post from: Good e-Reader