Kobo Acquires Aquafadas to bring more Comics and Kids Books into Digital Form

Kobo Acquires Aquafadas to bring more Comics and Kids Books into Digital Form

Today Kobo has announced that they have purchased Aquafadas to bring kids books, comics, academic texts and magazines into the Kobo ecosystem.

Aquafadas is based in France and boasts a user-base of over 50,000 individuals and companies. It originally launched in 2004 and grew into one of the larger companies focusing on rich media and offers the most advanced Digital Publishing System that covers all aspects of digital publishing from content design to cross-platforms distribution and analytics. It combines the most advanced content design tools with a versatile library of ready-to-use apps, ePub3 export, and a Web reader. Aquafadas enables publishers across industries to create richly designed books, children’s books, graphic novels, magazines, newspapers, marketing communications, and corporate publishing, all without writing a single line of code. Aquafadas will add a new distribution channel to its universal solution: publishers will have access to massive distribution through the Kobo platform.

“This is a very exciting day for both Kobo and Aquafadas,” commented Kobo CEO Michael Serbinis. “Digital Reading is rapidly evolving now to new rich media categories. This transaction will strengthen both Kobo’s and Aquafadas position in our current markets and allow us to accelerate the growth of rich media with the Aquafadas Digital Publishing system.”

“Kobo’s arrival is amazing news,” add Aquafadas CEO Claudia Zimmer. “Thanks to this acquisition, publishers who use Aquafadas Publishing System will benefit from an easy, scalable, solution that will provide access to a new distribution channel in addition to other channels: Kobo’s platform and its 10 million registered users. We will benefit significantly from this partnership and amp up development to deliver more innovative tools. By working together to further enhance the Kobo product line-up the creation of rich-media content, Kobo and Aquafadas will take digital reading to a new level.”

There is no word yet on how this new system will be implemented into Kobo Writing Life and if indie authors will have access to this advanced toolset to start making more rich media content to be showcased on the Kobo Arc and the myriad of apps for the iPad and Android. It is a given that publishers will be able to customize content for the expansive Kobo ecosystem, but many already have their own proprietary tools.

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Kobo Acquires Aquafadas to bring more Comics and Kids Books into Digital Form

ebrary Adds 9,000 New eBooks to Government Libraries

ebrary Adds 9,000 New eBooks to Government Librariese brary won a government contract a month ago that put it in the unique position of being the only ebook business on the government buyers list. This has given the company a huge revenue boost in supplying various libraries, such as the American Water Works Association, Cardiotext Publishing, and Urban Institute Press. The database now includes a growing selection of more than 76,000 titles with unlimited, multi-user access. Additionally, ebrary has added over 9,000 new titles from publishers such as American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE), and Karger Publishers, that can be purchased outright or through its patron driven acquisition program where titles are only purchased if used.

ebrary is not only providing state government libraries but also the military. To make it easier for military libraries to purchase essential titles, ebrary’s on-staff librarians have created two new packs in Traumatic Brain Injury and Prosthetics Research. ebrary’s new Traumatic Brain Injury pack covers TBI from both a physical and psychological point of view and includes publishers such as Oxford University Press, Wiley-Blackwell, Cambridge University Press, Guilford Press, CRC Press, and Springer.

ebrary Adds 9,000 New eBooks to Government Libraries
July 13, 2012 – Palo Alto, CA, USA – To help government libraries acquire e-books more strategically, ebrary®, a ProQuest business, has added thousands of relevant e-books across acquisition models, which provide libraries with the highest return on investment when combined. Diversifying acquisition models is a key component of ebrary’s three-step approach: Transition, Diversify, Streamline™.

Government Complete™, ebrary’s affordable subscription database, has been updated with thousands of new e-books from renowned publishers such as American Water Works Association, Cardiotext Publishing, and Urban Institute Press. The database now includes a growing selection of more than 76,000 titles with unlimited, multi-user access.  Additionally, ebrary has added over 9,000 new titles from publishers such as American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE), and Karger Publishers, that can be purchased outright or through its patron driven acquisition program where titles are only purchased if used.

