The past couple of years have witnessed the remarkable rise of subscription ebooks. Yet Simon Dunlop, co-founder of the Russia-based ebook subscription service Bookmate, says the subscription model alone “does not seem viable.”
Especially in emerging markets, publishers and retailers struggle to combat piracy as well as consumer attitudes insisting that most content should be free.
The “magic bullet,” Dunlop says, could ultimately come from social features that bring e-reading into closer alignment with other forms of media consumption, making it a more shareable, interactive experience.
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Subscription Audiobooks Expanding (Good E Reader)
Taking a cue from the subscription ebook market, a new service called Skybrite offers customers unlimited access to its catalog of audiobooks for a monthly rate of $9.99.
Mass Markets Down but Not Out (PW)
Ebooks have proven an excellent format for genre fiction, which once thrived in mass market paperbacks. But the latter’s rate of decline is showing signs of slowing, as publishers find the format complementing other areas of the market where ebooks hold sway.
Learn more: Join Nielsen President Jonathan Nowell at DBW15 to explore how ebooks are changing the print market and vice versa.
Knopf Adds Multiplatform Imprint (PW)
Knopf imprints Doubleday and Vintage partner with the movie production company Blumhouse Productions to launch Blumhouse Books. The new imprint is headed up by a former Atria editor and will publish collaborative projects drawing on talent within both the writing and filmmaking worlds. Other content will be crowdsourced.
Related: Atria Books President Judith Curr Joins DBW15
Bonnier Bulks up on Children’s Books (Pub Lunch)
Bonnier acquires Igloo Books, a UK publisher focusing on children’s and adult trade titles, in a move that Bonnier claims will make it one of the top five children’s publishers in the UK market.
Related: Publishers Launch Kids Explores the Latest in Children’s Publishing at DBW15
Four Lessons from Adobe Data Controversy (EFF)
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights advocacy group, independently looks into Adobe’s data gathering program and recent privacy patch and concludes more needs to be done to protect ebook readers. The ALA made similar remarks last week.
Amazon Says It Botched Fire Phone Price (Fortune)
An Amazon executive confirms what many commentators have already concluded: that the company miscalculated on its initial pricing strategy for the Fire Phone, an error recent discounts are intended to correct. Analysts are divided as to whether sales of the device will pick up.
How Publishers’ DRM Benefits Amazon (TechDirt)
One observer argues that the policies and systems publishers have built to protect their content over the past several years has wound up working in Amazon’s favor–something they should have seen coming.
Bookselling En Español (PW)
Many of the rules of ebook marketing, retail and distribution are universal regardless of the readerships English-language booksellers aim to reach–but not all of them. Here are some strategies for publishers and retailers tapping into the growing Spanish-language market.