Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Self-Publish Your e-Books in Germany via Tolino


There once was a dream in Germany that local businesses could band together to combat the Amazon threat. The Seattle company controls 75% of the digital book market in the US and 95% in the United Kingdom. Germans did not want a foreign company to have that much clout and the dream was realized.

Weltbild, Hugendubel, Bertelsmann Club, Deutsche Telekom and Thalia all formed a company called the Tolino Consortium. Their mandate was to open up a digital bookstore and develop a series of e-readers to sell. This allowed the Tolino Shine and Vision to receive major publicity and high availability in bookstores all over the country.

One of the big advantages that Amazon has over their competitors is their Kindle Direct Publishing system. This gives independent authors authors to submit their latest novel and have it available to purchase all over the world. This was the missing piece of the puzzle for Tolino, but now they too have a self-publishing option.

The new self-publishing portal is called Tolino Media. Authors earn a 70% commission on the title sold and their books will be promoted in the Tolino bookstore.

There are other companies that also offer a self-publishing solution for Germans, such as Xinxii. The problem is, their chiefly just digital platforms and not an all in one solution like Tolino.

German authors can not only have their e-books sold in their home country, but also in other markets that Tolino operates in. This includes Austria, Belgium, Italy, Netherlands and Switzerland. International authors, such as those in the US can use Draft2digital to distribute their titles into the Tolino Bookstore.

Self-Publish Your e-Books in Germany via Tolino is a post from: Good e-Reader

Windows 10 Rumoured to Support Android Apps


There are few things a tech geek likes more than a good rumour, so news that Windows 10 devices (like smartphones, tables, and PCs) may be able to run Android apps is a rather exciting possibility. If we are lucky, this possibility will be confirmed at the upcoming Microsoft Build 2015 conference being held in San Francisco.

We don’t know much about how it would work or what it could look like, but it makes sense for a number of reasons. For Android, it gives access to a wider range of hardware (the one thing that is generally not too harshly criticized when it comes to the Windows Phone platform) –not to mention a solid foot in the corporate door. For Microsoft, it’s all about a stocked app store (complete with the kinds of opportunities developers are looking for).

It does raise more than a few questions though –like would this announcement make way for Android apps to find their way onto Microsoft’s successful Xbox One console? Will Android be able to emulate in such a way that Windows Phone apps would also work on their devices? Will developers abandon the idea of creating platform specific apps (at least as far as these two contenders are concerned) –and if that’s the case, whynot move toward a completely platform independent technology like HTML 5 that would also then cross iOS devices off the list? Will the corporate world tolerate ‘open source’ apps on their Windows devices?

From Microsoft’s short-term perspective, the only question they are likely concerned with is whether access to Android apps makes you more or less likely to consider a Windows Phone?

Windows 10 Rumoured to Support Android Apps is a post from: Good e-Reader

Google Starts Innovation Fund for Digital Publishers in Europe


Google has started a digital news initiative in conjunction with eight major newspaper publishers. The aim is to develop new products and services that will gain more eyeballs on their publications.

When it comes to search in Europe, Google enjoys a 90% market-share and this is garnering some unwanted attention. The European Union is investigating whether or not Google is using search results to illegally promote their other products and services. News is not directly affected by this investigation. However, publishers have complained for years about the impact of Google's use of their content.

In order to placate major news organizations and generate some possitive press, Google is going to work with the Financial Times and the Guardian to establish a working group to focus on product development as well as providing a €150m innovation fund over three years, alongside additional training and research. Google promises the end result of this fund will "increase revenue, traffic and audience engagement".

Google Starts Innovation Fund for Digital Publishers in Europe is a post from: Good e-Reader

New ‘Dragon Ball Super’ Aims to Air in July


The first new Dragon Ball TV anime series in 18 years has been announced for a Japanese premiere set for July! The new series based off of the original manga by Akira Toriyama will air on Fuji TV and other Channels on Sundays at 9 AM.

The new series being called ‘Dragon Ball Super’, will take place a few years after the defeat of Majin Buu, when Earth has become peaceful once more. Fuji TV producer Osamu Nozaki commented on the new series as well, saying, "As I read the plot [of the series] I’ve already received from Akira Toriyama, my dreams for this begin to expand. An enemy even stronger than Buu or Freeza may appear…"

The series will be overseen by the original Dragon Ball creator, Akira Toriyama and is credited for the original story and character concepts. Toei Animation’s Kimitoshi Chioka is the series director and Naoko Sagawa (Yomiko Advertising) and Atsushi Kido (Toei Animation) join Nozaki as producers.

Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’, the new film taking place after the Majin Buu saga, premiered earlier this month and will eventually screen in 74 countries worldwide! Funimation also hosted the North American premiere of the film on April 11th in Los Angeles with plans to release the film in more theatres with an English dub this summer!

