|Amazon has ironed out an agreement with the University of Massachusetts to take over the schools textbook business from Follett. Starting this fall students will be able to order print books and have them delivered for free to their homes or an Amazon-staffed storefront in the campus center that's set to open in June. Each student will be [...]|
Saturday, January 31, 2015
|e-Readers have always employed a single screen and the companies that manufacture them have traditionally been risk adverse. A new dual screen concept has just surfaced which may very well be the future of e-readers. Fabrice Dubuy, who works in France and self-deprecatingly refers to himself as an "(almost) designer," has spent the long gap [...]|
|Authors who’ve enrolled their books in Amazon’s exclusive program KDP Select might have noticed a new feature in their dashboards, tucked in among the various clickable topics. Amazon Marketing Services allows authors to setup an ad campaign for their exclusive titles, one that is designed to put their books in little “ahem” boxes next to [...]|
|PressReader is one of the most popular digital newspaper and magazine companies in the world. They have built their business around the notion of being able to subscribe to over 4,000 publications for a low monthly fee. In order to show consumers how accessible their apps are, they have just unveiled a series of new videos that [...]|
Friday, January 30, 2015
Google Now Launcher just keeps getting better and better… this time with news that the app has rolled out integration with 40 third-party apps. By taking advantage of this functionality, developers can use cards to display notifications, summaries, and any relevant details for you to view at a glance.
According to Google (from their blog, describing the integration in more detail):
The current list of supported apps (in alphabetical order) includes: Airbnb, Belly, BookMyShow, Busuu, Coinbase, Cookpad, Delivery Hero, Duolingo, eBay, ESPNcricinfo, Ford, Hailo, Hootsuite, Housing, Instacart, Kayak, Life360, Lincoln, Lyft, Meru Cabs, Mint, Mytaxi, Pandora, Redfin, Runtastic, Runtastic Me, Shaadi, Shazam, SmartNews, Strava, Suumo, The Economic Times, The Economist, The Guardian, TripAdvisor, Walgreens, Wattpad, Waze, and Zillow.
While this integration is now in place, don’t be concerned if you haven’t yet seen any of the new third-party cards –Google has planned a staged roll-out that will be completed in the coming weeks.
If you haven’t already got it installed, download Google Now Launcher for Android now.
Aspiring manga artists often find themselves being challenged in a number of different ways. Not only do you have to come up with an idea and start drawing, but distribution and turning the final product into an e-book are huge barriers. A new tool has been released that takes PNG, JPG, GIF, CBZ, CBR and CB7 files and turns them into EPUB and MOBI formats, which are the ideal formats to submit your final product into the Kindle or other online bookstores.
One very intuitive tool that all manga developers should be using is Kindle Comic Converter. It takes all of your image files and condenses them into a proper e-book, which is necessary if you want to start monetizing with any of the leading digital platforms. The final product will not only look really good on tablets, but KCC will insure that your comics and manga are fully optimized for E-Ink displays, such as the new Kindle Voyage. This app is free and is available for Windows, Linux and Mac.
Once your manga is converted to an e-book you can start thinking about distribution. The first option to consider is Kindle Direct Publishing, which is the program Amazon runs to get your content into all of the different bookstores in North America, Europe and Japan. Submitting your content is free and they simply take a percentage of each sale. Currently Amazon controls roughly 75% of the e-book market in the US, so its an ideal platform to get immediate eyes on your finished product.
Another viable option is using the self-publishing system called ComiXology Submit. It was originally developed for comic books but does accept manga and graphic novels. When submitting your publication it will actually be reviewed by an in-house squad to monitor it for quality. ComiXology basically wants to ensure that anything that is submitted is appropriate for international distribution. Single issue comics are allowed to be sold for .99 or more. When a comic is sold, creators will gain 50% of all royalties, but if it is sold on iOS, you will see it diminish to only 35%. You may not make a million dollars, but you can gain valuable experience via the DIY approach.
One of the little known self-publishing platforms for manga writers is Kobo Writing Life. Users can publish manga and other graphic-based ePubs (including ePub 3 files) through Kobo Writing Life. It is, of course, quite more popular with their authors in Japan who are publishing through the KWL Japan version of their portal, but authors anywhere in the world can publish manga. Prehapes the largest advantage that writers have is that the Kobo catalog is not as extensive as their e-book version. The manga section is not very big, which allows self-published content to really standout.
I would really recommend you self-publish your manga digitally before you even consider trying to get published by VIZ MEDIA or Shueisha: the publisher in Japan for Shonen Jump. Keep in mind, that getting published in a Shonen Jump, is not something you can easily do. If you are dead bent on going the traditional route you can find the phone number or editor of your favorite magazine and give them a call to setup an appointment. 99% of mangaka got their start this way. Rumiko Takahashi (Ranma 1/2, Inu Yasha, Urusei Yatsura) got her start this way. Takeshi Konomi (Prince of Tennis, COOL) also did. Almost every manga artist that you’ve ever heard of approached magazines and publishers directly. If you want to start entering competitions or need writing advice, Jamie Lynn Lano has an amazing blog that is worth checking out.
Crunchyroll is well known for their anime streaming service and to a lesser degree their digital manga. The company has broke new ground today by taking the first tentative steps into publishing their own content. Crunchyroll has announced a new and original comic by Hiroyuki Takahashi and Patrick Macias entitled "Hypersonic Music Club".
The new comic is available today and you can go over to the website right now to check out the first page which shows off unique art style and beautiful splash art! The story pitch is as follows "In the world of tomorrow… when technology has reached it limits… a group of young cyborgs must battle the extra-dimensional monster girls for final control of the enigmatic force known only as…The Mystery Frequency!"
