Thursday, October 16, 2014

Do Readers Choose eBooks Because They Are Cheaper?


Many readers cite the price of eBooks as one of the primarily aspects of why they choose to read digitally. A new report by Books and e-Books UK 2014 is trying to quantify the parallel between cheaper books and reading more.  Their data suggests 26% of consumers who have bought an eBook in the last year are reading more than they used to, because eBooks cost less than paperbacks, a figure that rises to 38% of 16 to 24-year-olds.

21% of Brits have bought a fiction eBook in the past year, the boom does seem to be plateauing as this marks a slight 1% point growth on 2013. However, this is a rise from the 15% of Brits claiming they had bought a digital fiction title in 2012.

Whilst the sales of e-books are still showing healthy growth, there are signs that this will steady in 2014. Sales of eBooks are estimated to reach £340 million in 2014 up from £300 million in 2013, marking a 12% rise. However this rise is in stark contrast to the growth seen in previous years. Sales in 2013 for example were 38% up on 2012, which stood at £216 million. In contrast, sales of print books are estimated to stay at £1.4 billion in 2014, the same value as 2013 which would mark just a 0.4% year on year fall in revenue.

Samuel Gee, Senior Technology and Media Analyst at Mintel said “Today, 31% of Brits own an e-reader, up from 21% in 2012, but down from 35% in April 2014. Indeed, it seems that the growth of the e-reader has not caused UK book-lovers to clear their shelves. Over a third (36%) of UK book buyers buy both e-books and print books and 42% of these say that they will always buy the cheapest version of the book no matter which format it is in. Further showing that those who have picked up their e-readers aren’t leaving printed books altogether, seven in 10 (70%) e-reader owners have bought a paperback in the past year. In contrast, just 30% of print book buyers have also purchased digitally.

Overall, a third (32%) of Brits have not bought a book in the past year and it seems that the most common reason is that they are not interested in reading. Indeed, a third (34%) of Brits who have not purchased a book in the past year are simply not interested in reading books, rising to 42% of men who haven't purchased a book. On the other hand, one in five (21%) say they do not have time to read books and 12% say they can't afford to buy them.

Do Readers Choose eBooks Because They Are Cheaper? is a post from: Good e-Reader

Harry Potter Spinoff ‘Fantastic Beasts’ will be a Trilogy, at Least


Harry Potter fans should be enamored with the fact that the upcoming spinoff film “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” is going to be the first film in a new trilogy, with more potential films on the way.

The movies will be directed by veteran filmmaker David Yates, who directed The Order Of The Phoenix, The Half-Blood Prince and the concluding chapters, Deathly Hallows Part One and Part Two.

The "Fantastic Beasts" movies are based on an original story by author J.K. Rowling and was originally released in 2001. The book contains the history of Magizoology and describes 75 magical species found around the world. Newt Scamander, says that he collected most of the information found in the book through observations made over years of travel and across five continents. He notes that the first edition was commissioned in 1918 by Mr Augustus Worme of Obscurus Books. However, it was not published until 1927. It is now in its 52nd edition. First year Hogwarts students are all provided a copy of the book.

If more films are to be made in this universe, it will be totally dependent on JK, who continues to exercise total creative control over the franchise. Release dates are slated for 2016, 2018, 2020 and perhaps beyond.

Harry Potter Spinoff 'Fantastic Beasts' will be a Trilogy, at Least is a post from: Good e-Reader

Apple Announces Modest Updates to iPad Air and iPad Mini


It was a lot of ‘yeah, yeah, we were expecting that’ at the Apple Event today… leaving many of us to wonder why they didn’t just do a soft launch. Brand-loyal Apple fans will be glad to see that the iPad Air 2 is a little thinner (at 6.1mm) and finally features the fingerprint ID sensor that has been present in the last 2 iterations of the iPhone.

Other updates for the iPad Air include a faster processor, more advanced wireless connectivity, better camera (with a new 8 megapixel sensor that captures images in 3264-by-2448 native resolution and continues to take 1080p HD video), and an anti-reflective coating for the screen (which they claim makes it 56 per cent less reflective). If this addition works as well as it appears, this might strike a fairly mighty blow against popular eReaders whose main benefit has included being able to be used in direct sunlight.

