“Change leads to anxiety, and there has been a lot of change in publishing in recent years,” writes Jellybooks Founder Andrew Rhomberg in his latest blog post for DBW. “There is one trend, though, that is striking more fears in publishers’ minds than any other. And that is the fear of data.”
Rhomberg writes that many fear “reading data will influence what gets published” or that “worthy books of high literary quality will be shunned,” or that there will be undue influence on the editorial process.
In Rhomberg’s view, though, these fears are unfounded.
Instead, “data will make it easier to find the audience that appreciates” certain books, and “publishers will also discover the optimal approach to reach that audience.”
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A Roundup of Responses to NYT Amazon Article (New York Times)
The New York Times has a brief roundup on its “Bits” blog of responses to its weekend expose of Amazon’s work environment. The article “sparked numerous online debates about the company” and “may have been the most intense among readers of The Times, who submitted more than 4,000 online comments about the original article.”
Is Amazon Eating Itself Alive? (Publishing Perspectives)
Regarding the veracity of the reporting in the New York Times’s expose of Amazon’s work environment, the editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives says that he is “inclined to believe it is true based on my own very limited, personal interactions with Amazon employees.”
Random House Germany to Drop DRM (PubLunch)
Following similar moves from Holtzbrinck, Bonnier Germany, dtv, Hoffman & Campe, Luebbe and others, Random House Germany announced that it too will drop hard DRM in favor of digital watermarking (or “soft DRM”) as of October 1. Germany is the first major ebook market to drop DRM on a broad basis. The country’s publishers and booksellers association (the Börsenverein) put ebooks at 4.3 percent of sales marketwide for 2014.
Publishers Expanding Catalogs of Digital Textbooks (Washington Post)
The rising cost of college tuition gets a lot of attention, but most students can attest that buying textbooks is also a pricey venture, with print textbook prices having soared 82 percent in the last decade alone. Many students, though, are saving money through online marketplaces for used, new, rental or electronic textbooks. And now publishers are producing less expensive digital versions of their textbooks that can be run on a laptop, smartphone or ereader.
Why Authors Need a Professional Facebook Cover Photo (BookBub)
According to a survey of 6,000 readers by Marie Force, 69 percent of readers use Facebook to find information about their favorite author, and 88 percent of readers follow their favorite author on the platform. As an author, whether you have a page, public profile or group, you can brand your Facebook presence with a unique cover photo design.
BISG Research Shows Attitudes Toward Content in Higher Education (DBW)
In a press release, the Book Industry Study Group announced the publication of new research into student and faculty attitudes toward content in higher education, including Student Attitudes Toward Content in Higher Education, Volume Five Report 2, and its companion study, Faculty Attitudes Toward Content in Higher Education.
OverDrive Working on PDF Conversion (Library Journal)
Digital distributor OverDrive is working on a project that could ultimately enable the company to convert PDFs and other file formats into the industry-standard EPUB format for ebooks, without significant loss of formatting and functionality, according to CEO Steve Potash.