|Electronic reading devices that you can take anywhere and read your favorite books||Mobile, desktop and web apps for reading, managing and converting electronic books||Online sites and communities where you can find and share books of publish your own|
Audible Romance is a new unlimited subscription program that gives users access to thousands of audiobook titles. Listeners will be able to instantly see a romance title’s level of steaminess. It gives listeners access to 41 micro-categories and 131 story and character tropes that will allow listeners to explore deep into the catalog in fun ways and discover the romance titles that most appeal to their interests. Each micro-category will have its own browse page, and listeners can enjoy audio samples from each title included before diving into the full story. Audible Romance costs $6.95 per month as an add-on to an Audible membership. The price is $14.95 per month as a standalone service.
Amazon released a new version of Kindle for iOS and Android, featuring a redesign, much deeper Goodreads integration and persistent search. Goodreads, the social reading network Amazon snapped up back in 2013, has been offered up in bits and pieces through the Kindle mobile app, but here it’s essentially given its own separate tab, bringing most of the Goodreads standalone app’s features to the interface. That means getting friends’ updates, adding people, rating books and the like. The UI also gets an overhaul. Things have lightened up quite a bit, with a new, white background that features a darkening gradient as it pushes out toward the edge of the page, to mimic the oxidation effect that old books undergo.
Instaread, the iOS app that lets busy people get key insights from the most sought-after nonfiction books in 15 minutes and $7.99 per month, now allows to purchase the full length audiobook titles within the app. This is a huge competitive advantage over Audible, which doesn’t sell content directly in on their iPhone or iPad app.
Onyx Boox unveiled three new devices. The Onyx Boox MAX2 is a 13.3 inch flexible e-ink Carta note taking device, the 10.3 inch Note is going to compete against the Remarkable, and the Canvas is 9.7 inches. These devices all feature dual touch, which means you can use a stylus or your fingers. The devices are running Android, so they will support apps from Google Play.
Amazon is updating its flagship e-reader Kindle Oasis, and in a radical way. It is Amazon’s largest Kindle e-reader ever - with 7 inches screen. It’s also the company's first waterproof device. It’s incredibly, almost paper-thin on one side (0.13 inches) and then fattens considerably to a third of an inch on the other to accommodate the battery. Amazon also increased the number of over-the-screen LED lights to 12 (it was 10) for more uniform lighting. The other big change is the integration of the Audible Audio Book service. Amazon owns Audible, but it’s never been part of the Kindle. Now you can browse and buy Audible Books on the device. The other change is that the starting price of the Kindle Oasis is now $249 with 8 GB of storage.
Kobo updated firmware for its e-readers. The update added Manage Books feature: under My Books, you can now select several books at once, mark them as finished or unread, remove them, or add them to collections. My Books section got a cleaner layout of information, including the Filter and Sort menus. The reading experience was also improved. Now you can tap the middle of your page to open reading menus, access the Table of Contents, or adjust Reading Settings. Your screen will refresh after every chapter instead of every six pages.
Apple released an update to its ebook creation software iBooks Author that adds the ability to add images and videos from Photos, the Mac photo management app. There are some other minor changes, such as support for wide color gamut images. Many people have moved on from iBooks Author to other digital publishing apps. This is because this program is only compatible with Apple products and does not work with Amazon, Google and other online retailers. People have accused Apple of giving up on digital publishing in general. Its latest iOS update killed off the subcategories inside Magazines & Newspapers rather than fixing them, and so makes finding new digital edition apps next to impossible.
Inkitt - reader powered book publisher
Inkitt bills itself as the world’s first reader-powered book publisher. The Inkitt online community consists of a forum to post writing work in-progress and get feedback, and to solicit support for things like editing and plot development. However, a major focus — and key to the startup’s unique publishing model — is the beta readers section. Here Inkitt members are encouraged to post full manuscripts to be read by the app’s over a million readers. This is a way to get reader reviews and further feedback, but can also lead to a publishing deal with Inkitt itself if the reader engagement data the company collects points to a potential best-seller. In addition, since Inkitt employs Facebook log in, the service has demographic data on its readers and this puts it in a position to be able to make decisions very objectively.
Kindle - is the best and most popular ereader in the world. However, organizing books on this device - leaves much to be desired. From the very first model, Amazon has decided not to support folder structure for electronic books. Or rather, you can create folders and put ebooks to them, but on the device screen books still will be displayed in a single list (with no folders). Instead of folders Kindle offers collections to organize books. Ok, in some cases it's even better, as one book can be included in several collections, such as "What to read next" and "Adventure Books". Looks like everything is fine, but what happens in practice?
Kobo has launched an audiobook bookstore that sells audiobooks individually and also provides them on a subscription level basis. Their entire audiobook catalog is powered by Overdrive and this is the first time they have ever been involved in an audiobook subscription scheme. Kobo has updated their app for Android and iOS and have brought over a fully functional audiobook player. You can make purchases and listen to your content on Android, and with iOS you can only listen to titles you have already bought or have used a credit on. The Kobo audiobooks service is available today in the US, UK, Canada, Australia for $9.99/mo.