If it seems like I have forgotten about the iPad Mini 3, I wasn’t the first –Apple really had very little to say about their smaller-format tablet, other than to tell us that it also has the fingerprint ID sensor.

Proof positive that the upgrades for iPads being mainly cosmetic is reflected by the addition of a gold colour option (mirroring the iPhone choices) and brighter Smart Cases to match. While both certainly add curb appeal, it won’t go unnoticed that these were some of the biggest announcements today.

For those looking to grab an iPad Air 2, be prepared to hand over $499 USD for the 16GB Wi-Fi model (with a jump to $599 USD for 64GB, and $699 USD for 128GB). For those looking to add Cellular capabilities, the prices start at $629 USD for the 16GB model.

If your sights are set more on the iPad Mini 3, the price tag is a little more affordable at $399 USD for 16GB of storage (moving to $499 for 64GB, and $599 for 128GB). Cellular capability is available for this device as well, with an entry level cost of $529 USD for the 16GB tablet.

All in all, Apple’s news today was underwhelming. It might be true that the iPads didn’t need much in the way of updates, and I am delighted that every Apple smartphone and tablet now features the incredibly handy fingerprint sensor, but it all seems a little out of the ordinary. It might strike some as a little bit of a ‘conspiracy theory’, but if I were a betting woman I’d say that Apple just wanted to make sure they had some stage time and a few news cycles to (try and) keep their mobile devices front and centre following Google’s Nexus announcements earlier this week.

Is anybody else frustrated that the entry level iPad storage remains at 16GB, with a 32GB model distinctly and noticeably absent?

Apple Announces Modest Updates to iPad Air and iPad Mini is a post from: Good e-Reader

Google Nexus 6 Set to to Rival iPhone 6, Galaxy Note 4


It is with great enthusiasm that Google released their next generation Nexus 6 smartphone yesterday. Being labelled the next in a line of phablets, the Nexus 6 is a very large mobile device that straddles the line between smartphone and tablets. Packed with features, the Nexus 6 promises to stand up proudly against the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus.

Design and Display

It can’t be said that the Nexus 6 is a light smartphone, and coming in at 6.49 ounces (184g) is will feel quite substantial. By comparison, the Galaxy Note 4 is 6.21 ounce (176g) and the iPhone 6 Plus is the lightest at 6.07 ounces (172g). It is also the largest of the three phablets, with a full 6-inch display with a 1440×2560 pixel resolution and 493 ppi density. Also a very attractive feature is that the Nexus 6 is splash resistant (without needing to wrap it in a case) –other Samsung products can boast that, the Galaxy Note 4 isn’t so lucky.


The camera in the Nexus 6 is competitive with a dual LED flash, but only measures 13 megapixels (where the Galaxy Note 4 has 16, and iPhone 6 Plus lags quite a distance behind at 8).

Operating System

Running the latest Android Lollipop, Google maintains their top spot as the manufacturer with the truest Android smartphone.


Powered by a quad core, 2700 MHz, Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor, the Nexus 6 should still be comparable the 8-core, 1900 MHz ARM processor found in the Galaxy Note 4 –though on paper Apple’s processor seems quite a bit behind both devices by only being dual core and 1400MHz. With that said, many of the performance tests being run are placing Apple’s smartphone performing ahead of Samsung’s, so these specifications on their own don’t carry much real-world weight or meaning. The Nexus 6 comes with 32GB or 64GB of built-in storage, but unlike the Galaxy Note 4, cannot be expanded with additional storage (using microSD, microSDHC, or microSDXC).


Google claims that the Nexus 6 will deliver 24 hours of talk time. They also say you can expect 13.8 days of stand-by time. In other news, pigs can apparently fly. I’ll believe that these batteries perform this well when I experience it for myself, but I do trust that it’s better than most of us are used to… especially if you turn off the Ambient Display.

Unlike any of the competition, the Nexus 6 does lead the pack in the power arena by offering built-in wireless charging… and using Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2.0, a quick 15 minutes of charging should get you about 6 more hours of use.


