For leaders of production and digital teams in publishing, the dizzying change of the past five years may seem like a hurdle that’s been overcome. And while most publishers now have a mix of internal and outsourced systems in place for metadata and asset management, frontline staff are often still challenged not only to be more efficient, but also more effective, in their daily workload.
In a blog post for Digital Book World, Anne Kubek addresses this reality, writing that “publishers who find this balancing act challenging can leverage partnerships and processes to win back time to invest in producing valuable content.”
Kubek continues: “Here are three areas where there are opportunities to focus your time most effectively in today’s publishing marketplace.”
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In the Literary World, Talent Isn’t Hiding. It’s Being Ignored (Atlantic)
Last month, the Jamaican writer Marlon James won the 2015 Man Booker Prize for Fiction. A spate of articles came out documenting his win, noting the fact that the 44-year-old James was the first Jamaican to win the prize. One article, however, focused on the fact that the manuscript of James’s first novel, John Crow’s Devil, was rejected close to 80 times before finally being published in 2005. It also discussed how James had given up when faced with such vast rejection. “There was a time I actually thought I was writing the kind of stories people didn’t want to read,” he said, going on to describe how his desperation drove him to destroy his own work. “I actually destroyed the manuscript, I even went on my friends’ computers and erased it.”
How Amazon Is Figuring Out Mexico’s Tricky Market (Fortune)
Amazon, which launched in Mexico in June 2015, is one of several global companies that is paying close attention to Mexico’s rapidly growing e-commerce market. Sitting in a conference room in a tall office tower with a view of Polanco and the sprawl of Mexico City, Juan Carlos Garcia, the 47-year-old CEO of Amazon Mexico, explains, “We saw a big opportunity in the Mexican market. It’s a market which right now is at $12 billion and growth has been in the double digits.”
After Lawsuit Dismissal, Author Solutions Looks Forward (PW)
Andrew Phillips officially took over as president and CEO of Author Solutions (AS) on July 1st, 2013, just a few weeks after the company was hit by a lawsuit brought by three authors charging AS with fraud. Although Phillips said the lawsuit was not a major distraction during his first two years at the helm of AS, he is nonetheless happy to be able to focus entirely on growing the company’s business, following the dismissal of the original lawsuit and a related case in September.
BiblioBoard, Pressbooks Partner on Library Self-Publishing (Bookseller)
US library digital patron-services provider BiblioBoard and Canadian online book production specialist Pressbooks are forming a new partnership called Pressbooks Public, designed to let libraries offer e-book-publishing services to their local authors.
Prime and AWS to Be Two Major Value Drivers for Amazon (Forbes)
Amazon reported net sales growth of 23 percent in Q3 2015 with an operating margin of 1.6 percent compared to a negative figure of 2.6 percent for the comparable period in the previous year. Given its competitive advantage in terms of the Prime program and an efficient fulfillment capacity, we expect Amazon to continue its dominance in the e-commerce market, both domestically and in international markets as well. Amazon’s Prime program could be the key driver generating growth in the company’s general merchandise segment. We also believe that the web services division has a huge growth potential, given the market opportunity in the cloud services market.
Expanded S&S Library Option, Expanding Orbit, and More (Pub Lunch)
Simon & Schuster is testing an expansion of their business proposition for library ebook lending. Announced by Overdrive on their blog, the new pilot offers an expanded two-year lending term for a roster of about 550 titles, with the second year priced at 50 percent of the one-year lending sales price. The starting selection includes at least some bestsellers and frontlist releases.
The Obstacles Impeding Researcher Access to E-Resources (Scholarly Kitchen)
As a returning student in a master’s program, I was excited at the prospect of accessing the wealth of resources a modern research library affords. But the reality has been more frustrating than I could have imagined. Whether logging in from off-site, navigating from ToC alerts or social media, or reading on my phone, I run into stumbling blocks that prevent me from accessing resources that should be available to me. The user experience of working with e-journals and ebooks in an academic setting has failed to keep up with changing practices and preferences for how researchers now expect to access the scholarly literature.
China Shanghai Book Fair Kicks Off (PW)
The third China Shanghai International Children’s Book Fair (CCBF) kicked off Friday in wintry conditions using the sports theme “Joining the World for the Future.” Several new exhibitors made their presence felt this year with big pavilions (such as those by the Nordic countries and Germany), while others took over bigger booths to accommodate their staff and display, such as the Quarto Group and Walker Books. Booths of Pearson China, McGraw-Hill and Oxford University Press were crowded as were those of Atlantyca, DeAgostini, Clavis and Cortez Editora.
Hong Kong Literary Festival Underscores Cross-Cultural Connections (Pub Perspectives)
The embattled Hong Kong International Literary Festival had a resurgence this year, underscoring cross-cultural connections between Asia and the West.