Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Kobo for Android has a New ePub Rendering Engine


Kobo has released a new version of reading app for Android, that has a brand new rendering engine for eBooks. This will allow you to have faster page turns and more options to enjoy your ePub and ePub 3 files.

Improvements include

Better display support for more accurate rendering in EPUB/EPUB3 files.
Support for EPUBs with embedded audio.
Improved loading speed for many books.
Immersive full-screen mode on supported Android 4.4 (KitKat) devices.
Stability improvements for Fixed Layout EPUBs

I dig the fact large screen tablet owners can finally read in full screen mode. Kobo does not have a ton of interactive books yet, that can really take advantage of multimedia aspects such as audio and video. They are setting the stage for a new wave of content hopefully available soon. Download the new and improved Kobo Books for Android, from the Good e-Reader App Store.

Kobo for Android has a New ePub Rendering Engine is a post from: Good e-Reader

New Update Available – Kindle for Android 4.6


Amazon has an exciting software update available for Kindle for Android. The latest version of Kindle for Android 4.6 has several new features and performance improvements.

Improved the listening experience for books with audio

When you’re listening from a Bluetooth device, playback will automatically pause if Bluetooth is disconnected. A new permission is required for this, “Pair with Bluetooth devices.”

Go hands-free with Immersion Reading; enjoy automatic page turns without the screen shutting off.

Helpful account information can be found on the Settings screen

Rename your device to make it easier to recognize when buying books from the Kindle store.
Check your registration information, is the app registered to the correct email address?

Viewing options inside the book have been updated

“Use system brightness” is a more intuitive option for a brightness settings. Tap the “Aa” icon at the top of the screen to choose this new option. If you’re not finding the “Aa” icon, tap the center of the screen to have the menu bars slide into view. This improvement was made with the help of your feedback!

When the menus are hidden (tap the center of the screen to show or hide them), tap the bottom right corner of the screen. Do you notice a small padlock? Tap it to lock the orientation. Now you can turn the device in any direction so you read on your side or back.

Improvements were made to the Table of Contents

A direct link to the book cover is at the top.

“Front matter” is next. Funny name but this where you’ll find the title, copyright, dedication and more. There’s an arrow to the right of the label. Tap it to close the front matter section.

If a book has page numbers we’ll show them alongside the chapter names. The current page you’re on will be highlighted.

If another chapter is selected, you can always get back to your previous location by tapping one of the placeholders on the location seeker at the bottom.

Download Amazon Kindle for Android 4.6 today!

New Update Available – Kindle for Android 4.6 is a post from: Good e-Reader

Kindle for Android Update 4.6 Adds Lots of New Features

Amazon has issued another software update for their Kindle Android app today, version 4.6, and it adds a number of new features and enhancements. Amazon has been busy improving their Android app this year. This is the second major update in the past two months, and the third in the past three months when they […]

New Kindle Paperwhite 2nd Generation Software Update Available


Amazon has just released a new firmware update that brings the companies latest enhancements to their iOS app over to the second generation Kindle Paperwhite. It brings a number of enhancements, such as the ability to download a free eBook sample of a print title you purchased and new PDF options.

The new update automatically downloads and installs on your Kindle Paperwhite; however, you can also manually download the software and transfer the update to your device via USB cable.  Listed below are the major new enhancements  you can expect to see right away.

Sync to the Most Recent Page Read

Any books you’re reading on your Kindle Paperwhite will now sync to the most recent page read across all Kindle devices and/or reading apps registered to your Amazon account. You can still manually sync your Kindle Paperwhite to go to the furthest page read.

Preview a PDF in Pan-and-Zoom Mode

When viewing a PDF in pan-and-zoom mode, you will now see a small preview window in the margin of the screen.

Read a Sample While Your Physical Book Ships

While you are waiting for select physical books to arrive at your doorstep, you can start reading the book right away by adding a sample of the book to your Kindle library. With this release, these samples will be now available for download in the Cloud tab of your Kindle Paperwhite in addition to your other supported Kindle devices and apps. Any previous samples you have claimed through a physical book purchase will also be available in the Cloud to download.

New Kindle Paperwhite 2nd Generation Software Update Available is a post from: Good e-Reader

Print Magazine Sales Decline 12% in 1st Half of 2014


Print magazine sales are starting to incur some noticeable declines as customers flock to the digital realm.  Newsstand sales of U.S. consumer magazines dropped 12% in the first half of 2014 from a year earlier, while paid subscriptions declined 1.8%.

Newsstand, or single-copy, sales have been considered the best gauge of consumer demand because they can’t be propped up by deeply discounted subscriptions or free copies distributed in public places such as doctors’ offices.

