Monday, July 20, 2015

HBO Now is released for the Kindle Fire


Sometimes you have to put that compelling e-book aside and utilize your Amazon Kindle Fire tablet for entertainment. One of my favorite apps has expanded past the Apple TV and HBO Now is now available for not only Android, but Amazon branded tablets.

You can get HBO Now from the Amazon App Store and you can try it out a 30-day free trial, then it costs $14.99/month. It charges your Amazon account directly, so you don’t need to do any kind of signup process and pay a 3rd party. Also, I heard that the Fire TV will also have the service in the next few weeks.

What I like the most about HBO Now is that you can totally binge watch any of the big series that are on the TV channel. There is a total benefit to the on-demand nature of the app, you don’t have to suffer through commercials and you can watch the series from the beginning.

I never really watched Gamer of Thrones when it was on television. I never saw it from the beginning and would watch random episodes and have no idea what was going on. When HBO Now became available on the Apple TV, I watched all five seasons in three weeks and got totally caught up. I have since cut HBO from my digital cable package and watch things like Last Week Tonight and Silicon Valley or a myriad of movies.

Its totally worth downloading the app for your Android device, or your Kindle tablet. You can get a sense of how it works, without having to pay anything for the first 30 days.

Amazon Follow Allows Authors to Connect Directly with Fans


Amazon has unveiled a new social media program for any author that uses Kindle Direct Publishing. Amazon Follow allows readers to connect up directly with an author and get instantly notified whenever a new book comes.

The Amazon Follow button is now on the authors page. The author has the ability to handcraft their email messages that will automatically be delivered via email to anyone who is following the author and notifications will be available on their Follow Updates timeline.

This program is currently only available to US based authors and is invite only.

I see this program has being tremendously useful for authors who exclusively self-publish on Amazon and want to cultivate a loyal following of readers. Amazon Follow is in essence a personal newsletter delivery service where they can keep readers informed on not only what new books are in the works but also interact with them in a personal way.

Barnes and Noble is Going to Kill the Nook

Barnes & Noble appoints Chief Digital Officer, Frederic D. Argir, to lead E-Commerce and NOOK

Barnes & Noble appoints Chief Digital Officer, Frederic D. Argir, to lead E-Commerce and NOOK

The future of Barnes and Noble Nook e-books, e-readers and tablets looks to be in jeopardy. The Nations largest bookseller has just hired Fred Argir to run the Nook division and e-commerce division, replacing Mahesh Veerina who had run it for the last two years.

The Barnes and Noble Nook division is in serious trouble. They recently unveiled a massive upgrade to their website. The new design gives us a sense on what the bookseller is hoping to sell more of, which are lifestyle products, print and e-books. Unfortunately there are a number of bugs with e-books and Nook that are preventing people from reading and this is resulting in a fair amount of apathy.

When you are looking to buy a new book and haven't heard much about it, likely you want to check out the first few chapters with a digital sample. Barnes and Noble has an online reading platform called Nook for Web. Sadly, this system is totally broken and has not been revised to work in conjunction with the new B&N website. Users have also reported a myriad of problems with logging into their accounts and purchases randomly disappearing.

The Nook brand, which includes e-books, e-readers, tablets and accessories hasn’t been profitable under the watch of Mahesh. They have lost money every single quarter for the last two years,  and are down over a billion dollars since it first launched in 2010.

Whenever Barnes and Noble has hired high level executives to run the company they have always promoted people internally. This is the first time the bookseller has brought in two high ranking people, including new CEO Ron Boire from the outside. I have a feeling Ron and Fred will kill the Nook division because they are not loyal to it and will likely see it an essential cost cutting measure.

What does a gutted Nook division look like to the average e-book buyer? Likely the bookseller will stop making dedicated hardware, such as e-readers and tablets. Instead, the company will solely focus on their apps for Android, iOS and Windows to sell digital content. They will also promote their newly launched Nook Audiobooks app. Basically, all hardware will be killed off and Nook will pivot into being purely a digital content provider.

September/October Kids & Teens eHighlights are here!

eIn the middle of July, I'm hesitant to talk about all the things that Autumn brings: cool weather, changing leaves, sweaters and warm beverages by a fireplace. For the OverDrive team in Cleveland, it has been a very rainy summer so I'm not ready for those cooler temps just yet.

One thing I am ready for? All the great books that will be released in September and October. This Fall will bring releases from James Frey, Ali Benjamin, Tedd Arnold, Anna Dewdney, Katherine Applegate and more.

The Copper Gauntlet by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare is book 2 of The Magisterium series.

Books on Tape brings a new audio retellings of the classic "Star Wars" films: A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi…just in time for the release of the newest film this December.

Rachel Renee Russell's Dork Diaries series is back with Tales from a Not-So-Perfect Pet Sitter, where Nikki Maxwell takes on a new venture: pet sitting.

Readers of all kinds will be able to find a title they're excited about within the pages of our newest edition of the Kids & Teens eHighlights catalog.

If you have any suggestions for how we can make this catalog better, please send us your ideas to


Emma Kanagaki is a Collection Development Analyst with OverDrive

A new board member

Sherry Coutu CBE has been a member of the board of Raspberry Pi Trading for a couple of years now; she’s an exceptionally valuable member of the team, and we’re very grateful to her for donating her time  and expertise to our organisation.



Today we’re really excited to be welcoming Sherry to join the board of the Raspberry Pi Foundation as well, so she’s now going to be working across both the trading and charitable sides of the organisation. Sherry’s extraordinary. This month she was placed in the top ten of Computer Weekly’s Most Influential Women in Tech list. She sits on the board of the London Stock Exchange (when she and Joanna Shields were taken on, they were the first women to be appointed); she’s also on the boards of Zoopla, the University of Cambridge‘s Finance Board, Cambridge Assessment, Cambridge University Press, and Cambridge Temperature Concepts. And because she’s somehow managed to cram more hours into the day than the rest of us are given by nature, she’s also on the advisory boards of Linkedin, the Natural History Museum and the Royal Society.


Thanks Sherry – we’re really glad you’ve come on board on the Foundation side of the organisation too. It’s terrific to be able to have access to your skills across the whole spectrum of what we do here at Raspberry Pi, and we’re looking forward to working more with you.

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