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News and tech help for the indie author

?Little House on the Prarie? Author?s Name Removed from Book Award
by Nate Hoffelder
24 Jun 2018 at 12:53pm

Following several years of quiet debate, a division of the American Library Association has announced that it will be changing the name of its children book award. From The Guardian: The board of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) made the unanimous decision to change the name on Saturday, at a meeting in New Orleans. The name of the prize was changed from the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal to the Children?s Literature Legacy Award. The association said Wilder ?includes expressions of stereotypical attitudes inconsistent with ALSC?s core values?. The first award was given to Wilder in 1954. The ALSC said Wilder?s work continued to be published and read but her ?legacy is complex? and ?not universally embraced?. Wilder was born in 1867 and died in 1957. She is best known for her eightLittle House on the Prairienovels, about pioneer life in the American West, which were published between 1932 and 1943. Wilder is not the first to be removed from an award due to the author's racism; the World Fantasy Award used to feature a bust of H P Lovecraft before it was changed in 2015. It was widely known that Lovecraft was racist, but the prize was [...]

You just finished reading “Little House on the Prarie” Author’s Name Removed from Book Award which was published on The Digital Reader.

Amazon Prime Reading Launches in France
by Nate Hoffelder
24 Jun 2018 at 10:10am

Prime Reading is a part of Amazon Prime where readers can access thousands of ebooks for free. The service initially launched in the US in late 2016, then expanded to the UK, Austria/Germany, China, and now France. Amazon.fr added a Prime reading feature to Amazon Prime this week. Subscribers can now access thousands of ebooks, all for free. It's hard to tell the exact figure (that is shown only to paying customers) but I am told thatHarry Potterbooks are included, and so areAnna Gavalda. The service is free to readers, butauthors and publishers are paid a flat fee for putting their works in Prime Reading for a set period of time. The payment and period varies based on a book's popularity, with Amazon paying anywhere from 100 euros to a couple thousand dollars for the rights to include a book in Prime Reading for a period of 180 days. (The book will of course remain in the regular Kindle Store during that time.) IDBoox    

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Amazon Freetime Unlimited Launches on iOS
by Nate Hoffelder
23 Jun 2018 at 11:45am

Freetime Unlimited (originally Kindle FU,, now Amazon FU) is Amazon's subscription service for kid-friendly content. It offers access to "over 10,000 kid-loved books, movies, and TV shows". Initially available on the Fire tablet and later via an Android app, the service has now come to iOS. From Techcrunch: As with the existing version of FreeTime Unlimited, the app is divided into age groups and will have parental controls by way of the Amazon Parent Dashboard, as well as Discussion Cards that give them talking points about the work and summaries of what the kids are watching. There may be variations based on geographies, but in the US the content will include films like Frozen, Moana, Star Wars, and Inside Out; TV shows likeSesame Street, Arthur, and Daniel Tiger?s Neighborhood from PBS;Bubble Guppies, Team Umizoomi, and Dora the Explorer from Nickelodeon; Marvel comics includingSpider-man, the Avengers, and Captain America; andAmazon Originals such as Just Add Magic, The Kicks, Thunderbirds are Go, Creative Galaxy, and Tumble Leaf. One drawback to the iOS implementation of FreeTime Unlimited is that, unlike on Amazon?s own tablets, you can?t configure FreeTime Unlimited to completely reskin the device?s user interface to keep kids locked into the experience. [...]

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How to Tell if You Need to Install a Security Update On Your Older Barnes & N...
by Nate Hoffelder
22 Jun 2018 at 7:59am

Here is a quick PSA to ensure that Nook owners make sure their devices get the latest security update. Barnes & Noble has announced that it is updating its server at the end of this month to comply with new security standards. The new standards are being applied to all websites that handle customer information and process payment data, and it is impacting Nook owners because their devices have to communicate with B&N's servers. You will need to make sure your device has been updated, or it will no longer be able to communicate with B&N's servers. Find your model in the list below, and if it is running the firmware version listed then you are in the clear: Nook HD: 2.2.1 Nook HD+: 2.2.1 Nook Simple Touch: 1.2.2 Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight: 1.2.2 Nook GlowLight: 1.3.2 Nook Color: 1.4.4 Nook Tablet: 1.4.4 You can check the OS version by going toSettings > Device Info > About Your Nook. Barnes & Noble said that the update will be sent over the air; all you have to do is keep your Nook charged with the Wifi on, and the update will be installed automatically. In fact, it probably already has [...]

You just finished reading How to Tell if You Need to Install a Security Update On Your Older Barnes & Noble Nook which was published on The Digital Reader.

Morning Coffee ? 22 June 2018
by Nate Hoffelder
21 Jun 2018 at 9:55pm

Here are a few stories to read this Friday morning. There's more money in selling a platform than in selling content. The EU wants to mandate ContentID filters on the entire internet. Condenses ebook maker Blinkist isn't dead. I don''t know what this author expected to happen when she published her book. Epubcheck needs your support.

You just finished reading Morning Coffee – 22 June 2018 which was published on The Digital Reader.