Crunchyroll first launched their manga service in 2013 and Hypersonic Music Club will be the first time they have ever published an original work. The new line of web-comics will be called Crunchyroll Originals, and will feature Japanese creators. No further information has been released, but we do know that Takahashi will be providing us with 2 fully colored pages per month and starting next week, we can start expecting full character bios! I’m already excited to see what will come out next!
Good e-Reader first wrote about Paperight in 2013 when the group won a digital innovation award at CONTEC, the preshow event to the Frankfurt Book Fair. At the time, it was truly astounding that a company could win such an award for getting more people to read print books.
Paperight operated in remote regions by filling a need for licensed content. Until the company’s arrival, many book stores and university textbook vendors offered a library of single-edition titles that students or their parents would photocopy for a fee. This wasn’t only spurred on by piracy efforts, but also by the fact that many publishers lack a licensing agreement in certain African countries, and therefore did not sell their titles within the region. The only way to access the material was through photocopied piracy.
Paperight changed that by licensing the digital edition and allowing readers to purchase the book via a lower cost license, which the shop owner would then print out on the copiers and bind. Call it a highly rudimentary Espresso book machine, if you will.
While many cultures might be willing to pay a little more to not have to stand at a copier and generate their own books, that has proven to not be the case in the markets that Paperight served. At this time, while optimistic about where the industry can take their pioneering efforts and where their work will take them next, the company has had to close its doors.
|One of the benefits of ebook readers that run Android is the highly customizable nature of the Android operating system. If things aren’t setup or optimized the way you want, you can often hack the operating system to tweak things and make changes for the better. You can find hacking and rooting directions online for […]|
Every major publisher sells e-books with encryption that basically prevents unlawful sharing and distribution to file sharing sites. Adobe is the leading DRM solution and sometimes users find it hard to read their purchased content on mobile devices. In order to make readers lives easier, Adobe has just released their seminal Digital Editions app that was designed exclusively for the Apple iPad.
The Adobe Digital Editions app for the iPad will allow you to read any PDF or EPUB file that you bought from online retailers. It also has support for content that you borrowed from the library.
You can easily import your e-books into the app by accessing your cloud storage service of choice, such as Dropbox. There is also support for opening up attachments in Apple Mail or via iTunes File Sharing on your computer. To read a protected book, you have to authorize the app first by logging in with your Adobe ID or whatever ID the bookseller has provided you with.
When it comes right down to it, this is a first generation app and many critical features are lacking. There are few options to augment your reading experience and about the only thing you can do is make annotations, highlights, bookmarks, search, and or just adjust the display and text. If you have ever used the Adobe Digital Editions app for your PC, this is a less developed version made for the iPad.
Target has found that carrying Barnes and Noble Nook tablets and e-readers to be very unprofitable. This has prompted the US big box retailer to suspend their relationship with the bookseller and Target will no longer stock Nook products.
Target is trying to dump all remaining stock for Nook branded tablets, e-readers and accessories. Big deals are to be had if your local shop, since all of the online entries have just been removed. You can pick up a brand new Nook Glowlight, Nook HD or HD+ for between $30 to $50.
The Barnes and Noble Nook line of devices is the latest causality in Targets bid to carry more recognizable mainstream products and not to be a showroom for companies that sell things online. In 2012 Apple approached Target to sell their complete line of iPads in their store, but they had to stop selling Kindles first. The retailer acquiesced and suspended their relationship with Amazon.
Target Stops Carrying Barnes and Noble Nook Products is a post from: Good e-Reader
Have you said this: "How am I going to manage all of our metered access content easily and stay on top of expiring content without taking a lot of staff time or going crazy?"
We’ve heard your feedback on managing Metered Access content and fulfilling demand for your users, and we are delighted to introduce the first of several OverDrive Marketplace enhancements designed to streamline shopping, reporting, and weeding of metered titles.
Shop for expired titles
Report on expired titles
As a bonus, collection statistics now features a search parameter for "ISBN(s)," so you can enter a list of up to 200 ISBNs and view statistics for those titles only.
Once you've run the report and identified titles of interest, take advantage of the new option to instantly convert your results to a cart—try it out today!
Karen Estrovich is the Director of Collection Development at OverDrive.
Last week, checking out posts people had made on our Facebook page and the projects they were telling us about, one in particular caught my attention. Sarah Roman, a high school English teacher from New Jersey, had written:
There was a link to an Indiegogo campaign; we love to see Raspberry Pi used creatively outside of computing lessons, so I clicked on it. A minute of video opened with the title “English Classroom”, but it didn’t look like my high school English lessons. Students work around computers, ignoring the camera as they concentrate intently on… wait, is that Minecraft?
We got in touch with Miss Roman to find out more. She intends (for starters) to get students in her Junior Honors class (15-16 years old) building Pi-based games consoles with games that draw on their reading of Dracula by Bram Stoker, and she is raising funds to kit out her classroom with Raspberry Pis and accessories. The students will use Scratch, working collaboratively to create their own graphics, sounds, and housing for the console. Older students will be using the Raspberry Pis in their study of William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying. Of course, these plans are only the beginning of the road for the Pis, both within and beyond Miss Roman’s classroom; her project proposal notes that there could be an opportunity to work with other instructors to show them how they might use Raspberry Pi in their teaching.
This isn’t the first time that Miss Roman has introduced video games to the English Literature classroom. Last year, Juniors reading William Golding’s Lord of the Flies worked in groups to build the island where the story is set from the imagery evidence they found in the text, adding significant quotes and moments to it via signposts and books; putting each student group into the same Minecraft world allowed them to explore each other’s work. Students were thrilled to use information from the book to build their own islands, and would sigh when the class came to an end. Miss Roman says,
We’re excited to learn about Raspberry Pi being used in this way, and we hope that this crowdfunding campaign garners plenty of support – we’d love to hear more from New Jersey as this project takes off!
|Yesterday a new 9.7-inch E Ink ebook reader called the Onyx Boox M96C was released. It’s an updated version of the original Boox M96 (review); the difference is the M96C has a capacitive touchscreen for finger touch as opposed to a touchscreen that requires using a stylus pen on the original M96. The older and […]|
The genre’s been around for a while, but in the last few years, sports anime has hit a surge in popularity. If you haven’t already dived into the passionate world of sports manga, this is the time to do so. To get you started in the right direction, here’s a list of the best sports anime and manga out there. Picking the cream of the crop is a hard task, but the following were chosen based on a combination of success, storyline, and general popularity. Let’s take a look at the top 5 sports anime!
