Wednesday, 15 January 2014

The Digital Reader

The Digital Reader

The Morning Coffee – 16 January 2013

Posted: 15 Jan 2014 09:30 PM PST

Top stories this Thursday morning include a teacher arguing against the latest lexile scores fad (link), a look at ebook subscriptions (link), the latest news about LA’s 1:1 iPad debacle (link), and more.

  • 54% of eReading Kids Ask to Buy a Print Copy of an eBook They Already Own (GalleyCat)
  • Amazon: A Cheetah Hunting Gazelles (Publishers) (DBW)
  • Comixology: Six Billion Digital Comics Served (PW)
  • L.A. school board moves forward with computer effort (
  • New Subscription Model for E-Books Challenges Traditional Publishers (Businessweek)
  • No one is treated with more patronizing condescension than the unpublished author (The New York Review of Books)
  • Unemployed, Miserable Man Still Remembers Teacher Who First Made Him Fall In Love With Writing (The Onion)
  • Why I'm Not Sold on the Five Finger Rule (teach from the heart)
  • Why Self-Publishers Should Go it Alone, Together by Jordan Rosenfeld (The Book Designer)

The post The Morning Coffee – 16 January 2013 appeared first on The Digital Reader.

Russian, Brazilian, and Dutch eBook Markets Reached New Highs in 2013

Posted: 15 Jan 2014 12:06 PM PST

Pundits4956221465_bc16d97bcd[1] might still be debating as to whether the US ebook market grew in 2013, but the record is clear that the global ebook market as a whole grew in 2013.

In addition to a report that the German ebook market was exepcted to double in size by the end of 2013, there is also news today that the Brazilian, Dutch, and Russian ebook markets also saw excellent growth over the past calendar year.

In the Netherlands BOEKBLAD reported this week that Centraal Boekhuis recorded the distribution of 1.95 million ebooks in 2013, up from 1.2 million ebooks distributed in 2012. In 2013 ebooks made up 3.2% of overall book sales.

CB is the leading distributor for ebooks in the Netherlands, and they reported that the number of available titles grew from 19,230 to 28,319 with the majority of titles (80%) protected by digital watermark DRM. They also reported that the growth rate was accelerating, with the 2013 ebook sales equaling the combined sales of 2013 and 2012 (720,000 ebooks).

And from the Portuguese-speaking part of South America there are reports that the major publishers believe that ebooks made up 2% to 3% of the market in 2013, up from 1% in 2012. Editora Objectiva, for example, reported selling 15,000 ebooks in 2012 and 95,000 ebooks in 2013, a five-fold increase. Marcos Pereira of Editora Sextante reported that ebooks made up 2% of revenues at that Brazilian publisher, with some titles like Dan Brown’s Inferno showing a spike of nearly 5% in digital sales.

And last but not least a new estimate out of Russia is suggesting that this ebook market is expected to reach 500 million rubles ($14.9 million USD) in 2013.  That estimate comes from Sergei Anuriev, CEO of LitRes, Russia's largest distributor and seller of ebooks. It’s not entirely clear where he got the estimate, not can I tell you whether it is accurate, but he also claimed that Russia’s ebook market in 2013 was almost double that of 2012, when it was at the level of 260 million rubles.

If that estimate is accurate then it would represent a shocking level of growth. Unlike Brazil and the Netherlands, Russia has not benefited from the attention of the major ebookstores. A doubling of sales in a market lacking the presence of Amazon, Kobo, or Apple is unheard of and needs to be taken with a grain of salt. (I await further data.)


image by Edvvc

The post Russian, Brazilian, and Dutch eBook Markets Reached New Highs in 2013 appeared first on The Digital Reader.

Goodreads Hits New Milestone: 100,000 Authors

Posted: 15 Jan 2014 10:18 AM PST

Goodreads is probably wishing they had held that “by the numbers” infographic they posted a couple weeks ago, because today they announced a new milestone. In addition to the 25 million readers Goodreads counts as members, they also now have 100,000 members who have been verified as authors.

9576228519_1673001cdd_b[1]The news was announced on the Goodreads blog:

Huzzah! This week we are reaching 100,000 authors in the Goodreads Author Program! When we started offering verified author pages five years ago, we never dreamed that one day our members would have the opportunity to interact with some of their favorite writers like Khaled Hosseini, Neil Gaiman, Amy Tan, Helen Fielding, James Patterson, Cassandra Clare, Rick Riordan, Jodi Picoult, Stephen King, Margaret Atwood, John Grisham, Nicholas Sparks, L.J. Smith, David Baldacci and many, many more. You’d think we’d get used to working with authors, but we still get awestruck when someone on our To-Read list joins the site!

