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Lonely Planet e-book travel guides now on Scribd
April 17, 2014 | 10:25 am

lonely planetThe popular Lonely Planet travel guide e-books have headed to Scribd. The e-book subscription service let customers know about the newest addition through email. When I think of e-book subscriptions, I tend to imagine a digital library with thousands of titles ready for me to read. I think more along the lines of fiction titles and perhaps memoirs and biographies. But the addition of a Lonely Planet makes it seem as though e-book subscriptions can also be used as a reference tool for the price of $8.99 a month. Having guides such as Lonely Planet at your fingertips seems useful especially for travelers. Scribd...

Morning Roundup: Bloggers are media, Goodreads launches “Add Amazon Books” feature and more
April 17, 2014 | 9:00 am

bloggers are mediaNew Competition Highlights Indie Books (Indie Reader) The Pulitzer prize winning British newspaper, The Guardian, is co-sponsoring a new competition exclusively for indies. *** Goodreads Launches Add Amazon Books Feature (Digital Book World) You can now add books you’ve purchased on Amazon – both print and Kindle books – to your Goodreads shelves. This will be available in the next few weeks to members in the U.S., Canada, and Australia. *** Court Declares That Yes, Bloggers Are Media (Techdirt) While it seems crazy that this kind of issue is still being debated in 2014, it's good to see a court make such a clear statement on the...

Aretha Franklin sues satire site over viral fake news story
April 17, 2014 | 4:09 am

aretha-21If you spend much time on social media, you’ve seen those stories show up in your friend feed—a satirical piece that someone assumed was true. Sometimes it’s easy to catch, if it comes from a known satire site like The Onion or Duffelblog (though Duffelblog may not be as familiar to people who don’t have a lot of ex-military social media friends). But if it’s an unfamiliar site, the stories can sometimes seem believable enough that you believe them yourself for a bit. (It’s especially common around April Fools Day, but thanks to sites like this, it’s now...

States rights to damages bode ill for Apple
April 16, 2014 | 6:25 pm

AppleLegal developments around the Apple ebook price fixing debacle are not exactly going Cupertino's way. Most recently, U.S. District Judge Denise Cote, to no one's great surprise, returned a negative response to Apple's motion to dismiss the damage claims brought by 33 states of the Union in their previous parallel case alongside the U.S. Justice Department. According to Reuters, the damage claims from U.S. states could amount to some $840 million. "Apple now moves to dismiss the antitrust action filed by the States. Apple contends that the States lack standing to assert their claims against Apple or, at the very least,...

Bookmate wins innovation award at London Book Fair
April 16, 2014 | 4:25 pm

3platform-2-1024x527Bookmate has gained attention recently as the e-book subscription app grows overseas. It seems that readers aren't the only ones to notice the Russian-based company. Bookmate won the Digital Minds Innovation Award at the London Book Fair last week. Hundreds of companies were in the running for the award, but Bookmate made it to the final with five other companies. Each company spoke to a group of digital publishing leaders, and the winner was picked by popular vote. "It's an honour to receive such recognition from many of the of the most important digital thinkers within the global publishing community," said Bookmate's...

Charon Coin Press picks up horror anthology series
April 16, 2014 | 2:25 pm

cropped-charoncoin_banner_web1Charon Coin Press, an independent publisher of speculative fiction, has acquired several series of horror and dark fiction anthology properties previously held by Rymfire Books under Armand Rosamilia. These include the series State of Horror, Heavy Metal Horror, Post-Apocalyptic Raid, I, Executioner, Revenant 1 & 2, and Vermin. These, and will apparently be followed by others as the basis for the anthologies division of Charon Coin Press. Charon Coin Press founder Jerry Benns was apparently editor for the State of Horror anthologies since January 2014, and the acquisitions were part of a transition from editor to full-blown publisher. "I didn’t start out...

Wiley buys into executive e-learning with CrossKnowledge acquisition
April 16, 2014 | 12:25 pm

CrossKnowledgeEducation and learning specialist publisher John Wiley & Sons has announced the acquisition of CrossKnowledge, "a learning solutions provider focused on leadership and managerial skills development, for $175 million in cash."As well as ramping up the publishing consolidation and M&A trend another notch, this development also marks another step in convergence between specialist publishing companies and other non-publishing content businesses in related sectors. "In today's knowledge-based economy, organizations of all different shapes and sizes are looking to address skill, productivity and performance gaps through investment in their current workforce rather than hiring additional resources," said Steve Smith, President and CEO of...

Herrick backdates emoticons to 1648?
April 16, 2014 | 12:25 pm

Robert_Herrick_HesperidesWhile attending the WCF Davos Forum in March, I was lucky enough to attend a presentation by Scott E. Fahlman, widely hailed as "father of the first smiley emoticon in 1982." As it happens, though, there have been other challengers to that claim - the New York Times once ran a story citing an excerpt from an Abraham Lincoln speech in 1862 that may have had a smiley inserted. Now, though, writer and editor Levi Stahl claims he may have discovered one of the earliest emoticons of all - a line in the poem "To Fortune" by 17th-century English poet...

Telephone box libraries in UK unite two obsolete services – or not
April 16, 2014 | 10:25 am

telephone boxWhatever your feelings about the future prospects of print book libraries, there is no doubt that they are anything but the cutting edge of library services. And the same can be said of public telephone call boxes. So it is a tad heartening to see several instances in the UK of people repurposing the iconic red telephone box, now just about as dated as the original Dr Who Tardis, as miniature local libraries and book exchanges. The latest is in Lewisham in London, making it the smallest library in the capital, but others have been sighted in Essex and Derbyshire, and...

Morning Roundup: February bookstore sales dropped. Which metrics really matter? and more
April 16, 2014 | 9:00 am

bookstore sales droppedThe Chicago Sun-Times Shuts Down their Comment Section (The Digital Reader) It’s widely accepted that the anonymity of the internet can turn almost anyone into a troll, and nowhere is this more true than in the comment section. *** February Bookstore Sales Dropped 6.8% (Publishers Weekly) Hampered no doubt by bad winter weather, bookstore sales fell 6.8% in February, to $791 million, compared to February 2013, according to preliminary estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau. *** We are Drowning in Data About Readers and Attention, But Which Metrics Really Matter? (GigaOM) Thanks to the web and real-time measurement tools, the media industry has gone from having...

GenCon 2013 Interview: M. Sechin Tower, Lead Developer at Exile Game Studio
April 15, 2014 | 9:00 pm

GEDC1287During GenCon 2013, I had the chance to speak with Sechin Tower, Lead Developer at Exile Game Studio and author of Mad Science Institute. I asked him about Exile’s use of Kickstarters for publishing its game products, and this is what he had to say. Me: Tell me what Exile’s been doing with Kickstarters. Sechin: Exile has been a recent comer to the Kickstarter market, but we’ve found it extremely useful to not only jumpstart a project that would take a little longer to get going, but to also get the word out and to give people a...

If you write, start planning to attend GenCon Indy this August
April 15, 2014 | 7:20 pm

GEDC1339 When I attended GenCon Indy for TeleRead last year, I interviewed a number of self-publishing authors, game industry execs, and other people with interesting stories to tell. I’ve posted a few of these, but life has been so busy over the last few months that I have had a hard time getting around to doing most of them. I’m going to try to change that in the weeks to come. I’ve got another interview transcribed and posting later tonight. That being said, it’s worth noting that if you’re wanting to come to GenCon in Indianapolis this year,...