Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Purdue Sued Over Amazon Textbook Contract

Amazon trade secrets?
Panzer was enjoying himself in the Catosphere today.

And, then ... his solitude was interrupted by a bunch of hissing and growling.

Following all the noise, our big brave kitty boy landed at the Purdue University site of The Exponent. According to a post by Jake Schmidt, Campus Editor, Purdue is being sued by the National Association of College Stores.

The NACS wants access to a contract the university signed with Amazon for student textbooks. Purdue already provided a redacted copy to the NACS, but they are demanding the full contract. The contract itself contains a statement that it includes "trade secrets." Therefore, Purdue is withholding full disclosure.

Panzer says, "Hmmm. Why do you want to see the full contract? Amazon's trade secrets maybe?"

To read the full post, tootle over to Purdue and Amazon

Monday, March 30, 2015

A New Panzerism

Panzer on board games:

I love playing checkers with Mom and What's His Name.

Especially that part where the noble jungle kitty sneaks through the tall carpet grass.

He waits patiently.

He slithers forward on his belly
You're free! Fly away!

and ...

pounces on the checker board, where all the plastic pieces take flight

like ...

a herd of butterflies.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Hugh Howey On KDP

I need to look into this.
Panzer was out enjoying the sun in the Catosphere today. Our lazy little kitty boy stopped in at Hugh Howey's blog.  He likes to visit there because Mr. Howey always has interesting posts.

This time Mr. Howey is posting about being a "chump" for using Amazon's KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) for his books. Lately, he's been seeing a lot of posts and threads about how little money most indie authors make after publishing their books on KDP. So, he decided to tell the story of why and how he worked up to publishing with KDP. It's an interesting and enlightening read for all writers, not just indies.

Panzer says, "I guess I'm a chump too."

Note: As is always the case with Mr. Howey's posts, bring an e-x-t-r-a l-a-r-g-e cup of tea for your read today.

To read the post, tootle over to KDP

Friday, March 27, 2015

Amazon Temporary Warehouse Workers' Non-Compete Clause

Hide. Don't sign it.
Panzer got woken up from his nap by all the caterwauling in the Catosphere today. Our poor tired kitty struggled into the Panzermobile to see what all the noise was about.

Following all the yowling and gnashing of teeth, led our black kitty boy to The Verge site. In a post by Spencer Woodman, he discovered Amazon has their temporary employees sign the same contract with the 18-month non-compete clause as the permanent employees.

The contract includes stipulations of not working anywhere where the former employee will directly or indirectly work with any product or service that might compete with any product or service that Amazon sells. Since Amazon sells practically everything known to humankind in the world, the non-compete clause limits former temporary employees' future employment options for 18-months after leaving Amazon.

Panzer says, "Hey, wait a minute. These are temporary employees. They can't work anywhere else for 18-months?"

Note: You'll need a v-e-r-y b-i-g cup of tea, as this is a v-e-r-y l-o-n-g post.

To read the full post, tootle over to Amazon warehouse jobs

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Free Romances Today Only

Hurry! Today Only!
You all know how much Panzer loves FREE stuff. Well, today our fantastic FREE finding kitty found a place to get FREE romance ebooks.

Don't be put off by the fact these are romances. There are ebooks with werewolves, shape shifter wolves, elves, and colonization of new planets. Oh ... and some human romances, too. There are ebooks for Kindle, Nook and Kobo.

Panzer says, "Hurry! These ebooks are only available today!"

Note: On the top right corner of the front page, you can sign up for the newsletter with the weekly FREE ebooks.

To check out the FREE ebooks, tootle over to Kindle Spring Break Romances

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Oyster Subscription Service Expansion

Into the Catosphere our kitty goes.
Panzer wasn't feeling well yesterday, so he took the day off.  But ... today, he's back in the pilot's seat of the Panzermobile.

Our big, black, bad kitty boy found an interesting post on the Oyster blog site. The Oyster ebook subscription service is one of the places Panzer's ebooks are available, so he stops in there frequently.

According to the blog post, Oyster is entering a major business expansion phase. The company expansion will involve an increase in the number of ebooks available and a global expansion making those ebooks available to more readers.

Panzer says, "Hmmm. What do you think this means for the future of Oyster? Maybe a stock offering in the future?"

To read the full post, tootle over to Oyster Books

Monday, March 23, 2015

A New Panzerism

Panzer on materialism:

What's His Name bought a new car and I just don't get why.

I spent the whole afternoon underneath the new car,

studying it closely.
It's new! It's shiny! He want's it!

And ...

it just doesn't look any different than the old one.

Maybe ...

if I was taller, it would look different?

Saturday, March 21, 2015

New Game of Thrones Clip Season 5 Unveiled

Panzer stopped in at GalleyCAT today.

Our big kitty boy is doing the happy cat dance. He found a post by Maryann Yin there about George R. R. Martin's  Game of Thrones.

Let me see it!

And ...


A video trailer from Season 5!

