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Ebook

Technorati-friendly tag for “ebooks” in the plural.

New e-book software on the way from New York Public Library: Relief ahead for DRM-tortured patrons in your city, too?
July 6, 2015 | 5:36 am

NYPL_Lion"Tired of DRM and customer log-in schemes used to sell you more stuff? Simply enter your library card number...once...and start reading, from your library, for free. If you don't have a library card…just sign up for one with the app!" The TeleRead take:  The Library Simplified project aims to "employ technology, innovation in library policies, and the full range of library offerings to deliver a better experience to more patrons." Funding will come from the New York Public Library and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The project, inspired by the goals of Readers First, a group working toward more usable digital tech for...

Morning Links: Death to passwords? Who the Big Five publishers REALLY are. ALA conference.
July 6, 2015 | 3:24 am

incorrectPWHow to kill the password: Don't ask for one - Read/Write Web Streamlined blogging platform Medium rolled out a new login process...that throws the trusty old password out the window. Instead, you simply enter an email address or phone number, and a temporary login link lands in your inbox or phone---just like password reset or account verification links used by sites when you first sign up. The TeleRead take: For something as sensitive as an e-mail account, I'd still feel safer with a user name, a password and two-step verification. That said, yes, for less important kinds of accounts, I love the idea of doing away...

Barnes & Noble taps new CEO as revamped B&N e-commerce site hinders access to e-books
July 2, 2015 | 7:02 pm

Earlier today, Fortune reported that Barnes & Noble has tapped Sears Canada CEO Ron Boire to take over as B&N's CEO. Boire has been the CEO of the struggling Sears Canada for just 10 months, but before that he was the head of the USA Sears & Kmart chains for three years. Before that, Boire had worked at Sony, Best Buy, and Toys’R’Us—not exactly a list of winners in the recent economy. And now they expect him to turn Barnes & Noble around? [Update: As Nate pointed out in the comments, the Fortune article is really badly constructed. It...

TeleRead podcast commences at 3 p.m. Eastern
July 2, 2015 | 2:17 pm

teleread-podcastIn just under an hour, we’ll be going live with our next TalkShoe episode of the TeleRead podcast! We hope some of you will be right there with us to tune in! Today, Juli and I will be discussing the recent hot news stories to hit the site in the last few days, including but not limited to: The appeal court decision upholding Judge Cote’s verdict in the Apple anti-trust case. Scribd’s decision to cull most romance and erotica titles from its subscription service. The great “Kindle Unlimited...

Are the new Kindle Unlimited rates good or bad? It depends on who you ask
July 2, 2015 | 12:28 pm

Now that it’s July, the new chapter of Kindle Unlimited has begun. No longer paying per book (of which at least 10% was read), it’s now paying per page. According to one estimate, a bit over half a cent per page, though it remains to be seen how close to accurate this guess is. Is this good? If you listen to Hugh Howey, it is. Howey holds that the overall effect of the change is really not as bad as people think. It might have been that KU under the old system was weighted in favor of short story...

Unauthorized Mass Effect RPG temporarily nominated for three ENnie Awards
July 2, 2015 | 11:37 am

mass-effect-fateHere’s an odd little self-e-publishing story that hits unexpectedly close to home for me—in the literal sense. Over the last few days, ENWorld announced the list of ENnie Award nominees for 2015—the yearly role-playing-game-industry fan-based awards that are given out at Gen Con here in Indianapolis. This list of nominees included the Mass Effect role-playing game in three different categories: Best Electronic Book, Best Free Product, and Product of the Year. Based on BioWare’s landmark sci-fi video game trilogy, Mass Effect was written by long-time RPG-industry veteran Dan Mappin. It used the Open Game Licensed Fate...

In Warren Buffett’s own backyard: Underfunded Omaha libraries. National digital library endowment, anyone?
July 1, 2015 | 5:18 pm

Warren_Buffett_KU_Visit"Currently, Omaha Public Libraries' spending per capita is substantially below that of surrounding communities." - Library Board of Trustees President Mike Meyer, as quoted by KETV, source of a related video. The TeleRead take: Library branches may cut hours, one may even close, and meanwhile the budget for books and other content is suffering. Hello, Warren Buffet? Aren't you the same Omaha guy who has sent many billions out of town for Bill Gates's foundation to hand out---with most of it leaving the U.S.? Global altruism is praiseworthy, given all the need for economic development and better health in developing countries; but how about Omaha itself? "The library already...

TeleRead Podcast #2 scheduled LIVE for Thursday, July 2, 3 p.m. Eastern
June 30, 2015 | 6:56 pm

Hello, everyone. It’s been a bumpy few days, but I’m definitely on the mend after getting out of the hospital. And with that in mind, I’ve decided it’s time to try another TalkShoe podcast—this one recorded live with call-in options available. The scheduled time for this podcast is Thursday, July 2, at 3 p.m. Eastern. Mark your calendars! Scheduled to be around so far are Juli and myself, but any TeleRead writers are welcome to call in and join the round table. We will discuss the recent news from the last few days, including the Apple appeal verdict and other noteworthy...