Goodreads is celebrating the milestone with the release of a new badge which will appear on all verified author pages.. Goodreads members can now immediately identify whether a member is a verified author and not a normal member. This will make it easier for fans to interact with their favorite authors via a Goodreads chat, a comment on their blog or status update, or by following the author’s reviews.


image by ? Georgie R

The post Goodreads Hits New Milestone: 100,000 Authors appeared first on The Digital Reader.

Samsung’s $99 Galaxy Tab 3 Lite Leaks in Poland

Posted: 15 Jan 2014 09:04 AM PST

Various leaks2bsamsung-galaxy-tab-3-t110-lite-a9-1024-8gb-android-42-169136pr_2013_7_16_14_32_26_309[1] (FCC, benchmarks) over the past few months have suggested that Samsung was going to launch a tablet that was even cheaper than the $139 Galaxy Tab 3, and it looks like those rumors have been confirmed.

The Polish language version of Samsung’s website is showing a leaked user manual and other docs for the Galaxy Tab 3 Lite, and there seems to be confirmation from a Polish retailer that this tablet is coming soon.

The Galaxy Tab 3 Lite is aiming to be a cheaper competitor to the Kindle Fire HD.  It runs Samsung’s version of  Android on a dual-core 1.2GHz CPU with 1GB RAM, 8GB Flash storage, a microSD card slot, Wifi, and Bluetooth.  Toss in the screen resolution of 1024 x 600 and you basically have the same tablet as the $139 Galaxy Tab 3, but these tablets are actually quite different.

The Galaxy Tab 3 Lite has Marvell CPU and not the Exynos chip found in the Galaxy Tab 3, and it has a different arrangement of ports and card slots. It’s missing the second speaker found on the more expensive tablet, and the specs only mention a single camera (2MP rear camera) rather than the 3.1MP and 1.3MP camera found on the Galaxy Tab 3.


According to the Polish retailer the Galaxy Tab 3 Lite is going to be available in Wifi and 4G models. They’re saying that the retail will be 499 Polish zloty for the Wifi model, or about $163 USD. Given that the Galaxy Tab 3 can be had for $139, that seems a little high.

I am expecting to see the Lite model retail for $99 here in the US. Why $99?

Because Samsung already has a budget tablet which sells cheap, so the new one is bound to be cheaper. Furthermore, it fits with Samsung’s past behavior.

Samsung has been targeting the 7″ Galaxy Tab models as competitors to the Kindle Fire ever since that tablet launched in late 2011. The Galaxy Tab 2 launched in April 2012 with a price tag of $249. That cost more than the then-new Kindle Fire, but it was at least within shouting distance of Amazon’s tablet. And then in April 2013 Samsung released the Galaxy Tab 3 with (I think) a $169 price tag, making the Tab 3 competitive with the $159 second-gen Kindle Fire.

I happen to have a Galaxy Tab 3 on my desk at the moment. I picked it up on Saturday at Best Buy for $139 – the same price as the second-gen Kindle Fire HD.  While it’s a very nice tablet, it’s not the hands-down best value for $139. But it is still a safe purchase from an established tablet maker. And with 9 hours battery life, it does offer a good value for the price.

But I am not so sure that the Galaxy Tab 3 Lite will be an equally good value. We’ll have to wait for the first reviews before we’ll know for sure.

Sammy Today

The post Samsung’s $99 Galaxy Tab 3 Lite Leaks in Poland appeared first on The Digital Reader.

PocketBook 614 eReader launching Soon in Russia

Posted: 15 Jan 2014 06:07 AM PST

624_pr[1]New ebook reader launches may be few and far between here in the US but that’s not the case everywhere. The Ukrainian ereader maker Pocketbook has just unveiled their latest gadget, the Pocketbook 614.

Pocketbook hasn’t disclosed all of the details on their new device,  but I do know that this gadget will fall solidly in the middle between budget and premium models.

The  PocketBook 614 will come equipped with a 6″ E-ink screen, a 1 GHz CPU, and 256 MB RAM. In terms of storage it has 4GB internally, and it also has a microSD card slot for additional space. There are no details on Wifi, a frontlight, audio, or a touchscreen, but I would not assume that they are present.

Retails is set at 3990 rubles ($119 USD), and the  PocketBook 614 is due out in the next few months.

pocketbook 614

 For a blog called “The Digital Reader”, I sure don’t post about very many ebook readers, do I? There’s a reason for that.

As much as I might want to deny it, fewer and fewer ereaders are being launched every year. When I was in Las Vegas for CES last year I spoke to reps with Gajah. They used to be one of the leading ereader OEMs (they sold their designs to other companies), but in the past year they have largely given up on developing new ereaders because they don’t sell as many new models as they used to.

This is part of the reason why they turned their attention to tablets and for consumer products like the InkCase and other accessories which add an E-ink screen to a smartphone. There’s a market for smartphones and tablets which dwarfs the ebook reader market, and that’s been true for some years now.

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