GoodeReader - The definitive News Outlet on eBook, e-Readers, and Digital Publishing News - Part 2

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BookShout is getting a solid reputation in the publishing industry by delivering eBooks in bulk. The eBooks are redeemed by by using their official app for Android or iOS and many television stations are using the allure of eBooks as an incentive to people during telethons.  Today, the company has announced  that they have distributed 9.4M ebook codes in the past 12 months, and expects to double that number by early 2015.

With more than 3,000 bulk ebook orders placed by major corporations and universities, BookShout! has experienced accelerated growth as more and more organizations request mass quantities of ebook for events, corporate rewards, and client retention. BookShout! has served Microsoft, Intel, CareerBuilder, Lockheed Martin, Marriott, and Teach for America to name a few.

BookShout! works with more than 2,000 publishing partners worldwide, including HarperCollins Publishers, Macmillan, Perseus Books Group, Simon & Schuster and Workman Publishing—as well as corporations throughout the U.S., U.K., and Canada.

Authors are also getting in on the action by taking eBook cards and text-to-buy campaigns to their speaking events and live online chats. Campaigns may even be set up to allow all attendees of an event to buy the book individually at a pre-set price determined by the publisher.

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German artist Christoph Niemann has created The New Yorker’s first-ever animated GIF cover. This is the first time the publication has ever done something like this.

“When I arrived in New York for the first time, it was pouring” said Niemann. “Maybe that’s why, to my mind, there’s no place on earth where being stuck in traffic on a rainy day is more beautiful.”

“One of the ways that he expresses himself recently has been in animated GIFs,” says Françoise Mouly, art director at The New Yorker. Mouly had given thought to using one of his earlier GIFs for the cover, but held off until now.

The New Yorker apparently had big problems integrating the cover and making it work on their website and line of apps for Android and iOS. At one point there were technical issues that caused the GIF to render as a blank space on the web. Mouly says she became “distraught.” But the team persevered and the GIF was brought to life.

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Indie Authors have their hands full with crafting a novel with the intention of selling it on Amazon. Not only do they have to research and write the book, but also have to play the role of editor. Poorly edited books can be the kiss of death and this has prompted a new start-up Advance Editions, to “make good books better” by drawing on the wisdom, knowledge and proofreading skills of readers around the world.

Here’s how it works: Advance Editions posts half of the edited book online a few months ahead of publication and then opens up a feedback forum for that book in which the author participates.  Users can check facts or simply contribute some bright ideas and in exchange they are rewarded with being credited in the book. For crowd-editors who get beyond the first half of the book and want to take on more, they are offered a 60% discount of the complete book at a number of online retailers.

Many authors are not only having their books edited, but people are weighing in on fact checking as well.  is looking to hear from”spies, experts on drug reform, from residents of Brasilia, from anyone who knows the interior layout of Brazil’s Palácio do Planalto or SIS’s Vauxhall Cross headquarters. My characters come from all over the world – have I got their speech patterns right? If you’re into rock climbing, or handy with a motorcycle or a weapon, you’ll have a lot to contribute. You may have served with the French Foreign Legion, treated gunshot wounds, lived in Cyprus or worked as a physiotherapist – all relevant experiences. Or perhaps you just know what works in a story and what doesn’t, and you have an instinct for what could make this one better.”

Another book available on the site is Heidi Kingstone’s non-fictional account of her time in Afghanistan entitled, Dispatches from the Kabul Café. Kingstone is looking for contributions from those with particular expertise in Afghanistan and Kabul, the NATO invasion of Afghanistan, Afghan culture and language, soldiers and mercenaries and aid workers and advisers. Macdonald, meanwhile, is looking for insights into intelligence services, drug reform, Brasilia, motorbikes, weapons, climbing and Canadian speech.”

I think this new crowdsourced editing and contribution platform is totally valid and they really may be onto something. The trick, is how do you convince the type of people that these authots are looking for to join the platform? It might be an easy sell to students looking for a career in the publishing industry and having accredited works under their belts to help them land that first job.

mobile-gaming

The gaming market is set to become a predominately online based pastimes in the years to come, a recent study. Research has found that consumers are moving away from the more traditional PC based games, in favour of an online alternative and the figure is set to rise by a high one-digit percentage in the years leading up to 2017.

With social media platforms becoming increasingly popular, the amount of users partaking in social gaming has also risen. Users are able to play against their friends or family via the social network with the ability to “share” the result, leading to this becoming a more attractive approach to gaming. The developments in smartphone technology has also led to a hike in the figured for games played online and on social spaces.

