Archive for E-Book News
The Atavist is a boutique publishing company that launched in early 2011. Evan Ratliff and New Yorker senior editor Nick Thompson started the digital exclusive service to promote short and long-form Fiction. One of their new titles features an interactive eBook cover, done by legendary cover artist Chip Kidd.
Karen Russell is a New York Times bestseller who wrote the novel Swamplandia! Her new book is an imaginative and haunting novella about an insomnia epidemic set in the near future. “Sleep Donation explores a world facing the end of sleep as we know it, where “Night Worlds” offer black market remedies to the desperate and sleep deprived, and where even the act of making a gift is not as simple as it appears.”
This new interactive cover is actually a fairly solid marketing campaign and is giving the book some early buzz. It is being sold exclusively as an eBook and will be available at the end of March on Amazon, Kobo and iBooks.
Sourcebooks’ launch of its fully personalized and customizable enhanced ebook platform Put Me in the Story has become almost as well-known and well-loved as the characters and story lines that it incorporates. Using existing characters and allowing other publishers to use the personalization features for their own titles has opened up a whole world of possibilities in the gift book market, emerging reader applications, and low-interest/low-ability level educational segments.
Now, Sourcebooks has announced a whole new line of much-loved classic characters with the introduction of Charles Schultz’s Peanuts brand into the platform. Using the same tablet technology that has made Put Me in the Story so popular with parents and teachers, readers can now experience Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the entire Peanuts gang in personalized stories.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Peanuts,” says Dominique Raccah, CEO and publisher of Sourcebooks, in a press release. “By adding these books to the Put Me In The Story personalized platform, we’re giving fans young and old new ways to experience the beloved characters of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the rest of the gang—a Peanuts story starring YOU!”
“As we continue to build on our strategy of introducing new generations to the Peanuts property, partnering to create stories in new digital formats is key,” said Craig Herman, Executive Director of Publishing for Peanuts Worldwide. “We have no doubt that Sourcebooks is the right partner to create quality products featuring the Schulz characters.”
Two books will be available this year, Good Grief, It’s Your Birthday and Cheer Up, Charlie Brown, both expected to be released in early fall. Future titles are already anticipated, as well as the availability of the print books in physical bookstores.
One of the biggest benefits to the platform is the ability to order the personalized editions of the stories in print, making it a lasting keepsake or special gift for a special reader.
As more people around the world turn to free sources of information and education online, companies like Learnist have sprung to enable access to top content from both user-generated sources and experts in their fields. With the growing numbers of users returning to web-based reading and mobile device consumption, portability is also a must in order to make social learning feasible.
Today, Learnist announced its new app for iPhone and iPod, two devices that have a high level of penetration among consumers and are therefore readily available in classroom settings, even at the public school grade levels. This app has been unveiled in conjunction with Learnist’s news that it is now offering premium Learnboards to its 10 million registered users worldwide, with most content from highly recognized names being made available for as little as 99cents with an in-app purchase.
Good e-Reader spoke to Learnist’s founder and chief product officer Farb Nivi about the launch of both the app and the exciting new content, as well as discussed the importance of enabling this level of fingertip access to educational material that is both relevant and affordable.
“Learnist is basically about people sharing what they know directly with each other. Everything you want to know is available now online, and we couldn’t make that statement even five years ago. We went from nothing on the internet to basically everything we know on the internet, so we came up with the idea for Learnist by letting them share what they know.”
The company’s Learnerboards are fully enhancement-capable stand-alone offerings that can be user created and collaborated, then made available for other learners to use. This has become an especially important tool for classroom teachers and has seen a dedicated following of educators among registered users.
“Learnist is like a crowdsourced collection of the world’s knowledge. And with this update–a completely new app, really–one of the things that we’re very excited about is that we’ll be offering premium content for sale for 99cents from really notable experts.”
These so-called “celebrity” experts who’ve already signed on to contribute content include names like director Gus Van Sant, actress and activist Olivia Wilde, designer Danny Forster, MythBusters TV host Kari Byron, former NFL star Dhani Jones, author Brad Meltzer, and more. Nivi went on to make the point that the speed with which an expert signs on to create a new Learnerboard and then Learnist makes that content available is almost unheard of, sometimes taking place within only a matter of four to six weeks. This helps ensure that the topics available to Learnist users are both timely, and up-to-date in terms of accuracy.
One of the most exciting features of Learnerboards is the dynamic of the content itself. Where consumers initially needed to purchase an entire book or textbook, this content allows users to focus only on the content they need at a far more affordable price point for the content. This premium content, when coupled with the high volume of free content that is also available, enables Learnist to meet the public’s information needs via reliable and practical application sources.
The app is available today for iOS.
As device consumption among consumers continues to grow and more readers rely on their tablets and smartphones for digital reading, the number of available titles also continues to grow. What many consumers may not be aware of, however, is the power behind their digital magazines, newspapers, enhanced ebooks, and more: Adobe.
Known for its Digital Publishing Suite that is used by a variety of publishers to create digital content for device consumption, Adobe announced today that it’s merging the capabilities of DPS with another of its popular publishing tools, the Adobe Experience Manager. This combination will allow content developers to enjoy an even more streamlined workflow with an ease of use factor that reduce the need for graphic artists to generate all of the layout.
