Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Future of Used eBooks will be Determined December 23rd


The entire concept of a used eBook store will be determined on December 23rd 2014. This is the date that a Netherlands court will make its decision whether the publishers or online store Tom Kabinet is in the right. The future of used eBooks hangs in the balance of this upcoming judgement.

The Amsterdam District Court ruled in July that Tom Kabinet can stay open for business during a legal battle against the Dutch Publishers Association. The publishers believe Tom Kabinet infringes on copyrights and they may  have a point. Their own research points to 90% of all eBooks listed on TC are pirated and that criminals are reselling books they download from torrent websites.

The big argument that Tom Kabinet is employing is a  2012 decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union, which ruled in a dispute between Oracle and UsedSoft that the trading of "used" software licenses is legal and that the author of such software cannot oppose any resale.

The entire European publishing industry is likely hyper aware of the upcoming judgement. If the court rules in favor of the website, it could start a boom  period in which hundreds of companies spring up, offering used eBook sales. This might be beneficial to the publishing industry as a whole, since many mom and pop used bookstores have been closing at an accelerated rate in the last few  years.

The Future of Used eBooks will be Determined December 23rd is a post from: Good e-Reader

Next Issue Raises $50 Million for Digital Magazine Service


Next Issue Media has just raised $50 million dollars for their Netflix for magazine service that is being marketed in the US and Canada.

The funding comes from investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR) and follows a string of massive funding announcements in the media/tech space, like BuzzFeed ($50 million), Reddit ($50 million), Vox ($46.5 million), Imgur ($40 million), Business Insider ($12 million), and Vice ($500 million).

Currently Next Issue only has 150,000 paid digital subscribers in the US and Canada, but they have yet to achieve profitability. As Next Issue Media is not a public company, it does not have to share its financials and so one does not know what kind of shape the company is in. The fact they are actively courting funding leads me to believe their current business model might be unviable.

Next Issue Raises $50 Million for Digital Magazine Service is a post from: Good e-Reader

Advertisers still Wary of Digital Newspapers


Consumers have started to embrace the idea of digital newspapers instead of print over the course of 2014. Advertisers have slowly started to gravitate towards promoting their brands on mobile and tablet Spending has grown in the United Kingdom 17.4% this year to £163 million, but analysts are speculating that it will only marginally increase by 8.1% next year.

Digital advertising spending is a drop in the bucket compared to print. The top national newspapers are expected to garner £1.42 billion in 2015, a 1% year-on-year increase, according to a report by the Advertising Associations.

Its not that UK advertisers are way of digital as a whole, its actually quite the opposite. The UK is predicted to become the first country in the world where more than half of all advertising spend goes to digital media.

Group M, the worldwide media buying arm of the market services company WPP, has forecast that the total UK ad market will hit £15.7 billion in 2015. Within this online spend is forecast to grow 12.7% year-on-year to break the £8 billion mark, making the UK the first in which more than £1 in every £2 of ad spend will go on digital media.

The conundrum that newspaper publishers face when trying to monetize their digital platforms is consistency. Advertisers looking to buy digital ad space from local publishers had to deal with them individually or in small groups, an inefficient process. In order to solve this issue some newspaper companies have pooled their resources together to save on marketing. Newscorp launched the News Corp Global Exchange in 2013, that brings together the ad space of 50 websites and mobile/tablet products including Times.co.uk, TheSun.co.uk, NYPost.com, TheAustralian.com.au, MarketWatch.com and News.com.au.

The lack of a unified advertising network and sheer number of digital options available have jaded most advertisers. This has forced the Times  and Telegraph to embrace the paywall option,  that allows readers to check out a few articles a month and then pay a subscription to read beyond a certain threshold.

Advertisers still Wary of Digital Newspapers is a post from: Good e-Reader

Barnes and Noble Unveils Nook Trade in Program


Barnes and Noble has just unveiled a new trade in program that will allow Nook owners to drop off their older devices at any bookstore and get a $30 credit towards the purchase of a Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook.

The trade in program is the first of its type and gives owners of the 1st generation Nook, Nook Color and Nook Tablet a viable upgrade path. As long as the devices are in working order and not totally broken, B&N will give you the credit.