To make it easier for military libraries to purchase essential titles, ebrary’s on-staff librarians have created two new packs in Traumatic Brain Injury and Prosthetics Research. ebrary’s new Traumatic Brain Injury pack covers TBI from both a physical and psychological point of view and includes publishers such as Oxford University Press, Wiley-Blackwell, Cambridge University Press, Guilford Press, CRC Press, and Springer.

The Prosthetics Research pack encompasses topics such as biomedical materials, amputation, and robotics.  Participating publishers include Cambridge University Press, Springer, Elsevier, and F.A. Davis. Both packs feature over 20 titles, with the majority published in the past three years.

“ebrary believes in supplying researchers with the most content possible while providing libraries with flexible options to achieve the greatest return on their investment. Diversifying acquisition models is critical to achieving that,” said Leslie Lees, ebrary’s Vice President of Content Development.  “We understand that many libraries are facing budget cuts today, so by starting with a vast, continually growing collection like Government Complete and then supplementing with patron driven acquisition and perpetual archive – including expertly selected packs in critical areas – we help libraries affordably serve their patrons’ needs in the most optimal way.”

Key features and benefits of the ebrary platform include the following:

  • Dedicated apps for the iPad®, iPhone®, iPod touch® and Android™
  • DASH!™ (Data Sharing, Fast) for uploading and integrating a library’s own digital content from local computers.  DASH! is available to Government Complete subscribers.
  • InfoTools™, which turns words into portals to additional knowledge online
  • COUNTER-compliant usage statistics
  • Multiple search and navigation options
  • Chapter ranking of search results
  • Personal bookshelves
  • Highlighting and annotating
  • Text-to-hyperlinks
  • Text-to-speech
  • Automatic citations
  • Interface in multiple languages

Meet ebrary at SLA

ebrary will be demonstrating its solution for government libraries in the ProQuest booth #600 at SLA, July 15 through 17 in Chicago, IL.

About ebrary ( http://www.ebrary.com )

ebrary helps customers acquire e-books strategically through a three step approach: Transition, Diversify and Streamline™.  The company believes that by challenging the e-book status quo, organizations can effectively serve the diverse and growing needs of researchers and maximize their budgets. Founded in 1999, long before e-books were popular, ebrary is a ProQuest business located in Palo Alto, CA, USA.

ebrary Adds 9,000 New eBooks to Government Libraries

Shareholder Sues Books-A-Million to Prevent a Takeover

Shareholder Sues Books-A-Million to Prevent a Takeover

A few weeks ago we reported that the majority shareholder of Books-A-Million wanted to take the company private. The Anderson family offered to buy shares at a premium price and valued the company at 48 million dollars. Today an irate shareholder filed a lawsuit in California to prevent the company from going private.

The Shareholders Foundation is a legal monitoring service and reported that the investor filing the claim felt that the current offer of $48.8 million undervalued the company. Initially, the Anderson Family gave a preliminary buyout offer of $3.05 a share to take the company private and maintain more control. Before the announcement happened the shares were valued at $2.55 and then jumped up 25% to $3.15 when the buyout news became public. It seems that a number of investors want a larger slice of the pie now that the company is attracting more attention and shares on the public market are going up.

Books-A-Million is seeking to capitalize on the demise of Borders to become the United States’ second largest bookstore. In order to really take advantage of the situation they need to overhaul the existing management structure and a single force needs to determine the game plan in order to transform their business.

Shareholder Sues Books-A-Million to Prevent a Takeover

The Bibliotech Digital Library Talks About eBooks

The Bibliotech Digital Library Talks About eBooks

Bexar County in San Antonio will be launching the first pure digital library in the United States in August. The publicly funded library has raised over $200,000 to finance its new digital library and will feature 48 computers, 300 e-readers, and three Discovery Terminals via 3M.

