Today on the show we talk about all the major deals that Amazon will having for its one day Prime Day event on July 15th. Also, Books-A-Million has announced they are taking the company private and Barnes & Noble has given us a date in which the Nook College Bookstore and educational unit will become its own company.
This week has been crazy for authors organizations trying to fight the power. The Authors Guild is demanding a revenue increase from 25% to 50% citing e-books are selling like crazy and they are partners with the publishers.
Almost every single organisation that represents authors have simultaneously filed their own petitions to the US Justice Department to look into Amazon and how they control the e-book market. How will this play out and will anything actually happen?
Tons of other tech and e-reader news is also on the show! Find out more about the new Kindle Paperwhite 3 and how it stacks up against the Kobo Glo HD.
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
The Barnes and Noble board of directors has approved the spin off of their college bookstore and educational branch from the main company. The official date this will occur is on August 2nd 2015.
Barnes and Noble operates their educational unit at 714 campuses in the U.S. and posted a sales decline of 0.9 percent to $1.75 billion during the fiscal year ended in May. It accounted for about 27% of total revenue, which is very appealing for investors looking to buy into this new company.
One of the biggest advantages the college division has over the retail stores is that it doesn't hold leases, so it has fewer costs. The unit instead signs multiyear contracts to run stores for the schools.
John Tinker, an analyst at Maxim Group, said the new structure makes sense. "What this does is create a pure play for investors interested in the college market," said Mr. Tinker. "Keeping the Nook inside the retail group is logical because they don't currently know where it stands. Nook losses are shrinking, but it is still uncertain what's really happening there."
NEW YORK, NY – July 14, 2015 – Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS) ("Barnes & Noble", the "Company"), today announced the timing and details regarding the spin-off of Barnes & Noble Education, Inc. ("BNED") from Barnes & Noble. Contemporaneously with the approval of the spin-off, the Company also announced a new quarterly dividend policy for Barnes & Noble stockholders.
Spin-Off of Barnes & Noble Education, Inc.
The Barnes & Noble board of directors (the "Board") has approved the final distribution ratio and declared a pro rata dividend of the outstanding shares of BNED common stock, which will result in the complete legal and structural separation of the two companies. The distribution is subject to the satisfaction or waiver of certain conditions as set forth in BNED's Registration Statement on Form S-1 (the "Prospectus").
On the distribution date of August 2, 2015, Barnes & Noble stockholders of record as of 5:00 p.m. on July 27, 2015, the record date for the distribution, will receive 0.632 shares of BNED common stock for each share of Barnes & Noble common stock they hold on the record date.
No action or payment is required by Barnes & Noble stockholders to receive the shares of BNED common stock. Stockholders who hold Barnes & Noble common stock on the record date will receive a book-entry account statement reflecting their ownership of BNED common stock or their brokerage account will be credited with the BNED shares. The Prospectus, which contains details regarding the distribution of the BNED common stock and BNED's business and management following the BNED spin-off, is being mailed to Barnes & Noble stockholders.
For U.S. federal income tax purposes, Barnes & Noble's U.S. stockholders (other than those subject to special rules) generally will not recognize gain or loss as a result of the distribution of BNED shares. Barnes & Noble stockholders are urged to consult with their tax advisors with respect to the U.S. federal, state and local or foreign tax consequences, as applicable, of the BNED spin-off.
Shares of Barnes & Noble common stock will continue to trade "regular way" on the New York Stock Exchange ("NYSE") under the symbol "BKS" through the distribution date of August 2, 2015, and thereafter. Investors are encouraged to consult with their financial advisors regarding the specific implications of buying or selling Barnes & Noble common stock on or before the distribution date.
BNED common stock is expected to begin trading on a "when-issued" basis on the NYSE under the symbol "BNED WI" beginning on July 23, 2015. On August 3, 2015, when-issued trading of BNED common stock will end and "regular-way" trading under the symbol "BNED" will begin. The CUSIP number for the BNED common stock will be 06777U 101 when regular way trading begins.
