Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The embarrassment of eBooks and eReaders

Ebook sales is reported to have gained remarkable feats by several large eBook stores, yet the related eReader market has plunged into a less encouraging statement at the same time. Amazon and Barnes & Noble, the two eBook leaders in the US, actually exploit their increasing eBook sales to offset the loss on eReaders. Now let’s have a look at the embarrassment the two tycoons have confronted.

Amazon eBook sales

Since April of 2011, Amazon has sold approximately 105 eBooks for every 100 print books. In August 2012, Amazon revealed that eBooks outsold print books on Amazon UK. Amazon eBook store currently sells 114 eBooks for every 100 print books. As to the prevalence of eBooks and the advantage of price, people are inclined to purchase eBooks more often.

Amazon eReader sales

Amazon launched Kindle Fire last fall and the sales of E-ink Kindle slumped during the following months.
In Amazon’s Q1 2012 earnings release, the gross sales of Kindle readers decreased by 63% from the previous quarter. As a report from Pacific Crest Securities recently put, the orders of E-ink reader’s standard components have dropped by seventy percent for Q2.

Barnes & Noble eBook sales

Barnes & Noble’s eBook s and other digital content did a good job for the fiscal 2013 first quarter. Compared to previous period, it has seen gains of 46 percent, which made a paramount contribution to the whole company.  

Barnes & Noble eReader sales

It was just reported that sales of Barnes & Noble’s eReader s and tablets continue to drop in its fiscal 2013 first quarter. Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight, which was released in April, has not marginally improved the sales of eReader but to make things worse. In the end, the loss of eReaders has to be covered by the well-performed digital content sales. There is even a rumor that Barnes & Nobel has been selected as one of the nine sinking companies for its permanent descending sales.

What device do people read eBooks on?

Ridiculously, people purchase more eBooks and less eReaders. It seems that there are better substitutions for dedicated eReaders. In fact, we can read eBooks or enjoy diversified recreations on various mobile devices like Kindle Fire, Nook Tablet or multi-functional smartphones. While Google Nexus 7 is exceedingly hot currently, who dare to say that people who hold Nexus 7 exclusively play games instead of reading eBooks on it?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

An investigation concerning eBook-reading: The old like eBook readers better than the young

With the booming development in the industry of eBooks and eReaders, eBook-reading is doing well in English-speaking countries. BWM Books has made an infographic on eReaders and eBooks, which demonstrates the statistics of four countries’ eBook markets: US, UK, Canada and Australia.

The devices used for reading


According to the data provided by Pew (for the US), the two primary reading devices are computer (42%) and eReader (41%). Smartphone accounts for a proportion of 29% and tablets comes last (23%). 

The advantages of eReaders
In terms of the advantages of eReaders, people hold respective views. 83% people think that it’s exceedingly fast and convenient to get the purchased eBooks. 73% people read eBooks on their journey. 53% people like eReaders for a massive selection of electronic resources. 43% people read eBooks in bed.
A typical eReader, Kindle, is much slighter than print books with affluent eBook resources furnished by Amazon.
On the contrary, we should not ignore the merits of traditional books. 81% people choose paperback books for children while 69% people share their beloved books with others.

The age distribution of the customers

Different from young folks who are fond of smartphones, old people are inclined to choose proprietary eReaders. According to the statistics from US market, around 33% customers with eReaders are over 55. Customers between 25 and 34, who occupy the largest proportion of smartphones, constitute approximately 23% of people who possess eReaders.   
Smartphones appeal to young people as they integrate various functions. Thus young people maybe find it unnecessary to purchase additional eReaders as eBook-reading has been supported on smartphones already. Conversely, old people have more leisure time and would like to spend their time on comfortable eReaders.  

The diversity of countries
In the main English-speaking countries, the amount of eReaders and tablets used for reading has surpassed 120 million, among which the US market has made up 100 million. In the meantime, there are 46 million eReaders in the US, which is much higher than other countries.  

For the number of people who have ever downloaded eBooks, four countries show similar statistics. 20% adults in the US have downloaded at least one eBook while 21% adults have done so in the UK and Australia.

The overall eBook sales in Australia is predicted to reach $ 200 million this year, which accounts for 10% of the print book market. The proportion is estimated to go by 25% in 2014.

According to a report from BWM Books
Click the image below to view the full size version.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Meet the new Kindle on September 6

This is the invitation letter from Amazon to invite the media to join their Press Conference on September 6 at California.

On September 28 last year, Amazon launched Kindle Fire, Kindle 4 and Kindle Touch, one year later, it's no surprise that in this Press Conference Amazon will launch their new weapons.

Not long ago, we have submitted a post to show that there are indicates showing the New Kindle is coming.

We also have a post in June to introduce you the predictions from principal media about the New Kindle Fire.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Amazon Kindle Fire vs. Google Nexus 7

E-readers are the new age books that come with many advantages. The two most recent e-readers that are constantly making news in the tablet world are Amazon Kindle Fire and Google Nexus 7. Though there are several common things among the two, it is quite interesting to know the way they are faring in the market. Here’s an insight on the features of both the devices.

