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eBooks

Oyster Launches a New Book Lists Feature

OysterOyster has added Book Lists to its eBook streaming service. This new feature will allow for greater discoverability.

Readers can build and share lists of their favorite titles. As a subscriber scans a list from the app on their mobile device, they can click on a title that interests them and instantly start reading.

According to the Oyster blog, the company has reached out to different groups and authors to kick off the launch. Organizations such as Warby Parker, Blue Bottle, and the Rhode Island School of Design have curated their own special lists. The group of writers who joined in include The Glass Castle memoirist Jeanette Walls, The Devil Wears Prada novelist Lauren Weisberger, and Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Chabon.

Kobo Adds 250+ Marvel Comics to its Digital Library

marvel logoMavel has formed an agreement with Kobo to add more than 250 comics to its digital library. Kobo users can now access several series including The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America, and The Amazing Spider-Man.

Kobo merchandiser Santiago Melo had this statement in the press release: “For more than 75 years, Marvel has been transporting comic fans to exciting new galaxies. Tackling big issues with larger than life characters, these stories continue to be a constant source of enrichment in our popular culture and we couldn’t be happier to welcome them to the Kobo family.”

Large-Screen Nook Makes Its Debut

large nookSamsung and Barnes & Noble have developed a new big-screen version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook. Customers can purchase it starting today at 650 Barnes & Noble brick-and-mortar stores and online.

According to the press release, this new NOOK features a 10.1-inch HD display which is the largest screen that has ever been made available on this device. It weighs 17.28 ounces.

Walter Isaacson Named Keynote Speaker at the Digital Book World Conference + Expo

isaacsonw-100-sqrThe Innovators author Walter Isaacson will deliver the keynote speech at the Digital Book World Conference + Expo. Isaacson’s presentation will focus on “”Innovators, Collaborators and Change Agents of the Digital Revolution.”

More than 100 speakers will give talks throughout the event. It is set to take place from January 13th to 15th in New York City.

Print Books Outsold Digital Books During the First 6 Months of 2014

nielsenNielsen Books & Consumer has released the results of a recent survey focusing on book sales from the first six months of 2014. According to the findings, 23% of unit sales went to eBooks, 25% of unit sales went to hardcovers, and 42% of unit sales went to paperbacks.

Here’s more from The Huffington Post: “Given the explosive growth of ebook sales since the launch of the Kindle in 2007, with increases in the triple digits for several years, many expected the paper book industry to remain in retreat for the foreseeable future. Recently, however, ebook gains seem to have stabilized with hardcover and paperback books still comfortably dominant.”

Last month, horror novelist Stephen King sat for an interview and shared his opinion that physical books are here to stay. King does not feel that print books will meet the same end as CDs or records. What’s your prediction?

Scribd Subscribers Will Have Access to 15,000 Harlequin Titles

Scribd Logo 2Scribd and Harlequin have established a one-year agreement. Readers who use the company’s digital book subscription service will now have access to 15,000 of the publisher’s backlist titles.

The books will come from a plethora of imprints such as Harlequin Series Romance, HQN Books, MIRA Books and Carina Press. As of this time, Scribd currently boasts a count of more than 80 million active users.

Here’s more from the press release: “Featured bestselling authors include Debbie Macomber, Robyn Carr, Susan Wiggs, Heather Graham and Shannon Stacey. Scribd will also be making the full Harlequin catalog available for individual purchase in the Scribd retail store.”

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

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.

 

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