In some ways, the past year has been tumultuous and challenging for publishers (cf. the Amazon-Hachette battle). But the slowed-down ebook market has also made some things less chaotic than they’ve been at other times in recent memory.
Still, charting a strategic course into 2015 is no small task, and the areas publishers will need to focus on in order to succeed, from mobile to data to distribution, are growing more numerous and complex.
To help, author and industry analyst Thad McIlroy rounds up eleven of them in a new white paper. Explaining why each of those key trends and opportunities should be a top priority for publishers, McIlroy offers market-based insights on how to approach them in the coming months.
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DBW15: What to Expect and Why to Come (The Shatzkin Files)
Still not sure the Digital Book World Conference + Expo is for you? Conference Chair Mike Shatzkin offers a walk-through of this year’s programming–the most extensive in the history of the event–and explains how each session track maps onto current and emerging issues in digital publishing. Early-bird ticket prices end December 15th, so don’t wait to register.
BookShout Takes Ebooks Direct to SXSW (DBW)
The ebook distribution platform BookShout partners with South by Southwest to offer a direct retail program through which attendees to the Austin, TX festival can purchase ebooks and other content by speakers and panelists at the event.
Kindle Unlimited Gets More Global (The Digital Reader)
Despite criticism in some quarters that its ebook subscription service is shortchanging authors, Amazon expands Kindle Unlimited to Brazil and France, the latest markets to get the program after it launched in Spain, Italy, Germany and the UK earlier this year.
The Appeal of “Digical” Retail (Forbes)
It turns out the location Amazon plans to lease in New York City won’t include retail space (yet, anyway). But for many e-commerce companies, adding bricks-and-mortar stores isn’t just a matter of expanding their retail footprint, though it’s about that, too. Here’s one observer’s take on how hybrid “digical” retailers stand to benefit from two mutually supporting retail approaches.
Justice Department Brings Major Muscle to Apple Appeal (Fortune)
The U.S. Department of Justice appoints Deputy Solicitor General Malcolm Stewart to argue the government’s case against Apple in the tech company’s upcoming appeal of the most recent ruling by District Judge Denise Cote. It’s an unusual move.
German Ebook Start-up Adds Subscription Service (Venturebeat)
Blinkist is another ebook start-up for the time-strapped reader. The platform offers abridged versions of full-length titles that can be read in about fifteen minutes. Blinkist now rolls out a subscription offering that will also include audio content. Scribd, which operates under a different subscription-based model, added audiobook streaming last month.
Related: Weighing the Future of Subscription Ebooks at DBW15
Facebook Adds New Tools for Publishers (AllFacebook)
Web publishers and book publishers alike now have expanded tools for targeting readers on Facebook, plus additional analytics for tracking posts’ impact. It’s uncertain just how far this will go to make up for the drop in reach many publishers have seen after Facebook moved to rein in branded content posting. Add this to the list of changes marketing professionals are grappling with as social platforms evolve.
Related: Rethinking Social Media in Book Marketing
Ebooks Finding New Roles in Higher Learning (Times Higher Ed)
According to one award-winning UK educator, ebooks are emerging as more powerful instructional tools in universities, especially as the traditional in-person pedagogical model gives way to remote learning. Enhanced ebooks and e-textbooks in particular can more seamlessly incorporate the multimedia resources many instructors increasingly rely on.
Related: Where Digital Publishing and Higher Education Intersect at DBW15
Faber and Faber Struggles Alongside UK Indie Presses (Pub Lunch)
Independent publishers in the UK have had a difficult year. Faber and Faber reports its sales are down 18% at the close of fiscal 2014.