One of the difficulties today’s era of experimentation brings is that goods and services are not as neatly categorized as they used to be. I have an ongoing debate with my esteemed publisher, Mr. Rothman, for instance, on what constitutes an ‘e-book story’ and what does not. If I use my phone for reading, does that mean any story about phones is therefore a piece of e-book news? Shelf Awareness (link here via our friends at The Passive Voice) points out an important flaw in the legacy industry’s super-neat categories. You may miss out on some important information because you didn’t realize it applied to you. The news bit was
Rakuten released its annual financial report on Friday. While the news was generally good, the report also revealed embarrassing details about Rakuten's ebook ventures. Overall company revenues rose by 19% to 713 billion JPY for the year. Quarterly revenues were also up 14%, to 198 billion JPY. . Net profit for the year slipped 38% to 44.3 billion JPY. eBooks were hardly mentioned at all. There were a couple mentions of OverDrive, which Rakuten acquired in March 2015 for $410 million, yes. It's library loans were up 23.5% YoY in the fourth quarter, and Rakuten indicated in its "Vision 2020" brief is that the combined EBITA for Kobo+OverDrive will be positive in 2016. That is a first for Kobo, which has stayed a money pit even two years after Rakuten put a fixer in charge of the ebook company. The single most important mention of Kobo was in a related document where Rakuten explained the write offs it is taking this year on several of its subsidiaries. The Japanese retail conglomerate announced a 7.8 billion JPY goodwill impairment on Kobo. According to Wikipedia, in this situation goodwill is an accounting term for a certain type of intangible asset: Goodwill represents assets that are not separately identifiable. [...]
The Reedsy Book Editor is going to be released next Tuesday and will be very appealing to indie authors. The Reedsy Book Editor combines a beautiful writing experience with powerful collaboration and typesetting features.
All the major US trade publishers have agency deals in place, and that is having the expected impact on their ebook sales. Over the past week HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, and Hachette have released financial statements that show exactly what we all expected. The Bookseller reported today on S&S: The CBS Corporation released its fourth quarter and full year results yesterday evening (11th February), revealing that its publishing arm Simon & Schuster saw an 8% sales increase from $215 to $233m, primarily down to the growth in print book sales. The fourth quarter boost meant the company ended its full year with sales of $780m (£536.5m), up 0.25% from $778m (£535m) a year earlier. However, e-book sales accounted for just 21% of total publishing revenues in the fourth quarter, down from the 24% they accounted for in the same quarter a year earlier. And PW reported that HC was defending its decline in revenue by pointing to the healthy profit margin (12.8%): Lower e-book sales, combined with lower revenue from titles in the Divergent series, led to a 5% drop in sales at HarperCollins in the quarter ended December 31, 2015, compared to the same quarter last year. Revenue at the [...]
A well-intentioned Huffington Post article by Andrew Zack, President and Literary Agent with The Zack Company, and himself a publisher with Endpapers Press, makes a well-timed plea for bookstores everywhere to end their boycott/s of Amazon...
One of the oddest pieces of misreading to come my way arrived earlier with the headline “Only 40 Self-Published Authors are a Success, says Amazon.” This was based on a New York Times profile piece about self-publisher – and more...
Do you have to update your Kindle PC software or else have it stop working? It’s a good question, and I’ve been trying to determine the answer. So far, the results seem to be inconclusive. The only place I’m finding the outright claim that Kindle for PC will outright stop working if not updated is in a comment to a story on The Digital Reader. User “Fbone” said he or she had just been notified that Kindle for PC needed to be updated to version 1.14.1 by April 1, 2016 or it would become inoperable. But Google doesn’t turn up any other articles to that effect besides one Nate Hoffelder
Online knowledge forum Big Think has shared a profile of the Kazakh woman who’s single-handedly taking on the Goliath of scholarly publishing, and leading a global civil disobedience campaign in support of scholarly open access.
Developing a proprietary reading platform is no easy task, but it can prove quite lucrative if done right. MIT Press’s recently updated MIT CogNet is one example. Over 10 years in the making, the platform offers researchers access to over 700 books, 6 journals, and 13 reference works in the cognitive sciences, and sells annual …
WHICH KINDLE SHOULD YOU BUY? Are you thinking about buying a new Kindle ereader, but aren't sure which one to get? (Now might be a good time to check them out. When this post was written, Amazon had some good deals. If you're too late, keep an eye on the prices. They go on sale…
The UK’s possible exit from the European Union, looking likely to be the subject of a summer referendum, would be a disaster for the book trade, according to industry figures such as Waterstones m.d. James Daunt, Bonnier Publishing c.e.o. Richard Johnson and Alma Books m.d. Alessandro Gallenzi.
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