It didn’t take long after the launch of Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited ebook subscription service for the outcry to begin, but unlike other criticisms the retail book giant has weathered, this one came from its most staunch supporters: self-published authors. With the announcement that all KDP Select titles would be included in the all-you-can-eat service, authors were initially excited about the prospect of a new revenue channel from the exclusive program; it didn’t take long, though, before some of the top names in self-publishing noticed a significant drop in their KDP-based income.
For the past three years Amazon has sold a particular type of Kindle format called Kindle Print Replica. This is basically a PDF file wrapped in a Kindle ebook file, and it offers many of the benefits of PDFs (fixed layout, graphics, charts, discrete page numbers).
Domestic e-book sales for the five groups—Penguin Random House, Hachette, HarperCollins, Pan Macmillan—totalled 49m units in 2014, a 15.3% rise on 2013. Three of the five publishers recorded double-digits growth, with only Simon & Schuster down—albeit marginally—on 2013. By contrast, the top five publishers recorded an 18% rise in digital volume versus 2012, which followed that huge 105% gain in 2012 (on 2011).
Recently, my boss (the mayor of White Plains) brought together some of the city’s commissioners to discuss the various projects we hope to launch in 2015, with the idea that we may find opportunities to work with one another. As the library director, I pitched a few things, such as extending the physical reach of the library, either through pop-up libraries or a mobile library. And then I raised another project—mumbled it, really: a One Community, One Book program for White Plains.
The new year hadn’t even had a week to catch its breath before the first year-end numbers for 2014 appeared. The definitive numbers—if you can call any numbers “definitive” in traditional publishing—won’t show up until late February or early March. But the early numbers reveal quite a bit.
Kindle Unlimited is an e-Book subscription platform with around 700,000 titles available. Users pay a monthly fee and can basically read as much as they want, similarly to what Netflix does for video and Crunchyroll for anime. Amazon has been heavily lambasted by authors and publishers because there is no set dollar amount they make on their content that is opted into the problem. Instead, there is a revolving pool of funds that Amazon makes available each month, with varying dollar amounts. For example, during the summoner and winter periods, when more people are reading, there are more funds available because loans are up. Amazon has stated during a recent book trade event that they are firmly behind the success of the platform.
In 2013, 89% of parents chose what digital content to buy for their kids, according to new research from PlayCollective and Digital Book World. But kids are now weighing in much more actively to determine what they read. Those purchasing decisions between kids and parents are now close to 50/50.
I was at a family function a few months ago when my uncle pulled me into the next room and handed me a pair of earbuds. “Listen to some of this.” Over the sonorous British narrator whose voice filled my ears with talk of fresh peas and someone named ‘Legrandin,’ I could hear my uncle shout, “Proust!”
Cory Doctorow came over to Budapest at the invitation of the Center for Media, Data and Society of Central European University to speak on policing computers and other issues. In the course of a fascinating interview with me, he shared a slew of observations on a great many issues, many of which I’ll be presenting in subsequent articles. To begin with, though, here are his thoughts on where self-publishing has got to, and what the whole Amazon-Hachette spat reveals about the impact of DRM on the market.
Can ebooks steamroll print? Not so fast, it seems we're hearing from several directions. Today, our colleagues Tom Tivnan and Felicity Wood at The Bookseller are writing Print and digital help the book market in 2014. Here, from that story is an "e" and "p" -- ebooks and print -- breakdown for the Big Five's 2014 sales.
The Federation of European Publishers (FEP) represents 28 national associations of publishers from the European Union and the European Economic Area Member States. The present survey is based on reports from the national book publishing associations, and on further analysis and refining of data, for the year 2013
In the last year, new research has reported that manga accounts for 80% of all digital book sales in Japan. Manga readers are choosing to view their favourite series through portable devices instead of paperback volumes. It’s not hard to see the appeal. Digital manga can be taken on the go, kept on a slim device instead of hauling books in a bag. And with a generation already glued to their smartphones, it almost seems easier to read digitally.