Thursday, July 30, 2015

Amazon to Create e-Book Marketplace for New York Schools

The New York City Department of Education is about to approve a $30 million dollar contract with Amazon to create a single, massive ebook marketplace for the city's 1,800 public schools. This deal might dramatically lower the price of textbooks because digital is cheaper than print.

The marketplace, known as "Storefront", will provide low-cost digital versions of textbooks and other assigned books that are accessible via a "variety of devices". Purchased content will be made available on these devices via Amazon's Whispercast platform.

The Amazon contract with the city is over three years, through 2018, at $4.3 million the first year, 2015-2016; $8.6 million the second year, 2016-2017, and $17.2 million the third year, 2017-2018.

New Games of Thrones e-Reading App Appeals to Casual TV Viewers


Many people find that an epic book series is too daunting to even begin and instead watch the TV show. Game of Thrones fits this bill perfectly, far more people have watched the entire series on HBO or downloaded it from the internet. HarperCollins is hoping to appeal to the casual reader by launching a new Game of Thrones app for iOS.

You can think of A Game of Thrones: Get into the Books app, available for Apple products, as a bridge between the books and television series. It will allow viewers to read iconic passages from the show — without risking spoilers. Many of the main characters have passages that tell you more about them and you can even learn what a Direwolf is!

The app will also be updated to keep up with future seasons of the TV show and with upcoming books.

Use the “Featured” tab in Marketplace to see the hottest collections and deals available



Today OverDrive Marketplace was updated to include a brand new “Featured” tab option to help you more easily locate the hottest titles, collections and sales available to library partners. These featured highlights include ongoing publisher and event sales, links to newly added content that is sure to be popular with your users, and even lists of titles hand selected by the librarians on OverDrive’s Collection Team.

These collections will be updated frequently so be sure to check back often to stay up to date with the latest collections and so you don’t miss out on any sales. For additional recommended lists from our staff librarians be sure to check out our recommended lists page on our partner portal.


Harlequin’s hottest summer reading lists

Ever since I was a little kid, I've always identified summer as the season of reading. Probably from all those years of signing up for my public library's annual summer reading program. These days I still love to spend my summer days reading for hours on end although my book choices have changed as I've gotten older and today I'm going to share with you some of the Harlequin lists that OverDrive has put together for your library!

For those readers looking to have a scorching summer there is the Harlequin Heat list. These books come from the Harlequin Intrigue, Red Hot Reads, and Blaze series and feature titles like The Seduction of Lucy, Her Last Wild Ride, Deceptions and Desires, and My Stallion Heart among others. Our recommended list of Harlequin Heat books are so hot, your patrons will be wanting to reach for some extra sunscreen while reading.

Along with the heat, summer also means a lack of new episodes from favorite primetime medical dramas on television, but luckily the Harlequin Medical Romance list has readers covered. With selections such as The Midwife's Miracle Baby, The Doctor's Society Sweetheart, Summer with a French Surgeon, Firefighter with a Frozen Heart, and Dr. Drop-Dead Gorgeous, the Harlequin Medical Romance list provides the perfect amount of bedside manner.

As a child, summer provided a break from school. As an adult, summer can mean wanting an escape from everyday life and this is where the Harlequin Historical Romance list comes in. Historical fiction gives readers the chance to meet dashing rakes and untamed cowboys while witnessing scandals at court and visiting the western frontier. The Harlequin Historical list lets readers take a vacation without ever leaving the comfort of their home.

Finally, the Harlequin Kimani Imprint list provides titles that are more African-American centric or for readers who want an urban spin on their books. Titles in this list include Red Velvet Kisses, Falling Into Forever, Touch of Paradise, Stallion Magic, and Heat Wave of Desire. Handpicked by us, the titles on the Harlequin Kimani list provide the perfect mix of sweet and sultry for your readers.

Help your readers beat the heat this summer with our carefully curated lists of Harlequin titles!


Jill Grunenwald is a Collection Development Analyst with OverDrive.

10 Free Kobo eBooks and Kobo Discount Codes – July 30th

Below is a roundup of 10 free ebooks from, along with a list of coupon codes for discounts on ebook purchases. Kobo is also running a trivia contest promotion through August 7th where you can get ebook codes for 10%-75% off, and enter to win a new Kobo Glo HD. The 10 Kobo ebooks […]

The MagPi issue 36 is here and we’re in print!

It’s with an almost rude amount of excitement I can announce that issue 36 of the Official Raspberry Pi Magazine, The MagPi, is here!

It’s bigger and – dare I say it – better than ever too, with 100 pages of amazing projects, interviews, features, tutorials and reviews.

Click the pic to buy the print edition from the Swag Store today & have it delivered to your door.

Click the pic to buy the print edition from the Swag Store today & have it delivered to your door.

It’s not just here in the virtual – download your free PDF edition today – sense, though. It’s also here in the physical – take me to the smallest room of the house – sense too.

