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Digital Book News
Information about digital book content, software and hardware.
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The Rise of Digital Audio in the Public Library | Good-E-Reader

The Rise of Digital Audio in the Public Library | Good-E-Reader | Digital Book News | Scoop.it
There are a number of major players providing audio services to libraries, 3M Cloud Library, Baker & Taylor, Hoopla and Overdrive. For the most part, these are the exact same companies that provide the libraries e-Book portfolio. In the US, 95% of all libraries have a digital collection and audio content is starting to play a more central role.

Audiobooks actually works fairly differently than e-Books do, on a business level. Many of the top distributors lean on 3rd parties for a full catalog of content. 3M and Baker and Taylor both get their audio editions from Findaway World, which is current market leader in production. Findaway has a catalog of over 50,000 titles and maintains production studios, narrators and crew in New York. Overdrive has their own internal solution, where they approach publishers directly and don’t do business with companies such as Audible or Findaway World.
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New EPUB Proposed Specifications: Dictionaries and Glossaries, Previews, Multiple-Rendition Publications, Region-Based Navigation | idpf

New EPUB Proposed Specifications: Dictionaries and Glossaries, Previews, Multiple-Rendition Publications, Region-Based Navigation | idpf | Digital Book News | Scoop.it
The IDPF Board recently approved recommendations of the Dictionaries and Advanced-Hybrid Layout Working Groups to advance four modular extensions to EPUB 3.0.1 to Proposed Specification status. The four specifications are:

EPUB Dictionaries and Glossaries
EPUB Previews
EPUB Multiple-Rendition Publications
EPUB Region-Based Navigation
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Copyright Exceptions For Libraries: WIPO Should Step Up Before Someone Else Does, Researcher Says | Intellectual Property Watch

Copyright Exceptions For Libraries: WIPO Should Step Up Before Someone Else Does, Researcher Says | Intellectual Property Watch | Digital Book News | Scoop.it
The author of a World Intellectual Property Organization-commissioned study said this week that WIPO should take the lead on the issue of limitations and exceptions to copyright for libraries, before the debate and the solution are left to other actors.

On the third day of the 29th session of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR), Prof. Kenneth Crews, former director of the copyright advisory office of Columbia University, presented the update of his study first published in 2008 on Copyright Limitations and Exceptions for Libraries and Archives.
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Creating the Future of Ebooks | Peer to Peer Review | Library Journal

Creating the Future of Ebooks | Peer to Peer Review | Library Journal | Digital Book News | Scoop.it
In my last two columns I explored what I called the “mess of ebooks” and explained what I want from library ebooks. In this column I want to discuss a possible future that could be good for libraries and for publishers. Right now everything is in flux. Publishers are understandably wary of selling Digital Rights Management (DRM)-free ebooks to libraries, and the patron driven acquisition (PDA) model some libraries want might not be sustainable for publishers. Libraries are struggling to buy books at all. The library ebook market is in a state of flux. There’s opportunity in chaos, though, and the opportunity here is to create a future that’s good for everyone, from publishers to library users.
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Four Ways Metadata Is Changing for Authors and Book Publishers | Digital Book World

Four Ways Metadata Is Changing for Authors and Book Publishers | Digital Book World | Digital Book News | Scoop.it
I’ve seen interest in understanding metadata and learning to create and distribute quality metadata continue to grow across all segments of publishing. The four metadata courses created in 2013 through Digital Book World University continue to attract a large number of students representing independent, professional, trade and self-publishing. Digital Book World University will continue to offer these courses in 2015, with new ones in the works.
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2015 Digital Book Awards Finalists Announced | Digital Book World

2015 Digital Book Awards Finalists Announced | Digital Book World | Digital Book News | Scoop.it
What does excellence in digital publishing look like? Look no further than the finalists in the 2015 Digital Book Awards from Digital Book World, an online educational and news platform, and F+W, A Content + eCommerce Company. More than 50 titles, from publishers large and small from around the world, demonstrate publishing excellence and digital best practices. The winner in each of the categories will be named at the Digital Book Awards Gala on Jan. 14 at 7 p.m. during the Digital Book World Conference + Expo (DBW) in New York (@DigiBookWorld – #DBW15).
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Why Publishers Must Invest in Rights Departments | Digital Book World

Why Publishers Must Invest in Rights Departments | Digital Book World | Digital Book News | Scoop.it

Even the most optimistic in the industry would admit that publishing has been through a tough time during its necessary awakening to a new world order.

 

Rights departments aren’t properly understood even by the publishers they exist within. They have traditionally been a group of people tucked away somewhere doing something about different editions while the core company focus remained on the core revenue from book sales.

