A new partnership brings a selection of more than twenty popular Penguin Random House ebooks to Amtrak’s Acela Express passengers.
The commercial rail operator rolls out a new digital content platform where travelers can read free excerpts of the publisher’s titles, then purchase any of them with the click of a “buy” button.
HarperCollins launched a similar program with JetBlue last year, bringing select ebooks to airline customers. And with all Big Five publishers joining Oyster’s new ebookstore last week, it’s clear their shared interest in carving out more distribution channels is as strong as ever.
Incidentally, the first batch of Penguin Random House titles to reach Acela riders includes The Girl on the Train, which has yet to pull into the station; the novel has spent ten weeks and counting atop the Ebook Best-Seller List.
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How Kobo Can Dent Kindle’s Armor (Wired)
Kobo’s newly launched Glo HD e-reader might be one of the most serious competitive threats that Amazon’s line of Kindle devices has faced for some time. In one observer’s view, the Glo’s high-end specs and lower price-tag aren’t its only advantages; Kobo also “works with a broader range of file formats than Kindle does…and frankly has a less contentious relationship with major publishing houses.”
Faber & Faber Partners with Perseus (PW)
After ending its partnership with Farrar, Straus & Giroux, the UK-based publisher strikes a deal for Perseus Book Group to distribute its print and digital titles in the U.S. Faber & Faber plans to operate its own marketing and publicity division in the U.S. for the American market.
What We’ve Got Here Is a Failure to Communicate (The Bookseller)
Three-quarters of traditionally published authors surveyed in a new study say their publishers never asked for feedback on their experience, just one area among several where authors say publishers are coming up short on transparency and communication. For publishers looking to bolster their services to authors and insure against defections to the indie world, that’s potentially worrying news.
Related: What Traditional Publishers Offer Authors | Inside the Changing Author-Publisher Dynamic
Dealmaking Weak in Trade Fiction (Pub Lunch)
Tracking the volume of rights deals during a five-week period ahead of the London Book Fair, Publishers Lunch finds fiction deals are particularly soft compared with last year. Publishers also appear to be offering less in advances. More preliminary data, including graphs and figures.
Related: A New Lens on Author-Publisher Economics in a Challenging Market
How a Publisher Reinvented Young Adult Fiction (NYT)
Rome was neither built in a day nor by a single pair of hands, but the rise of young adult fiction over the past decade has been as remarkable as one publisher’s role in driving it. This profile of Julie Strauss-Gabel, publisher of Dutton Children’s Books at Penguin Random House, is also a lens onto the evolution of one of trade publishing’s most vibrant categories.
Books, Branding and Millennials (B&N College)
Establishing brand loyalty among young consumers has been a goal of retailers’ since time immemorial. A marketing expert at Barnes & Noble’s college books division (which is on track to be spun off as a separate education business later this year) offers marketing and merchandising insights drawn from the bookseller’s experience building relationships with recent college graduates.
Related: How to Engage with Millennial Readers on Social Media
Pay-What-You-Want Ebookstore Readies Launch (Bdaily)
It’s hard to see most publishers and booksellers agreeing with the way this announcement characterizes OpenBooks.com, a Poland-based ebookstore letting customers read and share titles before choosing what and whether to pay for them—as a “game-changing platform…promising to change distribution models.” But even if the venture falls short of redefining bookselling, it will be interesting to see how authors and readers respond.
Authors: Know Your Rights (Authors Alliance)
A detailed new handbook on copyright and rights reversion in the digital marketplace is aimed at helping authors keep their titles available for purchase so they can continue to earn from them. It’s free to download here.
Amazon Drones Take to the Skies after Delay (Wired)
Amazon is testing its drone program at a secured site in Canada after U.S. regulators failed to deliver the necessary protocol as swiftly as the company had pressed it to do. Now the Federal Aviation Administration comes through on new testing guidelines allowing Amazon to pick up where it left off in the U.S.