Friday, June 27, 2014

Baker & Taylor to Unveil Next Generation Axis 360 App


Baker & Taylor Axis 360 is the definitive app that library patrons use to read books, listen to audio or watch streaming video. One of the downsides is that B&T relies on many 3rd party companies such as Blio, Acoustic to deliver audiobooks and music. Instead of listening to music within the Baker and Taylor app, customers are instead redirected to download and install many different apps to take advantage of multimedia content. This process is similar to Barnes and Noble suspending their relationship with Overdrive because customers were mandated to download the Media Console and use Adobe Digital Editions, a convoluted process.  Baker & Taylor realizes that redirecting patrons to download alternative apps breaks immersion and is working on a next generation content delivery system.

The new Axis 360 app is poised to launch near the end of the year. They are utilizing new API systems that will allow patrons to listen to music or audiobooks, watch movies or engage complex EPUB3 textbooks. This will basically incorporate content from all of the companies they lean on to provide content within their own app and be more intuitive to use.

Michael Bills of Baker and Taylor said that the new app will be huge and reduce the complexity for libraries. Everything will be done behind the scenes, making the end-user experience a thing of beauty.

Baker & Taylor to Unveil Next Generation Axis 360 App is a post from: Good e-Reader

Soon to be Famous Assists the Editorial Aspect of Indie eBooks


Smashwords and Bookbaby have established relationships with Baker and Taylor for digital distribution to libraries. Both of these companies provide a small list of curated authors that assist the people in charge of acquisitions lives a bit easier. One of the downsides that these lists are small and do not have any pertinent sales data or metrics to find out how many copies actually sold and who is buying them. In order to assist libraries better in eBook discovery is the Reaching across Illinois Library System has pioneered an innovative concept known as “Soon to be Famous.”

600 libraries in Illinois share a group catalogue who belong to the RAILS consortium. The system serves more than 1300 private, public, school, and university library members, representing more than 4200 library facilities in a 27,000 square mile area.

The circulation managers who do the group buying recognized the worth of self-published and indie titles, since 23% of all Amazon best-sellers fall into this category. Indie titles often come with a fairly paltry price tag, but they loaning policed are often less convoluted than the big six.

In order to facilitate a better eBook discovery process, over one hundred three self-published fiction titles were nominated and more than 20 librarians across the state served as judges. After a series of eliminations, the top 3 authors were selected and most of their titles were purchased and sent to all of the libraries in the system.

Why did Soon to Be Famous work? Basically it put the power in every librarians hand to read indie titles they actually liked on a personal level and then their specific library would than nominate one title and the process was repeated. The editorial process worked because staff members actually read the eBooks and separated the wheat from the chafe.

I really like what RAILS is doing because they were not content in being spoon-fed small lists from the self-publishing companies and instead coordinated a massive effort. This program should be commended and emulated by others

Soon to be Famous Assists the Editorial Aspect of Indie eBooks is a post from: Good e-Reader

Indie Authors Have the Power to Give Back

Kiss me-There_edited-1 II
Self-published authors who’ve experienced a measure of success in their writing careers often cite the usual reasons for their decisions to publish independently. These authors have grown tired of the query game and the contract negotiations involved in turning over their book rights to a publisher, and often highlight the new-found freedom write what they wish and the control over their final products as key reasons for going it alone.

One of the frustrating results of traditional publishing for some authors is the inability to use their own material to give back to their communities or causes. Many readers and consumers are not aware that a published author, even a bestseller, doesn’t have unlimited access to copies of his own book or to promotional materials to stage giveaways. Even authors of the status of James Patterson, who has recently given more than one million dollars to US and UK bookshops in order to fund charitable grants, have to dig into their own pockets for this kind of financial backing, but cannot simply distribute unlimited copies of their books to libraries or bookstores, for example.

But self-published authors do have that freedom, and many are taking advantage of the fact that they own the rights to a sought-after product that can be used to support causes that are important to them. One author, erotic romance writer Abbie St. Claire, not only has access to her content for this kind of purpose, but also uses the story lines in her titles to create charitable giving events that let her fans support the important work of non-profits.

St. Claire’s upcoming “Kiss Me” series (August, 2014) now has a line of jewelry to accompany the planned multiple books in the series. The jewelry and titles are available through the author’s platforms, with 100% of the profit from the jewelry going to a Dallas, Texas-area breast cancer non-profit, Laidley’s Ladies and Gentlemen, started by local breast surgeon Dr. Alison Laidley.

“I hope that the stories inspire the readers and eventually fall in love with the series,” explained St. Claire of the initiative. “The jewelry started as a giveaway concept only, then the ladies started asking how to buy the items. That's when the charity idea came in to play. I hope it grows and builds throughout the series, because the titles I have planned will take me well into 2016 which could raise serious funds for the charity.”

While St. Claire’s series is meant to contain thematic-yet-stand-alone titles that can therefore be read in any order, one future title is already in the works and is intended to offer funding to another cause that is personally important to the author, the Wounded Warriors Project.

