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1. ‘The New World’ Turns Novel Into Digital Experience

Chris 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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2. Capstone Inks Distribution Deal With Scribd’s eBook Service

Children’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.

 

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3. Test an EPUB File With FlightDeck

Formatting 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.

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4. Kindle Flare

Most of you are probably aware by now that I have a plain old e-ink Kindle and that I read on it five days a week during my public transit commute to and from work as well as during my lunch break. When I first started reading on a Kindle five years ago there was hardly anyone one else on the metro train who had an ereader. In fact, I’d frequently have people ask me questions about mine. Now there are so many people reading on ereaders, tablets, phones and iPods that the people actually carrying books are outnumbered.

As someone who loves to spy and see what people are reading, with the increase of digital devices it has become difficult. Though there was a woman yesterday next to me on the train who was obviously reading over my shoulder. It wouldn’t have been so annoying if she had been a bit more surreptitious about it. It was so bad I almost tilted my screen towards her a little and asked if that was better for her. I doubt she was able to figure out what I was reading — Willa Cather’s The Troll Garden. I have considered taping a piece of paper with the title of my book to the inside of my Kindle cover so when I am reading the curious reader will not be left wondering, but I’ve never gotten around to it.

But now The Onion reports the release of the Kindle Flare, a Kindle that will loudly and repeatedly tell everyone what you are reading. And, if you are reading something you aren’t so very proud of, it has an “explanation mode” where it will explain that yes you know the book is trash but you are also reading Infinite Jest.

My favorite feature, however, is “bookshelf mode.” In bookshelf mode you can place your Kindle on you now empty bookshelves (because, you know, you don’t need to buy print books any longer) and it will run through a list of all the books on your Kindle. So it is still possible to impress your friends at parties by the books on your virtual shelves.

I think I’ve got to get me one of those Kindle Flares!

If you haven’t figured it out by now, this is a joke produced by the satirical newspaper The Onion. Unfortunately, The Onion and WordPress would not let me embed the video, so you will need to click on the link above to have a good laugh. Enjoy!


Filed under: Books, ebooks, Humor, Kindle

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5. Copywriting–3 Things You Must Know About Content Writing

Writing Web content is rewarding for many reasons. You […]

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6. Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: August 8

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include book lists, growing bookworms, ebooks, apps, KidLitCon, Cybils, reading, schools, libraries, and summer reading.

Books and Authors

I can't believe that people are protesting The Scarecrows' Wedding b/c the bad guy smokes http://ow.ly/zYVlU via @bkshelvesofdoom

Children’s Lit Questions From Beyond the Grave: A Wild Things! Interview of @SevenImp + @FuseEight by @100scopenotes http://ow.ly/zZ2fS

Book Lists

es! RT @BookChook: @JensBookPage Think u wd like: @BooksBabiesBows Ten Reasons to Read Aloud During Times of Tragedy http://www.booksbabiesandbows.com/2014/06/ten-reasons-to-read-aloud-during-times.html?spref=tw …

New Stacked #BookList and general thoughts from Kimberly on Matriarchal Societies http://ow.ly/zZ2a2 #yalit

Stacked: Get Genrefied: Climate Fiction (Cli-Fi) http://ow.ly/zVYbo #yalit @catagator #BookList

Top Ten Novels in Verse by @katiestrawser @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/zTWpJ #kidlit

THIS is a great resource | Easy Reader Books That Are Actually Easy, selected by @momandkiddo http://ow.ly/zVXDe

Nice list of Back to School Books for different ages from @bankstreetedu http://ow.ly/zTSEw via @ChoiceLiteracy

Children's and YA books featuring unlikely friendships from the SSHEL #Library http://ow.ly/zRc5C #BookList

5 Superhero Comics with Girl Power | Friday’s Five @5M4B http://ow.ly/zRbP1

25 Contemporary Picture Books To Help Parents, Teachers, And Kids Talk About #Diversity @buzzfeed http://ow.ly/A1RrK via @FuseEight

eBooks and Apps

Eight Apps to Support Early Reading and Writing | Cool Tools @ShiftTheDigital http://ow.ly/zZv6r

Important thoughts from @MaryAnnScheuer | Reading Online: How will it affect developing readers? http://ow.ly/zZ0ED

Smartphones: The Silent Killer Of The Web As You Know It @ow at The Next Web via @cmirabile http://ow.ly/zRkWL

Growing Bookworms

Great advice from @TrevorHCairney | Helping toddlers to develop reading comprehension http://ow.ly/zVXip #literacy

#RT @ReadAloud_org Babies are born learning and parents are a child's first and most important teacher. Download our 15 Books & Tips http://www2.readaloud.org/15ReadAloudTips