The left is Kindle Fire, the right is Nexus 7.     Image from Wired.com

Amazon Kindle Fire and Google Nexus 7

The all-affordable Amazon Kindle Fire stirred up a revolution when it was announced. The 7-inches digital reader is powerful and promises some of the amazing features.  It is simple with an attractive exterior design, not too flashy. There is not much difference in the Google Nexus 7 design which also sports the same look as Amazon’s Kindle Fire. It is much lighter and offers a natural feel when held in the hand. Google Nexus 7 delivers a sharper display with1280 x 800 pixels while the Kindle Fire has 1024 x 600.

When it comes to the processor, the most important part, Kindle Fire has a 1GHz dual-core which is more than enough to get you through the basic tasks. On the other hand Google outdoes with a Nivida quad-core Tegra 3 chip at 1.2GHz, best suited for action-packed games and to support powerful apps. Google's Nexus 7 tablet has a front-facing 1.2 Mbps camera with a longer battery-life.

Even though both the devices run on Android, their software builds are much different from one another. Nexus 7 carries the Android, 4.1 Jelly Bean while Kindle Fire runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread that comes with a customized interface. But must agree, Amazon’s Gingerbread is simple and is made much easier to use. Though Google’s Nexus 7 has a lead over the Amazon’s Kindle Fire, there is something to look forward with the next-generation Kindle Fire, rumored to be packed with impressive features.

Why do you need digital readers?

Well, with so much about Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire, if you are wondering the how you could benefit from owing an e-reader, the answer is simple!

E-readers have definitely changed the approach the world has towards books. Its advent has changed the way we use books and also has affected the way libraries and publishing houses function. It was not till the advent of e-books, e-readers gained momentum in the market. E-books are now available in several formats and can be easily be accessed on a wide range of e-reader devices.

Benefits of using eBooks and eBook readers

There are several advantages of using eBooks and e-readers than the traditional books.
·         E-books are environment friendly as there is no paper involved and save printing and delivery costs you can download eBooks instantly, store as many e-books as you want till you empty the storage space of your device and also this is a great way to carry your books around  E-readers allow you to alter the size of the text and even annotate and bookmark the text

E-reader Converters

Though most of the eBooks are seen in PDF format, you can print them in the file format that best suits your e-reader. 

In fact, you can make use of the e-reader converter to transfer them into the desired file format that your handheld device supports. E-reader converters can be bought or downloaded from web. These are nothing but programs that assist you in transforming eBooks from one file format to other. 

There are many types of converters available, but this again will depend on the file format that you want to convert or that your reader supports. If you need a capable software which can convert DRM protected Kindle, Sony, Nook, Kobo eBooks, please scroll up and click "eBook Converter" button on the top bar.

This article has been brought to you by MyTechHelp – a leader in providing support across various products brands and tech devices for individuals and small businesses in need of instant tech help.go to this link

Friday, August 17, 2012

Who is the most popular when people reading eBooks?

Since March this year, we launched a survey on our product site.

We asked our clients to tell us what kind of device do they read eBooks on. Months past, we have collected more than 30,000 feedback.

Some of them gave us the fake or invalid answers, like "device" "123" or even "asdfsafjjjs"....(What the hell....)

After hours of filtering and clustering, we get a report with 26678 solid answers. And we have made it an infographic.

Infographic by Epubor

Embed Code:

Listen to your eBook and take a rest!

When I am obsessed with an eBook and continue reading on my Kindle Fire for a heap of hours, I wonder whether there is a text-to-speech function available that allows me to listen to the book without opening my eyes(I don't have an iPad which supports TTS itself). In fact, I hope this function is supported on my reading app rather than those on-line services so that my reading won't be too complicated.

TTS (Text To Speech)
TTS is a technology that converts text to speech automatically. There are different forms of TTS applications:  on-line TTS (website), TTS software, reading apps supporting TTS, etc. Do you remember the blind young man in Seven Pounds? Will Smith found out he was blind through the synthetic voice on the telephone.

TTS on Mantano
There are a cloud of android reading apps and many of them are nifty. However, most of them do not deliver TTS engine or we have to pay for the premium versions for TTS function (such as Aldiko). Fortunately, I got Mantano, which offers TTS engine and remarkable features for free.
Follow me to listen to the eBook if you feel that your eyes have been fairly painstaking!

1. Download and install Mantano.
Launch the browser on your android eReader (Here I take my Kindle Fire for example.), search for "mantano download" and enter a web page to download the APK file to your device.

2. (For Kindle Fire) Allow installation of applications.
Tap the right corner on the top of the home screen, select "More" and then select "Device". On the "Device" screen, tap "ON" for "Allow Installation of Applications". Tap "OK" on the following warning window. Then we can install the downloaded app (APK file) on the Kindle Fire. If you install Mantano on other eReaders, a similar setting might be a must.