It is important to note they will not give you physical cash for your old device, but they will give you $30 off the 10.1 and 7 inch versions of the new Samsung 4 Nook tablets. This offer is only available from now until January 17, 2015.

My advice, is if you do take advantage of this offer to delete all of the content on your device to insure none of your personal information will be accessible. All you need to do is hold the “Power” button for at least five seconds to power off it off. Hold the “Home” and “Power” buttons until the Nook Color powers on.Press the “Home” button when the Factory Reset dialog is displayed. Press the “Home” button to confirm the reset. The device reboots automatically after the restore is complete.

Barnes and Noble Unveils Nook Trade in Program is a post from: Good e-Reader

Kobo Launches eBook access Program Targeting OEM


2014 has been a benchmark year in the e-reader industry, due to the rise of Android as being the preferred operating system. Barnes and Noble and Sony have always ran Android as the backbone of their devices, while everyone else tended to use Linux. The main problem with these two companies is that it was a locked down version of the OS and did not allow users to install their own apps. This year though, a number of companies such as Pocketbook, Onyx Boox, Icarus and Boyce have all released a slew of new devices running an open version of Android. This gives users the freedom not to be locked into any one specific ecosystem, but to have freedom to deal with whoever they choose.  Kobo though, is not content to sit back and let readers decide who they want to buy eBooks from and instead is launching a new program offering a monetary incentive to these companies to have the Kobo app pre-installed.

Kobo and e Ink are partnering up to target OEM companies who are running Android to have the Kobo app installed at the factory. Many e-readers over the years are sold with no digital bookstore and force users to download their own books from the internet (which encourages piracy) or find a compatible store and use Adobe Digital Editions to transfer the purchases to their device. Its all of these companies that e Ink and Kobo will be targeting.

There is no definitive word on what type of incentives Kobo will be offering OEM companies to have their app loaded on their devices, but likely it will much akin to programs Kobo established at indie bookstores in the US and UK. Likely, the incentive program will have Kobo paying a small royalty for each book that is sold on their device. You can think of it as private affiliate program.

Can this program work out? It depends on the exact role that e Ink will play in the discussions. When it comes to e-readers, most of these companies that brand the devices as their own, have no role in the manufacturing or firmware development. Instead, they source that all from Chinese OEM’s or Taiwanese companies like Netronix. This is why when we review a bunch of new devices that company X has released, each one looks really different and the user experience is not consistent. This is because its far easier just to buy everything from China and stick their own branding on it and market it as their own. Linux has been the most popular OS up until this point, because these Chinese companies could charge extra to customize it. Now that Android is proving to be the big trend in 2014/2015, Kobo is hoping to take advantage of it.

Kobo Launches eBook access Program Targeting OEM is a post from: Good e-Reader

Kabam Readies Marvel Comics Mobile RPG for Fall 2015


Gamers are already salivating over the upcoming Marvel: Contest of Champions, Marvel and Kabam are making more plans. This time it appears to be an RPG promising to feature a cast of our most beloved super-hero characters.

Kabam COO Kent Wakeford had a few words to say about their relationship with Marvel:

“The Marvel brand represents some of the most iconic and loved characters in the history of action entertainment. Marvel continues to dominate the box office with mega hit after mega hit, and we at Kabam look forward to extending Marvel's universe into a blockbuster mobile game.”

Kabam is no stranger to working with big franchises. In addition to Marvel, the development house has a history creating beautiful visuals and audio for licenses like Lord of the Rings and The Hunger Games.

Saying the new game is an RPG doesn’t tell us much, but usually it means something more reminiscent of traditional console-style gaming. It is also likely that the game will follow Kabam’s tradition of creating free-to-play games, which is good news for those of us who prefer to spend our money in-app instead of on the title itself.

Kabam Readies Marvel Comics Mobile RPG for Fall 2015 is a post from: Good e-Reader

The best of the “Best Books of 2014″ lists


It's that time of year again when we get flooded with best books lists. To save you time and energy, the Collection Team has compiled all of the “best books of the year” lists circulating in the media into one Marketplace list, so that you don't have to sift through each one. To find out which titles may have flown under your radar in 2014, click the Marketplace link and then filter by selecting "not in collection.” Our Collection Team will continually update the list as new best of 2014 articles are published so you won't miss a must-have title. Here are just a few hidden gems from the list that would make great additions to your digital collection:

Click here to view the full Marketplace link.