5. Ookiku Furikabutte
Often shortened to Oofuri, or in English, Big Windup, this baseball manga can best be described as ‘sweet.’ Author Asa Higuchi tells the story of a young pitcher named Ren Mihashi, who wants to be an ace pitcher but suffers from an incredibly low self-esteem. As he joins a new team in high school, his confidence as a pitcher and a person grows. The sweet factor mostly comes from watching Mihashi overcoming his anxiety and self-esteem issues with a little help from his friends. Oofuri has been running in the magazine Afternoon since 2003, and has had two seasons of an anime adaption from 2007-2010. The anime can be watched through Funimation.
4. Kuroko no Basuke
If you have to put a pin on the sudden jump in sports anime popularity, it could easily be pinned on Kuroko no Basuke. The manga, by Tadatoshi Fujimaki, began its run in 2008, in Weekly Shōnen Jump, and ended in 2014. The series’ popularity didn’t really kick up until the anime adaption began airing in 2012. Since then, it’s only grown. The story follows Tetsuya Kuroko, who was part of an incredibly strong basketball team in middle school. But their team had a falling out, and every player went to a different school. Now, Kuroko is determined to defeat all his ex-teammates, and prove to them that his way of basketball – to play as a team – is the best way. Kuroko no Basuke is available on Crunchyroll.
3. Hajime no Ippo
If there was an award for longest-running sports manga, this would be it. Hajime no Ippo, a boxing manga penned by George Morikawa, started in 1989 – and it’s still going. The story follows Ippo Makunouchi, a shy kid always getting picked on. One day, after getting sorely beaten by a group of bullies, Ippo is rescued by a retired boxer. In true Karate Kid fashion, Ippo decides to take on professional boxing. What sets this sports tale apart from the others is that boxing is not a team sport. Instead, the bonds formed are with teachers and opponents. Hajime no Ippo has had several anime adaptions over the years, beginning in 200 and the most recent ending in 2014. The first of these is available through Crunchyroll.
2. Slam Dunk
Not only is this manga one of the best-selling in history, it has been credited for the rise of basketball’s popularity in Japan. If that isn’t an indicator of a good sports manga, nothing is. Drawn by Takehiko Inoue, Slam Dunk ran from 1990-1996 in Weekly Shōnen Jump. The subsequent anime series ran from 1993-1996. It details the story of a delinquent high school student, Hanamichi Sakuragi, who’s had a bit of bad luck with the ladies. When the girl of his dreams tells him to try out for the basketball team, he reluctantly does, and finds himself caring about the sport more than he ever thought he could. The anime can be found on Crunchyroll.
Perhaps it’s author partiality ranking this fast-paced, hot-blooded volleyball anime in the top spot, but there’s no denying that since its debut in 2012, Haikyuu!! has proved itself a superstar. The manga, serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump, has sold over twelve million volumes. The anime, beginning in 2014, has a second season coming. But what might be Haikyuu!!’s greatest asset is that it features volleyball – one of the least popular sports. The story, by Haruichi Furudate, stars Shouyou Hinata as a short kid with a big jump determined to be a volleyball star. In middle school, he pulls a team together and manages to make it to his local tournament, only to be crushed by the opposing team and it’s main member Tobio Kageyama, the oft-called King of the Court. Hinata swears to Kageyama that he’ll return in high school and defeat him. This plan works great, until he gets to high school and finds himself on the exact same team as one King of the Court. The story balances humour and action with pain and heartbreak, and some truly touching moments. The anime is beautiful, with fluid motion and an incredible sense of motion. You’ll be hooked by the first episode. If you haven’t already seen Haikyuu!!, see it immediately. The series is available on Crunchyroll.
Thursday, January 29, 2015
e-Readers had their time in the sun and their popularity has slowly diminished. Gone are the days when the e-reader space was completely saturated with new e-paper companies and startups trying to capitalize on the e-book revolution. Many of the companies that first got involved in the e-reader space are all gone now. Aluratek, Cool-er, iRex, Txtr and Sony either went bankrupt or abandoned making e-readers. Hundreds of digital bookstores also went out of business such as Blinkbox Boox, Sony Reader Store and Diesel eBooks. The novelty of e-books has worn off and bookstores all over the world are now reporting a resurgence in print sales.
The Kindle “has disappeared to all intents and purposes”, said James Daunt the head of Britain’s biggest book chain Waterstones. He also reported that print book sales lifted by 5% in December. It sparked a flurry of questions about the e-reader’s death.
Australian bookseller Jon Page of Page and Pages said “Sales were up 3% last year, which is fantastic because for the last three years we’d actually seen a decline in that time.”
United States bookseller Barnes and Noble announced that their "Core" comparable bookstore sales, which exclude sales of NOOK products, increased 1.7% for the comparable holiday period. Whereas total comparable bookstore sales, including NOOK products, declined 0.6%.
Chapters Indigo, the largest bookseller in Canada reported during their Q2 2014 earnings call that they generated an extra $9.7 million, despite operating four fewer superstores. They reported double digit increases in print sales as customers are buying less e-readers and tablets.
Bookstores all over the world are reporting dramatic increases in print book sales. This comes at the expense of many of the longstanding e-reader brands and e-book stores closing in droves. Has the novelty of e-readers and e-book waned? I think people have come to realize that buying books on your device is anti-social and book readers are drawn to each other to talk about the things they love and to buy books at a physical store, amidst kindred spirits.