3. Install Mantano.
Tap "Web" icon on the top menu bar of the home screen and tap the option icon on the bottom bar. Tap "Downloads" icon to get the downloaded APK file. Then tap the file name (like mantano.apk) to install Mantano on your Kindle Fire.

4. Launch Mantano and import an EPUB file.
Mantano seems amazing, isn't it! Well, our task is to enjoy TTS. Now we need to import an EPUB book. As Mantano does not support Kindle books (AZW/MOBI), we need to convert at least one Kindle book to EPUB or download a free EPUB book to Kindle Fire. Here I have prepared some EPUB books. Make sure you are on the "My bookshelf" page and tap "Import" icon on the bottom menu bar. The EPUB and PDF files on Kindle Fire will be detected automatically. Select one EPUB file and tap "Import".

A catalog of sites for free eBook ( EPUB / PDF ) download
How to convert Kindle books to EPUB

5. Listen to the book
Tap the book and flip to a page. Tap the screen and a menu bar will appear on the bottom of the screen. Here we select "TTS". A woman is reading the content!

Apparently, the voice is sort of stiffly and awkward. But this is just another pattern for us to continue our reading without straining our eyes. Let’s close our eyes and have a good rest! Even if you own an iPad, you would have to spend seconds in selecting the content!

reading apps supporting TTS
Here is Best android eReader apps review, some of which are said to be TTS supported. Moreover, one reader remarked that wordplayer supported TTS function and it made any book an audio book.

If you have got one of the hottest Android tablet, Google Nexus 7, follow this guide to read and listen to Kindle books on Nexus 7 with free FBReader.

on-line TTS (website)
A professional TTS website is Text to Speech, which provides human reading. It supports a couple of languages and offers an embedded link for web use. Nevertheless, there is no audio file (MP3) generated and the free service allows a maximum of 1000 words.

Text2Speech is another free site for TTS, which supports several voice types and volume scales. It will deliver an MP3 file to you after a few minutes’ processing. The generated file sounds much worse than what you hear on Text to Speech, of course, but you don't need to pay for it!

TTS software
There seems to be plenty of software related to TTS, yet most of them are not free. I tried one of the so-called free versions of Natural Reader, the MP3-conversion function is exclusively open to higher versions (paid version). I would be pretty appreciated if you share your experience concerning free TTS software with me in the comments below.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Create An EPUB With Free Sigil: Start Your EBook Journey

How to create an EPUB file? More and more people ask such a question currently. With a cloud of eBook reading, you might feel like sharing your individual experiences with others in the form of eBook. If you are an EPUB beginner, this article will help you start your first EPUB basically. If you have created eBooks before, I would be fairly delighted that you can get something useful here. 

EPUB (electronic publication) is an open–eBook standard proposed by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF). Different from the traditional file formats such as .DOC and .TXT, EPUB supports reflowable and resizable content on various reading devices for optimized display. The text and pictures of an EPUB book is actually described by a specified language, XHTML, which is similar to HTML rather than those advanced programming languages (C, C#, JAVA, etc.). Thus the EPUB book created by Sigil is exactly composed of XHTML. Don't worry about it! We just create an EPUB with some simple operations and Sigil generates the code herself.

People who have created EPUB books before may know about Sigil. Sigil is a free open-source software to create and edit EPUB files. As a multiple-platform-supported software, it can be used on Mac and Linux apart from Windows. It's versatile and easy to use.

Besides Sigil, you can use eCub, Calibre and iBooks Author to create EPUB books as well.

Guide to create an EPUB

Prepare a demo book to create an EPUB. Now let's start our EPUB journey!

1. Download and install free Sigil.

2. Launch Sigil.

3. Open the prepared book.

4. Break chapters. Locate the cursor at the end of a chapter, click the "Chapter Break" icon, and you can separate this chapter from the rest content.

5. Set formats. Select the content and you can set the formats of titles and texts.

6. Insert images. Select "File"/"New"/"Add Existing Files" to add the images that your EPUB needs into the current project and then click the "Insert Image" icon.
7. Align. Select the content and click different align icons on the tool bar to set the alignment.

8. Add a cover. Right click the Text folder, select "Add Blank Section" and a new XHTML file will be added at the end of the chapters. Right click the added file and select "Rename" to rename it as "cover" (or other names as you like). Right click the renamed file "cover" and select "Sort All". Click "OK" to make sure of it on the following warning window and then drag the file to the head.

9. Edit the cover. You can input headline and insert pictures into the cover. Setting the font and formats of the headline is necessary.

10. Edit "Meta Editor". Click "Edit"/"Meta Editor" to edit the "Title" and "Author" of your EPUB. Click "More" to edit more information.

11. Save the file as .EPUB. Click "File"/"Save as" to save as EPUB file.

12. Now you have finished your trip of Launch Adobe Digital Edition or another software supporting EPUB to have a look at your EPUB.

