Top Ten Digital Publishing Stories of 2012

Before we officially move on to 2013, let’s review the year that was. Between the continued rise of ebooks, the Department of Justice investigation into alleged ebook price-fixing, the Random House-Penguin merger and so much else, there’s a lot to unpack here.

But before we do, a dilemma.

How do we list or rank the top stories of the year?

We could either look back at everything that’s happened and put together a piece that tries to string together a narrative around the year; or, we could admit that sometimes news events don’t fit into a bigger narrative and that life is messy and let you, the reader, decide what’s interesting.

We decided on the latter and so bring you the top ten most popular stories on Digital Book World in 2012 (in reverse order). Before you officially leave everything 2012 behind, take a minute to review the year that was.


10. Consumers Upset and Confused Over Ebook Pricing (4/18/12)

We spoke with consumers to figure out what they thought about ebook pricing. The answer? “Prices are too high because ebooks cost nothing to make.” As we in the industry know, they don’t cost “nothing” to make.


9. Librarian Patience Has Run Out on Ebook Lending Issues, Library Association Says (9/27/12)

Friction between publishers and libraries has been rising all year as libraries want to bring ebooks to their patrons and publishers haven’t always been willing to help them do so. At a tense in-person meeting between the American Library Association and about 100 publishing folks organized by the Association of American Publishers, complaints and accusations were aired.


8. Scoring Our Ten Bold Predictions for Book Publishing in 2012 (7/2/12)

At the halfway mark of the year, we took a look back at late 2011 and what we thought would happen in 2012 to see how we were doing on those predictions. Results? Not too shabby. We’ll revisit those predictions in early 2013 to give ourselves a final score.


7.  Interview: Seth Godin on Libraries, Literary Agents and the Future of Book Publishing as We Know It (3/4/12)

Remember how for a minute Seth Godin was this big figure in book publishing, making pronouncements about it left and right? Whatever happened to that?


6. How Publishers Should Prepare for EPUB3 (1/18/12)

2012 was supposed to be the year of EPUB3. It wasn’t. (But 2013 might be.) Either way, here’s what publishers (still) need to know to be prepared.


5. When You Wish Upon a Start You Get the Pointy End: Why Authors Should Always Respond to Negative Reviews (5/18/12)

Controversial idea in the publishing world? You bet. This article generated a ton of positive and negative response – an undeniable indication of its importance. It’s part I of a series. Read part II, part III and part IV.


4. Ipad E-Reading Market-Share Stagnates as Tablet E-Reading Rises (5/7/12)

One of the big trends of 2013 has been the rise of tablets. As iPad competitors, particularly the Kindle Fire, started to gain traction late last year and early 2012, they started to take a bite out of iPad market-share when it came to e-reading.


3. What the New Penguin-Random House Logo Might Look Like (10/29/12)

This item was the most popular out of all our coverage of the Penguin-Random House merger. It’s a fun take on what a mash-up logo between the two companies might look like from six graphic artists.


2. For Reading and Learning, Kids Prefer Ebooks to Print Books (1/9/12)

All year, Digital Book World has been covering the story like no other outlet: What’s going on with children’s digital reading? In this exclusive story, DBW uncovered groundbreaking, experimental research from Sesame Workshop’s Joan Ganz Cooney center on how children read and learn digitally. Since then, there have been many more stories on the topic, but this is the one that got it all started.

We will continue this coverage in 2013, including with the first of a series of studies we are conducting with children’s digital research firm PlayScience. The results of the first study will be presented exclusively at the Digital Book World Conference + Expo in Jan. in New York City. The study will reveal everything children’s digital publishers need to know about the reading and digital content buying habits of children aged two-to-thirteen.


1. Best Publishing Companies to Work for (2/7/12)

This informal look at some of the top publishing companies to work for in partnership with workplace website reminds us that while publishing is a business and companies large and small operate in it, it’s really made up of people. And those people have careers and part of our mission is to help digital publishing professionals build and maintain great careers.

As a companion to this piece, we talked to the heads of human resources at two of the top companies to find out what it’s like to work there and what it takes to get in.


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