Thursday, December 18, 2014

Canadians Firmly Embrace Digital Magazines on Smartphones


Canada is forecasted to be the 5th highest ranked market in 2015 for the adoption of new media technology. This is not only due to the increased ownership of smartphones, tablets and e-readers, but publishers making content that shines on these devices.

The number of mobile phone internet users in Canada continues to increase, projected to reach 23.6 million in 2018. Smartphone adoption in Canada is among the highest in the world at 62% ,behind Spain (66%) and the UK (64%). If you look at tablet ownership, it has only increased from 9% to 21% over the course of 2013 to 2014.

Publishers are starting to realize that if you are targeting English and French speaking Canadians, the smartphone is the primary goal. Among adults ages 18-34 a staggering 83% downloaded or purchased a digital magazine in 2013. Normally these sorts of downloads occur from the Apple Newsstand, Google Play Magazines, or 3rd party apps such as PressReader.

What type of content do Canadians desire? Well for starters, companies that offer back issues tend to fare better. 45% of Canadians prefer to read only the latest magazine, but 55% said they read back issues too. In terms of Genre, the highest performers currently are Travel, Entertainment, Fashion and Cooking/Decorating.

Canada has a population of 35 million people and although not everyone reads magazines tangibly or digitally, its hard to know how many people are actually doing it. The Print Measurement Bureau said in their Fall Report that 2.9 million Canadians are reading digitally on their smartphones and to a lesser degree tablets, which is an increase of over 57% from last year.

If you are interested in lots of statistics, metrics and deep anylsis of the Candian magazine industry, I would recommend the 2014 Fact Book. It shows how digital magazine content has become even more accessible, available and timely, as well as globally inclusive. From email to display ads, audience engagement to retail, the Fact Book confirms that magazines have an impact wherever, whenever and however readers are consuming content.

Canadians Firmly Embrace Digital Magazines on Smartphones is a post from: Good e-Reader

Amazon Prime Now Program Delivers Books in 2 Hours


Amazon Prime Now is a pilot project in Manhattan and it promises to deliver books and anything else the website sells within two hours. If two hours is too much time, you can pay an extra $7.99 to get it within one hour.

In order to take advantage of the Prime Now program you must subscribe to the $99.99 per year Amazon Prime membership. Amazon has promised that more cities will receive this service in in 2015. Anyone who downloads the mobile app for iOS or Android can receive a notice when the service arrives in their area.

When using the app to order products, Amazon is not reinventing the wheel. If you have ever used the Amazon Shopping app, Prime Now functions the exact same way. You can search for and browse items and then add them to your shopping cart. After you order your item, you can track its delivery. Amazon has confirmed that over 10,000 items are eligible for the Prime Now program.

Amazon is facing increased competition from established players, who have launched new programs. Google has been experimenting with its own delivery service, which in October expanded beyond its early outposts in New York and California to Chicago, Boston, and Washington, D.C. For same-day service, users of Google Express must pay $95 per year, or $10 per month. Online auction site eBay, has also expressed interest about faster deliveries using their own in-house solution.

Free two hour shipping on 10,000 items is very compelling if you are already an Amazon Prime member. Sadly, the only postal code its delivering to right now is 10001.

Amazon Prime Now Program Delivers Books in 2 Hours is a post from: Good e-Reader

Is Your Digital Library Ready for the Holiday Rush? (Part 2)

For Part 1, click here.

Over the years, we here at OverDrive have noted some of the December best practices of our libraries as we creep up on the holiday rush. Here is what we've learned:

The days between December 25 and January 5 are some of the busiest of the whole year for our libraries as people find new devices under their Christmas trees. It's important to be ready for this demand.

This is your last chance to increase your circulation numbers for 2014. Are your checkouts up for the year? Are they going to be higher than last year? Or are you close to joining the Million Checkouts Club? Now is the time for a last minute push.

Will you find extra money in your budget as POs are closed, or can you transfer a little left from here and there in various accounts? If so, instead of burying your Technical Services Department with a flood of print books just as they'd like to be taking vacation, consider spending that money on your digital collection. No mess, no fuss, and you'll begin to increase your circulation within a few hours without impacting another department.

One guaranteed way to increase circulation is to fill your holds, which not only ensures immediate checkouts, but also will make it more likely that those with new devices won'PostHolidayGraphict be disappointed when they search your digital library for something popular to read on Christmas morning.

