Category Archives: New Products & Services

Less than the Sum of its Parts?

In its grasping attempt to move from ubiquitous to monopolizing, Audible’s new come-on for romance genre consumers apparently leaves the concept of audiobook—as in book—behind. Having sliced and diced the genre’s presentation for paying consumers in more ways than the Kama Sutra suggests positions, they’ve just gone to a level of servicing that might leave both authors and narrators—to say nothing of narrating authors—with the frank understanding that it’s not the books that Audible is moving here, just what the company coyly calls the “good parts.”

Audible Romance already has allowed the fans of this one genre to dine freely at their subscription rate while listeners with interests in other genres or topics are kept to a single subscription “free listen” per month. Beyond that, Audible has parsed its romance genre fare and labeled titles for consumers by every imaginable plotting and character trait. In short, Audible makes sure those romance consumers don’t have to make too many discoveries by actually listening to entire audiobooks, eros forbid they might be confronted by unanticipated kinks, lack of kinks, or casting that wanders outside their comfort zones. Continue reading Less than the Sum of its Parts?

Chapters – Interactive Stories, an innovative new app that introduces gamified fiction

Mobile gaming has exploded in recent years, climbing from $17.5 billion in revenue in 2013 to $36.9 billion in 2016. This represents almost 40 percent of the gaming industry’s entire market and reveals that games designed specifically for smart phones and tablets are rapidly outperforming PC and console games.

A Novel Concept

Entering this infinitely expanding galaxy of mobile gaming apps is one that involves a novel concept: gamified fiction. Chapters – Interactive Stories—created by San Francisco-based Crazy Maple Studios, an iOS/Adroid app developer owned by ChineseAll USA Corporation and known for their game Tap Knights – Idle RPG—is “transform[ing] fiction stories into sustainable mobile games.” Launched in September 2017, Chapters was downloaded 250,000 times worldwide within the first month, and double that amount is projected to occur by mid-2018 as its catalog of game-adapted literature grows. Because the app is exclusively in English, 50 percent of the initial quarter-million downloads have been USA-based, while the remainder have been divided between the UK, India, Australia, Canada, and Brazil.

Available in GooglePlay and iStore, Chapters can be download for free. Once open, the homepage offers an array of genre fiction, with romance, horror, fantasy, and young adult selections principal among them. Supplementary chapters to existing titles become available each week. Currently, the app’s catalog of works includes titles by popular self-published authors, like Yuriko Hime, Gabriela Cabezut, and Jerilee Kaye, each of whom already has a significant following online and has previously released novels in either Kindle format or via the online storytelling community Wattpad. In the Chapters app, new gamified stories from other authors are now in production, a process that takes approximately three months, and these will be added throughout the end of the year. The application’s developers are also looking to significantly expand the scope of their catalog to include not only genre fiction, but literary fiction as well.

Continue reading Chapters – Interactive Stories, an innovative new app that introduces gamified fiction

EBSCO introduces two new magazine archives: U.S. News & World Report Magazine Archive and Esquire Magazine Archive

November 1, 2017 — Libraries can now enhance their special collections with digital backfiles for two leading magazines, U.S News and World Report and Esquire, through EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO). The new magazine archives, U.S. News & World Report Magazine Archive and Esquire Magazine Archive include cover to cover processing, which means each issue is presented in its entirety as originally published.

The two archives provide researchers with extensive coverage of 20th century topics including: business/economics, cultural studies, education, fashion/lifestyle, gender studies, history, marketing/advertising, politics, pop culture and sociology. Continue reading EBSCO introduces two new magazine archives: U.S. News & World Report Magazine Archive and Esquire Magazine Archive

Introducing The Short Story Project: A whole new way to discover, curate and appreciate short stories

Literary short stories rarely, if ever, get a chance to make an impression on their own terms, as they are usually buried in print anthologies that get lost quickly in an ever-expanding universe of published content. When short stories are given a new life in digital format—not only by extracting existing texts and migrating them online but also by translating them into several languages and adding original audio elements to each—as is the case with The Short Story Project—their impact is undeniable.

Professional reviewer Michael Rogers here sheds light on this mighty new entrant into the digital publishing and library market. NSR is pleased to publish this review and we look forward to following TSSP’s progress and development in the months and years to come.—Ed.


Stories that cross the line

Launched in 2015, The Short Story Project (TSSP) hosts a wide selection of short fiction from noted international authors. The acclaimed site—nominated for the London Book Fair’s Literary Translation Initiative Award in 2016, among others—also co-exists as an app of the same name for Androids and iOS devices. It was founded upon the belief that “reading is an experience that can make a difference. An experience that enables reflection on the human condition, inspires empathy and encourages examination; that reading is more than a pastime; it is an activity that can serve as a bridge between people and cultures, a sounding board for voices and ideas.” This belief is evident in many details, including TSSP’s tagline (Stories that Cross the Line).

TSSP endeavors to promote that philosophy through the “lively, stimulating presence of short fiction in contemporary culture,” enabling the “voices of writers from across the world be heard and resonate.” It is the creation of Iftach Alony, an Israeli-born business man with a history of successful entrepreneurial ventures. Alony is the author of two novels (2009’s Thief of Dreams, and 2012’s best-selling Spare Parts), the short story collections, Garuda’s Gaze and Plagues (of Egypt) Now (2015 and 2017, respectively), as well as the poetry collections, Let the Thorns Die (2013) and Gravity (2014). He also is the founder and coeditor of Block Magazine, a producer of several travel-films, and has served as a judge for short story competitions and other literary endeavors. Continue reading Introducing The Short Story Project: A whole new way to discover, curate and appreciate short stories

Alexander Street collaborates with indie film distributors to launch a new film collection for libraries

Just in:

Alexandria, VA – Indie films are synonymous with compelling viewpoints on historical events, insights into our current world, and innovative story-telling. Beyond that, they offer critical insights and profound perspectives on the human experience providing a new level of engagement for students with their classroom content.

Independent World Cinema: Classic and Contemporary Film, a new film collection from Alexander Street, a ProQuest company, provides streaming access to over 400 independent films essential for film studies, media studies and theater students. The films support research and learning in these fields yet have a wide range of applicability reaching as far as psychology, gender studies, and anthropology. Students will gain new insight and perspectives into their field in a format that they depend upon often—video. Continue reading Alexander Street collaborates with indie film distributors to launch a new film collection for libraries

Meet RBdigital, a new app that makes audiobooks, ebooks and magazines available in one location

One of the most interesting products unveiled at this year’s American Library Association conference in Chicago (held in late June), was Recorded Books’ RBdigital app, which brings together three content types into a single application: ebooks, audiobooks, and magazines. RBdigital essentially merges two existing apps into one: OneClickdigital and Zinio for Libraries. With this move, Recorded Books raises the bar higher for all ebook players catering to libraries.

Press release below.

Recorded Books, an RBmedia company, has announced the launch of RBdigital™ — bringing together libraries’ top-circulating digital media into a single mobile app. The functionality in both OneClickdigital™ and Zinio™ for Libraries — two leading library lending apps currently in use by thousands of libraries around the world — is now seamlessly merged into the new RBdigital app.

“We’re proud to be the first to make audiobooks, magazines, and eBooks available in one location on mobile devices,” says Tom MacIsaac, Chief Executive Officer of RBmedia. “This new unified app provides the best mobile experience in the industry. With RBdigital, library patrons will find it easier than ever before to discover and access their favorite content on their smartphones and tablets.” Continue reading Meet RBdigital, a new app that makes audiobooks, ebooks and magazines available in one location