Monday, February 23, 2015

Wundr Launches Playwrite eBook Creation Software for Mac OS X


For a few of you, I’d bet that there is an idea inside your head you have been wanting to put to paper (figuratively, if not literally). New software developed by Wundr can make your dreams of publishing an eBook or ePeriodical a reality. Described by the developers as a revolutionary eBook-oriented desktop publishing program, Playwrite can help put your creation into all of the major eBookstores (including Amazon, Kobo, and Apple’s iBookstore) and turn you into a successful author.

All you really need to do is come up with the words. From there you can take advantage of built-in style templates that prepare your publication for your target audience: no matter whether you are creating a sci-fi novel, textbook, or academic journal. Easily add multimedia and images to polish things off and keep your creation looking professional and polished. The true beauty of Playwrite is that you only need to do the writing, everything else is handled for you using your uPub account –1-click publishing with a central distribution point so you can easily manage all of your titles in all of their locations (but not before you use the Content Scrubber that offers a birds-eye-view of your entire document chapter-by-chapter).

Excited to get started? Playwrite is available for purchase in the Mac App Store for $49.95 USD.

Wundr Launches Playwrite eBook Creation Software for Mac OS X is a post from: Good e-Reader

Indie Authors Are to Blame for Lack of Meaningful e-Book Data


Indie authors often find success in the digital publishing arena but how many titles do they actually sell? Unlike the traditional publishing industry the average self-published title does not have an ISBN number. This number serves as your online SIN for that particular title and because most e-books do not have this number, it is impossible to quantify the overall health of the industry.

ISBN numbers are critically important for an author to claim ownership of their book and support the self-publishing industry as a whole. Over the course of  2014 30% of  all e-books being purchased in the U.S. do not use ISBN numbers and are invisible to the industry's official market surveys and reports; all the ISBN-based estimates of market share reported by Bowker, AAP, BISG, and Nielsen are totally incorrect.

All of the above companies have all explicitly stated that they cannot track self-published books which do not use ISBNs, and that the self-published segment of the market might be underrepresented in their numbers. All they can do is make wild assumptions on the overall market health of the industry. From time to time we do get somewhat meaningful data from Author Earnings, but they mainly track Amazon sales.

I know a ton of self-published authors that do not purchase their own ISBN numbers, because the company they distribute their books through, provide it for them. Kindle Direct Publishing provides a specialized ASIN number, that is assigned to each book. Barnes & Noble assigns their own proprietary product codes to each title and finally Kobo and Smashwords both assign their own unique ISBN numbers, which credit them as the publisher, not the author.

And now, let twenty years go by… Barnes & Noble & Smashwords are out of business. Amazon changes its product code conventions and no longer uses ASIN numbers. There is no searchable database made available by Amazon for the old ASIN numbers. Kobo, which owns the ISBN it provided, controls what the Bowker Books In Print or successor database contains and updates the information about your book in ways you would not approve of, and since you have no ISBN number of your own that's the only record of your book in Books In Print. Someone who chanced across a reference to your book based on an old copy from Barnes & Noble can't find it because the B&N identifier is no longer alive, and may or may not connect it with a Kobo record in Books In Print which has a completely different identifier. Does this seem like a good thing to you?

ISBN numbers not only assist the industry in providing meaningful sales data on independently published books, but it also provides a seal of ownership to the author. A block of 10 ISBN numbers costs around $295 if an author buys them through Bowker. When the transaction is complete the author is automatically designated as the owner of the ISBN or the "publisher of record," meaning that person has the ability to access, update, and maintain her metadata through Bowker's website

I found it very interesting that 20% of Amazon's overall Top-10 selling e-books did not have ISBN numbers. Considering traditionally published books account for the vast majority of sales, it means that indie authors are rarely, if at all ever considering purchasing their own ISBN’s. This can be attributed to pure laziness on authors part. Not only are they hurting themselves but they are willfully contributing to the perception that self-published books don’t sell and are all trashy.

