Archive九月 2018

Kobo Forma is a Kindle Oasis Clone, Will Ship on 16 October

It seems Kobo wasn’t too happy at the absolute secrecy surrounding its new ereader, so it decided to fix that situation by leaking a product render of its next ereader.

A short while ago Kobo Spain tweeted a graphic that showed a new ereader named the Kobo Forma. They quickly deleted their tweet, but not before several people snagged copies:

The Kobo Forma would appear to be the unnamed Kobo device that cleared the FCC in August.

We know almost nothing about that ereader beside the fact it had Wifi but not Bluetooth, and that the FCC unit had a 1.2Ah battery, but now it looks like it will have a one-handed design similar to that of the Kindle Oasis.

We’ll know more in a couple weeks.

I for one can’t wait to see it; I love the idea when Amazon tried it, but never found the original Oasis appealing (and Amazon wouldn’t send me an Oasis 2 review unit, so I can’t say much about it). But now Kobo is going to give it a try, and it’s like Christmas is coming early this year.

Stay tuned.

You just finished reading Kobo Forma is a Kindle Oasis Clone, Will Ship on 16 October which was published on The Digital Reader.

Morning Coffee – 28 September 2018

Morning Coffee - 28 September 2018 Morning Coffee

Here are a few stories to read this Friday morning.

You just finished reading Morning Coffee – 28 September 2018 which was published on The Digital Reader.

Nate’s Big List of Free Courses for Authors

Nate's Big List of Free Courses for Authors Self-Pub

Between marketing, social media, ads, writing, and book formatting, there are a million and one skills authors and other creators need to learn over the course of their career. And to make matters worse, sometimes we don’t even realize we need to learn a skill or that there are free resources which can teach us that skill.

For example, I taught myself how to make blog graphics one brutal, error-filled, frustrating step at a time because I didn’t know there was a free course that could have saved me a lot of time and effort.

In the interest of saving you from repeating my mistakes, I have pulled together a list of courses that authors and other creatives can take for free.

All of the courses listed here are free, and I will continue to add courses over time. If you want to recommend a course for inclusion please fill out the form at the end of this post.

For the most part these are video courses, and that may present accessibility problems. (Reedsy is the exception; most/all of their courses are text-based.)

Let’s start with the course platforms. If you can’t find the course you need in this post there is a chance you’ll find it on one of these sites.

Name Details
Udemy Along with Pluralsight, Udemy is a leading online learning platform. Udemy has an extensive catalog of free courses, including nearly 500 just in the marketing category.
Reedsy Reedsy is a services marketplace where authors can hire freelancers, and it also hosts a number of free courses.
MIT Open Courseware MIT maintains an extensive listing of free online courses. Alas, it is organized like an academic catalog, and thus frustrating to navigate.
The Open University Over 900 free courses, including one on how to start writing fiction.
TBD tbd

I will add more online course platforms as I come across them, but for now here are the free courses you came here to find.

Free Courses

Name Instructor Topic Notes
Pinterest Power Summer Tannhauser  Pinterest An intro course on how to market on Pinterest.
The Roadmap to Writing Successs Rebecca Hamilton, Author Grow Planning Your Author Career an overview course
Lead Magnet Challenge Maya, Blog Brand Hustle  better lead magnets for mailing lists N\A
Graphic Design Mini Course Kristin, AppleCart Lane  Beginner graphics mistakes a great course on how not to design graphics
Amazon Adverts for Books Dave Chesson, Kindlepreneur  AMS N\A
Plan Your Novel Rachelle Rea Cobb  developing a roadmap for your first novel  a course for bloggers who want to transition to book-length writing
The Perfect Year J A Huss  book launches subtitled “a successful book release strategy for authors”
Build a Brand Style Guide Sarah Crosley, The Creative Boss  how to develop a style guide N\A
Self-Publishing Mastery Iain Rob Wright  Intro to book publishing N\A
How To Build An Email List That Sells More Books Chris Syme, Smart Marketing for Authors  building a mailing list a 45-minute class
The Free Email Course Kirsten Oliphant  building a mailing list a 7-video course
Advanced Writer’s Toolkit Susie May, Novel Academy  topic details
Thriller Story Structure 101 Mike Dickson,  Fiction Formula  plotting, writing N\A
Thriller Outlining 101 Mike Dickson,  Fiction Formula  outlines, wriitng N\A
Pinterest for Business Trina Krug  Pintrest marketing  An intro course on how to market on Pinterest.
Get Started as a Speaker Grant Baldwin  public speaking N\A
Take Better Pictures  Image Maven  photography N\A
Why You Should Turn Your Facts into Fiction Jessica Lourey  writing  N\A
The Art of Writing Authentically Jessica Lourey  writing  N\A
How to Get More Twitter Followers Kelsye Nelson, Gutsy Creative  Twitter details
Master the Lost Art of Keyword Research Authority Labs  website SEO N\A
TBD tbd  tbd tbd

I’d like to thank the many people who suggested courses on Facebook, as well as Kirsten of Create If for pointing me to her post on free courses.

