Friday, May 9, 2014

Amazon Signs Landmark Agreement with Giunti al Punto Bookstore


Amazon will be furnishing Giunti al Punto bookstores with Kindle e-readers and helping the Italian retailer the ability to open up their own custom digital bookstore.  By the end of the summer all 170 stores will have a dedicated Kindle section. 

Starting today through December 31, 2014, Giunti al Punto customers will receive five free Kindle books of their choice, from the Giunti catalog when they buy any Kindle e-reader at the Giunti al Punto bookstores.  

Later this year and with the support of Amazon, Giunti al Punto bookstores will open an online shop where its customers will have access to a vast selection of books, physical media products and toys available on Customers of the Giunti online shop will benefit from a great customer experience from Amazon logistics, delivery and customer service. Moreover, for every purchase on the new Giunti online shop, customers will also earn Giunti points, which can be converted into vouchers and spent in the Giunti al Punto physical bookstores.

Amazon Signs Landmark Agreement with Giunti al Punto Bookstore is a post from: Good e-Reader

Amazon Introduces Experiance and Badges on the Kindle Fire

Amazon unveiled Game Circle in 2012 and gave developers the ability to create leader boards. The system was quite basic for a number of years, but this is all changing. Today, all existing Kindle Fire tablets have been pushed a new firmware update that enhances player profiles, adds new badges, and introduces the experience system.

The new experience system allows players to level up by playing games, meaning the more you play, the more experience you earn. This data is public and can be shared with your friends as a way to compete against each other. If you have been playing games for quite some time, all of the experience is retroactively given out.

Players can now earn badges for special achievements when playing, downloading, or reaching certain plateaus in any given game. Badges can be earned by completing special challenges for apps using the new Amazon Game Circle API. Big name properties embraced this before the new system was unveiled today, so Real Racing, Temple Run, Cut the Rope 2, and many Disney titles all have special badges available. There’s a dedicated gaming section  that lets you know which titles support the badge system.

When you earn badges, you may elect to have one displayed next to the expanded player avatar system. Players can choose from a selected list of stock images that have 40+ avatars to choose from, but currently there is no ability to upload your own. Only one badge can sit next to your avatar at a time, and you can select the one that you dig the most. One of the coolest ones is the Zombie Killer badge, but many more should be added in the coming weeks.

This new player profile, badge, and experience system is very interesting. It gives attainable goals that players can strive for. Apple and Google both have their own Game Center systems, but Amazon is doing something noticeably different. Companies like Microsoft have been offering badges and achievements for quite awhile, and it gets pretty addicting to try and collect them all from a particular game. Likely, this is what Amazon is betting on in the mobile space.

Amazon Introduces Experiance and Badges on the Kindle Fire is a post from: Good e-Reader

Kindle for Android: How to Sideload eBooks and PDFs Tutorial (Video)

Have you ever tried to download a non-DRM Kindle ebook or PDF and try to read it in the Kindle for Android app? If so, you’ve probably encountered the annoying problem of the ebook or PDF not opening or not appearing in the library of the Kindle reading app. If you download a Kindle-compatible ebook […]

New Tension Between Amazon, Hachette Over Book Terms

Inside An Distribution Center On Cyber Monday
With new contract terms up in the air between Amazon and some publishers, readers may be the one to feel the frustration. Today, word came out that Amazon was delaying the delivery of certain titles by specific publishers, namely Hachette Book Group, in an effort to encourage a speedy contract renegotiation.

In statements issued today, Hachette’s spokesperson explained quite openly that the titles were available, that Amazon had them, but that Amazon wasn’t shipping them. This is despite the fact that some of those same titles are available immediately from other retail distributors, and despite the publication date, as some titles are brand-new releases and others are classics.

Before the Amazon bashing begins–and while Good e-Reader in no way condones preventing consumers from having access to reading material–it should be noted that this is not an uncommon tactic between publishers and retailers. During the intensity of negotiating better stocking fees, better shelf space visibility for brick-and-mortar retailers, and other fine points of the bookselling business, many retailers have engaged in a reduction in stock and sales times. Barnes and Noble notably had a dispute with Simon&Schuster in the recent past, and Amazon has already squabbled with more than one publisher, resulting in removing their titles from its retail space.

If it’s not too soon to revel in the madness, it’s worth noting that ebooks are unaffected by the tension over contracts, quite possibly due to the fact that Amazon also sells an e-reader line and a tablet line. The last thing the retailer wants to do is to give customers an excuse to take a look at a shiny new device from a different manufacturer or supplier.

