Talkback Tuesday: Amazon Locks Up New Delivery Option?

Talkback Tuesday is your chance to be heard! 

This week: Has Amazon locked up the solution to local deliveries?

The Wall Street Journal is reporting today that Amazon is looking at a new way to deal with the problem of no one being home to receive a delivery.  According to their intel, that solution is none other than local lockers.  Yes, lockers!  You can read the story here.  It is certainly is a novel approach.  But is it practical?  Give the story a look and then take our poll below.

Need to find a book? CoverCake takes the cake!

Have you ever found yourself trying to remember the name of a book you have seen on a TV show or maybe heard about on a radio program?  You can rack you brain trying to recall it.  Sometimes a web search can help.  But more often than not, it is enough to drive a person mad.  Well, hold onto your sanity and let CoverCake do the remembering for you!

CoverCake is a truly sweet idea – a comprehensive, online database of books mentioned in the popular media.  Whether the title was featured on television, the radio, or a popular blog,  chances are good you will find it here.  Not only can you find books, but you can buy them too! 

It is sooo easy to use.  Simply choose your favorite TV show, radio program or blog from the tabs on the main CoverCake page.  Once you do that, you are given the list of featured books.   If you see a book you like, just click on it.  CoverCake takes you to an overview page that not only tells you about the book, but also provides links to check it out at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google and even local libraries.  There are instructions also for those looking for instant gratification for their eReaders.  It’s pretty cool!

CoverCake is expanding its database constantly.  The are also increasing the ways in which users can discover books.  Take a look at those tabs again.  You can browse books from best seller lists, book clubs, and even awards lists.  It’s fast and it’s fun.  They have even released an iPad app to enhance the experience.  What? No iPad?  Fret not!  The company says that eReader versions are on the way!

Buying textbooks? is the bomb!

With school back in session and the economy still in its rut, most students are sharing a similar concern.  How on earth are they going to be able to afford those pricey textbooks?  From living in closets to subsisting on ramen noodles, folks are desperate to lessen the pain of textbook buying.  Luckily, they have an ally in the fight.  Have you been to tags itself as “The Better Way to Buy Textbooks”.  They are certainly onto something hot and useful.  Using, students can buy, rent, and even sell textbooks without the painful markup  of college bookstores.  In fact, the site currenty estimates that its users are saving about 60% on their book purchases!  That adds up to a VERY healthy savings when you consider how many books the average student purchases in just one school year!

Using can hardly be easier.  You simply go to the site and search for either the book title or your school.  In it’s databanks, has up-to-date syllabus information from over 1,500 colleges and universities!  Students can actually buy their books before they even have their syllabi in hand.  At the end of the semester, students can then use to sell their books back for top dollar.  Talk about a total solution! is barely a year old, but has already attracted a huge fan base.  You can look at the main page to see just how much the students at particular colleges and universities have saved.  The leader board is impressive!  Best of all . . . it is not just for students.  Anyone can use and reap its rewards.

With Pubit!, Barnes & Noble makes ePublishing a breeze and gives you a share of the profit$!

Hitting it big in the world of publishing has never been an easy nut to crack.  Authors not only need write great works to publish, but also navigate the hops and hills of the industry.   The advent of ePublishing has changed the game to a large degree.  Thanks to the eReader revolution, getting your works out to the reading audience has never been easier . . . Well, not until now at least.  First mentioned last May, Barnes & Noble’s new ePublishing system not only helps you get your masterpieces to market faster.  It helps you set your prices and share in the profits.  Meet Pubit!

Barnes & Noble touts itself as the world’s number one bookseller.  Its Nook eReader, though not as popular as Amazon’s Kindle, has been a success.  Its eBookstore is flourishing.  There is a lot that is attractive about Barnes & Noble to writers looking to publish and profit from their own eBooks.   Earlier this spring, the bookselling behemoth hinted at a platform that would make publishing electronic books easier than ever – a near instant way to get works in front of the eyes of millions.  Since then, the project had been shrouded in secrecy.  That is, until Barnes & Noble yesterday unveiled “Pubit!” and launched the latest salvo in the ePublishing wars.

Using Pubit! is free and easy.  You simply create your content (book, article, etc.), create a Pubit! account, upload your work, and set your price.  Pubit! will convert your work into the popular ePub format (compatible with more than B&N’s Nook, by the way) and add it to Barnes & Noble’s eBook store.  If you’ve created a winner, you are paid a percentage of the retail price (40%- 65% based on price set) for each sale made. It is just that easy.