If you know of a course not listed above, please let me know!

Fill out the form below, and I’ll add the course to the list.


You just finished reading Nate’s Big List of Free Courses for Authors which was published on The Digital Reader.

Amazon HQ2 is Coming to Northern Virginia, Sources Say

Amazon HQ2 is Coming to Northern Virginia, Sources Say Amazon

an artist’s rendering of the (rejected) Arlington, TX proposal

Amazon has kept the business community on tenterhooks for the past year by dangling the location of its future second HQ over our heads. The promise of 50,000 new jobs and $5 billion in new construction had cities as diverse as Toronto, Boston, and San Diego scrambling to offer taxpayer-funded bribes incentive packages to bring Amazon HQ2 to their community.

In January 2018 Amazon narrowed the list of candidates to twenty locations, and now I am told that Amazon has settled on its new home.

A credible source in the local real estate community has told me that Amazon is now scouting Loudoun County for locations to build its second HQ.

Located approximately 30 miles outside of Washington DC, Loudoun County is part of a burgeoning tech corridor. Don’t be fooled by its population of 380 thousand; this county is one of the hubs of the internet, with as much as 70% of the world’s internet traffic flowing through its servers. (Also, don’t mistake the limited number of municipalities for lack of development; this area is organized and managed on the county level rather than by municipalities.)

Amazon and other companies have extensive data centers here, as well as offices. Amazon’s AWS is planning to build a campus in that area, for example, and this is the same general area that gave birth to the Entourage Edge ereader back in 2009 (the Entourage offices were located in Tyson’s Corner, a few miles further in towards DC).

My source was unable to tell me where Amazon was scouting,  but back in March Business Insider speculated that Amazon could build its new HQ on a 26-acre parcel located near Dulles International Airport.

Another possible location is a parcel to the west of Dulles Airport.

Earlier this week the airport authority sold 424 acres of land from its western edge (leaving the airport with over 11 thousand acres). The buyer is Digital Realty, a publicly-traded company that runs data centers around the world.

If Amazon did choose one  of these locations, its employees would live in Loudoun County or commute from one of the surrounding counties, Maryland (directly to the north), or West Virginia (due west).

Amazon has not set a date to announce its HQ2. The company currently employs over half a million people in offices around the world, including over 30,000 people in Seattle alone.

You just finished reading Amazon HQ2 is Coming to Northern Virginia, Sources Say which was published on The Digital Reader.

Guest Post: 7 Reasons Authors Should Be on Holonis

Join the #holoauthor family

No matter what type of business you’re in, nothing is more important to personal brand than storytelling. No one knows that more than us authors. A good story helps our customers to connect with us; it helps us to stand out from the crowd. And in this day and age of information overload, it can be difficult to feel like you are standing out.

Guest Post: 7 Reasons Authors Should Be on Holonis Self-Pub Social Media

Holonis is a new social media platform that allows you to tell the story of your personal brand, and it’s garnering a lot of attention. Holonis gives you a webpage, a blog, a shop, and a central location where you can lead visitors to anywhere else you are on the web. All for free.

There are really four types of content on Holonis: posts, pages, channels, and shop items. Posts are pretty straightforward. You can use them to post links, status updates, photos, anything you want. Pages are more like blog posts, but you can also make a page that is a photo gallery or contains different forms of media. Channels give you a way to organize your content so that it’s easier for your followers to navigate your Holospace (profile on Holonis). And the shop gives you a place to sell products and services.

Currently, there aren’t a lot of writers taking advantage of the platform. Here’s why you should be:

1. Holonis supports and empowers creators. At the bottom of the Holonis homepage, it says, “Creators are the future. This is where they thrive.” Whether you’re a writer, an artist, a musician, a model, or an entrepreneur, Holonis is the social media platform designed specifically with creators in mind.

