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An Audio Tour of a New Indie Bookstore
by Nate Hoffelder
23 Apr 2017 at 2:22pm

CBC Radio has a satirical take on the growing trend of bookstores devoting less stock to books and replacing them with gewgaws: Local bookstore Epilogues sells everything you could ever want in a bookstore: candles, globes, themed napkins, globes and pillows that say Live, Laugh, Love. Of course as a bookstore, they do also have something for readers -- Margaret Atwood nesting dolls. you can listen to the clip below, or on the CBC's website.


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Fredericksburg Independent Book Festival to Celebrate Indie Press
by Nate Hoffelder
22 Apr 2017 at 7:40pm

If you plan to be in Northern Virginia in September then you should check out the second annual Fredericksburg Independent Book Festival: In 2016, Indie Authors, Amazon Imprints, and Small to Medium Publishers accounted for 45% of ebook gross sales. More and more people are publishing their own books, and more and more will need a place to market their work. That?s where the Fredericksburg Independent Book Festival comes in. Our mission is to provide a venue for local authors, graphic novelists, publishers, book artists to market their work, and to foster an interest in reading, writing, and literature. Entering into its second year, the Festival is set to grow, with space for over one hundred authors, publishers, artists, book arts businesses, food trucks, and more. When it comes to book festivals, I thought my local options included going up to DC or driving down to Richmond, if not further afield. But it turns out I've missed a bunch of book festivals, including the Nova Teen Book Festiva, Fall for the Book, and this one in Fredericksburg. I missed last year's festival, but I will be there this year.


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Paul Biba?s eBook, eLibrary, eMuseum and ePublishing news compilation for wee...
by Paul Biba
22 Apr 2017 at 6:41am

Editor's Note: The following is a compilation of tweets from @PaulKBiba, the former editor of Teleread. A conversation about digital copyright reform (Techcrunch) Reference: Full Text eBook: "Women in Congress 1917-2017" Available Free From GPO (Library Journal) AmazonCrossing profile (Literary Salon) Discover our online database, which gives you access to a virtual vault of more than 280,000 objects (Canadian Museum of History) Digital Maps: HistoryIT & Osher Map Library at U. of Southern Maine Launch New Online Resource (Library Journal) Kindle Unlimited Funding Pool Reached New Peak in March 2017 (The Digital Reader) National Library of Wales to digitise sound recordings (Library Stuff) Unique, effective wearable light for Kindle eReaders and for general use. (Andrys Basten) ?Opening of UN Files on Holocaust Will ?Rewrite Chapters of History,? Catalog Available Online This Week (Infodocket) Blue Man Group Brings Wattpad Stories to Life (Marketwired) Ingram Content Group Delivers Ebooks to Windows Store (Infotoday) ProQuest Adds to Its Civil War Archive (Infotoday) Scholarly Communications Outreach Librarian at Pennsylvania State University (Digital Koans) Datalogics Partners with Maryland Division of Library Development and Services to Implement SimplyE Solution (Digital Book World) The Danish Digitization Debate and Educational Publishers? Dilemma (Publishing Perspectives) Digital Humanities/Social Sciences Librarian [...]


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14 Sites for Making a Spectacular Book Cover
by Nate Hoffelder
21 Apr 2017 at 8:43am

A book's cover is often the first thing a reader sees when they find your book for the first time. You never have a second chance to make a first impression, as the saying goes, which is why many would suggest you hire a professional to design your book covers. But some authors have the skill to DIY or want to learn about cover design by doing so they can work better with the designers they hire, so here are fourteen sites, services, and apps that you can use to make an awesome book cover. Sidenote: Before you use any of these tools, you should read up on good cover design techniques. There are many similar tools out there, so if you know of one not on this list please leave a comment. Which one do you use? CreateSpace Canva Poster My Wall 3D Box Shot Maker Quick 3d Cover MyeCoverMaker.com Adazing PiktoChart Fotor CoverFactory.com eCover MyCoverMaker.com Boxshot Book Cover Creator


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Morning Coffee ? 21 April 2017
by Nate Hoffelder
20 Apr 2017 at 8:55pm

Here are a few stories to read this morning. From the heart: why writers are putting themselves in nonfiction (The Conversation) Lose the plot: why you should skip to the end of books (The Guardian) Self-published author inspired by Stephen King beats idol on Amazon  (CNBC) Torching the Modern-Day Library of Alexandria (The Atlantic) Universities redesign libraries for the 21st century: fewer books, more space (LA Times) Every weekday morning we curate the top stories in books, IP, self-publishing, and ebooks. Sign up here to get this post delivered right to your inbox.


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Audible No Longer Lets Users Gift Credits, Only Memberships
by Nate Hoffelder
20 Apr 2017 at 9:48am

Redditors are reporting, and Audible has confirmed in the FAQ on its site, that Audible no longer lets listeners gift an Audible credit. The only option available now is to gift a membership: At this time Audible customers do not have the ability to send credits as gifts. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. You can, however, gift Audible Gold Monthly Gift memberships in increments of three, six, or 12 months. Given that Audible's cost of conveying a single credit is the same as processing that Gold membership, I can see why they would want to remove one option in favor of the other. Nevertheless, a number of Audible users are dismayed by this news. "I don't want to spend 45 bucks to send someone a 3 month subscription. I want to use a credit I have or spend 20 bucks sending them a single book," the original source wrote.  Another agreed with the sentiment: "I am an author and that was what I used it for. Others used it to gift me a book, and they did not even need to buy a subscription!". While there was obviously some abuse of the system in that credits were sold [...]


