Saturday, May 23, 2015

21 Thousand Developer Accounts on the Good e-Reader Android App Store


The Good e-Reader Android and Blackberry App Store is the largest in Canada and we have just hit a major milestone. Over 21 thousand developers have registered accounts with us in the last two years.

Developers on Good e-Reader can submit both free and paid apps. Free apps are accessible to be downloaded on our website and official Client. Paid apps are only on our website right now, but all developers will earn 70% of each transaction and have their apps visible by over 90 million yearly visitors.

One of the strongest advantages of our Developers System is that we have full support for OBB files, which are large data files. Almost every single game from Electronic Arts and Gameloft have these. We store these safely on Amazon AWS, instead of forcing developers to host their own files. The only other company to offer this service is Google.

The Good e-Reader App Store is a viable solution for Android developers who want to port their apps over to Blackberry. We have one of the best APK to BAR converters, which allows anyone to submit an Android app and automatically convert it to Blackberry. This gives developers increased visibility on  not only our store, but its perfect for submission to Blackberry World.

We would like to thank our cadre of loyal developers that have supported us during the last few years. You are all true heroes.

21 Thousand Developer Accounts on the Good e-Reader Android App Store is a post from: Good e-Reader

What Would Make you Upgrade your e-reader?


e-Reader technology does not improve at the exponential rate as tablets and smartphones do.  New e-paper comes out every two or three years and there seldom is a compelling enough reason to spend a hundred dollars to buy a new device.  Once in awhile new e-readers like the Kindle Voyage and Kobo H2O comes out and pack in new features not seen before. So the question is, what would make you upgrade your e-reader?

Over the course of the last 13 days we ran a poll on Good e-Reader and poised a new series of questions on what type of new hardware features that would make them spend their money and upgrade their existing device.

The number one thing that people want to see  on a new e-reader is colored e-paper. 56 people that represented 24% of the entire vote want to see e-Ink Triton 2, Liquavista or new technology on a mainstream e-reader. We have reviewed every single colored e-reader on the market and its not there yet. I would like to see an investment of new technology that would not only give people a solid color e-reader, but also carry over to devices like the Yotaphone 3 or smartwatches.

New e-paper technology came into second place with 40 votes (17.5%). The latest and greatest is E-Ink Carta and it originally came out in 2013. Only a handful of e-readers currently employ this technology, such as the Kobo H2O, Kindle Paperwhite 2 and Voyage. Lately, the price has decreased and a number of 3rd party companies are starting to issue new devices.

The problem, is that Carta is over two years old and I think people want to see higher resolution screens and the true elimination of full page refreshes. People want an e-reader that is indistinguishable from a real book.

39 people (17.1) of the vote said that they wanted a larger screen. The industry standard is six inches and once in awhile someone bucks the trend and does something a bit bigger. The Kobo H2O and Aura HD was 6.8 inches, Cybook Ocean 8 inches and Onyx Boox i86 is also 8 inches. Sometimes they even get a bit larger, such as the Icarus Excel and Amazon Kindle DX. The problem with 9.7 inch e-readers is the price is often over $350 and people tend not to want to invest that much in a singular purchase digital reader.

Still, apparently people are tired of six inch e-readers. The most common thing people wanted was an A4 screen, 10 inch screen or a company like Amazon to release an 8 inch e-reader.

The other most notable poll result was the fact people want to see Android on more e-readers. I have been lobbying for years that companies such as Barnes and Noble should firmly embrace an open version of Google Android and optimize the Nook App Store for e-ink devices. Many European brands such as Icarus, Onyx, Energy Sistem and Boyue have released e-readers with either Google Play or the Good e-Reader App Store. This gives people the ability to not be locked into any one specific book ecosystem and give true freedom to deal with whatever company you want. Sadly, the average person has not heard of these small European companies before and want a mainstream e-reader with a vanilla version of Android.

What Would Make you Upgrade your e-reader? is a post from: Good e-Reader

Kindle eReader, Tablet, and eBook Deals

A couple weeks ago I posted about Amazon Warehouse Deals offering the 9.7-inch Kindle DX, open-box units, for 20% off, taking the final price down to a mere $103, which is a crazy low price for a 9.7-inch E Ink ebook reader, even if it is outdated. Now the same deal is back for the […]

Can eBook Subscription Services Evolve?

Teenage boy using a digital tablet at night

Amazon Kindle Unlimited, Entitle, Oyster and Scribd all have e-book subscription models that allow you to read as many titles you want, for a low monthly price. Given that there are close to 100,000 books on each platform are people binge reading the same way Netflix users watch television? Do they have the capability to evolve?

Over the course of the last few years the concept of binge watching has been established. Netflix has been the poster child of this movement and they release an entire season of television episodes in one shot. House of Cards has been a critical success due to the high production values and massive media attention it gets for the first few months.