Every author needs an author website: a central location where readers can go to learn about them and their books. It’s also good to create content that will attract new readers—whether that’s blog posts, videos, or infographics. Your Holospace can act as an author website, but you won’t have to pay for a domain name or web hosting, and there’s an audience built right in.

2. You can sell products right from your Holospace. One of the best things about Holonis is that your Holospace can have a store where you can sell your books or any other products and services you might offer. This is huge. Social media has been a great place to gain attention and attract followers, but eventually, you have to get your followers to go somewhere else to buy your products or services, whether it’s a retailer or your website. Finally, Holonis has given us a social media platform and a store right in one place.

A lot of us authors also offer freelancing services, and Holonis is a great place to sell those services and attract new clients. There aren’t a ton of people on the platform offering freelance writing or editing services right now, either, so you can get in early and be more visible. There are also freelancers you may need to hire on Holonis, like book cover designers.

The shop integrates with your PayPal, and Holonis doesn’t charge any fees. You can also use it to keep track of inventory and shipping.

3. Holonis is in its early stages. All of the early adapters of YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter became big influencers on those platforms, and the people on Holonis right now have a chance to do the same thing. I’ve only been on Holonis for a little over a month, and I’ve had several conversations with CEO, Richard Hollis, who also frequently engages with the content created by me and many other creators I’ve met on the platform. He’s also incredibly supportive of us.

So Holonis is big enough to attract actors like Charlie Sheen, rappers like The Game and T.I., and other celebrities like Paris Hilton, but the CEO of the entire platform is still accessible to artists, authors, and creators like myself who are still attracting followers and readers.

4. You can use Holonis to share to other social media platforms. There are so many platforms that authors can use to promote their books. Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, Snapchat. Who can keep up? Holonis makes it so easy to share your content on the other platforms that tools like Hootsuite are no longer needed. Holonis isn’t really competing with the other social media platforms, but rather it collaborates with them to help you share your content, manage your social media, and get back to the important part of your job: the actual writing.

5. You’re more visible on Holonis. Unlike other social media platforms, Holonis pages are designed for optimal search engine optimization (SEO). Whenever you post a page on Holonis, it gets indexed on Google as an article. This allows you to rank for whichever keywords the way you would with a blog post. You can also embed your products and services right into your pages. So if you write a page that ends up ranking for gardening tips for the fall in Virginia, for example, and it gets a lot of traffic, those visitors will have the option at the end of your page to purchase your book on gardening tips in Virginia. Convenient!

You’re also more visible on Holonis because it isn’t overly saturated yet. While many platforms are making certain posts more visible than others or promoting sponsored posts, Holonis still has a level playing field. Model, Brooke J. Sands, has gained a lot of attention on the Holonis. “Besides the fact that Holonis is a revolutionary platform, the fact that it’s not completely oversaturated has provided me with exposure I never would have had on other social media platforms,” Sands says.

6. There is more authenticity on Holonis. My husband, Peter Lang, is a digital marketer and motivational speaker, and he’s pointed out to me that there are a lot of “successful” marketers on other platforms filming videos in front of mansions they don’t live in or Lamborghinis they’ve rented for the day, trying to convince you they’re millionaires who can reveal the secret to making a ton of money. He even started #holonismohonest. In my short time on the platform, I’ve noticed a great deal of authenticity and transparency in the people I’ve gotten to know.

Transparency is very important to all the authors I know, especially the indie ones. Even though I’ve only been on the platform for a little over a month, I’ve found that Holonis is not only a place where I can connect with readers, but it’s also a place where I can connect with other writers and creators, who all understand the difficulties that creators are often faced with.

7. Holonis is a great place to build your brand. On Holonis, you can engage with your readers and build your personal brand as an author. Richard Hollis says, “Your Holospace is your platform and voice to the world. Consider it your dynamic connected website. Holonis empowers any person, business or entrepreneur to be found online. And in a digital economy, your brand online is everything!”

As I’ve browsed Holospaces over the last month belonging to actors, models, filmmakers, rappers, painters, photographers, other writers, and every other kind of content creator, the one thing I’ve noticed that they all have in common is that a Holospace is the perfect place to tell the story of your brand. And as authors, I think that’s something we can all get excited about.

You just finished reading Guest Post: 7 Reasons Authors Should Be on Holonis which was published on The Digital Reader.