Print Makes a Comeback at the Expense of e-Readers is a post from: Good e-Reader
The latest numbers are in for Apple, and overall they are very good. It would appear that they were right, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus were very much desired (and in demand)… to the tune of 74.5 million units sold, breaking their goal of 60 million by more than a few. By comparison, 21.4 million iPads were moved during the same period… which sounds good, until you realize this was a 21% drop in sales from the same period last year.
Anytime words like loss or drop come into play, people start to play their favourite speculation games. Truth be told, it likely wasn’t that unexpected. Upgrade cycles are becoming larger as hardware becomes that much more impressive. If you ask me, there are two other factors involved here: mobile hardware is expensive (forcing users to make a choice between which devices they upgrade), and users tend to be less critical of tablet performance.
Of course, there might be a third reason: the iPhone 6 Plus may have just persuaded would-be iPad Mini users away from a tablet and into Apple’s larger format smartphone.
As we brace for another year of possible product launches and device upgrades, the rumour mill is in full swing –we know there is a smartwatch headed our way sooner than later, but time will tell if there is also a 12-inch iPad Pro as well. I’ve got an opinion or two regarding the likelihood of this (which involves eliminating the Macbook Air now that the Macbook Pro line is slimming down and lightening up), but I’ll save those speculations for another post.
Apple Posts Mixed Q1 Results for iPhone and iPad Sales is a post from: Good e-Reader
The gap is finally narrowing between the profit made by developers of Android and iOS games. Android certainly has more marketshare, but so far developers have given more attention to Apple’s iOS platform. Where Android used to be somewhat of an afterthought following a successful iOS launch, Android is emerging as being competitive and lucrative –particularly in the gaming category.
According to recent data from gaming marketing company DAU-UP, the average revenue per user for Android games has increased steadily during 2014 –from 20% of iOS revenues in January, to 65% in December.
The actual dollar values are still higher for Apple and iOS developers, but this is more than an increase in revenue; it represents a shift in the type of users that are choosing Android devices. Once thought to be a platform for bargain hunters, Android is now churning out their share of quality higher-end hardware (plus, no matter how much Android users hate it… Google is starting to make the kinds of changes that will standardize development in ways that make developers happy).
Developers should pay especially close attention to this news –if this upward trajectory continues, being among the first to adopt an Android-first development strategy could be incredibly worthwhile.
Smartphone and tablet users are as passionate about media as they are social media and messaging. This means that the eternal search for a worthwhile media player is near-constant. Fortunately, there are a few quality contenders –among them you will find VXG Video Player.
In many ways, VXG Video Player blurs the lines between mobile and desktop video players by boasting a considerable and sophisticated feature list: multiple video formats (AVI, 3GP, M4V, MP4, WMV, FLV, MPEG, MPG, MOV, RM, VOB, ASF, MKV, F4V, TRP, TS, and TP), the ability to record your favourite fragments, upload and download videos over WiFi connections, digital zoom, picture shifting, automatic identification of video and audio files, video preview for listed media (made even easier with smart thumbnails), online streaming, recording of live streams (with add, modify, and delete functionality), and playback of FLV files (without need for the Flash Player plug-in).
With a comprehensive list like that, it is sufficed to say that VXG Video Player does the kind of heavy lifting normally done by a suite of apps.
If you want to test-drive a full-featured (at no charge and ad free!) video player, download VXG Video Player for your Android devices now.
This winter a copious amount of new anime was released on video streaming services such as Crunchyroll, Hulu and Funimation. With the sheer onslaught of great content its hard to know the best stuff. Today, we look at the stuff that has proven to be the most popular and should give you a solid launching point to discovering some great new anime.
Cute High Earth Defence Club LOVE!
The Earth Defence club at Binan High school are a group of boys that do nothing but be lazy, however with an encounter of a mysterious talking wombat in a bathhouse, it becomes clear that these lazy boys will become the Battle Lovers of Earth! Defending and spreading the love one heart at a time to thwart the evil of Thunder and the club members of the Earth Conquest Club.
Upon death, humans go to either heaven or hell. But for some, at the instant of their death, they arrive at Queen Decim, a bar attending by a mysterious white haired Decim. Challenging them to the Death Game, they must wager their lives and reveal their true natures. Decim himself, however, is the ultimate arbitrator of who wins and who loses and who exactly will go to Heaven or Hell
Maria the Virgin Witch (Junketsu no Maria)
Set in France during the Hundred Years’ War, with a magical twist, the story follows Maria, one of the most powerful witches of her time. Despising war, Maria tries to maintain peace and help her people by allowing her incubus and succubus familiars intervene in battles, opposing factions and inducing large scale illusions. Considering her a heretic by the church, The archangel Michael confronts her and reveals that if Maria loses her virginity, she will also lose all of her powers while forbidding her to use magic in front of humans. An Angel named Ezekial is sent to watch over Maria to watch that this doesn’t happen.
Available at Funimation
Yatterman Night (Yoru no Yatterman)
Long ago, the Yatterman were heroes of Justice who fought against the evil Doronbow Gang, exiling them and bringing peace to the Yatter Kingdom. Generations later, the Yatterman have since become a corrupt power with everyone forced to live in poverty and despair. After losing her mother to the Yattermen’s selfishness, Leopard, a direct descenedant of the gang’s leader Doronjo, reforms the Doronbow Gang with Boyacky and Tonzra’s descandants, Voltaktze and Elephantus, to rebel against the corrupt.
Available at Funimation
Tokyo Ghoul √A
Genre: Psychological thriller, Action, Drama
In Modern day Tokyo, society lives in fear of ghouls, mysterious creatures who look like humans but have an insatiable taste for human flesh. Ken Kaneki becomes a victim in an attack and undergoes a surgery that turns him into a ghoul half breed. Torn between two worlds, Ken must survive violent conflicts between ghoul factions while learning more about ghoul society and what the fine line between ghoul and monster is.
