Info on who is speaking on Indie Author Day (and reminder there is still time for libraries to sign up)

SELF-e_IndieAuthorDay_Logo_v2

Since the announcement of the Indie Author Day (set for October 8th), 260 (and counting) libraries have signed up to participate. The event is designed to bring local writing communities together in their libraries to participate in panels, book readings and signings, workshops, and presentations. Then, at 2 p.m. EST everyone is invited to join a virtual panel featuring the following experts:

Moderator

Jon Fine, a First Amendment attorney, is best known in the publishing industry as the longtime Director of Author and Publisher Relations for Amazon. He left that position at the beginning of 2015 after almost a decade with the company, and now is consulting in professional online and traditional media and e-commerce, both in legal and business affairs.]

Panelists

Robin Cutler began her career in publishing over 30 years ago and is currently the Director of IngramSpark. She has also served as Assistant Director at USC Press and Executive Director of University Relations at the University of Wisconsin, she started a trade imprint, SummerHouse Press, and served as its CEO. Robin most recently worked as Vendor Manager for Amazon/CreateSpace. Robin has broad knowledge of indie, academic and trade publishing and is an expert in content creation and distribution, on-demand models, marketing and author strategies. Robin is a leader in the independent publishing space, and when not developing new programs and services for IngramSpark, she can often be found sharing her expertise at industry events around the world.

Kiera Parrott is the Reviews Director for School Library Journal and Library Journal. Through SELF-e, Library Journal is helping indie authors to get discovered in the library. Prior to working at Library Journal, Kiera was children’s librarian in various roles including head of children’s services at Darien Library in Connecticut, Darien’s children’s librarian / collection development coordinator and a children’s librarian at New York Public Library. Kiera’s favorite books are the ones that make her cry — or snort — on public transportation.

Jim Blanton was born and raised in Lexington, Kentucky. Upon graduating from U.K. in 2000 with his M.L.S., Jim went to work for the Chesapeake Public Library in Chesapeake, Virginia where he served in a variety of roles including Assistant Director. He was a two-time recipient of the Virginia Public Library Director’s award for Outstanding Adult Program of the Year, received the VPLD award for Outstanding Young Adult program and was also named by Library Journal as a 2012 Mover and Shaker for his work on a financial literacy game called Save Steve.

L. Penelope has been writing since she could hold a pen and loves getting lost in the worlds in her head. She is the author of new adult, fantasy and paranormal romance with characters who match the real world. Her debut novel, Song of Blood & Stone, won the 2016 Self-Publishing eBook Award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. Learn more about L. Penelope and her books on her website.

News Roundup [August 19, 2016]

News Roundup

Each Friday, NSR releases a compilation of news stories related to ebooks, epublishing, elibraries, and digital literacy from around the world. The goal is to help information professionals (of all walks of life) keep up with what is happening in the world of ebooks and econtent beyond the confines of their companies, institutions, countries, and continents.

This is by no means an all-inclusive list of the most important news that occurred this (or any other) week. But it is a curated list, and a way for NSR to not lose sight of the big picture. Here’s the thinking behind what we choose to highlight:

  • focus on diversity and giving equal voice to established news sources as well as to blogs run by independent thinkers
  • promotion of efforts that support digital literacy (in all incarnations)
  • attention to ebook and literacy initiatives in emerging markets
  • strong interest in ideas propelling the industry forward rather than promotions of certain brands
  • strong interest in professionals  challenging the status quo and leading the way

Enjoy this week’s compilation.