You should have no complaints in this arena, with the Nexus 6 offering GSM at 850/900/1800/1900MHz, CDMA band classes 0/1/10, WCDMA bands 1/2/4/5/8, and LTE bands 2/3/4/5/7/12/13/17/25/26/29/41.

Aside from cellular options, Google equipped the Nexus 6 with 802.11ac Wi-Fi using a 2×2 MIMO antenna, Bluetooth 4.1 LE, and NFC.

Before you salivate yourself into needing a fresh shirt, brace yourself for the $649 USD price-tag found on the unlocked model. Not surprisingly, many Android purists are already expressing their outrage at the cost –especially when previous Nexus smartphones only rid our wallets of $349 USD. While this increase is difficult to accept, it’s necessary if Google is going to produce the kind of hardware that will have the chops to compete with the quality options being released by the competition. Of course, the Nexus 6 looks to be worth every penny… but it means that carriers with contract-signing incentives will play a much more significant role in the success of this device (like they already do for the high-end hardware coming from Samsung and Apple).

Pre-order for the Nexus 6 will begin in late October, with full retail availability beginning in November.

Google Nexus 6 Set to to Rival iPhone 6, Galaxy Note 4 is a post from: Good e-Reader

Weekly eHighlights: Audio edition



Click here to view the Marketplace cart of these titles and more.

The Usual Suspects: Guaranteed Bestsellers

Maya Banks – Keep Me Safe – Harper Audio, read by Jeffrey Kaffer

Clive Cussler – The Eye of Heaven and Havana Storm – Books on Tape, read by Scott Brick

Lena Dunham – Not That Kind of Girl - Books on Tape, read by the author

Tana French – The Secret Place – Books on Tape, read by Stephen Hogan & Lara Hutchinson

Tess Gerritsen – Under the Knife – Dreamscape Media, read by Erin Yuen

John Grisham – Gray Mountain – Books on Tape, read by Catherine Taber

Elin Hilderbrand – Winter Street – Blackstone, read by Erin Bennett

Darynda Jones – Seventh Grave and No Body – Macmillan Audio, read by Lorelei King

Sophie Kinsella – Shopaholic to the Stars – Books on Tape, read by Clare Corbett

Marie Lu – The Young Elites – Books on Tape, read by Carla Corvo & Lannon Killea

Debbie MacomberMr. Christmas – Books on Tape, read by Elyse Mirto

Cathy MaxwellThe Groom Says Yes – Harper Audio, read by Mary Jane Wells

James PattersonSaving the World and Other Extreme Sports (Maximum Ride) – Hachette Audio, read by Kasey Lee Huizinga

James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge – Burn – Blackstone, read by Danny Mastrogiorgio

Jodi Picoult – Where There’s Smoke (Short Story) and Larger Than Life (Novella) – Books on Tape, read by Kathe Mazur & Rebecca Lowman

Marilynne Robinson – Lila – Macmillan Audio, read by Maggie Hoffman

Fiction Tilly Bagshawe – Sidney Sheldon’s Chasing Tomorrow Harper Audio, read by Michael Cramer Bestselling author Sidney Sheldon’s most popular heroine–international thief Tracy Whitney of Tomorrow Comes–is back in this sequel. Someone is pulling off murders in all of the cities where the retired Tracy pulled off her best capers, and pointing the evidence at her.

Diane Chamberlain – The Silent SisterMacmillan Audio, read by Susan Bennett Riley MacPherson has spent her entire life believing that her older sister Lisa committed suicide as a teenager. Now, 20 years later, she finds evidence to the contrary. Ranked No. 4 in sales by Macmillan.

Hilary Mantel – The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher: Stories** – Macmillan Audio, read by Jane Carr Ranked No. 3 at Macmillan Audio. By the winner of The Man Booker Award and the bestselling author of Wolf Hall.

Garth Stein – A Sudden Light Simon & Schuster Audio, read by Seth Numrich In the summer of 1990, a young boy discovers family secrets, including a ghost, in a huge estate overlooking Puget Sound. By the author of The Art of Racing in the Rain.

