The first five months of 2014 have been prosperous ones when it comes to children’s and young adult fiction, according to the latest figures released by the Association of American Publishers (AAP).
Sales in that category are up 30.5% among the 1,209 trade publishers whose earnings from distributors the AAP surveyed, as compared with the same period last year. Ebooks are up 7%.
But it would be a mistake to interpret those figures as signs of broad-based market growth. And as even a casual watcher of the Digital Book World Ebook Best-Seller List knows, growth in children’s and YA fiction is thanks largely to a very small handful of hit titles with successful movie tie-ins like The Fault in Our Stars and Divergent.
And as Publishers Lunch points out, publishers could have expected better sales in recent months as payouts from ebook pricing settlements reached consumers.
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Ebook Sales Flat in Canada (PW)
The scant digital growth publishers in the U.S. have experienced over the past year or so is confirmed by their counterparts to the north. BookNet Canada provisionally suspends its consumer e-reading survey in response.
For Publishers, Challenges Old and New (DBW)
Publishers at the Book Industry Study Group’s annual meeting this Friday noted changes and welcomed new players in the digital publishing landscape while reiterating familiar challenges that continue to mark the industry. Here are a few.
Angst Marks Amazon’s Off-Record Author Summit (NYT)
Amazon has hosted a deluxe, semi-secret literary weekend in Santa Fe for authors for several years. As the e-tailer’s standoff with Hachette grinds on a, this year’s is marked by heightened tensions.
Kindle Voyage Shipments Delayed (The Digital Reader)
Some models of the premium e-reader Amazon launched last week are already back-ordered until as late as December for reasons unknown.
Related: Amazon Rolls Out New Line of Devices
Taking the Measure of Apple’s Antitrust Compliance (Teleread)
Can’t keep up with every twist in Apple’s ebook pricing legal battles? Here’s a helpful summary of where things stand, including a review of the latest report by the court-appointed monitor Michael Bromwich, who’s sparred with the tech company from the beginning.
UK Cracks Down on Ebook Piracy (TorrentFreak)
Recent actions by anti-piracy authorities in the UK suggest a reinvigorated effort to target websites distributing pirated ebooks.
Cartoon Network Gets a Penguin Imprint (PW)
Cartoon Network, which already licenses its characters and content with Penguin Books for Young Readers, will launch its own dedicated imprint in summer 2015.
Leadership Change at ABA (PW)
Eleanor Chang, longtime CFO of the American Booksellers Association, announces she will retire at the end of the year.