Raising Readers: The Power of Rereading from @SunlitPages http://ow.ly/zZ37Y #literacy

10 easy tips for keeping the love of books alive in an early childhood classroom | @NorahColvin http://ow.ly/zYW43

Kidlitosphere

On Poetry Friday, @JoneMac53 has A Couple of Announcements about #KidLitCon + the call for #Cybils judges http://ow.ly/zRdZ3

Various interesting #kidlit tidbits in: Morning Notes: See You in 2114 Edition — @100scopenotes http://ow.ly/A56VN

Kidlit PictureRT @KidLitCon: Check out some of the people who will be at this year's #KidLitCon. Will you be there, too? http://t.co/pk1Xzlpcpw

A #Kidlitcon program teaser @charlotteslib (+a note that the deadline for panel ideas has been extended a week) http://ow.ly/zTWrA

Congratulations to @FuseEight + @SevenImp on the publication of Wild Things! Lots of fun stuff planned http://ow.ly/zYXuu

At A Year of Reading, @MaryLeeHahn + @frankisibberson are Celebrating the fabulous @KateMessner http://ow.ly/zRcCR

On Reading, Writing, and Publishing

"Being readers makes us friends" | Happy Esther Day, Nerdy Friends! | @CBethM @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/zTVLN

Gorgeous post on The State of Photography Illustration in 2014 @100scopenotes http://ow.ly/zRewm #kidlit

Interesting: Wikipedia, Amelia Bedelia, and Our Responsibility Regarding Online Sources — @fuseeight http://ow.ly/zRd6s

Programs and Research

New @RalphLauren program has designs to promote kids' #Literacy, 25% of price goes to @ReachOutAndRead http://ow.ly/zYSvJ @Scholastic

Very nice, from SFC Blog: The Y Helps Kids Combat ‘Summer Slide’ http://ow.ly/A1QVQ via @FuseEight #literacy

Scientists Say Child's Play Helps Build A Better Brain, more important than class time | @NPR http://ow.ly/A5lT5  via @PWKidsBookshelf

Schools and Libraries

Love it! A Librarian's Guide to getting to 10,000 Steps in a day from @abbylibrarian http://ow.ly/zTWjU

TEN TIPS FOR A PERFECT AUTHOR VISIT at school by Michael Shoulders | @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/zYWTv #kidlit

Nice idea to encourage reading outside of class | The Phenomenon of the 100 Page Club @stephaseverson @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/zVXYK

Summer Reading

Rocking #SummerReading and STEAM @RIFWEB http://ow.ly/A56jG

#SummerReading Tip36 @aliposner | As we head into August, take a moment to reflect on your kids’ reading lives | http://ow.ly/zTW4c

#SummerReading Tip37 @aliposner | When in transit to your destination this summer, establish some no technology time http://ow.ly/zTWgh

#SummerReading Tip38 @aliposner | Parents of boys, pay special attention to your boys’ reading this summer http://ow.ly/zZ2QI

#SummerReading Tip39 @aliposner | Consider motivating summer reading with some great graphic novels! http://ow.ly/A2GJN

© 2014 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook.

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7. Scribd Redesigns Browser For eBook Subscription Service

eBook 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 $9.99 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.

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8. Reading Online: How will it affect developing readers?

I read with interest a recent New Yorker article, Being a Better Online Reader by Maria Konnikova, and I would love to explore my thoughts on this article. We all are reading much more online than we did ten years ago, but how is this affecting the way young children are developing as readers? How is this affecting the way teachers and librarians help students learn to read, discover a love of reading, and develop their critical thinking skills?


Over the past several years, I have observed these changes:
  • most adults read for work online -- mainly on desktop or laptop computers
  • many adults read for pleasure using digital devices, like the iPad, Kindle or Nook
  • most children (ages 7-12) read primarily print books when reading for pleasure or school
  • students are learning to research online, starting at about age 8-9
  • standardized tests are shifting to online assessments
I feel very strongly that if we are going to start assessing students online, then we need to provide specific experiences and instruction for reading online. Explicit instruction is crucial -- it is unfair to assume that our children are "digital natives" and learn through osmosis how to read online. If we make those assumptions, we will simply reinforce the digital divide that is created by unequal opportunities and access.

Konnikova points out that the way we read online is different than the way we read in print. She steers clear of passing judgment, but rather ponders how this affects the way we acquire knowledge. Konnikova writes,
On screen, people tended to browse and scan, to look for keywords, and to read in a less linear, more selective fashion. On the page, they tended to concentrate more on following the text. Skimming, Liu concluded, had become the new reading: the more we read online, the more likely we were to move quickly, without stopping to ponder any one thought.
I would argue that this skimming is an essential skill for coping with the huge amount of information we have to sift through online. We need to teach our students how we skim effectively. But we also need to talk with them about strategies for when we discover a nugget -- how we need to consciously slow down to digest the information.

