One of China’s largest booksellers reports its customers bought 60 million ebooks in 2014. That’s about 20% the volume of its hardcover sales but a share that’s risen by 10% since the previous year.
As industry experts have said repeatedly over the past year, China’s book market is growing fast. And ebooks in particular are on the rise thanks largely to the worldwide mobile boom impacting publishers everywhere.
With ebook growth stubbornly flat in North America and the UK, many publishers and distributors are setting their sights on expanding more aggressively in emerging markets.
At Digital Book World 2015, HarperCollins CEO Brian Murray said the publisher will continue on its recent path toward extending its global reach. Oyster likewise confirmed it will launch its ebook subscription service overseas this year.
Related: Mobile Strategies for Publishers
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Embattled Reseller Plans Ebook Subscription Service (Ink, Bits & Pixels)
Currently under legal pressure to dump inventory that may have been acquired illegally, Dutch used ebook marketplace Tom Kabinet says it’s planning to enter the subscription ebook market later this year.
Related: Subscription Ebook Race Becoming More Global
Scant Concern Over Rising Ebook Piracy (Good E Reader)
By one estimate, 500 million ebooks were downloaded illegally in the U.S. in 2013, and that figure is on track to hit 700 million by 2018. Still, Good E Reader says most major publishers are devoting few resources to curbing piracy, preferring to focus instead on what many view as the bigger problem of Amazon’s ebook market share.
Zuckerberg Isn’t the New Oprah Yet (PW)
A look at the latest BookScan sales figures for the first title selected for Mark Zuckerburg’s new book club shows the Facebook founder has plenty of clout, especially when it comes to ebooks, but so far it’s hardly the game-changer Oprah’s Book Club is.
Tablet Makers Betting Bigger Is Better (Teleread)
Leaked photos purporting to show forthcoming iPad prototypes suggest Apple might be aiming to jumpstart the sluggish tablet market by offering users bigger screens. That would put it in league with a handful of other device makers also rolling out oversize tablets.
Publishing Technology Revises Revenue Expectations (Pub Lunch)
The service provider realigns revenues to show weaker results for 2014 in order to improve the picture for this year and next. Publishing Technology is also negotiating with a potential investor to take on “a considerable minority interest” in the company.
Barnes & Noble E-Textbook Service Gets Poor Marks (Ink, Bits & Pixels)
The bookseller’s e-textbook platform Yuzu went live nine month ago but yet has to officially launch. In the meantime it’s drawing criticism from students on a number of grounds. One observer accounts for the shaky beta phase as a symptom of Barnes & Noble’s scramble to bulk up Nook Media before spinning it off this year.
Related: Charting Nook’s Decline
Amazon Scraps Wallet App (Greenbot)
Amazon discontinues the mobile payment platform it developed for the Fire Phone, leaving Apple and Google to duke it out in that space until further notice.
ePub Direct Launches School Ebook Platform (Pub Perspectives)
The ebook distributor creates a custom ebook library app for an Irish primary school in order to help boost students’ digital literacy and reading skills. ePub Direct will continue to develop the platform, called eShelf, based on feedback from classrooms.