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eBooks

eBook Platform Screwpulp Raises $330K in Investment

screwpulpSelf-publishing startup Screwpulp has secured $330,000 in seed investment. The eBook publishing platform plans to use the money to improve the site’s shopping and reading experience for readers, as well as to make the publishing tools for authors better.

“We feel that the traditional book publishing model is daunting and leaves many great books to gather dust,” stated Richard Billings, CEO of Screwpulp. “Screwpulp’s platform empowers authors with the tools they need to publish, market and profit from their work. Additionally, our demand-based pricing model gives clear indications to readers about the quality of a book’s content and puts the power of a book’s success into the proper hands, the readers.”

The company also revealed that it is expanding its board. Brad Silver, CEO of Quire, and Joe Wikert, formerly of O’Reilly Media will join the board.

MIT Shares 45 Free Textbooks

mitMIT OpenCourseWare has shared 45 free textbooks online. The books include a number of math and science texts, as well as a few foreign language titles.

Here is more from the site: “MIT OpenCourseWare shares the course materials from classes taught on the MIT campus. In most cases, this takes the form of course documents such as syllabi, lecture notes, assignments and exams. Occasionally, however, we come across textbooks we can share openly. This page provides an index of textbooks (and textbook-like course notes) that can be found throughout the OCW site.”

Follow this link to check out all of the books.

eReading Is Rising, But It’s Not Replacing Print: Pew Research

pew

Twenty-eight percent of adults in the U.S. had read an eBook by 2013, up from 23 percent in 2012, according to a new report from Pew Research.

The research also revealed that about seven in ten Americans reported reading a book in print, which was up four percentage points from 2012.  In addition, 14 percent of American adults reported that they had listened to an audiobook in 2013.

While eBook adoption is growing in the U.S. among adults, the study found that print reading is not being replaced by eBooks. Here is more from the Pew site: “Though e-books are rising in popularity, print remains the foundation of Americans’ reading habits. Most people who read e-books also read print books, and just 4% of readers are ‘e-book only.’ Audiobook listeners have the most diverse reading habits overall, while fewer print readers consume books in other formats.”

The University of California Press Makes 770 Books Available For Free Online

ucThe University of California Press has been creating an online collection of books since back in 1982 and a lot of that collection is available to the general public online.

The entire eBook library includes almost 2,000 books from academic presses on a range of topics, including art, science, history, music, religion, and fiction. While students and faculty can access this entire collection, the general public can read about 770 of those titles. There is even a way for readers to purchase print editions of these eBooks directly from the publishers.

AppNewser has more:

You can’t download the eBooks files, but they’re searchable and browse-able by chapters. To get started, use this special browsing page to access free books by categories. You can’t download the eBooks to your reader, but you can print from the site. If you use Calibre, you can save the .html version of the chapters and convert that to your chosen eBook format for non-browser reading. There’s also a bookbag option to bookmark your favorite titles so you can return to the site to read at a more convenient time.

(Via HyperAllergic.com)

eBook Pricing in The US Versus The UK

luzmeThere are many opinions on how to price an eBook and therefore eBook prices can be wildly different. This fact is especially true when comparing the pricing models in different countries.

eBook price comparison site Luzme did a comparison of eBook prices in the US with those price on eBooks in the UK and discovered some differences. The company found that the average price for an eBook is the US is anywhere from $1 up to $10, with the most popular range $1-2. However, eBooks that earned the most revenue cost $9-10. In the UK, on the other hand, the most popular price for an eBook was less than £1 and this category also generated the most revenue.

TechCrunch has more from the report:

In the UK, there is usually a fierce price war going on between Amazon and some new entrant; currently it is Sainsburys, previously it was Sony and Nook. But there is usually someone trying to buy market share by discounting the price. Previously we had the 20p offer from Sony, now 99p seems more common. In the USA, the current tussle appears to be between the existing ebook stores and the new startups wanting to sell you a subscription model (aka “Netflix/Spotify for ebooks”)

Simon & Schuster eBooks Now Available in Select Libraries

simonSimon & Schuster has partnered with digital book distribution company OverDrive to create a pilot program in which the publisher is making its eBook catalog available to select public libraries in the United States.

