Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The New Good e-Reader Forum is now Online


When we first launched the Good e-Reader Blog in 2008,  the e-reader industry was just starting to takeoff. In 2007 Amazon Released the Kindle and it was a game changer. Soon after, new entrants tried to have a go with selling hardware and digital books.  We started our original forum in 2009 and ran it for a number of years with over a hundred thousand users and  a great community. A server fire at our data center resulted in all data being lost, but we have returned.

We have just launched the new version of the Good e-Reader Forum and it is your online destination to keep up with the latest news, previews, interviews and industry coverage. There is also extensive support for your Kindles, Kobo’s or Barnes and Noble Nook e-Reader.

Nor sure what e-reader is right for you or looking to upgrade your existing reader? You can ask our support team for information and other users to get a sense on what is on the horizon or what is the best thing available in the here and now.

The Good e-Reader Forum just went up today! Join in on the fun and check it out.

The New Good e-Reader Forum is now Online is a post from: Good e-Reader

New Mega Man Television Series in Development


A new cartoon TV series for the video game franchise Mega Man has been announced and is undergoing development.

The show is being produced by American companies, so it is safe to assume the show is English. How much of the subject matter will stay faithful and how much might be Westernised still remains to be seen, as little else is known about the development at this point. Two companies are taking on the series as a joint project: Dentsu Entertainment USA and Man of Action Entertainment. The latter of these companies is known for cartoons such as Ben 10, Ultimate Spider-Man, and Marvel's Avengers Assemble.

Mega Man is a video game series that began in 1987, centering around the titular blue robotic hero as he battles various enemies. The game franchise has well 100 games under its belt, along with a few manga spinoffs and a 1994 anime series under the same name.

If the 26-episode show airs in 2017, as it is slated to do, it will mark the 30 year anniversary of the first game. It will certainly be amazing to see how much things have changed, and yet, how much of the material will remain the same.

New Mega Man Television Series in Development is a post from: Good e-Reader

Amazon’s Kindle Convert Software Plagued with Negative Reviews

Back in February of this year, Amazon released a software program for Windows computers called Kindle Convert that is designed to convert scanned documents, PDFs, and printed books into Kindle ebooks. On the surface that sounds like a good plan, but reading through the reviews at Amazon it appears that Kindle Convert software is a […]

E-Book Sales Down 6% in the United States in 2014

woman reading a book

Print is making a comeback and e-book sales have decreased. Nielsen Pubtrack data is demonstrating that digital sales have fallen 6% in 2014, which equates to 223 million e-books being sold in the US, down from 240 million units in 2013.

Nielsen fetches its data from 30 of the largest publishers in the US, so this is an accurate portrayal of sales from mainstream bestsellers such as John Grisham, Stephen King and EL James.

The research has basically said that e-books sales are down right? So what are the genres that are selling the most units? Adult fiction had the highest percentage of e-book sales, with 51% of sales purchased in the category bought in digital format. 50% of general fiction, romance, suspense, mystery and fantasy, which were also e-books.

Many pundits who follow the publishing industry often have a bone to pick with Nielson data. The main area of conjecture is that Nielson only talks to big publishing companies and excludes indie authors. The average self-published writer does not have a proper ISBN number, so its impossible to accurately gauge their sales. They can sell one copy or thousands, its impossible to tell. Amazon actively tries to prevent this information leaking out, by their terms of service stating that authors can’t publicly disclose revenue or risk being booted out of the Kindle bookstore. Considering Amazon owns 75% of the e-book market in the US and 95% in the UK, few authors are willing to report sales.

Why have e-book sales really fallen in the US in 2014? The average price of an e-book has increased over 14% due to new agreements signed by the publishers, giving them more control over discounting by bookstores. Barnes and Noble Nook digital sales dropped 29% year to year, their market share now runs in the single digits. Kindle Unlimited, Oyster and Scribd received a ton of media attention for their e-book subscription services.

E-Book Sales Down 6% in the United States in 2014 is a post from: Good e-Reader

The Latest Literary Trend: Hot Dudes Reading


There is a massive new literary trend occurring on Instagram right now, @hotdudesreading. The account has over 572,000 followers and is a celebration of men reading books on the New York subway. What is most surprising about this phenomenon is that they will not publish any pictures of people with e-readers, smartphones or tablets,  with a simple hashtag #nokindles.

Big trends in the publishing industry often occur on mass transit and its a clear and definitive way to gauge how people are reading. The lack of e-readers on this Instagram account is demonstrating that people are no longer captivated by Kindles, Kobos or Nooks, instead flocking back to the print form.

Are e-readers sexy onto themselves? Sadly not. We have been reviewing e-readers since 2008 and the build quality has not dramatically improved overtime. An e-reader today does not really look all that different from one made four years ago. Smartphones on the other hand have taken bold risks, such as the Samsung Galaxy Edge and YotaPhone 2.

The entire e-reader industry is basically crashing. In the last few years many companies that have been making them, have gone out of the business. Waterstones, the largest bookseller in the United Kingdom has admitted that sales of Amazon’s Kindle e-book reader had “disappeared” after seeing higher demand for physical books.  Barnes and Noble Nook e-reader sales have also tanked, with the company losing over a billion dollars on their bookstore and hardware.  E Ink, the company responsible for making e-paper screens has lost millions of dollars almost every quarter, due to the lack of demand for e-readers and has diversified into grocery store price tags.

Many booksellers have admitted that print is making a comeback and this Instagram signifies the gravitational shift away from romancing a Kindle to bringing the sexy back to books.