Adobe’s Lynly Schambers Lennox and Colin Fleming spoke with Good e-Reader about the implications of how this level of product integration can be a game changer for companies who are investigating or even currently utilizing Adobe’s tools for content publication.
“With these two solutions combined, we’re offering a really powerful multi-channel publishing solution for rapidly publishing content to mobile devices,” explained Schambers Lennox. “Adobe Experience Manager allows users to organize, create, and manage the delivery creative assets from a single location and push them out to website, mobile websites, email campaigns, social sites, and of course, mobile applications using Digital Publishing Suite.”
This integration will not only save time and money for the content developers as they work to reach their consumer audiences, but more importantly, companies using the combined workflow of DPS and Experience Manager can maintain a strong sense of unity within their brands and their materials. By simply moving content through both tools, that brand recognition can easily be kept consistent.
From the very beginning of digital lending through libraries and personal consumer shares, publishers have been wary of the implications of ebook lending. Once libraries became convinced to at least experiment in the library realm with their digital titles, artificial barriers were often put in place, such as limits on numbers of checkouts and 300% increases in price over an identical title in print. Libraries have suffered under the weight of trying to offer digital lending to their patrons while still ensuring that bestselling and front list titles make it to their virtual shelves.
Digital content provider OverDrive made a monumental announcement today in saying that Macmillan has made its entire ebook catalog available for the first time for lending through OverDrive’s school library partners. From the initial six hundred-plus titles that the publisher originally offered, Macmillan has now made more than 12,000 ebooks available to school libraries for student lending.
“Macmillan offers a wide collection of children’s and young-adult eBooks perfect for the K-12 audience,” said Karen Estrovich, Director of Collection Development at OverDrive. “We are thrilled that our U.S. and Canadian school partners will now have access to these titles, which are highly popular and often requested.”
Unlike some of the restrictions put on ebook lending, Macmillan has made all of its ebooks available without circulation limits, but still under a very standard one-book-one-user model, meaning schools who wish to stock more than one copy–just as they must do with print editions–must purchase additional licenses. The books are, however, only licensed for a 12-month period.
OverDrive has made major strides in the lending sector by helping publishers not only see the security behind opening up their catalogs to lending, but also to see the actual benefits in terms of consumer engagement and increased sales revenue once a book has been borrowed.
Sony announced a few weeks ago that they were closing the Reader Store and customers books were being transferred to Kobo. With a bombshell announcement like this, it was inevitable that many questions and concerns would arise. Sony has addressed a few of this issues to Good e-Reader, that should put people at ease.
Within the next few weeks there will be an automated email sent out to customers who have purchased books from the Reader Store. This email will provide users with a step by step tutorial on how to transfer your library from Sony to Kobo. Obviously not all titles you bought from Sony will be available on Kobo, and you can still read them on your Sony e-Reader regardless.
Many customers have voiced their trepidation about switching their library to Kobo. Sony has confirmed to Good e-Reader that nothing will happen to the books that are on your device. You can continue to read all of the books you bought from Sony, doing the same things you have always done. You just cannot buy new titles from the Sony Store. Whether you have bought 1 book or have thousands, you are not forced to transfer your library to Kobo to keep on reading.
Sony e-Readers often have a ton of space to house thousands of books. Some readers like to keep their devices lightweight and delete past purchases once they have read them. This is no big deal, because all purchases are stored in the Sony Cloud, able to be downloaded again, at any time. Sony has verified that you have until April 30th to redownload any of your past purchases, that were deleted from the e-Reader.
Finally, the Sony Daily Edition, was one of the more popular e-readers and had a 3G connection. Sadly, Sony confirmed “ The 3G connection to Reader Store on the PRS-900 or PRS-950 will be discontinued. We encourage customers to download our Reader for PC/Mac software (available here) . Starting in late March, our Reader for PC/Mac software will enable customers to directly connect to the Kobo Store for future purchases. They can use the software then to also transfer new titles via USB to their Reader from Sony.”
So in the end, customers are not forced to switch their libraries to Kobo. If you are happy with your current collection, nothing will happen to it. You can continue to read books forever on the Sony Reader, you just can’t buy new ones. Many people don’t want to switch to Kobo, for various reasons. Going forward, you can just download books from the internet and manually load them on your device, no big deal.
Oyster is one of the few companies in the world that has been a subscription based eBook service actually work. Right now you are only able to read the books on iOS and the PC, with a rumored Android app in the works. Today, Oyster has announced an upgrade to their app, that aids eBook discovery.
The new 1.3 version is all about design, personalization, and community. Here a number of enhancements the company has integrated into the new build today.
· A brand new “Explore” tab to browse our library by genre and discover the perfect book.
· New Home design has more prominent and beautiful Spotlight features.
· Follow Facebook friends when you sign in for the first time.
· Remove books from your Recent Books list.
· Access your Reading List from Home.
· See which other Oyster users have read, rated, or saved a book when viewing its details.
· Refined visual design, color, and typography throughout.