Simon & Schuster’s entire eBook catalog is available through this program. Participating libraries can purchase these titles to lend them to patrons. Just as with a print title, library patrons can check out these eBooks one copy at a time an unlimited number of times for a period of 12 months. There will even be an option for library patrons to purchase the eBook titles themselves through their library’s website with the new Library BIN (Buy It Now) option.

At launch there are 31 libraries participating. Titles include: Dr. Sleep by Stephen King;  Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson; The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald; The Bully Pulpit by Doris Kearns Goodwin; and The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman, among others. As new eBooks come out this year, they too will be available to the program.

Oyster, An eBook Subscription Service, Has Raised $14M in Funding

oysterperseusOyster, the eBook subscription service that has been described as a Netflix for books, has raised $14 million in funding.

The New York Times has the story: “The new investment was led by Highland Capital Partners and included additional capital from an existing investor, Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund. That raises the company’s total fund-raising to $17 million. The new cash will help Oyster as it embarks on a significant expansion effort, according to Eric Stromberg, a co-founder and the company’s chief executive.”

Oyster launched with an iPhone app late last summer, then added an iPad app in October. The service lets readers pay $9.95 a month for access to as many eBooks as they can read. The catalog boasts more than 100,000 titles from 800 publishers and the company continues to add partnerships with new publishers.

430 eBook Singles Were Published in 2013: Thin Reads

elmoreleonardThere were 430 eBook singles published in 2013, according to new numbers from Thin Reads, a company dedicated to eBook singles. One hundred and four of those eBook singles were published in the fourth quarter.

According to the report, 170 of those titles were fiction and 260 were nonfiction.  Eighty-one narrative story eBook shorts were published in 2013, and seventy-five essay & ideas. There were also forty-eight memoirs and fifteen biographies.

Elmore Leonard’s The Trespassers and Confession, previously unpublished stories written in 1958, were among the fiction titles, as was Dean Koontz’s Wilderness. Nathaniel Philbrick’s short The First Thanksgiving and Robert Caro’s JFK assassination account Dallas, November 22, 1963 were notable nonfiction eBook singles published last year.

Library & School Digital Book Checkouts Hit 102M in 2013: OverDrive

overdrive304eBook checkouts reached 102 million in 2013, up 44 percent from 2012, according to a new report released by OverDrive the digital content distribution company that facilitates checkouts for libraries and schools.

To put this in perspective, it took 10 years to reach the first 100 million digital checkouts from 2003-2012, and the next 100 million took place within a year.

OverDrive also revealed a 46 percent increase in eBook checkouts in 2013, reaching 79 million checkouts. In addition, readers checked out 22.9 million audiobooks in 2013, up 37 percent over 2012. Mobile checkouts went up 147 percent over 2012 in mobile checkouts reaching 49.5 million. OverDrive also registered 4.3 billion page views across the websites that it powers. In fact, mobile platform checks now make up almost half of the company’s checkouts and represents 2/3 of site traffic.

Adolf Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’ is Attracting Digital Readers

hitlerAdolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf is ranking on eBook bestsellers lists in certain categories, according to author Chris Faraone. He theorizes that the anonymous nature of eBook purchasing has led to this phenomenon, in the same way that erotica sales have benefits from the adoption of eReaders.

In fact, despite the availability of free editions, paid copies have edged up the lists from eBook sellers, according to Faraone. We checked out the book on Amazon, and a 2008 edition from Misbach Enterprises which sells for $2.00. It is currently ranked No. 8 in the ‘Globalization’ category of the Kindle store and No. 11 in the “Communism & Socialism” category. Read more

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