Saturday, August 23, 2014

Amazon Starts Selling Print Books in Brazil


Amazon has been selling Kindle e-Readers and eBooks in Brazil for the last two years. You might say the Seattle based company has digital locked up, but print titles have been non-existent, until today.

Over 150,000 print titles in Portuguese are now available to be ordered on Amazons Brazilian website. If customers spend over R$69, there is free shipping. These titles are in addition to the 35,000 eBooks they have available, also in Portuguese.

In a statement, Amazon's founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said the site would be "the largest and most convenient site for Brazilian readers to find and buy" print and digital books at low prices.

Amazon Starts Selling Print Books in Brazil is a post from: Good e-Reader

Harvard Classics Available as Free eBooks


First published in 1909, The Harvard Classics is an anthology consisting of 51 volumes of classic works from world literature. Compiled and edited by Harvard University President, Charles W. Eliot, the goal of the publications was simple: provide a liberal education based on the number of books able to fit across a five-foot shelf (that he felt should be read from for 15 minutes per day). If you are feeling up to the challenge, no shelf space is required anymore. The Harvard Classics are available as a free download from Open Culture to be read on your eReader or tablet.

Eliot’s intention wasn’t to create a compilation of the best literature (though clearly the works chosen are of the highest calibre), but to create a kind of portable university. Reviewing the editor’s introduction to the Harvard Classics, gives true perspective on the significance of the project:

“My purpose in selecting- The Harvard Classics was to provide the literary materials from which a careful and persistent reader might gain a fair view of the progress of man observing , recording, inventing, and imagining from the earliest historical times to the close of the nineteenth century. Within the limits of fifty volumes, containing about 22,000 pages, I was to provide the means of obtaining such a knowledge of ancient and modern literature as seems essential to the twentieth century idea of a cultivated man. The best acquisition of a cultivated man is a liberal frame of mind or way of thinking; but there must be added to that possession acquaintance with the prodigious store of recorded discoveries, experiences, and reflections which humanity in its intermittent and irregular progress from barbarism to civilization has acquired and laid up. From that store I proposed to make such a selection as any intellectually ambitious American family might use to advantage, even if their early opportunities of education had been scanty.”

This purpose is reinforced by reviewing the themes covered by the volumes, including: English poetry, sacred writings, Elizabethan drama, voyages and travels, chronicle and romance, literary and philosophical essays, continental drama, folklore and fable, and many more.

While some modern readers would argue that the collection is no longer complete, Eliot’s primary goal is still achieved by The Harvard Classics serving aptly as a jumping off point for education and discussion; imagine what his joy would be, knowing they can all be held in the palms of our hands.

Harvard Classics Available as Free eBooks is a post from: Good e-Reader

Valiant and Action Lab Go DRM-Free for Digital Comics


Image Comics was the first mainstream comic book publisher to embrace going DRM-Free and this has prompted Valiant and Action Lab to follow suit.

Comixology is the top digital distributor of comics and their app is available on every major operating system. In July 2014 the Amazon owned company announced that it would allow publishers the ability to distribute DRM-Free comics, allowing users to backup their purchases.

Valiant intends on making their digital comics available on Comixology the same day the print issues hit the market. Meanwhile, Action Lab will go digital-first, DRM-free and prices for the first two weeks of release will be just $0.99 on every title on ComiXology before rising to $1.99 after that. In addition, books will be timed to release digitally the same month they are offered in Diamond Distribution's retailer catalog, making digital a sales instrument for physical copies.

Valiant and Action Lab Go DRM-Free for Digital Comics is a post from: Good e-Reader

Calibre Tries to Appeal towards eBook Creators


When it comes to converting eBooks from one format to another, you have likely heard of Calibre. It remains one of the most popular tools out there, and is deeply expansive. In the past, they have catered exclusively to users, but now that Sigil is not actively developed anymore, they are trying to appeal towards creators.

Calibre 2.0 is now available and the eBook Creator package that debuted last year has undergone a severe revisement. One of the most compelling is the spell check system, which now allows for the manual importing of dictionaries. It also has newfound support to extrapolate PDF metadata  and the ability to click on any HTML/OPF/NCX tag name or CSS property and the editor will open some help for that item in your browser.

Many users are attracted to Calibre for a number of reasons. Some want to simply make eBooks out of popular websites, and read them on their ereader or tablet. Others download 3rd party plugins to strip the DRM off of purchased content.

Calibre has a very clunky and unintuitive interface and may alienate the average user. It has very extensive options to edit meta data or to optimize an eBook for a specific device, such as a Kindle, Kobo or Nook. It is a little known tool in the hardcore e-reading world, but lead developer Kovid Goyle hopes that indie authors and small publishing companies will take a second look at it.

Calibre Tries to Appeal towards eBook Creators is a post from: Good e-Reader