News & Updates
November 21, 2016
The publishing industry is one of the most agile spheres worldwide. It has been evolving actively from the introduction of the printing press to the emergence of ebooks. There had always been one big factor that had caused the publishing evolution: the readers. The way they select, purchase and interact with books, their preferences and habits. However, some bits of the decision-making process has long stayed unchanged: the choice of what to be published, and what not. A fun fact about “Harry Potter”: the book has been put down 12 times before being published. Such decisions had been primarily taken based on the editor’s gut feeling. But how stable is that?Welcome to the data-driven predictions!
Data has literally overflown every industry: capturing and analysing it has been seen as a much more reliable way to understand readers’ wishes. Data in publishing empowers decision-makers to grasp the preferences of the audience and foresee potential future trends much better.
What do readers want?
Initially information has been gathered via focus groups and surveys. However, this “limited” approach could not get the desirable results at scale. Digital reading has changed the data aggregation pattern. The connected devices makes it possible for publishers to track readers’ behaviour on their daily commute, or during sleepless nights. It is now possible for publishers to understand whether somebody reads poetry for an hour every day! All this very specific information coming straight from the horse’s mouth can be analyzed!
Data as a Magic Ball
Data is advantageous to everyone involved in the publishing process. Authors get the opportunity to test their plots through forums and glean better understanding of the audiences’ interests. Readers enjoy a two-way communication with authors. They can give feedback, express their preferences and realise the power of their opinion. And of course publishers – they get real information that help them predict the next bestseller and the type of books that are currently the hype. They get to know the end-users through behavioural data.
Less risk, more power.
November 11, 2016
Traditional books versus ebooks?
The endless “war” between traditional books and ebooks has been taking place for way too long now. It all comes to individual reading preferences. Thus generalising seems obsolete. There’s the well-known nostalgia factor & more “human touch” for paper books. There are also the obvious practical advantages of ebooks. It is handy to pack a whole library in an e-reader. After all why should we choose between the two? Ebooks and traditional books can just be complimentary.
However, in this post, we will discuss the pros of ebooks.
- Speed: With ebooks, “the time is now”. Ebooks are delivered almost instantaneously. You can purchase, download and start reading them within minutes, without leaving your chair. You don’t have to go to a bookstore to buy them, neither wait for them for days, weeks and sometimes more to arrive in the mail.
- Nature: No mindless tree cutting. Ebooks are eco-friendly.
- Travel: Anywhere, anytime. Ebooks are portable. Location does not matter. With an ePub reader like the BeetlerReader, device choice does not matter either. It is vital to be as flexible, as possible. And the lightweight is a massive advantage as well!
- Space: You only need one-book space for storage. No dusty bookshelves, no boxes full of neglected books. Just you and your reading device.
- Searchability: You can easily find the information you need without furiously flipping pages. BeetleReader has this feature for both fixed and reflowable ePubs.
- Distribution: Ebooks are much easier to sell and distribute. There is an open online world!
- Interactivity: Ebooks can be both text and audio-based. Fancy watching some video within the ebook: no problem! Of course, you can always purchase a paper book with a CD if that suits you!
- Layout variations: While the traditional book smells nice and offers this physical touch, it has a fixed format. Reader must “consume” it as it is. BeetleReader offers a multi-page layout tailored to the reading preferences of the user!
Try BeetleReader out and guarantee your readers a first-class experience.
October 21, 2016
Smartphones have become multi-purpose devices. And although ebook reading will “never” be what they will primarily be used for, phones have shifted the reading pattern. Smartphone reading has experienced an increase in the number, noticed in a Nielsen survey. About 54% of e-book buyers confirmed they are using their phones for reading some of the time. This trend is up: from 24% in 2012, according to Nielsen.
Further to that, people who read mainly on phones accounted for 14% in the beginning of 2015, in comparison with 9% in 2012. What is interesting to analyse here is the drop of those reading mainly on e-readers: from 50% to 32%. Tablet reading has also declined from 44% to 41%.
So smartphones already serve as this spontaneous device that allows for extending book reading in unexpected time and places. Smartphone reading has its special place in the reader’s habits. Restricting it or delivering bad mobile experience can be rather disappointing. Yes, the screen is just too small for reading. Although phones are not deemed to be “serious” e-reading tools, we can still ensure the user gets the best experience. How?
Smartphone reading and ePubs
Of course, ePub is the answer! It offers much better reading experience on mobile than PDF does.
Versatility is the main benefit of ePub files. Always go for the EPUB version, because it is compatible with all devices. Smartphone reading has also become popular because it offers you instant reading. No Nooks and Kindles, just having your smallest device at hand is enough! Providing your readers with BeetleReader grants them an essential benefit: to access their ebook library everywhere, on any device. As an advanced ePub reader, BeetleReader also offers text highlighting, note taking and bookmarking.
One of the interesting prophecies in the ebook world states: “The future of digital reading is on the phone,” said Judith Curr, publisher of the Simon & Schuster imprint Atria Books. “It’s going to be on the phone and it’s going to be on paper.”
