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.
It’s been more than 50 years since To Kill a Mockingbird was published, but the Pulitzer-Prize winning author of the classic novel has finally decided to let it be published digitally as an e-book.
According to The New York Times, Harper Lee has approved the e-book version of her novel, which will be available July 8th. Mockingbird and another classic, The Catcher in the Rye, are two of just a few classic novels left that had not yet been converted to a digital format. Mockingbird continues to sell one million copies each year and is read in schools across the country.
A digital audio version of the novel will also be available. It was be voiced by actress Sissy Spacek. HarperCollins has the North American rights; Random House has the rights in Britain.
Imagine if there were a subscription program like Netflix, but for e-books. Well, luckily there is.
According to The New York Times, publisher HarperCollins has recently struck a deal with the web site, Scribd, which is already used for sharing documents and books. Consumers can pay a flat fee each month to the site to access a large number of e-books.
The site, Oysterbooks.com, already has a similar program, offering access to more than 100,000 e-books for $9.95 a month, but it hasn’t gained much popularity.
The owners of Scribd hope the site will have more success, but so far, HarperCollins is the only major publisher that signed up. Smaller publishers like Rosetta Books, Workman and Sourcebooks have also signed up.
So readers still have more options for books when they go to Amazon or Barnes and Noble’s web site. However, a Netflix-life program for e-books seems like a pretty simple, but brilliant idea. But I only see it becoming successful with readers that consume many, many books each month. Otherwise, it doesn’t seem worth it to me.
It’s been months since the e-book pricing lawsuit began. Now that some parties have reached a settlement agreement, people are starting to receive emails from Amazon and Barnes & Noble about receiving e-book refunds.
According to The Telegraph, Amazon was first to send out the emails, explaining that those who purchased e-books that appeared on The New York Times Bestseller List between April 2010 and May 2012 from the web site would receive $1.32 per book. Non-bestsellers would be worth 30 cents in refunds. The refunds aren’t expected to come in until early 2013.
I personally received a similar email from Barnes & Noble about the refunds. Here’s an excerpt:
Although we are required to notify you now of the settlements, there is nothing you need to do to receive the credits as you will receive them automatically in the form of an electronic gift certificate sent via email. Once the settlements’ claim period ends, the Attorneys General will calculate the amount of your credits. If the Court gives final approval to the settlements, we expect to be able to send you your gift certificate in the first half of 2013.
Hachette, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster will be compensating for the refunds, since they agreed to the settlement. Penguin Group, Macmillan, and Apple will be taken to court.