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eBooks

John Ashbery Overcomes eBook Poetry Issues

johnashberyEver since eBooks have come out, authors have been concerned about how their work is is represented in the digital format. This is an especially pertinent issue for poets, whose use of the line on the page is part of the work itself.

But as digital continues to evolve, eBook developers are better preserving line breaks and stanza spacing. Just ask John Ashbery. Just a few years back the poet demanded that four eBook collections of his poetry be pulled after the format mutilated the work. But the 87 year-old has not given up on the digital format and in conjunction with digital publishing house Open Road, has published 17 digital collections of his work. This time, the technology is much better than his first time out.  Read more

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Happy Birthday Oyster: eBook Subscription Business Turns 1

oyster_iphone_book304eBook subscription service Oyster is turning 1! The venture-capital backed service lets readers pay $9.95 a month for access to as many eBooks as they can read. Since its launch last year, the playing field has gotten more competitive. Amazon launched a similar offering in July.
Over the past year, the Nexflix-for-books service has grown its list of 100,000 eBook titles to more than 500,000 titles and continues to grow its partnerships now counting more than 1,600 publisher partners. Their catalog includes works from more than 200,000 authors in 46 genres. At launch last year, the app was only available on iPhones, but is now available across iOS devices, on the web and on Android devices.
To celebrate their birthday, Oyster is running a Yearbook promotion calling readers to vote for their favorite books for the chance to win a free year’s subscription to the service.

 

Former Amazon Books Editor Kevin Nguyen Joins Oyster

fte_mte_kevin._V376638312_Kevin Nguyen, former Editor at Amazon Books, has joined Oyster as Editorial Director. In his new role, he will spearhead new editorial initiatives and continue to evolve the brand’s content offerings.

“We believe the best product lies in the pairing of high-quality editorial with our work in personalization, data science, and design,” wrote Oyster CEO Willem Van Lancker in a blog post. ”I am excited to have Kevin join Team Oyster as we continue to innovate at the intersection of product, data, and editorial—connecting readers with books they would have otherwise never discovered.”

After 3.5 years at Amazon, Nguyen revealed in a post on Oyster’s blog that it was a tough decision to leave. However, he said that he wants to work at a place where people are passionate about reading — a mood that he feels is going away at Amazon. Check it out:  Read more

‘The New World’ Turns Novel Into Digital Experience

thenewworldChris Adrian and Eli Horowitz, winners of the Webby & SXSW Interactive Awards for their digital novel The Silent History, have a new digital novel out from Atavist Books that pushes the boundaries of the published word.

The story and the user experience of The New World  reflect the digital experience. The book tells the tale of a tragic love story between two doctors. The storytelling concept was conceived in cyclical structure, and is comprised of three cycles. Readers can swipe between pages and follow the story in different directions based on how they swipe. The reader reads through Cycle #1 and when they are finished, the content page reappears revealing Cycle #2.

Content-wise the story in Cycle #2 moves backwards in time, as readers swipe in the opposite direction. Readers might get the sense that the book has ended with Cycle #2, but once they have completed the text, Cycle #3 appears. This section of the book is read scrolling downwards.

 

Capstone Inks Distribution Deal With Scribd’s eBook Service

scribdappChildren’s publisher Capstone Young Readers has signed a distribution agreement with eBook subscription service Scribd. The partnership brings 500 new children’s eBooks to the platform, expanding Scribd’s children’s selection significantly.

This includes titles from Capstone’s licensing partnerships with Warner Bros. Consumer Products and DC Entertainment. Titles include: You Choose: Scooby-Doo, Sports Illustrated Kids Rookie Books, Sports Illustrated Kids Graphic Novels and Sports Illustrated Kids Victory School Superstars, as well as Tony Hawk books. The selection also includes a number of toddler and picture books.

Scribd competitor Oyster added kids books to its collection back in February. Their collection includes Disney books.

 

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.

 

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.

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