Successful indie authors hire people to do their cover art, hire an editor and sometimes get their own agent. Writing and self-publishing a book is time consuming work and it can get expensive. Investing in yourself is the best thing you can do to have an end product that you can be proud of. Not investing in a proper ISBN number is basically relegating your title to the shadow realm.

Indie Authors Are to Blame for Lack of Meaningful e-Book Data is a post from: Good e-Reader

The Best e-Readers and Tablets to Read PDF Files


A very common question we receive at Good e-Reader is what is the best tablet, e-reader or app to view and edit PDF files. Today, we look at the very best devices we have reviewed in the last year to give you a sense on what device you should buy if the PDF format is important to you.

The Best e-Readers and Tablets to Read PDF Files is a post from: Good e-Reader

Libraries Are Concerned About the Lack of New e-books in the Kindle Format


Libraries all over the US have expressed concern to Good e-Reader that the vast majority of new e-book titles from Overdrive are not available in the Kindle format.  The few books that have been made available are from small presses and not major publishers.  Is this something to be worried about?

Overdrive has the largest market share in facilitating digital e-books, audiobooks and videos to libraries all over the United States. Chances are if your local branch offers digital content, its from Overdrive.  They are also the only company that offers e-books in the Kindle format.

When libraries desire to make purchases for their branch their first stop is the Overdrive Marketplace. This is where they browse all of the titles available in the system and make buying decisions. Out of the hundreds of new titles that have come out in 2015, only 51 of them are in the Kindle format and they are all from indie authors or small presses. It looks like this is a big delay with everything else.

Have the big 5 publishing companies like Hachette, Simon and Schuster or Penguin put the kibosh on the Kindle format? Have they decided to abandon sending books to the Kindle in an coordinated effort to not empower the e-commerce giant anymore then they have to?

I reached out to Overdrive for comment to try and find out exactly what the situation is with Kindle e-books.  David Burleigh Director of Marketing & Communication told me that “I got some background on this issue, and it's just as I suspected. Almost all of our e-Books are (or will be) compatible with Kindle. We’re aware of delays in availability for some new titles and are working to resolve them as quickly as possible.”

The lack of meaningful information when it comes to the Kindle format has to be unsettling for libraries. There is a heavy population of Amazon users that borrow digital content every single day and if they are looking for the latest bestseller they are out of luck. Many libraries also lamented that they had no idea the Kindle format was not even available until I brought it to their attention and their local Overdrive rep did not give them the heads up about it.

Will libraries forgo spending money on new digital editions, knowing that they are not compatible with Kindle? Will they not buy anything until this situation is resolved? Its hard to say, in the meantime no e-book from a major publisher that was released in 2015 is currently available in the Kindle format from Overdrive.

Libraries Are Concerned About the Lack of New e-books in the Kindle Format is a post from: Good e-Reader

How E Ink’s Electronic Paper Technology Works (Video)

I came across a video on YouTube uploaded by Pocketnow with a guided tour showing how E Ink displays work. None of it is new exactly, but the video is entertaining and educational so it’s worth watching if you want to know more about E Ink’s various electronic papers displays and how the technology works. […]

Why Digipalooza is a can’t miss conference (from those have attended!)

Have you registered yet for Digipalooza? Space is filling up quickly so make sure to register soon. Did you know that 98% of Digipalooza '13 attendees agreed that they would consider attending Digipalooza again and would also recommend the conference to a friend or colleague? We spoke to two former attendees that are returning for 2015 and asked them to share why they make room in their busy schedules for Digipalooza.

"The energy, enthusiasm, and excitement at Digipalooza is contagious and unlike any other conference or professional event. One unique, and wonderful difference between this and other conferences, was that you didn't have to choose among sessions. Sessions were targeted and built upon each other. Between sessions there were themed snack and networking breaks which added to the fun. In fact, these networking breaks provided an opportunity to establish wonderful, real connections with OverDrive staff, which has enhanced our interactions ever since.