@rhizome Has Released the First Public Version of #Webrecorder Library Journal

Did You Know Audible Will Steal Away Your Credits If You Cancel Your Membership? The Digital Reader

Kindle in Motion: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly about Amazon’s New Enhanced Format (Screenshots) The Digital Reader

Worldwide availability of current Kindle Models as of 8/11/16 Kindle World

eBook Accessibility Audit in UK Higher Education Cilip

The Idiomatic generates random idioms to annoy and confuse your friends Boingboing

Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec adds 2.4 million bibliographic records to WorldCat OCIC

Mountain West Digital Library (MWDL) Adds Digital Collections From Utah State Archives aaa Infodocket

Author Co-Founds Enhanced eBook Startup The Digital Reader

Amazon Deletes Kannada-Langauge eBook, Indian Literary Community Freaks Out The Digital Reader

VAT ON BOOKS IS HARMING PUBLIC EDUCATION IN KENYA Bizna

The Connecticut State Library Announces the First Phase of the Development of a Statewide Library eBook Platform CT State Library

Comment le Réseau Carel tente d’améliorer le prêt numérique en bibliothèque et PNB Scoop It

Technology is not the death of deep reading No Shelf Required

Kindle Unlimited Funding Jumps in July 2016 The Digital Reader

The forgotten world of TV guide magazines, curated Boingboing

Kindle Instant Preview Indies Unlimited

New Report: “Digitizing Orphan Works: Legal Strategies to Reduce Risks for Open Access to Copyrighted #OrphanWorks” Infodocket

Condé Nast adds iPad support for The New Yorker Today app Talking New Media

Reference: The Bauhaus, a Comprehensive New Digital Resource, Launched By The Harvard Art Museums Infodocket

Book Making: The typographical challenges in publishing indigenous-language books Quill and Quire

Writers Can Earn Cash With In-Story Ads on Wattpad Wattpad

Why publishers are turning to the atomisation of content Fipp

Barnes & Noble Introduces the New Samsung Galaxy Tab A NOOK Barnes & Noble

Kobo’s new Aura One e-reader is big and waterproof Engadget

Librarian uses 21st-century technology to showcase Buffalo’s 19th-century splendor Library Stuff

Explore our Catalogue of Medieval Manuscripts, a free online resource for Middle Ages fans Medieval Manuscrip Blog

The Fourth Time is the Charm: Wattpad to Interrupt Stories With Adverts The Digital Reader

“Wayback Machine Won’t Censor Archive for Taste, Director Says After Olympics Article Scrubbed” Infodocket

The Best New Way to Read? Novels Told Through Text Messages Library Stuff

Ed Note: All titles of the articles listed below appear in the style used in the original sources.


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 @noshelfrequired. For her writings related to books and all things creativity and literacy, follow her on Facebook.

Book of the Week: Now That We’re Adults by Lynn Almengor

In an effort to draw attention to quality independent literature (fiction and nonfiction published by independent authors and indie publishers) and in agreement with BlueInk Review, NSR highlights reviews published on BIR’s site each week.

Now That We’re Adults

 

About Author

Lynn AlmengorLynn Almengor has been writing existential fiction since 2005 when she wrote and directed her first feature-length independent film. Now That We’re Adults, about the transition from college graduation into adulthood, is her first novel. Almengor holds a BA in video communication from Arcadia University and currently works as a web producer in her hometown of Philadelphia, PA., where she lives with her husband and their four ferrets.


About BlueInk Review

BlueInk Review was founded by Patti Thorn, former books editor of the Rocky Mountain News, and Patricia Moosbrugger, literary agent and subsidiary rights specialist. It offers serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books. Reviews are penned largely by writers drawn from major mainstream publications, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, and editors of respected traditional publishing houses. Select reviews appear in Booklist magazine.

Technology is not the death of deep reading

river image what is reference

In her opinion piece for No Shelf Required, Content and Media Editor at BiblioLabs, Emilie Hancock, argues that if we make even the smallest efforts to use technology as a means towards reading more, “we can re-establish a reading culture in the digital age.” At a time when so many ‘blame’ technology for ‘killing’ reading, Emilie’s article serves as a reminder that perhaps we haven’t been looking closely enough to notice that technology can, in fact, help us to read more, not less. This very thinking hits at the core of NSR’s own mission—to draw attention to the power of ebooks and econtent to transform the world into a place where reading flows and is an integral part of life in any enlightened society. Full article below.—Ed.


