“2014 was the year that the transformation to digital really took hold,” says Paul Belfanti, Director of Content Architecture at Pearson.
To be fair, you might not have noticed. Ebook growth has leveled off, and recent hints that print is on the rebound and teens aren’t swarming to ebooks don’t exactly spell promise for the future of the format.
But that doesn’t mean progress isn’t taking place.
“Part of this evolution,” Belfanti says, “is realizing that in the digital world the difference between content and software development is practically nonexistent.”
On this issue many publishers, in his view, are currently midstream. But the amount of content generated in HTML5 and EPUB3, rather than PDF, for instance, is increasing–a critical first step to reaching more digital readers.
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Making Metadata Work–Free Download (DBW)
The book metadata landscape has never been so vast or complex, and navigating it has never been so crucial or–for many–so difficult. To help, metadata expert and DBW15 speaker Renée Register offers a free preview of her indispensable Metadata Handbook, a second edition of which is forthcoming from Digital Book World.
Related: Join Renée Register Next Week for an Intensive Metadata Workshop at DBW15
Low Prices Ring in 2015 on the Ebook Best-Seller List (DBW)
It looks like last-minute shoppers responded positively to holiday discounts on some of the top titles of 2014. The first best-seller list of the new year finds only one ebook priced above $10.
An Early Death for Ebooks in the UK?… (Gizmodo)
Ebooks and e-reader sales declined for some retailers in the UK this holiday season, prompting some to wonder whether the country’s ebook market is “dying.”
…Probably Not (Pub Lunch)
But don’t believe it–at least not yet. A recent tax hike seems not to have suppressed ebook sales in the short-term, and as for weak device sales, Publishers Lunch points out that “most consumers have moved on tablets, and e-reading loyalists are most likely to buy directly from their platform of choice rather than stumbling on devices through a third party.”
Another Fire Phone Markdown (The Digital Reader)
Amazon discounts an unlocked version of its struggling Fire Phone to $189 without a contract. The company made a similar offer during the Black Friday shopping season late last year.
Related: Strategies and Tactics for the Mobile E-Reading Market at DBW15
Is Technological Change Outpacing Libraries? (The Scholarly Kitchen)
Libraries have made tremendous strides in recent years to reinvent themselves as information hubs in the digital age, but one observer says all that could still end up too little too late. Troubled by “the ease with which we, in libraries, have been able to convince ourselves that we’re operating in anything but a technology industry,” he calls for a more sweeping and substantive reorientation.
Slow Going for Ebooks in India (Times of India)
Sluggish ebook growth in North America and the UK is being mirrored in some emerging markets as well, albeit for altogether different reasons. One issue an Indian analyst suggests could be hobbling growth in the country’s emerging ebook market is pricing.
Related: Learn How to Optimize Ebook Prices for Global Markets at DBW15
Self-Publishing Lessons on Platform-Building (Pub Perspectives)
A former Poet Laureate of Oklahoma recounts his experiences self-publishing his work, offering something of an object-lesson in what it takes to find and connect with an audience of enthusiastic readers in an ever more crowded market.
Related: Investigating the Business of Being an Author at DBW15