I often consider how fortunate I am to be working at the Press' Bookshop and showroom in the centre of Cambridge. The shop is located in one of the best retail spaces in Cambridge and boasts a stunning view across to the University Senate House and King's College Chapel. Not only that but we can claim to be continuing a noble tradition in being the latest in a long line of booksellers that have operated continuously from this site since around 1581, making it the oldest bookshop site in the country. Thus it is the ideal location from which to sell the publications of the oldest publisher. However that heritage can seem at risk in the face of new technologies and the dawning digital age.
Microsoft is going to be unveiling their first large scale digital bookstore sometime in the next few months. They are going to be populating it with over one million titles and will have a dedicated editorial staff to curate seasonal themes. Instead of developing an e-reading app, Microsoft is going to upgrade the EDGE internet browser with full support for EPUB.
The European Commission (EC) has confirmed that Amazon has offered to remove controversial Most Favoured Nation (MFN) clauses in e-book contracts and is asking publishers for feedback on the pledges.
The EC has given publishers in Europe one month to respond to the e-commerce giant’s offer not to enforce any clause requiring publishers to give Amazon similar terms and conditions as those given to its competitors, known as MFN clauses.
With the end of a pretty rough year behind us and the first few weeks of 2017 under our belts, it’s a good time to take a deep breathe and take stock of the state of publishing. There’s perhaps no more comprehensive analysis of the current trends than the annual Smashwords Book Industry Predictions, written each year by founder and CEO Mark Coker.
Companies such as Doubleday and Scribner once led the way in combining bookselling and publishing. Now, a new generation of booksellers is getting in touch with its publishing side, including such booksellers-cum-publishers as Cleveland’s Guide to Kulchur, which publishes marginalized writers, and Las Vegas’s the Writer’s Block, which is about to launch a literary journal.
Digital publishing has drastically changed the landscape of the publishing industry, opening up new paths to success. Once upon a time, the only way for an author to get their books into the hands of readers was to land a deal with a publisher and allow them to distribute your title. This took a lot of time, and many authors were turned away time and time again.
"Publishers need to think beyond the book" to other media such as YouTube and Snapchat, and ensure everything they do has "the consumer at its heart”, m.d. of Penguin Random House Children’s Francesca Dow has said.
The debate about the true size of the self-published market continues. Traditional publishers and advocates for independent works have each tried to position the market as more or less tilting their way. To date, we’ve not seen much of a discussion about why knowing the size of the book market matters.
Here’s one reason it matters: mobile content discovery and consumption.
This week the books podcast takes a physical turn, shifting away from the intangible business of writing to consider the hunks of wood we haul around for our reading pleasure. With sales of printed books on the rise, there’s little sign the reading experience will go entirely digital any time soon. So how does a novel make the jump from manuscript to bookshop, and what happens next?
Citing especially strong response to its Literary Agents and Scouts Center and to the Business Club offering, Frankfurt Book Fair found 90 percent of its exhibitors to be players in purchasing decisions.
Before the digital age, information consumption via mobile devices was considered an optional trend among print content creators and publishers. Now it is practically a professional imperative. In fact, recent studies show that several major traditional print publications regained significant growth by introducing mobile content to their digitally focused audiences.
Since 2005, multiple business models have been flourishing in the Scandinavian ebook market. With Storytel’s acquisition of its Danish rival subscription service provider Mofibo earlier this year, the large Northern European player is leading the way for the next generation of subscription services in the book industry.
One of the hottest fiction titles at Baror is Cory Doctorow’s novel Walkaway (Tor, Apr. 2017), which the shingle bills as “an epic tale of revolution, love, post-scarcity, and the end of death.” The sci-fi thriller follows a man who lives through the breakdown of society as he knows it. Another fiction biggie for the agency is Omega Canyon by Dan Simmons (Little, Brown, Mar. 2017). This work of historical fiction follows two Viennese brothers who flee Europe on the eve of World War II—one, a physicist, goes to work on the atomic bomb at Los Alamos, while the other becomes a commando in England’s Special Operations Executive program. Newcomer Megan Bannen, a librarian by trade, retells an epic poem from ancient Persia in her debut, The Nameless Prince (HC/Balzer + Bray, fall 2018). Another debut, this one nonfiction, is Sarah Robb O’Hagan’s Extreme You: Step Up. Stand Out. Kick Ass. Repeat. (HarperBusiness, Apr. 2017). The former president of Gatorade and Equinox, O’Hagan is a fitness guru, and her book lays out an intense training program.
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