Google Books aims to offer a better challenge to Amazon’s Kindle app when it comes to helping you find new things to read. The new feature called “Discover” is a new section in the Google Books application that will help point users to new content, including both personalized suggestions as well as other recommendations based on what’s currently popular with the wider community. It will offer up new stories based on what you read on Google Books. However, it will also automatically suggest books that are mentioned in an article or mentioned in a video you watch, elsewhere in the app – like in the new “Weekly Highlights” section.
Amazon announced a new program called the Kindle Reading Fund which is aimed at making digital books more easily available worldwide. The Fund will donate a number of Kindle e-readers, Fire tablets as well as e-books to communities around the world, in conjunction with various partner organizations. In addition to schools, libraries, PTAs, hospitals and other nonprofits, Amazon is also now working with Worldreader to help support its reading programs in the developing world.
B&N and Samsung released Galaxy Tab A Nook tablet
Barnes and Noble released another Samsung branded tablet - Samsung Galaxy Tab A NOOK. It is available for $139.99 and features a 7 inch display with a resolution of 1280 x 800 and 216 PPI. This is an entry level tablet, certainly not meant to compete with flagship devices on the market, such as the iPad or Surface. You will be able to access the Samsung App Store and Google Play on this device and it is running Android 5.1.1, which is fairly dated by late 2016 standards. This tablet also has a slew of customized Nook Android Apps, such as an e-reading app, library management, magazine reader and more.
With the new Aura One, Kobo is trying to take on Amazon-dominated space. Its 7.8-inch display utterly dwarfs the Aura HD and a $230 price point to match. Even with a handful of other welcome add-on features, that’s a pretty lofty price tag for a devoted e-reader when Amazon’s Kindle Voyage starts at $30 less (the Special Offers edition, at least). But Kobo’s previous attempts to go all in have paid off before, and while the company will likely be the first to admit that the Aura One isn’t for everyone, it gives the sort of person willing to shell out more than $200 for such a device exactly what they’re looking for: the ultimate e-reader. Kobo once again gets some points for thinking outside of the e-reader mainstream, and while the Aura One probably isn’t worth the price of entry for most readers, the devoted few will find a lot to love, including a massive screen, blue-light shifting, a nice design and a whole lot of storage.
Pocketbook InkPad 2 is a new e-reader that was just announced today. This device features an 8 inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 1,200 x 1,600 pixels. It has a front-lit display and physical page turn buttons. The InkPad 2 is powered by a 1 GHz processor and 512 MB RAM. There is 4 GB of internal memory, but you can expand it up to 32 GB via the Micro SD. I think people are going to be attracted that this e-reader has a 3.5mm headphone jack, so you can listen to audiobooks and music. This e-reader will be available in the near future for $199 Euros.
BookBaby launched a new editing service for self-published authors. They will copy edit a 60,000-word eBook for under $1,200, which is 50% lower than other competing premium offers. Finding a good e-book editor can be daunting for a debut or first time author. Many end up Googling around to try and find someone on the cheap or sometimes find themselves dealing with Author Solutions who employ aggressive up-selling. “Every book needs editing–that’s an established fact,” says BookBaby President Steven Spatz. “Now every author can get the kind of top-notch editing they need. Our goal was to provide a cost-effective solution for self-publishing authors while maintaining the quality that they expect and deserve.”
Onyx Boox has released a higher resolution e-reader with the advent of the C67ML. This model has an e-Ink Carta 2 screen with a resolution of 1148×1072 with 300 PPI and has a built in front-light. The C6 series is in its 3rd generation and this is the first Onyx Boox e-reader to employ the new Carta 2 display. This device has a Cortex-A9 dual core 1GHz processor, 512 MB of RAM, 8 GB of internal memory and a MicroSD to upgrade the storage up to 32 GB. It also has a 3.5 mm headphone jack to listen to audiobooks or music. This device runs Android 4.2, so you will be able to install your own apps. You can purchase this e-reader from Banggood for $200 US.
Barnes & Noble announced today the launch of a new self-publishing print platform called Nook Press, which will allow authors to turn their ebooks into print versions that can be sold in B&N stores and online at BN.com. The program is self-service and allows authors to create both hardcover and paperback versions. Through the program, authors who have sold 1,000 copies of a single ebook in the past year will be able to sell their print books on the local, regional or national level through B&N.
Amazon’s newly refreshed entry-level Kindle has slimmed down and dropped a little weight in time for swimsuit season – 16-percent, for those counting, now down to 5.7 ounces. The new version features double the RAM of its predecessor, kicking things up to 512MB, along with a couple of new features, including Export Notes, which let you send notes and highlights to yourself via email and Bluetooth audio, which accesses the VoiceView content reader without need for an adapter. There’s also a newly personalized home screen and updates to the reader’s simplified Chinese offering. The new Kindle comes in both black and white, and features a newly rounded back for a better in-hand fit. It’s priced the same as its predecessor, at $79 WiFi with Special Offers and $99 without. It’s available for pre-order now, with shipping starting in the next couple of weeks. The higher-end, front-lit PaperWhite is now also, fittingly, available in white as well.
Comixology launched a new digital comic subscription service. You can pay $5.99 per month for access to a selection of comics and graphic novels. There are a multitude of publishers that are taking part in this new initiative, such as Image Comics, Dark Horse Comics, IDW Publishing, BOOM! Studios, Dynamite Entertainment, Kodansha Comics, Oni Press, Valiant Entertainment, Archie Comics, Fantagraphics Books, Humanoids, Action Lab Entertainment, Aspen Comics, Zenescope Entertainment and more. Marvel is noticeably absent from taking part in this new program, mainly because they run their own service called Marvel Unlimited. DC is also not participating and they have yet to develop their own solution.