More and more tech companies are showing interest in education and helping out students by offering services and features to assist them during their studies. After all, the youth are the future. Google thinks so too and has introduced a textbooks category in Google Play where students can rent and buy digital textbooks.
In an effort to dive deep into the comic and graphic novel market, Amazon Publishing has announced that it will be launching a new imprint called Jet City Comics, which will feature works from popular authors such as George R.R. Martin, Hugh Howey, and Neal Stephenson. Amazon plans to release a number of comics throughout the year, starting with the release of "Symposium #1" today.
Though the notification from the book company itself doesn't aim to be too much more than a "by the books" set of information, as it were, the resignation of Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch appears under the surface to be at least partially due to his involvement with spearheading NOOK. With the growth of the digital reading industry, eBooks, eReaders, and the like, Lynch's involvement in the environment - and NOOK's relative failure in the face of industry-swallowers like the iPad and Google's own initiatives with pushing books to their Android devices - all seems to have been a bit too much for the company's very recent leadership setup.
Anyone who enjoys comics and prefers to go the digital route knows the frustrating aspect of not actually owning the material. Though the price for online copies of various comics is often equal to the price of a paper copy, DRM has been a staple of major US publishers as a way to mitigate what is expected to be rampant piracy when the restrictions are removed. Image Comics has eschewed this convention, however, announcing that it will allow a digital comic purchase to be downloaded.
A new DRM technology is being developed in Germany that gives every ebook a unique watermark of sorts, so that publishers can track them and see who is pirating copies. With the popularity of ereaders and ebooks on the rise, publishers are looking for new ways to combat the rise in piracy on ebooks, especially expensive ones.
Barnes & Noble's NOOK business has been mediocre at best, mostly due to stiff competition from Amazon and its Kindle business. In what looks to be an effort to put more focus on mobile devices and reading on the go, Barnes & Noble has quietly discontinued its native app for both Windows and Mac (except Windows 8, pictured below), redirecting users to the web app instead.
Stephen King is shunning ebooks in favor of traditional print runs for his new novel, Joyland, the outspoken author has revealed, confirming he has "no plans for a digital version." King - whose new book is released in the US from June 4, though as a printed title only - specifically retained the digital publication rights so that physical copies could be prioritized.
With the advent of ebook readers, not to mention the digitization of media in general, many individuals find themselves gravitating towards electronic books, which have several advantages over traditional paper-bound books, including portability and the ability to share across multiple mediums. Because of this, Google has announced a Google Play Books update adding support for uploading ebook files.
Amazon has outed an updated for its Kindle app on Android, most notably bringing with it a new design and UI overhaul that mirrors the user interface of the company's Kindle Fire tablet. The updated app includes a redesigned home screen, an improved Kindle Store layout for Android tablets, and navigation changes.
In an effort to wean more people onto the Windows platform, Microsoft has partnered up with popular audiobook service Audible to offer Windows users a free audiobook. The offer only applies to users running either Windows 8 or Windows Phone 8, and it seems you'll only have your pick from three pre-selected audiobooks being offered.