Streaming Ebooks Into Schools

streaming booksSchools are starting to invest in digital reading for their students. For educational and trade publishers, this represents a juicy opportunity. Districts are buying thousands of devices and there are millions of students that are going to need content to read on them.
 
One problem, and it’s a big one: The distribution model for getting content into schools is currently challenging to school administrations. It’s complicated and hard to manage and it’s likely stymieing sales opportunities for publishers.
 
One children’s ebook publisher and distributer is attacking that problem with a new model for selling into schools. The company is selling a subscription to its small catalog of ebooks that allows an agreed-upon number of students to access them across devices (in class, in the library and at home, for instance) for a simple, monthly fee.
 
While the ebook subscription model is under attack for a general interest reader, niche subscription services, like Safari Books Online, have historically – and continue to be – successful. Why not elementary schools education, too?
 
This write up is based on part two in a series of articles exploring new ebook distribution methods into schools. Read part one: Schools Among First to Realize Ebooks Aren’t Exactly Like Books.


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Penguin Expands Ebook Lending (DBW)
Penguin is reportedly dropping the practice of windowing titles so that libraries can’t purchase its new ebook releases until six months after the hardcover edition has been out. More on the American Library Association blog.
 
UK Gov Recommends E-Lending for All (The Bookseller)
A commission on ebooks and libraries in the UK is recommending that libraries should lend ebooks on location and remotely but that publishers should be protected by “frictions” that limit the supply of ebooks to libraries.

Open Road vs. HarperCollins, Round 1 (PW)
HarperCollins sued Open Road, claiming that the digital publisher released an ebook edition of a title for which HarperCollins owned the electronic rights. Click to read an explainer on the case, which is now getting underway.
 
Bringing Ebook Success to Nonfiction (DBW)
Ebooks have been highly successful at generating huge sales and revenue for certain publishing segments, notably certain fiction genres like romance. Digital publisher Rosetta Books is making a bet that readers are ready to start buying nonfiction ebooks in great quantities.
 
More Deals and Discounts for Nook (DBW)
The parade of marketing and discounting of the ailing Nook brand continues. Barnes & Noble announced two promotional campaigns yesterday designed to sell more digital content on the Nook. 
 
Sources: EU to Approve Random-Penguin Merger (Reuters)
Sources familiar with the matter have told Reuters that the European Union will be approving of the merger between Random House and Penguin.
 
Byliner Snags Ex-Penguin Exec (paidContent)
Penguin’s Jeff Gomez, known as an innovative editorial force (and Publishing Innovation Award finalist), will be moving over to short-form content ebook publisher Byliner to be head of writer marketing, a new position at the company. He will work to gather writers to the publisher. Related: Q&A With Jeff Gomez

In Bricks and Mortar News (PW)
Books-A-Million has posted a small profit in 2012, following a small loss in 2011. Still, the company’s margin is under 1%.
 
Disrupting the Core of Academic Publishing (PW)
In a way, academic publishing is farther along the digital publishing adoption curve than other areas of publishing, writes Peter Brantley in PW. Academic publishers are not only experimenting with new formats and models, some of them are completely rethinking the entire process. Related: Open Access and Para-Academic Publishers Are Disrupting Academic Publishing.

Video Game Company to Publish Ebooks (VG247.com)
Paradox Interactive will be publishing a series of ebooks, starting with a nonfiction title about what it’s like to hang out with the staff of the company for a year. The firm will also publish ebook guides to its games. If you haven’t already read and internalized this, do it now: The Atomization of Publishing
 
U.S. Army Releasing Enhanced Ebooks (Mediabistro)
See above.

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