Ebook Service Epic! Wants to Be Netflix for Kids

Ebook Service Epic! Wants to Be Netflix for KidsEpic!, an ebook subscription service for children 12 and under, launched less than two years ago, but it has already achieved a major milestone: more than 10 million books read.

The company, which works with more than 100 American publishers—including HarperCollins, Macmillan and National Geographic—also announced that it has added more than 500 Spanish ebooks to its increasing library, as well as 1,000 new audiobooks.

The service bills itself as a “Netflix for children’s ebooks” and is clearly trending up: more than 100,000 ebooks are read on the platform each month, and more than 2 million ebooks were read last month alone.

Children can read an unlimited number of ebooks, all of which are streamed, and hundreds more are added each week—everything from picture books to chapter novels to read-to-me ebooks. The platform is also highly personalized for each child, including a recommendation engine that becomes tailored to each child’s taste, as well as options for rating and favoriting ebooks and a log that tracks what ebooks and how much of each the child reads.

Much more.

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Barnes & Noble Unveils Waterproof Nook (Engadget)
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SpotlightNielsen Values Indian Publishing at $3.9 Billion (Pub Perspectives)
The India Book Market Report released by Nielsen at the Frankfurt Book Fair last week values the print book market in India, including book imports, at $3.9 billion. This positions India among the largest English-language book markets in the world. The compound annual growth rate of the market is 20.4 percent between 2011–12 and 2014–15, according to the report.

Another Big Win for Google Books (Scholarly Kitchen)
Google’s legal winning streak continues with last week’s decision by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which rejected the Authors Guild’s appeal of the dismissal of its lawsuit against Google over the latter’s massive book-scanning project. One writer offers his thoughts.

SpotlightTranslating Your Work Is Big Business (AiA)
During the Frankfurt Book Fair, the translations market has inevitably generated many column inches. One of the main stories being that AmazonCrossing, the literary translation imprint of Amazon Publishing, announced a commitment to publish exceptional works of literature from Indonesian authors translated into English beginning in early 2016. This was said to be part of a headline-grabbing $10 million investment by the company to increase the publication of international books into English. Such a commitment should be applauded; after all there is a wealth of writing talent across a variety of territories which should have the opportunity to reach a wider audience.

Affordable Textbook Act Reintroduced in Congress (The Cite)
The Affordable College Textbook Act never got off the ground when it was introduced in 2013. Now, it’s being reintroduced as Congress works on reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. The act, sponsored by Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Al Franken (D-MN) in the U.S. Senate and Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX) in the House of Representatives, would encourage the use of open-access textbooks by providing grants to schools to make free or low-cost digital content available to professors, students and researchers.

College Textbooks Are a Racket (Washington Post)
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One in Four Japanese Readers Read an Ebook in Past Year (Digital Reader)
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Read-Along Ebooks Growing in Popularity at Local Libraries (DBW)
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