Morning Coffee – 24 September 2018

Morning Coffee - 24 September 2018 Morning Coffee

Here are a few stories to read this Monday morning.

You just finished reading Morning Coffee – 24 September 2018 which was published on The Digital Reader.

Morning Coffee – 21 September 2018

Morning Coffee - 21 September 2018 Morning Coffee

Here are a few stories to read this Friday morning.

You just finished reading Morning Coffee – 21 September 2018 which was published on The Digital Reader.

The Audible App Arrives on Apple’s Apple Watch

The Audible App Arrives on Apple's Apple Watch Audiobook e-Reading Software

When you tire of talking to the many gadgets Amazon launched today, you can have your watch talk to you.

Audible released a new version of its app today, at long last making the app available on Apple’s smartwatch. Millions of Audible customers can now listen to Audible books, control playback, and manage their library directly from their Apple Watch.

It’s the perfect integration for Audible and Apple Watch users on-the-go to try out Audible’s free, trainer-led audio fitness programs from Aaptiv, free Audible Originals through the Originals Member Benefit, or their favorite audiobook while working out.

Anyone up for a little Dick Tracy cosplay?


You just finished reading The Audible App Arrives on Apple’s Apple Watch which was published on The Digital Reader.

Kindle Unlimited Funding Pool Grew in August 2018 While the Per-Page Rate Didn’t Change

Kindle Unlimited Funding Pool Grew in August 2018 While the Per-Page Rate Didn't Change ebook sales Kindle (platform)

Amazon announced on Friday that the Kindle Unlimited funding pool grew to $23.3 million in August (plus bonuses), up from $23.1 million in July 2018. At the same time the per-page rate royalty essentially didn’t change, remaining at   $0.004491, compared to $0.004460 in June and $0.00454 in May 2018.

  • US: $0.0045 (USD)
  • UK: £0.0034 (GBP)
  • Canada: $0.0044 (CAD)
  • Germany: €0.0029 (EUR)
  • Netherlands, France, Spain, Italy: €0.0045 (EUR)
  • Brazil: R$ 0.0109 (BRL)
  • Japan: 0.5567 (JPY )
  • India: 0.8736 (INR)
  • Mexico, Australia: unknown

Here’s a list of the monthly funding pools. It does not include the bonuses paid out each month.

  • July 2014: $2.5 million (Kindle Unlimited launches early in the month)
  • August 2014: $4.7 million
  • September 2014: $5 million
  • October 2014: $5.5 million
  • November 2014: $6.5 million
  • December 2014: $7.25 million
  • January 2015 – $8.5 million
  • February 2015: $8 million
  • March 2015: $9.3 million
  • April 2015: $9.8 million
  • May 2015: $10.8 million
  • June 2015: $11.3 million
  • July 2015: $11.5 million
  • August 2015: $11.8 million
  • September 2015: $12 million
  • October 2015: $12.4 million
  • November 2015: $12.7 million
  • December 2015: $13.5 million
  • January 2016: $15 million
  • February 2016: $14 million
  • March 2016: $14.9 million
  • April 2016: $14.9 million
  • May 2016: $15.3 million
  • June 2016: $15.4 million
  • July 2016: $15.5 million
  • August 2016: $15.8 million
  • September 2016: $15.9 million
  • October 2016: $16.2 million
  • November 2016: $16.3 million
  • December 2016: $16.8 million
  • January 2017: : $17.8 million
  • February 2017: : $16.8 million
  • March 2017: $17.7 million
  • April 2017: $17.8 million
  • May 2017 :$17.9 million
  • June 2017: $18 million
  • July 2017: $19 million
  • August 2017: $19.4 million
  • September 2017: $19.5 million
  • October 2017: $19.7 million
  • November 2017: $19.8 million
  • December 2017: $19.9 million
  • January 2018: $20.9 million
  • February 2018: $20 million
  • March 2018: $21 million
  • April 2018: $21.2 million
  • May 2018: $22.5 million
  • June 2018: $22.6 million
  • July 2018: $23.1 million
  • August 2018: $23.3 million

via Self Publisher Bibel

You just finished reading Kindle Unlimited Funding Pool Grew in August 2018 While the Per-Page Rate Didn’t Change which was published on The Digital Reader.

Morning Coffee – 19 September 2018

Morning Coffee - 19 September 2018 Morning Coffee

Here are a few stories to read this Wednesday morning.

You just finished reading Morning Coffee – 19 September 2018 which was published on The Digital Reader.