Digital editions continue to be a small but growing portion of magazines' total circulation mix. For the first half of 2014, magazines reported a total average of 11.6 million digital replica editions. This is some solid growth because in the first half of 2013 only 10.2 million digital editions were sold, or 3.3% of total circulation.

Print Magazine Sales Decline 12% in 1st Half of 2014 is a post from: Good e-Reader

Hachette CEO Fires Back at Amazon for Readers United Website


Over the weekend Amazon launched a new propaganda website that dumbs down the contract dispute between Hachette and Amazon. It targets the readers and proclaims that Amazon just wants to keep book prices around the $9.99 mark and doesn’t think its fair that users pay beyond that. Amazon encouraged its readers to directly email  Hachette CEO Michael Pietsch to end the dispute for good, here is what he said.

“Thank you for writing to me in response to Amazon's email. I appreciate that you care enough about books to take the time to write. We usually don't comment publicly while negotiating,but I've received a lot of requests for Hachette's response to the issues raised by Amazon, and want to reply with a few facts.

Hachette sets prices for our books entirely on our own, not in collusion with anyone.

We set our ebook prices far below corresponding print book prices, reflecting savings in manufacturing and shipping.

More than 80% of the ebooks we publish are priced at $9.99 or lower.

Those few priced higher—most at $11.99 and $12.99—are less than half the price of their print versions.

Those higher priced ebooks will have lower prices soon, when the paperback version is published.

The invention of mass-market paperbacks was great for all because it was not intended to replace hardbacks but to create a new format available later, at a lower price.

As a publisher, we work to bring a variety of great books to readers, in a variety of formats and prices. We know by experience that there is not one appropriate price for all ebooks, and that all ebooks do not belong in the same $9.99 box. Unlike retailers, publishers invest heavily in individual books, often for years, before we see any revenue. We invest in advances against royalties, editing, design, production, marketing, warehousing, shipping, piracy protection, and more. We recoup these costs from sales of all the versions of the book that we publish — hardcover, paperback, large print, audio, and ebook. While ebooks do not have the $2-$3 costs of manufacturing, warehousing, and shipping that print books have, their selling price carries share of all our investments in the book.

This dispute started because Amazon is seeking a lot more profit and even more market share, at the expense of authors, bricks and mortar bookstores, and ourselves. Both Hachette and Amazon are big businesses and neither should claim a monopoly on enlightenment, but we do believe in a book industry where talent is respected and choice continues to be offered to the reading public.

Once again, we call on Amazon to withdraw the sanctions against Hachette's authors that they have unilaterally imposed, and restore their books to normal levels of availability. We are negotiating in good faith. These punitive actions are not necessary, nor what we would expect from a trusted business partner.

Thank you again and best wishes,

Michael Pietsch

Hachette CEO Fires Back at Amazon for Readers United Website is a post from: Good e-Reader

Pollyanna is This Month’s Free Kindle eBook and Audiobook Duo

Ever since Amazon updated their Android and iOS Kindle apps to add support for Immersion Reading, aka Whispersync for Voice, they’ve been promoting the service a lot more lately by giving away a free classic ebook and audiobook combo each month. This month’s free title is Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter. After you “purchase” the […]

Collection Highlights: Trending Titles

In this month's edition of collection highlights, Trending Titles, we share our favorite brand-new releases in top genres like young adult fiction, literary fiction, humor, thrillers, romance, cooking, and more. Watch now to get our take on hot digital titles that are garnering early praise and hitting the shelves this August and September.

All of the titles in this presentation are either available for purchase now or will be coming soon to OverDrive Marketplace. Please note: Title availability may vary based on location.



Carrie Smith is a Technical Writer at OverDrive.

Slice – a media player using the Raspberry Pi Compute Module

We revealed the Raspberry Pi Compute Module back in April, and released the Compute Module Development Kit in the middle of June. Since then we’ve had a lot of interest and will shortly start shipping the Compute Module in volume to a variety of manufacturers who have already designed it into their products.

One of our goals with the Compute Module was to enable a generation of “Kickstarter consumer electronics” startups to develop commercial-quality products at relatively low volume. We’ve already we’ve seen the OTTO point-and-shoot camera, which was the first ever Kickstarter using the Compute module, and today marks the launch of another campaign which we hope will be even more successful.

Slice media player and remote

Slice media player and remote

Slice is an XBMC media player built around the Compute Module, with simple custom skin, a shiny milled-aluminium case, and a cute ring of 25 RGB LEDs for (and I quote) “visual feedback and wow factor”. It’s been developed by Mo Volans, our old friends Paul Beech and Jon Williamson from Pimoroni, and our very own Gordon Hollingworth and James Adams; they’ve been burning the candle at both ends to get Slice to where it is now, and the prototypes are looking pretty drool-worthy.

Check out the video below, and then head on over to Kickstarter to see for yourself why we’re excited about Slice!