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Sat January 24 2015

MobileRead Week in Review: 01/17 - 01/24

07:00 AM by Alexander Turcic in Miscellaneous | Week in Review

Gosh we've talked a lot this week. Here's your weekly round up of MobileRead's events.

E-Book General - News

E-Book General - Reading Recommendations


Fri January 23 2015

Amazon launches eTextbook creator

10:21 AM by fjtorres in E-Book General | News

Via Fortune: today announced KDP EDU, a new segment of Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) designed to help educators and authors easily prepare, publish, and promote eTextbooks and other educational content for students to access on a broad range of devices, including Fire tablets, iPad, iPhone, Android smartphones and tablets, Mac, and PC. Educators and authors can use the public beta of Amazon’s new Kindle Textbook Creator tool to easily turn PDFs of their textbooks and course materials into Kindle books. Once the book is ready, authors can upload it to KDP in just a few simple steps to reach students worldwide. Get started today at

Books created with Kindle Textbook Creator offer features for students and other readers that enhance the learning experience, including:

Multi-Color Highlighting—Highlight and categorize key concepts for easy reference.
Notebook—Capture key passages, images and bookmarks and automatically add them to the notebook. Students can add their own notes and easily access them from one location.
Flashcards—Create flashcards and study important terms, concepts, and definitions in each chapter with a simple, easy-to-use interface.
Dictionary—Find definitions and Wikipedia information for difficult terms to improve retention.
Buy Once, Read Everywhere—Read eTextbooks on the most popular devices students use, including Fire tablets, iPad, iPhone, Android tablets and smartphones, Mac, and PC.

More at the source and Amazon.

No mention of the eink readers but with the multicolor highlighting they're obviously targetting tablets.

[ 14 replies ]

Tue January 20 2015

February 2015 Book Club Nominations

01:01 AM by WT Sharpe in Reading Recommendations | Book Clubs

MobileRead Book Club
February 2015 Nominations

Help us select the book that the MobileRead Book Club will read for February, 2015.

The nominations will run through midnight EST January 31 or until 10 books have made the list. The poll will then be posted and will remain open for five days.

Book selection category for February is:


In order for a book to be included in the poll it needs THREE NOMINATIONS (original nomination, a second and a third).

How Does This Work?
The Mobile Read Book Club (MRBC) is an informal club that requires nothing of you. Each month a book is selected by polling. On the last week of that month a discussion thread is started for the book. If you want to participate feel free. There is no need to "join" or sign up. All are welcome.

How Does a Book Get Selected?
Each book that is nominated will be listed in a poll at the end of the nomination period. The book that polls the most votes will be the official selection.

How Many Nominations Can I Make?
Each participant has 3 nominations. You can nominate a new book for consideration or nominate (second, third) one that has already been nominated by another person.

How Do I Nominate a Book?
Please just post a message with your nomination. If you are the FIRST to nominate a book, please try to provide an abstract to the book so others may consider their level of interest.

How Do I Know What Has Been Nominated?
Just follow the thread. This message will be updated with the status of the nominations as often as I can. If one is missed, please just post a message with a multi-quote of the 3 nominations and it will be added to the list ASAP.

When is the Poll?
The poll thread will open at the end of the nomination period, or once there have been 10 books with 3 nominations each. At that time a link to the initial poll thread will be posted here and this thread will be closed.

The floor is open to nominations. Please comment if you discover a nomination is not available as an ebook in your area.

Official choices with three nominations each:

(1) The fault in Our Stars by John Green
Goodreads | Amazon US / Barnes & Noble US / Google Play US / Kobo US / Overdrive UK / Overdrive US

A medical miracle may have bought Hazel a few years, but she’s still a terminal time bomb, suffering from stage IV cancer. At a support group for her illness, she meets fellow cancer survivor Augustus Waters, a boy who pretends to smoke cigarettes and has a prosthetic leg. With a shared obsession for the novel An Imperial Affliction and a similar sense of sarcasm, the two fall in love, despite their inevitable fate. John Green’s story is honest and hilarious, exposing the fear, anger, and sadness that accompanies a terminal illness.

(2) The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
Patricia Clark Memorial Library: ePub / ePub (Complete Works) / Kindle | Feedbooks / Google Play / ManyBooks / Project Gutenberg

The Age of Innocence (1920) is a novel by Edith Wharton, which won the 1921 Pulitzer Prize. The story occurs among New York City's upper class in the 1870s, before electricity, telephone, and automobiles; when there was a small cluster of old, "aristocratic" Revolutionary War-stock families who ruled New York's social life; when being was better than doing; when occupation and abilities were secondary to blood connections (heredity and family); when reputation and appearances excluded every thing and every one not of one's caste; and when Fifth Avenue was so deserted by nightfall that it was possible to follow Society's comings and goings, by spying who went to what house.

