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Posts tagged E-book

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...

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...

How much to price an ebook? An old debate revisited
June 15, 2015 | 4:49 am

alisonperryLower pricing definitely doesn't always mean more sales or borrows is a new thread at Kindle Boards. “So I dropped the price on my book for the weekend to 99 cents,” writes Alison Perry, the South Carolina-based author of Hell’s Belles. “I also have a promo on Tuesday and (being new) I wasn't sure how long it would take for the price to update. Well, I went from 3-4 sales and a couple borrows a day to nothing." Significantly, Kindle Direct Publishing offers 70 percent royalties on books priced between $2.99 and $9.99. OK,...

Voice Dream text-to-speech reader to appear for Android in August
June 11, 2015 | 1:32 pm

ipad_middleI’ve praised the Voice Dream e-reader as a stellar way to enjoy text to speech of files in ePub, HTML, plain text, Word and other formats. Other apps offer TTS. But Voice Dream Reader also comes with wonderful navigational and annotative capabilities as well as a rich assortment of voices. It’s integrated with DropBox, Google Drive and EverNotes, and you can even download to it directly from Project Gutenberg Now---some great news: Voice Dream Reader for Android will enter Beta in a few days and should be in the Apple Store at the start of August....

What? Robots threaten ME? Here’s how I’d use one to write TeleRead posts
June 7, 2015 | 10:06 am

NAO-RobotNate got it right when he said journalists should spend less time worrying about robots and more time figuring out how to befriend the silicon. Human/bot collaborations, anyone? He mentioned the use of robots to write up the basics when earthquakes struck L.A.---followed by in-depth reporting by human. And now here’s my own example. The Marvin e-book reader, among TeleRead Editor-in-Chief Juli Monroe’s favorites, doesn’t churn out news stories. But it can help sum up the essence of a book. Same for Amazon’s X-ray feature. Now imagine newsbots that would do this in a more sophisticated way---not...

E-books’ spinal deficiency
June 6, 2015 | 3:27 pm

Classics1On Mad Genius Club today, Cedar Sanderson is talking about formatting paperback book covers. Most of the post isn’t germane to e-books, but she does begin with this provocative tidbit: You know what the problem is with ebooks? They’re spineless, that’s what. Nothing to look at on the shelf, they just disappear when they aren’t wanted into the Kindle or what-have-you until they are summoned again. But some people like a spine, and others judge books by the size of their spine. For them we want to create a paper book[…] It’s an interesting observation. Of course, from a paper book lover’s...

Latinos, e-books and the rest of the publishing industry: A Hispanic writer speaks out
June 4, 2015 | 1:59 pm

dcubiasEarlier today I noted the U.S. publishing industry’s disgraceful lack of diversity---this among a slew of other idiocies. Now, check out a trilogy of smart posts from Daniel Cubias, a Hispanic writer of fiction and nonfiction, blogging in HuffPo. - Are e-Books a good idea for Latino authors? - Why aren’t more Latino authors being published? - Are small presses the best choice for Latino writers? From the e-book-focused post, which mentions Amazon’s Hispanic-oriented marketing: But will Americans be buying? Well, as we all know, the Hispanic population in America is increasing. And bilingualism,...

E-book gouges and other risks TO profit-crazed publishers
June 4, 2015 | 10:59 am

U.S. currency. Follow link for CC info, etc., via WikipediaNate and Good E-Reader are on the money in blasting Big Five houses for bloated publocracies and the inevitable result. Overpriced books---to pay for the waste. We know, too, that the B5 are trying to protect their investment in pulped-wood publishing, by way of e-book gouges. Sigh. They never learn. Years ago I was grousing about the same issues. I’m pleased to see others carrying on the fight. Joanna may soon have her own thoughts to add. Now here are  other angle to consider, in the shoot-yourself-in-the-foot department: 1. E-books aren’t just competing with each other or within paper edition. They’re also competing...

Morning Links: Captain Ahab and Cinderella as games fodder. Onyx Boox i86 FINALLY up for pre-order.
June 2, 2015 | 8:42 am

Cinderella tries on the slipper - WikipediaThe Surprising Games People Made with Public Domain Works (Boing Boing) The recent Public Domain Jam has spawned a whole bunch of new works…about Captain Ahab, Captain Hook, Cinderella, Dorian Gray and lots more than any fan of classics might like to peruse. The TeleRead Take: I love this story. Boing Boing points out that while many popular characters are popular because they are free to use, there is a long list of under-utilized public domain characters ripe for remixing. How neat that someone is encouraging this! Information about the Cinderella image here. Onyx Boox i86 eReader With Frontlight Now Up for Pre-Order...

E-books on your Windows phone: Try free Freda app—offering text to speech and easy downloads of free books
June 2, 2015 | 6:05 am

fredavideo  A free e-reading app called Freda might be just the ticket for your Windows phone. Freda already shines by Windows Phone e-reading standards. It’s won an average of 4.5 stars out of 5 from 1,384 customers of the Windows Phone Store. Perhaps when a Win 10 update rolls around for the app itself, Freda will be still better. Versions come in English, German, French, Chinese and several other languages. The above video from XDA TV is not up entirely to date but will still help you understand the app’s possibilities. As described by Turnipsoft Limited, here are some goodies: Reads ePub (DRM-free), HTML, and...

