The iPhone App Store opened on July 10th, 2008.
The Amazon App store opened on March 22th, 2011.
Google Play launched on March 6th, 2012.
“In a relatively short time,” writes Marianne Calilhanna in a blog post for Digital Book World, “publishers had new and powerful distribution channels to target in addition to the established channels: print, website and industry-specific online hosting platforms. When apps came to market, a new vocabulary had to be understood by publishing staff, including those in management, editorial, product development, marketing, sales, and all the vendors that serve them.”
Successful publishers now recognize that the next iteration of apps must provide a digital experience platform.
“The good news?” Calilhanna asks “The tools have caught up with the industry expectations. Publishing vendors (good ones) can offer workflow recommendations based on real experience. Customers, more often than not, finally recognize that digital does not mean free, and are willing to pay.”
“The bad news? Publishing organizations need to map a workflow that supports their digital strategy and understand why it’s critical to distribute to all digital outlets. Operations, marketing and sales need to be aligned to best support this “digital experience platform” and demonstrate to business owners why it’s critical for an organization’s success.”
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When the Sharing Economy Comes to Publishing (PW)
Sharing technologies such as Uber and Airbnb have proven that huge efficiencies are available when you take a Dickensian business model and share the resources within a network. The sharing model can actually thrive more easily in publishing than in other industries, because stories can be easily crowdsourced and consumed in real time.
Multiformat Narratives Open New Doors for Publishers (Bookseller)
Publishers are continuing to explore new models for books—using enhanced audio and visual materials, and print-on-demand—as content is curated, sliced, repackaged and evolved in more innovative ways than ever before. Innovators say that new digital products are helping them build on their assets and drive customer engagement. Others warn that publishing risks missing out on these new markets if scaleable and discoverable products are not brought to market.
How Indie Authors Can Use Pre-orders to Crack the Bestseller Lists (PW)
Imagine you could press a magic button that would make your next book launch more successful. The magic button is the ebook pre-order, which gives indie authors a sales and marketing advantage. Over the last 12 months, nearly two-thirds of the top 200 best-sellers distributed by Smashwords originated as pre-orders. This statistic is all the more impressive when you consider that only one in eight books published at Smashwords during this period was listed as a pre-order.
The Indie Authors’ Guide to Self-Publishing Art Books (PW)
Self-publishing is difficult enough without adding photos or illustrations to the mix. Still, despite the amount of work that goes into such an endeavor, numerous creators—some big names in their respective fields, others up-and-comers—are taking matters into their own hands when it comes to getting their art books published.
Forget Binge-Watching. Try Encouraging “Binge-Reading” (Pub Perspectives)
“The rise in the use of ‘binge-watch’ is clearly linked to the biggest sea change in our viewing habits since the advent of the video recorder nearly 40 years ago,” Helen Newstead, head of language content at Collins told the Guardian. “It’s not uncommon for viewers to binge-watch a whole season of programs such as House of Cards or Breaking Bad in just a couple of evenings, then discuss their binge-watching on social media.” But does any of this happen with books? Do people “binge-read?” Should “binge-read” be in the dictionary? And should publishers use the idea of binge-reading as a marketing tool? After all, we have beach reading, so why not binge-reading?
Textbooks from Pixar? It Might Happen (PW)
While book publishing still looks at image-driven innovation in storytelling with a distant gaze, journalists are beginning to experiment with it. Earlier this month, the New York Times distributed more than a million Google Cardboard virtual reality (VR) headsets. Combined with a mobile app (also called Cardboard), the Times launched its first VR story, “The Displaced,” in conjunction with an essay in the New York Times Magazine. Cardboard is already being used to create innovative educational material for classrooms. But mailing out 1.3 million VR headsets with the Sunday paper just might have hooked a generation of kids on a new form of visual culture.
All the ‘Harry Potter’ Audiobooks Are on Audible (Mashable)
Give thanks for technology, Harry Potter fans: The series’ spellbinding audiobooks are now available for digital download via Audible. The audiobook site is offering U.S. editions narrated by Jim Dale, German editions by Felix von Manteuffel, and Stephen Fry’s reading of the series’ original U.K. editions.
Author’s Republic is Audiobooks.com New Distribution Service (Digital Reader)
Launching this week, Author’s Republic enables authors and publishers to distribute audiobooks to several retailers and distributors, including Audible, Findaway, Downpour and Overdrive, as well as Amazon and iTunes (via Audible) and Barnes & Noble, Scribd and TuneIn (via Findaway). According to the press release, Author’s Republic pays 25 percent of the sale price in Audible, Amazon and iTunes, and 35 percent of the sale price in other channels.
Amazon Offering Free Screenwriting App (The Next Web)
Amazon has unveiled Storywriter, a free cloud-based tool for writing movie and TV screenplays in standard format that’s suitable for users of all skill levels. Storywriter includes a number of useful features, such as automatically formatting your text while you type, auto-saving and importing/exporting your work in PDF, FDX and Fountain file formats.The app is part of Amazon’s push to expand its original video offerings through its film studio arm. The company says it will now accept drama submissions in addition to primetime comedy, series for children ages 2-14 and feature film scripts.