This is a basic introduction about how to create an EPUB. There must be some more functions of Sigil that are not introduced here. Moreover, you can use Sigil to write and edit EPUB books. Enjoy your EPUB books with Sigil.

How to convert EPUB to MOBI
How to convert EPUB to PDF

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

What kind of cellphone do IT CEOs use?

Days ago, I read a post which introduce what kind of car do those IT millionaires drive. Pretty interesting, and it's a pity that I didn't bookmark that post and I couldn't share it with you here. If you also have read it, please tell me the url in the comment, I will put it here.

Then an idea comes to my mind, why not compile a post tells people what kind of cellphone do those IT CEOs use? What if Bill Gates doesn't use a Windows phone? What if Tim Cook doesn't use an iPhone? I believe that will be interesting.

 1, Mark Zuckerberg (Co-Founder & CEO of Facebook)

Obviously, Mark Zuckerberg uses an iPhone.

2, Bill Gates (Former CEO of Microsoft)

From Bill Gate's tweets, we found that he is using a Windows Mobile Phone, because the Twikini is a Twitter client for Windows Mobile only. 

3,Sergey Brin (Co-Founder of Google)

This is a screenshot of a video months ago, he was demoing the Google Glasses. We can see clearly that Sergey Brin uses a Google branded Samsung Nexus.

4, Larry Page (Co-Founder and CEO of Google)

This is the screenshot of Larry Page's Google+ post, he said that he uses Galaxy Nexus.

5, Tim Cook (CEO of Apple)

No doubt, the iPhone, maybe the new generation. But I couldn't find a lifephoto to prove my guess.

X, Bolt (The first man to hold both the 100 metres and 200 metres world records.)

This for fun.  :)..
In the interview, he said: “All I gotta do is thank a few people on my BBM with my congrats and that’s it pretty much,”
The fastest man in the world uses BlackBerry.

This post is just for fun, so maybe one of the people above has changed his phone, or maybe the "proof" is not true. That doesn't matter.
And if you have an addition to this list, you are very appreciated to inform me in the comment.

Friday, August 10, 2012

How does eBook DRM affect Apple and Amazon?

1, What is e-book DRM?
DRM, short for "Digital Rights Management" is anti-the piracy technology.DRM technology is widely used in the software, videos, music, e-books, electronic publications .etc. the purpose is to prevent the occurrence of piracy and infringement, to protect Copyright legitimate rights and interests.
The eBook DRM is one of these protections, has now been adopted by most of the e-book publishers, and to some extent has brought benefits to the host companies and publishers.
2,what’s the types of eBook DRM?eBook DRM protection is divided into a variety kinds, includes the most popular ePub DRM ,PDF DRM, Kindle (AZW) DRM, Nook DRM, Adobe (ePub and PDF) DRM ,IBOOKS DRM , MOBI DRM, and eReader DRM .etc .
3, How does eBook DRM affect users?DRM-protected e-books through a unique encryption methods to prevent users to copy and paste or edit the contents of the ebooks, simply, a user who has purchased DRM-protected e-books and download it to his reader won’t  able to copy his contents to other readers at the same time.
DRM protection ,there is another factor that need to be emphasized is the e-book reader, different e-book readers will support different DRM-protected e-books, for example, NOOK reader and IPAD both can support the ePub e-books, but NOOK reader can read ebooks with ePub DRM and NOOK DRM, IPAD can only read non-DRM-protected ePub and ePub eBook with IBOOKS protection.
4, What’s Apple DRM and Amazon DRM ?Apple's e-book protection is iBooks DRM, there is still no method to crack iBooks DRM.
Amazon has two e-book protections. AZW is the most common DRM protection. We can use some third-party software to strip azw drm with easy.
Another is MOBI DRM. Most MOBI e-books are free from drm, only the individual has protection. Usually when you strip azw from kindle books , you can get Mobi format ebooks.
5,Why canceling the EBOOK DRM will not have much impact on Apple and Amazon?
Canceling ebook DRM is suffering a debate between supporters and opponents, if the DRM was canceled, that the majority of e-book reader enthusiasts will benefit from this action, but whether the interests of ebook writers and publishers will be damaged remains to be investigated. What is certain is that after the abolition of the EBOOK DRM, Apple and Amazon will not be greatly affected for the following reasons:

1, Apple and Amazon are two giants of the ebook industry, they not only have their own e-book library, but also have their own e-book reader, which means they have their own independent e-book sales environment, the reform of the outside world does not have much impact on them, because they have sufficient capital to operate their own e-books Kingdom.

2, Amazon has always been to ignore the voice of the outside world, for example, most people agree that ePub as an e-book standard, but Amazon chosen to adhere to its own AZW format as the main format of their own e-book, and also to create a unique AZW DRM protection, it’s clear to be sure that Amazon will not yield to other e-books drm reform.