The Net in your Levi jeans: Progress? Easy e-book page turning? Or one more fun step toward forced cyborgdom for us all?
May 29, 2015 | 2:56 pm

jeans"Levi’s is the first of what Google hopes will be many fashion partners on the new technology that embeds touch sensors into clothing." - Silicon Beat The TeleRead take: The word is that if you tap or swipe, your mobile device can do such things as silencing a phone call or sending a text message. Is Project Jacquard progress in the long run? Or one more fun step toward forced cyborgdom for us all? You Tube is here. The e-book angle: Oh, well, before we become cyborgs, maybe we can at least enjoy another interface for turning pages and navigational tasks (with...

Morning Links: New $99 Kindle bundle for Kids. iOS vs. Android for e-reading apps. FCC chair’s new digital divide plan.
May 29, 2015 | 7:58 am

kindleforkidsAmazon Debuts A $99 Kindle Bundle For Kids Including An E-Reader, Cover And Warranty (Tech Crunch) This new package includes the combination of a Kindle e-reader, a durable cover, and an extended warranty on the device which protects against spills and drops. The Bundle is being sold for $99, which is a savings of $39.98 if all three items were purchased separately, notes Amazon. The TeleRead take: Yes, this is a price-sensitive market. But next year when parts are cheaper than ever, how about text to speech capabilities for the millions of kids with learning...

‘A Beautiful Mind,’ e-books and the Five Laws of Library Science: RIP, John Forbes Nash, Jr.
May 24, 2015 | 4:54 pm

John_Forbes_Nash,_Jr._by_Peter_Badge“A Beautiful Mind,” the inspiration of the book and film by that name, died over the weekend.  John Forbes Nash, Jr., 86, and his wife, Alicia, 82, were killed Saturday in an automobile accident. A world-famous mathematician, he shared a Nobel Prize in economics for his contribution to game theory. His work helped shape fields ranging from diplomacy to law to computer science. But when I read of Nash’s death. I thought of something else—the Five Laws of Library Science. They remind librarians of the need to help patrons find the right books, and the right...

National digital library endowment proposal makes Education Week
May 13, 2015 | 6:25 pm

edWeekEndowmentLibraryCity’s proposal for a national digital library endowment has now made the leading publication in the field of K-12 education---not just philanthropy (Chronicle of Philanthropy) and libraries (Library Journal). Education Week has published a 1,300-word essay with a home-page link. Also to be reproduced in the print edition, the article is a collaboration between me and Jim Duncan, executive director of the Colorado Library Consortium. Jim is offering his personal views. The beginning: As a boy, Warren Buffett is said to have read book after book on money. Thankfully, he did not live in Los Angeles and rely on the library at Roy Romer Middle...

Cheap blind-friendly E Ink Kindles with read-aloud and audio nav capabilities: A how-to for Amazon
February 9, 2015 | 2:25 pm

Shaun Kane at RobotFestI hope that Amazon’s CEO never becomes a blind visionary. But if Jeff Bezos’s eyes should ever go downhill in a serious way---a risk for millions of aging baby boomers---he could still enjoy e-books on inexpensive E Ink Kindles. All he has to do is follow advice from Shaun K. Kane, the Colorado computer scientist in the photo, who has devoted years to accessibility issues. In the case of dedicated e-reading devices from Amazon, that doesn’t just mean the read-aloud which the earlier E Ink Kindles offered before the company yanked the feature away (despite Jeff’s original ballyhoo of text to speech, introduced...

No Paperwhite read-aloud for you! FCC again lets Amazon and friends diss people with disabilities
February 2, 2015 | 12:25 pm

ptaAmazonText to speech would cost a pittance to add to current E Ink readers like Amazon’s Paperwhite and the $200 Voyage. In fact, some earlier Kindles even came with read-aloud. No longer, though. With all the laws on the books, can’t Washington stop this dissing of people with disabilities? In one form or another, the Kindle is so common that it’s become “The Official E-reader of the National PTA.” Yet despite TTS’s potential benefits to millions of Americans, the Federal Communications Commission has just granted the e-reader industry another year’s exemption from the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010. The...

Want read-aloud in Kindles and other readers? Use FCC’s easy online form by Jan. 9
January 3, 2015 | 2:52 pm

Amazon CEO Jeff BezosUpdate: See the most recent version of the LibraryCity post with mention of an unofficial Jan. 9 deadline and a link to the FCC's easy comment form. You need to submit formally. Please e-mail the FCC ASAP. The agency deals with accessibility matters and will soon make an important accessibility decision affecting Kindles along with other e-readers. Don’t delay! For years, I’ve been publicly begging Amazon to stop muting its E Ink machines and restore text to speech in the future. I may even have been the first commentator to break the news about the Paperwhite’s lack of TTS. This isn’t mere rhetoric. I sold my...

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