Friday, February 5, 2016

Building a Blueprint for Better E-Books - Campus Technology

Panzer is feeling much better today. In fact our kitty pilot felt well enough to do some exploring in the Catosphere. He found the Campus Technology site. With a little digging around there he found an excellent post about advances in the e-textbook field.

According to a post by Frank DiMaria, the National Science Foundation is funding a project to create interactive textbooks. Mike Qaissaunee of Brookdale Community College in Lincroft, NJ, requested the grant after wondering if having interactive textbooks on devices would engage students interest more than traditional textbooks. The project works by having professors create the e-textbooks specific to their classes. To date three e-textbooks have been finished and students can access them across all platforms.
Interactive school books?

Panzer says, "Hmm ... What's next? ... Talking books? ... Oh, wait ... You already did that ... So, when will it be a talking textbook?"

Note: You'll need a cup of tea and a muffin for today's read.

To read the post, tootle over to better e-books

Thursday, February 4, 2016

German cabinet agrees to extend fixed prices to e-books - Reuters

Panzer is still sneezing and sniffling so it was a short trip into the Catosphere today. With a box of tissues on the seat next to him, our kitty boy stopped in at the Reuters site.

According to a post there by Maria Sheahan (edited by Hugh Lawson), Germany's cabinet has extended a law on the pricing of paper books to include ebooks. Where ever the ebook retailer is located, the price will be fixed in Germany for German buyers. It has already been ruled in Germany that some of Amazon's discounts to buyers are illegal, so this new law will further hamstring the retailer's efforts to increase sales there.
There just might be a loop hole there.

Panzer says, "Hmm ... The Reuters post makes reference to German language books. ... Does that mean, if they're English language books, they're not covered under the law? Inquiring cats want to know."

Note: Today's read will only need one cup of tea.

To read the post, tootle over to Germany

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

WI11: Richard Russo, Douglas Preston on Amazon - Shelf-Awareness

Panzer is fighting a kitty cold, so today's trip into the Catosphere was very quick. Our sniffling, coughing Panzermobile pilot stopped in at the Shelf-Awareness site to get more information on the Winter Institute 11 (WI11).

At the ShelfAwareness site in between achoos our sick kitty traveler found a post about Authors United founder and author Douglas Preston, American Booksellers Association CEO Oren Teicher, and Authors Guild Vice-president and author Richard Russo's round table assault on Amazon. Panzer already posted on January 26 about the WI11 and the American Book Sellers report that told about Amazon's $1 Billion Tax Gap created by retail businesses not opening and not hiring employees. Apparently the round table discussion was a rehash of Mr. Preston and Authors United's push to get the Department of Justice to investigate Amazon as a monopoly.
There are better uses of my time.

Panzer says, "Maybe they need a new hobby ... like writing books. Just a suggestion. I'm writing a new book and there's no time for me to obsess about Amazon."

Note: You'll need a cup of tea and a muffin to read the Shelf-Awareness post. If you plan to read Panzer's first post about WI11, you'll need another cup of tea.

To read the Shelf-Awareness post, tootle over to Winter Institute 11

To read the post about the American Booksellers Association report on Amazon, tootle over to Amazon report

Monday, February 1, 2016

A New Panzerism

Panzer on the lack of respect:

What's His Name is really a jerk.

He came in the house through the back door ...

and ...

started laughing.

He accused me of falling asleep in my litter box.

Of course, I denied it vigorously.

I want kitty litter that doesn't clump.
But ...

He didn't believe me.

Maybe ...

It was the kitty litter on my chin.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

At Authors United Event, a Call to Bust Amazon "Monopoly" - Publishers' Weekly (PW)

As soon as Panzer hit the Catosphere today his tender little kitty ears were buffeted by moaning and groaning. He followed the noise over to the Publishers' Weekly site today. It didn't take any digging at all to find the source of all the cries.

A monopoly?
According to a post by Bethanne Patrick, Douglas Preston's Authors United group held an event in Washington, D.C. on January 27 titled Amazon's Book Monopoly - A Threat to Freedom of Expression. Also participating in the event were the American Booksellers Association, the Association of Authors' Representatives, and the Authors Guild. It's not surprising that the event focused on the push to get the Department of Justice (DoJ) to investigate Authors United's antitrust allegations against Amazon. Panels discussed the legal possibilities of the antitrust allegations against Amazon, that Amazon is destroying book publishing and other topics.

Panzer says, "Hmm ... Amazon is a monopoly? ... What about: Smashwords, Kobo, Barnes and Noble?"

Note: A cup of tea and cookie for today's reading.