Although it may seem like the easiest place to start, cutting costs isn’t always completed best by working from the periphery inward. Easiest is definitely not synonymous with best. In fact, solutions for greater profitability can very often lie in the usually ignored periphery.

Sales revenues have dropped but rights licensing revenue has in not–it’s still growing. No longer is rights revenue bonus money; it is not only now core revenue but one place where the biggest opportunities for publishers lie.

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Hachette Joins with Gumroad to Sell Books on Twitter | Digital Book World

Hachette Joins with Gumroad to Sell Books on Twitter | Digital Book World | Digital Book News | Scoop.it
With the ink on its new Amazon contract barely dry, Hachette opens up a new distribution channel outside the e-tailer’s ecosystem.

Partnering with the e-commerce platform Gumroad, which earlier this year launched an iOS app to help authors sell their books direct to consumers, Hachette rolls out a pilot program letting readers buy select titles inside their Twitter feeds.

One irony of Hachette’s new initiative is that it goes where Amazon has recently gone before. In September, Amazon began letting Twitter users add products to their Amazon Wish Lists by tweeting the hashtag #AmazonWishList–a move that expanded on an earlier integration this year allowing users to deposit items directly into Amazon shopping carts via Twitter.
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Moving Beyond the Textbook | edutopia

Moving Beyond the Textbook | edutopia | Digital Book News | Scoop.it
There are a lot of misconceptions around the transition from textbooks into the world of digital content delivery. The biggest mistake schools can make is simply changing out one medium of delivery for another without ever assessing or changing the content or method of delivery. Simply, let's take a 19th-century tool and place it on a 21st-century device. This is not the way to leverage the power of an iPad or, for that matter, any device you integrate in your classroom.
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What's Next for E-Textbooks? | Campus Technology

What's Next for E-Textbooks? | Campus Technology | Digital Book News | Scoop.it
The digital textbook of tomorrow probably doesn't look like a book at all. Imagine, instead, an online service that remixes itself on the fly for consumption via any device, with concepts tailored to a specific student's knowledge gaps and learning style — and examples and problems updated to immerse the learner in timely, compelling content.

Nobody is delivering that particular experience yet. In fact, most digital textbooks look just like their printed brethren with extra features tacked on, such as the ability to highlight text, insert sticky notes, look up the meaning of a word and bookmark pages. "Glorified PDFs," as Boundless CEO Ariel Diaz called them.
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Terms of Service, book review: A field guide to big data and privacy | ZDNet

Terms of Service, book review: A field guide to big data and privacy | ZDNet | Digital Book News | Scoop.it
Run a web search; don a wearable device; post a photo online. You're not just using technology — you're helping to build it, by contributing to big data.

With Uber tracking travellers who don't go home until the next morning and Fitbit data turning up in court cases to prove whether a defendant was really affected by an accident, the new book Terms of Service: Understanding Our Role in the World of Big Data is a timely look at big data and digital privacy. It's also a comic.
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Advancing Portable Documents for the Open Web Platform: EPUB-WEB | W3C

Advancing Portable Documents for the Open Web Platform: EPUB-WEB | W3C | Digital Book News | Scoop.it
This white paper introduces EPUB-WEB, a vision for the future of digital publishing that is based on a fully native representation of documents within the Open Web Platform. EPUB-WEB achieves full convergence between online and offline/portable document publishing: publishers and users won't need to choose one or the other, but can switch between them dynamically, at will.
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What do you Look for in an e-Reader? | Good-E-Reader

What do you Look for in an e-Reader? | Good-E-Reader | Digital Book News | Scoop.it
When it comes to buying an e-reader for the first time or upgrading to the largest and greatest, there are lots of factors to consider. Do you want a very large screen to fit a copious amount of text or are you looking for something with a great ecosystem to buy eBooks? Over the course of the last month we asked the question, what do you look for in an e-reader? 694 people weighed in and today we look at the results.

Arguably the most important factor people look for in an e-reader is a large screen. 25.43% of the voting popular made it apparent that when it comes to reading digital books, a very large screen makes a world of difference. High resolution came in second with 16.62%, which makes it quite evident that high PPI and overall screen clarity matters.
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Overdrive to Provide HTML5 Audiobook Support in Early 2015 | Good-E-Reader

Overdrive to Provide HTML5 Audiobook Support in Early 2015 | Good-E-Reader | Digital Book News | Scoop.it
Overdrive has announced that at the beginning of 2015 they will be implementing a new MP3 audiobook system that will be able to play them in any HTML5 compatible browser. This is tremendously useful for patrons borrowing audio content from the library, because they no longer have to download the audio file or a dedicated app, everything is simply done in the browser.