Later, Konnikova looks at research that has explored this point -- that we need to teach our students explicit online reading skills:
Julie Coiro, who studies digital reading comprehension in elementary- and middle-school students at the University of Rhode Island, has found that good reading in print doesn’t necessarily translate to good reading on-screen. The students do not only differ in their abilities and preferences; they also need different sorts of training to excel at each medium. The online world, she argues, may require students to exercise much greater self-control than a physical book.
I have noticed this with my own daughter, whose high school is now one-to-one iPad. She likes reading her English texts online because she can annotate them well, but she prefers to read in print if she is just absorbing and enjoying a book.

Schools must specifically teach students in 4th grade and above how to apply their reading skills to digital reading. Starting in elementary school, they need to practice researching online and teachers need to talk about how this might be different from reading a print book. It is essential that our schools invest in technologies, so that teachers and students can learn these skills. But I would also argue that it's essential for schools to invest in librarians who understand this intersection between reading, information and digital experiences.

Adults often ask me if kids will continue reading print books. I believe the answer is absolutely yes. First of all, there's access and quantity issues. Children in first through third grade need to read 10-20 short books every week. They want to browse through physical copies. Schools, libraries and families need access to inexpensive paperbacks. Even highly digital affluent families are reluctant to continue purchasing ebooks at this rate.

I would also argue that there is something more tangible, more comforting, more reassuring for young kids holding print books. Konnikova quotes Maryann Wolf, author of Proust and the Squid, as saying “Physical, tangible books give children a lot of time." Young children need that time. Families need that time.

It is interesting that I read this article online, following a link suggested by KQED's Mindshift blog. But I returned to it several times, reading it in different chunks, rereading it, skimming it again. This type of repeated reading might be what our students need to get comfortable doing, taking the time to dive into ideas and ponder them.

As you watch your children and your students, are you noticing that they are reading digitally more than they were a few years ago? Is the way they are reading changing? The digital world certainly brings more opportunities within easy reach for many students, but how are we preparing them to take advantage of those opportunities?

©2014 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books

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9. NASA is Giving Away Free eBooks

NASA 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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10. E-Book Sales Statistics Every Author Needs to Know Before Signing a Book Deal

This month I read one of the best reports on e-publishi […]

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11. OverDrive Adds EPUB3 Support, Making It Easier to Read Highly Illustrated Files

OverDrive, the largest digital eBook distribution platform for libraries, is now supporting EPUB3 fixed-layout files.

This means that the platform will now be able to properly display highly-illustrated eBooks including such titles as Ancient Rome and Star Wars Jedi Battles, as well as the children’s titles Corduroy and Armadilly Chili.

“OverDrive further extends our leadership with open industry standards utilizing HTML5 along with EPUB3 to open the door to a new world of content for our library and school partners,” stated Alexis Petric-Black, Manager of Publisher Account Services at OverDrive. “The materials and solutions OverDrive partners invest in have long-term compatibility due to this use of open industry standards.”

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12. Liberio Lets You Make an eBook From Google Drive

Want to make an eBook based on files in your Google Drive? A new eBook conversion tool called Liberio has hit the market that lets you do just that.

The platform, which is free with a Google account, allows you to turn any text-based document into an ePUB file directly from Google Drive.  The tool will keep your text format, fonts and images as they are in the Google file. There is even a tool to design your own cover or use a template cover.

Check it out: “We want to make the publishing of eBooks easy for everyone.No matter if you are a teacher, student, designer, artist,engineer or tinkerer, creating and publishing your own booksis now only a push of a button away.”

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13. Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: July 25

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. This week's topics include book lists, diverse books, ebooks, growing bookworms, events, KidLitCon, literacy programs, literacy research, schools, libraries, and summer reading.