To read the post, tootle over to Amazon

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Updated: Amazon is Testing Title-Specific Kindle Gift Cards at Drug Stores in Washington State | The Digital Reader

Getting up from his after lunch nap, Panzer made a short trip into the Catosphere today. Our little kitty traveler stopped in at The Digital Reader site. There he discovered a post about a new experiment with gift cards by Amazon.

It's an interesting world out there.
According to the post by Nate Hoffelder, has begun selling title-specific book gift cards and Kindle Unlimited subscription gift cards in the Bartell Drugs stores. The Bartell Drugs stores chain is located only in Washington state. The post includes links to Amazon and Bartell Drugs to read about the program. There are also two updates at the end of the post.

Panzer says, " Hmm ... It's been tried before ... Not successful in most cases except in Germany and Canada ... But with Amazon you never know what's going to happen."

Note: A cup of tea will be enough for today's reading at The Digital Reader, but, if you follow all the links, add a muffin.

To read the post, tootle over to Updated: Amazon Title-Specific Gift Cards

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Winter Institute 11: Report Finds $1 Billion Tax Gap Caused by Amazon - PW (Publishers' Weekly)

Panzer was tootling around in the Catosphere when he heard crying and the gnashing of teeth. Following all the noise took him to the Publishers' Weekly online site. There our brave kitty explorer found a post by Claire Kirch about the Winter Institute 11 conference.

The post is about a report presented to the attendees at Winter Institute 11. Prepared by the American Booksellers Association and Civic Economics, the report says 23 states and Washington, D.C. do not collect sales tax from It also says because of the sales at and other online retailers an estimated 30,000 retail businesses were not opened and property taxes not collected from them. Also, 136,000 jobs were not created by those non-existent companies. And, finally, the report says all of the sales taxes, non-existent businesses and non-existent jobs add up to $1 Billion dollars Amazon (and the other unnamed online retailers) have cost.
My head hurts just thinking about it.

Panzer says, "I don't understand human math. If the companies don't exist, how can you know what size they would use for their store? And how can you know, if something doesn't exist. how many employees they didn't hire? And ... Sales Tax? If you didn't collect it, how do you know how much it was?  Nothing plus Nothing plus Nothing equals $1 Billion?"

Note: You'll need a cup of tea and two muffins for your reading today.

To read the post, tootle over to Winter Institute 11

Monday, January 25, 2016

A New Panzerism

Panzer on teaching humans:

Everyone says that cats hold grudges.

You know ...

It's true ...

We value the ability a grudge gives us to maintain our contempt of humans.

Here's an example ...

Cute, chubby kitty, huh?
Mom's new neighbor Buddy actually said this out loud the first time he came over to the house last week: "Oh what a cute, chubby kitty."

I'll tell you about grudges ...

He'll never find his house key again. Never. Never. Never.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Kindle Counterfeiting - A Growing Threat to Authors

Panzer made a short trip into the Catosphere. Our kitty boy stopped in at John Doppler's Words on Words blog. Digging around he found a post from August of last year that indie authors need to be aware of.

You better watch out.
According to the post, there's a counterfeiting piracy scheme going on. What happened to author Rebecca Merry Murdock is used as an example. A scammer stole her ebook and royalties. They did this by uploading a copy of the ebook and then making a duplicate sales page. The sales page got connected to her author page. Ms. Murdock was able to track down what was happening and contact Amazon. If she hadn't been checking her ebooks, she never would have know what happened.

Panzer says, "We better all check our ebooks just to make sure it's not happening to any of us.!"

Note: A cup of tea and a muffin should do for today's reading session.

To read the post, tootle over to Kindle authors

Saturday, January 23, 2016

From Indie Author to 6 (and 7!) Figure Traditionally Pubbed Book Deal - Indie Reader

After Panzer woke up from his afternoon nap he headed out into the Catosphere. Tootling around he stopped in at the Indie Reader site. There he found a post by Joe Sutton about indie author success stories.

Mr. Sutton's post tells of six indie authors who have gotten traditional publishing contracts and/or movie deals. They come from all genres. Fiction writers Hazel Gaynor and Jasinda Wilder got traditional publishing contracts, Children's fiction writer Cal-Johan Forssen Ehrlin and self-help author Aija Mayrock also got traditional publishing contracts. Fiction writers Andy Weir and A. G. Riddle got traditional publishing contracts as well as movie contracts.

Money or Cat Treats? Which for Me?
Panzer says, "Hmm ... I don't know if I'd want to give up all control over my books just for money. But ... That is a lot of money for kitty treats."

Note You'll need a cup of tea and a muffin for your reading today.

To read the post, tootle over to indie success stories