All major internet browsers for desktop computers, tablets or smartphones all have the ability to render HTML5 content. You don’t need any extra plugins in order to get it to work.
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How to Quickly Create an EPUB File From Word (And Then Edit It)

How to Quickly Create an EPUB File From Word (And Then Edit It) | Digital Book News | Scoop.it
Here’s the situation: Your book is sitting in a word processing system (such as Word), and you’d like to get that material translated into EPUB format without using the automated meatgrinder process of Amazon or Smashwords. Let’s assume you’re not a coder or programmer, but can figure out some some simple HTML. These are the options I’ve found that don’t involve purchasing software or going through coursework to learn code. Caveat: These methods will really only be helpful if your book is predominantly text, with few images.
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Academic publishing and scholarly communication: a status report | Harvard Magazine Jan-Feb 2015

Academic publishing and scholarly communication: a status report | Harvard Magazine Jan-Feb 2015 | Digital Book News | Scoop.it
Last summer, Harvard University Press (HUP) asked a book designer to create a T-shirt for its softball squad’s intramural season. The front of the shirt bore the expression r > g, signifying that the rate of return on capital (r) is greater than the rate of growth in income (g)—the central thesis of Capital in the Twenty-First Century by French economist Thomas Piketty, which HUP’s Belknap Press had published in April. Capital had leapt to the top of The New York Times bestseller list for hardcover nonfiction and stayed on the list for 22 weeks. It continues to sell robustly worldwide in 30 languages, and in English alone there are nearly 500,000 copies in print—the fastest-selling book in the press’s nearly 102-year history.
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If Ebooks are Software, It's Time for Version 2.0 | Publishing Perspectives

If Ebooks are Software, It's Time for Version 2.0 | Publishing Perspectives | Digital Book News | Scoop.it
Publishers have converted a huge number of their books into ebooks over the past few years.

For these converted books, most publishers think, “we’re done.” I think they should be thinking, “we’re just getting started.”

That’s the way it is with a 1.0 release of software, and I think publishers should view ebooks as software.

Let’s back up a bit. Why did publishers convert at all? Here are some possible reasons.
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Why Book Marketing (Still) Starts and Ends with the Website | Digital Book World

Why Book Marketing (Still) Starts and Ends with the Website | Digital Book World | Digital Book News | Scoop.it
It’s almost 2015, and so much in the publishing industry remains in flux, from publishers’ distribution channels to their methods of driving consumer awareness and discovery—even book content itself.

From a marketing perspective, many of the techniques, platforms and strategies publishers implement to approach the market are continuing to evolve at a sometimes surprising pace as well. (Who was really marketing through Pinterest or Instagram even two or three years ago?) More often than not, those changes increase the number of choices publishers need to make to market effectively: online vs. ‘real’ world; email vs. social media vs. paid advertising vs. mobile vs. content; budgets for overall marketing efforts vs. those for specific books. The list could very well be endless.
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Summertime Readers Turn Away from e-Books | Good-E-Reader

Summertime Readers Turn Away from e-Books | Good-E-Reader | Digital Book News | Scoop.it

e-Books were not the format of choice during the summer months, as they only accounted for 21% of all industry sales. The vast majority of readers instead embraced paperback and hardcovers. Paperbacks accounted for 43% of all units sold and hardcover purchases remained fairly steady at 25%. This statistics basically prove that digital still has a way to go before it ever over takes print, and readers would rather wait for the paperback version comes out, instead of paying extra money for the hardcover.

 

Nielsen runs quarterly book surveys as an avenue to give people a sense of the health of the publishing industry. They reported that out of the 21% of people purchasing e-books,  57% were buying the Kindle editions from Amazon.  Barnes and Noble was the only other major competitor, garnering 14% of all digital book sales and Apple had a paltry 6% share market share.

 

One of Amazons greatest strengths is their sheer number of e-readers and tablets they release every year. In the six few months they released the Kindle Voyage, Kindle Basic Touch, Kindle Fire HD6, HD 7, and HDX 8.9. Most of their competitors only released 1-3 devices over the course of the entire year.  According to Nielsen, 23% of consumers used a Kindle to download e-books in the first nine months of 2014, and another 21% used the Kindle Fire. Apple’s iPad was used by 18% of consumers to download e-books, while 4% used an iPhone. Barnes & Noble’s Nook had a 9% share of e-book downloads.

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What Features Would the Ultimate e-reader Have? | Good-E-Reader

What Features Would the Ultimate e-reader Have? | Good-E-Reader | Digital Book News | Scoop.it
e-Reader technology has come a long way since the first Kindle hit the market in 2007. Not only have the prices come down from over $300 for your standard six inch device, but e-paper has been polished and more refined. Companies such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Kobo invest copious amounts of money in research and development to give customers the best reading experience possible. But, what would constitute the ultimate e-reader?