According to a recent survey, the introduction on online gaming has given a dramatic boost to the number of web gamers, with over 40% of internet users partaking. The results have proven how fast growing the industry is, spanning across a range of various platforms and devices. Gambling games have proved to be particularly popular on social, which have drawn 11,240,000 gamers every day.

On the European market, Germany leads the way in terms of mobile gaming users, with gamers generating an astounding $3.7 billion dollars, with a year year-on-year growth amounting to 5%. China are dominating the Asian industry, with several hundreds of million people who play both mobile and online games, but also South Korea have been engrossed with a messaging app that has recently been transformed into a gaming platform, proving to be one of the most popular of its kind amongst gamers. Mobile gaming is currently the largest revenue consuming segment in the U.S. online gaming market and is set to continue growing in popularity in the next few years.

In terms of the gender divide, men tend to make up the majority of online gaming users, however gaming companies are intending to attract more women players by adding more female characters into their games. Marvel Comics, for example, have made changes to their Thor character and will now be a depicted as a female. By attracting new consumers such as more female gamers, the online gaming market will grow even further. Women tend to be more prone to social gaming so by appealing to them, the audience for online gaming will expand and grow.

Head of Consumer PR at Ladbrokes Casino David Williams discusses that;

“The rate at which social gaming is growing is undoubtedly one of the most exciting developments on our landscape. Being in the right place at the right time to influence consumer behavior and offer discerning customers precisely what they want – and more – will be key to leveraging the cash benefits of social gaming for big firms.”

Online gaming is a great environment for the gambling industry as it provides consumers with the ability to play in a social, fun way and has become a multi-billion dollar business. With women becoming more interested in the trend, social platforms such as Facebook have attracted many social gamblers who try their luck in popular casino-based games.

The future of the gambling business looks to have its eyes set towards online games and internet users. With mobile technology constantly expanding and growing, it is no surprise that the gaming industry will grow alongside it. New markets and targets are emerging with women becoming more intrigued by the industry which sets the gambling gaming industry to have a bright future.

Categories : Technology
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new ereader

The march to the holiday season is upon us and e-reader companies have all revealed their complete product lineup. There is a ton of different models to choose from and sometimes it may be difficult to make an informed buying decision.  We ran a poll on Good e-Reader from September 15th to September 29th 2014 and people all over the world weighed on what was most appealing.

During our polling period 1,221 people cast their vote and by a landslide the new Kindle Voyage and Kindle Basic with a touchscreen won with over 469 votes. This really drives home the point that readers everywhere prefer the Amazon line of devices and something is really compelling about their new product lineup.

In second place with 284 votes was the first waterproof e-reader to be issued by a mainstream company, the Kobo H2O. This device features a very vibrant 6.8 inch display and can be used on the beach, bath or on vacation. For the first time ever, literary fiends will be able to use their device in all environments.

3rd place is where the field got fairly even with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus garnering 81 votes, followed by the first tablet that Barnes and Noble has issued in awhile, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook.

The full list of devices and statistics are in the above picture, so I want go into much more details.  What surprised me the most though, was the fact there is a severe lack of demand for the next generation Kindle Fire tablets. Amazon made a huge announcement with five new devices, one appealing to kids and others hitting every conceivable price point possible. Only 32 people had any sort of plans to upgrade to or buy one for the first time.

Categories : e-reader, e-Reader News
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flipboard-wp

Advertising itself as the magazine of your life, Flipboard is an app that brings together all of the news you care about (from social networks, publications, and blogs) into a single, beautiful, package. Fortunately for Windows phone users, Flipboard is also available right now as a free download.

Designed as a sort of news aggregator, Flipboard does a beautiful job of displaying content in a way that makes even the driest articles a joy to read. For those who are hardcore about the feeds they follow, Flipboard is really more form over function –lacking the ability to mark stories as already read or syncing across devices.

The real news of this story is that popular apps are finally making their way to the Windows phone platform. If Windows-based mobile devices are destined to compete and survive in this market, a well-stocked app marketplace is one of the secrets to success.

Are you any more likely to consider a Windows phone when you next upgrade than you were in the past?

