I came across this today, and thought many of you might find it interesting. It seems (despite how those offerings may have compared to computer game bundles) that Humble Bundle's e-book and audiobook offerings have been considered a success and are looking to continue (or even expand).
Help us choose a book as the December 2013 eBook for the MobileRead Book Club. The poll will be open for 5 days. There will be no runoff vote unless the voting results a tie, in which case there will be a 3 day run-off poll. This is a visible poll: others can see how you voted. It is You may cast a vote for each book that appeals to you.
We will start the discussion thread for this book on March 20th. Select from the following Official Choices with three nominations each:
The Worst Journey in the World, by Apsley Cherry-Garrard (1922) As War and Peace is to novels, so is The Worst Journey in the World to the literature of polar travel: the one to beat. The author volunteered as a young man to go to the Antarctic with Robert Falcon Scott in 1910; that, and writing this book, are the only things of substance he ever did in life. They were enough. The expedition set up camp on the edge of the continent while Scott waited to go for the Pole in the spring. But first, Cherry-Garrard and two other men set out on a midwinter trek to collect emperor penguin eggs. It was a heartbreaker: three men hauling 700 pounds (318 kilograms) of gear through unrelieved darkness, with temperatures reaching 50, 60, and 70 degrees below zero (-46, -51, and -57 degrees Celsius); clothes frozen so hard it took two men to bend them. But Cherry-Garrard's greater achievement was to imbue everything he endured with humanity and even humor. And—as when he describes his later search for Scott and the doomed South Pole team—with tragedy as well. His book earns its preeminent place on this list by captivating us on every level: It is vivid; it is moving; it is unforgettable.
— National Geographic Books, 2002.
• On the Trail of Genghis Khan: An Epic Journey Through the Land of the Nomads by Tim Cope Amazon US / Kobo
From National Geographic:
In 2004, explorer Tim Cope set out to travel 6,000 miles by horse from Mongolia to Hungary across the great Eurasian Steppe. It was a quest to retrace the route taken by Mongolian conquerors, who under Genghis Khan created the largest empire in history, and an odyssey into the spirit of the nomadic way of life. As described in his new book, On the Trail of Genghis Khan, Cope, accompanied by his canine companion, Tigon, and the occasional camel, spent more than three years in the saddle. From the ice-capped Altai Mountains to the burning heat of the Kazakh desert, Cope experienced both rugged trails and nomad hospitality—the linchpin of survival on the steppe. He traveled across a kaleidoscope of countries and came to a deep understanding of the steppe’s rich and diverse nomadic peoples—their rich heritage and the precarious place that the traditional culture finds itself in the modern era. Journey with the 2006 Australian Adventurer of the Year on his fascinating epic across time and space.
• Allan Quatermain by H. Rider Haggard Patricia Clark Memorial Library:Kindle / ePub
The sequel to King Solomon's Mines. Allan, and the Zulu warrior, Umslopogaas, find a lost civilization in the heart of Africa.
• Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne No links provided.
With all the flash and fireworks of Wolfe's writing, it's easy to overlook that, at bottom, he's a great reporter. And this long and intimate look into the lives, minds, and deeds of the men who rode the first American rockets into space remains Wolfe's best book and the first true classic from the dawn of space exploration. The race with the Russians, the dauntless Chuck Yeager—Wolfe piles story upon story, and the pile glows.
• South: The Endurance Expedition to Antarctica by Ernest Shackleton Patricia Clark Memorial Library:Kindle
This is one of the most astonishing and heroic true stories ever told. Shackleton's expedition to Antarctica and his amazing exploits are the stuff of legend. One reader on the Amazon site had this to say:
"If you thought you were a hard man - read this book, THEY were hard men. They never complained - except that -20°F was too warm!! Hard to credit this happened not quite a century ago. Rubbish equipment, rubbish food, no contact with the outside world for months at a time. A walk over South Georgia, over the glaciers at 4000 feet in rotten boots and torn clothing! Barely believable. After reading this you will think twice about complaining about anything ever again!!!"
It is available free from Project Gutenberg and Amazon or one can buy it in a number of formats quite easily and inexpensively. There is also a fascinating DVD about the expedition.
A powerful, blazingly honest memoir: the story of an eleven-hundred-mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe—and built her back up again.
At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother's death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and to do it alone. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker, and the trail was little more than “an idea, vague and outlandish and full of promise.” But it was a promise of piecing back together a life that had come undone.
Strayed faces down rattlesnakes and black bears, intense heat and record snowfalls, and both the beauty and loneliness of the trail. Told with great suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild vividly captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.
• Sailing Alone Around the World by Joshua Slocum Patricia Clark Memorial Library:ePub
Classic of sea adventure conveys all the excitement of being the first man to sail around the world, alone, in small boat. Pirates, perils, witty observations, stories. 67 illustrations.