Contemporaneously with the approval of the spin-off, the Board also approved a policy of paying dividends at an annual rate of $0.60 per share of common stock of the Company, payable in four installments of $0.15 per share of common stock of the Company, with such quarterly dividends to be declared on a quarterly basis by the Board. The timing, declaration, amount and payment of any future dividends to stockholders will fall within the discretion of the Board, taking into account such considerations as the Board may deem relevant at the time, including, without limitation, the Company's financial condition, financial performance, available liquidity, any applicable restrictions under the Company's credit facilities and applicable legal requirements.
In accordance with the dividend policy, the Board has declared a dividend equal to $0.15 per share of common stock of the Company to the holders of record of the common stock of the Company as of the close of business on August 7, 2015, with such dividend being payable on August 17, 2015.
Overdrive, the largest company devoted to digital library lending has just expanded into Japan. Ryugasaki Public Library is the first branch to children's and young adult literature, graphic novels, manga and much more. In the coming days, Itako Public Library will also launch their OverDrive-powered website enabling readers to take the library with them wherever they travel on their smartphones or tablets.
These launches come as a result of OverDrive's partnership with Media Do whose experience in the Japanese market enables them to be in touch with new library users who may have been previously unaware of OverDrive. It also helps that Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten purchased Overdrive later this year and likely they are going to be introducing Overdrive to libraries all over Asia.
Starting at 12 AM and running all day tomorrow is the new Amazon holiday Prime Day. If you are an existing Amazon Prime member there will be thousands of deals all day long for you to take advantage of, but if you are looking to buy a new tablet, there will be some mega deals.
The company has sent out a press release just now to tease the kind of deals that will be up on Amazon tomorrow. For example the Fire TV Stick will be $15 off during the day, with $30 being cut off the entry level Kindle Basic Touch and $60 off the Fire HD 7 and Fire HD 7 Kids Edition.
Amazon wants to get as many people signed up for its Prime service as possible, since members generally make a lot of purchases. Consumer Intelligence Research Partners estimated in 2014 that Prime members spent an average of $1,500 per year, compared with $625 for non-members.
Beginning Wednesday, July 15, just after midnight PT, Prime members can shop thousands of exclusive lightning deals with new deals added as often as every ten minutes throughout the day. With more deals than Black Friday, members will enjoy thousands of deals from sought-after devices and tools to popular toys and pet supplies. Anyone can join Prime, to start a free 30-day trial and participate in Prime Day visit amazon.com/primeday.
Join the Celebration:
Deals Preview: The following are examples of some of the deals that will be available at various times throughout Prime Day.
#PrimeLiving Photo Contest: Through July 15, members are invited to snap a photo of #PrimeLiving moments and upload them at amazon.com/primeliving for the chance to win $10,000 in Amazon Gift Cards. To learn more about the #PrimeLiving photo contest and get inspiration from artists around the world, watch here.
Prime Personalities: Amazon invites customers to take a quiz to discover what kind of Prime member they are, and enter for the chance to win a $2,000 Amazon.com Gift Card. No purchase necessary. See contest rules at amzn.to/QUIZ.
Deals on the go: Prime members can shop Prime Day deals on any device, including smartphones and tablets and find deals anytime, anywhere.
It's a great time to try Prime: Anyone can sign up for Prime and participate in Prime Day, eligible customers can sign up for a 30-day free trial of Prime at amazon.com/primeday.
More to Prime
Amazon Prime is an annual membership program for $99 a year that offers customers unlimited Free Two-Day Shipping on more than 20 million items across all categories, unlimited streaming of tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes, more than one million songs, more than one thousand playlists and hundreds of stations with Prime Music, early access to select lightning deals all year long, free secure, unlimited photo storage in Amazon Cloud Drive with Prime Photos and access to more than 800,000 books to borrow with the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. Members in more than 500 cities times also receive unlimited Free Same-Day Delivery on more than a million items. In addition Prime members in Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Brooklyn, Dallas, Manhattan and Miami and even London receive one and two hour delivery on a selection of tens of thousands of everyday essentials with the dedicated Prime Now mobile app. Not a member? Start a free trial of Amazon Prime at amazon.com/primeday.
