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Meet Stella, the fiercest and feistiest of the Angry Birds (and quite possibly the prettiest). Together with her closest friends: Dahlia, Poppy, Willow, and Luca, she will battle her used-to-be BFF, Gale –the Bad Princess who now has Minion Pigs at her disposal! Set on Golden Island in the Big Tree, Stella joins a long list of Angry Birds-themed games (with my favourite so far being Angry Birds Star Wars).

With a starring cast full of female protagonists, Angry Birds Stella looks to be a colourful and charismatic addition to the franchise. Gameplay should be familiar, with the requisite slingshot weaponry pitting good guys against dopey hog servants –which is just what we find comforting (and entertaining).

Angry Birds Stella will be available this upcoming September 4, 2014, but for those of you near to a Barnes and Noble, you can give the game a test-drive on one of their in-store Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook tablets beginning this Friday, August 29, 2014. Moves like this might be what keep brick and mortar style stores alive in this growing eCommerce age, with consumers looking for compelling reasons to actually step foot on a retail floor.

Categories : Android News
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Barnes and Noble has just launched a brand new tablet in conjunction with Samsung. It costs $179 with a $20 mail in rebate, but the bookseller is hyping the fact you get an extra $200 worth of free content. What free stuff are they actually giving out?

When you pick up a new Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook you get three free eBooks. Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt, The Wanderer by Sharon Creech and I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore.

Customers can also pick 4 digital magazines from a pool of 12 for a free two week trial. There is a ton of great content, including Cosmopolitan, Sports Illustrated, and US Weekly. Back issues are also available for your selected magazines at no extra cost.

Nook Video is giving free content to the hit HBO Series Veep, Hannibal, and Orphan Black.

New Barnes and Noble customers are also automatically given $5.00 in free credit when they buy the new tablet, giving them the ability to either get an eBook for free or use the money to subsidize a new mainstream bestseller.

Barnes and Noble is really hyping the free content as a way to lure existing customers to upgrade and offer a big incentive to new people looking for a tablet billed as an e-reader.

Categories : e-reader, e-Reader News
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Barnes and Noble is having a press event on August the 20th and will be formally unveiling the new tablet they have co-developed with Samsung. In order to create some buzz the Nations largest bookseller has done something radically different from other product launches, hype.

B&N has borrowed a page out of Amazons playbook and created a new online commercial that features hardcore readers gushing over the new tablet. The essence of the video is looking at the reactions of first time users. This enhances the expectation that the software powering the Nooks will be radically different than anything seen before.


Categories : e-reader, e-Reader News
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Barnes and Noble is teaming up with Google to delivery books the same day you order them online. Books will only be shipped to a few key markets, but the intention is to use Manhattan, West Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area as a pilot for an eventual Nationwide rollout.

Google has been running Shopping Express only for only a year and only recently expanded out of California a few months ago. The premise Express is to partner with companies like Costco, Guitar Center, L’Occitane, Smart & Final, Staples, Target, and Walgreens and allow people to get things delivered to their house the same day the order is placed.

Barnes and Noble is betting on a few factors to make their same day book delivery system work. Shopping Express is offering a free six month subscription to get free shipping. Alternatively you can simply pay $4.99 for each shipment, instead of subscribing. Amazon’s same-day service costs $5.99 for members of its Prime program, which also has an annual rate of $99.99.

So what B&N stores are participating in this pilot project? The Union Square store in Manhattan, the Marina del Rey store near Los Angeles and a store on Stevens Creek Boulevard in San Jose. They will all have a dedicated person on site to assist customers in placing online orders for books, toys, games, magazines and other items. Google will collect the orders and hand them to a courier. Barnes & Noble stores have 22,000 to 163,000 titles, depending on the store size.

We live in an age of instant gratification. This is why the eBook industry exploded in the last few years and major publishers trumpet that they account for 21%-28% of their entire revenue stream. It is all too convenient to buy a book on your e-reader, smartphone or tablet and instantly be able to read it. Barnes and Noble is betting that same day deliveries will encourage more people to buy the print edition.

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There’s a lot of talk about Amazon and what it has done to revolutionize both bookselling and publishing, namely in the doors that it opened for self-published authors to put their books in front of readers. There’s so much talk, in fact, that it’s easy to forget that there are other platforms out there that also do great work for authors and readers.

Nook Press, the self-publishing platform from Barnes and Noble that allows authors to sell their content on the iconic bookseller’s website, reaches a significant percentage of the reading public through both the Nook family of devices and the Nook ereading app for tablets and PCs. Nook Press offers a number of tools for authors, including both a blog filled with advice and information and a dynamic Facebook presence where its authors connect with fans.

