Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Podcast: All You Need to Know about Kindle Unlimited


Amazon prematurely unveiled Kindle Unlimited yesterday morning. This is a new subscription service that costs $9.99 and will allow you to read as many books as you want on a monthly basis.

Kindle Unlimited will launch with 600,000 eBook and audiobook titles. Each title will be available to read on multiple devices, such as Android and iOS. A free 30 day trial will also be available when the service launches later this year.

Major publishers such as HarperCollins, Hachette, Macmillan, Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster will not be contributing content with Kindle Unlimiteds launch. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos did meet with CBS CEO Leslie Moonves earlier in the week to talk about eBooks, maybe contributing backlist and midlist titles had something to do with it.

Smaller publishers will play a major role in Unlimited with Algonquin, Bloomsbury, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Open Road, Scholastic and Workman. Amazon intends on paying them a wholesale rate for each title opened and read. This direct agreement is also being made to all of the Harry Potter Books via Pottermore and also the Hunger Games Trilogy

The bulk of the 600,000 titles that are available for Unlimited will be contributing by self-published authors who enrolled in Kindle Direct Publishing Select. Writers who participate under this program will automatically be opted it and paid out whenever someone reads 10% of the book or more. The money will be paid to the authors through the one or two million dollars that is added to the KDP Select pool per month.

Existing eBook subscription sites stand to gain in the short-term as most of them will be referenced in Unlimited. Scribd, Oyster and others will be mentioned in the same sentence and they all have major publisher support. Amazon is mainly launching with smaller presses, but most of the big five all support the smaller companies with their backlist and midlist titles.

Today on the show, Michael Kozlowski and Mercy Pilkington break down all of the news from yesterday. You will get a sense on concerns indie authors are raising on payments and royalties. How they might benefit from KDP Select and how this program might be relevant to them once again. Users stand to gain another exclusive feature on the Amazon ecosystem that their direct competitors do not offer.

Podcast: All You Need to Know about Kindle Unlimited is a post from: Good e-Reader

Icarus Refreshes Illumina e-Reader with Android 4.2.2

illumina header2

Icarus has refreshed their Illumina e-Reader with the same type of open Android ecosystem that Onyx Boox has implemented. Users will be able to install their own apps, which is a boon to anyone who wants more flexibility over the reading apps they want to install.

The new Illumina e-reader changed the design a bit from its previous generation, getting rid of the d-Pad and most physical buttons. Instead the Dutch company went with physical page turn buttons and a settings/back button on the side of the unit.

The Illumina  features a six inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 1024×758 pixels. It has a front-light built into the top of the bezel and will basically allow you to read in the dark. It has 4 LED lights and distributes light fairly evenly.

Underneath the hood is a 1GHZ dual core  processor and 512 MB of RAM. You will have 4 GB of internal storage and you can boost it up to 32 GB via the Micro SD. One of the most interesting aspects of this e-reader is the ability to play sound. You can load in your favorite audiobooks and listen to them with your headphones. This is no built in speaker and the music app won't even open unless you have your cans plugged in. It supports a myriad of formats, including: Flac, AAC, mp3, Wav, WMA, and OGG.

Unlike the previous Illumina e-reader this model has an open version of Android. It will ship with 4.2.2, which will insure that most modern apps will be compatible. Onyx Boox is currently the only other e-reader to include Android on their current generation lineup, but it suffers from an older version, 2.3

It will be very interesting to see if Icarus can solve some of the major bugs that accompany page turn animations with an e-ink screen. This is something Onyx has been unable to solve and makes their devices unusable.

Icarus Refreshes Illumina e-Reader with Android 4.2.2 is a post from: Good e-Reader

Amazon Enters eBook Subscription Market with Kindle Unlimited

It’s rare that Amazon isn’t leading the charge in some aspect of the book industry, but news came out today that Amazon is experimenting with ebook subscription models. In the often-compared Netflix climate, this would allow consumers to read unlimited content for one flat monthly fee.

GigaOm grabbed a link to the page for the new feature on, as reported by TechCrunch only a few minutes ago. Interestingly, the image only alludes to 600,000 titles available in the Amazon catalog, not the full ebook catalog, which could mean that Amazon would have the same problem with acquiring content for lending that has plagued the ebook subscription model since it first became news back in 2010.

While several companies are still pursuing the subscription model in some format–whether it’s full-length works, long-form journalism, or e-shorts–two players in the game have actually made a viable model out of it and been able to attract both readers and publishers with content. Oyster and Scribd are currently leading the way in subscription ebooks, and Scribd’s CEO Trip Adler had this to say about Amazon’s potential move into the subscription sphere:

“The apparent entrance of Amazon into subscription market is exciting for the industry as a whole. It’s validation that we’ve built something great here at Scribd. Publishers, authors and readers alike have all seen the benefit, so its no surprise they’d want to test the waters. Successful companies don’t fear competition, but rather embrace it, learn from it and use it to continue to fuel their own innovation which is exactly what we intent to continue doing.”It will be interesting to see how Amazon takes on this model, if it actually does so. The Amazon page with the signup button has been cached, but hopefully it’s a sign of things to come.