Book Lists and Awards

Fun new #BookList from Stacked: Teenage Criminals http://ow.ly/zydPR #yalit

A Tuesday Ten: Magical Time Travel in #kidlit | Views From the Tesseract http://ow.ly/zvU6C

A Tuesday Ten: Speculative #kidlit in which MAPS play a major role | Views From the Tesseract http://ow.ly/zpXU3

2014 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award Finalists Announced | @sljournal http://ow.ly/zt0Oq #yalit

In honor of Apollo XI moon landing anniversary, @FirstBook shares favorite space-inspired books http://ow.ly/zsTGS

Our Top Ten Favorite Picture Book Friendships by @heisereads + @fins025 @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/zpXKp #kidlit

Nice list of 10 family-tested "Great Audiobooks" from @Book_Nut http://ow.ly/zpSN7

First Day of School Books, old and new, recommended @growingbbb http://ow.ly/zpPOa #kidlit

Diverse Books

The 10 LGBT YA Books You Need to Read This Year | Kelly Gallucci @BookishHQ http://ow.ly/zvMAz

An big, categorized LGBTQ TBR List For Any Occasion by Alison Peters @bookriot http://ow.ly/zpTkZ via @catagator

eBooks and Apps

A look at Amazon's new Kindle Unlimited from All Sides — @100scopenotes http://ow.ly/zvTi3 #eBooks

Forbes Says Close The Libraries And Buy Everyone An Amazon Kindle Unlimited Subscription http://buff.ly/1mrHHvf #libraries #ebooks

What Young Adult Publishers and Authors Can Do to Fight E-Book Piracy | Karen Springen @PublishersWkly http://ow.ly/zyG5I

Are Today’s Kids All Thumbs? Touch Matters. Researchers Bring Tactile Learning into Digital Realm @ShiftTheDigital http://ow.ly/zt0I3

Events, Programs, and Research

FirstBookSummer_ReadingNo Kid Hungry: Summer Feeding and Summer Fun @FirstBook blog http://ow.ly/zkiSg #literacy

Press Release Fun @FuseEight | Announcing the Ninth Annual Carle Honors on Sept. 18th http://ow.ly/zydAj

Hillary Clinton launches campaign that recommends reading aloud to children from birth @MercuryNews http://ow.ly/zyeel #literacy

Study finds children who have strong reading skills 'are more intelligent by their mid-teens' | http://ow.ly/zyd10 via @librareanne

Growing Bookworms

Important post! You’ve got them reading–now, how do you keep them that way? | Kathy Higgs-Coulthard @wendy_lawrence http://ow.ly/zpUJU

Grownups: You Can Read YA, and Why Not Read It With Your Kids? | @lori_day @HuffingtonPost via @PWKidsBookshelf http://ow.ly/zsWPw

Teaching My Daughters to Read -- Part IV, Success by @ReadingShahahan http://ow.ly/zpSZN #literacy

"Wimpy Kid" Author's 6 Tips to Hook Reluctant Readers | @CommonSense via @librareanne http://ow.ly/zpDXV

Kidlitosphere

Fusenews: Full of ever-interesting tidbits from @FuseEight, like The Snow Queen – There Can Be Only One http://ow.ly/zpYrR

KidlitCon2014_cubeDon't miss: A Note for Authors and Publishers About #KidLitCon14 from @Book_Nut + @StackingBks http://ow.ly/zpZCU

Still more from Tanita Davis at Finding Wonderland on why you should attend #KidLitCon14 (even/especially introverts) http://ow.ly/zpYNa

"One of the best ways to deepen commitment to #kidlit is meeting other people who share that passion" @MitaliPerkins http://ow.ly/zkiZ8

On Reading, Writing, and Publishing

Why YA needs heroines beyond Katniss Everdeen http://ow.ly/zsWnj @TelegraphBooks via @PWKidsBookshelf #yalit

Thanks for the laugh, @SevenImp + @FuseEight | Celebrity Picture Books: The Gift That Keeps On Giving (laughter) http://ow.ly/zsUi8

The Precocious Ones, overachievers who kick-started their career at eye-poppingly young ages? @SevenImp @FuseEight http://ow.ly/zpR6A

Stacked: A Short Update on a YALSA Policy Change from @catagator http://ow.ly/zpX4g

Things that cause readers to "hit pause" on some books, by @donalynbooks @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/zpTRe

Lovely Infographic: (Canadian) Readers Save the World, shared @bkshelvesofdoom http://ow.ly/zkke7 #literacy @CBCBooks

Schools and Libraries

Why Poor Schools Can’t Win at Standardized Testing (costly textbooks) - Meredith Broussard @TheAtlantic http://ow.ly/zsVR1

Why Do Americans Stink at Math?: NYT article recommended by Jeff Barger http://ow.ly/zyFTZ

Great tips for Supporting Readers During Workshops: The First Few Weeks, by Katie DiCesare @ChoiceLiteracy http://ow.ly/zpE8m

How I Addressed Gender Bias in My Book Club by NC teacher librarian @sedley1 @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/zkjJu

How The Public Library Turned Me Into A Reader by Claire Fallon @HuffPostBooks http://ow.ly/zyGiDvia @PWKidsBookshelf

Summer Reading

#SummerReading Tip31 @aliposner | Make some time for playing board games this summer — they can promote #literacy http://ow.ly/zvUo7

#SummerReading Tip27 @aliposner | Encourage summer writing by authoring books (journals) this summer http://ow.ly/zkk2A

#SummerReading Tip29 @aliposner | Use summer as an opportunity to build your child’s vocabulary! http://ow.ly/zpWFG

I'm tempted by #SummerReading Tip30 @aliposner | have “ice cream only day” with your kids (+ tie in #literacy )! http://ow.ly/zsUGe

© 2014 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook.