We talked to Laura Cole, Special Projects Coordinator of BiblioTech about the origins of the upcoming digital library and the mentality of the staff going into it. “Buxer County has never run a library before and all of the surrounding county’s are limited to being established within city limits. We have been looking at ways to enhance the library services for people that normally don’t have access.  How could we address this in a cost effective manor? In the past five years the expansion of digital books and their availability to libraries is significant.”

She went on to say “We first started discussing the feasibility of an all digital library in August 2012 and did our major research in September 2012.  In December we the plan basically all ironed out, factoring in the pros and cons. We had appointments with various judges and the  commissar’s court in January.  This is when we publicly announced the new project and its tentative launch date.  We have a county owned facility that featured 4800 sq.ft  that wasn’t even being used!  This particular location is ideal, it’s a under-served area of San Antonio.  It features many schools nearby and a  seniors center across the street.”

The main selling point behind this library is that its the first tangible location that will feature intangible content. There has been no precedent or case studies that have ever been done for this type of location and it has been a challenging task to plan out all aspects. Laura cited a number of organizations that have helped along the way “We spoke with many academic libraries, including the UTSA library on logistics. The Texas State Library Commission has also been very helpful.”

There are many digital library content distributors out there, that help libraries formulate an ebook system.  The 3M Cloud Library managed to win the contract and has been very influential about helping guide Bibliotech. When it opens in August, the library will have 3 Discovery Terminals that will allow patrons to browse the wide selection of ebooks and load them onto the 3M Android/iOS apps, or one of the 300 e-readers.  Recently, Hachette and Penguin have joined the library bandwagon, so there will be plenty of books to borrow.

When a library goes digital, there is often the question of data. How exactly do you go about reporting book purchases, loans, statistics, and other metrics? Laura said, “3M provides lots of data with their online reporting tools and how the content is being used.  All of our information is public and has to be reported and how funds are being spent and our annual reports.” One of the big difficulties surrounding the digital library is the tangible and intangible. It might be easy to report on digital usage, but what about the metrics of e-readers being loaned out, people coming into the library and the average duration of a computer session? These are challenges facing the library that there is no current solution for.

It is safe to say that this library is getting a massive amount of media attention. Major news outlets and online websites have been reporting on the first pure digital library in the USA. Needless to say, this is very moving for everyone involved. Laura finalized “all of the press in print and digital are a driving factor for us, all the positive press helped us validate that the world is ready for us. People really want this, want to know how it works, what it can do for them,  it’s so edgy.”

The Bibliotech Digital Library Talks About eBooks

Moon+ Reader Removed from Google Play Due to Piracy Allegations

Moon+ Reader Removed from Google Play Due to Piracy Allegations

Moon+ Reader is one of the better e-reading apps out there and has been around a number of years. It has a storied development history and was available in Google Play and iTunes. We have confirmation that today both app markets have removed Moon+ Reader due to allegations of ebook piracy.

Apparently Moon+ Reader was not alone in the recent piracy probe, and other reading apps including CoolReader and “Reader” were affected. Moon+ Reader was the only developer that did not answer the questions posed to them from Apple and Google, and removed the app.

The entire saga begins with many of the most popular e-reader apps using a format called Open Publication Distribution System. It allows users to tap into legitimate and sometimes quite shady ebook stores to download books directly within the app. The most recent version of Moon+ Reader included a link to a pirate ebookstore called TUeBL. This inflamed various author communities and users alike. They started to stir up drama which gained the attention of larger businesses.

Russian ebook company Litres was one of the main forces that petitioned Google Play and Apple for removing the links. They issued a press release a few hours ago that said “many of the post popular indie reading apps included pre-installed links to a pirated library as the main source for books. We, in turn, protecting the rights of cooperating authors and publishers are in regular content with the administrator’s of such applications to remove links to pirated content sources.” They wrapped up the release and said “We apologize to all users of the applications and Moon + Reader “Reader” for the temporary inconvenience and inability to read books in their favorite applications. We are confident that in the near future these applications will reappear in Google Play and AppStore.”

