Archive for E-Book News
Ebookezvous is a French distributor who has been involved in the eBook space since 1999. The company has just opened up a digital store in the US with over 170,000 titles from 400 different publishers.
The new store is available online and has a English and French UI, to allow prospective patrons to browse their selection of books. You can read them by using Adobe Digital Editions to load them in your Kobo or Nook e-reder, but is currently incompatible with the Kindle. The company has also issued a new Android App, which can be used to buy and read. Word has it, a iPad variant is under construction and will likely be available in the new year.
According to Denis Zwirn, President of Numilog “Ebookezvous is designed to be a digital ambassador of French literature. I hope this site and associated reading applications allow many Americans, French or Francophone cultures lovers, to finally have immediate access to a supply of very large selection of French books.”
There is a large selection of eBooks in eBookezvous catalog. It has thousands of classics, all the way to the latest bestsellers. The companby is betting that they can find a place in the French Immersion programs at private and public schools all over the US. The bookseller also intends on rolling out English translations of French authors within the next year.
Good e-Reader has been going strong since 2007, when the original Kindle came out. We have made it our mission to chronicle the e-Reader, eBook and digital publishing sectors. We have been completely bootstrapped, using our own funds to travel to bookfairs and tech events to bring you all the latest trends in the industry. Additionally, whenever a new e-reader or tablet comes out, we certainly aren’t getting them for free. Some devices like the Sony Digital Paper e-reader ended up costing us $1400. To help balance things out and to keep us operational we need your support with our new Patreon Campaign.
Patreon is a crowd funding platform that allows you to pay a monthly subscription to us, in exchange for some tremendous benefits. Not only do you guys keep us writing 2-6 articles a day, generating YouTube videos or reviewing the latest and greatest gadgets, but you get some subscriber benefits. We have some tiers that have us doing a video streaming session once a month, ask anything you want. Want to know if you should hold off buying that new Kindle now, because something is even better on the horizon? We can answer it live. We also get a ton of custom content ideas, does the Sony Digital Paper handle sheet music or is the Kobo H20 good for PDFS? Before you spend the money, we can answer your question with a custom video made just for you.
For the last eight years Peter and Michael have basically just been basically just using their own funds to pay hosting fees, travel all over and buy everything they review. Google Ads help pay for the core fees, but doesn’t leave much left over to buy every new Kindle, Nook, or Onyx e-reader that comes out. Certainly when it comes to giving you the latest trends and forecasts travelling is essential, and all of these fees add up.
Good e-Reader would love your support for our first ever Patreon campaign! This sort of thing is completely safe to use and they handle all of the financials on their end, we don’t have access to your private information. Apparently they are processing millions of dollars a month for blogs, web-comic artists and designers. Help keep Good e-Reader as the #1 independent news sites out there.
Amazon has announced that it is giving away six months worth of free access to their eBook subscription platform, Kindle Unlimited. In order to qualify for this promotion you need to live in the US and purchase a new e-reader or tablet.
Kindle Unlimited is billed as a Netflix for eBooks subscription system. It normally costs $10 a month and gives readers access to over 750,000 titles. Major publishers have not committed themselves to the platform yet, so its mainly populated by second rate companies and indie authors.
Amazon is bundling access to Kindle Unlimited on the new Fire HD6, Fire HD7, Kindle Basic Touch and the Kindle Paperwhite. Likely, Amazon is including this range of products because they aren’t selling that well. Which is why they aren’t bundling it on the new Kindle Voyage, which continues to experience a long wait list for new orders.
The Moscow Metro has unveiled an ambitious new plan to give free eBooks away to riders. This pilot project is only starting at a handful of subway stations and once all of the kinks have been worked out will expand to over 195.
Riders will be able to get free access to Nikolai Gogol’s Nose, Alexander Pushkin’s Egyptian Nights, Anton Chekhov’s About Love, and Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Mr. Prokharchin by scanning QR codes. The codes will be read on a smartphone or tablet and instantly download the book to your device.
The first few stations to get this service will be Dinamo, Belorussky, and Krasnye Vorota. It will eventually spread to all of the system’s 195 metro stations, and is already available on about 700 of the city’s trams, trolleys, and buses.
The metro system is always going to be unveiling a new WIFI system by the end of the year. This will allow users to not only download the books but also the reading apps necessary to view them.
A number of analysts have been proclaiming that within a few years digital eBooks will overtake print. PricewaterhouseCoopers is one of the most notorious, who recently said this will occur in 2018. Is this possible?