Genre:Mecha, Sci-fi, Drama
A community has isolated themselves on an island in order to perform secrete research. The island is mechanical , so not only is it mobile, but also has retractable walls and barriers. A necessary feature as the island is attacked by beings the residents know little about. Aside the protection of the barriers, people on the island enlist a select number of Juveniles to pilot mechas so they can fight against the unknown beings.
Available at Crunchyroll
Saekano – How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend
The life of Tomoya Aki, a high school otaku working part time to buy anime, one day runs into Megumi Kato, the most beautiful girl he’s ever seen. This encounter inspires Tomoya to design his very own "gal-game" featuring a heroine modelled after the girl he saw. Tomoya must persuiade a few eccentric creators such as the ace member of the art club, Eriri Spencer Sawamura and the school’s top student, Utaha Kasumigaoka, to join his development team if he wants to see his desire become reality.
The Rolling Girls
Ten years after the end of the "Great Tokyo War" that rocked Japan, most of the country’s political and economic elites mysteriously vanish. As a result, the country split up into 10 original prefectures. Each nation is then ruled by a prophet called "Mosa" and an army called "Mob" compete as they try to take over the other countries. Their Supporters known as the "Rest", work to support them while maintaining peace. After a long battled that ultimate leads her friend to be injured, a rook Rest named Nozomi decides to travel around the city on her motorcycyle with her new friends as the seek to become strong and search for special heart shaped jewels.
Genre: Action, Supernatural, Comedy
The Earth is threatened by a powerful creature who destroys 70% of the moon, leaving it the shape of a crescent moon forever. The creature claims that in one year, Earth will also be by destroyed by him, but he offers man kind a chance to avert this fate. He begins teaching at Junior High in where he teaches the students about assassination. If any student can assassinate him, he will no longer be able to destroy Earth. Though this will not be an easy task as he has several inhuman abilities, such as the capacity to move at Mach 20.
Genre: Mecha, Action, Drama
Seeking revenge, Count Saazbaum, a Martian, has attacked the Earth. War between Terrans and Martians ended with Earth’s Terrans gaining victory, however, nineteen months later, the battle between them continues. Martians still continue to invade and the Terrans must protect it.
|The Onyx Boox M96 is one of very few 9.7-inch E Ink ebook readers available on the current market (see my M96 Universe Review here). Luckily it’s a good one, and now there’s a newer model that’s even better. The Germany-based eReader-Store.de website has started selling the Onyx Boox M96C. It’s basically the same exact […]|
OverDrive continues to be rated the best eBook app for libraries based on user ratings in the iOS (Apple) and Google Play (Android) app stores. The OverDrive app enables users to borrow and enjoy eBooks, audiobooks and streaming videos on a single website, via smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops and other major devices.
Based on user ratings in the iOS and Android app stores, OverDrive has consistently been rated the highest compared to other library eBook apps. In addition, OverDrive has received significantly more ratings, further validating its leadership position. As of January 15, 2015, the OverDrive app had 40,806 ratings in the iOS app store with an average of 4 stars, and 63,272 ratings at 4.4 stars in the Google Play store. The current version of the OverDrive iOS app was rated 1,021 times with an average rating of 4.0. By comparison, the current version of the 3M Cloud Library iOS app averaged 1.5 stars on 82 ratings, and 3.1 stars in the Google Play app store.
Baker & Taylor's Axis 360 has 2 stars based on 55 ratings in the iOS store and 3 stars based on 166 ratings in the Google Play app store. Hoopla's app scored 2 stars based on 413 user ratings in the iOS store, and 3.5 stars based on 2,344 ratings in the Google Play store. Finally, Freading shows 3 stars based on 73 ratings in the iOS store, and 3 stars based on 168 ratings in the Google Play store. See the full ratings chart, here.
In addition to its popular app, OverDrive provides time-saving options for users' reading, watching, or listening experience that don't require downloads or the app. OverDrive announced that browser-based Instant Audiobooks will debut this year to complement the already-available "instant eBook" reader OverDrive Read and Streaming Video. Now eBooks, audiobooks, and films are available in-browser instantly – in as few as two clicks – as well as downloadable through the app so that users may experience them based on their preference.
As the nation's librarians convene for their annual midwinter meeting in Chicago, OverDrive will be demonstrating innovations for 2015 for library lending. See the highest-rated eBook app for libraries, the browser-based products, along with many other demonstrations of the latest products and features at OverDrive's ALA Midwinter booth #2623.
Internet news access–most of it free above the cost of internet service, which consumers pay for already–provides up-to-the-minute headline news literally at the readers fingertips, even if it isn’t always unbiased or wholly accurate.
But newspapers, especially the once-family owned papers, provided a valuable service that internet news rarely offers, and that is in-depth local coverage. Unless a particular incident is noteworthy enough to garner national coverage, it can be completely ignored by the media.
Digital newspapers, on the other hand, have the ability to revive not only the coverage that local newspapers once provided, but also to rejuvenate the true journalism that took place on the local events level. In looking back through the nation’s history, a lot of social good came out of local reporters uncovering the real story; that’s not a service that the public can take lightly.
According to an article for Bloomberg, Cerberus Capital Management LP has a plan in the motion to purchase Digital First Media Inc., which owns some regional news outlets like the San Jose Mercury News and the Denver Post. This deal would expand the digital reach of these papers and allow a broader audience of readers who have some form of tie to the region–former residents, or readers whose parents still live in Denver, for example–to continue to benefit from the serious journalism that takes place in those regions.
Once deals like this take place and broader digital publishing options open up for newspapers, digital newspaper and magazines subscription providers are able to step in with a quality, easy to use app that allows consumers to access a wide variety of content that they otherwise never would have found.
