In a word, data.
Vook releases the first of the short-form ebooks it acquired from Byliner after purchasing the digital publishing start-up last month.
Like enhanced ebooks, short-form digital content hasn’t always fared well. Atavist Books, which published both since launching in 2012, confirmed this week it’s closing its doors, even though the independently operated digital magazine The Atavist–which also publishes ebooks–continues to thrive.
Vook co-founder Matt Cavnar says “using data to make better decisions” is no longer optional for digital publishers. Vook acquired the ebook data and analytics start-up Booklr earlier this year and sees it as crucial to the Byliner titles’ success.
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Publishing Start-Up M&A Roundup (Pub Lunch)
Atavist Books, Byliner and Booklr are hardly the only digital publishing start-ups to close or be acquired over the past year. Here’s a look at all the M&A activity in the start-up world in 2014.
Bilbary a Casualty of Amazon-Hachette War? (The Bookseller)
The ebook retailer and rental platform went out of business earlier this year, and according to its founder Tim Coates, the Amazon-Hachette standoff is largely to blame: “As long as the argument has been going on, any investor says, ‘What is the pricing model?’ and you can’t answer them.”
iPhones Up, iPads Down at Apple (Pub Lunch)
Apple reports strong fourth quarter results, driven largely by the success of its latest iPhones, sales of which are up 12% over the same period last year. Meanwhile, CEO Tim Cook characterized the 13% drop in iPad sales as a “speed bump.”
Related: Learn How to Take Advantage of the Mobile Revolution at DBW15
Bertelsmann Buys Educational Tech Firm (Pub Lunch)
The media company is said to pay in the neighborhood of $540 million for Relias Learning, an e-learning software developer focusing on organizational training.
Publishers Rethinking Higher Education (DBW)
Educational publishers are working hard developing new digital content, but their efforts could go even further, by focusing on the complete student experience in higher education. Here’s a look at some of those approaches and the means to undertake them.
Self-Publishing to Dominate in Next Decade? (Pub Perspectives)
Literary agent Andrew Lownie predicts self-published books will comprise 75% of the market in the next five to ten years. That sounds ambitious, but it’s clear the author-publisher-agent dynamic is continuing to evolve. Find out how when Digital Book World and Writer’s Digest launch the results of their annual Author Survey at Digital Book World 2015.
Related: Dana Beth Weinberg Leads Deep Dive into Author Data at DBW15
Competing With Amazon: A How-To Guide (Teleread)
It’s an interesting thought-experiment with implications for every ebook other retailer out there: what would an ideal contender need to offer authors as well as readers in order to give Amazon a serious run for its money?
Related: Understanding Amazon’s Role in Publishing’s Future at DBW15
Lagging Diversity Poses Real Threat to Publishing (PW)
Publishers sit down to tackle the widely acknowledged lack of diversity that continues to dog the book business. While some progress is being made, many agree it isn’t happening fast enough and industry leaders so far haven’t prioritized the issue.