Articles tagged "mobile"

Worldreader delivers with mobile phones and eBooks

When we think of an ideal e-reader, we tend to visualize something like the Nook or Kindle or iPad — a device that has the dimensions, but not necessarily the heft of a book. Most us probably don’t think of our cell phones.

iPhones screens have remained relatively small and don’t lend themselves to sustained reading. While the Samsung Galaxy screen is big for a phone, it still doesn’t compare to the ease of reading on a tablet or Kindle. It might seem less than ideal for us, but for awhole sector of the world’s readers, cellular phones are now the central medium for reading eBooks.

In developing countries, where landlines have been skipped entirely and millions of people have directly adopted cell phones as their main interaction with technology,  eBooks are now being read in massive amounts on older, smaller phones that run off of a 2G wireless connection. The non-profit organization Worldreader, which used to just distribute Kindles to children in Africa, has now begun a mobile application where anyone with a mobile phone can access up to 1,400 eBooks for free.

Susan Moody, Worldreader’s director of marketing and communications, told the website Mashable that, “Feature phones are omnipresent in the developing world. They’re people’s lifelines; they’re where they get their access to payments and the Internet.”

Worldreader takes advantage of Creative Commons licenses to make available classic children’s books like Nancy Drew and Black Beauty. They also partner with larger publishers to offer such all-time favorites as Matilda and the Magic Tree House series. In addition, they offer a good amount of Africa-centric literature. Taking advantage of existing technological infrastructure to get kids hooked on reading is a wonderful idea, even if it puts eBooks on some unfamiliar territory.

Through the project, Worldreader has found some interesting (but somewhat predictable trends) — young women read a lot, and Romance is the most popular genre.

eBooks, often heralded as the end of publishing as we know it, continue to fight against that idea by introducing great works to even more readers everyday, readers who will search for even more books.

Would you ever read on a small cell phone screen with a slow 2G connection? Have you? What other ways can eBooks continue to reach out?

Image courtesy of WorldReader

Great Apps for Writers

You’ve heard plenty of people say,”There’s an app for that,” but which are best for writers? Whether you need to give your creative side a kick or want to continue revising your work during your morning commute, here are a few apps you may want to check out:

Pages: For $9.99 this Apple app allows you to write and re-write no matter where you and your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch are. Start a new doc or drag Pages ’09, plain text, or Microsoft Word files into the iCloud and… boom, your creativity can take center stage at the bus stop or while waiting for a movie to begin. Other perks include choosing from 16 templates for reports, flyers, cards, and posters; adding in charts and graphs; or printing wirelessly with AirPrint. And since Pages saves your work as you go, you’ll never have to worry you’ve lost your latest if you press the wrong button or close out of the app. Given all of these perks, it’s no wonder MacWorld rated it 4/5 stars.

Advanced English Dictionary & Thesaurus: 250,000 entries, 1.6 million words, and 134,000 pronunciation guides — all for 99 cents. Need I say more? If you’re in a bind, this is the app to turn to. What’s more, you can edit your history, bookmark specific words, and learn not just what the word means and its synonyms but also a whole host of related information including examples/types and parts of the object you’re looking up.

Story Tracker: At $7.99 this app is a steal for the submitting writer who wants to keep his or her ducks in a row. You can keep track of the publications you’ve submitted your works to (sortable by date), make note of details for each market, including title, genre, editor, or deadline, catalog your submission history with specific sites and markets, and more.

Evernote: See something you think might make for a nice moment in a future novel? Jot it down with Evernote, a free app that helps you “stay organized, save your ideas and improve productivity.” Recently optimized for the iPhone 5 so that you can view more notes, this New York Times Top 10 Must-Have app’s perks are many and include:

Building Selection to Boost Author Success

Dan Brown. Malcolm Gladwell. Emeril Lagasse. They all have something in common with you: They’re on Lulu.

You’ll now find their works — and about 200,000 other eBook titles from traditionally published authors — in the Lulu Marketplace. We’ve added them through agreements with Ingram and other distributors to make their public catalogs available on our site.

It’s a significant shift for Lulu, but one rooted in a strategy to maximize author success that has guided us from the beginning. To sell more books, you need more exposure. We’ve long provided distribution choices to help you reach customers in myriad stores, including Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. We’re continuing to expand those options, and we’ll have more to share soon.

But that’s not enough. The time has come for a better marketplace. Like many of you, we’re discouraged by some trends in the industry and what they might mean for the future of books. Here at Lulu we champion books, and the people who create them, because of what they represent. Books are conversations between generations that convey our best thinking and help move us forward. They deserve appreciation. And authors deserve success.

The open marketplace we’re building will have the broadest selection. It will be a one-stop shop with content from all authors, in all styles and in all formats, paper and electronic. The goal is to give readers access to the best knowledge, ideas and entertainment and to give authors access to the best audience for their works. We believe the increased choice offered by increased selection will attract more readers. And as we attract more readers, we will have more opportunity to get Lulu authors in front of people most likely to buy. In fact, we’ve invested in recommendation technology to help with that by steering readers based on their browsing patterns.

Adding 200,000 eBooks is just the first step in a journey that will unfold over the coming months, one intended to bring more success to Lulu authors every day. As always, I welcome your suggestions and feedback as we move forward.

New Lulu eBooks are Here!

Last summer, while sitting in a team meeting reviewing numbers (bear with me, it gets better), an intriguing stat caught my eye: 70% of our authors make their print books available as downloads, and those authors sell 30% more books than those who offer print editions only! Even without a “real” eBook publishing option, Lulu authors were flocking to make digital files available, and succeeding in increasing their sales. Since then, we’ve been on a mission to provide a better eBook option. Today, I’m pleased to announce, new Lulu eBooks have arrived!

Why publish an eBook? The simple answer is it makes sense for both authors (universal distribution, more sales, and higher royalties) and readers (cheaper than print, instant delivery, and mobile access). How can Lulu help? By providing features to support a wide range of scenarios: give eBooks away for free as a marketing tool, automatically link eBook and print editions to enhance discovery and provide more options to readers, and offer optional copy-protection (DRM) to prevent piracy and unlicensed distribution.

Beginning today, Lulu supports all of these options, and more. With multi-device support, readers can access your eBook on a Mac, PC, iPhone (Stanza), Sony Reader, and many others. You can now upload files in the popular EPUB format, which is quickly becoming the industry standard (see recent announcements by Barnes & Noble and Sony). Concerned about losing sales when you make unprotected digital content available in the marketplace? You can now apply DRM to your eBook, and sell a licensed version which can’t be freely copied and distributed.

To support enabling these features for more than a million Lulu authors, Lulu has adopted a new pricing structure for eBooks and print downloads.  As always, it’s still free to publish, and if you choose, you can continue to give away your digital content for free. For authors who want to sell eBooks and downloads, we’ve added a fixed $1.49 base price to cover our credit card processing and hosting expenses. Applying DRM (optional, eBooks only) adds $.99 to the base price to offset the fee charged by our DRM provider.  To reiterate, authors never pay to publish, these fees are reflected in the list price and are only charged to the purchaser at purchase time.

All of us at Lulu are excited about our new eBooks, and welcome your feedback. Stay tuned–we’re actively exploring many more features, including providing easy access to retail distribution channels with the goal of enabling Lulu authors to sell eBooks in every online marketplace.  Meanwhile, we encourage you to get started and publish an eBook today.