The main Moon+ Reader developer issued a statement on the matter that said “A nasty thing happened, Moon+ Reader and Moon+ Reader Pro have been removed from Google Play since 2:00PM 2013/1/31 because a request email from a Russia company “litres.ru” to Google Play team, Google didn’t make any investigation and confirmation, they just removed my reader from the Play directly. I’m a weak personal developer, I devote myself to this project for years; I and my family live on the revenue from the reader only, here I thank so many warm-heart users, you help me to improve the product, it gets 5,000,000-10,000,000 downloads in Google Play today, and has up to 40 locale languages support, I’m proud for you.”

It looks like Moon+ Reader is unavailable at least for a month, while the developers and the various app markets go back and fourth on the changes. In the meantime, you can get the most recent version of Moon+ Reader from our own Good e-Reader App Store , sans the pirate version.

Moon+ Reader Removed from Google Play Due to Piracy Allegations

Amazon Introduces Shipping Friendly Prime Pantry

Amazon Introduces Shipping Friendly Prime Pantry

Amazon Prime members are getting an exclusive benefit in the form of Prime Pantry. This new program is exclusively aimed at Prime members who love to shop at Amazon. You can fill up a box with whatever you want, as long as it weighs 45 pounds for a flat rate price of $5.99.

When you order lots of items and have them shipped it, the costs can sometimes be prohibitive. The essence of Pantry is fill it up with how much or little you want. As items are added to the box the Pantry service tells you exactly how much the box is full on a percentage basis. Pantry boxes are large and can hold up to 45 pounds or four cubic feet of household products.

If you were to order a box of detergent, a 12 pack of Coke and a toaster, the costs would be high. Instead of having everything shipped out individually you can fill up as singular shipping box with Prime Pantry. The service only deals with non-perishable foods and is US only to start.

Amazon is betting big on tapping into the lucrative consumer packaged goods industry. This is dominated by big box retailers such as Sams Club and Costco. The Seattle based company is hoping that they can leverage themselves to giving good deals on small items and not forcing them to buy the Ultra King Size version.

Amazon Introduces Shipping Friendly Prime Pantry

Out of Print Develops New e-Reader Jackets

Out of Print Develops New e-Reader Jackets

Out of Print , the company that brought us t-shirts and tote bags to soothe our literary souls, is bringing iconic book cover art to our e-readers. To fund the new project, Out of Print turned to Kickstarter which garnered an enthusiastic response from backers and bibliophiles.

As Todd Lawton from Out of Print beams, “We couldn’t have dreamed a better reaction by the Kickstarter community.”

To say the least, the Kickstarter and ebook communities responded with pledges far surpassing the initial goal of $15,000.  With more than a week remaining, hundreds of backers have already contributed three times the project goal, and there’s still time to join the Kickstarter project for Out of Print’s ebook covers .

Covers are already planned for initial production to fit the iPad, Kindle Fire, and Nexus 7.  Lawton adds “We are currently in the process of planning our initial productions run and getting everything in place based on the Kickstarter campaign.  Once the campaign ends on 8/18, we will contact everyone who preordered a cover to find out which style each customer wants.  After the style requests have been made we expect the first delivery to take place around the middle of September for iPad and Kindle Fire.  The Nexus 7 will be available a little later (October).”

At launch, the following cover designs will be available.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
The Wonderful Wizard of OZ by L. Frank Baum
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Per Out of Print’s Kickstarter project, “Each hardcover case features original book cover art licensed by Out of Print, printed on book fabric that will naturally wear and look better the more you use it. Inside our case, your eBook device is well-protected with a form-fitting cradle (designed by an MIT mechanical engineer) with design elements that allow for easy access to all important buttons and ports.”

Photos and specifications are also available on the Kickstarter project page , so shoppers can start planning ahead for that special gift for ebook lovers.

Out of Print Develops New e-Reader Jackets