“People do still love to read, but they don’t have a lot of time.”

—Julian Yap, Co-Founder of Serial Box Publishing

By Emilie Hancock

Last month, National Public Radio (NPR) announced a new reason for bibliophiles to celebrate. In an article about publishers returning to serialized fiction, Serial Box Publishing Co-Founder Julian Yap reiterates an all-too-common argument for why most Americans — three quarters of us, according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll — don’t read books: not enough time. While we have little chance of decreasing how much time we spend working, caring for family and commuting, the amount of time that could stand the most modification is leisure time.

Last year, the average American over 15 years old spent around 3 hours watching television every day. In contrast, only 15 minutes a day were spent reading. I think the real reason we don’t read books is much less complex than not having enough time. What we require is not the impossible feat of adding hours to each day, but rather a realistic and achievable change in how we use the hours we already have. What we need is a change of habit. By embracing reading material that transcends books of traditional length and publication method, we can re-establish a reading culture in the digital age.

For many Americans, habitually reading for pleasure might seem like a quaint relic of the past. But a plethora of modern studies prove that the positive effects of reading are still relevant today. Besides warding off the effects of mental aging, reducing stress and strengthening memory, attention and analytical thinking skills, a report by the Harvard Medical School shows that reading burns 50% more calories than watching T.V. does. Plus, a report by the National Endowment for the Arts shows that readers are more likely than non-readers to volunteer or do charity work, which means that reading ends up being good for everyone.

But knowing how reading improves quality of life doesn’t necessarily make it easier to fit into a daily routine. Many of us are deterred from reading by the simple — and false — assumption that reading for pleasure entails reading traditional books. Those aren’t for me, we think, those self-contained, slightly awkward remnants of the past. For many of us, settling for anything less than a multimedia experience seems like a choice for ascetic monks. Where are the graphics, the links? We protest. Not to mention that the thought of cracking open a book without chapters makes us feel on the verge of propelling endlessly through a murky abyss. What if I want to stop reading, but can’t find a good place? Rather than risk it, we avoid reading.

Study after study shows that increased media consumption has been the culprit in decreased reading in recent years. We read differently, quickly skimming for keywords, then abandoning the remaining text. The shift further away from deep reading to scanning seems inevitable. Digital mediums permeate our lives from work to play, and it seems that as innovators create more ways for consumers to use technology, reading books is rendered less likely. But this begs the question: Does this mean that reading is rendered less likely?

Not at all. There are countless places where reading indulges Americans’ increased use of digital devices. We just have to know where to find them. First thing’s first: reading doesn’t just mean reading books. While eBook reading is on the rise, there’s no need to limit ourselves to these digital iterations of traditional novels. Publishers like Serial Box tap into our newfound need for speed reading by churning out digestible chunks of material that take around 40 minutes to read and are designed to look good on mobile devices. Because no additional text is left looming unread, readers can enjoy wondering what happens next without feeling guilty about not reading the next chapter.

While you’re waiting for the next installment of serial fiction, you can find even more ways to read in small doses. Sign up to receive daily emails, and read a poem a day from the Poetry Foundation, flash fiction from Every Day Fiction, short nonfiction from Delancey Place or even classic literature from Daily Lit. Of course, there are plenty of other options, but you can simplify your search for digital literature by visiting the most iconic place to find reading material: the library.

No longer warehouses for print books, libraries are playing an increasingly active role as centers for community engagement. Part of their transformation addresses patrons’ growing demand for digital content by “offering eBooks and 21st century library services.” One way that many libraries choose to satisfy their patrons’ craving for digital is by offering on-demand reading experiences with the mobile library app BiblioBoard (Think Netflix for libraries). But one of the most effective ways that libraries can encourage reading is through a timeless service: directing patrons to reading materials they want. As libraries reach broader audiences through a shift towards community engagement, their ability to help communities find the intersection of reading and technology will become critical to re-establishing the habit of reading.

