Category Archives: apps

British Library 19th Century Collection App Giveaway

Craig Morgan Teicher -- August 5th, 2011

The British Library just released a really, really cool iOS app that lets readers read books from the library’s 19th Century collection in the original, as it were.  It’s called, unsurprisingly, British Library 19th Century Collection.  These are gorgeously presented scans of the original texts from the library.  You get to see everything, from the covers to the endpapers and everything in between.  The reading experience is frankly just stunning, and offers something not too far from what it would really be like to hold these rare editions in your hands.  Here, for instance, is me reading the first page of The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe:

So, we’ve got 10 codes that will give you free access to everything in this app.  Head over to our Facebook Page (and please “Like” us while you’re there) and see if you can grab one from the note posted there.  But first you’ve got to download the app itself, which is free (this link will take you to iTunes).  Then enter the code inside the app for free access to the gated contents.  We’ll give out five codes in the morning and five in the afternoon.


‘Penguin’s Family’ iOS App Giveaway

Craig Morgan Teicher -- July 28th, 2011

It’s time for another iOS app giveaway.  PW has been trying to bring some attention to app developers we think are doing cool things and also giving away a few free copies of the apps to lucky readers who race over to our Facebook page and claim a promo code before they’re all gone.

This week, we’ve got codes for Penguin’s Family, developed by OceanHouse Media, which has been bringing out very nice app versions of classic Dr. Seuss, Bernstein Bears and other books. The apps are great for kids, with read-aloud feature and smart touch screen enhancements that let kids explore language and pictures at the same time, while still offering a pretty traditional book-like experience.

Penguin’s Family is part of OceanHouse’s series of Smithsonian apps–the other is about the mighty T-Rex.  Penguin’s Family, written by Kathleen M. Hollenbeck and Illustrated by Daniel J. Stegos, follows the story of a family of Humboldt penguins as they teach their newborn how to survive in the world.

We’ve got 10 codes to give away, and we’ll post five today and five tomorrow in a note on our Facebook page.  They’re first-come-first-serve, so head over there now and grab one!

Wreck This App: An Activity Book App; Plus Free App Giveaway!

Craig Morgan Teicher -- July 18th, 2011

This is a typical prompt in Wreck This App...I drew the colored parts...

The iOS App Store is flooded with book apps that present print book content in digital form–most are merely books you can read on a screen.  Much rarer are apps that take the ideas, concepts or activities from a book and adapt them to the very different capabilities that exist on a smart phone or tablet.  One such app is “Wreck this App” (iTunes link), coming out tomorrow from Penguin.

Using the smear tool feels just like smearing real ink.

The app is based on Wreck This Journal, the popular adult activity book by Keri Smith, published by Perigee. Wreck This Journal is a gussied up blank book, meaning you’re meant to fill it with your own stuff, but instead of blank pages, the book is full of prompts for writing and drawing and readers are supposed to draw and do other stuff all over the book.  Keri Smith is kind of like SARK with an edge.

Wreck This App takes that idea–including many of Smith’s prompts from the book, plus some new ones–and applies it to the touch screen.  As you can see, the app lets you draw all over the pages, and then export your work to email, Facebook and elsewhere.  You can also pull in photos from your device’s camera role and make a mess with them.  It’s pretty fun, even, if not especially, for grown-ups, though I bet the kids will love it too.

The app includes prompts and tools, like the ones in the screen shots in this post.  My favorite is the “drop tool,” which, as you can see in the shot below, lets you drop a blob of virtual paint on the screen and then tilt your device to deliciously spread the paint across the screen.  It’s hours of fun.

The drop tool: my favorite...

Wreck This App is a really successful example of an experience based on a book that includes things neither a print book nor an e-book could do.  Of course, Wreck This Journal is an activity book, so it lends itself to becoming an activity app.  But you should check it out–and the first three people who head over to our Facebook page can do just that:

Wreck this App will be released in the iOS App Store tomorrow (Tuesday), but we’ve got three promo codes, good for one free copy of the app each, available first-come-first-serve on our Facebook page, so head over and claim them now!  (And we hope you’ll “like” our page while you’re over there.)

The PW Morning Report: Friday, June 17, 2011

Craig Morgan Teicher -- June 17th, 2011

Today’s links!

Kindle Spam: Reuters looks at the Spam books clogging Amazon’s Kindle store.

New Nook Reviewed : Good E-Reader takes a good look at the new Nook Simple Touch.

App Hope: Book publishers in the UK are hopeful about the potential of apps, reports the Guardian.

Kinney on ‘Wimpy’: Jeff Kinney tells EW about the present and future of his wildly successful book series.

More on Pottermore: Futurebook has some details about what it might be, maybe, sorta…

Annie’s Book Shop Turns 30: The Nashua bookseller celebrates its 30th year. From the Nashua Telegraph.

Evanovich Speaks: She tells USA Today all about her love of entering the world of her character Stephanie Plum.