US Supreme Court Tax Ruling Means Authors Have to Collect Sales Tax on Direct...
by Nate Hoffelder
21 Jun 2018 at 2:23pm

Whip out the Advil, because a recent ruling by the US Supreme Court is going to cause a lot of headaches for authors and other small operators who sell online. The Court issued a ruling today inSouth Dakota v. Wayfair which overturned decades of precedent and created a thorny tax problem for sellers. From Ars: State governments may require online retailers to collect sales taxes even in states where the retailers have no physical presence, the US Supreme Court ruled in adecisionissued today. The 5-4 ruling could clear the way for more states to require collection of sales taxes on products ordered online from out-of-state retailers. The case,South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., Et Al., involved a South Dakota state law "requiring out-of-state sellers to collect and remit sales tax 'as if the seller had a physical presence in the State,'" the decision noted. Online retailers argued that the law was unconstitutional, and the State Supreme Court agreed, but the US Supreme Court overturned the state court ruling. South Dakota expects to collect another $48 million to $58 million in taxes a year because of this ruling. The South Dakota Supreme Court based its ruling on a 1992 US Supreme Court [...]

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Barnes & Noble?s Nook Division Generated $111 Million Last Year, and Employs ...
by Nate Hoffelder
21 Jun 2018 at 11:43am

B&N's once mighty ebook division has fallen on hard times. What at one point was a billion dollar a year business has now shrunk to the point that there are digital publishing startups that have more revenue and larger work forces. Barnes & Noble reported in its annual SEC filing that annual Nook revenues for the period ending 28 April totaled $111.5 million, down from $146.5 million the previous fiscal year. That is a decline of 24% in just a single year, and a decline of close to 90% from peak revenues in 2012. The Nook division accounted for 3% of B&N's revenues, with gifts and toys accounting for 28% and media (including books, DVDs, etc) accounting for 69%. B&N also told the SEC that as of 28 April, the Nook division employed57 people, including part-time workers. It's not clear how many of those provide tech support, but we do know that many parts of the Nook division have been outsourced or shut down. eReader hardware development, for example, used to be handled in-house but has since been handed off to Netronix, a Taiwan-based OEM. B&N had reduced staff and outsourced functions in a bid to reduce cost and turn [...]

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Has Anyone Heard that Amazon is Merging Createspace into KDP Print (?)
by Nate Hoffelder
21 Jun 2018 at 10:09am

Amazon is about to throw a wrench in authors' carefully made plans. Reports are coming in that some time in the next month, Amazon will be sending Createspace users an email informing them that Createspace is merging into KDP Print. Yes, the inevitable is about to happen, but it's not all bad; according to my source, legacy pricing for existing Createspace users will still be available (Createspace's pricing was better in some markets). Launched in July 2016, KDP Printis intended to give authors an easy to to manage both their print and digital books in a single location. In its early days access was quite limited, but the service opened fora public beta test early last year, and Amazon has been adding features ever since. The newer platform doesn't quite have the same features as Createspace, but according to experts there are good reasons to choose either one. It appears, however, that Amazon might soon no longer give authors a choice. Or so early reports suggest; I am still working to confirm this rumor.The Createspace website is down at this time, thus making it impossible to see if they have posted a notice, and Amazon hasn't responded yet to my [...]

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Google Launches a Podcast App for Android
by Nate Hoffelder
20 Jun 2018 at 12:38pm

There are currently more podcast-playing apps than you can shake a stick at, but that's not enough for Google. In its bid to collect as much data bout you as possible, Google has launched its own podcast app. From The Verge: Google today is introducinga new standalone podcast app for Android. The app, called simply Google Podcasts, will use Google?s recommendation algorithms in an effort to connect people with shows they might enjoy based on their listening habits. While podcasts have previously been available on Android through Google Play Music and third-party apps, Google says the company expects Podcasts to bring the form to hundreds of millions of new listeners around the world. (Google Listen, an early effort to build what was then called a ?podcatcher? for Android,was killed off in 2012.) ?There?s still tons of room for growth when it comes to podcast listening,? said Zack Reneau-Wedeen, product manager on the app. Creating a native first-party Android app for podcasts ?could as much as double worldwide listenership of podcasts overall,? he said. I installed the app, and wen looking for a few of the podcasters I know. I found most of them (but not all) and the ones I [...]

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Morning Coffee ? 20 June 2018
by Nate Hoffelder
19 Jun 2018 at 9:55pm

Here are a few stories to read this Wednesday morning. Amazon has finally released a statement on how it measures pages read in Kindle Unlimited. You should take it with a grain of salt. A fascinating take on the sexism in spy fiction. Just in case you ran out of excuses not to write. What's in a name? The differences between Createspace and KDP Print.

You just finished reading Morning Coffee – 20 June 2018 which was published on The Digital Reader.

Amazon Claims to Accurately Measure Pages Read in Kindle Unlimited, Neglects ...
by Nate Hoffelder
19 Jun 2018 at 1:54pm

Earlier this week Amazon released a statement tangential to theongoing problem of cheating in Kindle Unlimited, but as with many of Amazon's statements the bigger story is what was left unsaid. To recap, Amazon has a problem with people gaming the system in Kindle Unlimited. This issue has been around since the beginning, and as Amazon changed the rules to thwart the cheats, the cheaters changed their tactics in what is no more or less than a game of whack-a-mole. In the early days people were uploading really short books, and were getting paid for a loan when the 10% threshold was reached (with a 10 to 20 page book, this didn't take long). Amazon fixed that by switching to a system where they paid based on the number of pages read by subscribers, and in response the scammers invented thebook-stuffing con and started uploading really long books. The way that the book-stuffing con works is that scammers stuff lots of extra content into an ebook before uploading it to Kindle Unlimited, and then trick readers into jumping to the end of the book. This worked because at the time Amazon could only track a reader's location but not which [...]

You just finished reading Amazon Claims to Accurately Measure Pages Read in Kindle Unlimited, Neglects to Mention There’s no Standard Page Size which was published on The Digital Reader.

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