To read the post and watch the video clip, tootle over to New Game of Thrones Clip Season 5 Unveiled | GalleyCat

Friday, March 20, 2015

New Stephen King Book In November

Hurry up! I can't wait!
Panzer took his usual leisurely Friday trip into the Catosphere today. Our big bad kitty boy found a post about his favorite horror author Stephen King.

According to a post by Alison Flood at The Guardian site, Mr. King has a new book coming out in November. Titled The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, the book will include 20 short stories. Mr. King will also include some of his insights on his writing. The insights will take the form of an introduction to each story about the hows and whys of its creation.

Panzer says, "I hope Mom doesn't get scared reading Mr. King's new book to me."

To read the post, tootle over to Stephen King

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Rakuten Acquires OverDrive

I need to look into this.
Panzer found an interesting post over at the Publishers' Weekly site today.

In a post by Jim Milliot, our inquisitive kitty reporter learned that OverDrive is being acquired by the Japanese company Rakuten.  The $410 million deal should close in April. According to the post, Steve Potash, founder of OverDrive, will remain with the company, so things should stay the same at OverDrive. Kobo is still a viable company even after Rakuten's acquisition three years ago, so we can hope.

Panzer says, "If you have your books with Smashwords, then you have the option to distribute to OverDrive. Let's hope that doesn't change."

To read the full post, tootle over to OverDrive

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

George R. R. Martin to Skip World Fantasy Convention

I'll see you there if you finish.
Panzer was traveling around the Catosphere looking for news for you today. Our big, bad, kitty boy stopped in at George R. R. Martin's Not A Blog site.

According to Mr. Martin's March 16 post, he's skipping the World Fantasy Convention and Comicon. Instead, he plans to continue work on his novel Winds of Winter. He does say, if he finishes WoW, he will attend them.

Panzer says, "We'll miss you there."

To read the full post, tootle over to George R. R. Martin

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A Special Green Panzerism

I only get a chance at him once a year.
Panzer on St. Patrick's Day:

Mom: Look, Panzer. There's a rainbow.

Panzer: You know what that means.

Mom: Let's find the end of it.

Panzer: Okay. You get the pot of gold. I get the leprechaun.

Monday, March 16, 2015

A New Panzerism

Panzer on protecting his territory:

I  was looking out the window this morning.
I saw this really fat old male cat.
I mean his belly was almost dragging on the ground he was so fat.

No problem. I can whip you chub-tub.
So ...

I hissed and I growled and I stomped my paw.

Mom said, "Stop it, Panzer. Get down off the dresser. This is a special kind of cat window. It's called a mirror."

I don't care. I'm sure that a young, svelte cat who's in his prime like me could have whipped that old chub-tub in the window.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Funny Cats YouTube Video

For Your Viewing Pleasure

Funny Cat Video From YouTube

(Watch For Panzer's Brother And The Bobcat)

Friday, March 13, 2015

Friday The 13th Panzerism

Panzer on human superstition:

Mom says humans think black cats on Friday the 13th are bad luck.

Where did she get that idea?

Oh ...

Wait ...

Cause and Effect?
There was that time I left that present in What's His Name's shoe ...

and ...

Mom's credit card and the catnip club ...

and ... and ...

Hmmm ... Maybe she is right.

Author Terry Pratchett Remembered In Quotes

Panzer was out in the Catosphere today and found a post at The Guardian in memory of fantasy author Terry Pratchett who died yesterday. The post contains 15 quotes either directly by Mr. Pratchett or taken from his works.

Panzer says, "A moving tribute to a great writer."

To read the post, tootle over to Terry Pratchett

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Author Terry Pratchett Has Died

Panzer read some very sad news at GalleyCAT today.

According to Dianna Dilworth, Sir Terry Pratchett, one of our bad boy's favorite fantasy authors, died.

Panzer says, "The post has links to Mr.  Pratchett's Facebook page and Twitter account."

To read the post, tootle over to Author Terry Pratchett Has Died | GalleyCat

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Barnes & Noble Shows A Profit

You must have seen it coming.
Panzer stopped in to visit his old friends at Publishers' Weekly today. Our big bad kitty boy found a post there about Barnes and Noble.

According to the post by Jim Milliot, Barnes and Noble's profits were up 14% in the third quarter of their business year. The only down divisions for the company were the Nook and digital content divisions. The Nook showed a loss of 63% and digital content a loss of 29.3%.

Panzer says, "What did you guys expect? You said you were going to try to spin-off or sell the division. I wouldn't buy a Nook if I didn't know who was going to own it."

To read the full post, tootle over to Barnes & Noble profits

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Future of Audiobooks

Time is short. Let's go now.
Panzer was feeling adventuresome today, so he was looking for somewhere he'd never been before. Our big brave kitty stopped in at the NPR site.

Panzer found a post by Lynn Neary about where audiobooks have been in the past and where they are today. According to Ms. Neary's research, audiobooks started out as a very small niche that has now exploded into the mainstream. From a virtually unheard of marketplace 20 years ago to 35,000 titles in 2013.

Panzer says, "Now may be the time to jump into the audiobook market, but I wouldn't wait too long!"

To read the full post, tootle over to audiobooks

Monday, March 9, 2015

A New Panzerism

Panzer on fashion:

I'm not usually interested in human fashion.
I can't wait for her to find it..