Certainly there are other self-publishing sites and platforms available.  But what they lack is the name recognition and audience that Barnes & Noble enjoys.  That is not to say that we can all quit our day jobs and become successful, wealthy writers.  Not even Barnes & Noble can guarantee that!  But the opportunity is out there like never before.  Why publish your work the old fashioned way when you can Pubit! with Barnes & Noble? (Aside from loving the look and feel of a real, paper book of course!).

Read Print rocks! Thousands of free online books!

Whomever it was that said the best things in life are free certainly had today’s featured site in mind.  Read Print, a simple, yet elegant site for reading enthusiasts, puts the best price ever on thousands of online books, poems, and stories.  Yes, the VERY BEST price.  Materials on Read Print are 100%, absolutely, positively, and undeniably FREE!

Intrigued?  The iBraryGuy team was, so we checked it out.  Suffice it to say that we are impressed.  Read Print alreadys boasts an amazing library of over 8,000 books by more than 3,500 authors.  Fiction and non-fiction, plays and poetry, short stories and even essays, this online library has it all.  Neatly accessible through both clicks and search, Read Print’s library is well organized and simply laid out.  Their lists of top books and authors are very helpful, as are the links to search by title and author.  Read Print even has an online search for quotations from the authors and works in its library.  What else can we say, except “sweeeeeet!”

The one caveat to using Read Print is that you have to read the books online, through your browser.  You cannot download them to an e-reader, for example.  However, the enhanced online “reading mode” makes this far less cumbersome than one might expect.  For those using netbooks, iPads, or other portable devices, this is particularly handy.  We read some of Poe’s works on Read Print with little trouble at all.

To get anything for free these days (Have you seen the global economy?) is a rare treat.  To get something high quality for free is even more difficult.  It is a joy to see a site bucking that trend when it comes to literature.  Read Print’s offerings are well-presented, easy to read, and free of errors.  It’s almost asking too much.  It is why Read Print earns our praise and is our site of the day!

Need Back to School Books? Check Em Out on Chegg!

There are few certainties in life.  However, among the known definites are death, taxes, and the mark-up on text books.  Anyone going to school to these days knows just how expensive school books can be.  One almost needs to take out a separate loan to just buy texts.  Chegg is a hot new site that actually lets you “rent” the books you need for the semester at great rates.  In today’s economy, this is a true back-to-school boon!

Chegg’s model is simple.  Go to their site, search for the textbooks you need, and then rent the ones that are available for just the semester.  Why rent, you ask?  Have you seen the prices of new textbooks these days?  With Chegg, a one semester rental costs a fraction – yes, A FRACTION – of the cost of buying that textbook new.  Most of the titles the iBraryGuy team tested came in at less than a third of the retail buying price.  That is some serious savings!

Chegg not only ships you the books directly, but even sends you the return label to send your books back at the end of the semester.  It does not get much easier than that!  Chegg also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.  Return your books within the first 30 days of receiving them, for any reason, and Chegg will refund every penny.  Pretty cool.

Chegg accounts are free to create.  You only pay when you rent.  For those of you using iPhones, the company offers an app that lets you search and rent textbooks while on the go.  Oh!  And for those of you with old college textbooks sitting around . . . Chegg also buys used books.  Not a bad proposition in today’s economy!

Vook adds vonderful new twist to reading!

Ever since the dawn of the Internet, our world has become increasingly and more rapidly interactive.  Today, laptops, smartphones, and now e-readers and tablet computers are turning everyday activities into multi-sensory experiences.  Books, movies, music . . . it is all online and in the palms of our hands.  The new frontier seems to be a landscape in which all of these media types are combined into a single, self-immersing package.  Pioneering that future are the folks at Vook.

What is a “Vook“, you ask?  Well, imagine combining video and book into one pretty, portable package.  Heck, don’t imagine it . . . visit their site and give it a try!  Vooks are a wild, new innovation that takes the text of a well-written book and blends it with high-quality video and the power of the Internet into a single, complete story.   The videos actually enhance what you are reading and you do not have to switch platforms to watch them as you read.  There is even a sweet, social dimension to vooks.  As you are reading, you can  connect with authors, others reads and even your friends through social media.  This too is made to be seamless!

