News Roundup [May 27, 2016]

End-of-Week E-News Round-up3


Author Sues Simon & Schuster Over eBook Royalties on a Book It Doesn’t Publish [The Digital Reader]

A new class action lawsuit has been filed against Simon & Schuster. Doctor and author Sheldon Blau is alleging that S&S is paying him for ebooks as sales when they are in fact licensed, only the story is not nearly that simple.

Runaway slave ads portray grim period of U.S. history [Cornell Chronicle]

A unique interactive project in development at Cornell seeks to tell the story of runaway slave advertisements. The project, “Freedom on the Move” (FOTM), aims to compile all North American runaway slave ads, never before systematically collected, into a collaborative database of information. A joint venture launched by Baptist, Cornell University Library and the Cornell Institute for Social and Economic Research (CISER).

Placing a hold — Emotional adventures in the ebook catalog [No Shelf Required]

NSR presented the second in a series of stories written by Yoav Lorch, Founder and CEO of Total Boox,  on the irrationality of the ebook ‘situation’ in libraries.  His first story, Book Snatching, is about the absurdity of ebooks disappearing from devices; this one is about the absurdity of needing to place holds in digital environments.

The Waterstones eBook Store is Closing [Good eReader]

Waterstone’s eBook Store is closing and all of the digital content is being transferred over to Kobo. The UK bookseller made the announcement on their main website and via email to their customers. This is the third major company to strike a relationship with Kobo.

Amazon Does Not Price Match e-Books, but Kobo Does [Good eReader]

Amazon does not price match e-books, even if the price changes a day after you purchased it. Most companies do not have the will to develop an infrastructure to give people a chance to get a small credit in their account to makeup the difference. The only company to offer a price match system is Kobo.

10 Digital Editions of Surrealist Journals from Argentina, Chile & Spain (1928-67) [Open Culture]

Why have Spanish-speaking cultures proven so conducive to the kinds of creativity that bend reality just enough to make a deep and lasting impact on their audience? Those searching for answers would do well to look through the Autonomous University of Madrid’s digital trove of Spanish, Chilean, and Argentine surrealist journals from 1928-76.

e-Book Cover Design Awards, April 2016 [The Book Designer]

Winners of the e-Book Cover Design Awards for April 2016 submissions have been announced. They include, among others: for fiction, Wrong Side of Hell (Lou Harper) and for nonfiction, Are You Buying This? (The Book Designers).

Fisking Porter Anderson [Ja Konrath]

As posted by Joe Konrath: “There was so much bad information in this piece, Books’ Prices and Writing’s Value: Careful What We Asked For? by Porter Anderson, including cherry-picking a quote from me. Rather than respond in his comments I went ahead and fisked it.”

From invisible to digital: digitising endangered historical documents in Brazil [Open Democracy]

How does one set up a large-scale digitization project? Drawing upon personal experience arising from two research projects in Brazil, historian Courtney J. Campbell considers one method of bringing the lives of the invisible to light: the digitization and dissemination of archival historical sources related to slavery and its afterlives.

A thought to consider [Baldur Bjarnason]

As posted by Baldur Bjarnason: “If your average new author doesn’t have access to the resources necessary to tell an honest publisher or agent from a dishonest one (just to name one information asymmetry) without personal recommendation, if the market for the service offered by publishers is indeed a market for lemons, then the perceived economic value of those services to authors outside of the publishing industry network will trend towards zero.”

Digital Audiobook Sales Rose 38.9% in 2015 [Good eReader]

According to Publisher’s Weekly, a report by the Association of American Publishers’ shows that overall publishing industry sales fell by 2.6% last year when compared to figures from 2014. The big narrative to come out of the report is that digital audiobooks are taking the US by storm. Digital audiobook sales, which rose by nearly 40%, helped carry the adult books segment out of the red. Overall digital audio accounted for $205.6 million, but physical audio declined by 5.7%.

Archiving a Website for Ten Thousand Years [MacStories]

Hi.co, a website that allows its users to post “moments” with a photo and annotation, plans a similar trip to the distant future. It has announced that it will freeze service in September 2016 but all posts present in the site’s database at that time will be microprinted onto a two-by-two-inch nickel plate. The plates have a lifespan as long as 10,000 years, and they may be viewed with a 1,000-power optical microscope.

97% of Research Library Searches Leak Privacy… and Other Disappointing Statistics [Go to Hellman]

As posted by Eric Hellman: “72% of the ARL libraries let Google look over the shoulder of every click by every user, by virtue of the pervasive use of Google Analytics. Given the commitment to reader privacy embodied by the American Library Association’s code of ethics, I’m surprised this is not more controversial.”

New Magazines Come to ZINIO for Libraries [Information Today]

ZINIO has added nearly 4000 titles from Bauer Media Group, including Woman’s World, In Touch, Life & Style, and J-14, for its U.S. and Canadian library customers. ZINIO will be the exclusive delivery channel for these magazines. For more information, read the press release.

ComiXology Unlimited offers access to thousands of comics for $6 a month [Android Central]

ComiXology says the new Unlimited service will include books from Image, Dark Horse, IDW, Boom, Oni, Archie, Valiant, Fantagraphics and more. The two biggest comics publishers, Marvel and DC, are not part of ComiXology Unlimited, but the service will continue to sell individual comics issues from both companies.

Comixology Unlimited not quite as ‘unlimited’ as advertised [TeleRead]

More in the nature of a $6 per month sample platter, Comixology Unlimited seems to want to get you hooked on a series so you’ll then go out and spend your own money to read more of it. So, while it might be “unlimited” in the number of issues you can read per month, you’ll soon run up against the hard limit of the end of available issues on a series, and have to shell out extra to read more in it.

Edition Digital introduces new content hub [What’s New in Publishing]

Edition Digital, the publishing solution company, has launched its own media hub, a responsive website which explores the ever changing world of digital publishing, bringing together industry opinion leaders, creatives, clients, and insight experts. It’ll be a mixture of daily posts, along with longer pieces on a weekly basis.

Children’s e-book subscription service Epic sees epic growth [TeleRead]

California-based children’s e-book subscription service Epic! has been talking with Publishers Weekly about its recent rapid growth as more and more users find and take advantage of the service. Not to be confused with HarperCollins’s “Epic Reads” program for teenagers, Epic launched in 2014 and has been expanding rapidly.

Introducing Book Reviews on NSR [No Shelf Required]

NSR has announced that starting in May, the site will regularly highlight book reviews published on BlueInk Review‘s web site. NSR’s Managing Editor: “We are proud to join forces with BlueInk Review (an effort to provide “serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books”) in drawing more attention to quality self-published literature.”


Paul Biba is former Editor-in-Chief of TeleRead. For his curated ebook/elibrary/epublishing news, follow him on Twitter @paulkbiba.

Mirela Roncevic is Managing Editor at No Shelf Required. For all NSR-related news and reviews, follow her on Twitter @MirelaRoncevic. For her writings related to books and all things creativity and literacy, follow her on Facebook.