Scholastic’s Aggressive Digital Moves

storiaChildren’s publisher and distributor Scholastic has been very aggressive in recent years making investments in digital publishing. Perhaps the best example of this is Storia, the ebook and digital reading platform that the company is growing and nurturing in a dense forest of competition – both from saplings like Me Books and MeeGenius and redwoods like Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Today in its conferene call for its third-quarter earnings, the company revealed that it has added ebook titles from HarperCollins. Last week, it announced that it added ebook titles from Hachette. Outside of Kindle FreeTime and Nook’s children’s play, Storia is the likely leader among its competitors in the early days of gathering content to sell. 
However, the main digital focus of the earnings call wasn’t Storia. It was the company’s digital education initiatives. Scholastic has made huge investments in digital educational content and it has five new products in the space slated to come out this summer, all focused heavily on learning specific things rather than reading.
In a world where people are reading less (see below), diversifying could pay off more than ever.
Related – Insights Into Scholastic’s Strategy: Scholastic President Deborah Forte on Early Days for Children’s Ebooks | Scholastic Hit-Maker David Levithan on Hunger Games and Children’s Digital Reading
Related: Half of U.S. Children Now Reading Ebooks | Scholastic Q3 Earnings

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The rest of the day’s top news:
General Global Decline in Book Sales (Pub Perspectives)
Book sales are down across the board in Western countries, according to new data from Nielsen BookScan. They’re up in developing countries, but not as much as Nielsen expected they would be. Related: UK Readers Buying Fewer Books, Still Loyal to Print.

The Death of Books Has Been Greatly Etc. Etc. (Salon)
Another mainstream publication takes a stab at understanding the books industry – and says something quite insightful: Paying authors like Hugh Howey big money for print rights to a successful ebook may not be terrible. Related: Same Point, Different Day.

Simon & Schuster Enhances Author Platform With Piracy Data (DBW)
In its continuing effort to service its authors better – a deep trend among publishers and self-publishing platforms – Simon & Schuster is adding book-specific data about piracy from Attributor, a firm it contracts to track and combat digital piracy around the world.
DRM: Its True Purpose (ZDNet)
According to an engineer, it’s content creators and not retailers that use DRM to control the marketplace for digital goods.
“Netflix for Children’s Ebooks” Bookboard Launches on iPad (DBW)
Bookboard joins a crowded field of competition in the children’s digital book space on the iPad. There seems to be a general acceptance of the feasibility of children’s (read: niche) ebook subscription platforms versus general interest platforms for adults.
Ebooks and Libraries: A Global Challenge (InfoDOCKET)
Links to presentations by librarians in the U.S. and around the world on the issue of ebooks and libraries.
Open Road Partners With Enthrill to Fill Bulk Orders (DBW)
How do you sell 1,000 copies of an ebook to a corporate client? How do you fulfill the order once it comes in? Open Road has inked a deal with Enthrill to take care of the latter.
Another One Bites the Dusty Trail (Skift)
Travel guidebooks Frommers, acquired by Google from Wiley last year, will no longer be published in print. (Jeopardy category: Before and after; Clue: When a long-existing travel brand ceases print publication.)

Ebooks Good for the Environment (HuffPo)
A new study out says that the book industry has gotten greener over the years, and ebooks have played a big role.


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