In NPR’s article on the return of serialized fiction, University of Virginia publishing expert Jane Friedman suggests that efforts to preserve habitual and deep reading in the digital age are hopeful. She says, “Most authors I talk to — and even Amazon — have said that every time they do a serial they make at least half their money on then selling the whole thing together as a bundle.” Despite starting life as shorter bits of text, published series are still consumed en masse. Perhaps this reveals a basic fact about habits: repetition is key. Fifteen minutes of reading a day has the potential to become 20, then 30 and so on. Technology is not the death of deep reading. By making a few small, conscious efforts to use technology as a means towards reading more, we can re-establish a reading culture in the digital age.


Emilie Hancock is Content and Media Editor at BiblioLabs, the creators of BiblioBoard. She is the founder of Books Unbound, a literacy program for incarcerated teens in South Carolina. She lives with her husband and their two bossy dogs, and is a patron of the Charleston County Public Library.

Audiobook of the Week: Bobby Kennedy (The Making of a Liberal Icon)

Audiobooks are ebooks. Listening is learning. In an effort to raise awareness among readers and all who work with books about the versatility of digital literacy, NSR occasionally publishes audiobook reviews of titles of exceptional quality to draw attention to the subtle (but consistent) ways in which formats are blurring in digital environments. Enjoy this week’s pick.

9780735208087[1]Title: Bobby Kennedy 
Subtitle: The Making of a Liberal Icon
Author: Larry Tye
Narrator: Marc Cashman
Publisher: Books on Tape
Release Date: 2016

Duration: 20 hours

 


Reviewed for NSR by Michael Rogers (Babylon, New York)

Almost half a century after his June 5, 1968 murder, Bobby Kennedy still lingers in his brother’s shadow. As Tye ably shows, however, if not for an assassin’s bullet, Bobby likely would be the Kennedy son lauded as the great president. The public remains so ensconced in the “Camelot” myth surrounding JFK/Jackie that Bobby’s more impressive résumé has been ignored. If Bobby lived to be president, the 1960s might not be remembered for the turmoil that roiled the nation. The Civil Rights horrors still making terrible headlines might have been put to rest, and U.S. involvement in Vietnam perhaps would have halted sooner.

But how did this billionaire’s son born into unfathomable privilege who began his political career as a commie-buster for tail-gunner Joe McCarthy morph into the patron saint of liberalism? His journey is a remarkable story of perseverance, tragedy, and personal growth.

He was the runt of the Kennedy litter and deemed “girlish” by mother Rose, a label that made Bobby push himself harder. Bobby was still a small boy when first-born son Joe Jr. died in World War II, causing his father’s determination to have a son in the White House shift to Jack, a sickly, bookish intellectual, who grudgingly accepted the yoke, while Bobby simply was expected to play the lead role in supporting his brother’s political endeavors. No one did it better! Bobby became the campaign manager, personal confidant, and trouble-shooter from hell! He perceived his role as all-encompassing: from sealing envelopes, to knocking on doors, to leaking disparaging information about Jack’s opponent to the press (Tye credits Bobby with introducing the smear campaign). Bobby’s detractor’s labeled him “ruthless” because of his laser-focused determination to win at any cost, no matter how hard, how much it cost, how long it took—or who got hurt.

Whereas Jack, who several times had flirted with death from illness and his noted military service, joyfully embraced the perks of being a rich man’s son with all the splendors of wine, women, and song (especially the women), Bobby was nose to the grindstone, believing that success was achieved through hard work, although he, too, enjoyed his share of un/married affairs and repeatedly utilized his father’s connections to his advantage. After successfully managing Jack’s Massachusetts’s senate campaign, Bobby went to work for his dad’s crony Joe McCarthy. Bobby’s innate hatred of communism fueled his fervor for rooting out reds in the U.S., but clashes with henchman Roy Cohn made his time with the Wisconsin senator short while teaching him the invaluable lesson of covering his ass by doing his homework himself without cutting corners—Bobby always dotted his I’s and crossed his T’s; habits that served him well.

