It doesn’t need to be said but there is a lot of start-up activity in book publishing these days. Near the end of 2012, it seemed as if another start-up was announcing funding every week.
“You see outside interests come in and starting social reading stuff and new browsing experiences…. All the people creating new social reading and social sharing apps makes it a much more exciting growth business right now,” said Perseus chief marketing officer Rick Joyce in the Spring of 2012 in an interview with Digital Book World.
The problem is that trade publishing in the U.S. is a $14 billion business and isn’t projected to grow much over the next several years. How are these venture-backed start-ups going to scale and produce the meaningful revenue that its investors want and expect?
According to start-up veterans, much of the funding that has come through for digital publishing start-ups may be fueled more by passion for books than business sense – so, in this way, not too much has changed for publishing, we suppose.
That doesn’t mean that no start-ups will succeed. Read more: Three Kinds of Digital Book Publishing Start-ups That Just Might Succeed.
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The rest of the day’s top news:
Another Digital Publishing Start-up That Won’t Fail (Forbes)
This one is a homerun for the company that can pull it off: There are hundreds of thousands of iPads now being purchased for schoolchildren nationwide but teachers and school districts don’t have a way to buy or manage the content for those devices on a large scale. Read more.
How Total Boox Aims to Disrupt the Bookselling Landscape (Pub Persectives)
Is this one of those start-ups that is doomed to failure or one of the kinds that we think might just succeed? You’ll have to read our article linked above to find out.
A Typical Local Story About Ebooks and Libraries (Herald Sun)
From Australia: Libraries are being blocked by publishers from giving patrons the ebooks that they should be able to read. A little editorializing from us: Libraries are winning the PR war right now between libraries and publishers over ebooks. This story is from Australia but every week there are three or four like it in local U.S. outlets.
What They’re Borrowing (HuffPo)
Erotic fiction is driving a boom in library ebook lending.
Libraries Go Commercial (Good E Reader)
Oklahoma City’s library system has produced and aired a 60-second television commercial promoting its ebooks to patrons. Library e-media activity jumped 61%.
Goodreads Readers: The Vanguard? (The Digital Reader)
Goodreads conducted a survey of 1,500 of its users to determine their reading habits. It found, among many other things, that of those who owned smartphones, 37% read ebooks on the devices with 13% reading exclusively on them. Related: Smartphones, the New Frontier for Publishers?
White Label Author Dashboard Solution (PW)
South Hadley, Mass.-based publishing software vendor MetaComet is beta-testing an author portal where authors will be able to check royalty statements, review contracts and manuscripts and more. MetaComet is best known in the industry for its Royalty Tracker software. The move is well-times as publishers are working to provide better services to their authors in the era of self-publishing.
EBSCO Adds More than 20 New Ebook Collections (DBW)
Digital content research information provider EBSCO is building out its ebook offerings for libraries and has added 23 new collections of ebooks that libraries can purchase access to for their patrons on subjects randing from accounting and finance to energy and green technologies.
Niche Digital Library for Jewish Schools in U.S. (DBW)
Textbook publisher Behrman House has partnered with Israel’s Center for Educational Technology to provide Jewish schools in the U.S. with digital learning resources.
The Scourge of Microsoft Word (The Book Designer)
Does anyone hate anything as much as ebook designers hate Microsoft Word? Perhaps that hate is misplaced. Many self-publishing authors want to use the tool they use for composition for formatting – why not encourage them and help them on their journey, as misguided as it may be?
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