Move over, Smashwords, there's a new way for indie authors to get their books into libraries. Starting 15 September, Italy-based ebook distributor StreetLib will be supplying indie titles to OverDrive, the leading library ebook distributor.
Rumors of their impending death have been greatly exaggerated
Marianela Camacho Alfaro's insight:
"BookCourt is one of thousands of independent bookstores in the U.S. that are thriving long after analysts predicted their demise. In the early 2000s, big box stores were expected to steamroll the indie bookseller, marking the end of these cozy reading corners. Indeed, for a while, it looked like this was coming to fruition. Between 2000 and 2007, more than 1,000 independent bookstores across America closed their doors.
But then, things changed. In 2011, Borders filed for bankruptcy. Barnes & Noble's attempts to jump on the e-reading bandwagon with its Nook reader have mostly flopped. Between 2009 and 2014, the retailer closedmore than 60 stores and this year plans to close another 13.
Meanwhile, independent bookstores are enjoying a revival. From 2009 to 2014, the number of independent bookstores has increased by 27 percent, according to the American Booksellers Association. Sales at independent bookstores are outpacing the growth of book sales in general."
That's speaking from a traditional point of view. No longer do consumers need to be spoon-fed what books to read and content to consume; even my mother can go on Amazon on any device, without any training, and do all of her Christmas shopping in way that’s fast, intuitive, and tailored exactly to her needs.
Publishers – and indeed any organizations working with content – have suddenly had to become very smart about how we get and hold attention. There’s no one-size fits all: I might wish to consume information from a (frankly archaic) desktop computer, whereas my son has very different preferences. As a publisher, if you’re not able to provide your content to the consumer in the way that they wish to consume it – bearing in mind that that way may not even remain static for one individual consumer accessing across multiple devices – then you’re in a lot of trouble.
So we need to think smart about our content. Things are beginning to change, but there’s still a very strong product-centric print mindset to the way that most publishers work. That means that all the way through the content lifecycle – from authoring, to editorial, to production – in the back of their minds, they are still thinking throughout about the product that that content is destined to go into. That content’s fate has already been decided by them; they’ve imprisoned it before even setting it free into the world.
Strong revenue growth by Penguin Random House (PRH) in the first half of 2015 helped its parent company Bertelsmann to achieve its highest revenues since 2007.
Meanwhile, Bertelsmann's chief executive Thomas Rabe has told Reuters the company could "imagine" raising its stake in Penguin Random House, but said the decision was up to co-owner Pearson.
PRH’s half-yearly success was “driven by numerous bestsellers as well as positive currency effects”, with the book publishing business in the US particularly recording improved results.
Bertelsmann owns a 53% stake in PRH (Pearson the other 47%), and including Verlagsgruppe Random House in Germany, which is wholly owned by Bertelsmann, book publishing revenues were €1.7bn (£1.25bn), up from $1.5bn (£1.11bn) year-on-year. Operating EBITDA was €207m (£152.58m), an increase of 30.2% over the previous year’s €159m (£117.2m).
The Asian ebook market is forecasted to reach $2.2 billion by the end of 2016 and with high levels of smartphone penetration, providing an ideal basis for Bookmate to introduce its mobile reading service...
Over the weekend the NYTimes revealed that Google was taking steps to curb the piracy problem in Google Play Books. Based on what I am hearing from authors, Google hasn't solved said problem, but the news about the piracy is have all sorts of...
It is rethinking the whole endeavour on a massive, and tiny, scale. It is the chance, it is the only chance, you will ever have, to make it. It is new writing, it is new form, new experiences, new content and new books. It is technology and melancholy, glory and romance, fictions told between page and screen, books that go beyond the page, story untethered from the book. It is going to be different and it is going to be complex and it is going to be simple. It is going to scare you and you will need your wits and your gut and your courage.
As interesting as the all-you-can read models from Next Issue, Oyster Books and Scribd are, I believe Amazon just introduced a new model that’s likely to be much more disruptive in the long run. I’m talking about Amazon Underground, where paid apps go to be free.
If you haven’t heard about Underground it’s a collection of paid Android apps that are now available free if you download them directly from Amazon. The initial collection is mostly games but it will undoubtedly grow over time. It’s also important to note that the catalog includes paid apps as well as those with in-app purchases (e.g., additional levels for a game); those in-app options also become free in the Underground world.
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