As of today UK readers can pop to a local branches of WHSmith or their local newsagents and buy the magazine RIGHT NOW for £5.99.

US readers will be able to pick it up from Barnes & Noble or Micro Center in two short weeks (or just grab a copy from the Swag Store).

Click to see everything in the current issue

Click to see everything in the current issue

One of my favourite articles from #36 is Minecraft Splat, which is a multiplayer Raspberry Pi-remake of Nintendo’s modern classic, Splatoon, made in Minecraft Pi. Martin ‘Minecraft‘ O’Hanlon (of fame) kindly agreed to give it a shot for us and he delivered in spades. If you enjoy that, you’re sure to love Adventures in Minecraft, which he co-wrote with The MagPi’s Technical Editor David Whale.

#36_Minecraft Splat

Subscribe today!
If you’d like to subscribe to the print magazine it’s really rather easy. All you need to do is call +44(0)1202 586848 or visit The MagPi Subscriptions site.

You can save up to 25% on the cover price and have it delivered to your door before it even hits store shelves. If you order while the first issue is still on sale, you’ll get issue 36 sent out straight away. 

Also, if you’re a teacher, after school club leader, part of an educational scheme or simply want to horde as many issues as possible (we don’t mind), you’re entitled to a massive discounts on multiple copies. Please let us know and we’ll be happy to help.

It’s free – now and forever
Finally, it’s very important for me to stress that The MagPi is a Creative Commons publication. This means it’s free to download and share in PDF format.

Why bother buying it at all? Well, like the Raspberry Pi itself, all the proceeds of The MagPi magazine are channelled back into the Raspberry Pi Foundation, a UK charity dedicated to making affordable, programmable computers available to everyone, all over the world.

We think it’s important that children and adults from all walks of life have access to the internet and applications, and have the opportunity to learn to code if they want to. We hope you feel the same way.

The Raspberry Pi makes all of this possible and I very much hope The MagPi Magazine helps make it fun.

The post The MagPi issue 36 is here and we’re in print! appeared first on Raspberry Pi. is the first Company to Partner with the Android Auto platform


Many people have started listening to audiobooks while commuting because let’s face it, our music collection is starting to get a bit stale. It might be getting easier to listen to audiobooks in your vehicle with the recent announcement that is partnering with Android Auto.

It is estimated that there will be over 60 million connected cars on the road in five years. BI Intelligence published a report predicting that car-focused telecom, hardware, and software will drive $51 billion in annual revenue by 2018. Connected cars are clearly the way of the future, and is the first audiobooks provider to take advantage of this new and exciting market.

"The experience of using an app while you are on the road is entirely different than using it on a phone or a computer," said Ian Small, General Manager. "We made integration with Android Auto a high priority because we wanted to give drivers the best audiobook experience that this new technology allows. Our goal is to revolutionize the in-car experience, and to make the 100+ hours a year Americans spend commuting to work and 38 hours a year stuck in traffic more enjoyable."

Android Auto is an infotainment operating system that puts maps, music, calls, and text into a car-friendly interface. The app hit the Google Play store in March of 2015 and has a long list of top car companies signed up as partners, including Acura, Maserati, Volkswagen, Audi, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Honda, Hyundai, Jeep, Mazda, Nissan, Subaru, Volvo, and more.

In addition to the Android Auto support, is also the only audiobook app to support Apple's new in­-car platform, CarPlay. The company recently released a new version of its iOS app that is fully supported by and optimized for Apple CarPlay. also has relationships with top car manufacturers and its service is available around the world, in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. With a footprint of this breadth and depth, is the leading in-vehicle audiobook provider on the market.

Literary Agents Turn to Twitter to Solicit New Manuscripts


Literary agents are very particular about what type of manuscripts they look at. This is based on the strengths of the publishing company and what they think could sell in today’s climate. Traditionally authors connect up with agents at writing festivals or big events such as Book Expo America. Recently, a few agents from Curtis Brown and Conville & Walsh did something unique, they took to Twitter.

Agents representing Curtis Brown and Conville & Walsh received more than 2,000 pitches for books on the first inaugural #PitchCB day. Authors had to sum up their book in 140 characters or less, which is a good indication of how good a writer is, because if you're able to capture an idea in that limit it shows you have a talent with the written word.

The hashtag reached over 5.3 million times and authors from all over the world tried to hype their titles to the agents. The publishers expressed interest in about 100 of them, but it remains doubtful whether any will be signed.

In the last few years agents have had to change their way of thinking, due to the rise of self-publishing. The vast majority of startup authors often just submit their titles to Kindle Direct Publishing and hope for the best. The most successful indies writers such as Joe Konrath, Barry Eisler, and Hugh Howey have powerful, hard-working agents who earn every penny of their 15%. And most of the successful hybrids, like Catherine Ryan Hyde, also have representation from agents who understand the new publishing paradigm.

Using Twitter as a vehicle to discover new writing talent might catch on in the publishing world. A one day event could result in finding and cultivating the next J.K. Rowling or E.L. James.