Are you worried about your staff supporting all those new users? Contact your Collection Development Specialist to find out about the possibility of free Frontline Support supplied by OverDrive if you can hit certain spending targets.

Wondering what to buy? The OverDrive Collection Development Librarians have created many carts to help you spend any last minute extra money quickly. You'll see a few of them linked below, or go to our Recommended Lists page to see many more. And remember, you can click any of the links, which will take you to Marketplace, and then filter by selecting "not in collection" to see only the titles you don't already own.

Call or email us if you need help meeting deadlines. We are always happy to do anything we can for you, including building carts to your specifications.

Email your Collection Development Specialist, or the Or call 216 573-6886, ext. 762 to reach the Collection Development Department or your specialist. We're here and ready to help!

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December Starred Reviews
December Books in the Media
Holiday Cookbooks
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Holiday Romance
Slow Cooker & Soup Cookbooks
Holiday Baking

Macmillan Intends on Entering e-Book Subscription Market


Macmillan has announced that they intend on entering the e-Book subscription model business, in an attempt to broaden its distribution channels. CEO John Sargent mentioned that the primary reason they are engaging in the whole Netflix for eBooks concept is because Amazon accounts for 64% of all Macmillan digital sales, and this must change.

Sargent outlined Macmillan’s plans for the future to his stable of authors, illustrators, and Agents “In our search for new routes to market, we have been considering alternative business models including the subscription model. Many of you know that we have long been opposed to subscription. We have always worried that it will erode the perceived value of your books. Though this significant long-term risk remains, we have decided to test subscription in the coming weeks. Several companies offer "pay per read" plans that offer favorable economic terms. We plan to try subscription with backlist books, and mostly with titles that are not well represented at bricks and mortar retail stores. Our job has always been to provide you with the broadest possible distribution, and given the current financial and strategic incentives being offered, we believe the time is right to try this test.”

It is very likely in the next few weeks we will hear about Macmillan signing an e-Book distribution deal with Oyster and Scribd. These are two companies not affiliated with Amazon and engage in the pay per read model, which is what Macmillan is looking for.

Macmillan Intends on Entering e-Book Subscription Market is a post from: Good e-Reader

Why Samsung’s NOOK Tablet is Perfect for Students


Whether you're a student yourself or the parent of one, you know how aggravating it can be to trek back and forth from class with all your necessities. Textbooks, notebooks, even netbooks and laptops have become part of the list essentials to put in your backpack every day; particularly for college students. Tablets have made a difference to some degree, but the majority of them don't offer transition between apps that are smooth and quick enough to make note-taking and studying easy on a single device. And never mind battery life; if you didn't leave your tablet plugged in for at least 10 hours yesterday, it probably won't even turn on for class today. It's just how technology works—or is it?

A Challenger Appears

Luckily, Barnes & Noble and Samsung have embarked on a joint venture to change the game for lecture- and class-friendly mobile devices. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK offers a veritable panacea of handy features for students on the go, from junior high up to graduate school.

What makes the Tab 4 NOOK such a great choice for students? It's one part form, one part function, and one part finance. The Galaxy eReader gives students access to the entire online Barnes & Noble library, including any and all textbooks available in digital form, while the same device can also run note-taking apps, capture video and audio and get online for research, email and chatting with friends and family back home.

Most eReaders are designed to fulfill a singular purpose: a portable library. The Tab 4 NOOK is one of the first true hybrid devices, and that makes it different. The device is essentially a Samsung Galaxy 4 Tablet that's been sanded down to remove all the sharp edges and then polished to promise the best presentation possible. It's been stripped of the usual Samsung trappings and many pre-installed "junk" apps in favor of Barnes & Noble's NOOK apps and widgets, all of which are moveable and removable to your own preference. Unlike the standard Samsung Galaxy 4 Tab, the NOOK variant lacks Samsung's infamous My Magazine, which intrudes upon your screen with an irremovable widget that allegedly give access to multiple updates from a single location; PCWorld applauded the removal of the "feature" in the new Galaxy Note 4, so the fact that the Tab 4 NOOK lacks it altogether makes the entire experience much more pleasing from a UI perspective.

Productivity and Multi-Tasking

The smaller of Samsung's two NOOK tablets—the other clocks in at 10.1 inches, making it a bit cumbersome to carry around everywhere—offers some fantastic multi-tasking functions, allowing students to stay productive and follow along in class at the same time.