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14. Oyster Now Available on Web & Mobile Browsers

eBook subscription service Oyster has expanded beyond apps and is now also available on the web and mobile browsers.

The news comes a week after Amazon revealed that it was getting into the eBook subscription business, steep competition for Oyster who so far has been leading the way in the Netflix-for-books business. According to Oyster, June was the company’s biggest month during which its total subscriber base grew by 35 percent. The company also revealed that there are more than 3 million pages read on Oyster a day.

The new platform will help make it more accessible to readers that do not have smartphones or tablets to read on.
“Knowing that about a third of ebook readers regularly read on the web, we’ve had our sights set on this launch for some time,” explained Eric Stromberg, Co-Founder and CEO of Oyster, in a statement. “This marks an important next step on our mission to provide the best product on as many devices as possible.”

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15. Ben Cameron: Publishers Need to Match the Book to the Medium

Book publicist Ben Cameron believes that publishers have a long way to go before they get eBooks right. In a piece penned for The Huffington Post, Cameron recounts his experience of reading The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy on his Kindle.

The book itself is an eBook, according to the storyline, yet Cameron points out that the publisher didn’t go anything to take advantage of this fact when creating the eBook. Instead of making it interactive, they simply took the print files and digitized them.

Here is more from his piece: “At the moment publishers are quickly churning out ebook versions of the mainstays of their print backlists. But more often than not they are doing so without giving a moment’s thought to making even the simplest of changes to the printed book. So we end up with an introduction to an ebook that sings the praises of paperbacks or ebook cover images taken straight from printed books that boast of illustrations – when the illustrations have been stripped from the ebook editions.”

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16. Oyster Responds to Amazon’s Entry Into eBook Subscription Market

Oyster, 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.

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17. Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: July 18

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include authors, book lists, the Cybils, common core, aging, ebooks, apps, growing bookworms, kidlitcon, reading, writing, play, schools, libraries, and summer reading.

Books and Authors

Stories from authors about school visits "gone terribly wrong" at Wild Things blog http://ow.ly/zcwJO  @SevenImp @FuseEight

75 Years Old, Still Showing off her Scar, fun details about Madeline from @SevenImp + @FuseEight at Wild Things blog http://ow.ly/z94Jk 

Book Lists and Awards

Amazon-backed Booktrust Best Book Awards‘ Lifetime Achievement Award turned down by Allan Ahlberg | @TheBookseller http://ow.ly/z3OLT 

The Wildest (bold + unique) Children’s Books of 2014 as picked by @100scopenotes http://ow.ly/zcxat  #kidlit

Teen blogger Summer from @miss_fictional looks back on Favorite Books from her Childhood http://ow.ly/z5flg  #kidlit

Who knew that there could be a list of Top 5 Picture Books about Ninjas? @rosemondcates could! http://ow.ly/z3KJl  #kidlit

Thanks! RT @145lewis: #CYBILS are an amazing resource Looking for summer reading ideas? http://dadtalk.typepad.com/cybils/finalists/ … #kidlit #edchat #elemed

Common Core and STEM

#CommonCore Becomes Touchy Subject for Governors Group, reports @WSJ, as both parties are internally split on CC http://ow.ly/z5fA0 

Tap the STEM Resources in Your Community! | ALSC Blog post for librarians by @amyeileenk http://ow.ly/z3KzZ 

Diversity

RT @tashrow 5 Stereotypes Positive Aging Picture Books Avoid | Lindsey McDivitt http://buff.ly/1zmZLk9  #kidlit

eBooks and Apps

RT @TWhitford: Great Apps To Introduce Coding to Young Kids http://goo.gl/uUdGX0  via @mattBgomez

Malorie Blackman: ‘I love gadgets, but e-reading has to be carefully handled’ | @GuardianBooks http://ow.ly/z3P8z  via @PWKidsBookshelf

Growing Bookworms

What Do Phonics, Phonemic Awareness and Decoding Mean? @CoffeeandCrayon has the scoop http://ow.ly/zeLEb  #literacy

How #Comics Create Life-Long Readers -- @MaryAnnScheuer interview with @jenniholm http://ow.ly/zeLPW  #kidlit #literacy

