Without a doubt, the media is obsessed with ebooks.
We’re not talking about reporters at major newspapers writing breathless articles about Amazon and Nook and enhanced ebooks and how e-readers are watching you. We’re talking about their bosses investing time and money into entering the ebook business.
In the past year, we’ve reported on over a dozen non-book-publishing media companies publishing ebooks. Most recently, USA Today published its first ebook and TIME Inc. is now producing e-cookbooks through its MyRecipes.com property. More are doing it all the time and this trend is showing no signs of slowing.
Consider: Non-book-publishing media companies have a wealth of content; they are constantly repurposing that content in whatever ways they can to make more money; the barriers to entry in the ebook business are extremely low; and it’s a business where readers are used to paying for content. It would be silly not to at least experiment with ebooks.
What does this mean for book publishers? More competition, yes, but more opportunities for partnerships, too. See Diversion Books working with the Washington Post.
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The rest of the day’s top news:
Ebook Predictions for 2013 (paidContent)
We’ll be seeing a lot of these articles in the next few weeks (including one from DBW – here’s ours from last year). This one is from books reporter Laura Owen. In short: publishers will settle with DOJ; a well-known author will go it alone; there will be fewer Nook models.
Children’s Publishing Trends (DBW)
The editors at Scholastic call out ten trends that will influence children’s books this year. No. 7: Tough girls.
E- Vs. P- (AP)
Fifty Shades of Grey taught us that people want to buy erotic romance fiction. It also taught us that even though ebooks are advancing, print isn’t going away any time soon.
‘Tis the Season (DBW)
Buy a Nook, give a book is the catchy slogan for a holiday Barnes & Noble giveaway, the details of which are self-evident.
Google Bookstore Launches in Russia (The Digital Reader)
Google has launched its bookstore in Russia even as rumors of Nook’s arrival take hold.
Self-Publishing Self-Help (PW)
The Independent Book Publishers Association is producing a how-to ebook on digital book publishing for self-publishers and small, independent publishers.
DIY (Pub Trends)
More children’s books are being created internally at publishing houses rather than the old-fashioned way. Of course, this isn’t completely new but a growing trend.
What Authors Want (Futurebook)
A survey of authors reveals that they’re not completely happy with their publishers when it comes to their handling of ebooks.
Acoustik: Digital Audio Book Start-up (DBW)
Content distributor Baker & Taylor has partnered with Findaway World, a Cleveland-based digital content firm, to launch a new digital audio book platform, Acoustik.
Scholarly Publishing Joins 21st Century (DBW)
Scholarly publishers produce their ebook editions as PDFs – until now. One, BioMed Central, is making the switch to EPUB because of the ubiquity of EPUB-enabled e-readers, the popularity of the format and, possibly, because it’s just a better reading experience.
Kids: Be an Anarchist (PW)
A new children’s book from a controversial San Francisco publisher teaches kids to question authority.
Your Year on Twitter (Buzzfeed)
The Vizify app will let you see your year in Twitter – your best tweets, your most used words and a fun timeline. Related: When toddlers tweet.
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