3, Apple iPad can read ePub e-books without any protection, but when we purchased ebooks from iTunes they have IBOOKS protection, which is unable to be cracked currently. Apple has always been known for a unique and will not join in the ebooks DRM canceling team.
These above is only the individual thoughts on e-book DRM canceling, please enjoy and discuss.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Those who succeed as self-published authors

It is believed that there is a magic inner world inside every one's body. However, some do not care it too much and prefer to do something useful. On the contrary, some highlight their thoughts, ideas, feelings or even their imaginary plots to a large extent and consequently, they would take actions to make their intelligence in front of the world and they write.

Being an author is difficult. People living on writing might have been tortured for quite a long time as they could not predict whether their books would be approved and published even though they have worked body and soul. Mark Twain, who was regarded as a one of the greatest American authors in the history of world literature, had to publish his Adventures of Huckleberry Finn all by himself when he was young.

Things have changed today! Talented writers eventually get the opportunity to make a difference by themselves as more and more platforms are delivered for people's self-publishing. Now let’s have a look at who have come off as self-published authors.

Amanda Hocking
self-published authors - Amanda+Hocking
Amanda Hocking is a famous self-published American author living in Austin, Minn. Since April 2010, she has self-published  her e-books such as vampire series, Trylle Trilogy and gained a remarkable feat. As her books hit on the bestseller list, she earned millions and got rid of the past tough days when she failed to attract the traditional publishers over and over again. In February 2011, moreover, the Trylle Trilogy was selected to make a film. However, she signed a contract with St. Martin's Press the next month for embracing a larger amount of audience. She said that she wrote not only for people who own eReaders but also for the others who read print books.
Books by Amanda Hocking

Barbara Freethy
self-published authors - Barbara+Freethy
Barbara Freethy, New York Times and USA TODAY’s bestselling author specializing in romance and women's fiction, is keen on reading and writing, just like her mother.
After graduating from university, she worked in the field of P.R. first. Her interest in writing was stoked when she got pregnant. Fortunately, her road to publishing was not as tortuous as Hocking and she made a contact with Silhouette Romance soon. However, she made a decision to self-publish her books when she found her books went out of print in a short time and at the same time, a lot of publishers such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble opened their doors to self-publish. In 2011, the tally of her self-published titles from all retailers reached a total 1.4 million.

At present, Barbara Freethy self-publishes books on the main self-publish supported platforms: Apple, Amazon, B&N, Google, Sony, Kobo, etc. SUMMER SECRETS, THE SWEETEST THING and SILENT RUN are some of her bestsellers.
Books by Barbara Freethy

Michael Prescott's
self-published authors - Michael  Prescott's
Since Michael Prescott's graduated from college in 1980, he has worked on writing novels for around 30 years, with more than 20 books completed. It occurred to Michael Prescott's that he should publish his Riptide as an eBook himself, nevertheless, when 25 publishers gave their consent to this book. He was far more confident and what’s more, he would be proven with considerable revenue if he succeeded. Eventually Prescott realized his dream. His books, which are sold at $ 0.99 mostly, have been in the top 150 Best-Selling Books on USA TODAY, a national American daily newspaper published by the Gannett Company. Furthermore, five of his distinguished titles have remained for a total of 42 weeks on USA TODAY's best-seller list.
Books by Michael Prescott's

J. A. Konrath
self-published authors - J. A. Konrath
J. A. Konrath (Joseph Andrew Konrath), born in 1970, is an American author specializing in mystery and horror. The first published book, Whiskey Sour, was actually his tenth book. By now, he has won the Derringer Award for Flash Fiction (2004) and Bob Kellog Humanitarian Award (2006). In 2011, he received $ 68,000 from his self-published books, which was 4 times more than the income in 2009.
Now he lives in Illinois, Chicago and teaches writing at Dupage College there. He is also running a blog, A Newbie’s Guide to Publish, to help young people about how to publish.
Books by J. A. Konrath

Michael McCloskey
self-published authors - Michael  McCloskey
Michael McCloskey, a software engineer in Silicon Valley, is a famous self-published author specializing in science fiction and fantasy as well. With his singular imagination and conception, his titles hit great success on different publishing platforms and he finally lived his dream of a fiction writer.
In Jan, 2012, one of his titles, The Trilisk Ruins, cracked No.1 bestseller in High Tech Science Fiction on Amazon (US).
Books by Michael McCloskey

Apart from the above noted self-published authors, let's move to some other authors who have shown excellent performance on the well-known eBook stores recently. It is likely that you have already been acquainted with some of them.

Colleen Hoover
self-published authors - Colleen  Hoover
Colleen Hoover, born in 1979, is a young female author specializing in romance and humor.
Her self-published books Slammed, Point of Retreat have cracked bestsellers on the primary eBook stores including Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Smashwords.

Sydney Landon
self-published authors - Sydney Landon
Sydney Landon, a female American author with a happy marriage, is living in South Carolina at present. After 25 years’ accounting career, she seems to start her writing journey. Her first book, Weekends Required, and the next Not Planning on you have been ranking as bestsellers on Amazon and Barnes & Noble Self-Published eBook Bestsellers. At the moment, she is engaging in the third book, Falling in Love With Me.