“We started the Nook Press blog in late February, and we had a couple of missions in mind,” explained Julia Coblentz, Senior Marketing Manager – Digital Marketing for Nook Press. “The main thing was really to bring writers and readers together more and to offer a place where we can hear more of the voices of self-published authors in the retail setting.

“We do three different things here. We do guest posts, which we’ve had a great response to from the author side, as they have an opportunity to tell more of what they’re doing. We also feature articles on marketing, which we’ve done for years in our newsletter and on our Facebook pages where new authors and successful authors get together and learn marketing tips from each other. We also go ahead and highlight interesting ways that authors are already marketing. The third thing we’re doing is using it as a platform to highlight titles that are coming through Nook Press. Whether it’s based on ‘this is a great deal’ or ‘this is a great beach read,’ and I kind of group them thematically.”

The blog is heavily promoted through the Nook Press Facebook page and through the other associated social media channels to give authors–especially new writers who may still be in the process of making publishing decisions–the tools they need to take charge of their own careers. The articles cover a broad spectrum of topics that affect authors, and supports the decisions they make about their content with information and advice.

The Nook Press blog can be found HERE, and readers and authors alike are also invited to connect through the Facebook page.

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A few weeks ago Barnes and Noble announced that they were initiating a collaboration with Samsung for the next generation Nook tablets. Samsung will be selling one million Samsung Galaxy Tab 4th generation 7 and 10 inch tablets to Barnes and Noble and will also be helping in promotion. Today, Michael and Peter give you the full specs on the new tablets and if its a step in the right direction from the Nook HD and Nook HD+

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 is currently being sold for $199 for the 7 inch and $349 for the 10 inch versions. This is the model that Barnes and Noble has agreed to purchase, because Samsung is giving the Nations largest bookseller a large discount. The tablets have lower resolution than the Nook HD and HD+, which may make magazines, kids books and graphic novels quite lackluster. The processors have been upgraded to a quadcore 1.2 GHZ processor from the dual core found on the prior models.

One thing we are really excited about is the front facing and rear facing cameras. Nook has never included a camera in any of their tablets, and this has prevented popular apps such as Vine, Snapchat and Camera360 from running. Now, Nook owners will be able to shoot videos, take selfies and snap a pic for their profiles.

Lets take a look at the final hardware for the Samsung Galaxy 4 Nook.  The seven inch model will have a resolution of 1280 x 800, 1.2 GHz Quad-Core processor and 1.5 GB of RAM. It has 8GB of memory and can be expanded further via the SD Card.  The front facing camera will have 1.3 MP and the rear facing one will be 3.0 MP.  The prior Nook tablets had Android 4.0 and these models will ship with 4.4 Kitkat.  Google Play will also be available on launch day, so customer scan download a ton of content.  The 10 inch model has similar specs to the 7 inch, except it has 16GB of internal storage

In the Good e-Reader Roundtable Discussion, Michael and Peter talk about the full specs and how Barnes and Noble can get the most value from this collaboration. Also, can Barnes and Noble possibly market these devices to other markets?

 


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Now that school is out for most of the country, there’s a honeymoon period of sorts in which many kids don’t have to get up early and can watch as much TV as humanly possible. But somewhere along the way, parents look at their kids–whose bodies seem to have actually fused to the couch–and want them to spend a little time engaged in something else.

Summer reading programs offer incentives to readers, like the ones offered each year by Scholastic and Barnes and Noble. These programs offer live and virtual participation, as well as encourage print and digital reading for a wide variety of age groups and reading levels. Local libraries are often involved in either one of those two events, or in staging their own similar programs.

At this year’s BookExpo event, two companies were featuring their children’s ebook subscription services. FarFaria and Stories Alive both offer a platform for tablet-based content with engaging and purposeful bones features. In both cases, the enhancements to the text are not simply “bells and whistles” for the sake of piling on the technology. Both platforms offer read-aloud narration at different lower levels, along with text highlighting to bring the focus to the words. The stories also include the ability to download the content, including audio, for offline reading.

“We have a new interface called Stories Alive. We have 170 books, and we add one a week,” explained Umesh Shukla of Auryn. “This keeps the same notion of how to get the kids into the story, plus extras to make them keep reading.”

The functionality of the titles include little details for readers, such as the small calendar on the kitchen wall within the book Crazy Hair Day changes each time the reader opens it to reflect that real day and date; a blank page within the story is designed for the reader to draw a picture, and when they turn the page, their drawings are on the bulletin board at the back of the classroom. These easter eggs within each story are all designed with the purposeful intention of helping the reader engage with the content.