More information on Laidley’s Ladies and Gentlemen, the Kiss Me jewelry fundraiser, and St. Claire’s “Kiss Me” series can be found at

Indie Authors Have the Power to Give Back is a post from: Good e-Reader

Simon & Schuster eBooks: Coming soon for all U.S. public libraries



Simon & Schuster has announced that they are expanding their eBook lending program, and OverDrive can prepare to supply their eBook catalog to all U.S. public libraries.

A requirement to add Simon & Schuster eBook titles for library lending is that each title must have a "Buy-it-Now" option on the page alongside Borrow or Place a Hold. To satisfy this requirement, OverDrive operates, which has been live at dozens of U.S. public library sites.

With Library BIN, your library will earn a content credit equal to 50 percent of the retail markup for titles purchased from the OverDrive-hosted referral page. The content credit will be applied to your OverDrive Marketplace account for future orders. To opt into BIN, please contact your Collection Development Specialist.

The Simon & Schuster catalog includes authors such as Stephen King, Janet Evanovich, Mary Higgins Clarke, David McCullough, Jodi Picoult, and titles like Mr. Mercedes, Hard Choices, The Light Between Oceans, Steve Jobs, Under the Dome, and many more!

The Simon & Schuster eBook catalog is available for purchase under a one-year term. More information on the S&S catalog will be available next week.

Fan Fiction Romance Comes to Kindle Worlds

Amazon launched its Kindle Worlds fan fiction platform just over a year ago, and the concept has been a great success for both the rights holders who license content to the site and the fans who adore the concepts and story lines of their favorite authors. These reader fans have often taken to writing their own continuation of the stories once the book ends, largely due to the profound way that the story spoke to the readers.

While fan fiction has its critics, the concept has been around for some time. Thanks to Kindle Worlds, fanfic writers can legally publish and monetize their creativity to a growing audience of readers who are interested in more content based on their favorite books. Through existing licensing agreements with specific “worlds,” fanfic writers can sell their creations with the rights holders’ support and encouragement.

Kindle Worlds has now announced the launch of four new “worlds,” this time in the romance genre. Bella Andre, Lucy Kevin, Barbara Freethy, and HM Ward have signed on to allow their popular titles to be included in the platform, meaning the fans of those authors’ works can now publish and sell their own adaptations of the characters and story lines that spoke to them.

"Romance is one of the most popular genres on Kindle, so we're particularly thrilled to welcome these Worlds from four of the most successful authors in the genre," said Nick Loeffler, General Manager of Kindle Worlds, in a press release. "It's a great opportunity for writers everywhere to work with beloved characters and storylines that have millions of fans."

Writers who are interested in submitting their content on the story lines that these authors have offered for license should visit for more information and to see which specific series from these authors are available for fan fiction writers to use.

Fan Fiction Romance Comes to Kindle Worlds is a post from: Good e-Reader

Adafruit’s Raspberry Pi Photography Award

Our good friends across the pond at Adafruit are running their first ever Raspberry Pi Photography Award – and I’ve been roped into helping judge this year’s entries.

Robot photographer

Lady Ada and PT say:

Anyone, worldwide, with a Raspberry Pi and camera can enter. All photos must be taken with Raspberry Pi + Raspberry Pi camera and/or webcam/camera connected to the Pi. The photos cannot be altered “post” in an image editing program (GIMP, Photoshop, etc) but you can use the built-in filters that the Pi Camera has such as “Sketch”, “Oil Painting”, etc! Be creative and take a photo using a Raspberry Pi of something interesting, like this cat (Carmen) and clock, taken with a Raspberry Pi.

carmen and clock

It’s a charming sample picture, but, cute as Carmen is, you’ll need to do something more exciting if you want to win.

We do not want photos taken of Raspberry Pi units, please take photos using the Raspberry Pi. Grand prize is $314 in the Adafruit store, and we have 14 $30 winners too!

You can find full instructions on how to enter at Adafruit’s site. I am looking forward to finding out what you end up sending us, and I am instructed to inform you I am incorruptible in these matters: bribery will not work if you’re looking to affect the judging process. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out the posts here tagged “photography“. Good luck!

YouTube Adds Tools For Content Creators


Even someone who has never stepped foot on the Internet (so to speak) knows what YouTube is. Considered to be the largest platform for video streaming and viewership in the world, YouTube is little more than the sum of its parts: each of which is uploaded by a content creator. Today at Vidcon, the company launched YouTube Creator Studio as a means to deliver a wide range of tools to the people that share their videos with the site.

Thanks to the creator tools now available, video contributors can: view analytics, manage their videos, access royalty-free sound effects, fund creative endeavours using Kickstarter or Indiegogo, name and link to their fellow collaborators, accept fan-submitted subtitles, respond to comments, receive customized notifications, and create playlists that make videos more accessible.

YouTube also teased users with a few more updates to be expected soon, including 60 frames-per-second video clips (which will work nicely for those vlogging about video games especially) and the addition of a virtual tip jar that will allow viewers to toss in $1-$500 after viewing something they enjoy.

While the release of YouTube Creator Studio may not persuade more people to create content, it may serve to attract a more professional calibre of videographer.

Download YouTube Creator Studio for free to get started managing your channel.

YouTube Adds Tools For Content Creators is a post from: Good e-Reader