They don’t listen, of course. And then they die.
But the fact that Author Earnings has been providing solid data–regardless of the people who declare that the data is not solid, despite having no other proof of that statement other than their status as well-known industry professionals–all this time has done little to change the minds of the top names in publishing. They still wave their hands dismissively and continue along the course they’ve been charting for four hundred years.
The “executive summary,” or key takeaways of the findings in this January 2015 report, states:
The newest information from the most recent Author Earnings report includes its usual proof in the pudding of how indie authors are faring in the current book retail market, but also includes an interesting topic that hasn’t received as much attention due to the availability of months of back data: Kindle Unlimited numbers.
“A quick aside on Kindle Unlimited (KU). The indie share of author earnings includes 8% from KU borrows of indie books. In our last report, KU was a brand new part of the author-earnings landscape. To account for it accurately, we crowdsourced borrow-versus-buy ratios from hundreds of indie authors participating in KU, and found that they averaged 1:1 (half KU borrows, half full-price purchases). We used that 50% borrow ratio as a baseline in our author earnings calculations, although we found that plugging in any other ratio instead, even 0% borrows or 100% borrows, made little difference in the overall numbers and pie charts. In November, when Amazon.com announced the size of the October KU "pot" at $5.5 million and the indie per-borrow payout at $1.33, we could now double-check our crowdsourced KU-borrow ratio of 50%. So we did:
$5.5 million / $1.33 = 4,135,338 indie KU borrows in October
Which is exactly 48% of the 8,561,293 paid monthly downloads (purchases + borrows) of Indie & Uncategorized books in KU shown by our data — quite close to the 50% we originally crowdsourced. Perhaps the wisdom of crowds is a thing, after all.”
For a closer look at the in-depth report (and all of its pretty charts and graphs), click HERE.
We’re always really excited to see the resources and tools we make being used by kids in school. This video is from Benton Park School in Leeds, where a Sonic Pi orchestra put on a live coding performance recently. You can see setup, practice and some of the performance itself here.
I first watched this with Sam Aaron, who created Sonic Pi, looking over my shoulder, and we were both giggling with glee.
If you’re a teacher and you’d like to get something like this going in your own school, but don’t know where to start, why not apply for one of our free CPD sessions at Picademy?
And if you’d like to hear more from Sam, he’s going to be live-coding some of the music for the evening party at our upcoming Big Birthday Weekend – I hope you’ll be joining us!
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
In Japan, manga is serialized in various magazines. Every new chapter that gets released is printed in one of many different magazines, sometimes weekly, sometimes monthly. There are multiple various prints running a multitude of genres. Here in North America, we really only have one – Viz Manga‘s digital magazine, Weekly Shonen Jump.
The magazine is a mirror image to the popular Weekly Shōnen Jump in Japan, a magazine that has been in publication since 1968. It runs almost all the same titles as the Japanese magazine, but with a few additional titles held by Viz Media. When the Viz company first started publishing magazines with their licensed manga, they started with two: Shonen Jump and Shojo Beat. These magazines were published in paper, and instead of weekly, came monthly. They were popular in bookstores and issues could be easily found at most public libraries.
In 2011, Viz announced that they were making a shift. By 2013, both Shonen Jump and Shojo Beat were out of print, and had been replaced by a new magazine, Weekly Shonen Jump. Viz began several changes when they made the shift. This new magazine would be published weekly, instead of monthly, as previously done. Viz also chose to publish digitally. As for the manga titles that got dropped from running, such as those running in Shojo Beat, are also available through Viz Manga.
With the move to digital, Viz Manga has become much more accessible. Weekly Shonen Jump, in addition to their other titles, can be read through Android and iOS apps, Kindle, Nook, and Kobo E-Reader. Subscriptions are available through Viz Manga, and if you choose to include your mailing address, Viz sends free promotional Yu-Gi-Oh! cards and other fun features. If you’re not feeling a subscription, individual issues can be bought separately. And, as the digital age goes, Weekly Shonen Jump’s publication is simultaneous with Japan’s magazine, so you won’t be missing a second.
As for what is currently running in Weekly Shonen Jump’s lineup, the list is as follows:
Bleach – Who hasn’t heard of this popular manga monster by Tite Kubo? With Naruto ending its 700-chapter run in November, Bleach may be the next biggest thing. For those new into manga, Bleach is the story of a young man who accidentally gains the power of a Soul Reaper – a Death God. With these newfound powers, he is charged with protecting humanity from evil spirits, and often ends up travelling across the afterlife. Just don’t ask why it’s called Bleach.
Blue Exorcist – The story of the half-human, half-demonic son of Satan. Sounds god already, doesn’t it? In this supernatural tale, young Rin Okumura decides to become an exorcist so he can defeat his father. The story is penned by Kazue Katō.
Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma – A collaboration by author Yūto Tsukuda, illustrator Shun Saeki, and with recipes by Yuki Morisaki. If you couldn’t guess by the title, this is a cooking manga. But it’s a high energy cooking manga, about a boy who enters an elite cooking school where only 10% of students graduate. We’re stressed for him already.
Gakkyu Hotei: School Judgement – Draw by the same artist as Death Note, Takeshi Obata, this manga is about as far from Death Note as you can get. It’s about a grade school defense attorney. This is a unique little gem of a manga, as you can’t say you’ve ever read a courtroom drama quite like this one.
Hunter x Hunter – Imagine if there was a job that’s description entailed exploring the unexplored, collecting lost treasure, and hunting criminals, all while constantly encountering the paranormal. That’s the job description of a Hunter, the pursuit of the young Gon in this manga. The inspiration came from the author Yoshihiro Togashi’s own collecting hobby.
My Hero Academia – By Kōhei Horikoshi, this fairly new manga tells the story of a young boy without any superpowers, living in a world of superpowered people. It’s a story for anyone who has ever been left out. My Hero Academia is also one of the nominees for this year’s Manga Taisho Award.
