Google announced that they made a new feature for users to share the books they are reading on the new Google+ social network. Any book on Google books, whether it is a free or paid book, can be shared with your Circles. This feature allows one to share books, passages and details, such as cover art and the description, with friends. To share a book, visit the “About the Book” page on the Google Book listing and click “Share.” While sharing books, one can also “+1” them, and the titles will appear in on the Google+ profile under the +1 tab. http://books.google.com/
Amazon plans to release a tablet computer by October, people familiar with the matter said according to the Wall Street Journal. While Amazon has long offered digital content on its website, it’s hardware focus has been content-limited Kindle eReaders. As Amazon attempts to enter streaming video and other “richer” media markets, it sounds logical that they start selling their own hardware which can support and tie-in with these services (as they had done with the Kindle). The details of the Amazon tablet still remain vague before it’s official announcement, but it is expected to run on the Android OS and is not expected to have features such as a camera. http://www.amazon.com/
Really Strategies announced the availability of RSuite Cloud, a web-based editorial and production system for automated multilingual publishing to print, web, and eBook formats. RSuite Cloud is a hosted end-to-end content management and publishing system for book publishers to create, manage, and distribute single-source content to multiple channels. The system also provides language translation tools to publish in 70 languages, including all major European, Asian, and bidirectional languages.
RSuite Cloud is available on a per-user license or Pay-Per-Page model. Pay-Per-Page is a payment model where the software is free of charge and the publisher only pays for final pages published from the system.
RSuite Cloud accepts Microsoft Word manuscripts into the system and automatically converts the Word files to XML for web-based copyediting and automated page composition. Production workflows can be set up to generate page proofs and eBook drafts for content review and approval. The system is configured to automatically publish print-ready PDF files, HTML output, and eBook formats. http://www.reallysi.com/
Amazon.com, Inc. announced “Kindle for Mac,” a free application that lets readers around the world read Kindle books on their Mac computers. The U.S. Kindle Store currently offers over 450,000 books, including New Releases and 102 of the New York Times Bestsellers. Kindle books can now be read on the Kindle, Kindle DX, iPhone, iPod touch, BlackBerry, PC and Mac, and soon the iPad. Kindle for Mac features Amazon’s Whispersync technology which saves and synchronizes bookmarks and last page read across devices. With Kindle for Mac, readers can take advantage of the following features: Purchase, download, and read the many Kindle format books available; Access their library of previously purchased Kindle books stored on Amazon’s servers for free; Choose from 10 different font sizes and adjust words per line; Add and automatically synchronize bookmarks and last page read; View notes and highlights marked on Kindle, Kindle DX, and Kindle for iPhone; & Read books in full color including children’s books, cookbooks, travel books and textbooks. Several features will be added to the Kindle for Mac app in the near future, including full text search and the ability to create and edit notes and highlights. Kindle for Mac is available to customers around the world as a free download. http://www.amazon.com/kindleformac
Atex announced their content management system, atex content, supports direct publication to e-readers and tablet devices. Media companies can capitalize on these technologies to publish content without custom development. The functionality could also allow publishers to develop new digital revenue streams while increasing the level of customer interaction. As e-reader demand is expected to increase as the technology develops, consumers will require more of their content to be delivered digitally. Atex content could help media companies take advantage of this trend with functionality to streamline digital content publishing. Whether it’s from print or the Web, editors can take content and reuse it in digital devices without needing additional staff or hardware. Instead of relying on a few products, e-readers could help media companies diversify what they provide to consumers. Depending on the model used, a media company will be able to track the content customers like most and allow readers to leave comments and answer poll questions. These social features should help publishers build tighter relationships with their readers and understand what content will retain their interest. www.atex.com
Amazon and Lexcycle announce that Amazon has aquired Ebook Firm Lexcycle, Inc., developers of the iphone eBook reader. Both companies said there are no plans to change the development of Stanza. According to Lexcycle’s founder Marc Prud’hommeau, “We are not planning any changes in the Stanza application or user experience as a result of the acquisition. Customers will still be able to browse, buy, and read ebooks from our many content partners. We look forward to offering future products and services that we hope will resonate with our passionate readers. We are excited to join forces with a company that has innovated on behalf of readers for over a decade and is a pioneer in ebooks. Like Amazon, we believe there is a lot of innovation ahead for ebooks and we could not think of a better company to join during this exciting time”. http://www.lexcycle.com/lexcycle_acquired_by_amazon
At O’Reilly’s Tools of Change Conference (TOC), Adobe made a very unAdobelike product announcement. Their new Digital Editions is very impressive!! I’ve never been a huge PDF fan because it is so stubbornly page centric in a world where pages are becoming much less important to the display of content. It has often awkward and painful to read PDFs on computer screens and hand held devices.
This new technology is based upon the IDPF EPUB standard that has been developed as the universal distribution format for reflow-centric content. The dynamic layout capability is amazingly agile as it reflows content from large to small screens with excellent speed and seemingly miminal effort. Adobe is currently mum about whether it will be included in the IPhone launch.
Digital Editions has optional DRM capability and will support contextual advertising, subscription and membership based business models. It features the expected compatibility with PDF and InDesign CS3.
The functionality and openness to industry standards are a radical departure from many of Adobe’s traditional practices. Bill McCoy, General Manager- ePublishing Business explains that the MacroMedia acquisition played a major role in making this strategic transition possible. This is more evidence that the Macromedia acquisition was one of the better acquisitions in recent memory.
The relatively small download (under 3MB) can be found at: www.adobe.com/products/digitaleditions.