Can Enhanced Ebooks Make a Comeback?

“Just as the print market has accommodated the ebook,” writes Philip Jones of Futurebook, “so the enhanced ebook might yet carve out a space outside of what may be a robust but largely established e-ink market.”

Ebook sales among the big five publishers have increased 5.3 percent in the first six months of 2015, according to The Bookseller. This marks the smallest increase since the publication began collecting this type of data.

But with the proliferation of and increased investment in apps, the enhanced ebook might be on the path toward carving out its niche.

George Welkley, head of digital at Hachette UK, sees “considerable growth in apps, especially in illustrated/lifestyle publishing.”

Much more.

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HarperAudio Signs Deal with RNIB (The Bookseller)
HarperAudio has signed a deal with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to add 150 of its audio titles to the RNIB Talking Books Service over the next 12 months. Some of the first books to be converted include Wilbur Smith’s Golden Lion, Bernard Cornwell’s Warriors of the Storm and David Walliams’s upcoming new children’s book, which will all be made available to Talking Books the same day as they are traditionally released.

Authors Guild Wants Changes to Book Contracts (PW)
In a post on its website Tuesday, the Authors Guild wrote, “There’s no good reason why a book should be held hostage by a publisher for the lifetime of the copyright, the life of the author plus seventy years—essentially forever.” The Guild proposed three major changes, including an amendment to the “out of print” clause, which, according to the Guild, “has failed woefully to keep up with modern publishing practices and must be replaced.”

UK Children’s Library Attendance Is Down (The Bookseller)
According to a new report from the UK’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the number of children visiting libraries in the country has fallen to 70 percent. This is a seven-percent decrease from the five-year period measured before. Said Sue Wilkinson, chief executive of The Reading Agency: “This report raises a lot of questions about the value people find in libraries and we need to keep on encouraging parents and carers to take children to visit the library.”

Kobo Partners with Mexico’s Top Book Retailers (The Digital Reader)
Kobo announced it has partnered with two of Mexico’s top book retailers, Libreria Porrúa and Libreria Ghandi, to create a new service called Orbile, which will “offer a unified ereading service to Mexican readers.” Kobo has similar arrangements with retailers in the UK, Spain, Brazil, Italy, France and Japan. With its two new partners, Kobo will have nearly 100 retail locations in Mexico.

The Best of Both Worlds (Futurebook)
In this piece discussing the continuing benefits of print as well as the rise of working with self-published authors, Diversion Books Founder Scott Waxman says he doesn’t “see the logic in going digital-only.” Moreover, Waxman says, Diversion wants “to be in every format possible to both offer readers choices and get our books in as many places and on as many devices as possible.”


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