Teaching My Daughters to Read -- Part III, Phonics from @ReadingShahahan http://ow.ly/zcvyn  #literacy

RT @LiteracySpeaks: 5 Simple Ways to Improve Reading Comprehension from This Reading Mama! http://fb.me/6BtWnEOln 

Fun times @everead | How I Stopped My Children's Whining with Story Club http://ow.ly/z5eUD  #literacy

KidLitCon

KidlitCon2014_cubeBOOM: And we are LIVE! Why you should attend this year's KidLitCon, from co-organizer Tanita Davis, FindingWonderland http://ow.ly/zcvbM 

The registration form for #KidLitCon14 Oct. 10-11 in Sacramento is now live: http://ow.ly/zc0lr  A great way to see friends + talk books

October will be here soon, soon, soon — @bkshelvesofdoom is coming to #KidLitCon14 Are you? http://ow.ly/z3GYs 

RT @CBethM: The 8th Annual @KidLitCon - Spending Time Face-to-Face with Kindred Spirits by @JensBookPage #nerdybookclub http://wp.me/p21t9O-1zS 

On Reading, Writing, and Publishing

On having (and integrating) multiple Reading Lives by Kristin McIlhagga @TeachChildLit @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/z94kV 

Cultivating Curiosity, on love of stories vs. love of words at So Obsessed With blog http://ow.ly/z94SO  via @catagator

Food for thought at Stacked: Growing Up, Leaving Some Books (Narnia) Behind by @kimberlymarief http://ow.ly/zi3Ac  #kidlit

Why Book Reviewers Would Make Awesome Authors, by @Miss_Fictional http://ow.ly/zcvDd 

A proposal from @100scopenotes | All Middle Grade Novels Should Be 192 Pages. No Exceptions. Thoughts? http://ow.ly/zcvYJ 

Here's what @medinger thinks about @100scopenotes idea for Putting a Stop to Middle Grade Novel’s Increasing Girth http://ow.ly/zcwej 

Confessions Of A Binge Reader (Or, How I Read So Much) | Ryan Holiday at Thought Catalog http://ow.ly/z3LKY  via @tashrow

Why Readers, Scientifically, Are The Best People To Fall In Love With @EliteDaily http://ow.ly/z3NZQ  via @librareanne

On Kids

How Much Activity Do Our Students Need? asks @katsok How do you help kids who can't sit still, in era of less recess? http://ow.ly/z92pA 

Did What You Played as a Kid Influence Who You Became as an Adult? asks @FreeRangeKids http://ow.ly/z933H 

Powerful post @KirbyLarson by Michelle Houts on adults looking back and regretting childhood acts of bullying http://ow.ly/z3K36 

Schools and Libraries

Bridging the Gap: Making #Libraries More Accessible for a Diverse Autistic Population | @sljournal http://ow.ly/z3Omk 

Corporal Punishment in Schools: Can it be Justified? @TrevorHCairney thinks it's not the right approach http://ow.ly/zi3el 

Top 10 Ways to Turn Classroom into a Hotbed of Enthusiastic Readers by @megangreads + @muellerholly @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/z5eFi 

Summer Reading

This could keep us busy for the rest of the summer! 50 Fabulous Movies based on Children's Books from @rosemondcates http://ow.ly/zcvGP 

#SummerReading Tip20 @aliposner Set up your vacation accommodations in ways that make literacy more likely to occur http://ow.ly/z3LbF 

#SummerReading Tip21 @aliposner Encourage your kids to author “vacation books” when you are traveling this summer http://ow.ly/z5eOF 

#SummerReading Tip25 @aliposner | Read the SAME BOOK that your child is reading independently + discuss it together http://ow.ly/zeM9u 

#SummerReading Tip26 @aliposner | Try to connect reading to your kids’ summer activities http://ow.ly/zi3mT #literacy

Reading Is Fundamental Study Says Summer Reading Is Not Priority | reports Lauren Barack @sljournal http://ow.ly/z3OeW  @RIFWEB

© 2014 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook

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18. Are Ebooks a Threat to the Humanities

You all probably know by now that I am fascinated by the print versus digital book debate. I don’t know why. Most of the time I would really like to stop reading yet one more article about how ebooks and the internet are ruining our ability to read. But I can’t help myself. It’s like when someone tells you “don’t look” and you immediately turn around to look. So when I saw an email news update from The Chronicle of Higher Education today with a headline: How E-Reading Threatens the Humanities, I absolutely had to click through.

The piece, written by a professor of linguistics who has a book coming out later this year on reading in a digital world, is gloomy and bemoans the loss of concentration that ebooks have inflicted upon us, particularly college students. There is nothing new to glean from her essay or, from the sound of it, the large survey she did of U.S., German and Japanese university students.