After a couple days of learning, the conference wrapped up with an opportunity to share feedback and ideas with the OverDrive Team. It was obvious they were listening and we felt valued and confident that enhancements would come based on our honest input. The final Crystal Ball Report capped off the event leaving attendees excited about what was to come. In fact, that was where we learned about the "See Book, Read Book" Read in Browser feature, which has been a game changer in our schools.

I left with fresh ideas, training tips, strategies for collection development, and ready to kick off a new school year – which is why I'll be attending Digapalooza 2015!"

-Beth Puckett from Monroe #1 BOCES in Rochester, NY

"Digipalooza is unlike any other conference I have ever attended. Hospitality and friendliness rule the event. Everyone that works for OverDrive is approachable, interested in your thoughts, and welcomes your insights. You feel like you matter and that your opinions are important. They are constantly looking for ways to make their conference – "your conference". The technology is cutting-edge, publishing industry leaders are in attendance, and the atmosphere is fun and lively. Plus…the food is phenomenal. Having a conference devoted to technology, books, publishing trends, and new media is great, but the best part is that the conference is also designed to show us how we can market and better promote our digital collections and maximize our school's return on investment.

I learned so much at this conference and had so much fun doing so, that I decided to bring our school's library assistant along with me for Digipalooza '15. I think having her attend the conference will increase her understanding of all that is OverDrive – what new items are available to us, what content and collection management resources we should be accessing, and how we can better utilize our OverDrive collection to add value to our library program."

-Milena Streen from Saint Ignatius High School in Cleveland, OH

We can't wait to see all of the returning friendly faces and look forward to welcoming our first-time attendees! We strive to make every Digip bigger and better than the last and we know that 2015 is going to be our best yet. Join us!

Need financial assistance? There is only one week left to enter for a chance to win a scholarship to Digipalooza '15, courtesy of conference partner Penguin Random House. Click here to read the official rules and complete the entry form!

We hope to see you in August for Digipalooza '15.

Melissa Marin is a Marketing Specialist at OverDrive.

Netflix To Stream Saint Seiya!

Hades-Chapter Inferno2

Saint Seiya fans can rejoice to know that Netflix is now streaming a classic favourite! The streaming library has included Saint Seiya: The Hades Chapter- Sanctuary, Saint Seiya: The Hades Chapter- Inferno and Saint Seiya- The Hades Chapter- Elysium.

The animes will be streamed in Japanese and English subtitles, Spanish subtitles along with a Spanish dub. This will be the first time the Hades chapter OVA (Original Video Anime) will be available with an English subtitle for the North America Audience.

The Netflix description says, "In the wake of the Saint’s battle with Poseidon, Hades, God of the underworld rises again and plans to kill Athena and rule the world."

Need more Saint Seiya? Last year, a new sanctuary arc called Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas is currently streaming on Crunchyroll! And the new Saint Seiya: Heart of Gold will be released this April

The OVA’s were produced by Toei Animation with directors Shigeyasu Yamauchi and Tomoharu Katsumata from 2002 to 2008.

Netflix To Stream Saint Seiya! is a post from: Good e-Reader

Hooking the Moby Dick of library patrons: Males in their 20s & 30s

It’s no secret that the younger male demographic is the one who tends to frequent the library the least. We wanted to help out with this issue and so we’ve created a number of lists designed specifically to help reach those tough to capture users.

In addition to adding some of these great lists to your digital library we suggest creating curated collections for your home page related to some of the pop culture phenomenons these lists are based on. If you would like assistance creating these collections simply email your OverDrive Collection Specialist!

TV Shows






Adam Sockel is a Social Media Specialist II at OverDrive. He is an avid male library user in his 20s…

Join our #ODchat about kid lit on Feb 26th!

