Thursday, 12 June 2014

The Digital Reader

The Digital Reader

It’s Not Just You – Feedly is Down Again

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 09:42 AM PDT

feedly logoIf you’re having trouble accessing Feedly on Thursday, there’s no need to complain to your ISP.

Feedly reported on their blog that they are suffering from a second DDoS attack today. There’s no mention of a culprit but Feedly has told us:

We are currently being targeted by a second DDoS attack and are working with our service providers to mitigate the issue.

As with yesterday's attack, your data is safe. We apologize for the inconvenience and will update this blog post as more information is available or the situation changes.

Yesterday’s attack kept Feedly out of operation from about 5am eastern to about 6pm.  There’s no word yet on how long it will take to fight off this assault.

The post It’s Not Just You – Feedly is Down Again appeared first on The Digital Reader.

Smashwords Adds Daily Sales Reporting for iBooks, Nook, Kobo and OverDrive

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 08:19 AM PDT

swcharts[1]Knowing that accurate sales data is the key to boosting revenue, Smashwords  recently rolled out a new daily stats report.

The ebook distributor announced on their blog last night that:

Smashwords today added daily sales reporting and interactive charting for sales at iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, OverDrive and the Smashwords store.

The reports include daily and total order accumulation numbers for iBooks preorders.

The reports provide authors and publishers unprecedented insight into recent sales performance across the largest Smashwords retailers.  Authors can use the reports to gain rapid feedback on the effectiveness of marketing and promotion campaigns.

Authors can view their sales data collected over the past week or 30-day period, and they can drill-down views by retailer, title or series.  There are also one-click filters to view priced books, free books, all books, and accumulated preorders (iBooks only).   Authors can also compare and contrast two or more titles, series, authors, etc.

The sales data is updated at regular intervals which vary between retailers. Kobo and iBooks run a day behind, while the data from the Nook Store is updated every 3 hours. And of course Smashwords can update their own sales data every 30 minutes.

The Kindle Store isn’t included at launch, and it’s difficult to say whether it ever will be added. As we have seen in Amazon’s fight with IPG in 2012, Amazon likes indies but they don’t necessarily like distributors.

Smashwords is by no means the first distributor to offer this kind of data (that doesn’t mean it’s not useful). I can recall being told, around the time that Samsung announced they were pulling out of ebooks, that one distributor was still registering sales (in real time) via Samsung Readers Hub. On a related note, Kobo offers similar data via the Kobo Writing life platform, only they go one step better. Kobo provides sales reports which include the postal code of buyers, giving authors a granular view of exactly where their readers are located.



The post Smashwords Adds Daily Sales Reporting for iBooks, Nook, Kobo and OverDrive appeared first on The Digital Reader.

Hachette, Bonnier, and Warner Bros. – the Rowling Connection

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 06:22 AM PDT

jk-rowling-official-portrait[1]Amazon is in the middle of a very public and very messy three front war against their suppliers.

While Amazon is normally a contentious company which is bound to be in conflict with someone at all times, have you ever wondered why 3 disputes bubbled over and went public all at the same time?

There’s a good chance that it could be as simple as the publicity surrounding the Hachette dispute shined a light on other conflicts which would normally have gone unremarked, but last night I heard an alternate idea. While this idea could well fall into the category of conspiracy theory, it is just too juicy to pass up.

There is a coincidental connection between Hachette, Bonnier, and Warner Bros. which might explain why all three media companies suddenly stood up to Amazon.

JK Rowling

There are probably any number of other connections, but one blogger I follow noted last night that this strong-willed author is involved with all 3 companies. Hachette is Rowling’s publisher for her latest Galbraith novel, Warner Bros produces the Harry Potter movies (including the spinoffs due out next year), and Bonnier is another of Rowling’s publishers for that Galbraith novel.

So what’s the connection. According to Rebecca Allen:

Whenever someone notices how odd it is that a group of people suddenly grew a spine, I perk up, because I know the kind of thing that can cause a group of people to suddenly grow a spine. Usually, there’s one widely connected and well-respected person with more spine than a platoon of Marines — and that one person has decided to Fix Something. I’ve seen this kind of thing in action on a much smaller scale, because I have, on occasion, been the perp. Generally speaking, the sort of person who does this sort of thing is the last person you would expect it from — and they don’t want any bit of credit for it, so arguments involving how Rowling’s name is nowhere near this thing won’t convince me.

Aside from a few tweets, Rowling has largely remained silent on the Hachette-Amazon dispute (this in spite of the fact that her latest novel just came out). More publicity equals more sales, and yet Rowling isn’t capitalizing on the opportunity.

What are the chances that this idea is true?

It’s unlikely that even a high profile author such as Rowling would have this kind of influence, so I would rate it as somewhere between slim and none. But it’s still a question worth asking just for the entertainment value. And who knows, it might be true.

What do you think? (Feel free to tell me I’m crazy)

The post Hachette, Bonnier, and Warner Bros. – the Rowling Connection appeared first on The Digital Reader.

Amazon Launches Prime Music

Posted: 12 Jun 2014 04:36 AM PDT

8426787137_169a12003c_m[1]Amazon’s long-rumored Prime Music service is now live, and the service is pretty much what everyone is expecting.

In addition to free streaming video, free and discounted shipping, free ebooks, and free ebook loans, Amazon Prime members can now stream music as part of their $99 a year subscription. Amazon is offering a catalog of around a million tracks including songs from Sony and Warner Music, two of the three major labels, but not (reportedly) Universal.

That is far more limited selection than at Spotify, but TBF there is no reason to compare the service given that Amazon Prime Music is bundled into Prime. This service was never going to be a threat to Spotify any more than Kindle Owners Lending Library is a threat to Scribd and Oyster.

It’s not clear what terms Amazon negotiated with the major labels, but the NYTimes reported that Amazon is paying the smaller labels and indies from a pool of $5 million which is split based on the number of times each track is played. As you might recall, previous rumors suggested that Amazon was funding the entire service from a $20 million to $30 million pool which was going to be paid out in much the same way as Amazon currently splits KDP Select among indie authors.

amazon prime music

While this service may lack new releases, but Amazon is doing their best to overcome its limitations. Rather than focus on tracks, they’re building the service on playlists with the goal of keeping you from hunting for a song and not finding it.

That’s a good idea on Amazon’s part, and once Amazon Prime Music is operational I’m sure it’s going to prove a good source of music.

But at the moment the service is unavailable. While the website is up and running, I can’t actually get it to stream any songs. I’m not sure whether the service crashed under the load or simply hasn’t been turned on yet, but as I sit here writing this post it is nonoperational.

That is an annoyance, but it’s not a big deal. I’ll just go back to my preferred free streaming music service, Youtube.





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