Students are distracted and reading on a screen encourages distraction. Students themselves said they prefer reading print books because they concentrate better. The author worries about ereading and the humanities because the humanities is built around sustained, deep reading of often lengthy work. But with professors and libraries foisting digital texts on students and students themselves spending so much time in front of a screen anyway, their ability to read deeply is eroding fast.

Imagine wrestling with Finnegan’s Wake while simultaneously juggling Facebook and booking a vacation flight.

Now I had to laugh at that. Considering the reputation Finnegan’s Wake has for being a nearly impossible book to read, I thought, well hey, maybe trying to read it while multitasking could actually work. A distracted brain might be able to make more sense of it than one directing all its focused attention at it. It would be like those posters where in order to see the picture you have to unfocus your eyes, turn around in circles, clap you hands three times and stand on one foot. I’ve never been able to see the picture, in fact I am almost convinced there is no picture to see and those who claim to see one are only saying do because they don’t want to be that person. Kind of like the Emperor’s New Clothes Syndrome.

But what really made me laugh in a “it’s not supposed to be funny but it is” kind of way is the response from one of the students surveyed to the questions “What is the one thing you like least about reading in print?” Of course it had to be an American student who wrote:

It takes me longer because I read more carefully.

Towards the beginning of the essay the author mentions that a 2011 study of college freshmen found that 86% say their top reason for attending college is so they can get a better job.

Now, couldn’t it be true that the student who doesn’t like to read print because it takes longer is frustrated because s/he does not see how reading Paradise Lost will help with getting a good job? Perhaps that student thinks it is more important to spend time concentrating on the reading for a class in business or working on the coding assignment for a computer science class? Isn’t it possible that fewer students are pursuing degrees in the humanities not because ereading has ruined their ability for deep reading but because those who work in the humanities aren’t very good at making a case for how a degree in English literature will get you a good paying job?

I’m not saying that the internet and ebooks has had no effect on how we read. What I’m suggesting is that there is probably more going on; that the threat to the humanities is not ebooks but a bunch of things with ebooks being at the bottom of the list of what to worry about. What do you think?


Filed under: ebooks

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19. The Effectiveness of Free eBooks is Declining: Smashwords

Offering 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. (more…)

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

Open 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?

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21. ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ Hits eBook Stores

To 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.

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22. Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: July 11

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include authors, awards, book lists, diversity, growing bookworms, kidlitcon, blogging, ebooks, teaching, and summer reading.

Authors and Books

The Rise Of Young Adult Authors On The Celebrity 100 List by @natrobe @forbes http://ow.ly/yVSB6 via @PWKidsBookshelf

Nice tidbits about author James Marshall, “Wicked Angel”, on the Wild Things blog http://ow.ly/yXQ4M @SevenImp @FuseEight

Thank You, @NerdyBookClub says @StudioJJK on dedication of new anthology w/ @jenni @mattholm + others http://ow.ly/yVA3v

Read J.K. Rowling's new short story about grown-up Harry Potter + friends @today http://ow.ly/yVyWK via @bkshelvesofdoom

Ludwig Bemelmans’s Madeline Celebrates a Milestone (happy 75th!) @NYTimes http://ow.ly/yVSGt  via @PWKidsBookshelf

Author Interview: Five questions for @varianjohnson from @HornBook http://ow.ly/yYlDd 

Book Lists and Awards

2014 South Asia Book Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature via @MitaliPerkins http://ow.ly/yIP71

Loved Ed DeCaria's answer to What are the best poems for kids? on Quora. He recommends the #Cybils lists http://ow.ly/yVSnQ @edecaria

Get On Board: SLJ Selects A Bevy of Board Books | @sljournal #kidlit http://ow.ly/yVxfQ

Top Ten Schneider Award Favorites of the 2014 Schneider Award Jury by Peg Glisson @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/yS3cf #kidlit

A Top Ten List: Book that Heal by @MsLReads @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/yOoR3 #kidlit #yalit

Read Me a Bedtime Story, recommended bedtime books from @growingbbb http://ow.ly/yRWgb #kidlit

A Tuesday Ten: Diverse Stories in Speculative Fiction | Views From the Tesseract http://ow.ly/yN8qy #Diversity

UK Booktrust Best Book Awards announced, @tashrow has the list http://ow.ly/yKP72

3 family-tested read-aloud chapter books @SunlitPages | Mrs. Piggle Wiggle's Magic, Runaway Ralph, Ramona the Pest http://ow.ly/yKQvF

Great selections! 18 Picture Books Guaranteed To Make You Laugh Out Loud Or At Least Smile @Loveofxena @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/z0xjS 