The Latest Literary Trend: Hot Dudes Reading is a post from: Good e-Reader

Maker Faire Bay Area 2015

Three weeks ago Ben, Eben, Liz, Matt, Pete, Rachel and I headed to San Mateo, California for Maker Faire Bay Area 2015. We thought it might get a bit busy, so we roped in Paul from Pimoroni to give us a hand, and we also had lots of help from fantastic local volunteer Dean over the weekend.

Maker Faire events are a showcase of making, where people who make eveything from elaborate marble runs to drawing robots to needle-felted T-Rexes to backyard rollercoasters get to show their projects, and visitors get to experience the tremendous potential of making and to try things out for themselves. They call Maker Faire Bay Area The Greatest Show & Tell On Earth, and it’s easy to see why as soon as you arrive. It’s full of this kind of stuff:


MegaBot is a bit terrifying even when it’s unpowered

This giant metal-plated fire-breathing rhino has headlamps and a registration plate

This giant metal-plated fire-breathing rhino has headlamps and a registration plate

We peeled ourselves away from the giant fire-breathing animals and got our stand set up. This year the event opened earlier than usual, with a special preview day on Friday to give educators, school groups and others a chance to meet and talk with makers for an afternoon before the big crowds arrived on Saturday and Sunday. About half an hour before the doors opened, Pete and I tested out the DOT board activity that we’d be doing with children.

The DOT board, which Rachel created, made its debut at SXSW Create, and it’s great: you use electrically conductive paint to complete a connect-the-dots picture on a printed circuit board, and then connect the board to a Raspberry Pi and run a Python program to see the Pi respond to the connections you’ve painted – in this case, you see an image of an aeroplane in your choice of colour. It went down very well with the school groups whom we loved meeting on Friday:

Children paint DOT boards

Group of children painting DOT boards

My absolute favourite part of this activity is watching children add a dab of conductive paint to the DOT board to select an extra colour while it’s connected to a Pi with the Python program running. A lot of the time we did this in response to kids asking, “But what happens if I…?” It was a jaw-dropping moment for many of them when we suggested they try it and see, and they watched the image on the screen change colour. It was great to see how the DOT board showed children part of the relationship between hardware and software, inputs and outputs in a very direct way that made a real impression.

On Saturday morning we regrouped ready for the big crowds.

We soon learned that having just eight or nine students around the DOT boards counted as a lull. We went through 1200 DOT boards over the weekend, and as well as helping children with the activity, there were usually at least two of us talking to visitors who were interested in other aspects of Raspberry Pi, answering questions and handing out resource cards to whet people’s appetite for our growing collection of free, high-quality online resources. We gave out around 7000 stickers to visitors, and Eben, Matt, Ben and Paul gave talks at several of the event’s 12 stages. You can see how busy the Faire got in an interview that Eben gave in front of our stand – you’ll spot a number of us in the background if you look closely!

We knew that children were getting excited about hardware with our DOT activity, and we felt very proud that Maker Faire rated it too; here’s a Maker Faire Editor’s Choice blue ribbon hanging beside one of our banners.

I was lucky enough to be able to spend some time away from our stand and visit other makers. Plenty were using Raspberry Pi in their own projects, and I enjoyed saying hello to Acrobotic and Weaved, finally meeting Mugbot in person, and eyeing up cute wheeled gardening robots that do your weeding for you:

It was a truly outstanding weekend, and, while bigger than most, this year’s Maker Faire is just one of many events we attend to talk to people and introduce them to learning and teaching with Raspberry Pi. Within a week of packing up, our team headed off to introduce the DOT boards to a Raspberry Jam in Utah and to prepare for a Picademy in York and an exhibition in Liverpool. And, of course, there’s always a Jam coming up somewhere in the world, and although we can’t get to all of them, we think of them all often! Why not see if there’s one near you?

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OverDrive updates: Dyslexic font options and improved waiting list displays

This week OverDrive released new updates to our library websites that continue to provide users with a more fulfilling digital reading experience. A few months back we added a dyslexic font option to the OverDrive app. Due to the popularity of this feature it has now been added as an option on your OverDrive-powered digital library website as well. This means users can more easily navigate your site to find titles to enjoy in the same font they have selected to read them in.

CaptureThe dyslexic font option can be found in the Settings tab under the account button along with a number of other options to help customize the search experience including lending period preferences, maturity level settings and more. This option is now available on all public and school library websites. The Dyslexic font is designed with a heavy-weighted bottom to increase readability for users with dyslexia. Turning on this setting will update all text at the site to the dyslexic font.

Updates to the waiting list display

We have also updated the way users will see what place they are in line for a hold. Instead of displaying the total number of patrons waiting, users will only see the number of holds per copy. This gives users a better idea of when to expect the title thus allowing them to borrow other titles accordingly.

These updates are live at your library website so be sure to explore the site to discover how they look.


Adam Sockel is a Social Media Specialist with OverDrive

Podcast – Nook Press, New e-Readers, e-Book News and Marketing Advice for Indie Authors


Welcome to another utterly compelling edition of the Good e-Reader Radio show, the only show in the world that documents e-readers and how the traditional publishing market is being disrupted by digital.

Today on the show I talk about two new e-readers that just hit the market and both are sporting e-Ink Carta technology. You can get a sense on what Carta is, and how it benefits reading. Additionally, these two devices also run Android, which means you can install your own apps.

Is Barnes and Noble Nook Press bad for authors? This is an editorial on how their platform has slowly adopted a slew of paid services with non-stop marketing tactics to get indie authors to pay more for their books. I also give advice on how indie authors can form their own squads.

This is a great show! Let us know what you thought by dropping a comment below.

Podcast – Nook Press, New e-Readers, e-Book News and Marketing Advice for Indie Authors is a post from: Good e-Reader