Antoinette Stockenberg
self-published authors - Antoinette Stockenberg
Antoinette Stockenberg, grew up in Chicago, is a female American author. She lived a happy childhood and had a lot of dreams at that time. One of her dreams was to become a writer. She has published dozens of books such as Embers, Emily’s Ghost, Beyond Midnight, The Challenge and the Glory, etc. Among her many terrific books, Emily’s Ghost brought a RITA award to her. You will find her bestsellers on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smarshwords and USA TODAY.

Kelly Favor
self-published authors - Kelly Favor
Since June, 2012, Kelly Favor has published the serial eBooks For His Pleasure (Jun 9, 2012), For his taking (Jun 28, 2012), For His Keeping (Jul 11, 2012), For His Honor (Jul 23, 2012) and For his Trust (Aug 3, 2012), three of which have been bestsellers on Barnes and Noble. For His Pleasure has even made Kelly Favor the bestselling author on USA TODAY.

Joseph Lallo
self-published authors - Joseph Lallo
Joseph Lallo, born in 1983, is an American author specialized in science fiction and fantasy. His main works include The Great Convergence, The Battle of Verril, The Book of Deacon, Jade etc.
In Aug, 2012, his two titles, The Great Convergence and The Battle of Verril on Smarshwors are listed on the bestsellers of Smarshwords, with which he has had cooperation for quite a long time. There are still many other successful self-published authors who are not mentioned here. If you are fond of writing, grasp every chance to take a shot. You won’t miss your way to success.

If you are preparing your own eBook, here are four free tools provided to help you build an EPUB book.

Books by Amanda Hocking
My Blood Approves series:
My Blood Approves (2010), Fate CreateSpace (2010), Flutter CreateSpace (2010), Wisdom CreateSpace (2010), Letters to Elise (2010), Swear (2012)
Trylle Trilogy:
Switched  (2010), Torn (2010), Ascend (2011)
The Hollows series:
Hollowland CreateSpace (2010), Hollowmen  (2011)
Virtue (2011)

Books by Barbara Freethy
Angel's Bay Series (5 books)
Garden of Secrets (2012),
At Hidden Falls (2011),
In Shelter Cove (2010)
On Shadow Beach 2010)
Suddenly One Summer (2009)
Other books
When Wishes Collide (2012), The Way Back Home (2012), Just a Wish Away Wish Series Book 2 (2012), A Secret Wish Wish Series 1 (2012), Silent Fall (2008), Silent Run(2008), Patrick Michael O'reilly's 13th Summer(2007), Played (2006), Taken (2006), Don't Say a Word (2005)
All She Ever Wanted (2004), The Cuzzian Horse (2004), Golden Lies (2004), All She Ever Wanted (2004), Summer Secrets (2003), Love Will Find a Way(2002), Some Kind of Wonderful(2001), Just the Way You Are (2000), Almost Home(2000), Sweetest Thing (1999), The Sweetest Thing (1999), One True Love (1998), Ask Mariah (1997), Ryan's Return (1996),  Daniel's Gift (1996)

Books by Michael Prescott's:
Grave of Angels (2012), Riptide (2010), Darklore Vol 1 (2007), Miasma (2007), Final Sins (2007), Final Sins (2007), Mortal Faults (2006), Mortal Faults (2006), Dangerous Games (2005), Dangerous Games (2005), In Dark Places (2004), Last Breath (2004), In Dark Places (2004),
La Prochaine VIctime  (2003), Next VIctim (2002), L'etrangleur Masqu(2002),  Le Tueur Des Bois (2002),  Next VIctim(2002), Last Breath (2001), L'arracheur De VIsages (2001), Stealing Faces (2001), The Shadow Hunter (2000), Stealing Faces (1999), Comes the Dark (1999), Stealing Faces (1999), The Need for Tax Incentives (1991), Duggie the Digger and His Friends (1972), Last Breath

Main books by J. A. Konrath
Spree (2012), Mr K Thriller (2012), Timecaster Supersymmetry (2012), Stirred(2012)
Banana Hammock  (2011), Serial Killers Uncut (2011), Killers Uncut (2011), Flee a Thriller (2011), 65 Proof - an Omnibus Sixty-five Short Stories (2011), Suckers (2011), Shaken (2011), Serial Uncut (2011), Origin (2010), Disturb (2010, Jack Daniels Stories (2010), Horror Stories (2010), Endurance a Novel of Terror (2010), Grave Conditions (2010), The List (2010),
Rusty Nail  (2006)

Main books by Michael McCloskey
The Trilisk AI(2012), The Trilisk Supercedure(2012), The Rise of Sarnai(2012), The House of Yeel(2012), The Trilisk Ruins (2011), Hell on a Leash(2011), Ingenious(2011), Industrious(2011),
Insidious (2010), Slave of Chu Kutall(2005)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Jeff Bezos: Kindle 3G is the best Kindle. And new e-ink Kindle is coming.