Diversity

How to Build a Bestseller with Non-White Characters | @chavelaque @sljournal on @varianjohnson + #diveristy http://ow.ly/yKNXn

Sure #WeNeedDiverseBooks but don’t forget #WeNeedMoreWalterDeanMyerses too, suggests @fuseeight http://ow.ly/yKRID

"diversity in fiction is about presenting the world through different viewpoints" Tanita Davis quotes @diversityinya http://ow.ly/yXRq9

Diversity Movement Gains Visibility at ALA Annual, wirtes Wendy Stephens | @sljournal #WeNeedDiverseBooks http://ow.ly/yVx2Z

Growing Bookworms

What do I get if I read this? A call against the use of external prizes in reading programs for kids from @HornBook http://ow.ly/yVxTr

Shanahan on #Literacy: Teaching My Daughters to Read: Part 2, Print Awareness (point at the words at least sometimes) http://ow.ly/yS0uv

How to Read Stories to a Very Active Child, tips from @Booksforchildrn http://ow.ly/yN8KO

Born Reading: An Interview with Jason Boog — @fuseeight http://ow.ly/z0y0Z  #GrowingBookworms #literacy

I liked this post on The #Literacy Benefits of Family Dinners @growingbbb | Some excellent points http://ow.ly/z0wQm 

Kidlitosphere

KidlitCon2014_cube#KidLitCon14 in Sacramento, California, why @semicolonblog wants to hitch a ride i your suitcase to go http://ow.ly/yN8uT

#KidLitCon14 Update: Call for Session Proposals is Up! reports @aquafortis (co-organizer) http://ow.ly/yKPbP

#KidlitCon14 | Call for Session Proposals @book_nut http://ow.ly/yKJPN | Blogging #diversity in YA and children's lit

Wild Things!: Website and Book Launch from @SevenImp + @FuseEight | #kidlit fans will want to check this out! http://ow.ly/yRV91

On Reading, Writing, Blogging, and Publishing

Why digital vs. print reading should not be an either/or conversation, by @frankisibberson http://ow.ly/yS3Zo #eBooks

Insights from @catagator at Stacked: The Three C's of the Changing Book Blogging World, credits, comments, + crit http://ow.ly/yRYJa

Stacked: Reader Advocacy, Speaking Up + Ducking Out: On @catagator Quitting 2015 Printz committee. Go Kelly, I say! http://ow.ly/yKSXG

Schools and Libraries

Why Should Educators Blog? | @ReadByExample shares several reasons: http://ow.ly/yXQom

Should We Be Quantifying Our Students’ Reading Abilities? asks @ReadByExample @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/yKRlX

Too Soon for Technology?: The latest on digital use by preschoolers | @sljournal http://ow.ly/yVwRi #libraries

Summer Reading

Better than the title suggests: How to Trick Your Kids Into Reading All Summer Long @TheAtlantic via @librareanne http://ow.ly/yXOCj

Some experiences w/ #SummerReading programs from @SunlitPages + request for feedback from blog readers http://ow.ly/yVARq

Raising Summer Readers Tip #12: Schedule a few social gatherings that celebrate books and #SummerReading | @aliposner http://ow.ly/yKS38

This one very important! #SummerReading Tip #13: Read aloud to your kids, even if they are great readers! @aliposner http://ow.ly/yN8fr

Raising Summer Readers Tip #14: Remember to make reading aloud interactive! | @aliposner #SummerReading http://ow.ly/yOoM1

This sounds like fun! Tip #15 from @aliposner | Pair books with movies to add some fun into #SummerReading | http://ow.ly/yRXGU

#SummerReading Tip #16 @aliposner : TALK about your plans for reading while on vacation BEFORE your travel begins http://ow.ly/yRY0a

#SummerReading Tip #17 from @aliposner | Raise kids who view packing books as a traveling necessity http://ow.ly/yVAxa

#SummerReading Tip#18 @aliposner | For reluctant vacation readers, wrap a book to read aloud for each day of vacation http://ow.ly/yXPKy 

#SummerReading Tip #19 @aliposner | When en route to your vacation destination, take advantage of captive audience! http://ow.ly/z0yzc 

© 2014 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook.

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23. Comic: Another Advantage Of Print Books

0 Comments on Comic: Another Advantage Of Print Books as of 7/13/2014 10:55:00 AM
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24. New bookish comic, with thanks to @Catelli_NQU for the caption!

0 Comments on New bookish comic, with thanks to @Catelli_NQU for the caption! as of 7/15/2014 12:03:00 PM
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25. Scholastic to Go Multi-Platform With Upcoming TombQuest Series

Scholastic 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.

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