Publishers are more content with how the book business is weathering the digital transition than authors are, according to early results of the FutureBook Digital Census.
When asked to rate how their business was faring at this point in the digital transition, 20 percent of publisher respondents replied “excellent,” while 41 percent said “good, but could do better.” Close to 34 percent said there were still too many missed opportunities, and 6 percent rated progress as “poor.”
Authors, on the other hand, reported more discontent. While many traditionally published authors were broadly happy with their publisher, a number questioned the pricing and marketing strategies for their digital titles.
One noted: “They’ve made my ebooks very cheap and/or free to try and get me up the bestseller charts, but it’s not worked.”
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Young People Prefer Print to Ebooks (Bookseller)
Print is still more popular than ebooks amongst readers ages 16-24, although teenagers are more likely to read ebooks than their older counterparts, according to the results of a survey carried out for The Bookseller Children’s Conference. Out of 1,000 respondents ages 16-24, 64 percent said they preferred print books, 16 percent said ebooks, and 20 percent said they didn’t mind. When asked how often they read ebooks, 32 percent said they never read ebooks, 35 percent said once a month or less, 8 percent said once a week or less, and 7 percent said more than once a week.
Authors Are the New Gatekeepers to Large Audiences (DBW)
In a blog post for Digital Book World, Rob Eagar writes that the gatekeepers to reach large audiences of book consumers have always been retailers, publishers, libraries and national media outlets. These organizations hold the keys to reaching millions of readers, but access to their audiences is limited unless one purchases paid advertising, hires a publicity firm or undertakes an expensive, time-consuming tour of the country. For the most part, authors who want to reach the masses have been at the mercy of these options. Until now.
A Quick History of the Amazon Fire Tablet (TechCrunch)
In honor of the new Amazon Fire Tablet, TechCrunch decided to take a quick look at its history. Amazon’s attempts to corner the tablet market have thus far been thwarted, but each of their improvements added much to the ecosystem and proved that the company could make some solid hardware.
NetGalley Introduces Wish Granting Program (DBW)
NetGalley announced a new “wish granting” feature, which will allow publishers to facilitate digital book giveaways and generate reviews from professional readers and consumer influencers using the NetGalley platform. NetGalley has long allowed publishers to set request availability by member type and date, so that booksellers, librarians and trade-oriented members with long lead times can request digital review copies earlier. When a member isn’t able to request, they can “wish” for a title. Publishers can now grant wishes to randomly-selected members, who can then read, review and recommend the book.
Why Self-Published Book Covers Are Better Than You Think (Pub Perspectives)
There’s a tendency to think of self-published books as a bit of a joke. As reputations go however, this one is a bit unfair. Although it’s true that some authors, left to their own devices, can create rather dodgy designs, many authors take a professional approach to their books that matches high industry standards.
Mysterious Press Announces Prize for Best Ebook Mystery Novel (DBW)
Otto Penzler, president and publisher of MysteriousPress.com, has announced a contest for the Mysterious Press Award, which will be given for the best ebook original mystery novel. The winning entry will receive a prize of $25,000 and guaranteed worldwide publication. The winner will be announced at the 2016 Frankfurt Book Fair.
The Reading Room Launches Self-Published Author and Indie Publisher Survey (TRR)
Book discovery site The Reading Room is conducting a survey of self-published authors and independent publishers to better understand what they’re doing to market their titles and where they’re doing it.
Amazon Joins On-Demand Economy, Hires Independent Contractors (PCWorld)
Amazon is using independent contractors for its Flex delivery program to ferry packages to customers, adopting a staffing method that has already attracted controversy and lawsuits.
Amazon Flex, which the company describes as its newest delivery innovation, allows individuals to be their own bosses while earning up to $25 per hour delivering Prime Now orders. The on-demand model has been used by a large number of startups both as a model to attract workers who can decide to work whenever they want to, and also in some cases to avoid paying the workers a variety of benefits that they would have paid their employees.
How to Create Box Sets and Sell More Books (BookBub)
If you’re an author who’s published a series or has an extensive backlist, bundling some of your books into a box set can be an effective way to drive sales and reach new readers. Box sets are usually priced to let readers spend less than if they had purchased each book individually. This is a great way to entice new readers to purchase your books, and when they recommend your book to their friends (as 65 percent of bargain readers do), those people may purchase each book individually, increasing your revenue over the long term.
Now Is the Time for Advertising and Marketing to Converge (Ad Week)
Digital advertising will increase its ad market share from 18 percent in 2012 to 23.4 percent in 2015 and overtake television by 2017. That’s why combining data-driven advertising and marketing is a big deal. It’s also why ad technology and marketing technology departments shouldn’t be singing a different tune but rather working closer together, in harmony. Here’s just some of what organizations could be doing.
Two out of Every Three Digital Minutes Spent on Mobile (DCN)
Consumers’ digital usage continues to increase its concentration in mobile. According to comScore’s 2015 Mobile App Report, mobile phones now account for two out of every three digital minutes or 62 percent of time spent online, up from 51 percent in 2013. In contrast, desktop usage only accounts for 38 percent of digital time, down from 49 percent two years ago. Furthermore, mobile users spend more than 44 percent of their digital time using smartphone apps.