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Morning Roundup: Facebook adds Save for Later. Five things about subscriptions
July 22, 2014 | 9:00 am

scribd logoLibraries Receive Shrinking Share of University Expenditures (The Scholarly Kitchen) As a percentage of overall university expenditures, libraries have been steadily losing ground. This is the main message of an updated graphic produced by the American Research Libraries (ARL). *** Facebook Adds Save for Later Reference (GoodeReader) A new save feature lets you put a virtual bookmark in a link, place, movie, TV show, or music clip… so when you have time, you can get properly caught up. *** Unlimited Subscriptions: Five Things You Need to Know (Joe Wikert) Here are five important points everyone in publishing should keep in mind when analyzing Kindle Unlimited and the...

New ‘Walking Dead’ Humble Bundle is up!
July 22, 2014 | 8:15 am

humble bundle walking dead themeA new Humble Bundle is up, and it's for comic book fans this time! The 'pay what you want' bundle has DRM-free digital comics including titles from the Walking Dead collection. Digital comics are not my thing, but I was intrigued at how many 'levels' they are offering this time. The first level, where you set your own price, nets you four books. If you exceed the $10-ish average, you get three more. If you exceed $15, you get an extra bonus book. And then there are options for 'everything above, plus a t-shirt ($40) and 'everything above plus a limited...

App review: FBReader–Immersive mode and more
July 21, 2014 | 2:56 pm

fbreader logoI prefer ereading apps that support immersive mode in KitKat, and I periodically browse for additions to the short list of apps that support it. Right now, unless I'm missing one, the list is Moon+ Reader Scribd Google Play Books FBReader There are a few related apps, such as Instapaper, Pocket and Comixology, but I don't consider them ereading apps per se. I recently noticed that FBReader was on the list and decided to try it out. I tried it several years ago, when I used an N2A card to open up Android on my Nook Color, and I remember not being impressed. Obviously, that...

People prefer electric shocks to being alone with their thoughts
July 21, 2014 | 12:57 pm

Electric_shockI somehow missed this earlier in the month, but our friends at Boing Boing posted a link to this great little story. It's about a study performed at the University of Virginia which aimed to measure how good people are at entertaining themselves. The answer? Not so good. From the story: "They report on 11 experiments. In most, they asked participants to put away any distractions and entertain themselves with their own thoughts for 6 to 15 minutes. Over the first six studies, 58 percent of participants rated the difficulty at or above the midpoint on a scale (“somewhat”), and 42...

Morning Roundup: Kindle Unlimited-good or bad for authors? Barry and Joe fisk The Guardian
July 21, 2014 | 9:00 am

barry eislerOpen Journalism Leads The Way In Investigating The Crash Of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 (Techdirt) Things are made much more difficult by the refusal of local armed groups to allow inspectors full and free access to the crash site. It is in precisely this context, where traditional reporting finds it hard to provide useful information, that an alternative -- open journalism -- shows its strengths. *** 20 Marketing Questions Self-Published Authors Must Answer (Digital Book World) If you’re a self-published novelist, your line of books is your small business. Like any small business, you need a marketing strategy. *** Is Kindle Unlimited Good or Bad for...

Weekend Links: Facebook adding Buy Buttons to ads. Thoughts on Kindle Unlimited
July 19, 2014 | 12:12 pm

facebook adds buy buttonsFacebook is Adding Buy Buttons to Ads---Do You Think They Could be Used to Buy/Sell eBooks? (The Digital Reader) Only a couple days after BitTorrent announced that they would be adding a payment option to BitTorrent Bundles, Facebook started letting a handful of advertisers add buy buttons to their ads. *** Is Kindle Unlimited Good for Indie Authors? (GoodeReader) Amazon has officially launched Kindle Unlimited, a US based service that has 600,000 eBooks and audiobooks available at $9.99 per month. The Seattle based e-commerce giant is now competing against companies such as Oyster and Scribd, which have friendly terms for self-published authors. Is Kindle...

Books you know you’re never going to read
July 18, 2014 | 2:25 pm

booksOur friends at Book Riot have another fun booklist up today---Susie Rodarme writes about the 12 books she knows she's never going to read. From the article: "Obviously, if I don’t think I’m going to like a book, I won’t put it on my TBR; sometimes, though, there are books that are super-popular and thought very highly of and that look really good that I will unfortunately never get around to reading. And sometimes? Even though the books and I match on paper (heh), I just don’t want to read them, for reasons. Maybe irrational reasons. Probably irrational reasons." She thing goes...

How newspapers are circumventing the the EU’s ‘Right to be Forgotten’ law
July 18, 2014 | 12:25 pm

right to be forgotten lawTechdirt has an interesting piece about how the EU's 'Right to be Forgotten' law---a law which requires search engine owners to remove articles at the request of people mentioned in them. The law is intended to help people ensure that potentially embarrassing things about them do not stay online forever, but it has been criticized as being potentially censoring, and for lacking an appeals process so that legitimate news reporting can stay online. Some news sources are finding ways around this, and Techdirt's story reports on a newspaper who is getting around the requests by simply reporting on them. This creates...

Kindle Unlimited is now live
July 18, 2014 | 10:28 am

kindle unlimited pageAs you no doubt saw in the Morning Links, Kindle Unlimited is now live. It's pretty much what we were expecting when it was leaked on Wednesday. Right now, it's mostly Amazon imprints and KDP Select books, with a few others like Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings. Books by Open Road and a few other smaller traditional publishers are also available. No Big 5 books, however, which wasn't a surprise. For Amazon authors, the KDP Select FAQ and agreement have been updated to include Kindle Unlimited, according to reports on KBoards. There was no mention of the Select pool...

Morning Roundup: Amazon officially launches Kindle Unlimited. Sherlock Holmes rights battle
July 18, 2014 | 9:00 am

Basil Rathbone as Sherlock HolmesHow I Became a Knausgaard Truther (Pacific Standard) Did companies in Norway institute Knausgaard-free days in response to the popularity of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s autobiographical novel My Struggle? It’s a question that led to a search for proof that something never happened. *** Amazon Officially Launches Kindle Unlimited eBook and Audio Subscription Service for $9.99 a month (GigaOM) The service is only available in the U.S. for now. About 640,000 titles are available, the bulk of them from Amazon’s own publishing imprints or by self-published authors who’d previously enrolled their books in Kindle Select. *** Sherlock Holmes and the Battle Over Literary Rights (The Telegraph) Setback...

July Author Earnings report surveys DRM, genre sales
July 18, 2014 | 3:34 am

ae-julyHugh Howey and Data Guy have done it again, producing another interesting report on a sample of data scraped from Amazon. The July report re-runs the numbers for their main chart based on the new data, then branches out into a couple of interesting new measurements—including one that I specifically asked for back in May. The main measurements show basically incremental change from the last few reports, In terms of daily revenue to authors (taking into account royalty percentages from publisher sales and Amazon revenue percentages from self-published works), Big Five authors take 37% of total Amazon daily revenue...

Accessory Review: Snugg Executive iPad Case with Card Slots
July 17, 2014 | 1:35 pm

Snugg Executive iPad Case with Card SlotsI have been looking for an iPad case with pockets for some time. I go to many meetings during the week where I want my iPad and perhaps a credit card and driver's license, but I don't want to carry my messenger bag. An iPad case with a few pockets would do it. When the folks at Snugg asked me to review the [easyazon-link asin="B009K2PPMC" locale="us"]Snugg Executive iPad Case with Card Slots[/easyazon-link], I jumped on it. It's been almost a week now, and so far it's perfect. (Yes, I did opt for the electric blue case pictured. I was tired of...