In the United States and Britain, sales of eBooks represent between a quarter and a third of the consumer book market. According to a recent survey by Nielsen Books, eBook sales made up 23% of unit sales for the first six months of 2014, while hardcover’s accounted for 25% and paperbacks 42%.
Ever since the Kindle was released in 2007 digital sales have consistently increased by double digit figures. In 2013, sales growth for eBooks slowed to single digits, and the new numbers from Nielsen suggest the leveling off was no anomaly.
Can we ever get to the point where eBook sales will outsell print, whether its in 2018, as PWC expects, or beyond? I think its possible, but a number of things have to occur for the general public to really embrace it.
One of the big drawbacks in North America and the UK is the fact digital books are merely licensed and not truly owned. When you buy an eBook from Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Kobo you don’t actually own it, you are basically just buying a temporary license. The lack of ownership can create a host of problems that end up being mainstream news. In 2013 Amazon remotely deleted purchased copies of George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm from customers’ Kindles after providing them a refund for the purchased products. This was primarily due to a rift with the original publisher and rights issues. Additionally, a Norwegian women tried to purchase a Kindle book from the UK bookstore. Under Amazon’s rules, this type of action is barred, as the publisher seeks to control what content is read in which territory of the world. Her account was promptly deleted and all content lost.
Another big reason why eBooks likely won’t overtake print anytime soon is chiefly due to Adobe DRM. Digital Rights Management is a form of encryption that prevents unauthorized access or distribution of eBooks you purchase. This is primarily why if you borrow a digital title from the library or buy an eBook online, you need to use Adobe Digital Editions to load it on your e-reader. Unlike real books, you can’t loan out purchased content out to friends, unless you give out your account information to a friend, which is against the terms of service. Some publishers have opted into a program for the sharing of a title for up to two weeks, one time on the Kindle and Nook ecosystem. But these companies do little to promote it and the actual process is a bit complicated.
I think what the eBook industry needs to do is gravitate away from using Adobe Digital Editions as the default standard to protect publishers content. Instead, they need to start embracing Social DRM or Digital Watermarks. In the last few weeks I have conducted interviews with Digimarc and Booxtream, which have been eye opening. They basically outlined their technology in such a way that I thought “why isn’t everyone doing this?”
Right now digital watermarking is big in Europe and is considered the de’facto standard in the publishing arena, but now North Americans are slowly starting to realize the potential. The watermark is imperceptible to the average book reader because the underlying technology is invisible to the naked eye. The way it handles data can take two distinctive forms: personal information about the user who purchased the eBook (such as an email address) or an ID number that the distributor can use to look up the user or transaction in a database. This technology basically allows users to easily loan an eBook to a friend or load it on their smartphone, tablet, or e-reader without the need to use any 3rd party programs. Its as simple as using Windows Explorer when your gadget is plugged into your computer and copy/paste.
Finally, the worldwide market has failed to embrace eBooks in a meaningful way, as readers in North America have. Last year, digital books made up 8% of the consumer book market in France, less than 4% in Germany and Italy, and 1% in Sweden and Norway. In Asia, Japan led the eBook markets with 15% of the country’s total consumer book revenues; China and India, meanwhile, lagged far behind at 3%. Part of the reason why the adoption is so low is the actual cost of eBooks. If you look at the top 10 bestseller list, the average title is around $12.00 in the US, but in France its $24.99, $20.00 in Germany and 19.02 in Sweden.
So to sum everything up. In order for eBooks to have a shot at overtaking print there has to be a clear defined path of ownership. There also has to be a stabilization of pricing and it has to be very intuitive to loan a book to a friend or load it on as many devices as you desire.
If you are a seasoned airline traveler, likely you will be familiar with the quintessential in-flight entertainment system. It provides an animated map with the location of your flight and also a host of movies, television shows, music and children’s content. You can now add eBooks to the list to keep the literary minded entertained.
Starting November 26, HarperCollins will be providing excerpts from a selection of bestselling eBooks, and each digital sample will include buy buttons to a variety of retailers. Excerpted titles include Flesh and Blood by Patricia Cornwell, Yes Please by Amy Poehler, Endgame: The Calling by James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton, and Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses by James Dean.
I think its great that Jetblue recognizes that more and more airline flyers are reading on their e-readers and tablets. This is chiefly because of the relaxing of restrictions regarding the gate to gate use of these gadgets.
The European publishing industry has firmly embraced social DRM or digital watermark technology to protect and secure their eBook content. Many of the leading online bookstores in the Netherlands and Poland have been distributing books in this fashion for over five years.
