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Tuesday News: From digital to print, digital lending with Simon and...

A Growing Number of E-Commerce Sites Are Moving Into Print – I have to say that one of my guilty pleasures is the Vermont Country Store print catalogue. It’s old-fashioned goodness is so much better in print than digital — at least for me. So I can’t say I’m surprised that a number of online companies are now producing print catalogues, including Birchbox, One Kings Lane, Rent The Runway, and Editorialist. Not only do these companies think they can appeal to those customers who are not purchasing online (especially more expensive items), but they also believe that print is now kind of edgy:

While customers might like the idea of having a physical piece of their favorite online brand, does it actually pay off? “There is a case to be made that print marketing still has a place,” said Sucharita Mulpuru-Kodali, a retail analyst at Forrester Research. “As a lot of other marketers cut back on print marketing, there’s an opportunity to stand out more. It’s not perceived as clutter—nobody has a bad impression of magazines—and it can be a very useful way to drive traffic to your core property.” –Ad Week

Check it Out with Michael Kelley: Simon & Schuster’s E-book Lending Pilot – Simon and Schuster has spent a year experimenting in digital lending with 3 (count ’em THREE) New York public library systems. Now the publisher is expanding its sample to include 15 more systems across the United States. Thus far the company has judged the experiment a success, and their measure of success should not surprise us (and perhaps they’re more honest about it than other publishers?):

So what does success look like? Basically, S&S is hoping to understand how libraries can drive discovery and sales. And the pilot, Stambaugh said, should allow S&S to effectively compare areas where the titles have been made available against those where they are not available, and measure the effect on sales and discovery. “We’ll be able to see over time what the differential impact is,” said Stambaugh, and that will be critical in determining whether the pilot has succeeded.

As far as sales and discovery are concerned, a linchpin of the S&S pilot is a buy-it-now option, which the company would like to see widely adopted in libraries. “We definitely view the buy-it-now option as a very important part of this program for us,” Stambaugh said, and “as a long-term play for us as a publisher.” –Publishers Weekly

Instant e-libraries for Myanmar universities – And speaking of digital libraries, the University of Yangon and University of Mandalay — both in Myanmar (aka Burma), have received instant digital libraries totaling 130,000 digital texts. Under any circumstances this would be an accomplishment, but in this case it’s even more extraordinary, because these Universities did not even have working, accessible libraries, due to censorship and shutdowns. It would have been impractical to update physical copies of materials, and digital access also means that many students can simultaneously access the resources, reconnecting the campuses to the global academic community.

Mouldering books in the library were still stuck with the ideas of 50 or 60 years ago, he says, making it difficult for academics to maintain international standards. They were also constrained by having to comply with a controlling state.

It was symptomatic of a decaying university system.

What made the need for improvement even more urgent was the return of the first undergraduates to the University of Yangon campus for over two decades. –BBC News

We Tested All of Cosmo’s Insane Food-Focused Sex Tips – Somebody had to do it, right? From the Sour Belt BDSM, to The Infamous Doughnut Experience, to Warheads: The Sexplosioning, you have to read it to believe it. The pseudonymous testers created their own rating system, as follows:

Nymphodora and Flex rated everything on a scale of 1 to 5, in the categories of Her Rating, His Rating, Bonertude, Mess Level, and Pain Level, as well as whether they would try this tip again if it were not in service to a dumb internet article. The scale itself breaks down roughly as follows, at least when we’re talking about the first three categories:

0 — I think I’d rather fuck a cactus.
1 — Could you hurry up? There’s laundry to do.
2 — Well, my genitals aren’t exactly unhappy about this experience.
3 — Starting to move the needle, and by needle, I mean my man/ladybusiness.
4 — All aboard the SS HappyFunPantsTimes!

isn't sure if she's an average Romance reader, or even an average reader, but a reader she is, enjoying everything from literary fiction to philosophy to history to poetry. Historical Romance was her first love within the genre, but she's fickle and easily seduced by the promise of a good read. She approaches every book with the same hope: that she will be filled from the inside out with something awesome that she didnʼt know, didnʼt think about, or didnʼt feel until that moment. And she's always looking for the next mind-blowing read, so feel free to share any suggestions!


  1. An
    Apr 08, 2014 @ 14:39:19

    The Edmonton Public Library in Canada has the Simon and Shuster e-lending thing going on. I tried it for the first time last night. Or maybe the night before.

    It’s not bad. The books available are a bit odd but not the worst. It’s not my favourite but that could just be that I’m used to other systems and hate change. I personally would not buy a book through that system because I’ve found the ebooks to be crazy expensive. I’m not sure what S&S’s strengths are yet but it will probably take a while for that to work itself out.

  2. Andrea D
    Apr 08, 2014 @ 16:35:17

    The anecdotes from the couple trying out the sex tips are hilarious. OMG. I don’t know if I can look at Krispy Kremes the same again!

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