Incorporated games and features also give the kids reasons to keep turning the pages, but a built-in functionality prevents kids from simply flipping through the pages to get to the fun add-ons by requiring them to interact for a certain amount of time on each page before it changes.One of the exciting new functions of children’s app books from companies like these is the ability that lets parents purchase a title for a family tablet, while still establishing multiple readers of the book. That means different members of the household can find these features or unlock games without “spoiling” the rest of the book.

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Barnes and Noble has announced that they are bowing out of the audiobook industry starting July 1st 2014. The Nation’s largest bookseller is imploring customers to backup all of their old titles before they are gone for good.

Many people in the industry were very surprised to know that B&N even sold audiobooks. The company never issued press releases or acquired their own library of content. Instead, they relied on Overdrive to provide all of the audio editions for them. This made the process confusing to customers because they would have to use the Overdrive Media Console to listen to audio editions they purchased, making the entire process convoluted.

Barnes and Nobles strategy for selling digital audio editions could not be any different from Amazon owned Audible. Audible consistently acquires new titles and buys out defunct companies assets to bolster their own catalog.

The entire audiobook industry is currently worth around 1.6 billion dollars and that figure should climb further. The main reason? Audio book producers have been increasing their output. 13,255 titles came out in 2012, up from 4,602 in 2009.


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Schools around the country are getting ready to dismiss for the summer months, but parents don’t have to let the gains their children made during the year slip away. The dreaded phenomenon known as “summer slide” can be thwarted with just a few minutes a day of focused reading. To help parents offer the students reading content that won’t seem like a chore, Barnes and Noble has kicked off its annual summer reading program with a host of titles and incentives.

Called Imagination Destination, this year’s program offers parents and teachers the same great tools and tips that they’ve come to rely on. In addition, kids who complete their summer reading logs can bring those in to a local B&N location and receive a free book from a curated list of titles. For parents who want to stay on top of their students’ summer progress, the free NOOKApp is available, which can enable them to be prepared with age-appropriate and grade-level minded titles at a moment’s notice.

“Our Summer Reading Program encourages kids and their parents to engage their imaginations all summer long so the learning never ends,” said Sarah DiFrancesco, Vice President, Business Development for Barnes & Noble, in a statement. “It’s so much fun for a parent to see a child’s face light up when they turn in their completed journal sheet and get to choose a free book from the store display. Parents, educators, and librarians love the program, too, because they also want to encourage children to read during the summer months. Add our reading groups, weekly Storytimes, Hands-On Learning events, special promotions and the best lineup of summer skills workbooks, and Barnes & Noble is the best destination for reading fun, learning and savings, all summer long.”

To access the free summer reading kit and its activities, visit bn.com/summerreading.

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One of the truths we’ve been hearing from forward-thinking publishing industry experts, namely where Amazon is concerned, is that we have to stop trying to compete. There are enough readers for every genre and every retailer, but offering an identical product in the same cookie-cutter way will drive consumers to go where the price is cheapest if all other factors are the same.

But a new post from Smashwords’ founder and CEO Mark Coker explains that authors have an option that gives them a leg up on booksales and bestseller rankings, one that Amazon only makes available to select indie authors and publishers: pre-orders.

“In a nutshell, here’s how the dynamic works at B&N, Apple and Kobo: Let’s say your book is listed on preorder for 60 days in advance of your official onsale date. Let’s say that at B&N (or iBooks or Kobo) your book accumulates 15 orders per day. After two months of order accumulation, you’d have 900 orders. These 900 orders would credit all at once on the first day when your book goes onsale.

“Since every retailer’s bestseller charts are based upon unit sales, and all charts give greater weighting to sales credited during the most recent 24-hour period, it’s like selling 900 copies in a single day. And that’s before counting the additional sales that come once the book goes onsale. With 900+ sales at any retailer in a day, you’re going to land near the top of your book’s genre or category list, and probably also within the store’s top-10 or top-20 store-wide bestseller list.

“You don’t need to accumulate 900 orders to receive a boost from preorders. Even 10, 20 or 30 accumulated orders will give you an incremental discoverability advantage.”

That advantage that Coker mentioned has been in place since Smashwords launched its pre-order feature, but until now it wasn’t understood that all three of those major retailers could incorporate the pre-orders as sales rank on the day of the book’s release.

With the ease of launching a pre-order platform for a specific title, there’s no reason not to take advantage of the potential for discoverability and the possibility of increased initial sales ranking as a way to stand out.