Categories : Android News
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bbm

The news was better for BlackBerry during their Q2 fiscal 2015 earnings call than it has been in a while, with CEO John Chen announcing that their popular BBM can now boast over 91 million active users. Of course, BBM still trails a long way behind the current instant messaging leader, WhatsApp –a service, owned by Facebook, with over 600 million active users (while hoping for enough growth to bring that number closer to the 2-3 billion mark).

With the most recent estimates falling around he 85 million mark, the 6 million user increase came as a surprise –likely due in large part to the recent launch of the messaging app on the Windows Phone platform (not to mention an update this month to fully support iOS 8 on Apple smartphones and tablets).

Some may wonder why BBM is lagging so far being WhatsApp, considering it was available first. Chances are good that a huge contributing factor was the delay in bringing the app cross-platform. It is also likely that there were a lot of holdouts as BlackBerry has suffered from a terribly uncertain future.

For those looking to install a go-to messaging app, BBM is a solid choice, with a feature list that includes: secure PIN-based messaging (users connect using a unique PIN code, and not by sharing an email address or telephone number), free voice calling between contacts, sharing of documents (including photos, files, and voice notes), allow contacts to view your geographic location, group chat, and more!

Fortunately for BlackBerry, things are looking more promising –the first production run of their new Passport smartphone, released this past week, has already sold out.

Categories : Android News
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William Gibson will be releasing a new eBook on October 28th 2014 and will be his first full length novel since 2010’s Zero History. Gibson has stated that it will be set in multiple futures and it is currently unknown whether this book will be apart of a trilogy.

Much of Gibson’s reputation has remained associated with Neuromancer, but his work has continued to evolve. After expanding on Neuromancer with two more novels to complete the dystopic Sprawl trilogy, Gibson became an important author of another science fiction sub-genre—steampunk—with the 1990 alternate history novel The Difference Engine, written with Bruce Sterling. In the 1990s, he composed the Bridge trilogy of novels, which focused on sociological observations of near-future urban environments and late capitalism. His most recent novels— Pattern Recognition (2003), Spook Country (2007) and Zero History (2010) —are set in a contemporary world and have put his work onto mainstream bestseller lists for the first time.

What exactly is the Peripheral all about? The synapses states “Where Flynne and her brother, Burton, live, jobs outside the drug business are rare. Fortunately, Burton has his veteran’s benefits, for neural damage he suffered from implants during his time in the USMC’s elite Haptic Recon force. Then one night Burton has to go out, but there’s a job he’s supposed to do—a job Flynne didn’t know he had. Beta-testing part of a new game, he tells her. The job seems to be simple: work a perimeter around the image of a tower building. Little buglike things turn up. He’s supposed to get in their way, edge them back. That’s all there is to it. He’s offering Flynne a good price to take over for him. What she sees, though, isn’t what Burton told her to expect. It might be a game, but it might also be murder.

Some time around the year 2020, in a trailer park in the Deep South, a young woman witnesses a murder. She is in a video game, and watches with horror as a drone strike kills a child. At precisely the same moment, one hundred years in the future, a boy is remotely killed on the streets of London’s great skyscrapers. The perpetrator remains anonymous.

Interweaving two strange futures, from a ramshackle community of US army veterans, to the teeming masses of a mega city, The Peripheral tells the story of a brave new world of drones, outsourcing and kleptocracy, and of a crime that can only be solved across time.”

I for one have already pre-ordered this book from Amazon and hopefully will be one of the great reads of 2014. Gibson, Neil Stevenson and Bruce Sterling all started their careers around the same time and really pioneered the modern science fiction genre.  Gibson’s work has influenced bands like Sonic Youth, U2 and Billy Idol.  The film The Matrix  drew inspiration for its title, characters and story elements from the Sprawl trilogy.  The characters of Neo and Trinity in The Matrix are similar to Bobby Newmark (Count Zero) and Molly (“Johnny Mnemonic.”

Categories : E-Book News
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madefire

Madefire is well known for their unique brand of motion comics and the company is hoping to be a solid number two behind Comixology. In order to accumulate more regular buyers into their ecosystem Madefire has announced that every Friday they will give away a free digital comic.

“Free Friday is all about discovery – being bold, checking out the possibilities, and being inspired with a creator-first approach to try something new,” said Madefire CCO and co-founder Liam Sharp.

In order to read the free comic book every Friday you need to download the official Madefire app for iOS or Android. Today’s first Free Friday offers copies of IDW’s The City on the Edge of Forever #1, adapting Harlan Ellison’s classic Star Trek episode.

