How to (Really) Plan for Digital

ebook developers digital production editors publishing Laura Brady“When was the last time you invited an ebook developer to an acquisitions meeting?” digital production expert Laura Brady asks.

Inviting ebook developers to the table early in the publishing process isn’t about scrambling the production-editorial circuit. In fact, it’s quite the contrary.

“The in-house crew responsible for the ebook will have a perspective that’s different than the editor’s, the sales manager’s, or the marketing team’s,” Brady writes.

Getting ebook developers involved early on can save time and money while improving the quality of digital products all at the same time.

“The worst that can happen,” Brady argues, “is you’ll end up with a rich, vibrant ebook.”

Much more.

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Will Bertelsmann Buy Pearson out of Penguin Random House? (Pub Lunch)
As Publishers Lunch sees it, “the only surprise here would be if Pearson does not sell” its stake in the joint venture, “particularly since the value of the company has increased since the merger was initiated.” Here’s a close look at the latest speculation around that possibility.

Macmillan Launches Library Audiobook Pilot (PW)
Macmillan becomes the first Big Five publisher to partner with Hoopla Digital, the digital content platform for libraries, on a pilot program featuring a limited offering of its audiobooks. Hoopla Digital is also developing an ebook lending program intended to pay publishers per borrow, rather than under the traditional “one copy, one user” model.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Sees Sales Rise (Pub Lunch)
First-quarter sales at the education publisher are up almost 6% to $163 million compared with the same period in 2014. In Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s trade division sales rose about 5%.
Related: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Buys Scholastic’s Ed-Tech Business

Bookshout Takes HarperCollins Ebooks to the Airport (Ink, Bits & Pixels)
The ebook distribution platform Bookshout has been busy lately, recently getting in on a program to deliver free Simon & Schuster ebooks to Cheerios eaters. Now partnering with American Express and HarperCollins, Bookshout will distribute a monthly selection of six of the publisher’s top titles to travelers at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport.

Weighing a Single Digital Market in Europe (The Bookseller)
The European Commission is about to undertake an antitrust investigation into e-commerce operations throughout the European Union, as part of a slate of initiatives related to the possibility of establishing a single digital market. The details are far from settled, but publishers and trade organizations sound cautiously optimistic.

Like Translated Literature? Thank Amazon (Pub Perspectives)
AmazonCrossing, the company’s division dedicated to publishing English translations of foreign titles, is the leading publisher of translated work in the U.S., racking up 44 such titles last year. No other individual publisher has reached that volume of output in the category. AmazonCrossing notably hasn’t shied away from international genre fiction.

Google Play Books Explores Shareable Annotations (Ink, Bits & Pixels)
A recent update to the Google Play Books app for Android includes code that suggests the platform may soon support uploading readers’ highlights and annotations to the cloud, where, at least in theory, they could be easily accessed and shared.

Ebook Retail and “the Right to Read” (OUP)
One expert in the history of communication technology argues that thanks to the byzantine copyright and licensing agreements by which ebooks are distributed, retailers “aren’t selling books as physical objects, like Gutenberg and his successors did. Instead, they’re selling us the right to read. That’s more like selling us the right to vote, or think, or breathe.”


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