Welcome to the Digital Book Era

unnamedFour years ago, at the first Digital Book World conference in New York, the publishing industry’s attention was turned west, toward California, where Steve Jobs was changing the world of entertainment with the iPad.

It was a different world for digital publishing back then. Most publishers were only deriving a small fraction of their revenues from ebooks – but the smart ones knew that prudent investments would pay off years later when ebook adoption among readers increased.

The years that followed were years of fast growth for ebooks. The format went from nearly nothing to about a quarter of market share in the U.S. almost overnight.

As the fifth Digital Book World starts today, ebook revenue growth for publishers has flattened by some reports. Is this new-found stability indicative of an industry that is maturing? Or is a hiccup in the midst of a growth spurt? Find out at Digital Book World 2014.

Related: Tickets are still available for the biggest Digital Book World ever. Don’t be the only one in digital publishing to miss out. Register now.

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The rest of the day’s top news:

Adult Ebook Sales Flat in September (DBW)
Adult ebook sales are also flat year-to-date. Meanwhile, children’s ebook sales are down significantly versus last year, due to unfavorable comparisons.

Senior Exec Leaves Barnes & Noble (WSJ)
Jamie Iannone, who once oversaw the Barnes & Noble device and ebook business, is leaving the company for Wal-Mart, where he will run the retailer’s Sam’s Club business. Iannone’s departure follows the appointment of a new CEO at the bookseller, Michael Huseby, as well as a disastrous holiday sales period for Nook.

Capitalizing on New Educational Standards (DBW)
What most publishers don’t yet know is that the new common core educational standards being implemented now across the U.S. actually create a tremendous amount of new opportunity to sell books and ebooks to schools.

The Publishing/Start-up Problem (The Future of Publishing)
Several years after publishing consultant predicted a tough road for some publishing start-ups, it appears that at least some of his prognostications have come true.

The New Agent (DBW)
For decades agents were the respected gatekeepers between publishers and authors. Today, self-publishing has disrupted the author-agent-publisher ecosystem. That doesn’t mean agents are out in the cold – there are new and different ways they can contribute to the careers of authors.

Webcast: Reaching Readers Directly (DBW)
Smart publishers are finding ways to talk directly to readers – and often to sell directly to them, too, increasing margins and gaining valuable customer data. Learn from experienced executives just how it’s done.

Erotic Self-Publishing Makes It to India (Times of India)
The barriers in publishing worldwide have really come down. All the way in India readers are enjoying the phenomenon (and anonymity) of the rise of erotic self-published ebooks.

Scribd Responds to Piracy Problem (PW)
When Scribd launched a new ebook subscription service late last year, many author observers cried foul because of what they called Scribd’s piracy problem. Now, the company has responded to authors on a well-trafficked author blog, outlining what it’s doing to curb piracy.

Another Amazon vs. Apple Refresher (Salon)
A long(ish) refresher on the Amazon/Apple feud, with particular emphasis on last year’s ebook price-fixing case.

Foldable Ebooks? (Seattlepi.com)
New technology from Chinese scientists makes a huge jump in the direction of foldable pages that hold a new kind of electronic ink.

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