Indie authors are encouraged to update their websites and blogs as soon as possible because the Mozilla Firefox internet browser no longer supports Flash. Mark Schmidt, the head of the Firefox support team at Mozilla, tweeted that all versions of Flash Player are blocked in the browser as of its latest update.
Adobe has scrambled to fix problems as they have become public, but they are unable to keep up with the rising tide of hackers exploiting vulnerabilities with the plugin. This has promoted some serious companies from abandoning the platform altogether.
Remember back in 2010 when Steve Jobs memorably explained his problems with Flash and why his iPhone and iPad wouldn’t support it? Or when YouTube dropped Flash as its default player in favor of HTML5 in January, or how Chrome now intelligently pauses instances of Flash video on its pages? Even Blackberry disabled Flash on their internet browser a few months ago.
If you are browsing the internet and are using Chrome or Firefox you will likely start seeing a ton of popup messages telling you that Flash is disabled or you have to update your player. If you want to disable these messages altogether you can uninstall Flash from your computer, using this tool.
Many websites and blogs that indie authors run heavily depend on Flash, especially if they have been around for a number of years. I recommend that you visit your sites using Firefox and checkout what Flash elements are on your site so you can either remove them altogether or look for HTML5 alternatives. How do you detect Flash? Well, you can install a browser plugin called Firebug which is really popular.
|Tomorrow, July 15th, Amazon is going to be running a huge sale, with “more deals than Black Friday” to celebrate their 20th anniversary. It’s called Prime Day, so it’s only for Amazon Prime members, which costs $99 per year to join, but you can get setup with a 30 day free trial if you just […]|
This week Ryugasaki Public Library launched their OverDrive digital collection, becoming the first Japanese public library to do so. Ryugasaki offers their users everything from children's and young adult literature, graphic novels, manga and nonfiction titles for health and fitness, arts and crafts and much more. In the coming days, Itako Public Library will also launch their OverDrive-powered website enabling readers to take the library with them wherever they travel.
These launches come as a result of OverDrive's partnership with Media Do whose experience in the Japanese market enables us to be in touch with new library users who may have been previously unaware of OverDrive. This venture has resulted in the launch of OverDrive Japan which enables us to acquire more Japanese native content. Media Do also have added to OverDrive's industry leading collection of titles available in Marketplace by providing bestselling, high quality content including Manga, comics, magazines and graphic novels in their original right to left fixed layout format.
We're excited about expanding OverDrive's global reach and look forward to continuing to add new digital collections in libraries around the world. Be sure to check back soon to learn about the latest additions to the OverDrive network!
Just over a week ago now we closed the Secondary School phase of the Astro Pi competition after a one week extension to the deadline. Students from all over the UK have uploaded their code hoping that British ESA Astronaut Tim Peake win run it on the ISS later this year!
Last week folks from the leading UK Space companies, the UK Space Agency and ESERO UK met with us at Pi Towers in Cambridge to do the judging. We used the actual flight Astro Pi units to test run the submitted code. You can see one of them on the table in the picture below:
The standard of entries was incredibly high and we were blown away by how clever some of them were!
Doug Liddle of SSTL said:
Jeremy Curtis, Head of Education at the UK Space Agency, said:
When Tim Peake flies to the ISS in December he will have the two Astro Pis in his personal cargo allowance. He’ll also have 10 especially prepared SD cards which will contain the winning applications. Time is booked into his operations schedule to deploy the Astro Pis and set the code running and afterwards he will recover any output files created. These will then be returned to their respective owners and made available online for everyone to see.
Code was received for all secondary school key stages and we even have several from key stage 2 primary schools. These were judged along with the key stage 3 entries. So without further adieu here comes a breakdown of who won and what their code does:
Each of these programs have been assigned an operational code name that will be used when talking about them over the space to ground radio. These are essentially arbitrary so don’t read into them too much!
Ops name: FLAGS
Ops name: MISSION CONTROL
Andy Powell of the Knowledge Transfer Network said:
Ops name: TREES
Ops name: REACTION GAMES
Lincoln UTC have also won the prize for the best overall submission in the Secondary School completion. This earns them a photograph of their school taken from space by an Airbus or SSTL satellite. Go and make a giant space invader please!