(3) Ali and Nino: A Love Story by Kurban Said

First published in Vienna in 1937, this classic story of romance and adventure has been compared to Dr. Zhivago and Romeo and Juliet. Its mysterious author was recently the subject of a feature article in the New Yorker, which has inspired a forthcoming biography. Out of print for nearly three decades until the hardcover re-release last year, Ali and Nino is Kurban Said's masterpiece. It is a captivating novel as evocative of the exotic desert landscape as it is of the passion between two people pulled apart by culture, religion, and war.

(4) Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Amazon Australia

As a child, Kathy – now thirty-one years old – lived at Hailsham, a private school in the scenic English countryside where the children were sheltered from the outside world, brought up to believe that they were special and that their well-being was crucial not only for themselves but for the society they would eventually enter. Kathy had long ago put this idyllic past behind her, but when two of her Hailsham friends come back into her life, she stops resisting the pull of memory.

And so, as her friendship with Ruth is rekindled, and as the feelings that long ago fueled her adolescent crush on Tommy begin to deepen into love, Kathy recalls their years at Hailsham. She describes happy scenes of boys and girls growing up together, unperturbed – even comforted – by their isolation. But she describes other scenes as well: of discord and misunderstanding that hint at a dark secret behind Hailsham’s nurturing facade. With the dawning clarity of hindsight, the three friends are compelled to face the truth about their childhood–and about their lives now.

(5) Latakia by JF Smith
Amazon Australia / SmashWords

Matthew likes his life in Richmond. He has his friends and his softball and his volunteer work. And he has a very good-looking boyfriend, Brian, who he’s been happily dating for over a year now. So what if his friends tend to question just how good his boyfriend is, and so what if Brian tends to have inexplicable mood swings. And so what if Brian seems to invite Matt’s suspicions on occasion. If he just shows a little faith and trust, he’ll appreciate what he has with Brian the way he should. Right?

But suddenly, Matt finds himself in a desperate life-or-death situation on a trip overseas, and he realizes just how much he misses home, and Brian. He’s luckily rescued by a team of US Spec-Ops Forces, only to find out they’re a bunch of bigoted jerks. Worse, a quirk of his situation forces him to spend time with them that he’d rather not. And that’s when he finds out that first impressions can be misleading. When called upon, he steps up when every fiber of his being tells him not to, and discovers something deep inside himself that he didn’t realize was even there. And his life will never be the same. He finds that he can, after all, make some very overdue changes in his own life.

What Matt doesn’t realize is that the bond of brotherhood runs both ways. And he winds up changing the lives of several of the men on that Spec-Ops team as much as they changed his.

All it takes is faith and trust.

(6) Tigers and Devils by Sean Kennedy
Amazon Australia

The most important things in Simon Murray’s life are football, friends, and film—in that order. His friends despair of him ever meeting someone, but despite his loneliness, Simon is cautious about looking for more. Then his best friends drag him to a party, where he barges into a football conversation and ends up defending the honour of star forward Declan Tyler—unaware that the athlete is present. In that first awkward meeting, neither man has any idea they will change each other's lives forever.

Like his entire family, Simon revels in living in Melbourne, the home of Australian Rules football and mecca for serious fans. There, players are treated like gods—until they do something to fall out of public favour. This year, the public is taking Declan to task for suffering injuries outside his control, so Simon's support is a bright spot.

But as Simon and Declan fumble toward a relationship, keeping Declan's homosexuality a secret from well-meaning friends and an increasingly suspicious media becomes difficult. Nothing can stay hidden forever. Soon Declan will have to choose between the career he loves and the man he wants, and Simon has never been known to make things easy—for himself or for others.

(7) Echoes by Maeve Binchy
Goodreads | Amazon UK / Amazon US / Barnes & Noble UK / Barnes & Noble US / Kobo

From Goodreads:

"It was sometimes called the echo cave, and if you shouted your question loud enough in the right direction, you got an answer instead of an echo..."
Clare and David--divided as children by a rigid social code that branded her as shanty Irish and him as gentry...brought together as adults by a desire that knew no class, no barriers, only the urgent hunger of two people destined to love--and ready to defy a world determined to keep them apart.

Even at fifteen, David Power knew the echo would answer eleven-year-old Clare O'Brien's dearest wish, to win a school prize. But it was years before Dr. Power's cherished only son saw in the huckster's daughter the answer to his own heart's desire.

Here in Castlebay, perched precariously on the seaside cliffs, the lines between them were clearly drawn. Clare's only hope is to leave the town where time stopped, propelled by scholarships to Dublin, fueled by her own drive and brilliance, far from the insular, gossipy world of Castlebay and those in its thrall... Angela O'Hara, beautiful, isolated, a teacher trapped in the convent school, who risks everything to help Clare escape... Gerry Doyle, the town charmer who finds in Clare the woman he vows to have at any price... Caroline Nolan, the beautiful, rich outsider who comes to plunder...

For Clare, that was before the wild freedom of Dublin, and love. And David. Before fate drove them back to Castlebay, and the past...