Tye shows that Bobby was stubborn, unforgiving (Joe Sr. observed that, “when Bobby hated you, you stayed hated”), and entered politics with a trunk full of biases but learned quickly to keep an open mind and change his opinion based on knowledge acquired first-hand. In principle he was vehemently anti-Communist but travelled throughout Russia to learn for himself what life under Soviet rule was like by going among the people, an act repeated in Japan and other locales. Unlike many in power, Bobby was interested in the thoughts of the young and visited colleges to meet students wherever he went.

Bobby liked to fight—he claimed it cleansed him—and never backed down from trading punches (literally and figuratively) with bigger, tougher opponents from college football bruisers to teamsters czar Jimmy Hoffa. His iron determination and ability to withhold judgment until researching the issues made Bobby a champion of causes unlike any other. When hearing that Americans were living in astounding poverty and squalor in the south, he investigated, visiting black families in dirt-floor shacks with only molasses for every meal. He knew the wealthy and privileged turned a blind eye to the sufferings of others less fortunate, so he forced himself to look and to act.

Tye details how Jack’s death emotionally destroyed Bobby—he lost his brother, confidant, and best friend. The blazing fire of his will was reduced to smoldering ash that took years of stoking to reignite. JFK’s death also halted Bobby’s influence with the White House—Lyndon Johnson kept him as attorney general but hated him (the feeling was mutual).

Bobby never fully overcame Jack’s death, but learned to move forward with a determination of keeping his brother’s legacy alive through his own actions. Clinching the NY senate seat was his path back to Washington (although LBJ already had passed many of the Civil Rights, education, and anti-poverty legislation Jack started).

As Tye amply illustrates, Bobby was a doer; promises meant nothing unless fulfilled. He worked hard, played hard, and was equally loved and hated by his political peers and the populace he served. The narrative, which incorporates much new information, is well balanced; Bobby’s achievements are praised while his many faults are equally well cataloged. It’s a detailed, even-handed portrait of Bobby as a hard-charging, no bullshit politician and a loving and dedicated husband and father. Narrator Marc Cashman reads in a documentary-style tone that is a perfect match for the material.

In the current, seemingly insane political climate gripping America, Tye’s account couldn’t be more timely, and is a strong addition to biography, history, and political science collections.


Special thank you to Michael Rogers, former Media Editor and audiobook reviewer at Library Journal, for contributing this and other reviews to NSR. Publishers/producers interested in getting their (newly released) audiobooks reviewed on NSR should contact Michael directly at mermsr@optimum.net.

News Roundup [August 12, 2016]

News Roundup

Each Friday, NSR releases a compilation of news stories related to ebooks, epublishing, elibraries, and digital literacy from around the world. The goal is to help information professionals (of all walks of life) keep up with what is happening in the world of ebooks and econtent beyond the confines of their companies, institutions, countries, and continents.

This is by no means an all-inclusive list of the most important news that occurred this (or any other) week. But it is a curated list, and a way for NSR to not lose sight of the big picture. Here’s the thinking behind what we choose to highlight:

  • focus on diversity and giving equal voice to established news sources as well as to blogs run by independent thinkers
  • promotion of efforts that support digital literacy (in all incarnations)
  • attention to ebook and literacy initiatives in emerging markets
  • strong interest in ideas propelling the industry forward rather than promotions of certain brands
  • strong interest in professionals  challenging the status quo and leading the way

Enjoy this week’s compilation.

