Self-publishing is easier than it has ever been, but in the current marketplace earning money for the books you’ve written now comes with a whole new set of challenges.
Most authors and publishers are finding it difficult to get their books to stand out in a market that’s only getting more and more saturated. The number of books published in the US continues to rise each year, in both print and digital formats, making it more difficult than ever to get noticed. And as well as competing with other book titles, there’s a vast array of movies, music and video games that are also grappling for people’s time.
There’s no doubt that hardened readers will always find time for books, but the casual reader is losing more and more reading time to movies and television series—both more efficient ways of absorbing stories in a fast-paced world. It might be time to accept that people are now more likely than ever to split their time between different types of media—and we should look at this as an opportunity rather than a threat.
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Data Guy to Present on Stage for the First Time at DBW 16 (DBW)
Data, discovery and SEO are hot topics in the book, content and tech communities, and each will be covered by top experts in a variety of presentations at the 7th Annual Digital Book World Conference + Expo. In addition, Data Guy, one of the most intriguing and quietly influential figures in the book community, will take the stage for the first time and provide useful insights into important “known unknowns,” while also showing how creative data hacks can help expand the book, content and technology communities’ understanding of the digital publishing business. DBW 2016 takes place March 7 – 9, 2016 at the New York Hilton Midtown in N.Y.C. Registration and program details are available at digitalbookworldconference.com (the best early-bird rates expire Dec. 15).
October Bookstore Sales Rose 6.9% (PW)
Bookstore sales rose 6.9 percent in October over October 2014, according to preliminary estimates released Friday morning by the U.S. Census Bureau. Sales hit $747 million in the month, up from $699 million last October.
Education Publisher Ditches Amazon, Sales Soar (PW)
Randall White, chairman, president, and CEO of Educational Development Corp., traces the current growth spurt to his highly publicized decision three years ago to stop selling books through Amazon. That decision, White explained, was made to assure retailers, as well as EDC’s sales consultants, that Amazon could not undercut the prices of EDC titles.
Bookshelves Are at the Heart of New Book Discovery Engine (PW)
When Canadian engineer Peter Hudson started BitLit Media two years ago, a big part of the idea was to start an app (now known as Shelfie) that would enable readers to get a heavily discounted or free copy of an ebook by taking a picture of their bookshelf. Hudson built on that premise this fall with the addition of Shelfie Recommendations, a part of the app that Hudson hopes will be an alternative to PWBTAB (people who bought this also bought) recommendations, which have long been used for online book discovery.
Amazon Seeing Surge of Buyers in China (Quartz)
Amazon China, the domestic subsidiary of the US-based e-commerce giant, has released a lengthy report on its progress in the Middle Kingdom this year. In it, the company claims that sales from Chinese consumers buying on the global Amazon.com site are on track to increase six-fold in 2015, compared with the year prior.
STM Publishing Continues to Drive Revenue, Innovation (Pub Perspectives)
Valued at $35 billion annually, STM publishing can rightly pride itself on its history of being innovative—a tradition that is only getting stronger.
Flipkart Transfers Users to Kobo (DBW)
Flipkart has decided to stop selling ebooks and will transfer all of its users’ accounts to Kobo.
Google Needs To Toughen Up Its Stance on Copyright Protection (PW)
I recently received an email from Google asking my company to take part in Google Play. I’m sure I wasn’t the only publishing house to receive such an invitation. However, it led me to send a response about our relationship with Google in several different areas. While discretion may be the better part of business sense, sometimes it’s hard to stand by and watch a big, powerful business take advantage of the industry you love. And Google has been damaging our industry by listing sites that offer pirated ebooks in its search results.
‘Harry Potter’ Gets New Ebook Covers (Mashable)
If you were to judge a book by its cover, Harry Potter is in good hands. Graphic designer Olly Moss has created brand-new covers for the digital versions of J.K. Rowling’s novels that illustrate the Potter universe in beautiful minimalist style.