For a lot of anime fans, the Dragon Ball series was a really pivotal part of our lives and to see that a new series is being released after the last Dragon Ball GT series was released in 1996, I know we’re already counting down the days to the new release!

New ‘Dragon Ball Super’ Aims to Air in July is a post from: Good e-Reader

How to Use Custom Fonts with Kindles – Embed Fonts in Kindle eBooks

The number one thing that annoys me the most about reading on a Kindle is the lack of good font choices. Your stuck with a few options that Amazon gives, and you can’t modify the weight or boldness of the font at all like you can on other devices like Kobos. A lot of ereaders […]

Amazon’s Newest Delivery Option: the Trunk of Your Car

Amazon became the retail giant it is today based on a few factors, including deep discounts and customer service. But one of the chief ways the online retailer became a consumer mainstay is in its shipping options. Whether taking advantage of the free or low-cost three-to-five day ground shipping or reaping the free two-day shipping benefits of an Amazon Prime Membership, consumers have spoken: I want my stuff now and I don’t want to pay a lot for the privilege.

While Amazon keeps the ball rolling on attempts at Amazon Prime Air drone delivery and has already experiments with same-day and even one-hour delivery in larger markets, Amazon’s newest shipping option will speak to those busy consumers who might not want to risk leaving their new high-end purchase sitting on their doorsteps while they’re at work.

Available for now only in Munich, Germany, and only to customers who own Audis, shipping partner DHL can now deliver your goods to the trunk of your car using GPS to find your car and the auto’s keyless entry code to open the trunk. Once the package is safely placed in the trunk, the car will automatically relock and the parcel will be waiting when you get there. If this trial proves beneficial, Amazon already has plans to work with other auto manufacturers and to offer the same type of service to customers in other cities.

It might seem like a cross between gimmicky customer service and an all-too-eerie Big Brother scenario–after all, Amazon not only has your personal information, your credit card number, and your purchase history, they now have the location and keycode to your car–but this type of shipping option stands to benefit both the environment and companies’ bottom lines. While the data isn’t present on how many times a purchased item is stolen while the customer isn’t home, that replacement item can easily cost the manufacturer, the retailer, and the shipping partner, which results in higher prices for consumers to make up that loss each year. And why burn the fuel to send a truck to every house when their cars may well be parked closer together?

However it works out as a viable shipping option, it is this kind of thinking that continues to keep Amazon on top. It might take off and other retailers might jump on board, or it might be the company’s next laughing stock. Either way, no one can accuse Amazon of thinking outside the box, especially when their job is the box.

Amazon’s Newest Delivery Option: the Trunk of Your Car is a post from: Good e-Reader

The Author Bullying Saga Just Got Real

Authors have existed pretty much since the dawn of the written word and, without a doubt, someone became a critic shortly after that. Unfortunately, whether the opinion of the critic is harsh or complimentary, someone will most likely take issue with it.

Author and reviewer “bullying” has taken on a life of its own in the past few years, and it’s led to some pretty crazy stories of bad behavior on both sides of the issue. Authors have been targeted by whole gangs of haters, some going so far as to allegedly prevent the publication of books by trashing it before it ever appears. At the same time, reviewers have faced nasty criticism by authors and their fans to the point that whole groups of rabid followers will make life miserable for a reviewer who dares to not like a book.

Through it all, unfortunately, is the reality that these opinions are no longer valid assessments of the book, but instead have become intentionally targeted attacks on the authors or reviewers as human beings. It’s enough that some consumers have stepped away from the book review space and refused to participate in reading or writing book reviews, all because their validity is now permanently smeared.

One of the more famous battles involves key moderators and reviewers on Goodreads and a site called StopTheGRBullies.com. That conflict has been covered extensively in international news outlets, and had actually been thought to have died down under Goodreads’ policy change that said inflammatory reviews that attack the author will be deleted from the site. It’s important to know that authors are also under scrutiny from the Goodreads leadership, and their accounts can be deleted for lashing out at reviewers who didn’t like their books.

The arguing, name calling, and finger pointing may have seemed like petty high school drama to some people, but one individual is taking the issue seriously. Rick Carufel, once a supporter of the STGRB website who has been accused of soliciting hackers to unearth the identities of online “trolls,”  has now filed a lawsuit against StopTheGRBulllies and individuals he believes are involved in the matter, including outspoken opponent of author bullying, Anne Rice.

