Future of E-Textbooks Slow Growth?

digital textbookWiley closed out its fiscal year yesterday, finally free of all its trade assets. Don’t worry: It’s still a going concern.
But while many of its businesses are growing, one thing that doesn’t seem to be taking off is ebooks in its educational division. While on the trade side, ebooks were up solid double-digits in 2012, at Wiley, it was 3% growth for ebooks in the education division.
This dovetails with what we’ve observed over the past few years: E-textbook adoption just isn’t taking off. It was in the low single digits a year ago and it’s still in the low single digits.
Wiley’s management says that the investments it’s making in new business (including digital textbooks) won’t pay off until it’s fiscal year 2015, which closes two years hence. When it comes to figuring out when e-textbooks will take off, it seems like “next year” is the mantra.

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The rest of the day’s top news:
Kindle for E-Textbooks and Scholarly Articles (DBW)
A new start-up wants to do for e-textbooks and scholarly articles what Kindle did for trade publishing: Reduce prices for consumers while raising payouts for content creators. How? Call it self-publishing for e-textbooks.
Follett: More Investment in Ed Tech (DBW)
Follett has launched a new educational technology investment fund in partnership with Silicon Valley venture-capital firm Atrium.
DOJ/Apple: Apple Getting Bigger (Pub Lunch)
Apple has revised its own projection of its ebook market share upwards – to 25%. Depending on where you’re sitting, something doesn’t add up. Related: Apple, Amazon and B&N: Adds up to 125%?

Penguin Launches First to Read: NetGalley for Consumers (DBW)
First to Read, a new discovery play from Penguin, allows members to request galleys for upcoming Penguin releases. The hope is to help create buzz for a book among consumers before it’s released.
Digital Book Awards: Call for Entries (DBW)
Enter your ebook, app or transmedia project into the Digital Book Awards (formerly the Publishing Innovation Awards) for a chance to best the competition in 15 categories and win great prizes, including a ticket to Digital Book World 2014 and to the DBA gala. New categories have been added this year, including for ebook cover design.
No Ebook, Big Problem (MHPbooks.com)
From the department of you coulda guessed it: As soon as Stephen King released his latest novel, Joyland, pirated “copies” started appearing everywhere on the Net. Most if not all of these were actually viruses and malware, but sooner or later a real one will pop up.
Selling More Books With Clever Metadata (DBW)
Smart publishers create a tremendous amount of metadata around their releases before anything is sent to retailers. Doing a good job creating and organizing this data can be the difference between boom and bust when it comes to sales.
How AARP’s Millions of Fans Will Fuel Its Ebook Program (DBW)
The AARP, formerly the American Association of Retired Persons, has the largest circulation magazine in the world and a website that gets millions of visits a month. This huge audience will fuel its new ebook program.
The ALA and Ebooks in Big Cities (DBW)
This month, the American Library Association will have its annual meeting in Chicago. Over 20,000 librarians will descend on the city where they will hear the association’s new plans for ebook advocacy in 2012 and 2013 and how it plans on reaching out more to authors.
Amazon: Children’s Platform Wars Continue (DBW)
Amazon added content from Disney, Warner Brothers and Electronic Arts to its Kindle Free Time platform, upping the ante for competitors Storia, iStorytime, Ruckus and many others.
Where Self-Published Books Come From (Catherine, Caffeinated)
From start to finish, how it’s done (part 1).
When Books Take Over (The Digital Reader)
This incredibly cute video describes what happens when indie bookstore owners close shop for the night – or, what we all wished happened.

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