Michelle Ross is an MLIS Analyst at OverDrive.

PocketBook CAD Reader Flex has 13.3″ Flexible E Ink Screen

PocketBook has announced what is essentially an updated version of an unreleased device called the PocketBook CAD Reader. The new version is called the PocketBook CAD Reader Flex, and as the name suggests it has a flexible screen and housing. It was exactly one year ago today when PocketBook first announced plans to develop the […]

Kobo Now Listing eBook Formats Once Again

When Kobo redesigned their website in 2013 to make it more tablet and mobile device friendly, they removed the section that specified what format the book was available in, along with customer reviews. Fortunately Kobo.com has finally started listing format type once again and if a title has DRM or not. Kobo is known for […]

Addr eBook App for iOS Offers Advanced Annotation Support

Addr is a new ebook reader app designed for the Apple iPad with a specialized focus on annotations. The app supports ePub ebooks without DRM and integrates with Dropbox for easy sharing and downloading. What makes Addr unique is the ability to add in context notes to the right margin alongside the text. Notes can […]

Raspberry Pi Glove

If you’re a keen follower of what we and the teachers we train get up to at Picademy, you might remember this little gem. (Not a lettuce. A video.)

That Michael Jackson Tribute Glove (MJTG) was the work of Dan Aldred’s team (that’s Dan taking charge in the above video). When Picademy wrapped up, Dan said he’d go home and carry on developing the glove into something that was actually useful.

Meet Project New York: the Social Media Pi Glove.

Dan had a think about occasions when using a phone, tablet or computer just aren’t practical or safe – like when you’re driving the car. (I think he should also develop a version for when you’re in the bath.) And if you’re supremely lazy, perhaps getting your phone out of a pocket is a bit of a pest. Enter the glove.

The Pi Glove can take pictures and tweet them. It can operate as a single-touch MP3 player. It speaks in a terrifying robot voice. (“CAMERA READY! SM-ILE!”) It scrapes timetable websites to tell you when your train is scheduled, what platform it’ll arrive on, and whether it’s late. It is altogether rather wonderful, and I’m sure you can think of a million other features Dan could add.

Dan has made a build diary available, and knowing him, it’ll be surprising if he doesn’t continue to develop the Pi Glove. We’ll be keeping an eye on what he does next – thanks Dan!

Pocketbook Unveils Flexible 13.3 inch e-Reader


Pocketbook has slowly been refining their CAD Reader that is aimed at architects and people involved in creating renderings using software by Autodesk. Today, at an event in Las Vegas Pocketbook has unveiled their latest design that sets a benchmark for e-ink devices.

The Pocketbook CAD now has an e-Ink Mobius display panel, which is the exact same one the Sony Digital Paper employs. The overall resolution of the 13.3 inch reader is 1600 X 1200, which will insure super high clarity to images and text. Underneath the hood is a 1.5 GHz dual-core CPU which along with 512 MB of RAM. There is 8 GB of internal storage that is large enough to carry thousands of blueprints and design documents.

What makes this e-reader flexible? Instead of using plastic or hybrid magnesium alloys it incorporates a rubber housing. It also has a poly-urethane surface that prevents accidental slipping.


The Pocketbook Cad Flex looks quite different from the first generation prototype that was shown off at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2013. I think Pocketbook attained a ton of feedback from Autodesk and design studios on what exactly was needed as a workplace extension while on various job sites.  I think this is why they came up with a more lightweight design that was resistant to scuffs when carried in a bag full of sharp objects.

I think Pocketbook is doing a tremendous job with the CAD Reader. The trend in the e-reader industry is just release a ton of products and hope for the best. This is the type of mentality that has flooded the marketplace with cheap products and jaded a number of people off of reading digitally entirely. Sony and Pocketbook are doing the smart play by aiming their devices at business professionals and putting enough time and effort into the hardware development.

Pocketbook Unveils Flexible 13.3 inch e-Reader is a post from: Good e-Reader