Good e-Reader has been reviewing dedicated e-ink devices since 2008 and we have really seen the industry grow. The devices in 2014 all offer faster page turns and really high resolution to make reading much more intuitive. We have looked at hundreds of different devices that come out over the years and we really have a sense on what customers want in an e-reader and what features everyone yearns for. Today, we look at the e-paper technology, hardware and features that would capture the imagination of millions of digital readers.
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RedShelf Adds Publishers to E-Textbook Distribution Platform | Digital Book World

RedShelf Adds Publishers to E-Textbook Distribution Platform | Digital Book World | Digital Book News | Scoop.it
E-textbook start-up RedShelf now boasts five of the biggest academic publishers as partners in its distribution platform, after adding Wiley to its roster this fall.

RedShelf recently hired Tom Scotty, former Co-President of Macmillan Higher Education, as its Chief Operating Officer.

Macmillan and Cengage were among the first of the major academic publishers to make their content available through RedShelf early last year. They were followed by Pearson, McGraw-Hill and Wiley. RedShelf estimates that those five publishers together represent anywhere from 60 to 80% of the higher education market.
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Now HTML 5 is finished, W3C boss Jeff Jaffe discusses what comes next | ZDNet

Now HTML 5 is finished, W3C boss Jeff Jaffe discusses what comes next | ZDNet | Digital Book News | Scoop.it
The development of HTML 5 has been the major driver for web standards for the past five years or so, and it was finally sent as a Recommendation to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) at the end of October. Does that mean it's finished and done with? If so, what comes next?

Well, while HTML 5.0 has been finished, that doesn't mean development has stopped. HTML 5.1 is well under way and should become a Recommendation in 2016, and a first working draft of HTML 5.2 is expected next year. In sum, HTML 5 will continue for some time, and I don't see any prospect of an HTML 6.
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Digital Textbooks Create New Opportunities and New Problems | U.S.News & World Report

Digital Textbooks Create New Opportunities and New Problems | U.S.News & World Report | Digital Book News | Scoop.it
Textbook costs may seem like a drop in the bucket compared to the price of tuition, but they can still leave students struggling. The average price of a year's worth of college textbooks is now more than $1,000, according to The College Board.

Projected costs of attendance may include the price of textbooks, but students could still be unprepared to pay when it comes time to start class. Costs aren't uniform, so while some students might get off easy, others at the same school could find themselves with no way to afford course materials. Even if they have the means to buy textbooks, doing so could mean making a choice between books and other things they need, even including meals, according to Wired. Those who can't afford to pay their bills no matter what they do end up underprepared for classes, not even receiving the benefits of the education they've paid so much for.
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Multi-State K–12 Collaborative Releases RFP for Open Educational Resources | EdNET Insight

Multi-State K–12 Collaborative Releases RFP for Open Educational Resources | EdNET Insight | Digital Book News | Scoop.it
Request for Developers To Create Free, Openly Licensed, Mathematics and English Language Arts Content Aligned with State Standards

Cupertino, CA – November 19, 2014 – The K–12 OER Collaborative, an initiative led by a group of 11 states with the goal of creating comprehensive, high-quality, open educational resources, today released a Request for Proposals (RFP) to create open educational resources (OER) supporting K–12 mathematics and English language arts. The resources will be designed to enable all students to master foundational skills and knowledge to achieve college and career readiness.

 

The K–12 OER Collaborative is supported with expertise from state content specialists, the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), Creative Commons, Lumen Learning, The Learning Accelerator (TLA), Achieve, the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), the State Instructional Materials Review Association (SIMRA), the Association of State Supervisors of Mathematics (ASSM).

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Why I'm Finally Excited About EPUB | BobLevine.us

Why I'm Finally Excited About EPUB | BobLevine.us | Digital Book News | Scoop.it
EPUB has been around as an official standard for years, but it’s not a format I ever got overly excited about. While I readily admit to being a geek, cracking open EPUBs to edit what is arguably some of the worst HTML and CSS I’ve ever seen wasn’t something I really wanted to spend my time doing. Add to the fact that just as EPUB was gaining steam, DPS came along in 2010 and my focus moved in that direction. I really haven’t looked back…until now.

When Adobe launched InDesign CC2014 they added fixed layout EPUB as one of the formats it was capable of exporting to. It was a nice start but it was a very static format and wasn’t really capable of much in the way of interactivity especially when compared to DPS. Fast forward a few months to the release of InDesign CC2014.1 (hey, I didn’t come up with this naming convention) and I think FXL EPUB is finally ready for prime time. The support of interactive features like MSOs, buttons, web content, and animations (something DPS still can’t do) while maintaining the layout makes it a viable choice for publishing rich, interactive content.
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