Image source: http://thoughtcatalog.com
September 10, 2016
In our previous post, we have discussed the differences between PDF and ePub files. One of the most outstanding features of ePub is its versatility. PDF has a fixed design that seems similar across devices. Of course sometimes that mean unreadably small. The joy that EPUB offers is that it automatically reflows its contents (mainly text) to fill the available display space. Exactly due to its responsive design, ePub encourages readers to use the device that they like using. Forcing readers to use a definite device or reader app is not acceptable nowadays.
When it comes to optimizing content to be readable on mobile devices, responsive design makes this possible. It fits the constraints of the device. User experience designers see responsive design as the victory of the users’ needs over their own aesthetic vision. Some users prioritize mobile over desktop reading, as they have spare time when travelling to work, or when waiting on another queue. What ePub’s philosophy lays on is that when you offer content, making it accessible and flexible from the get go will grant your target audience an enhanced user experience. The days of lengthy pdf files on little smartphone screens, text overlapping images etc are gone.
Many apps, devices and platforms have tried to nail interactive reading. Many have failed. However, the minimum expectations of the user nowadays should be met:
- The way I want it and where I want it. Content must be tailored to my preferred device, not the other way around.
- I can always change my mind and switch between devices. This must be easy to do.
- I want to have a smooth reading experience without any page breaks, pictures being misformatted, missing videos and non-working audios.
Image source: https://lindaslinkstoliterature.files.wordpress.com
September 2, 2016
Many users are asking how exactly PDF differs from EPUB. They cannot really grasp the initial excitement about latter. This article aims to shed some light over the main differences and similarities between the two formats.
In previous posts, we have already explained what EPUB is and what its main benefits are. However, its most important feature is that has become a standard open format which has lead to its quick adoption by the publishing industry.
PDF is Adobe’s format and stands for portable document format. It is one of the oldest and most popular eBook formats. Perhaps one of the most valued characteristics of PDF is that it is securely locked against editing – very safe for digitally signing documents.
Below are the main differences between the two formats.
- Accessibility: EPUBs have become more accessible especially for impaired readers, as they function better when it comes to screen reading software.
- Readability: PDF files offer “a mirror”of the original format. It is just perfect for iPad, PC or Mac. However, when it comes to reading on mobile devices, EPUB files read much better. This comes from the next differentiation point.
- Reflowable text: EPUB’s text is reflowable (also called ‘responsive design’). This means that the content will reflow depending on the viewing window. It just fits to the dimensions of the screen!
- Pagination: EPUB offers table of contents navigation or using embedded links in terms of page navigation. Some EPUB reader do not offer page number display or search. BeetleReader has worked specifically on implementing page jump to make it more convenient for users.
- Linking: As EPUB is an HTML-based format, it may contain links that take the user out to a certain web page.
- Zoom in/out: Unlike PDF, EPUB does not have zoom in/out function, as the text resizes automatically.
- Layout: PDF supports static images, tables and other similar elements that retain the original layout of the ebook. However, EPUB has a spectacular feature-support that optimizes the text to display on all devices and browsers.
August 26, 2016
Your company’s learning culture
Banal or not, employees are the biggest asset of every company. So is it worth investing and motivating your business backbone? Certainly yes! For this to happen you need a technologically viable solution that would be flexible enough to encourage learning and adaptable to individual needs in order to dishearten laziness. Fostering a learning culture will pay off: a better productive environment, more knowledgeable employees and enhanced operational efficiency.
BeetleReader is an epub viewer that is compatible with any device and browser. It is a white-label product that allows for customized branding. Building your company’s library with BeetleReader will lead to the following benefits:
- Engagement: Educating the sense of engagement and making it part of your employee’s mindset is key. Research statistics show that the top reason for losing valuable employees is the disengagement. Engagement, on the other hand, is created by work environment and the organization’s culture. Nurture engagement by showing understanding for your employees’ needs and interest! Spark discussions about e-books you read and have a monthly session!
- Problem solving: Securing a working learning culture will open new opportunities and widen your employees’ horizons. By making learning accessible in the workplace, your employees will improve their skillsets. The introduction of a digital library will make people look for answers. Thus they will start developing a problem-solving oriented mentality rather than ducking out of responsibilities.
- Technologically savvy: If your company introduces a digital library, employees will develop a variety of skills. For instance, skills for working remotely and using our ePub viewer to highlight different report stats or take notes under a given subject. Your employees would also virtually collaborate and the company’s organization will be much more efficient.
- Retention: Providing employees with the opportunity to learn will give them the certainty that yours is the company that can make them grow their career and skills. It is also an effective way in which you add value to them that you can use for your company’s benefit!
At BeetleReader we have developed a highly functional, accessible and powerful elearning solution to help your company establish a fruitful learning culture.
August 18, 2016
BeetleReader and ePub
There is one big challenge that faces the majority of content creators, especially in the education domain: How to produce content with flexible usage? Restricting content to a single device is simply not an option. Content should be available anytime and anywhere.