In a press release by Carufel, he states, “Rice believes that anyone who disagrees with her are bullies and has repeatedly attacked the Amazon forum members. Recently she used a list from the hate website to target the Amazon forum members, specifically the Top Reviewers Forum, to her million fans using Facebook. Now she’s campaigning to have her fans dox anyone who disagrees with her, dubbing them notorious gangster bully thugs who need to have their personal lives exposed, attacked and damaged because they don’t agree with her. She has become a direct threat to my personal safety and that of others who use their own names. I no longer feel safe in my own home and dread every knock on the door.”

Rice, the 73-year-old bestselling author of titles such as Interview with the Vampire, Cry to Heaven, The Vampire Chronicles, and the recently published Prince LeStat, could not be reached for comment on the lawsuit.

“She seems to think she can harass, bully, threaten and terrorize people who disagree with her. I see her recent activity as being very close to domestic cyber-terrorism and illegal. She uses every possible device to harass and intimidate anyone with whom she disagrees. She professes to be a champion against online bullying but is the biggest bully of them all.”

Good e-Reader was able to reach a spokesperson for the STGRB website named in Carufel’s lawsuit, but the individual is unable to comment due to the ongoing litigation. She did state, however, that Carufel’s assertion that STGRB is owned and operated by a single individual, Melissa Douthit (who is also named in the suit), is untrue. The lawsuit has reportedly been filed in Minnesota Third District Court, and the plaintiff “has requested $10,000 personal damages for every time Ms. Rice endorses/d the hate website publicly since the email exchange between she and the plaintiff in May of 2014.

The Author Bullying Saga Just Got Real is a post from: Good e-Reader

Reviewing Royal Wedding by Meg Cabot

I began reading the Princess Diaries series when I was a similar age to the book's awkward heroine, Princess Mia. Now, as an adult 15 years since the series was first released, I pounced on the opportunity to revisit this familiar character now that she is all grown up in the first adult installment of the series.

{021FEA67-2BBE-48E9-B31A-4199822864BE}Img400It's been five years since Meg Cabot's last book of the Princess Diaries series and with Royal Wedding, Princess Mia Thermopolis is back as a 26-year-old with a whole new set of adult problems.

Chronicled in the same diary format that longtime readers will know and love, Mia must now deal with paparazzi, death threats from stalkers, planning her upcoming nuptials to beau, Michael Moscovitz, and the revelation that she has a long-lost sister from a fling her father had 12 years ago.

The scandal could not come at a worse time as Mia's father, Prince Phillip, campaigns for Prime Minister of the European principality, Genovia. It seems Mia must step up and manage the family crisis, a wedding and all the other duties that being a royal entails.

This book is a fun read that I could not put down. It is filled with all the same characters from the teen years but instead of French class and prom, they're dealing with medical school, pop stardom or trying to pass the Bar exam. Don't worry, I haven't given away any spoilers since there are plenty of other twists and turns in this book that make it a delightful read.

I'm glad Meg Cabot decided to bring back this series with the knowledge that most of her readers have grown up alongside Mia. And that like high school, the real world brings its own set of problems and triumphs.

Royal Wedding will be available on June 2, 2015 but you can place a hold at your local library now! For Royal Wedding Read-alikes, check out these suggestions: http://bit.ly/1BO2Vjj


*BONUS: Younger readers are in luck since Cabot will release a new spinoff series that follows Princess Mia's long lost sister, Olivia. From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess chronicles 12 year old Olivia's life as she copes with transitioning from "normal" life to the life of a princess.


Emma Kanagaki is a Collection Development Analyst with OverDrive

Picademy South West

Next stop on the great Raspberry Pi Education Team Tour of Great Britain is the South West of England! That's right: we're taking Picademy, the offical Raspberry Pi Professional Development for course for Teachers, on the road again, thanks to our friends at Exeter Library in Devon! I'm already packing my bucket, spade and kiss-me-quick hat. As always, Picademy is completely free to attend.

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Raspberry Pi Certified Educators – April 2015 from cohort no. 8. All demonstrating their best super hero pose!

Exeter Library is an appealing venue for Picademy, with an onsite Fab Lab (fabrication workshop) equipped with laser cutters, 3D printers, and more. I expect we will see some fantastic project ideas realised on day two of the course. Maybe even 'Biscuits' the robot will get a shiny new hat courtesy of Clive's mega-making skills.

Picademy South West will take place on 4th and 5th June. We have space for 24 enthusiastic teachers from Primary, Secondary and Post-16 who are open to getting hands on with their learning and having some fun. We'd like to see lots of teachers from Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, and Dorset take full advantage of this two day event. Sign-ups for teachers are open!

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Our Raspberry Pi Certified Educators Map shows that the team are needed in the South West!

For educators in and around Leeds, remember that our Picademy@Google training events are open for sign-ups too, as we continue to spread free training opportunities across the UK. In the coming months we will announce other venues as part of the Google series.