Over the past few years, Vook has backed away from publishing digital content toward offering services for those that do. It now completes that transformation by relaunching as a self-publishing platform called Pronoun.
But as the ebook market slows, many publishing start-ups find it hard to compete. For those that dabbled in enhanced or experimental approaches, like Vook, Byliner and Atavist Books, long-term viability often proved elusive.
One thing that has stuck around, though, is the concern among authors that existing paths to publication could be improved upon—something Pronoun makes its rally point, offering authors a 100% royalty rate.
To get all the ebook and digital publishing news you need every day in your inbox at 8:00 AM, sign up for the DBW Daily today!
BookBub Scores $7 Million in New Funding (DBW)
The book marketing service BookBub pulls in $7 million in new equity and debt financing one year after closing a $3.8 million round of funding. The company has added twenty employees in the past twelve months and grown its active user base to 5 million, plus launched localized programs in three international markets.
Related: Why BookBub Sees Promise for Ebooks in India
Tablets Shrink for Apple and Samsung (DBW)
As the tablet market continues to slow, Apple and Samsung both see sales of their respective devices fall in the first quarter of 2015 compared with the same period last year. Long live the smartphone.
Related: What Mobile Means for Customer Relationships
Hoopla Digital Adds Ebooks to Library Platform (PW)
The digital content platform for libraries, to which Macmillan recently added some of its digital audiobook titles, now finally includes ebooks—an addition almost two years in the making and noteworthy for operating under a model that’s unusual in the library market; licenses to borrow ebook titles can be granted to multiple users simultaneously, rather than the one license/one user approach that predominates.
Baker & Taylor to Launch Android Mobile App (Good E Reader)
This July the digital content distributor will roll out a unified mobile app for its Axis 360 content platform that operates on Android-running devices. The change aims to streamline a user experience that’s currently fragmented across multiple Baker & Taylor delivery platforms.
Academic Ebooks Grow at Bloomsbury (Futurebook)
Digital sales grew 35% in Bloomsbury’s professional and academic division in 2014, according to the publisher’s latest full-year results. One observer notes that an area where Bloomsbury has found success is in direct-to-consumer products like subscription programs for scholars and institutions.
Related: Why All Publishers Can and Should Go Direct-to-Consumer
eBay to Test Program Akin to Amazon Prime (TheStreet)
eBay Germany prepares to launch a program that appears to share similarities with Amazon Prime, offering customers premium shipping and return options for an annual fee, plus incentives for merchants to feature their products in the program’s offering.
Does Copyright Spur Investment? (Pub Perspectives)
A trade group for UK publishers believes so. Richard Mollet, CEO of the Publishers Association says copyright protections must be upheld in the digital market, arguing (familiarly) that “authors and publishers depend upon strong copyright in order to be rewarded, in order to be ‘incentivized’ to invest.”
Introducing ‘Blended Reality’ Reading (GeekWire)
Microsoft secures a patent for a new technology called HoloLens, a headset contraption that offers to transform words read aloud into a visual display—theoretically depicting scenes in a fiction title—synced to the pace of a reader moving through a text.
Related: In Defense of Enhanced and Immersive E-Reading