Ops name: RADIATION
What blew us away was that they had taken their Astro Pi and camera module along to the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and fired a neutron cannon at it to test it was working!!!
The code can even compensate for dead pixels in the camera sensor. I am wondering if they killed some pixels with the neutron cannon and then had to add that code out of necessity? Brilliant.
These winning programs will be joined on the ISS by the winners of the Primary School Competition which closed in April:
Ops name: MINECRAFT
Ops name: SWEATY ASTRONAUT
Obviously the main winning prize is to have your code flown and run on the ISS. However the UK Space companies also offered a number of thematic prizes which were awarded independently of those that have been chosen to fly. Some cross over with the other winners was expected here.
Pat Norris of CGI said:
We’re aiming to have all the code that was submitted to the competition on one of the ten SD cards that will fly. So your code will still fly even if it won’t be scheduled to be run in space. The hope is that, during periods of downtime, Tim may have a look through some of the other entries and run them manually. But this depends on a lot of factors outside of our control and so we can’t promise anything.
But wait, there’s more?
There is still opportunity for all schools to get involved with Astro Pi!
There will be an on-orbit activity during the mission (probably in January or February) that you can all do at the same time as Tim. After the competition winning programs have all finished the Astro Pi will enter a phase of flight data recording. Just like the black box on an aircraft.
This will make the Astro Pi continually record everything from all its sensors and save the data into a file that you can get! If you set your Astro Pi up in the same way (the software will be provided by us) then you can compare his measurements with yours taken on the ground.
There is then a lot of educational value in looking at the differences and understanding why they occur. For instance you could look at the accelerometer data to find out when ISS reboosts occurred or study the magnetometer data to find out how the earth’s magnetic field changes as they orbit the earth. A number of free educational resources will be provided that will help you to leverage the value of this exercise.
The general public can also get involved when the Sense HAT goes on general sale in a few weeks time.
Libby Jackson of the UK Space Agency said:
|Most people are misinformed on the subject of how dictionaries work on Kindle ebook readers, so I wanted to put together this guide explaining how to change, add, and create custom dictionaries for Kindle devices. Last week someone left a comment complaining about how Kindles sucked compared to Kobos because Kindles don’t allow you to […]|
We are excited to announce a few promotional updates to support you library or school's marketing efforts. You can always count on OverDrive to assist in helping you get the word out about your digital offerings.
One of the reasons I like window shopping so much is because I am a visual person. I can be more decisive if I can actually picture my purchases. Sometimes you just need to see something to know it's for you. OverDrive took this approach in our new update to the Partner Portal. We offer a wealth of promotional materials for libraries and schools to take advantage of at the ultra-low price of free (my kind of shopping!), but sometimes you need to see it to know you need it. Our Getting Started pages for Libraries and K-12 Schools now offer visual graphics, with size dimensions, to accompany our links. On these pages you'll find posters, sticker sheets, flyers, bookmarks, web graphics and more. Scroll through the page to see our offerings and choose material that works best for your community. If you don't see what you are looking for, click the link at the bottom of each page to see additional options. Keep in mind, you can request custom updates to any of the materials you see by way of your library or school's Account Specialist!
Speaking of visual, we now offer a short promotional video to embed or share on your library's social media page http://partners.overdrive.com/marketing-outreach/libraries/social-media/. We tried our hand at a commercial offering to simply make users aware of your OverDrive service and we think you'll like it. It's straight to the point and a lot of fun (School partners, you may notice the lack of youngsters, don't worry we hope to offer an equally creative short for you to share soon!).
Lastly, on point with the 'visual' them of this post, don't forget to make your users aware of your exciting periodical collection, if you have one. Magazines and periodicals are still one of the most wildly read media—how do you think I became the master shopper I am today? Magazines are my guidebook to all things fabulous and fresh in fashion. We have valuable resources to help you promote your periodical collection, including newly added "Also available as a digital magazine" stickers that can be put on the cover of your print copies.
Stay fresh everyone and enjoy all the free options we offer before they go out of style!
Christina Samek is Launch Specialist with OverDrive