Social DRM or Digital Watermarks basically are basically alternatives to Adobe Digital Editions. Unlike ADE, eBook purchases do not need to download any 3rd party tools or programs, instead they simply just copy the book on as many devices as they want. Lots of users actually loan their library to friends, as long as they don’t distribute it on the greater internet.
Digimarc is one of the industry leaders in making readers lives simpler and has signed up a number of big name clients over the years. Today, the executive team sat down with Good e-Reader to explain their role in the industry and how they see it growing in the next few years.
When did you guys seriously start to focus on digital watermarks as a viable business model?
Digimarc has been at the forefront of digital watermarking technology for almost two decades. After the acquisition in late 2012 of what is now the Digimarc Guardian platform, the leading anti-piracy solution for the publishing industry, we turned our focus to developing a service for watermarking e-books.
How does the essence of your technology work on a basic and general level?
Digimarc Guardian Watermarking embeds unique, imperceptible, and traceable digital watermarks into e-books in near real-time, enabling distributors and publishers to track where their content is appearing online and identify the sources of leakage and unauthorized distribution. Our cloud-based platform offers easy-to-integrate API support for most e-books formats, including EPUB, PDF, and MOBI. The platform also allows for the inclusion of visible social watermarks – indicating the customer’s name, date of purchase, and other information.
Who are your largest clients?
In September, we officially launched Digimarc Guardian Watermarking with HarperCollins Publishers, one of the largest publishers of consumer books in the world, and LibreDigital, a leading provider of e-book distribution and fulfillment services, as partners. At this point, we have integrated with a variety of other prominent publishers and service providers, conducting watermarking at both the retailer and consumer levels. We’ll be announcing more of these partnerships in coming months.
Stats on social DRM and Watermark technology are hard to come by any thoughts?
Our feeling is that the apparent trend towards watermarking (and away from DRM) in Europe is only gaining in momentum, followed closely by North America and other markets. Our cloud-based technology is inherently designed to address the global demand we see being driven by both publisher and user preference.
What are the main benefits as you see it, between watermarks and ADOBE DRM.
Unlike DRM, watermarking is both a social deterrent and an identification technology. Visible text added to fulfilled publications reminds users that their files are traceable and can be an effective deterrent to unauthorized distribution. Imperceptible digital watermarks, once detected, enable publishers to pinpoint the source of distribution and take appropriate action.
Technically, Digimarc Guardian Watermarks are fully compatible with DRM solutions, but DRM is both expensive and ineffective against users who are intent on breaking it, and legitimate consumers are frustrated by an overly restrictive experience which prevents them from easily sharing content between devices.
If people started to pirate books with your tech, what do you guys do about it, if anything?
Digimarc Guardian provides the leading anti-piracy solution for the publishing industry. Our systems crawl the web 24×7 to discover and validate pirated content, especially watermarked content, on cyberlockers, peer-to-peer networks, and other offending sites. We then initiate and manage an integrated takedown process, achieving a greater than 95% success rate at removing pirated content from distribution.
As the only platform to offer both watermarking and anti-piracy services, Digimarc Guardian provides publishers with a powerful weapon to both understand and combat the broader piracy ecosystem.
What type of concerns do new clients have about watermarking, what are the common type of questions they ask?
Typical questions about watermarking involve the level of effort required for integration, and cost. We find that most potential clients are very pleasantly surprised by our answers.
On the topic of privacy, we also assure them that Digimarc Guardian Watermarks contain only anonymous digital IDs, never any personal or user information.
Apple has just received the green light from a court in New York that will finally begin offering iBooks customers refunds from a pool of prospective pool of $400 million dollars. This specific amount is dependent on the court upholding a 2013 verdict where an appeal brought the figure down to a paltry $50 million.
The final number that Apple will have to pay consumers will be established on December 15th 2014. The Justice Department, lawyers, Apple and everyone involved in the court drama are basically tired and want to get this situation resolved ASAP.
Customers can expect refunds from Apple starting early next year for eBooks purchased from the iBookstore from April 1, 2010, and May 21, 2012. The exact figure is yet unknown but settlements from Amazon and Barnes and Noble had customers given a $3.00 credit for any New York Times bestseller and all other books from major publishers $1.00.
There tends to be some confusion among new e-reader owners on what formats their new device reads. Numerous Kindle owners try to buy eBooks at a good price online, only to get disgruntled when they aren’t compatible. In order to solve many of the top customer concerns Kobo now lists the format their eBooks are in and whether or not they have Digital Rights Managment (DRM).
When you are browsing the online Kobo catalog their is a new section at the bottom of the description. It is called Download Options and lists the eBooks are EPUB 2, EPUB 2 (Adobe DRM), PDF, PDF (Adobe DRM).