Netflix hired Harris Interactive to study what's happening on its platform. Among the results, it was found that 61% admitted to binge-watching (tuning in to two or three episodes in one sitting) regularly. Most in the study considered the behavior positive, with 76% saying packing in multiple episodes was a welcome distraction and refuge from life, and 79% claiming that binging out on shows makes them better.

e-Book subscription services are relatively a new thing and there isn’t much data that is publicly available that supports the notion that people binge read. Companies like Amazon don’t publicly disclose any viewership metrics and keep everything internal. The other major services likely don’t have the capital to put into advanced metrics or to hire an exterior company to evaluate reader habits.

What we do know is that most publishers and authors remain wary of e-book subscription services, which they worry could devalue books in consumers' minds. And binge-reading is a far more time-consuming proposition than binge-watching.

Many industry experts are in agreement that the current e-book subscription system is deeply flawed and publishers do not commit front-list titles that are on the bestseller lists. Instead, they only contribute older titles that have been around for a few years and likely any serious reader has already borrowed them from the library or read it in another format.

Tim Hely Hutchinson, chief of Hachette UK simply sees the current generation of e-book websites as not being viable. “"people are always pitching new models to me, and the first thing I say is that the existing model works really well. I don't believe in subscription. I don't see how it would do anything other than cannibalise the business we already have. I know other people take a different view. Within the limits of the law, I hope [HarperCollins UK c.e.o.] Charlie Redmayne will explain it to me, because I don't get it." Neither is he interested in selling direct—"I don't think the consumer wants it. The last thing I think we should be doing it undermining our customers, the retailers."”

Meanwhile Hachette Livre chairman and c.e.o. Arnaud Nourry said in a recent interview that e-book subscription sites are a flawed idea. "Offering subscriptions at a monthly fee that is lower than the price of one book is absurd," he said. "For the consumer, it makes no sense. People who read two or three books a month represent an infinitesimal minority. And there are bookshops. If I seem like a dinosaur, so be it. My colleagues at Penguin Random House say the same thing."

Is the financial aspect of e-book subscription sites not compelling for publishers? How exactly do publishers get paid? Well, Scribd and Osyster have adopted the pay-per-read system in order to pay publishers. Indie authors and publishers earn 60% list price when a reader opens an e-book and reads more than 10% of the book.  On average, Amazon pays authors $1.39 for each qualifying read. In some cases, Amazon ironed out exclusive deals with Pottermore and Susanne Collins for the Hunger Games and the Harry Potter series.

I don’t think that the standalone novel  is not indicative to a large amount of growth potential. The companies involved in e-book subscriptions don’t either and this fact has made most pivot from their core business. Scribd for example now offers audiobooks and comics. Oyster has started selling new e-book titles, instead of just having an subscription platform.

Can e-book subscription sites evolve? Can they offer more than just a fiction novel? I have a few ideas.

I think one thing that they can do is have a standalone subscription for a specific author or book. For example, a school textbook is frequently updated, sometimes on a yearly basis. It would be nice to subscribe to that specific book and get the yearly updates. If you love a romance author, you can just subscribe to her and get notified whenever a new book is added into the platform.

Most subscription platforms have a fairly paltry sports selection. I would like to see more of an emphasis on titles being added when a new season starts or when a big event like Wimbledon or the Masters transpire. I would gladly play an added surcharge on top of my existing subscription for things like this.

I also think that serialized fiction  is also one of the ways e-book subscription services can gain more users. Short fiction or books that just have a hundred pages would be easier to read and promote “binge reading.”

Authors too are starting to embrace short-fiction or serialized novels and enroll them on Kindle Unlimited. Susan Kaye Quinn author of 18 Debt Collector novellas told Good e-Reader that "Romance readers are ravenous, in general, and many subscribe to Kindle Unlimited. In romance, serials allow authors to get material out quickly to their fans, and KU lets romance readers gobble them up without breaking the bank. But not every romance reader is enrolled in KU, so there are, in effect, two audiences for a romance serial – KU readers and non-KU readers. Understandably, the KU readers read episode-by-episode, taking advantage of the fact that each episode is free to them. They get the excitement of serial-reading (the episodes are generally fast-paced) for free. Non-KU readers tend to wait for the box set. Pre-orders are actually perfect for serials, as they allow readers the choice: pre-order the next episode, or skip ahead and pre-order the full box set. Readers then have the best of both worlds: read-as-you-go or get the full story, depending on your preference."

In the end, I think its tremendously important that e-book subscription sites pivot from their core business model and try new things out. There is an established demand for serialized fiction, as the success of Wattpad demonstrates.  Non-fiction materials such as sports, textbook and education material would bring in an entirely new demographic and promoting binge reading to make all parties involved more money. Additionally most of these companies need to scrap the US only policy and expand into foreign markets.

Can eBook Subscription Services Evolve? is a post from: Good e-Reader