Nonfiction James Carroll – Christ Actually: The Son of God for the Secular Age Critically acclaimed and bestselling author James Carroll has explored every aspect of Christianity, faith, and Jesus Christ except this central one: What can we believe about–and how can we believe in–Jesus in the twenty-first century in light of the Holocaust and other atrocities.

Alan Cumming – Not My Father’s Son: A Memoir Harper Audio, read by the author Actor Alan Cumming had no idea, when he agreed to appear on the genealogy television show Who Do You Think You Are? that, not only would he reconnect with his father, but that a secret would be shared that would change his life forever.

Jim Gaffigan – Food: A Love Story Books on Tape, read by the author Stand-up comedian Gaffigan has made a career by rhapsodizing about food: “Choking on bacon is like getting murdered by your lover.” “Coconut water was invented to get people to stop drinking coconut water.” Bon appetit!

Atul Gawande – Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End Macmillan Audio, read by Robert Petkoff Practicing surgeon Gawande argues that quality of life is what is important to aging and failing patients, and gives examples of more socially fulfilling models for assisting the infirm and dependent elderly. By the author of The Checklist Manifesto. Gawande is a National Book Award finalist, and McArthur Fellow.

Kids & Teens Paolo Bacigalupi – The Doubt Factory Books on Tape, read by Emma Galvin By the National Book Award finalist. Ranked No. 8 at Listening Library.

Allie Condie – Atlantia Books on Tape, read by Rebecca Soler Ranked #2 in sales at Listening Library.

Cornelia Funke – Emma and the Blue Genie Books on Tape, read by Oliver Latsch By the bestselling author of Inkheart.

Lauren Hillenbrand – Unbroken (The Young Adult Adaptation)An Olympian’s Journey from Airman to Castaway to Captive Books on Tape, read by Edward Herrmann YA version of the adult bestseller and movie.

Garth Nix – Clariel Books on Tape, read by Graeme Malcolm No. 4 in sales at Listening Library.

Tui T. Sutherland – Against the Tide – Scholastic Audio, read by Nicola Barber Book 5 in the bestselling Spirit Animals series.

Bella Thorne – Autumn Falls Books on Tape, read by the author New novel by the well known young actress.

Click here to view the Marketplace cart of these titles and more.

(Geographical rights may vary by title.)

Kobo to Step Back from Tablets, Focus on eReaders and Apps Instead

Last week The Bookseller published an article that reveals some interesting details about Kobo’s plans for the future. According to Kobo president and chief content officer, Michael Tamblyn, Kobo doesn’t plan to make any new tablets. Instead they plan to focus on their dedicated ereaders, apps, and putting more effort into retail stores, at least […]

Compute Module IO Board Hardware Design Files Now Available!

Back in April we announced the Compute Module, and since then we’ve had a lot of interest from manufacturers who are looking to design the module into real products. We’ve already had orders for significant numbers of modules.

It has taken a little while to spin up the wheels of mass production, but they are now well and truly turning, and behind the scenes our initial customers who have already made orders are now getting their modules. Now that production is in full swing, Compute Modules will soon be available to the masses from the usual partners, for $30 in volumes of 100 or more, or individually if you pay a premium. Premier Farnell have the ability to back-order here and RS Components here.

When we announced the Compute Module we released all the schematics for the module itself and also the schematics for our ‘get you started’ Compute Module development board, the Compute Module IO Board. We had always promised to also release the full CAD for the IO board, and today we are doing just that!


Compute Module IO Board as viewed in the CAD tool

The design files are the Cadence OrCAD schematic file, Cadence Allegro PCB file and the full board Gerbers, bill of materials (BOM) and PDF version of the schematic. People should be able to take the design and easily modify it, or just take the Gerber files and create copies of the board if that’s what they want to do.

As a bonus we are also releasing the full CAD for the Camera and Display adaptors as well.

These design files can be found here and are released under a modified BSD licence (the licence is included in the zip with the design files).

Note that the only difference from the official Raspberry Pi Compute Module IO Board is that this publicly released one does not (and cannot, without permission from Raspberry Pi) have the Raspberry Pi logo on it. We have also removed the CE and FCC compliance logos, as again this is something board manufacturers are responsible for: you must perform your own certification for any clones or derivatives of this board.