When you buy an eBook with DRM on it, the title is only compatible with Kobo e-readers and tend not to play nice with any other device. Things get easier if you manage to find something that does not have any encryption, this means you can basically load in on your smartphone, tablet, e-reader or loan it out to a friend and not need Adobe Digital Editions to facilitate the transfer.
The new download system is live in most countries. We have confirmed reports that Canada, US, Australia, UK all have it, but sadly not New Zealand.
Oyster is hoping to appeal to literary buffs that aren’t currently paying for their eBook subscription service. The company has launched a new online book blog that will feature original essays, book reviews and interviews with prestigious authors.
Oyster’s editorial director, Kevin Nguyen described the publication as the company’s “latest discovery project,” explaining that “some readers want algorithmic recommendations, and others want editorial recommendations, or reviews.” He went on to say “We really want to be a part of the publishing community. We want to use the Oyster Review to bring Oyster to a new audience.”
It remains to be seen on what type of traction this book new initiative will get in the greater book community. Many readers are wary of reading this type of content from a company that peddles eBooks. This is the chief reason why many people don’t pay attention to the Amazon book blogs and prefer 3rd parties that are unbiased.
Boomerang Books and Pages & Pages Booksellers in conjunction with Kobo and HarperCollins Australia have engaged in a new pilot program to bundle print and eBooks.
Starting today until the end of January customers who visit a Boomerang independent bookstore or buy the print titles online from Pages & Pages will get a free copy of an eBook. This is the first time Kobo has played a role in this type of initiative.
There are only a handful of titles that are eligible for the promotion. You can think of it as a pilot project to gauge the viability of rolling out something more substantial.
The books that are apart of the bundling program are; Cleanskin Cowgirls by Rachael Treasure, Ghost House by Alexandra Adornetti, Kerry Stokes: The Boy from Nowhere by Andrew Rule, Last Woman Hanged by Caroline Overington and The Menzies Era by former Australian PM John Howard.
If you have been regularly attending the largest professional publishing event in North America, Book Expo America, you are likely used to the last day of the event opening up to the general public. It is normally at this time that most of the executives and senior staff flee, leaving the interns and hired help to man the booths, giving away free swag. Starting in 2015, the public will no longer be invited to BEA.
Back in 2013, Book Expo America started a program that opened its door for one day to the general public. In 2014, it renamed and restructured Consumer Day as BookCon, making it a publishing-meets-pop culture event aimed at reaching a broad swath of readers. Authors loved this aspect of the event, because it gave them a chance to meet with their most loyal fans and signed many autographs. But while that consumer-friendly day “exceeded our wildest expectations,” says BEA Event Director Steve Rosato, selling 10,000 tickets before organizers had to draw the line, it mixed with the professional days like oil and water.
Staring in 2015 BEA will be held Wednesday, May 27, through Friday, May 29, while BookCon will be held Saturday and Sunday, May 30 and 31. Many of the top publishers and authors will likely stay the few extra days in New York to meet with the fans and professional companies that exist to market their services to libraries can take the chance to tear down their booths and flee for their lives.
I like the fact that there will be some separation between the best publishing event for professionals and the general public. It remains to be seen if BookCon can launch as a separate event successfully or not. The BookCon site compares their festival with the likes of Celebration X, PAX East and Comic-con. I seriously doubt they will even come remotely close to the cultural impact those other events have.
Amazon has offered samples of eBooks since they started selling them. It gives readers an idea on what to expect when you buy the retail edition by giving you a chapter or two to read for free. In the first time in years, Amazon has just updated the way it handles Kindle eBook samples.
Samples that you download from the Kindle book store will now be saved in the cloud so that you can access and read them on any supported Amazon device or Kindle reading app. If you don’t want the sample anymore you can simply delete your samples from the cloud on any supported devices or Kindle reading apps, or from Manage Your Content and Devices.
Not all Amazon devices can handle the new way samples are delivered. The ones that are compatible are Fire HDX, Fire HD, Kindle Fire HDX, Kindle Fire HD (2nd Generation), Kindle Voyage, Kindle Paperwhite (2nd Generation), Kindle (7th Generation), Fire phone, Kindle for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch version 4.5 or greater, and Kindle for Android version 4.7 or greater.
One of the big problems with eBook samples in general, is you don’t really get a feel for what the book is about. After you make it through the table of contents, forward and any obligatory publisher information, you barely get chapter one. I have actually downloaded samples that had the first two pages of chapter one, because there was so much filler at the beginning.