Not the least of these features is Samsung's trademark Multi Window functionality. Reported as fully operational in the little NOOK hybrid by Engadget, this allows users to run two apps simultaneously, on the same screen. While this has become the standard in Samsung's tablets, being able to utilize such a feature in an eReader is a definite game-changer for the educational tech market. This feature allows students to have an eBook open at the same time as their favorite note-taking app; this way they can take notes, follow along, and not worry about missing out on key lecture information or discussion while they switch between the two apps to catch up with the reading or put down a note. And unlike other devices with this kind of function, most notably laptops, the Tab 4 NOOK is small enough to carry in a purse or even a winter coat's large inside pocket. Clocking in at less than 10 ounces in weight, users don't have to worry about anything getting dragged down when they pack up this device to get to class.

Wrap Up

While Gizmodo's launch review of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK went so far as to ask "what's the point?" even they declared that the main demographic for the device would be users who wanted an eReader with other, more complex functions.  The tablet hybrid also comes with about $200 in freebies, including episodes of hit TV shows, free books, and even a year-long "trial" subscription to multiple nationally acclaimed magazines. Since one of these options is National Geographic, it again proves its worth to students across the country—easy access to academically accepted content just for buying a device that works just as well and costs less than half the price of the industry standard iPad? That's more than worth it.

There are other options, but considering the Tab 4 NOOK is the only one in the current round of next-gen eReaders to offer more than eight hours of battery life in a single charge, even with Wi-Fi on and screen brightness up, it's hard to justify getting anything else for the student in your life.

Why Samsung’s NOOK Tablet is Perfect for Students is a post from: Good e-Reader

On Holiday traditions and nostalgia

Every year as Thanksgiving dinner finishes up I turn my attention to my favorite time of year: the holiday season. Christmas for me has long been a time of nostalgia and tradition. Being an old soul I take this time to reflect on where I've come from christmasCaroland celebrations of years past. The Christmas music I listen to doesn't just make me holly and jolly. It also brings back memories of putting up the tree at my parents' house and celebrating on Christmas Eve with more cousins than I could ever count.

It's because of this urge to look back that I traditionally fall into a very specific pattern this time of year. On the night of Thanksgiving I watch the original version of Miracle on 34th Street because it was something I always did with my Pops when I was younger. My wife and I always wrap presents while watching The Muppet Christmas Carol and each December I reread the Dickens classic that Kermit and the gang so perfectly reproduced. For me, rediscovering the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future helps remind me of the true meaning of the season and gives me a reason to reflect on where I've been, where I am and where I hope to go.

Another great tradition of our household is that every year my wife takes to the kitchen to bake thumb print cookies from her mother's recipe. This is the perfect time of year for goodies and so I'm planning on joining her in baking by checking out some of the cookbooks from our Pinterest page and adding some treats to our holiday menu. These digital cookbooks are great for the kitchen. Simply find the recipe you're looking for, prop your device up next to the cutting boards and rolling pins and you're good to go! For an added bonus we'll borrow some holiday music from the library to provide a musical background for our baking adventure.

The holidays are a great time to look back on the things you're truly thankful for in your life. For me it's family, food, books and traditions. As you're reading this there's a decent chance I'm curled up next to our fireplace with my iPad reading about that tight-fisted hand at the grind-stone, Scrooge and his story of redemption while snacking on something sweet and listening to holiday classics. I'm thankful for these moments every year but I'm even more thankful that they're all provided for free from the library.

Cheers and happy holidays.


Adam Sockel is a Marketing Communications Specialist at OverDrive. He thinks Michael Cane was the best Scrooge ever.

Collection Highlights: Best of the Holiday Sales

This month, we're pleased to present a very special Best of the Holiday Sales edition of OverDrive Collection Highlights. Click the Prezi above to hear about some of our personal picks from the over 50,000 titles on sale in OverDrive Marketplace this holiday season. Happy shopping!

Note: For the best audio experience, we recommend watching this presentation in Chrome.


Carrie Smith is a technical writer at OverDrive.

Christmas light sequencer

Over at Instructables, Osprey22 (what’s your real name, 22? Let us know and I’ll add it to this post) is driving audio and eight strands of lights (plus a jolly twinkly star) from the same Raspberry Pi, so the two can be sequenced using some custom Python he’s written. Play to the end for a bit of Let it Go, if you’ve not heard it too many times this year already.

Osprey22 has made full build instructions available, along with all the code you’ll need, and sequencer files for a few Christmas choons. We love it.