Nisekoi: False Love – A comedy by Naoshi Komi. This offbeat rom-com stars the two children of rival yakuza bosses, who decide to settle their differences by pairing their children together. This would work – if those two didn’t hate each other. Nisekoi has had an anime adaption running since January 2014.
One Piece – Another long-running popular series, this manga has well over 700 chapters. By Oda Eiichiro, this fun pirate adventure has been one of the top manga since it began, and it doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon.
One-Punch Man – A comedic webcomic by a mysterious author who simply goes by One, this little treasure details a man who can defeat enemies – with one punch. He’s become bored of his power and is looking for stronger opponents, ones that can withstand more than just one punch.
Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign – Who doesn’t need a good vampire story in this day and age? Instead of the ever-popular vampire romance, this dark fantasy by Takaya Kagami and Yamato Yamamoto tells the story of a world overrun by vampires, and a young man who sets out to destroy them all and end their reign.
Toriko – By Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro, this is another cooking manga. Toriko tells the story of a chef who i travelling the world looking for rare ingredients to create a full-course meal.
World Trigger – By Daisuke Ashihara, this manga is the tale of monstrous creatures crossing over into Earth, and a group of people called Border agents who stop them. The ticket to this manga is that it’s told from the mouth of one of the monsters.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal – How long has Yu-Gi-Oh! been going? How many series will there be? How long will it continue? Hopefully – for eternity. Does this manga need any explanation? A young protagonist sets off to be a Duel Monster champion. By Shin Yoshida and Naoto Miyashi, this manga will have you determined to collect as many cards as you can. After all, how many decks of 50 do you need? With free cards coming with your subscription, the answer is: as many as you fit it your house.
|Amazon’s latest Kindle was officially released on October 21st, 2014 in the United States. From that point until just recently, it has been listed as in stock at a future date, with shipping pending. A few of the model variations have been in stock briefly now and again the past couple weeks, but the end […]|
Txtr is based in Berlin Germany and has been in the e-reader and e-book business for quite sometime. Sadly, their entire business model is not viable and they have officially gone bankrupt.
Txtr originally burst onto the international scene in 2008 with plans to capitalize on the e-reader boom. Production and design issues led to their first device never being released. The company flipped gears in 2009 and started doing development for online digital publishers and traditional book sellers. In 2010 and 2011 they quickly became one of the largest companies outside North America developing whitelabel e-book ecosystems. The company's portfolio includes clients such as Vol Retail and Weltbilde, who is the largest EU book retailer.
Txtr got a much needed injection of funds in 2011 when 3M wanted to get involved in the digital library space. The 3M relationship with Txtr goes beyond the obvious financial benefits of being a partner with a large multinational conglomerate, whose presence is felt in many different technology sectors. When Txtr secured the initial funding from 3M they had toured the company's headquarters in Minnesota and were blown away by how the research and development aspects of the company was handled.
Txtr and 3M worked together very early on developing the 3M Cloud Library App and e-reader solution for libraries to loan out to their patrons. The relationship between these two companies really helped 3M quickly become a major player in the industry, giving Overdrive and Baker & Taylor a run for their money. Two years ago 3M suspended their relationship with Txtr and started doing all of their app development in-house.
In early 2013 Txtr bet the farm on the Beagle, a low cost e-reader that was designed to pair via Bluetooth to your smartphone and send content directly to your device. The intention behind this product was to forge a relationship with Telecom companies and offer the Beagle for free, as part of an incentive program to sell more smartphones and give users a reason to upgrade. Txtr could not secure any meaningful partners and tried to sell it themselves. Users did not embrace this five inch reader and this was one of the final nails in the coffin for them.
The founders of Txtr formed a new e-book start-up called Blloon that is being marketed via a series of apps in the United Kingdom. Customers purchase credits to read a certain amount of pages in a book, rather than buy the book themselves. Blloon has a number of publishing partners such as HMH, Open Road Media, Allen & Unwin, Diversion Books, Lonely Planet, Profile, RosettaBooks, Faber Factory, Guardian Books, and Workman Publishing.
Selling e-books directly to customers and developing whitelabel solutions for other companies is not a viable way to stay in business anymore. Not only has Txtr gone bankrupt but UK supermarket chain Tesco has just announced they are also shuttering their online bookstore.
While there’s nothing inherently amazing about print-on-demand, being able to combine print-on-demand with a far reaching distribution program is. Authors who currently use CreateSpace–arguably the most trafficked POD service for self-publishing–really only have the option to list their physical books on Amazon, the CreateSpace e-store, and a their own blogs if they choose to fulfill the shipping options themselves. While there is a free expanded distribution option with CreateSpace that at least makes it possible for libraries and bookstores to stock the titles, it sees limited results for most authors.
BookBaby’s new program will distribute self-published print-on-demand titles to retailers like Barnes and Noble through their website (with the potential due to sales and customer requests for in-store sales), Amazon, Powells, NASCORP, Ingram Network, Baker & Taylor Network, plus up to another 150 other outlets.
This program is an add-on to their existing print services, and only requires a one-time minimum order of 25 copies of the professionally printed book. While ebook conversion and distribution is available, it is not required in order to take advantage of the print-on-demand option. That means an author can still offer his ebook on Amazon at his own terms and under his own name, as well as take full advantage of Amazon’s exclusive KDP Select program and its benefits, while still offering his print edition through the other networks.
The best part? One of the chief concerns that prevents bookstores from carrying self-published works is the inability to return unsold titles, even at the author’s cost. BookBaby’s program will allow these outlets–from the local indie bookshop to Barnes and Noble’s physical locations–to return unsold books for a full refund, while still not incurring any cost to the author. BookBaby will absorb the cost of the refund.