Vooks are acurrently vailable in two robust formats.  There is a web-based application, suitable for use on any internet-connected computer.  No software is required for this outside of your brwoser.  There is also an app for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. With the web-based application you don’t have to download programs or install software.   For you Apple fans, there are free previews that you can download to your devices.  For those using the web version, free previews are available right on the Vook site.

Vook prices are comparable to the current prices for most e-books.  The selection of available titles is a little stark at this time, but it is growing.  We see a great deal of potential in vooks, especially when it comes to how-to guides, reference materials, and children’s works.  In fact, the selection of kids’ vooks already contains some classics that are sure to delight the little ones.  You can help ensure the future of this start-up by visiting their site today and giving your first vook a testdrive!

BookMooch makes book sharing fun! #librarians #libraries #books

If you love books as much as we here at iBraryGuy do, then you know just how hard it is to part with ones that you have read.  Throwing away a book is NEVER an option for us.  If you are like us, then you probably would rather see your used books end up in the hand of people who will enjoy them as much as you did.  With BookMooch, you can trade books with other avid readers in a fun online community.

BookMooch is not like other book sharing sites.  Whereas many others work on the honor system, this one runs on an actual points system.  You earn points by entering books into the database and offering them as giveaways.  You earn even more points by actually sending them out.  The points you earn can then be “spent” to acquire books from other Moochers.  You have to give books to get them.  In fact, BookMooch’s rules require that you give away at least one book for every two that you receive.  It’s a pretty cool system!

International sharing is not only permitted on BookMooch – it is encouraged.  You actually earn more points for sharing your books internationally.  You can request books from other countries and even in other languages.  Another neat feature of BookMooch is the “Wishlist” that allows you to specify the titles in which you are interested.  As you earn points and the books on your list become available, they will be sent to you.

BookMooch is free to join.  You can donate points to charity and even help support the service by purchasing books from Amazon via links on the site.  So do not throw away your old books or let them languish on dusty shelves.  Share them with BookMooch.  You will make someone’s day and maybe even save a little money in the process.


BookCrossing: The World’s Largest FREE Book Club!

BookCrossing aims to be the world’s largest free book club. With a membership of almost 800,000 people in over 130 countries, if it already has not met that goal, it has got to be pretty darned close! BookCrossing’s idea of sharing the printed wealth is both novel and fun. If you love your books (but you are done reading them), set them free!

We all have books we’d like to just give away. We often have a list of books we’d also like to read and find on the cheap. The folks behind BookCrossing want to help us do both … for FREE. Register for a free membership and the world of BookCrossing becomes your literary oyster. Register the books you want to give away and then just leave them somewhere. Use the site to tell folks where you left them. Book seekers will find your books (which you mark with a BookCrossing statement), go back to the site, and register them as taken. Every time your books are subsequently released and picked up, you can follow along! If you are looking for a book, you can search on the site to see if anyone has released it into the wild and where you might find it. It’s like a huge treasure hunt for free books!

This site also features discussion groups and a store where you can get things such as stamps and sticky notes that can make “marking” your books even easier. Our favorite BookCrossing innovation is the BCZ or “Book Crossing Zone”. These are coffee shops and other public places that have signed on as actual host-sites for the leaving and retrieval of BookCrossing books. Tres cool, if we dare say so!

We librarians are giving types and we love to share our books. We are also fans of a great deal on books we want to read. For us, BookCrossing can become the ultimate enabler. We are already hooked!

Too busy to read? DailyLit does it in doses!

With tight schedules, commutes, and family and social obligations, it is little wonder that time is such a premium these days.  It’s a wonder that they don’t teach time management in kindergarten!  For many of us, having some spare time to read is more of a luxury than the norm!  Given that so many of us are librarians, that is sad and almost ironic.  Enter DailyLit and a unique solution to the time crunch!

Thanks to the people at DailyLit, it may be tough to ever again claim that you have no time to read.  Their site’s concept is simple, novel, and may even be revolutionary.  With DailyLit, you can have a book delivered to you in bite-sized (or shall I say “byte-sized) installments via either e-mail or RSS.  You even have control over the number of installments into which the book is broken down and when the snippets are sent to you.  It is easy AND convenient!

Currently, DailyLit makes hundreds of public domain books available for free.  If you want one of the more current bestsellers, they are available at a fee.  Sure beats reading just the headlines on your smartphone as you ride the bus or train!