[ 67 replies ]

Sat January 17 2015

MobileRead Week in Review: 01/10 - 01/17

07:00 AM by Alexander Turcic in Miscellaneous | Week in Review

Feast your eyes on some of the discussions from this week at MobileRead...

E-Book General - News

Fri January 16 2015

Apple: 1 million new iBooks customers each week since iOS 8 launch

12:43 PM by Lin2412 in E-Book General | News

iBooks has averaged one million new customers every week since mid-September.

Keith Moerer, the director of iBooks at Apple, revealed that statistic in a rare public appearance at the Digital Book World conference in New York City on Thursday. It’s startling to anyone who dismisses Apple as an also-ran in the ebook market and might encourage publishers and authors who haven’t focused on the platform to begin doing so.

...Another difference between the iBooks and Amazon is that Apple doesn’t charge publishers to promote their books on its site. “One hundred percent of our merchandising is editorially focused. We accept no co-op payments, no pay for placement,” Moerer said

(Original Article From Gigaom)

[ 65 replies ]

Tue January 13 2015

Scribd signs up Macmillan

03:58 PM by pdurrant in E-Book General | News

Another announcement from Scribd of a big publisher signing up with them. After Houghton Mifflin Harcourt they now also have Macmillan.

See the announcement on their blog.

But it's not Macmillan's entire catalogue. Only 'more than a thousand'.

[ 37 replies ]

Amazon takes over university's textbook sales operation

03:55 PM by fjtorres in E-Book General | News

From the Boston Globe:

The campus bookstore, a seeming anachronism in the digital age, will soon become history at the University of Massachusetts.

Starting next fall, students at the flagship Amherst campus will buy almost all textbooks from The online retail giant has struck a deal with UMass to replace an on-campus “textbook annex” run by Follett Corp. with a smaller Amazon distribution center.

UMass officials hope the arrangement will save students money.

“We really recognize that textbooks and course materials are a major expense for students, and those have continued to go up over time,” said Ed Blaguszewski, UMass spokesman. “This is about convenience and saving money for students.”

Amazon told UMass that it could save students an average of 31 percent, or $380 annually, compared with prices at the old store.

The Amazon system will offer students access to digital textbooks and, for old-fashioned ink-and-paper texts, free one-day delivery to addresses on campus and apartments in nearby towns.

Students can also pick up texts, ordered online, at an Amazon-staffed storefront in the campus center that’s set to open in June.

The company said it is negotiating similar contracts with a number of other universities and colleges.

“Many schools are feeling pressure to control the cost of education, and textbooks contribute to that,” said Ripley MacDonald, Amazon’s director of student programs. “Many are also seeing revenues in their bookstores flat at best, or even going backward, so they’re looking at ways to stem that trend. We’re trying to reinvent the bookstore experience.”

More at the source.

[ 9 replies ]

Sat January 10 2015

Can E Ink Corp. Help You Build Your Own Ara eReader?

11:15 PM by Marseille in E-Book Readers | Android Devices

You may have heard of Project Ara, Google ATAP's modular phone. It went through two developer's conferences and two tech spirals last year in a surprisingly open development process. A lot of what we got to see usually happens behind closed doors. This month will be the third conference, and Google wants to sell its first devices this year, though it would be a 'limited market pilot' at first.

There are long form articles posted in the top item in this FAQ: Some are a bit old (fortune is the newest in August), but they all do a good job of explaining what Ara is and how it came to be. Basically you can build your own phone and pick your own processor, storage options, battery capacity, cameras and peripherals, and upgrade any one without having to upgrade the entire device. Some modules are hot swappable, so you can flip in, for example, a fully charged battery module to replace a drained one on the go (no power down needed). Screens are also modules, and thus the reason for this post.

Ara probably won't succeed without market demand. Google has big partners unlike a lot of modular programs out there you might hear about. Toshiba, NVIDIA, Marvell, Rockchip, Quanta, etc are all on board, and that's important. And they've also sought to develop smaller partners worldwide with these development conferences. But I don't see marketing budgets like Samsung's or Apple's ever coming to bear here. This will be more democratic. It will succeed or fail depending on demand from users. Diversity of modules may depend on how active users are. This post is for anyone who might want to build, not just a phone, but any mobile device, to their own tastes.

As we're all readers here, I'm asking you to tweet at E Ink and ask them to support @ProjectAra so we can all build our own eReaders, independent of any one store front. So we can use our own readerware, news readers, browsers. So we can keep audiobooks, podcasts and music on board and do TTS. So we can choose a size of eReader that suits us. So we can choose our own battery capacity or make our dedicated eReader a little less dedicated and more multiuse if we so please.

If you're interested, please tweet to E Ink at that you want them to make an eink screen for @ProjectAra and post below to let me know if you do. Feel free to ask questions here if you're curious about Ara.

[ 14 replies ]

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