Smashwords Self-Published Bestsellers List, June 2016

Senior editor shows the passion behind AmazonCrossing’s big lead in international translation

The world’s first website went online 25 years ago today

Going back in Gotham: OldNYC lets you explore 19th and early 20th century streets of New York City

Pennsylvania Residents are now paying more for e-books

E-book libraries: What a difference a layout makes

World’s 1st Tibetan language search engine in trial operation

Now featured at @HuffPostBooks 10 Trends Driving the Future of Authorship

Resources: “Introducing the Digital Library of the Middle East”

HarperCollins Reports Slight Dip in Revenue, Huge Drop in eBook Sales in FY 2015

CliffsNotes Adds Personalized, Subscription-Based Digital Guides

The New Issue of “The Journal of Electronic Publishing” Looks at the Economics of Publishing

Scammers have wormed their way into the heart of the publishing business, and the entire industry is in denial

Ratings Catcher Adds Support for Goodreads, B&N and Kobo

You Can Now Share Share Your Kindle Notes and Highlights via Goodreads

Free: National Geographic Lets You Download Thousands of Maps from the United States Geological Survey

Connecticut State Library Begins First Phase of Statewide Library eBook Platform Development

Digitizing the World’s Largest Braille Music Collection

Why Romance Readers Love Digital Books

Open Ebooks Coming to Project MUSE: An Interview with Wendy Queen

Ed Note: All titles of the articles listed below appear in the style used in the original sources.]


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.

News Roundup [August 5, 2016]

News Roundup

Each Friday, NSR releases a compilation of news stories related to ebooks, epublishing, elibraries, and digital literacy from around the world. The goal is to help information professionals (of all walks of life) keep up with what is happening in the world of ebooks and econtent beyond the confines of their companies, institutions, countries, and continents.

This is by no means an all-inclusive list of the most important news that occurred this (or any other) week. But it is a curated list, and a way for NSR to not lose sight of the big picture. Here’s the thinking behind what we choose to highlight:

  • focus on diversity and giving equal voice to established news sources as well as to blogs run by independent thinkers
  • promotion of efforts that support digital literacy (in all incarnations)
  • attention to ebook and literacy initiatives in emerging markets
  • strong interest in ideas propelling the industry forward rather than promotions of certain brands
  • strong interest in professionals  challenging the status quo and leading the way

Enjoy this week’s compilation.

Big thanks to @JeffBezos for being my guest on the eighth anniversary of the Kindle Chronicles!

Pocket US Constitution Becomes Amazon Bestseller

If Almost Forty Percent of ABA Members Aren’t Actually Indie Bookstores, Can We Really Say There’s a Revival?

Harry Potter Ebooks Arrive in China, in Both Chinese and English

Mapping the Free Ebook Supply Chain

Entitled: The art of naming without further elaboration or qualification.

Princeton’s Cotsen Library Digitizes Classic Soviet Children’s Books

Hachette Partners with Tapas in Push for Mobile Reading

Hummingbird Adds Audiobook-Only Capability to Platform

Txtr Has Closed, Customers Advised to Transfer Accounts to Juke

A Comic Book Artist Reinvents His Craft For Blind Readers

Blog: Browse Our Redesigned and Updated Digital Collections! – Free Library of Philadelphia

Authors, Please Keep Telling Readers How eBooks Should be Expensive

New Digital Collections Online: Florida Restaurant Menus from University of Miami Libraries

Kindle Unlimited Launches in Japan, Costs 980 Yen a Month

Localized iPad Pro Smart Keyboards Arrive

US Editors Observe Trends in the German Book Market | Riky Stock @GBONewYork http://ow.ly/6Ksr302PVan #FBM16

Publishers Lose Another Round in GSU Copyright Case

No power or running water – but digital books galore

OverDrive celebrates 30 years as the global leader in digital library content

Tapas Adds Hachette Titles to Its Pay-As-You-Read Comics Platform

The Changing Face of Publishing

You can now read Spanish stories in The New York Times’ Android app

Podcast: The audiobook gets its groove back

Interview with David Blum the Editor of Kindle Singles

Closed for business: Two big things that could penalize your Amazon author account (and how to prevent them)

Do Indies Have to Do Print?