About the Author:
Joshua Slocum was a Canadian-American seaman and adventurer, a noted writer, and the first man to sail single-handedly around the world. In 1900 he told the story of this in Sailing Alone Around the World. He disappeared in November 1909 while aboard his boat, the Spray.
"This book has literary merit, thoughtful and beautifully written and packed with incident." - The Nautical Magazine
"As a writer Slocum is given to plain understatement, dry wit, wry humor and Yankee observations about nature that led some to call him a sea-locked Thoreau. ... he offers descriptive glances at the sea, in storm or calm, that can rival those of Joseph Conrad." - Smithsonian
"A literary gem, adroitly and engagingly written." - National Fisherman
"A literate and absorbing yarn published in 1900 and still in print... His story is a convincing tale of the intelligence, skill and fortitude that drove a master navigator." - The New York Times
"One of the most readable books in the whole library of adventure." - Sports Illustrated
"Yet, he seems to almost casually find his way around the world, meeting interesting people, avoiding mishaps and just generally having a great time." - Amazon Reviewer (Robert R. Briggs)
"Fantastic adventure! ... He writes about the practical and technical challenges of long distance sailing in the 19th century and about his encounters with the peoples and tribes on his route. The writing style is short and factual, but that almost makes the impression even stronger given that more often than not Joshua Slocum had to face death and only escaped with the narrowest of margins." - Amazon Reviewer (Robert Pajor)
"Sailing Alone Around the World is a great read, and the adventure it describes is an amazing testament to courage, perseverance, and the human spirit of exploration." - Amazon Reviewer (Carlene Garrick)
Today the account of one of our moderators was compromised. As a result an attacker used this account at 8:41 AM EDT and injected malicious cross-site-scripting code into our forum software with the goal to gain access to the database. At 9:19 AM EDT team members discovered and removed the code and locked down the compromised account. Due to existing safety measures, access to the database did not occur.
Given the nature of this attack, we contacted everyone who loaded the malicious code (around 30 members) with the suggestion to proactively change their user passwords.
Summary: Nook revenues down 50% from last year. Retail store revenues down 6.3%, but profits are up. Nook lost 26% of employees. They are talking to hardware partners to launch a new color device in early fiscal 2015, to "reverse the content sales decline."
I wonder what the price of this new tablet will be and whether they intend to offer two sizes as they have in the past.
In our first two reports, we concentrated on Amazon’s e-book sales. We analyzed the top 7,000 e-books in three bestselling genres [link]. Then we followed up with a look at all 54,000 ranked bestselling e-books on Amazon in a single day snapshot [link]. We now turn our attention to the next bestselling book and e-book retailer, Barnes & Noble. The methodology is the same. Barnes & Noble’s online store lists overall ranking for their e-books, and as with Amazon, current rank generally correlates with daily sales.1 We determined sales rates based on the sales of our own books and from data gathered from other authors. In all cases, the rates we collected were within 20% of each other. Adjusting rates even beyond this margin of error does not alter the percentages of market share shown in our pie charts — it simply adjusts the overall size of the pie.
Last year, Barnes & Noble reported that 25% of the Nook market was made up of self-published works [link]. We were curious to see if this meant 25% of the bestselling titles were self-published, 25% of the sales came from self-published e-books, or if self-published e-book sales accounted for 25% of the gross dollar market. As always, our primary concern here is where authors are doing better, sale for sale. It doesn’t help authors to say that 70% of the book market is in print if only a small fraction of that money ends up in authors’ pockets [link]. What we want to see is the combined effect of royalty rate, sales volume, and sale price. These three factors combine to give us a true picture of comparative earnings, as shown in our pie charts.
Basically: no, it's not just Amazon.
But, since this is B&N, there are caveats:
There are two reported issues with the e-book rankings on B&N.com that we feel obliged to point out. The first is reports that Barnes & Noble leases top spots on its charts to major publishers, much as it merchandises books in favorable positions in its stores. The second issue is that indie authors writing in the romance and erotica genres have reported suppressed ranking due to the covers or content of their works. If either of these issues are at play in our data, they would cause our graphs to err in favor of Big 5 publishers, as merchandised books would count for more than they ought to and suppressed self-published books would account for less. Our conclusions are only strengthened if such manipulation is taking place, which is why we are comfortable reporting our findings without taking them into account. As can be seen in the charts above, self-published authors can afford to give up advantages wherever possible while still coming out on top.
Russian handset maker Yota Devices has revealed details of its second generation e-ink display equipped YotaPhone today at Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona.
The new device follows in the footsteps of the original, but shows a maturation of the technology concepts it was showing off first time around. For example, while the new model does still sport two screens, with one of them being a low-power e-ink affair, both are now full touchscreen displays allowing for easier control and extra functionality.