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eBooks

Kensington Publishing Teams With Books-A-Million on eBooks

kensington 200Kensington Publishing Corp. has formed a new partnership with book retailer Books-A-Million to launch a new program which will bring digital titles to print for the first time.

Through the Lyrical High Notes program, select titles from the publisher’s digital imprint will be published as special edition trade paperbacks for sale for a limited period exclusively at Books-A-Million. The books will cost $12.95 each.

The new program will kick off in November 2014 with three bestsellers, which were previously only available as eBooks. Titles include:  Consumed by Rebecca Zanetti, Shadowed by Rebecca Zanetti and Playing the Game by M. Q. Barber. In January 2015, the Lyrical High Notes will put out two new titles: Crossing the Line by M.Q. Barber and Better than Perfect by Kristina Mathews. Beginning in February 2015, the program will release one new title per month for the rest of the year.

 

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Test an EPUB File With FlightDeck

flightdeckFormatting a Word file into an EPUB file that works well across the different eBook stores can be a challenge. Firebrand Technologies has a new tool designed to help authors and publishers overcome any formatting issues. The service is called FlightDeck and it allows users to run quality checks in EPUB 2 and EPUB 3 files.

The tool allows you to see whether or not your EPUB files will be accepted by eBook retailers and distributors including: Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Google, Kobo and NetGalley. The tool was built with insights from these partners and includes some of the same validation checks that their own in-house systems use when determining whether or not to accept a file.

FlightDeck has been in open beta for the past couple of months but is now widely available. The service offers one-off pricing and bulk pricing. You can test one book for $35.00 and 500 books for $5000, with varying price points in between.

How to Turn a Wikipedia Article Into an eBook

wikipediaLooking to read a collection of Wikipedia articles in one easy format? Wikipedia has a feature that lets you turn an article or collection of articles into an eBook.

The tool is called Book Creator and will export the articles that you select into a PDF or ODF eBook or even to order a print copy of the book.   You can add pages and even entire categories to the book. Check it out: “If you are viewing a category page, you can add all the pages in that category at once. The Add this page to your book link will have changed into Add this category to your book. Click on this new link, and all the articles in that category will be added to your book. Relevant categories may be found at the very bottom of Wikipedia articles. Categories can also be added by hovering category links.”

Follow this link for step-by-step details on how to make one of these books.

Scribd Redesigns Browser For eBook Subscription Service

scribdappeBook subscription service Scribd has redesigned its browser experience. The goal is to make shopping around for books to read more akin to the physical world than the digital world. For example, the new browser features niche shelves, guest curated collections and personalized staff picks, as a physical bookstore would have.

The Scribd library has more than 500,000 titles available to subscribers who pay $8.99 a month. The new browser lets readers search for titles based on keywords including “Arthurian Legends,” “Private Eye Mysteries Set In LA,” or “Nordic Noir” rather than simply fiction & literature or nonfiction.

The idea is to make it feel like you are talking to someone in a bookstore who might give a more personalized recommendation. “Our goal with the new browse experience was to retain the same human touch that we have come to love about personal recommendations from a trusted friend, but use the power of technology to extend it to our catalog of over 500,000 books,” explained Jared Friedman, co-founder and CTO of Scribd, in a statement.

NASA is Giving Away Free eBooks

nasaNASA has made its library of eBooks on aeronautical studies available for free online.

The collection includes titles on flight research, returning home after space travel and dressing for altitude. The books are available as MOBI, PDF and iBook files, so you can access them through a number of devices and apps.

Follow this link to download free eBooks from the collection.

OverDrive Adds EPUB3 Support, Making It Easier to Read Highly Illustrated Files

overdrive304OverDrive, the largest digital eBook distribution platform for libraries, is now supporting EPUB3 fixed-layout files.

This means that the platform will now be able to properly display highly-illustrated eBooks including such titles as Ancient Rome and Star Wars Jedi Battles, as well as the children’s titles Corduroy and Armadilly Chili.

“OverDrive further extends our leadership with open industry standards utilizing HTML5 along with EPUB3 to open the door to a new world of content for our library and school partners,” stated Alexis Petric-Black, Manager of Publisher Account Services at OverDrive. “The materials and solutions OverDrive partners invest in have long-term compatibility due to this use of open industry standards.”

Liberio Lets You Make an eBook From Google Drive

liberioWant to make an eBook based on files in your Google Drive? A new eBook conversion tool called Liberio has hit the market that lets you do just that.

The platform, which is free with a Google account, allows you to turn any text-based document into an ePUB file directly from Google Drive.  The tool will keep your text format, fonts and images as they are in the Google file. There is even a tool to design your own cover or use a template cover.

Check it out: “We want to make the publishing of eBooks easy for everyone.No matter if you are a teacher, student, designer, artist,engineer or tinkerer, creating and publishing your own booksis now only a push of a button away.”

Oyster Now Available on Web & Mobile Browsers

web_reader_2eBook subscription service Oyster has expanded beyond apps and is now also available on the web and mobile browsers.

The news comes a week after Amazon revealed that it was getting into the eBook subscription business, steep competition for Oyster who so far has been leading the way in the Netflix-for-books business. According to Oyster, June was the company’s biggest month during which its total subscriber base grew by 35 percent. The company also revealed that there are more than 3 million pages read on Oyster a day.

The new platform will help make it more accessible to readers that do not have smartphones or tablets to read on.
“Knowing that about a third of ebook readers regularly read on the web, we’ve had our sights set on this launch for some time,” explained Eric Stromberg, Co-Founder and CEO of Oyster, in a statement. “This marks an important next step on our mission to provide the best product on as many devices as possible.”

Ben Cameron: Publishers Need to Match the Book to the Medium

cameronpublicityBook publicist Ben Cameron believes that publishers have a long way to go before they get eBooks right. In a piece penned for The Huffington Post, Cameron recounts his experience of reading The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy on his Kindle.

The book itself is an eBook, according to the storyline, yet Cameron points out that the publisher didn’t go anything to take advantage of this fact when creating the eBook. Instead of making it interactive, they simply took the print files and digitized them.

Here is more from his piece: “At the moment publishers are quickly churning out ebook versions of the mainstays of their print backlists. But more often than not they are doing so without giving a moment’s thought to making even the simplest of changes to the printed book. So we end up with an introduction to an ebook that sings the praises of paperbacks or ebook cover images taken straight from printed books that boast of illustrations – when the illustrations have been stripped from the ebook editions.”

Oyster Responds to Amazon’s Entry Into eBook Subscription Market

oyster_iphone_book304Oyster, a leader in the Netflix-for-eBooks business, has responded to news that Amazon has entered the burgeoning new marketplace.

“We’re not surprised,” explained Eric Stromberg, CEO and Co-Founder at Oyster, in a statement. “They have pivoted from transactional to subscription-based in other media, and have had limited success. They really paved the way in ebooks, and it’s exciting to see them embrace the market we created as the future of books.”

Amazon’s new service, Kindle Unlimited, will compete directly with Oyster’s eBook subscription service. Both companies charge about $10 a month in subscription fees for unlimited access to their entire library. Oyster’s collection consists of more than 500,000 titles and Amazon’s boasts more than 600,000.

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