Photo is from Pocket-Lint

I used to have a Kindle Touch 3G, until I lost it in somewhere only God knows. Now I have a Kindle Fire and an iPad. But to be hondle Fire or iPad, I miss my Kindle 3G.
est, every time I read an eBook on Kin
After the release of Kindle Fire, there are many rumors that Kindle won't release e-ink Kindle any more, instead is Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire 2, etc..

I do believe those rumors are bullshits, and I am also afraid if Amazon is going to release lower-level e-ink device like Kindle 4. So I've been struggled for months about should I buy a Kindle Touch 3G again or wait for the new e-ink Kindle.

Now I can finally be relaxed, according to an interview between The Kindle Chronicles and Jeff Bezos, I am pretty sure that Amazon is not going to abandon the e-ink device, and there are some indications show that a new version of e-ink Kindle is on the way.

"I don’t think, for example, that audio snippets would make Hemingway better."

Bezos doesn't think that the multimedia will replace all-text story, he believes that the development of films and audio books have proved that the text is not replaceable. If a good book has been adapted into a movie, even if the movie is wonderful, people will still want to read the original book.

"People who buy that Kindle (Kindle Touch 3G) are the people who read the most."

Bezos revealed that the Kindle 3G is the most popular device in Kindle family, when the reporter asked him why, he said that 
"I suspect it’s probably some that they are the more serious readers, so they want the very best Kindle. But we also see that their reading increases even more than people who buy the other Kindles."
Then the reporter asked him if the Kindle app or the Kindle Fire will replace e-ink Kindle, Bezos denied it directly:
"No. I think that for serious readers, there will always be a place for a purpose-built reading device, because I think you’ll be able to build a device which is lighter, which matters a lot to people, has better readability if what you’re doing is reading is text. "
"Can you go hiking in tennis shoes? Yes, but if you’re a real hiker you might want hiking boots. And so both things, I think, will continue to coexist. "

 Indications about the new version e-ink Kindle

Besides the promise from Bezos about e-ink Kindle will not disappear, there are also other indications show that a new version of e-ink Kindle is on the way.

According to the post from A Kindle World Blog, Amazon is adjusting its storage, because the purchase page of Kindle Touch 3G says
 "the Kindle Touch 3g is 'Currently unavailable, we don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.' "
And Amazon is offering a 40% off for the Kindle 4, which costs only $47 at the moment. It looks that Amazon is stepping up the shipment of older products and preparing for the new coming one.

Read the full post of the interview between The Kindle Chronicles and Jeff Bezos.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Ebook DRM free, who are together with Tor?

When the first eBook came into being in the 1970s, no one had ever forecasted that so many changes would happen on it. From the initial typing-into-computer to Open eBook format, eBook has evolved into a commercial market rather than another form of traditional books. Digital Millennium Copyright Act was passed in 1998 so as to protect the rights and benefits of publishers, copyright holders and individuals. DRM for eBooks was brought up for the protection of people in this field.     

For most readers, the common view is that we respect and back up legal copyright protections. However, why is there no one to give us a hand when we purchased a beloved eBook and found we are not entitled to share it with our family and best friends. DRM is appropriately designed to restrict any forms of duplication,   print and circulation and sharing books with others is an undisputed case.

So the truth is, we obey the rules and purchase DRMed eBooks while we are not allowed to read at liberty. Even if we intend to read a book purchased from amazon store on our Nook Simple Touch, for instance, incompatible formats and Kindle DRM problem would make things tough. Consequently, we spend additional time searching for practical solutions, which makes Calibre famous.

who are together with Tor?
As Tor and Forge Books publicly announced eBooks DRM free this year, readers have paid more attention to the future of eBook DRM. However, it seems that no news has come out from amazon, Barnes & Noble or other related eBook stores by now.
Fortunately, Tor is not alone. Now let's have a look at who are providing DRM free books together with Tor.   

Baen Books

Baen Books is probably the first one who say no to DRM (Digital Rights Management). When the DRM technology started to be adopted in the late 1990s, the founders of Baen Books believe that “DRM does more harm than good to a publisher”. Maybe they concluded this from the angle of audience and kept that if you think of readers, readers would feel it. Actually, we readers greatly appreciate DRM free eBooks.

O'Reilly Media

In June 2011, OverDrive announced that O'Reilly Media would provide DRM-free eBook titles. Its  1,500 eBook titles will be available to OverDrive's channel partners, including those in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and dozens of other territories worldwide.
If you are looking for topics on Programming, JavaScript, iPhone, Android, Python, HTML5 & CSS, Microsoft, Java, Perl, Linux, Data, etc., O’Reilly Media will be an optional choice. O’Reilly DRM free eBooks are available on amazon store at present.

Carina Press

Carina titles have been sold DRM Free in EPUB and PDF formats through their store. They will also be selling through Sony, Books on Board, Fictionwise and others.

