Tag Archives: e-books

New ‘Harry Potter’ E-Books To Have Animated Illustrations

It’s been eight years since the last Harry Potter novel was released, but now they’re all being released in a completely new way. Harry Potter e-books are now available, and according to The Associated Press, Apple has exclusive animated versions.

Enhanced e-book versions of the novels, exclusively for Apple products, includes more than 200 illustrations, many of which are animated or interactive. Other, non-animated versions of the e-books are available through author J.K. Rowling’s Pottermore web site.

Included in the enhanced e-books are author annotations similar to the ones Rowling’s written and included on her Pottermore web site, but there aren’t as many in the e-books as there are on Pottermore. The enhanced e-books also don’t include audio.

However, the illustrations are in full color, and the interactive illustrations are hidden; readers have to figure out what’s interactive for themselves. One example: during a scene at a meal, you can swipe to see all the food on other parts of the table.

The e-books cost $10 apiece, or $70 for the whole series.

As a kid, I read the paperback versions, but when I read the series to my eventual children, it certainly seems like the e-books are the version my kids will get to know.

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E-Book Streaming Services Expand

As web sites like Netflix and Spotify continue to expand, so do e-book streaming sites.

According to Entertainment Weekly, two e-book streaming start-ups, Scribd and Oyster, have struck up a partnership with publishing company Macmillan. Considering Macmillan is one of the largest publishing companies out there, this is great news for the start-ups. It means many, many more e-books and audiobooks are now available to Scribd and Oyster.

Both Scribd and Oyster offer hundreds of thousands of books for a $9 or $10 monthly fee, similar to Netflix.

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Harry Potter E-Books Now Available

Unless you’ve checked out J.K. Rowling’s Pottermore web site, it’s been impossible to download e-book versions of the Harry Potter series….until now.

According to Entertainment Weekly, the Harry Potter e-books are now available via Oyster, a site considered to be a type of Netflix for books.

In addition to the seven books in the series, fans will also be able to download HP counterparts, including Rowling’s Quidditch Through the Ages, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and The Tales of Beedle the Bard.

The best part? Readers can pick their house before reading — each house has its own color settings and typography in the e-book!

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How Amazon’s New E-Book Service is Killing Authors’ Game

While the word “unlimited” in the name Kindle Unlimited may be appealing to readers, it may not be so appealing to authors.

According to The New York Times, Amazon’s new e-book subscription service, Kindle Unlimited, is seriously diminishing the amount of money made by self-publishers who use the service. That’s because Kindle Unlimited offers readers unlimited access to more than 700,000 titles for a mere $9.99 per month. Think of it as the Spotify or Netflix of books.

Great in theory, not so great in reality, as David Streitfeld explains.

“Six months ago people were quitting their day job, convinced they could make a career out of writing,” said Bob Mayer, an e-book consultant and publisher who has written 50 books. “Now people are having to go back to that job or are scraping to get by.  That’s how quickly things have changed.”

Consumers feast on these services, which can offer new artists a wider audience than they ever could have found before the digital era.

Some established artists, however, see fewer rewards.

The solution to the problem? While some self-publishers are now opting to pull out of the service altogether, others have realized the most efficient way to make money through the service is to write and publish more books — and faster. That’s resulting in shorter serialized novels and short stories.

I can’t help but think that despite the talent of some of these authors, the fast pace to keep up would only hurt the quality of the books offered online.

This is just another mess for Amazon to clean up after last year’s fiasco with Hachette. But the question is: will they, in fact, clean it up?

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Scribd Adds 30,000 Audiobooks

Good news for those who like not to read their books, but to listen to them.

According to Entertainment Weekly, the streaming subscription service Scribd is adding thousands of audiobooks to its catalog — 30,000, to be exact. The new books will include old and new releases from some of the more well-known publishers and authors, including Scholastic and HarperCollins and Haruki Murakami and Suzanne Collins.

Before the addition, Scribd’s catalog included more than half a million titles.

But according to The Verge, that catalog was only made up of e-books, not audiobooks. The hope is that the company will be able to compete now with Audible.

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Bill Gates Calls a 1969 Business Book a Favorite, Book Becomes Bestseller

business adventuresAs it turns out, the more power you have, the more money you have, the more influence you have — even on readers.

According to Entertainment Weekly, a business book from 1969 flew to the top of the bestsellers list after Microsoft CEO Bill Gates mentioned it as his favorite book in an essay he wrote for The Wall Street Journal earlier this month.

Bill Gates’ mention of John Brooks’ Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street in The Wall Street Journal sent the book to the No. 5 spot on the Amazon Kindle bestseller list. The book was published in 1969 and is no longer in print. But the book’s publisher, Open Road, quickly made it available in e-book format, and a paperback re-issue is now slated for September. In the essay, Gates wrote “Today, more than two decades after Warren [Buffett] lent it to me—and more than four decades after it was first published—Business Adventures remains the best business book I’ve ever read.”

Will you be buying the book?

Get Business Adventures in paperback for $10.34. — starting August 12, 2014!

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Fight Intensifies Between Amazon, Hachette

It’s one of the biggest book brawls since the 2012 fight over e-book pricing. Once again, Amazon and Hachette are involved.

This time, according to The New York Times, it’s believed that Amazon wants to offer discounts on Hachette e-books, and apparently negotiations aren’t going well. In fact, they’re going so poorly that Amazon is now supposedly delaying shipment of some Hachette books and preventing preorders of some Hachette books.

It would seem that this is a battle strictly between Amazon and Hachette, but rather, it appears to be the start of a war between Amazon and many publishing companies, as Jonathan Mahler explains.

As part of Hachette’s antitrust settlement with the government, the company agreed to allow Amazon to continue to discount the price of e-books for two years. That agreement has expired, and for some reason — no one is sure why — Hachette is the first publisher to find itself in the position of negotiating a new one.

Other publishers are holding their breath. It is in their interests for [Hachette Book Group’s chief executive] Mr. Pietsch to drive a hard bargain, and they are cheering him on, but silently. They have their own relationships with Amazon to protect […]

So is the squabble close to being resolved? Doesn’t seem that way, but with many of the details of the negotiations being kept under wraps, it’s hard to know exactly what’s going on and when it may finally end.

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