What Do the Financial Reports from the Big Five Book Publishers Tell Us?

Getting Your EBook into Libraries

SHAKESPEARE’S GLOBE ARCHIVE TO BE DIGITISED

Access-to-Own Now Available on ProQuest® Ebook Central™ Platform

Ed Note: All titles of the articles listed below appear in the style used in the original sources.]


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.

Publishers, librarians, authors: Please support the Free Reading Zones initiative. It supports YOU.

free-reading

The enthusiasm for Free Reading Zones (an initiative of organizations and individuals to spread reading and enable free access to knowledge everywhere) is growing steadily on Facebook since we launched the campaign less than two weeks ago. Why Facebook and not LinkedIn? Because Facebook is where the READERS are. We spend too much time on LinkedIn thinking like professionals, and not enough time connecting with those we are in this business for: readers.

We spend too much time at book shows and library conferences trying to impress each other (as professionals) while failing to see that our industry (in its broadest sense) is painfully disconnected from those it claims to serve: readers. And even though we beg to differ, we rarely want to admit that we don’t care to help readers connect with other readers (something ebooks and econtent can help us accomplish like no other medium ever has in the history of mankindand no, online communities where people get to discuss books isn’t what I have in mind here, although these communities are surely helping us get ‘there’).  If we really did care, people would by now have more free access to books everywhere (just like they have free access to music, art, and other forms of human expression). If we weren’t so paralyzed by fear, we would spend more time looking at the horizon and less time stressing over ‘the bottom line.’

Free Reading Zones (FREZ) is about supporting PUBLISHERS and the AUTHORS they nurture (because they benefit every time someone reads). It’s also about supporting INDEPENDENT AUTHORS (because it is a channel for them to expose their work, and, as it turns out, the world is full of independent authors producing high-quality work every single day). And about helping LIBRARIES ‘go beyond’ the confines of their walls to support literacy in all incarnations. Giving people knowledge, regardless of their zip code, is the kindest, most humane way to serve any society because it serves THE INDIVIDUAL, not the institutionand it is far more important than inviting people to visit the local library, however beautiful the architecture or the smell of paper.

Most of all: it’s about giving access to the written word to people around the world by relying on sponsorships from organizations willing (and eager, in fact) to support unleashing of the stories that have been locked up in print books. Libraries have, for centuries, been the ultimate free reading zones. In 2016, we have the technology and the willingness of an army of people involved in this initiative to turn all kinds of places—public and private—into free reading zones (with help from libraries and other organizations): parks, hospitals, laundromats, airports, airplanes, hotels, beaches, schools, etc. etc.

I have the privilege of running this initiative and working with many of you already. It is an honor to utter the following brands in my conversations with sponsors: Workman, Elsevier, De Gruyter, Berlitz, Lonely Planet, Sourcebooks, O’Reilly Media, Other Press, Oxford University Press, Chicago Review Press, Marshall Cavendish, Lerner, Rourke Educational Media, New World Library, ECW Press, Berrett-Koehler, Algonquin, Artisan, and over 200 other publishers from around the world whose content is available for reading in these Zones (in English and other languages).

To all of you whose books are exposed for reading in these zones: thank you. To the publishers that want to join us, please let me know (non-English language content is especially welcome). To the libraries that want to take part: please don’t wait another day.

To all others who wish to help, please spread the word and support the Free Reading Zones page on Facebook. The page itself serves as ‘proof’ that we are all in it together. Every ‘like’ is a vote for free access to knowledge. Every ‘like’ is a statement to the sponsors everywhere that READING MATTERS. It matters more than publishers. And libraries. And authors. It even matters more than books. If we are unable to ‘see’ it, then who is?—MR


Mirela Roncevic is Managing Editor of No Shelf Required and Director of the Free Reading Zones initiative (launched in 2016 in the United States and around the world). 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.