New Tension Between Amazon, Hachette Over Book Terms is a post from: Good e-Reader

Samsung’s Tablet Screens are Better than the Resolution Suggests

I picked up one of the new Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 tablets that Samsung just released (I’ll post a full review soon), and I was surprised to find that the screen is a lot better than I expected from a tablet with lower screen resolution. I read a review somewhere that said something along the […]

Open Road Media Launches Spanish Language eBook Imprint

An earlier partnership between Open Road Media and Barcelona Digital Editions has finally evolved into a full-fledged ebook imprint for Spanish language titles, Ciudad de Libros. This imprint, which will make both translations of English titles into Spanish and original Spanish works available as ebooks, is born out of the catalogs of both Open Road’s backlist (for which the company has a strong following by making available as digital titles) and Barcelona Digital Edition’s works.

In a statement, Jane Friedman, cofounder and CEO of Open Road said: "We are strong believers in the power of the Spanish language market and are excited to unveil our initial list and connect our authors with Spanish readers across the world."

Translation is still misunderstood by a lot of the reading market, as it is not as simple as plugging the text file of a manuscript into an app and generating a new language file. Not only are there nuances and character elements that have to come through, which can–at least for now–really only be done by a human speaker of both languages, but each region carries its own flavor of particular languages. A book cannot simply be translated in Spanish and appreciated by speakers in every different relevant country; in fact, some translation service providers are even breaking English down in US, UK, India, and Australia-specific editions.

Obviously, this makes translation not only prohibitively expensive for many publishers–other than the handful of language markets that can provide the highest financial return–but also a laborious process that makes these books slow to reach their intended audiences. While Ciudad de Libros titles will reach the Spanish language market with both translations and native-first titles, this attention to foreign language markets from a well-known publisher is a great step towards providing ebooks to international readers.

"We offer the Spanish reader the possibility to discover authors of various nationalities from the past and present via great books,” continued Blanca Rosa Roca, cofounder and president of Barcelona Digital Editions. “We're thrilled to share the talent of these authors and do our best to assure they are never forgotten."

Open Road Media Launches Spanish Language eBook Imprint is a post from: Good e-Reader

Boris, the Twitter Dino-Bot

UK teachers: want two days of free, top-class CPD? Check out Picademy, and send us your applications!

What do you get if you cross a PiFace with a rubber dinosaur from Marks and Spencer?

Twitter magic, that’s what.

Teacher Dan Aldred has come up with a thing of beauty: a hack that makes your desktop dinosaur roar whenever it’s mentioned on Twitter. (What do you mean, you don’t have a desktop dinosaur?)

Boris, scaring the living bejezus out of all comers.

Boris, scaring the living bejezus out of all comers.

The build itself is simple enough – you can do the same with any kids’ toy that uses a button or switch to make a noise. Dan built a bridge across Boris’s switch using tin foil, our favourite hacker tool. He hooked Boris up to the PiFace GPIO expansion board (the PiFace site is currently the only site on the internet that features a picture of me crouching like a preying mantis in a cardigan on its front page), got Python talking to the Twitter API and wrote a simple program to tell Boris to roar whenever the string “ROAR” is tweeted at Dan’s account. All very easy, but the results are magic.

Boris, innards exposed.

Boris, innards exposed.

Here’s Boris in action:

You can send Dan a tweet yourself – he’s @Dan_Aldred. (Just think! If enough of you tweet “Roar” at him, he’ll either be driven mad or forced to power Boris down.) We love it, Dan. Boris is a thing of beauty, and a great learning exercise. Dan has made full instructions and all the (very simple) Python you’ll need available at his website: if you’ve got some time this weekend and are in charge of a bored child, I can’t think of a better way to spend a couple of hours.

Marvel Petitions Fans for 75th Anniversary Omnibus Data


Marvel is celebrating their 75th anniversary and the comic book publisher will be releasing a 1200 page Omnibus. Fans will play a role in this initiative by selecting the best comics for inclusion.

This is the first time Marvel is soliciting their extensive fanbase to vote on their favorite story arcs and memories since the very first Marvel comic. If you feel like participating in the program, fans will have to email their suggestions to

"Marvel's 75th Anniversary belongs to our fans as much as it does to our creators and everyone behind the scenes," says Marvel SVP of Sales & Marketing David Gabriel. "From day one, Marvel fans have been an integral and vocal part of making Marvel the company it is today and we want their help in celebrating. The 75th Anniversary Omnibus is the perfect way to celebrate with our marvelous fans."

The omnibus will be released this November in hardcover and digital format. The price has not been established yet, but likely will cost $100.

Marvel Petitions Fans for 75th Anniversary Omnibus Data is a post from: Good e-Reader