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Why I Wish More Textbooks Had E-Versions
August 1, 2014 | 12:32 pm

textbooksI take a course every summer, and after last year's bliss of 'no book, just online articles' we are back to a paper-only text for this one. And it's so annoying! In counterpart to that big heavy book I have to lug around with me if I want to work not at home, I am doing a personal interest course this summer as well which did have an e-version, and it's so much easier. Here are some reasons why: - The reading is easier to keep track of in the eBook version. I can just read, stop at the end of...

How I modded my aging smartphone into a proper ereading platform
August 1, 2014 | 10:20 am

IMG_20140731_150728Following Juli Monroe's illuminating article on how she installed Cyanogen Mod 11 on her Nook HD, I thought I'd share how I pulled off a similar trick on my aging ZTE Skate, an older model Chinese-manufactured phone which, although robust and built with an attractive 4.5" screen, was fast being left in the dust by the ever more bloated ereaders and other apps of the latest Android generation. And in the case of the Skate, the problem was made worse by the machine's niggardly internal memory of 512 MB - only some 200MB of which was available for apps. To squeeze...

Morning Roundup: Manga buzz at Comic Com. Apple content delivery system is live
August 1, 2014 | 9:00 am

mangaManga Buzz is Strong at Comic-Con 2014 (PW) Once again, pop culture fandom congregated en masse at the San Diego Convention Center for Comic-Con International 2014, including plenty of fans looking for manga and anime. *** Hachette Bends But Doesn’t Break in Face of Amazon ‘Punitive Action’ (Digital Book World) In its first half numbers, which came out today, French media conglomerate Hachette Livre reported that Hachette Books Group, its U.S. division, generated 5.6% more revenue in the first half of 2014 than it did in the prior year. This, the report stated, despite a drop in ebook sales “reflecting market trend, fewer movie...

American Library Association welcomes Macmillan frontlist availability
July 31, 2014 | 4:19 pm

AmericanLibraryAssociationFollowing the news Macmillan Publishers is making its entire digital frontlist available through the company's library e-lending pilot program, the American Library Association (ALA) has put out a statement welcoming the news. ALA President Courtney Young had this to say: The Macmillan expansion of its library ebook program represents another important development for improving the ability of libraries to serve America’s communities. One of the most fundamental relationships and roles of libraries is to connect authors and readers. Library lending encourages experimentation, enabling people to sample new authors, topics, and genres, and stimulates the market for books. Thus libraries are a critical de...

Henry Williamson hut gets listed status to delight Tarka the Otter fans
July 31, 2014 | 2:22 pm

British naturalist and author Henry Williamson penned one of the best-loved animal tales in English literature with his Tarka the Otter (1927). And following the recent news over the status of William Blake's cottage, it's interesting to note that the small hut in Devon that Williamson built with the proceeds of Tarka the Otter has just been given Grade II listed conservation status by English Heritage, making it one of the smallest buildings ever to receive this recognition. Born a suburban Londoner, Williamson fought in World War 1, an experience which disgusted him, and after his return to civilian life, moved...

Campaigners wave, mail Dostoyevsky to Grayling in UK prison books protest
July 31, 2014 | 12:25 pm

GraylingThe current UK government's thuggish vote-catching populist policy of denying prisoners books seems to be backfiring on multiple levels as the Howard League for Penal Reform, and other groups and individuals, make their own bids for media attention. In one recent incident, recorded on live TV, "supporters of the Howard League for Penal Reform’s Books For Prisoners campaign ... held up books and bore silent witness while Justice Secretary Chris Grayling faced questions from the justice select committee. Campaigners displayed copies of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime And Punishment while sitting in the public gallery." Dostoyevsky’s Crime And Punishment seems to have become...

Amazon’s PR piece was an excellent appeal to both emotion and reason
July 31, 2014 | 10:25 am

amazonThis started out as a comment on Nate's recent post on Amazon Infatuation Syndrome. While I don't agree with some of his conclusions, it did get the wheels turning. Nate makes the point that Amazon isn't our friend. I completely agree with that (and wrote that same point myself), but I think that's too narrow a way of looking at the recent Amazon release. The more I thought about it, the more impressed I was with this calculated bit of PR. I think this release was intended to do at least three things. Let's take them one by one. 1. Point out...

Morning Roundup: DVR destroying reading time? Real Author’s Guild is Amazon?
July 31, 2014 | 9:00 am

amazonThe DVR is Destroying my Reading Time (Book Riot) I guess what I’m saying here is that I watch a lot of TV. This never used to be a problem as far as my reading time was concerned because I would read during commercials... *** Chinese Digital Publishing Industry Valued at $56 Billion (GoodeReader) The Chinese digital publishing industry is on the rise. Newspapers, magazines, comics and eBooks garnered 42 billion USD in 2012. This is a massive figure, but it only really accounted for 11.6% of the entire publishing industry. *** So the Real Author's Guild is...Amazon? (Joe Konrath) Preston's mypopia [sic] is apt to...

Shatzkin shares latest on maximizing the backlist in digital publishing era
July 30, 2014 | 6:47 pm

mikeshatzkin.jpgMike Shatzkin's commentary on developments in the publishing industry has often featured in TeleRead in the past - not always in entirely respectful terms. All the same, he's often good for wrap-ups of not-quite-leading-edge newly-received wisdom in mainstream publishing, and one such piece is his latest post entitled (deep breath...): "Publishers need to rethink their marketing deployments and tactics in the digital age to take advantage of their backlists." Shatzkin delves into the traditional publishing priorities of frontlist versus backlist marketing ("Books have always been launched like rockets. The publisher commits maximum firepower to getting them off the ground. Most crash to...

Book review: Cry Murder! in a Small Voice, by Greer Gilman, Small Beer Press
July 30, 2014 | 4:46 pm

The marvelous Small Beer Press, which is producing anything but small beer these days, with two Shirley Jackson Awards this year alone, also produces chapbooks and shorter titles, available mostly as DRM-free direct downloads. One of them is one of the award winners, Greer Gilman's Cry Murder! in a Small Voice, which runs to just 57 pages in the printed version and is also available as a beautifully produced short ebook. One blogger called this simply the best book of 2013. Greer Gilman has a reputation for producing superb work very slowly, and on the basis of this book, you can see...

Kindle for iOS Updated!
July 30, 2014 | 3:43 pm

kindle for iOSMultiple news sources are reporting a Kindle for iOS update today. It sounds like they have added some welcome new features, including: - The default syncing option is now to the most recent page read, not the latest-in-the-book page read. This means that people like me who use the index sometimes can go back to where we were reading and not have the cross-device sync be ruined. You can change it back to the other way if you'd like, via the preferences. - On a related note, a new feature called Kindle Placeholders, allows you to preview other parts of the book...

Alloy Entertainment partners with Amazon on digital-first for young adults
July 30, 2014 | 3:25 pm

Time Warner-owned book packager and entertainment property developer Alloy Entertainment has partnered with Amazon Publishing on a digital-first imprint for young adult titles. As reported in Digital Book World and elsewhere, this builds on Alloy's existing partnership with Amazon for the Kindle Worlds fanfic program, and titles published first on this platform will later be considered for hard copy print runs. According to the original Alloy Entertainment press release, available here: "The new imprint, named Alloy Entertainment, will be part of Amazon Publishing’s Powered by Amazon program. Powered by Amazon enables publishers and authors to leverage Amazon’s global distribution and personalized,...