But ...

Today Mom sure looks great in her blue blazer.

The one with my surprise gift ...

of the dead mouse in the pocket.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Free Cats and Crime Comes To An End

Last day free.
Panzer wants you to know today is the last day to get Cats and Crime free at Smashwords.

To get your copy, tootle over to Cats and Crime .

At Smashwords click the Buy Button, then enter RW100 in the Code Box, and then click Apply Code at checkout, and the ebook is free. Be sure to check the price before you accept the sale.

Panzer says, "You do have a Smashwords account right? Why not? It's free to setup."

You can also still get a free copy of Fiona L. Webber's romance Love's Decisions at Smashwords. Follow the same instructions as above.

To get your copy, tootle over to Love's Decisions .

Friday, March 6, 2015

A New J.K. Rowling Novel?

Maybe, if I wish hard enough.
Panzer stopped in at the New York Daily News site. This is the first time our kitty adventurer has been to this site.

Panzer found a post by Jason Silverstein there about one of his favorite authors, J. K. Rowling. According to Mr. Silverstein, Ms. Rowling tweeted she's starting a new novel. Don't get your hopes up too high. Remember, she did say a while ago that she'd never write another Harry Potter book. But ... you never know.

Panzer says, "Maybe, if I give her a present of a mouse, that might change her mind."

To read the full post, tootle over to J.K. Rowling

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Four Canadian Publishers Move Distribution

That was pretty fast.
Panzer was traveling around the Catosphere looking for news to report today. He made a quick stop at the Publishers' Weekly site. Our inquisitive kitty reporter found a post there by Laura Godfrey.

Ms. Godfrey's post explains the fallout from HarperCollins Canada's announcement last year that they're closing their distribution site. Publishers Douglas & McIntyre, House of Anansi Press, Greystone Books, and New Society Publishers moved their distribution to the University of Toronto Press (UTP). According to UTP,  they will be hiring more employees to help with the increased workload.

Panzer says, "Didn't take long for the publishers to find a replacement. It just shows nothing is indispensable."

To read the full post, tootle over to Canadian publishers' distribution

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

3 Comics Legends to Serve as Educators For a MOOC

Graphic novels? It could happen.
Panzer stopped in to visit his friends at GalleyCAT today. Our furry, black kitty found a post by Maryann Yin that caught his attention like a mouse scurrying across the kitchen floor.

According to Ms. Yin, Edx will have a new massive open online course (MOOC) about comic superheroes. There'll be three course instructors. These will be comics greats Stan Lee, Michael Uslan and David Uslan.

Never heard of MOOCs? Well, they're courses open worldwide that anyone can attend over the internet. Students interact with each other, do assignments, and learn about all types of topics.

Panzer says, "Who knows. Maybe they'll talk about graphic novels."

Note: There's a link in the post to the original press release.

To read the post, tootle over to 3 Comics Legends to Serve as Educators For a MOOC | GalleyCat

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Amazon Has Big Competition In Germany

300,000 ebooks? Let's take a look.
Panzer was out taking a leisurely trip around the Catosphere and he happened to stop in at Melville House. Our big bad kitty traveler found a post about a new competitor for Amazon in Germany.

According to a post by Sal Robinson, the players in the new competitor are the German booksellers Thalia, Welbid, Hugendubel, multi-media company Bertelsmann, and the telecom company Deutsche Telekom.  The combine has developed an ebook distribution platform and an e-reader called the Tolino Shine.

Included in the post is a link to the new distribution site, so you can check out the platform and e-reader.

Panzer says, "Watch out Amazon. The new site has twice as many books as Amazon.de."

To read the full post, tootle over to Amazon competitor

Monday, March 2, 2015

A New Panzerism

Panzer on Jokes:

Panzer: Knock, Knock.

Mom: Hmmm?

Panzer: Knock, Knock.

Mom: Hmmm? What?

Panzer: I say, Knock, Knock, and You say, Who's there?

There's a first time for everything.
Mom: Okay. Knock, Knock.

Panzer: Who's there?

Mom: It's me, Mom. You've known me your whole life, Panzer.

Panzer: What? Wait! I mean, what? Hey! What happened?

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Free Ebooks March 1-7 for Read An Ebook Week

FREE at Smashwords
Panzer wants all his friends to know that starting today (March 1) and through Saturday (March 7) is "Read An Ebook Week." In celebration of that, my big bad kitty has a big good kitty surprise for you. If you go to Smashwords, click the buy button for Cats and Crime, then enter RW100 in the Code box, and then click Apply Code at checkout, the ebook is FREE. Be sure to check the price before you accept the sale to make sure you followed all the steps.

Panzer says, "And, if you don't have a Smashwords account, why not? It's FREE and there are lots of FREE books all this week."

To get your FREE copy, tootle over to Cats and Crime.

As a second kitty gift this week, you can get a FREE copy of Panzer's friend Fiona L. Webber's romance, Love's Decisions too. (You'll need to follow the same steps as above for Cats and Crime and use the same RW100 code.)