Can the Movies Save Enhanced Ebooks?

enhanced ebooks media tie-ins American SniperIt depends who you ask.

The recent success of the enhanced ebook edition of American Sniper–which has reportedly sold over 166,000 copies, besting its unenhanced analog in the iBooks Store–has some asking whether a winning formula has been found at last.

Film adaptations are well understood to boost the performance of the ebooks they’re based on, especially for discounted, reflowable editions.

But that hasn’t typically been the case with enhanced ebooks, for years a relatively costly, niche market and the source of as much disappointment as dogged optimism among publishers.

The enhanced edition of American Sniper is priced comparably to the reflowable version, though, raising the question whether the former’s runaway sales necessarily means runaway profit.

More on both those perspectives.

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Authors in an Age of Fanfiction (Guardian)
Fanfiction and crowdsourcing platforms typically aim to give a voice to amateur storytellers, empower readers and help indie authors generate followings, but some worry that they threaten the livelihoods of professional writers of genre fiction, especially as mobile e-reading boosts the popularity of such platforms.
Related: How Authors Publish and What They Earn | What’s Next in Crowdsourced Publishing?

Shades of Grey in Digital Privacy (Slate)
Ebooks may allow readers to indulge in content whose covers they don’t want strangers to spot on the subway or a neighboring park bench, a feature typically mentioned in most discussions of the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon. Pointing to the extensive data retailers gain from ebook readers, one observer argues that comes at a price: “Confidential reading matters so that people can confront ideas on their own terms, from Fifty Shades of Grey to War and Peace.”
Related: Should Publishers Spy on Readers?

Free Webcast Today: Preparing for the Mobile Transition (DBW)
Industry analyst Thad McIlroy recently completed a comprehensive study of the rapidly evolving mobile landscape and its impact on book publishers. Join him live today at 12pm EST for a free, hour-long introduction to the latest statistics about the market and an overview of the steps publishers must take to adapt strategically. Sign up here.

Mobile Poised to Transform Academic Publishing (The Scholarly Kitchen)
As one expert in the academic world sees it, the “implications of the smartphone have not yet been built into the fabric of scholarly communications. This will come; the question is who will do it.”

Classroom Ebooks Forecast to Rise (Good E Reader)
A recent survey of K-12 educators indicates swiftly rising demand for digital content to replace many of the most common print materials in classrooms over the next couple of years.

Kobo’s Ebook Losses Shrink (Ink, Bits & Pixels)
The ebook retailer’s parent company Rakuten reports that Kobo lost less in fiscal 2014 than it did the year before. In February 2014, Kobo replaced founding CEO Michael Serbinis with Takahito Aiki and scooped up Sony’s ebook customers when the latter backed out of the market. Rakuten’s own revenue is up 15%.

Sales Drop at Simon & Schuster (Pub Lunch)
The publisher’s sales fell for the second quarter in a row and were down for the year as well, partly a function of unfavorable comparisons with a strong fiscal 2013. Here’s a breakdown of the latest figures.

Screwpulp Rebrands (Good E Reader)
Self-publishing platform Screwpulp relaunches as Leafless, citing some distaste voiced by customers for the start-up’s earlier moniker.


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