2015-01-26-10_56_34-Document1-WordLast month we hosted our first ever #ODchat on Twitter. The goal was to create a monthly conversation centered around reading and technology and we had a blast! As you may know, March 2nd is Read Across America Day where schools and libraries will celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday by throwing parties and reading his classic titles out loud. To join in on the fun we decided to dedicate this month’s #ODchat entirely to Kids and Children’s literature.

Join us this Thursday, February 26th at 8 pm (ET) on Twitter as we’ll discuss the best kid lit books of all time, digital reading with children and much more! Be sure to follow @OverDriveLibs to see all the questions for the chat. To follow the conversation simply search Twitter for the hashtag #ODchat and be sure to put it at the end of any tweets you write to join in!

Adam Sockel is a Social Media Specialist II with OverDrive.

Irish Times Adds Digital Subscription

The Irish Times is the latest news outlet to make the important leap to offering a subscription to its digital edition, while keeping a freemium paywall in effect. The fairly generous paywall–ten free articles per week on its website, or twenty free articles each week via the mobile app–allows those who have an interest in the outlet’s local coverage but may not rely on daily access to the Times‘ news to keep up-to-date with nearly two dozen free news stories a week.

Of course, those who need more in-depth access to the digital paper can subscribe. With two plans to choose from–both of which cost only one euro for the first month–users can access all of the papers’ archived back stories, the crosswords, the more voluminous Sunday edition, and the occasional ebook offer for only twelve euros a month, with an additional four euros for the premium plan that will include a digital replica of the full print edition each day. Two other subscription options–the Complete Print & Digital package at €50 a month, and a Weekend Print & Digital package at only €20 a month–allow subscribers to access both the print delivery and the digital editions.

This announcement makes the Times the first digital newspaper in Ireland with this type of paywall, bringing it more in line with the models offered by a number of well-known international news outlets that make a limited portion of content free for anyone to access.

This type of access to international news has exploded in popularity thanks to not only the advent of digital publishing, but also to apps like Pressreader that offer more than 3,700 individual titles from 120 countries. Readers from around the world can now keep up with news as seen through the local news market rather than relying on the possibility of a political slant in their home countries or regions to filter that news.

Irish Times Adds Digital Subscription is a post from: Good e-Reader

She said yes

Matt Broach made this box, which contains a Pi, to propose to his girlfriend Jackie.

Box o' love

She’s now his fiancĂ©e. The box does something at the end of this video that made my heart go boom-biddy-boom. Beautiful job, Matt.

Congratulations to you both from everybody at Pi Towers!

Amazon Rolls out Paperwhite 2 and Voyage Installment Plan

kindle now

Every so often Amazon offers an installment plan for their e-readers and tablets. For a low upfront fee, you can get one shipped out and play around for it for a few weeks. If you don’t like it, you can return it within 30 days for a full refund or keep it and pay a low monthly fee on your credit card. Today, Amazon has brought back the program for the second generation Kindle Paperwhite and the Kindle Voyage.

The second generation Paperwhite features a six inch e-Ink display screen with a resolution of 1024×768. Overall the touchscreen is more responsive and text has higher contrast to make text more legible than the first generation model .  Underneath the hood is a 1 GHZ processor and 256 MB of RAM. Late last year, Amazon increased the amount of memory this unit has from 2GB to 4GB, this is useful because there is no expandable memory.

The Kindle Voyage features a six inch e-ink Carta display with a resolution of 1430 x 1080. It has 300 PPI, which is the highest we have ever seen. The Voyage likely is the best e-reader ever made and quite expensive, retailing at $199.

In order to take advantage of this promotion you have to live in the United States and simply make your first payment at checkout. Then  pay the remaining balance in three equal installments every 90 days. The first payment is 25% of the purchase price.

Thanks Tony!

Amazon Rolls out Paperwhite 2 and Voyage Installment Plan is a post from: Good e-Reader