Tuesday, September 15, 2015

How to get e-book discounts when you buy print


Many serious readers have gravitated towards e-books when the original Kindle was released in 2007. Over the last eight years many companies have begun to offer a wider variety of choice when it comes to hunting around for deals or participating in alternative ecosystems. There is a large segment of people who read both print and digital, with few discounts available when you want to bundle them together.

There is a severe lack of choice when it comes to buying the print edition and then getting the e-book. Normally, you have to buy both at full price, which can be financially draining. Well, there is some good news. There are a number of companies out there that give you discounts on the e-book when you buy the print version in either hardcover or paperback.

In 2013 Amazon launched a program called Kindle Matchbook that allows you to buy the e-book version of a print book. There are only around 100,000 titles enrolled in the program and the books had to be bought from Amazon and not a 3rd party seller. The cool thing about Matchbook is that all of participating books are retroactive, going back 18 years. The big hyping factor is the e-book costs $2.99 or less. One of the downsides is that Matchbook is only limited to the United States and Amazon has no plan to expand it.

One of the most popular e-book bundling programs out there is run by a Vancouver, BC company called Bitlit. They have received some fairly large influxes of cash from a myriad of investors, including former Kobo CEO Michael Serbinis.

Readers take photos of their books’ spines on their shelves and send them to BitLit via an app, branded as Shelfie. The BitLit system then reads the spines and determines which books are available to the reader, either free or for a discounted price, as set by the publisher. In this way, readers who own print copies can obtain digital copies of them—and publishers capture new data on readers who were formerly only print customers. There are currently over 140,000 titles enrolled in the program.

In the end, these are the only two companies that offer any kind of discount when you have the print edition and want a discount on the e-book, a sad state of affairs.

Comixology Abandons Comic Reading App for Windows


Comixology has just announced that they are discontinuing their dedicated comic reading app for Windows 8. Instead, the company is encouraging their users to use their internet browser and read comics online.

It is very likely that Comixology noticed that hardly anyone was using the Microsoft Store and using their dedicated app for Windows. Keeping the app regularly updated, when a very low percentage of people actually used it is like throwing money away.

Nothing will happen to the comics you have purchased if you are an existing Windows user. All of the content is stored on your account, so you can simply use their website or myriad of apps for Android or iOS.

In order to make this transition as smooth as possible, Comixology is automatically adding $5.00 in free credit to your account if you had purchased at least one comic using the Windows 8 e-reading app.

Kobo Glo HD vs Kobo Touch 2.0 Comparison Review (Video)

Ever since I got a Kobo Touch 2.0 to review, it has really made me question the evolution of ebook readers. It’s amazing how an electronic gadget in a world of constantly evolving technology can remain virtually unchanged for over 4 years. Somehow this is par for the course when it comes to dedicated E […]

E Ink Needs to Discontinue Low Resolution Screens

Last week I posted a review of the Kobo Touch 2.0, Kobo’s latest entry-level dedicated ebook reader. My biggest complaint with the device is the screen. It lacks a frontlight and it uses an old low resolution E Ink screen from 4 years ago. I’m working on a comparison between the Kobo Touch 2.0 and […]

Liz’s 10 deserted island books

Ed. Note: This is the 8th in our series of books we'd take with us on a deserted island if we could only pick ten. Today's list comes from Liz Tousey, a librarian and Collection Development Analyst with OverDrive.


The Complete Works of William Shakespeare

Becoming a Shakespeare scholar was one of my secret imaginary dream careers in undergrad- along with professional musician, radio DJ, and librarian.  I'm so lucky to have one!

An Evening of Long Goodbyes by Paul Murray

Hilarious and farcical narration and plot, with soulful and poignant monologues…Catnip for people who enjoy good character progression.

Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut

Vonnegut has an amazing way of holding up something that we think is ever so normal, and pointing out to us that it's actually quite bizarre.

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

Every time I finish one, I take a deep breath and think to myself, "Wow her books are good."  (Behind the Scenes at the Museum was my close second, in case you needed to know.)

How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran

Bawdy, hilarious, piercing, and one of the best coming-of-age novels I've ever read. I secretly want every young woman to read this, but especially those with an inner (or outer) rocker girl.  Great for the gents as well.

The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera

If you don’t love this book within the first two pages, put it down and we shall never speak of it again. You might open it for the promise of sex and revolution, but you'll stay for the philosophy.

Private Arrangements by Sherry Thomas

Acknowledging that most romance novels follow a fairly predictable story arc, the thing that separates Thomas from other writers of her ilk is that up until the end of the book, you find yourself thinking, "Things don't always work out the way we want.  Maybe this time they won't end up together… Maybe this time she'll break our hearts."

Dreams Underfoot by Charles de Lint

I first read this collection of short stories in high school, and (20ish years later) recently listened to the audiobook.  Like Diagon Alley or the Shire, this book (and the others in the same universe) makes you long to visit De Lint's fictional city of Newford.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

This book is clearly for book nerds by a book nerd.  It’s very funny and very quotable. There might be a good reason as to why it seems to appear on every library’s Staff Favorites curated list that I’ve seen.

The Condensed Oxford English Dictionary

Having previously worked in higher ed for 10 years, I LOVE LOVE LOVED having the OED online at my fingertips, and teaching students about all of its fantastic awesomeness. It's so easy to fall into an etymology hole for an hour or two at a time.

Liz Tousey is a librarian and a Collection Development Analyst with OverDrive

Quaver, the analogue looping piano

Music hacks are my favourite hacks of all, and this one had me bounding around the office with the video below playing on my laptop so I could share it with people yesterday. Meet Quaver, the multiplayer piano.

With a Raspberry Pi, some magnetic pickups, and the open-source Sooper Looper (which I am downloading as soon as I have finished writing this post), Mike and Sean from MajorMega hacked an old upright piano into an instrument that can loop up to four separate tracks, and upload your results to the internet to be listened to when you get home.

This is all part of Lancaster’s Keys for the City project, where pianos are decorated and left around the city for the public to play; Quaver is the project’s stand-out this year. (And not just because of the artwork on the outside.)



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