The education sector has long been in search of ways to encourage multi-device teaching and learning in order to facilitate both sides.
ePub is the superhero of user-friendly publishing that has come to save the day. It allows easy access, offers flexibility and does not limit readers to using a specific device. BeetleReader is an ePub viewer that incorporates all the benefits ePub offers.
BeetleReader for students
BeetleReader is where students can access all the learning materials from their university or college courses. Once the institution obtains license to BeetleReader, students can enjoy all the following benefits:
- Easy access to content
- ePubs compatible with all devices and browsers
- Native content ordering and navigation
- Offline access to content
- Intuitive design and additional semantics
- Effective search system
- Note taking and highlighting
BeetleReader is designed in such a way which would actually enhance student learning. Reading a case study from Caitlin Corning from George Fox University, the main downside of using an ePub reader was the text highlighting. BeetleReader makes note taking easy and simple, while highlighting happens as fast as the physical one on paper!
BeetleReader for university content creators
Digital learning resources have become very popular in recent years. Having an ePub university-branded viewer is convenient and effective.
Here are BeetleReader’s advantages that specifically apply to content creators and managers:
- A platform that seamlessly include text, media formats (video, audio, images) and audio narration
- Direct upload of ePubs & instant availability
- Offers content access to a large group of people
- Great quality performance (capacity to upload & manage even heavy books)
- Simple and beautiful user interface
- White label product that allows for custom branding
BeetleReader is ready to take your institution to new educational horizons!
Image credit: http://bit.ly/2aY0tkv
August 15, 2016
While many eReaders are only claiming to encourage simplicity, flexibility and interactivity, ePub is truly a format dedicated to bringing these features altogether both to the publishers and to the end users.
ePub is the child of rethinking the digital publishing landscape and it has addressed the changing needs in the sector. But how? Well, ePub presents the solution for one of the biggest challenges for the publishing industry – accessibility. Readers have been confronted with certain limitations – “this format goes with this device, that book can only be read on this eReader” and so on and so forth. The ePub3 standard empowers both publishers and readers to enjoy a constraint-free accessibility. Publishers can now create fully supported audio, text, images and video in a mainstream digital format.
ePub has turned out to be a cornerstone of digital teaching & learning for many big publishers. The way in which documentation is being delivered has been altered to a more interactive one, which allows for a richer reading experience. By employing ePub, publishers can now offer to readers advanced accessibility, much facilitated use on mobile devices, interactivity, independence of eReaders and an authentic, engaging reading experience. Furthermore, ePub presents itself in a single-file format (thanks, IDPF). It is the superhero of the publishing domain that promotes cross-platform digital content that is highly adaptable.
Due to the use of Open Web Platform, ePub is able to offer a file format that reflows to take the size of the device screen, supports dynamic content, annotation, bookmarking and other very useful, especially to education and business, features.
Namely for this reason, the education sector has marked the fastest and perhaps the widest adoption of ePub. For instance, Pearson have placed ePub in the spotlight for their digital learning solutions, as the ePub format responds to the structural and semantic demands educational publishing has.
ePub simply covers everything educators need:
- Guarantees accessibility to students
- Offers easy content creation
- Includes various rich media types (audio, video, images)
- Adds semantics for education-specific components
- Includes interactive questions and quizzes
- Encourages flexibility and freedom
- Has offline access functionality
- Saves lots of time
We hope this articles has helped you glean some important information.
Please take a look at Beetle Readers’ features to gauge whether and how you can benefit from its wonderful tools.
August 12, 2016
What is ePub?
Sorry for bursting the bubble, but ePub does not stand for an electronic pub!
The term is an abbreviation for electronic publication. It is a free e-book file format that can be read on all devices (computers, tablets, smartphones and e-readers). Since its standardization by the International Digital Publishing Forum, ePub has become vastly popular and some major publishers now prefer it to PDF.
What are the benefits of ePub?
ePub offers great compatibility, not only because it is not tied to any specific device, but also because it can be used with a variety of software. This is due to ePub using two languages – XML and XHTML.
ePub group of files come into a single package – easy to store and organize. Another great advantage of ePub is that it is open format. That means that it could be used by everyone, without any risks and additional costs. Being an open standard tool, guaranteed ePub popularity, as it has become very useful both for individual authors and for publishers.
Apart from its open nature, ePub is very independent. Yes, that is right, no big companies that are gobbling up vast amount of money thanks to the success of the format. ePub is not limited to any specific company, product or brand. It is just there to offer an authentic reading experience for the readers and make publishers’ lives simpler. ePub offers one, uniform standard that can be used by all. You might ask why this is worth mentioning… Remember the e-reader craze? Almost every company had decided to create their own eBook readers and this has led to a number of limitations, rather than actually encouraging reading/publishing.
ePub has introduced a standard for digital publications by removing all obstacles and without creating any of the mayhem ebook readers provoked.
Another massive benefit of ePub is its reflowable text. This means the text can reflow to any screen and resize its contents base. No need to switch devices or zoom in and out when using a small screen.
BeetleReader has chosen to use ePub to offer maximum usability, freedom and flexibility to publishers, while also ensuring an immersive experience for readers.