Monday, July 27, 2015

Kobo Starts New Twitter Account to Hype e-Book Deals


If you are looking to save some money on e-books Kobo has you covered. The company has just launched a new Twitter account that puts the priority on deals and discounts. From the looks of things they are not limiting their digital promos in just one country, but hype things that readers in Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom would like to read.

Every few weeks Kobo sends out a newsletter or quietly offers promotional codes in different countries. This has spawned countless message board threads and people sharing links on Reditt. I think what Kobo is hoping to do is have more control over distributing deals and being able to amass a cadre of Twitter followers at the same time.

Sydney Australia Unveils First e Ink Traffic Sign


The Australian Road and Maritime Services has installed e-paper traffic signs on Sydney roads, representing the first time that electronic e ink, a technology best known from e-book readers and smart watches, has been used in traffic signage.

E Ink has partnered up with Visionect to have 15 solar powered parking and road signs distributed all over the capital of New South Wales. One of the great things about this technology is that the displays draw no power while still displaying critical data. If the Australian Road and Maritime Services needs to update anything they can simply push out the new data directly to the sign, since each one has a 3G internet connection.

When nighttime inevitably arrives each sign has the same front-lit technology found on the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite or the Kobo Glo HD. This will allow motorists to be able to continue to read all of the information.


Traffic signage might be a huge industry that e Ink can garner a ton of revenue from. It has been reported that the city Los Angeles puts up 558,000 temporary parking restrictions signs every year to the cost of $9.5 million – a strain on staff and resources that can be reduced by implementing permanent e-paper signs with content easily customizable via cellular networks.

Audiobooks are catching on like Wildfire


The Audio Publishers Association released the results from their annual sales survey, conducted by the independent research firm Management Practice in the spring of 2015, which revealed that the audiobook industry is continuing to expand in sales as well as the number of titles being published in the format.

Based on information from responding publishers, the APA estimates that audiobook sales in 2014 totaled more than $1.47 billion, up 13.5% over 2013. Unit sales were also up 19.5%, nearly five times the increase of the overall book trade industry (4.2% as reported by the Association of American Publishers in June 2015).

Additionally, 1,032 more titles were published on audio than in the previous year — bringing the number of audiobooks published in 2014 up to 25,787. The growth of the industry is largely due to the growing popularity of the digital download and increasing awareness and profile for the audiobook format. Sales of digital downloads continue to rise – showing an increase of 7.3% in dollars and a full 10% in units sold from the previous year.

Year                   # of Audiobook Titles Published

2014                            25,787

2013                            24,755

2012                            16, 309

2011                            7,237

2010                            6,200


While adult titles continue to account for 87% of sales, children and young adult titles are on the rise with a 3.7% increase in sales from 2013 to 2014. The APA's recent consumer behavior study revealed a strong demand for titles for younger listeners, with 36% of respondents reporting listening to children's or YA audiobooks.

Fiction continues to represent the vast majority of audiobooks sold with roughly 77.4% of audios being fiction vs. 22.6% non-fiction. The unabridged format continues to dominate with 91% of audios sold being in this format.

How Using and Renting Kindle eTextbooks Works (Video)

Amazon offers a number of Kindle eTextbooks to rent and buy in the Kindle Store. Many of them are just basically regular nonfiction ebooks, but some carry a specific eTextbook designation that adds some extra features. Many of the eTextbooks are available like regular Kindle ebooks on Kindle ereaders, Fire tablets, and Kindle apps for […]

Image Comics and graphic novels are now available in Marketplace

aImage Comics have arrived! If you're not aware of them, just know they have some of the best graphic novel content out there including The Walking Dead. For all those who are preparing their safe houses and stocking up on zombie killing devices or if you're waiting for Season 6 of The Walking Dead to premier, OverDrive has your perfect reading material.

Also, OverDrive now has one of the most exciting comic series of the past couple of years, Saga by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples. This series has won several awards and is a phenomenal space opera in the vein of Star Wars with a mix of Game of Thrones and Romeo & Juliet. One cannot do it justice in a blog, but know that your patrons want it, and you should probably read it if you're at all interested in any of the above topics.

Be sure to check out all the great content from Image and also take a look at other Adult Comics/Graphic Novels.