The Paris Review Goes Digital

Craig Morgan Teicher -- June 16th, 2011

Today the Paris Review announced it is now offering a digital subscription through the Zinio platform.  Digital subs start with this summer’s issue and cost $30 for a year, meaning four issues.  Zinio offers an easily accessible PDF iteration of the magazine viewable on iOS devices and on the Web.

The Paris Review is among the elder statesman of lit mags, so it’s significant of a new era that it, too, should go digital under the new editorship of Lorin Stein. So, if you are looking for something to read…

The PW Morning Report: Thursday, June 16, 2011

Craig Morgan Teicher -- June 16th, 2011

Today’s links!

Borders to Save More Stores: PaidContent reports on a deal between Borders and its lenders that could save more stores.

Apple Vs. Amazon: CNN wonders whether Amazon will comply with Apple’s new in-app purchase rules, and, if not, whether Apple will book the Kindle app from the App Store.

Brooklyn Book Fest: Here’s a list of confirmed authors appearing at this year’s Brooklyn Book Fest. From the Brooklyn Paper.

Saving a Bookstore from Hockey Fans: A Vancouver resident defends his local bookstore from rioting hockey fans. From the Globe and Mail.

More Potter: JK Rowling has unveiled a mysterious Web site at From Digital Spy.

Publishers Remember 9/11: AP looks at publishers’ low-key plans for 9/11 remembrance this year.

Timothy Leary’s Papers: the New York Public Library has bought them. From the NYT.

The PW Morning Report: Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Craig Morgan Teicher -- June 15th, 2011

Today’s links!

Go the F**k to The Top of the Bestseller List: Meet Adam Mansbach, the dad behind Go the F**k to Sleep. From Salon.

Bizarre Minister: Australian booksellers call their Small Business Minister’s remark about the upcoming death of bookstores “irresponsible” and “bizarre.” From Smart Company.

Apple Bypass: How publishers can get around Apple’s App store with HTML5 Web apps. From Mediashift.

Book Flogger: The Philadelphia Inquirer looks at how an author must flog her book daily to promote it.

Che Diary: An unreleased Che Guevara diary has been released in Cuba. From the Guardian.

Barnes & Slowble: A survey finds that B&N has some of the slowest customer service among e-tailers.

The ‘Waste Land’ Model: Salon looks at how the new T.S. Eliot app is the best example yet of a book app.

The PW Morning Report: Friday, June 10, 2011

Craig Morgan Teicher -- June 10th, 2011

Today’s links!  And Happy Birthday Maurice Sendak.  And Please “Like” us on Facebook!

Orange Tea Obreht: The 25-year-old writer has won the prestigious Orange Prize, and says she doesn’t feel she’s earned it. From the Guardian.

10 Summer Reads: Malcolm Jones offers 10 new books to read this summer. From Newsweek/ Book Beast.

Kobo in Five Languages: The Digital Reader reports that Kobo has started selling e-books in Spanish, German, French, Italian and Dutch, in addition to English.

Patchett on the Writing Life: Ann Patchett tells the Guardian about her new novel, set in the Amazon.

Why E-books Are Bad for You: PC World explains–it has, among other things, to do with copyright.

George Saunders Interviewed: From Bomb.  The headline links to part 1.  Here’s part 2.

No Nook for Nook: One Boston Herald columnist can’t let herself love her e-reader.

The PW Morning Report: Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Craig Morgan Teicher -- June 8th, 2011

Today on the Web!

New Owner for Borders?: The WSJ looks at a possible buyer: the investor Jahm Najafi

Angry Bird Book: The folks behind Angry Birds are preparing a cookbook about eggs! From

Amazon’s Publishing Push: Forbes takes a look.

Bad Book Biz: Police uncover a fraudulent Vermont publisher. From Burlington Free Press.

Bad People, Great Books: Salon looks at when great books come from bad people.

E-Book Events: Publishing Perspectives wonders how book festivals might integrate e-books into their programming.

iBooks Update: Apple has updated iBooks to enable a read-aloud feature for some e-books. From PC Magazine.

The PW Morning Report: Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Craig Morgan Teicher -- May 17th, 2011

Today’s links!

Coal Curriculum Pulled: As of Friday, Scholastic has pulled the controversial coal-curriculum from its site. From School Library Journal.

More Amazon Tablet Rumors: A few juicy details about the two tablets Amazon may offer soon. From TechConnect.

NYPL Has an App for That: The New York Public Library has developed an app to showcase its research holdings. From the NYT.

Back into the Frey: Salon looks at James Frey’s return to Oprah and why “he still doesn’t get it.”

Blue Rider Press: That’s the name David Rosenthal has at last given to his new imprint at Penguin. From the NYT.

Super Sad Gary: Gary Shteyngart gives the Boston Herald a funny pre-reading interview in which he laments the digital future of books.

Reinvent the Business Model: That’s what Oren Teicher told the UK Book Industry Conference. From the Bookseller.