News Roundup [July 29, 2016]

News Roundup

Each Friday, NSR releases a compilation of news stories related to ebooks, epublishing, elibraries, and digital literacy from around the world. The goal is to help information professionals (of all walks of life) keep up with what is happening in the world of ebooks and econtent beyond the confines of their companies, institutions, countries, and continents.

This is by no means an all-inclusive list of the most important news that occurred this (or any other) week. But it is a curated list, and a way for NSR to not lose sight of the big picture. Here’s the thinking behind what we choose to highlight:

  • focus on diversity and giving equal voice to established news sources as well as to blogs run by independent thinkers
  • promotion of efforts that support digital literacy (in all incarnations)
  • attention to ebook and literacy initiatives in emerging markets
  • strong interest in ideas propelling the industry forward rather than promotions of certain brands
  • strong interest in professionals  challenging the status quo and leading the way

Enjoy this week’s compilation.

Report: “Transforming Libraries in Myanmar: The E-Library Myanmar Project”

Mike Shatzkin imagines events that could upend publishing as much as the Kindle or the demise of Borders

Free Reading Zones An initiative to spread reading digitally and bring books to people in every corner of the globe

TeleRead’s latest hacker threat forces our archival site to go offline

Publisher restrictions on ebooks & impact in India

New Survey Shows Used and Rented Textbooks Still Trump e-Textbooks

Serial Reader Delivers Bite Sized Reads

Study looks at digital disruption in business, a problem publishers should be familiar with

AAP Reports eBook Revenues Down 18.7% in February 2016

Reader Audiences and Analytics: What Do They Really Reveal?

Google Play Family Library Lets (Some) Share eBooks, Other

Guardian News & Media reports £69m loss, 50K new digital subscribers can not make up for advertising losses

Video: “Digitizing the Collections” at the University of Oklahoma Libraries

The New York Times reports Q2 loss, print ad revenue falls 14%

Kobo Teases August Launch Date for its New 7.8″ eReader. the Aura

Ed Note: All titles of the articles listed below appear in the style used in the original sources.]


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.

News Roundup [July 22, 2016]

News Roundup

Each Friday, NSR releases a compilation of news stories related to ebooks, epublishing, elibraries, and digital literacy from around the world. The goal is to help information professionals (of all walks of life) keep up with what is happening in the world of ebooks and econtent beyond the confines of their companies, institutions, countries, and continents.

This is by no means an all-inclusive list of the most important news that occurred this (or any other) week. But it is a curated list, and a way for NSR to not lose sight of the big picture. Here’s the thinking behind what we choose to highlight:

  • focus on diversity and giving equal voice to established news sources as well as to blogs run by independent thinkers
  • promotion of efforts that support digital literacy (in all incarnations)
  • attention to ebook and literacy initiatives in emerging markets
  • strong interest in ideas propelling the industry forward rather than promotions of certain brands
  • strong interest in professionals  challenging the status quo and leading the way

Enjoy this week’s compilation.

 

Romance Makes up 4% of Print, and 45% of eBook Sales

E-Book Sales Increase 9% in the Netherlands

Kindle Unlimited Payout, Funding Jumps in June 2016

eMusic Relaunches Audiobook Store as eStories

Digital maps at the Osher Map Library show promise and perils of digitization

Kindle Announces Singles Classics

Want to beat piracy? Drop DRM, CD Projekt says

Indigo Goes Where Amazon, B&N, Goodreads, and a Dozen Publishers and Startups Have Dared to Tread

Google’s Art and Culture app turns your phone into a museum

These are the 6 reasons why newspapers typically decide to drop their paywalls

 

Ed Note: All titles of the articles listed below appear in the style used in the original sources.]


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.

Portal on all things ebooks and econtent and for all reading, writing, publishing, curating, and distributing books and other content in digital format, including publishers, librarians, content developers, distributors, retailers, and educators. Managed and edited by Mirela Roncevic, with contributions from professionals and thought leaders in the United States and around the world.