Kristin Milks is a Collection Development Analyst with OverDrive

Attend a Picademy@Google in Birmingham

This year we’ve seen an explosion of Raspberry Pi Certified Educators thanks to the number of free teacher training events called ‘Picademy’ that we’ve been able to facilitate. Aside from our own in-house training, there have been five regional Picademies, three of which have taken place in Google’s Digital Garage in Leeds. Thanks to the generosity of, we are able to offer even more continuing professional development opportunities to educators, this time in Birmingham!


Picademy will be awesome at the new Google Digital Garage Birmingham!

Picademy@Google is for classroom teachers of any subject at primary, secondary or post-16 level. The courses and workshops in Leeds are run by renowned community member Les Pounder, who gives much of his time to helping adults and children create weird and wonderful projects. You may have seen some of his Picademy work on Twitter recently.

Picademy@Google Birmingham will be every bit as good! Highly regarded community member, Minecraft wizard, and creator of stuff about code Martin O’Hanlon will be leading teachers across a diamond block path to Raspberry Pi enlightenment. Here he is doing his best Steve impression:


Martin was at the venue for the launch and said:

The opening of the Google Digital Garage at the Library of Birmingham was a great event attended by Eileen Naughton, MD of Google UK and Ireland, and Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The venue is incredible and it’s really exciting to be able to use this amazing space to bring Picademy to Birmingham – opening up the opportunity to teachers across the West Midlands to get the benefit of the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s free CPD course.

All our training events in Birmingham will take place at the latest Google Digital Garage inside Birmingham Library, and are completely free to attend. If you are interested in take part and becoming a Raspberry Pi Certified Educator, please complete this form. The following dates are available:

  • 27th – 28th August
  • 1st – 2nd October
  • 2nd – 3rd November
  • 7th – 8th December

The post Attend a Picademy@Google in Birmingham appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

Why do Publishers Launch Websites?


Major publishers in recent years have been on a rampage trying to appeal to the YA audience.  They have been setting up niche websites that are designed to sell books but also have a youth savvy editorial voice. Sadly, the vast majority of these sites are dead in the water a few months after launching or languish into obscurity. Are publishers doing the wrong thing with building websites instead of using social media?


Pew Research conducted an internet study report that looked at youth and teens. They found that 92% are online on a daily basis and 71%  are on more than one social networking site. Publishers are certainly doing the wrong thing spending hundreds of thousands of dollars building a site and curating it with editorial content when they could be going where their audience is.

Most publishers have a presence on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter but these sites have lost traction with teens in recent years. David Ebersman, the former chief financial officer for Facebook said that Facebook was no longer the hip hangout spot on the Internet for teenagers, and there's a simple reason for that: It's hard to look cool when you're hanging out with Mom and Dad.

However, some teens aren't just bailing — they're refusing to buy into Facebook in the first place. In a Huffington Post essay on the great Facebook exodus, Bianca Bosker notes that it was difficult to find teens who had signed up for the service to begin with. Of a group of high school girls Bosker spoke to, only one was on Facebook, and just as University College London professor Daniel Miller argued was the case amongst teens, the student seemed "embarrassed to even be associated with it."

Teens these days are on Instagram, Tumblr, Snapchat and Vine. Publishers hardly have a presence on these platforms at all. There are plenty of “vine famous” celebrities have that billions of loops and who can count on 30 to 100 million views on each six second video. These guys get sponsored all the time by app developers and major brands, but publishers are notably absent.

What Vine user wouldn’t love to see something posted by their favorite author? Why aren’t publishers making accounts for their up and coming teen authors or setting up a production unit to film content on a daily basis?

Teens simply don’t visit static websites anymore. They live and breathe on social media sites and publishers still don’t get it. I get hundreds of emails every year about publishers launching this and that.  Last week Simon and Schuster launched Glommable, Penguin got in the game awhile ago with Teen Australia and Random House released Bookscout and Totally Random. Totally Random is amusing because the company hyped the hell out of it and the last update was August 25th 2014. 

I think publishers need to wake up and realize websites are dead, even if you make them look like social media hubs. Teens and YA use their smartphone more than their computer. Publishers NEED to develop a unified social media strategy and develop exclusive content for Instagram, Snapchat and Vine.