Tor and Forge Books

On April 24, 2012, Tom Doherty Associates, publishers of Tor Books and Forge Books, announced that beginning in July, all of its e-books would be sold free of DRM.

On Jun 4, 2012, Fritz Foy, Macmillan EVP  Digital Publishing and Technology, officially announced that a new Tor/Forge DRM-free e-book store will debut here on Tor.com in late summer, 2012.

On Jul 20, 2012, Tom Doherty Associates, publishers of Tor and Forge, is pleased to announce that all of their eBooks are now available DRM-free from Amazon, B&N, Apple, Kobo, Google, and most other major eBook retailers.

“It’s clear to us that this is what our customers want,” said senior editor Patrick Nielsen Hayden. “We see it in the success of SF publishers like Baen and Angry Robot that have preceded us in going DRM-free. To the best of our knowledge we’re the first division of a Big Six publishing conglomerate to go down this road, but we doubt very much that we’ll be the last.”
In fact, there are some other stores sell DRM-free eBooks except above ones. That is similar to many websites that offer free eBooks to audience.

DRM free eBooks on Amazon
Compared with Barnes&Noble, you are able to get more DRM free items from Amazon, some of which are not DRM free eBooks but excerpts or other files. It's likely that if more eBook stores decide to sell DRM-free books, Amazon would not be an exception.

OverDrive, founded in 1986, is based in Cleveland, OH. As a leading digital distributor of eBooks, audiobooks, and other digital content, it delivers secure management, DRM protection and other services for publishers, libraries, schools, and retailers globally. It currently hosts more than 650,000 premium digital titles from more than 1,000 publishers. Its android reading app, OverDrive, has also been proved very helpful.

Carina Press

Baen Books
Baen Books, established in 1983, is an American publishing company aiming at science fiction  and fantasy. According to data from Book Summary, it is likely to belong to the TOP 10 most active publishers of the dedicated SF imprints.

O'Reilly Media
O'Reilly Media, established by Tim O'Reilly in 1978, is an American media company  aiming at books, magazines and Web sites as well as producing conferences on computer technology topics.

Tor and Forge Books
Tor Books, founded in 1980, is a New York-based publisher aiming at science fiction and fantasy titles. Tom Doherty Associates also publishes mainstream fiction, mystery, and occasional military history titles under its Forge imprint. Along with St. Martin's Press, Henry Holt, and Farrar, Straus and Giroux, it is now part of the Holtzbrinck group, now known as Macmillan Publishers. It has won the Locus Magazine poll for best science fiction publisher every year since 1988 and published more award-winning and nominated science fiction books than any other publisher.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Google scanning book, a long battle with publishers

The lawsuit for scanning books between Google and publishers has lasted for 7 years.

According to PaidContent's report, Google stated that all the scanning books qualify as “fair use” under copyright law in a document which submitted by Google last Friday.

Google regards the activity of scanning books conforms to the public benefit, it not only doesn't harm authors and publishers' profit, but also helps them to expend the distribution channel. The company thinks they do not offer the the entire book to be read, they only provide the service of full-text search and this function enables readers to search information much more quickly and easily. 

Google said: "The most significant advance in library search technology in the last five decades". And there is also an author declared that there is no evidence shows the scanning book harms physical book's sales volume. 

Dated back to 2004, Google launched this grand digital library project with the New York Public Library, Harvard University Library,  Stanford University, Bodleian Library and some other grand public libraries. The goal of this project is to scan those treasured collection of books to digital format and upload to Google's data base to build the biggest library in human world. For now, there are more than 20 millions books are scanned and uploaded.

September 2005,  Google was sued by Author Guild and then Google stopped scanning books to digital format, and they told publishers to give the company a list about which books are not allowed to be scanned before November that year, or Google would not delete the scanned books. Before long, Association of American Publishers also sued Google, their president and CEO Pat Schoeder thought Google's logic is bloody ridiculous, they are doing harm to this nation's protection and management of copyright. But there are also many people support Google's practice, they said that Google was sharing the books which were only available to a handful of people to the whole world, it is conducive to the communication of culture and meets up with Internet Age's spirits, "sharing" and "equality".

2008, Google accepted out-of-court settlement and paid $1.25 billion for it, they also set up a Book Rights Registry to specially solve copyright affairs.

2009, Google modified the settlement agreement and decided to pay $60 dollars and 70% of all the incoming from the book to the copyright owner.

March 2011, this settlement agreement was rejected again by the judge.

July 2012, Google submitted the court filings and claim that the scanning of millions of books qualifies as a “fair use” under copyright law.

In my private point of view, Google is not a charity organization, even if they do not sell the scanned books to make profit, they can also increase incoming by ads. This is not about being evil or not, this is the trends of this digital age, although the digital library project is about the books, the core is still SEARCH. 

On the other hand, the digital wave will inevitably make a negative effect on traditional publisher's benefit, what they need to do is to be calm and find the new growth points of their business.