Digital has signaled the end of print publishing, has it not? This is what we’ve heard every year since what feels like the dawn of time. But while traditional publishing is certainly challenged by the digital revolution and changing consumer habits, there is actually a huge opportunity here, and the approach should not be so much print vs. digital, but rather print with digital.
We all understand the principle of publishing books for tablets like the Kindle, in addition to (or instead of) the traditional print runs. Indeed, the readers of Digital Book World are flagbearers for the ebook revolution, championing the technology that has altered people’s everyday reading habits around the world. Publishers, big and small, are gradually adapting to consumer trends, both in shopping for books online and in purchasing ebooks through their tablets.
With a few exceptions, we assume that publishers have been dragged begrudgingly to this point. In fact, there are plenty within the industry who are enthusiastic about the opportunities that digital provides. Unfortunately, decades of outdated systems and processes within large publishers, as well as the inevitable resistance of some “old guard” in higher echelons, are slowing the transition to a more agile approach across the board.
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Slowing Smartphone Growth Looks Bad for Newcomers (TeleRead)
It’s probably too late for new players to get into the ebook reader market, at least if they want to be more than a modest success. Almost everybody who would want such a device already owns a Kindle, so the number of people in a position to buy new devices is vanishingly small. (And when people are, they’ll probably want to buy another of what they own now. Which is probably a Kindle.) Might smartphones be reaching the same status?
Kobo’s Top 10 Authors of 2015 Are All Women (Guardian)
In a year in which female writers have struggled to find review space and the publishing industry has been slammed for its “gender bias,” ebook retailer Kobo has revealed that in terms of sales, at least, women are coming out on top, with all 10 of its bestselling titles over the last year by female authors.
Grey Is Most-Read Kobo Book of 2015 (Bookseller)
Kobo’s top-selling ebook title in the UK in 2015 was E.L. James’s Grey, followed by Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train. Kobo released its annual e-reading report in the UK, revealing the top 10 most-read books on its platform in 2015.
A Bookshop Where Everything Is Recommended (NY Times)
Aaron Hicklin aims to make bookselling more selective and personal—in other words, everything that Amazon is not—by attaching familiar names to titles and having them explain why those books have shaped them. “I approach people who, I think, practice their craft really well,” Hicklin said. “They’re not celebrities so much as celebrated individuals who do what they do excellently. The books are a reflection of their development and their evolution. But they’re also just great recommendations.”
2016: The Year Publishers Get Smarter About Platforms (Digiday)
In November, Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp made headlines when he called Apple News a disappointment. A month in, the tech giant’s news aggregation app hadn’t lived up to its ad revenue promise. It was a turning point for publishers in their relationship with the big tech companies like Facebook, Apple and Snapchat, and a sign of what’s to come. If 2015 was the year the publishers pushed caution aside and went all in on platforms, 2016 will be about tension and refinement.
BitLit Partners with Springer to Offer Ebook Bundles (DBW)
BitLit announced an agreement with science, technology and medicine publisher Springer to offer ebook bundles to their customers. Springer, part of the newly formed publishing group Springer Nature, will add over 100,000 titles to the Shelfie app, making most of their full ebook catalogue available for bundling with respective print books.
Amazon Unveils Fire HD 8 Reader’s Edition (DBW)
Amazon introduced the Fire HD 8 Reader’s Edition, which combines the all-new Fire HD 8, a year of Kindle Unlimited with access to over 1 million books, and a limited edition leather cover for $249.99. Reader’s Edition also includes Blue Shade, an innovative new feature that adjusts and optimizes the display on your Fire HD 8 tablet to reduce blue light exposure before bedtime
PubMed Central Boosts Citations, Study Claims (Scholarly Kitchen)
PubMed Central, a digital archive of biomedical articles, increases the citation impact of deposited papers, a recent study suggests. The paper, “Examining the Impact of the National Institutes of Health Public Access Policy on the Citation Rates of Journal Articles” was published October 8 in PLOS ONE. Its lead author, Sandra De Groote, is a Professor & Scholarly Communications Librarian at the University of Illinois, Chicago.