Categories : Digital Comic News
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OK-Devices

OK! Magazine is abandoning their celebrity coverage and has axed the majority of their digital staff. They intend on gravitating towards a more click bait gossip direction, similar to the type of success Buzzfeed as seen.

The website informed its digital team that their services will no longer be needed. OK! is now searching for an executive editor, who can steer the website towards more gossip-oriented coverage and less celebrity-friendly stories.

Dylan Howard, who currently serves a VP of news at AMI, editor-in-chief of the National Enquirer and editorial director at RadarOnline, will re-launch OK! Magazine’s website with a new team, insiders said. The future staff will be based in New York. The site previously laid off its team in Los Angeles and it was unclear if they will eventually be replaced.

The writing was on the wall back in 2012 that another celebrity website was not generating strong revenue. This promoted the merger between Star and OK! to share a common editorial direction.

OK! plans on revamping their online website and they intend on releasing a series of apps for Android and iOS.

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kobo aura movie

A few weeks ago we announced a brand new contest for a Kobo Aura. The premise was to see how it would hold up under extreme conditions. What exactly did we do? Well, we ran a poll on our YouTube channel to see if the Kobo Aura would simply survive and users would simply vote yes or no.

Today, we are pleased to reveal the second part of the contest where we narrow the field down. In true cinematic fashion we determine how the Kobo Aura holds up being run over with a car! The Sony PRS-T2 survived this test, but what about Kobo?

Witness the most talked about contest in Good e-Reader history! Most people just give things away, we go the extra mile and make it worth watching, check it out.


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You may already be familiar with ToyTalk entertainment applications for iOS devices, but you may not be aware that the startup is led by former Pixar CTO, Oren Jacob (whose claim to fame includes titles like Toy Story 1&2, A Bug’s Life, and Finding Nemo) and Martin Reddy (who came to the company from SRI, which you know better as Siri). The company’s aim has moved toward creating mobile media experiences for children that allow for full interaction with the characters; kids speak and the games actually hear and respond! The first paid app from ToyTalk is a little more simplistic, in the form of a character-driven touch and play app, called SpeakaLegend –but it’s just the start of things to come.

Where Siri responds to basic instructions, ToyTalk’s digital apps intend to actually engage children in conversational stories; an amazing feat when you consider how much more difficult it is to analyze and understand what kids are saying (compared to adults). “At the fundamental level, the pitch is in a higher register typically,” describes CEO Oren Jacob. “Because of that, the software that exists to recognize adults’ speech doesn’t always work with kids.”

As part of their toolkit, ToyTalk has created a method for writing character dialogue that contains a considerable library of possible responses to the types of things kids might say or answers to the questions they may ask –and they plan to share this technology with children’s story writers (instead of just app developers) Jacobs is excited by the work they are doing, explaining that “speech recognition for kids has really not been built by anybody, so part of what we’re doing – what are partners are developing – is developing the language and acoustic models for children to open up that space.”

In SpeakaLegend, ToyTalk added touch but was concerned that children would interrupt the natural flow of dialogue within the app. Their answer was to evaluate the events that would naturally cause this behaviour, using the example: “When the dinner party lights go out, you have to comment on that. When someone drops a fork, no one cares.”

With over $15 million in seed money getting them started (with more likely on the way), ToyTalk may revolutionize the way children’s games function. Just imagine the educational potential with customized learning apps built in any and all subject areas (and to supplement any curriculum).

If you would like to see what ToyTalk has been up to so far as a hint of things to come, download SpeakaZoo, Winston Show, or SpeakaLegend for your iOS devices now.

Categories : Android News
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google-android

It’s true that Android is open source software, but it’s also the case that if you manufacture handsets and you’d like to run it as your operating system, there are rules (and now, even more than there were in the past).

You must include the search bar positioned near the top of your display (currently on the home screen, though it may also become a requirement for every screen) and Google’s apps must be featured in a place of prominence (hence the Google folder of apps).

Those that scowl at Apple for similar practices will not be thrilled to learn that these apps cannot be deleted from your device (well, not easily anyway). There are currently 9 apps that are required, but moving forward there could be any number more that Google deems necessary for you to have (even though most Android users don’t use them at all).

Is this move wise for Google? Having stricter controls is certainly a good thing if Android wants to break into enterprise and corporate markets that require a more structured and reliable approach to software, but it also risks alienating the control-hungry, tech-savvy, crowd that has made the platform a success.

Categories : Android News
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