Appeals court upholds Cote’s Apple anti-trust verdict and settlement
June 30, 2015 | 11:50 am

Only last month, the 2nd Circuit appeals court said that anti-trust monitor Michael Bromwich could continue to monitor Apple in a ruling on Apple’s appeal of Judge Cote’s refusal to dismiss him. Today, the same appeals court issued a similar ruling on Cote’s original verdict, which found Apple guilty of price-fixing and imposed the anti-trust monitor via injunction in the first place. The ruling was 2:1, with Judge Debra Ann Livingston writing for the majority, finding Cote’s decision was correct and the injunction was “lawful and consistent with preventing future anticompetitive harms.” Dissenting was Judge Dennis Jacobs, who oddly enough last time...

ePub and other sacrileges on the Voyage and Paperwhite: Easy jail-breaks ahead?
June 27, 2015 | 2:51 am

VoyageRootNathan ran a great write-up on the challenges of rooting the Kindle Voyage, the Paperwhite and other recent Kindles. He was following up on a how-to video on taking the Voyage apart. Meanwhile, at MobileRead, buzz persists about hacking the recent-model Kindles. Remember, Kindles are little linux beasts. Amazon has tried to turn them into corporate creatures. Now the open source community wants Paperwhites and the rest to be free again to run such applications as Cool Reader without hassles for even the knowledgeable. Among other things, Cool Reader can display ePub, the nonproprietary standard. Jail-breaking, aka letting you modify the equipment you paid for, isn't for wimpy, of course. You don't...

Smart phones : The dating and reading angles
June 22, 2015 | 11:14 am

cellphonesAtlantic2 This  Atlantic video delves into the pros and cons of smart phones for daters and others. But what about phones for reading? Have smart phones in the end done more harm than good, through distractions such as Facebook and other social media? Is your iPhone really “saving literature”? Few are keener on smart phones as reading platforms than I am---complete with my advocacy of cell phone book clubs. But for me the answer isn’t as clear-cut as you might think. It isn’t enough just to own a smart phone. You also...

Independent publishing’s ‘Kickstarter moment’
June 21, 2015 | 11:58 am

Publishing may finally be having its “Kickstarter moment.” That’s the opinion of writer John Biggs in the piece he posted to TechCrunch today. Biggs discusses how hard it has been for independent published works to get attention from the literary establishment. Then he points out that following the example of Kickstarted gadgets, it is now possible for writers to finance complete creation of a work from start to finish, including paying for professional editing and cover design. As a result, indie writers are suddenly about to become respectable. I would argue that we are about...

Australian e-book site e-book.com.au to close down
June 18, 2015 | 2:22 pm

e-book.com.au.logoAustralian e-book advocacy site e-book.com.au has announced it will close down at the end of June, 2015. Although we have only mentioned the site a couple of times on TeleRead as nearly as I can tell, the site has been in existence since 2001—a year longer than TeleRead—and has covered e-books and e-book advocacy from an Australian perspective during that time, as well as providing links to free e-book resources. [Thanks to Chris for this wonderful piece of e-book history! Just to clarify one detail, TeleRead predates e-book.com.au by years---see my publisher's note below with documenting links. - D.R.] Site founder...

Amazon and Penguin Random House agree to contract
June 18, 2015 | 1:08 pm

Amazon has signed a new contract with Penguin Random House, Publishers Weekly reports. Penguin Random House represents the last of the Big Five (nee Big Six) publishers and the last of the “Agency Five” (well, the Penguin half does, anyway) to agree to new terms. This brings an end to any possibility that there could be a repeat of the months-long Hachette unpleasantness. It’s impossible to know whether Amazon or PRH got the better deal since the terms are not being disclosed, but both sides seem to have learned well the lessons of all the fireworks over the...

‘Must’ for next librarian of Congress: A love of reading—including the ebook variety
June 17, 2015 | 8:34 pm

James_H._Billington_8971James Billington, 86, departing January 1 as librarian of Congress, excelled in certain areas such as Russian history. But he was not a librarian by background, and many of the real McCoys hated him. No small number of the library’s techies might have felt the same way. This Reagan-era appointee shunned e-mail and rarely picked up a cell phone. And e-books? Forget it. “Search techniques are embedded in e-books that invite people to dabble rather than follow  a full train of thought,” he said in 2011. Yes, you can dabble. But Billington zeroed in...

The Martian: An accidental self-publishing success story
June 17, 2015 | 2:01 pm

coverA new science fiction movie by a well-known director is on the horizon. Matt Damon plays an astronaut, stranded alone on a planet inimical to human life. It also features Jessica Chastain. While you might be experiencing some Interstellar déjà vu, I’m actually talking about Andy Weir’s breakout novel The Martian, coming later this year by Ridley Scott. An in-universe promotional video and the trailer came out a couple of weeks ago, and proved so popular that 20th Century Fox moved the release date up by two months. But did you know that The Martian was a self-publishing Cinderella...

A fine, fine spine design
June 12, 2015 | 10:38 am

Brilliant Book Design - ImgurApropos of the discussion about e-books and spines a few days ago, this post on imgur.com displays a hardcover book spine design that’s nothing short of brilliant. The book is, of course, Gibbon’s The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, a controversial treatise in its day and of course now in the public domain everywhere (and hence available as e-books). It’s doubtful that any possible cover design for the e-books could beat this spine design, however. It also engendered an amusing anecdote that I often like to reflect upon in today’s world of rapid...

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