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eBooks

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.

Scholastic to Go Multi-Platform With Upcoming TombQuest Series

tombquestScholastic is bringing a new title to its online gaming/multi-platform book community called TombQuest.

Joining the likes of The 39 CluesInfinity Ring and Spirit Animals, TombQuest is an action adventure story set in ancient Egypt written by author Michael Northrop. The story will include a series of five books, as well as an online interactive game.

The first book in the series, Book of the Dead, is slated for release in February 2015. The second will come out the following May. The books will include hidden puzzles and coded messages on the covers which readers can use in the online game. A beta edition of the game will launch this December. The game allows players to design their own ancient Egyptian maze. There is also a place in the game where readers can write their own fan fiction and share it with their friends.

The series will be available in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ Hits eBook Stores

9780446310789_p0_v6_s260x420To Kill a Mockingbird is finally available in eBook form. After years of holding out, author Harper Lee agreed to the book’s digital publication back in April.

“I’m still old-fashioned. I love dusty old books and libraries. I am amazed and humbled that Mockingbird has survived this long. This is Mockingbird for a new generation,” she explained in a statement at the time, released through her publisher Harper Collins.

The book hit digital bookstores on Tuesday. Amazon is selling the title for $3.99 in the Kindle Store. Barnes & Noble has it for $8.99 in the Nook Store. Apple has the iBook available for $4.99.

Open Road Integrated Media Offers Sci-Fi eBook Humble Bundle Deal

openroadOpen Road Integrated Media has formed a partnership with Humble Bundle. The two have crafted a special eBook package tailored for science fiction readers.

According to the press release, this deal “offers eleven science-fiction titles by authors such as Greg Bear, Timothy Zahn, and William Dietz, which are available in multiple formats including PDF, mobi, and epub.” Buyers who pay $12.00 or more will have access to all eleven books.

This Humble Bundle deal will be made available from July 9th to July 23rd. The proceeds will be donated to two nonprofit organizations, the Science Fiction Writers of America Medical Fund and First Book. What do you think?

The Effectiveness of Free eBooks is Declining: Smashwords

smashwords304Offering up a free copy of your eBook has been a good way for self-published and first-time authors to promote their books to new readers. However, according to a new report from self-publishing site Smashwords, that tool may soon be played out.

Here is more from the Smashwords blog: “Free ebooks, according to our data derived from iBooks downloads, generated 39 times more downloads on average during our survey period than books at any price. Yet the effectiveness of free is down dramatically compared to our 2013 (91X) and 2012 (100X) survey results. While there is still much untapped greenfield opportunity for indies to leverage free, I expect the effectiveness of free will continue to decline as more authors learn to take advantage of it.”

The report, which includes 12 months of sales data for 250,000 titles across eBook retailers, also revealed that $2.99 and $3.99 were a popular price point for strong sales.

We’ve embedded the entire report for you to explore after the jump. Read more

Wattpad Reveals Winners of First Prize

wattpadprizeDigital literary community Wattpad revealed the winners of the inaugural Wattpad Prize, its first contest to celebrate readers and writers in the community.

There were more than 3,500stories submitted to the contest in both original fiction and original non-fiction. Here is more about the award from the Wattpad blog:

The Wattpad Prize represents the true spirit of expression by recognizing works of original fiction and original non-fiction, by Wattpadders from all over the world. This contest is Wattpad’s new, juried prize that celebrates both writers and readers from the community. To judge the Wattpad Prize, a panel of experts was chosen, comprised of the most dedicated and active Wattpad readers.

We’ve embedded Wattpad’s list of winners after the jump. Read more

Scribd Brings Connu Stories to Subscription Library

scribdappScribd has partnered with literary app Connu, to make stories from the international digital literary publication available to Scribd eBook subscribers.

Connu was founded by editors Susannah Luthi and Niree Noel, who had previously collaborated on the Southern California Review. The idea was to create a place where readers could find curated stories and discover new writers. Writers in the publication include: David Sedaris, Joyce Carol Oates, Ron Carlson, Janet Fitch and Lydia Davis.

Under the terms of the partnership, thirty of the publication’s most popular stories are now available with a Scribd subscription. A new story will be featured every week in Scribd Selects. Readers can access Scribd’s entire eBook library for a subscription fee of $8.99 a month.

OverDrive Expands International eBook & Video Streaming Collection

overdrive304Digital book distribution company OverDrive has expanded its collection adding new streaming content, as well as more than 30,000 European eBook titles.

New European distribution partners include: RCS Group (Italian), Primento (Spanish), Libranda (Spanish), Zebralution (German) and DeMarque (French). New video streaming content available through OverDrive includes: Sesame Street, National Geographic’s Amazing PlanetSecrets of Yellowstone and Stonehenge Decoded.

“Streaming video is the fastest-growing category of digital titles you can now access from your local library,” stated Alexis Petric-Black, OverDrive’s manager of publisher account services. “The OverDrive collection of Hollywood feature films, documentaries, self-help and beloved children’s titles permit the public library to offer a first-stop destination for what to watch online.”

Harper Voyager to Launch ‘Impulse’ Digital Publishing Program

Harper Voyager LogoHarperCollins has expanded the Harper Voyager science-fiction and fantasy imprint with the “Impulse” digital publishing program.

According to the press release, “the vast majority of titles for the digital publishing push were acquired from an open ‘call’ for submissions hosted globally by Harper Voyager in 2012. The editors received more than 4,500 submissions.”

31 “Impulse” eBook titles have been scheduled for publication starting in the Summer of 2014 up until the Winter of 2015. This inaugural list features a variety of genres including urban fantasy, military science fiction, epic tales, fairy tale remakes, and horror stories. One of the first releases, Thorn Jack by Katherine Harbour, will come out as both a hardcover print book and an eBook in July 2014.

Judge Allows Retailer to Sue Apple & Publishers in Price-Fixing Lawsuit

apple-logo-248x300Australian eBook retailer DNAML will be able to proceed in a lawsuit against Apple and the five agency publishers which alleges that DNAML’s business was hurt due to the 2010 eBook price fixing scandal led by the tech company and the publishing houses.

Judge Denise Cote has allowed the case to proceed despite challenges from Apple, Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan and Penguin.

Publishers Weekly has the scoop: “Although Cote in her opinion said proving damages was going to be difficult ‘in the extreme’ for the DNAML, she held that the plaintiff’s case met the standard to proceed. But while Cote suggested that proving damages might be difficult, she added that DNAML’s ‘lost investment,’ in its business ‘may be reasonably quantifiable.’”

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