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Barnes and Noble has unveiled a new pilot program with a Spanish-language Storytime at select stores across the USA. Barnes & Noble kicks off the inaugural Storytime in May with a reading of ¡Te lo regalo! by Gabriela Keselman and other stories for toddlers. Customers can listen to stories read in Spanish and enjoy word practice and fun activities.

“More schools are embracing dual immersion language programs, helping children become fluent speakers in two languages by the time they graduate high school,” said Sarah DiFrancesco, Vice President of Business Development for Barnes & Noble. “We’re hearing from parents that they want to immerse their children in language learning at a young age, when language acquisition is easy and fun. We believe Spanish-language Storytimes fill a growing demand for this type of early childhood foreign language programming.”

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to share our favorite Spanish-language books with customers attending our new monthly Spanish-language Storytimes,” said Denise Duarte, Spanish-Language Children’s Buyer for Barnes & Noble. “The May selection, ¡Te lo regalo!, was just nominated for a Latino Book Award in the category of ‘Most Inspirational Children’s Picture Book – Spanish.’ It’s an important story about learning to share with adorable animal illustrations the children will love.”

Categories : Bookselling
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Comixology is the largest digital comics distribution platform on iOS, Android and Windows 8. The company has been going strong since 2007 and their technology powers the reading apps from Marvel, DC, Archie, and has every single comic and graphic novel of the Walking Dead. Last week, Amazon announced they acquired Comixology. This did not really surprise anyone who keeps tabs on the digital comic industry, but did Apple, B&N and Kobo miss the boat?

When it comes to selling comic books online, Amazon, Apple, B&N, Kobo, Google and many other players all sell them. Surprisingly most only sell graphic novels, instead of single issue comics. Graphic novels usually comprise of 6 issues of a series and make it easier than purchasing each one separately. This appeals to more casual readers, but hardcore readers often choose Comixology to stay on top of all of the new releases every Wednesday. The only notable exception is DC making a new agreement with Google to carry new single issue comics on the Google Books Store.

Why did Barnes & Noble, iBooks or Kobo not pursue this deal? This could have been game changers for those companies and it could have appealed to the people who have downloaded over 215 million comics from Comixology. Industry experts have speculated that the B&N executive team is not forward thinking enough to actually go through with it and they have their own turmoil in the executive ranks to think about. Kobo is exclusively focused on international expansion and Apple is only concerned with making the 30% royalty on in-app purchases and selling stuff on iTunes.

If there was a single company to benefit the most from Comixology, it was Amazon.  The Seattle based company had developed comic technology called Panel View option for fixed layout illustrated ebooks. This attempt was clearly trying to clone the far superior Guided View from Comixology.  Amazon also does not allow high resolution images in KF8 FXL files, which is their file format to emulate EPUB3, but also appealing to more visual and interactive titles. Considering Amazon is putting a priority on high resolution displays on the Kindle Fire HDX line of tablets, the deal  with Comixology deal solves all of these issues.

I really feel like Barnes and Noble and Kobo really missed a golden oportonity to purchase Comixology.  Both of them would have been better caretakers of the comic company and could have benefited from something no one else had. The deep pockets of Kobo owned Rakuten could have financed the deal and could  have added the last piece of the puzzle to their trifecta of eBooks, Kids titles and magazines. Barnes and Noble could have really had a great content distribution system that is a proven revenue earner to offset the losses on Nook hardware and eBooks.

Categories : Digital Comic News
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Barnes and Noble has just announced the first big discount on their latest generation e-reader. The Nook Glowlight came out late last year and really improved the hardware, putting the front-lit display on par with the Kindle Paperwhite. Today, the Nation’s largest bookseller has announced a price drop from $119 to $99 for a limited time.

The Barnes and Noble Nook Glowlight features a six inch IR touchscreen display with a resolution of 1024 X 758-pixel and 212 PPI. This is a huge upgrade from the previous generation Nook that only had 800×600 for the resolution. Under heavy tests we noticed that the blacks were deeper in cover art and the way fonts look when you maximize their levels.

The Glowlight technology that allow you to read in the dark has been dramatically enhanced. B&N still continues the philosophy of bucking the major industry trend of putting the LED lights on the top of the device, instead of the bottom. Overall, the light is now almost pure white, where the NST with Glowlight would often have a blue hue to it. The entire Good e-Reader review team think that that the new model has 75% brighter and clearer lighting.

All Barnes and Noble retail stores will be offering the discount starting today. You may also elect to purchase it online from the official Nook website. The deal is going to transpire until April 13th, so time is of the essence.


Categories : e-reader, e-Reader News
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