"This is different from any other Print On Demand program out on the marketplace," said Steven Spatz, BookBaby President. "Self-published authors deserve to have a place on the book store shelves around the world, and our program delivers the maximum exposure through retail stores and wholesale catalogs."
Unlike many companies who offer publishing tools for indie authors, BookBaby does not take an additional royalty on each item sold. The full remaining percentage after the retailer’s cut goes to the author. There are metrics involved in factoring the royalty on the print-on-demand titles, but they are comparable to other distributors in the industry.
Book Baby Just Broke the Internet for Indie Authors is a post from: Good e-Reader
3M is focusing on expansion and the development of new technologies as an avenue of growth during 2015. The company will be previewing some of the new product features for the 3M Cloud Library App and the SelfCheck terminals at the upcoming ALA mid-winter conference.
3M's investment in new technology and talent is in response to the positive reception of its products. Over 1,000 libraries have upgraded to the 3M SelfCheck QuickConnect Interface. 3M Cloud Library customers have a 95 percent renewal rate, and a 121 percent growth in checkouts from 2013 to 2014. Additionally, 75 percent of 3M Cloud Library customers utilize two eBook systems, a testament to the value of a second system for libraries that would like to increase eBook utilization.
"Our growth and renewal rate shows that libraries are finding outstanding value in 3M Library's offerings and technology," said Matt Tempelis, Global Business Manager, 3M Library Systems. "Our intuitive, elegant solutions engage existing and new patrons alike."
3M has also recently added personnel to support its growth. This includes additions to field sales representatives, portfolio managers, research & development, and technical service staff. These individuals bring tremendous industry experience to the 3M Library Systems team.
"We're seeing so many great things in the industry, including this commitment from 3M," said Pat Conley, library director for the Washington County Library in Minnesota. "It's a really positive sign that big companies are seeing ongoing opportunities in serving libraries."
Are you going to ALA Midwinter in Chicago this weekend? If so, stop by booth #2623 to see full-scale demonstrations of cutting-edge technology, including:
On Sunday, February 1 from 10:30-11:30 a.m., OverDrive's CEO Steve Potash will be participating in a panel discussion about the best ways for libraries to bring together authors and readers in the digital age. Stop by the McCormick Convention Center room W196B to attend the session "ALA DCWG: Libraries and Ebooks — Where Do We Go from Here?"
See you in Chicago!
|Oyster is one of the new and growing companies that offers ebooks through a monthly subscription program, and today they announced the addition of some popular titles. Ebook subscription services have been gaining a lot of ground lately by getting some of the larger publishers to signup, and Oyster is the first to get Pottermore, […]|
What is more interesting about the report was the breakdown by genre within the different regions, as well as the accumulation of where books are being bought in the highest numbers. One particular province, for example, bought more books than the combined sales of sixteen other provinces. Capital cities of the provinces and different universities in various provinces were also examined to discover the overall rate of book buying and the genres that sold the most copies in each location.
According to an article on the findings for AnhuiNews.com, “Chinese people purchased 33 million books via dangdang.com in 2014. The top three provinces for book consumption are Guangdong with 16.89 percent, Beijing 11.39 percent, and Jiangsu 7.01 percent. They are followed by Shanghai 6.45 percent, Shandong 6.23 percent and Zhejiang 5.71 percent.”
While this report took into account the total book buying habits of consumers, ebooks also saw a spike in consumption.
“E-book consumption has increased dramatically along with the development and popularization of smart phones. The ratio of e-book sales to hardcopy sales rose from 10 percent to 30 percent in 2014. The top three sales regions are also the biggest e-book markets: Guangdong, Beijing and Jiangsu. It has become popular for readers to read and buy e-books by mobile phone. In 2014, 60 million e-books were downloaded, which is equal to 20 percent of hardcopy sales. That figure is 10 percent higher than that in 2013.”
This news should serve as a conversation starter for authors and publishers–especially smaller press publishing houses–who have yet to explore the options of international distribution, an important market option considering the lack of available English language content in direct proportion to the numbers of English speakers in many of these countries.
Here is the most rubbery review presenter we’ve ever met. Bryan Lunduke is here to show you how even a complete beginner whose hands are made from foam can build a games console from scratch, using a Raspberry Pi.
A tip, Bryan. I know you do not have hands that work (or, presumably, fingernails); but you’ll find that Pibow you’re using looks EVEN BETTER if you peel the backing paper off each layer!
The entire notion of Netflix for e-Books has caught on in a big. A few years ago many publishers were resistant to the entire idea and gradually they have all come around. Oyster is one of the leaders in the field of e-book subscription services, where users pay a low monthly fee and get access to thousands of digital books they can read at their leisure. Today, the company is proud to announce that they have reached an agreement with JK Rowling, to have the entire Harry Potter saga available.
For the longest time Rowling was heavily resistant to the idea of digitizing her titles. The main problem was control, she did not want an established publishing company to take a percentage of each sale and wanted to market the books herself. This led to the creation of Pottermore, the only place online where you can buy the digital editions of every Harry Potter book ever written. One of the things that drove its success was that every title was DRM-Free. This allowed readers to easily transfer them to their smartphones, tablets or e-readers and not have to use 3rd party tools or utilities. The Pottermore initiative was spearheaded by Charlie Redmayne and his efforts were such a resounding success that he was soon tapped to be the next CEO of Harper Collins UK.
When Oyster launched in 2013 one of their top ten searches every single month were the Harry Potter books, now the wait is over. All seven main Harry Potter ebooks and three Hogwarts Library eBooks are now available.
Oyster’s Reader Themes will be replaced by “House Themes,” with designs inspired by Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff, and readers can tap the Sorting Hat icon to have one chosen at random. The Oyster Review will also be dedicated to Harry Potter from Jan. 28 – 30, featuring unique editorial content celebrating the series, commissioned and authored by Oyster.