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Amazon Releases Chatbot Tools in Race to Dominate Voice-Powered Tech
by Contributor
20 Apr 2017 at 7:44am

Last week Amazon announced that they were making the Echo's unique compound microphone tech available to developers. Now it's doing the same with the entire platform. Amazon's CTO is working toward a day when people can control almost any piece of software with their voice. The company on Wednesday rolled out the technology powering Alexa, its voice assistant that competes with Apple's Siri, to developers so they can build chat features into their own apps, CTO Werner Vogels said in an interview. The service, Amazon Lex, was in a preview phase since late 2016. The move underscores how Amazon is racing to be the top player in voice-controlled computing, after losing out in mobile to Apple and Google. Vogels said that Amazon's headway in processing how humans write and speak would make conversational assistants or "chatbots" more helpful than the clunky tools they've been in the past. "There's massive acceleration happening here," he said before speaking at Amazon's cloud-computing summit in San Francisco. "The cool thing about having this running as a service in the cloud instead of in your own data center or on your own desktop is that we can make Lex better continuously by the millions of customers [...]


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Google is Making an Ad-Blocker for Chrome, But You Will Never Be Able to Full...
by Nate Hoffelder
20 Apr 2017 at 5:36am

The WSJ has reported unconfirmed but reasonable sounding claims that Google is working on an ad blocker for Chrome: Google is planning to introduce an ad-blocking feature in the mobile and desktop versions of its popular Chrome web browser, according to people familiar with the company?s plans. The ad-blocking feature, which could be switched on by default within Chrome, would filter out certain online ad types deemed to provide bad experiences for users as they move around the web. Google could announce the feature within weeks, but it is still ironing out specific details and still could decide not to move ahead with the plan, the people said. My concern about this story is that Google has conflicting motives. The engineers want to build a better ad blocker, but their bosses want to make money. We see this type of conflict in tech companies from Twitter to Facebook, and in the case of Google it has lead to situations like Google's search engine (a great tool, but the first page of results is sometimes nothing but ads). So if Google does develop and release this ad blocker, it's going to work great right up until someone at Google decides they would rather make money, and [...]


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Morning Coffee ? 20 April 2017
by Nate Hoffelder
19 Apr 2017 at 8:55pm

Here are a few stories to read this morning. 100+ Sleazy ?Swapping? Books of the 1960s and 70s (Flashbak) Amazon Opens Second Bookstore In Massachusetts (PW) Déjà lu: On the pleasures of rereading ? by David Collard (TLS) Slow Writers: Are they Doomed to Failure in the Digital Age (Anne R Allen) Your mom can buy just so many books. Here?s how to outmarket the competition. (Teleread) Every weekday morning we curate the top stories in books, IP, self-publishing, and ebooks. Sign up here to get this post delivered right to your inbox.


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Here?s Your Chance to Buy a Piece of eReader History
by Nate Hoffelder
19 Apr 2017 at 1:26pm

When the Wexler FlexOne launched in Russia in 2012, this ereader cost as much as a premium device and yet it only had a basic d-pad for a controller (no frontlight, touchscreen, sound, etc). It had nothing to go for it other than a flexible screen which wasn't actually that flexible, which is probably why it was discontinued and then cleared out on Amazon for $50 each in 2014. For three years now the FlexOne has been almost impossible to get, but now you have a chance to get a piece of ereader history. A reader has tipped me to the news that the Wexler FlexOne is now available on AliExpress. It seems the Chinese OEM has either found old stock in their warehouse or decided to invest in a production run, because you can now get a FlexOne for only $59. I would not recommend buying a FlexOne for any reason other than nostalgia or curiosity; the basic Kindle is a much better value. But if you always wanted one then now is your chance. Thanks, kuzelnik, for the tip! AliExpress


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Hands on with the Onyx Boox e-Note 10.3
by Nate Hoffelder
19 Apr 2017 at 8:15am

In addition to the Boox Typewriter and the Onyx Boox Max Carta Elite Ultimate,  Chinese ereader maker Onyx also showed off its new 10.3" ereader at the Hong Kong electronics fair last week. The Onyx Boox e-Note is in some ways an update to Onyx's 9.7" ereaders, only with the new and not-yet-released 10.3" Carta E-ink screen. It's going to have both a capacitive touchscreen and an "active pen". It's not clear what that means, although the specs do make clear that the other touchscreen option is an electromagnetic stylus (it's an either/or situation). This A5-sized screen has a screen resolution of 1404 x 1872, or 227 ppi. That is considerably sharper than existing 9.7" Eink screens, which max out at a resolution of 1200 x 825, or 150 ppi. And yet the Boox e-Note is almost the same size as the N96 (on the left). The Onyx Boox e-Note runs Android 4.0 on a 1GHz CPU with 1GB RAM. It has 16GB internal storage, a microSD card slot, microphone, and a headphone jack. It has both wifi and Bluetooth, and the specs also mention "support" for a speaker (I did not see a speaker grill in the video, however). Weighing in at 480 grams, this device has [...]


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