Amazon Enters eBook Subscription Market with Kindle Unlimited is a post from: Good e-Reader

Kindle Unlimited: Amazon to Offer eBook Subscription Service for $10/month

It looks like Amazon is going to get into the ebook subscription service business in the near future, and it’s likely to include audiobooks as well. There’s been no official announcement from Amazon just yet, but there’s a story at Gigaom with very compelling evidence that Amazon is close to revealing a new service called […]

Oaxis InkCase Plus Achieves Kickstarter Funding Goal in 3 Hours

Oaxis is coming out with a new E Ink phone case called the InkCase Plus that works as a secondary screen with all Bluetooth-enabled Android smartphones running Android 4.0 and up. Yesterday Oaxis launched a kickstarter campaign to raise funding for the InkCase Plus with a goal of $100,000. It only took 3 hours to […]

Curated book and author read-alikes

Looking to add some new titles to your digital collection? Maybe a new title for your digital book club? Check out our Book & Author Read-Alikes! Handpicked by our staff Librarians, these lists can be very helpful in finding popular, high circulating content that your patrons are sure to enjoy. When you click the links below, they will show up as a Marketplace search result and you'll be able to easily add them to a cart.

The Goldfinch Read-Alikes

Harry Potter Read-Alikes

Divergent Read-Alikes

Game of Thrones Read-Alikes

John Greene Read-Alikes

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Read-Alikes

Gone Girl Read-Alikes

Gabriel Garcia Marquez Read-Alikes


As always, your Collection Development Specialist is available to help create any Read-Alikes or recommended lists. Email for more information today!

*Some titles are metered access and may have limited regional or platform availability. Check OverDrive Marketplace to find what is available for you.


Rachel Kray is a Collection Development Analyst at OverDrive.


Rickmote: Rickrolling Chromecast users

The Raspberry Pi is a favourite tool of security researchers, and we’ve seen a number of demonstrations of how important it is to secure your devices against attack that use it. (I got stopped in the queue for the cinema last week by someone who recognised me from this blog, and has been working in penetration testing with the Pi for a couple of years; the conversation I had with him was much more fun than the movie turned out to be.)

Bugs in commercial software are open to exploits, and I have yet to see an exploit more enjoyable than this one, which takes advantage of a bug in the way Chromecast recognises wifi.

Under normal use, the Chromecast can be sent a deauth command that disconnects it from wifi. But there’s a bug: when the media player is kicked off the local network it enters a config mode and becomes a wifi hotspot – waiting for machines nearby to connect with it and send it a new configuration.

Which is enough to make you feel let-down, and to make you cry and say goodbye, quite frankly.

This hack is the work of Dan Petro, a whitehat at security consultancy Bishop Fox. He’s using a Pi, a couple of wifi cards and a touchscreen – along with Aircrack (open-source WEP and WPA-PSK-cracking software). It takes the device about thirty seconds to connect, take over the network and get Rickrolling; and, of course, it has to be within wifi range. You can watch a video presentation from Dan that goes into much more depth about the project on YouTube.

Rachel, our Creative Producer, has a Chromecast. I plan on building a Rickmote and hiding on her balcony.


Hearst Offers New Cosmo-Themed Digital Video Subscription Service

As more and more print publishers look for ways to stay relevant in the digital landscape, creative solutions to meeting their readers’ needs continue to evolve. This is especially true of print periodical publishers, as more consumers are turning to other sources to stay on top of news and entertainment.

Hearst Corporation, who is arguably one of the largest media conglomerates in the US with dozens of major newspapers, hundreds of magazines, and even a number of television stations, has announced the launch of a new digital video subscription service aimed at a key market, all themed around one of its most iconic magazines, Cosmopolitan.

Cosmo, as its more commonly called, is a lifestyle magazine designed for a key demographic of women, and Hearst’s new venture will seek out that same demographic with streaming health and lifestyle videos for a monthly subscription fee. Billed much like Netflix and at a similar price point of $9.95 a month, the videos will have a decidedly Cosmo-like flair.

"Basically, it's Netflix for fitness and lifestyle content…Cosmo-style…with workout videos with names like 'Get in the Mood Yoga,' dating advice that takes you into the mind of a man, food and fashion tips and even healthy(ish) cocktail recipes," said Neeraj Khemlani, head of Hearst Digital Studios and co-president of Hearst Entertainment & Syndication, in a press release. "It's our first channel and we look forward to developing more brands–both inside Hearst and with outside partners—into new over-the-top video networks that can be accessed by subscribers on any platform or device, at any time, anywhere in the world."

"We want to empower our Cosmo audience to feel sexy and strong, without sacrificing any of the fun," said Joanna Coles, editor in chief of Cosmopolitan. "There's an inextricable link between looking good and feeling good, and CosmoBody inspires women to create that connection whenever they need it, wherever they are."

The CosmoBody channel is available now.

Hearst Offers New Cosmo-Themed Digital Video Subscription Service is a post from: Good e-Reader