The New Digital Acquisitions Playbook

Full Fathom Five digital publishing genre ebooks readersDo editors’ strategies for acquiring new digital titles need a refresh?

One publisher thinks so. As the ebook market slows down, Full Fathom Five Digital’s Samantha Streger says that “many of the hit-making formulas acquiring editors and indie authors developed just a few years ago are bringing diminishing returns.”

Genre fiction in particular has proved one of digital’s biggest success stories, but many of the category’s conventions risk hemming publishers into strategies that no longer square with how ebook readers consume narrative content.

That doesn’t mean reinventing the wheel, though. For one thing, Streger says, stories “that live and breathe digitally don’t need to be high-tech” or even target a single demographic.

Much more.

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Making Sense of New Ebook Sales Data (Pub Lunch)
Publishers Lunch breaks down the latest figures from Nielsen BookScan’s Pubtrack Digital program, explaining how it adds another lens to the overall picture, which seems to indicate that “the average publishers’ net on ebook sales rebounded in 2014, after dropping in 2013, but is still somewhat lower than it was for 2012.”
Related: A Persisting Partial View of the Ebook Retail Landscape

Audience Research: Critical but Tough to Scale (The Shatzkin Files)
As publishers rethink their relationships with consumers, many are striving to get better at audience research. “But no publisher is equipped to do that across the board,” says Digital Book World Conference Chair Mike Shatzkin. So far, “they don’t have the bodies; they don’t have the skill sets; and a process enabling that research doesn’t fit the current workflow and toolset.”
Related: Cheap, Quick Tools for Researching Readers

Small Steps Forward on Library Ebooks (American Libraries)
Freshly back from BookExpo America, one librarian says there’s reason for libraries to be encouraged by publishers’ latest efforts to get more ebooks into circulation, however tentative or scattershot some of those efforts might appear at the moment.
Related: The Latest Happenings for Library Ebooks

Social Media Opens Window on Chinese E-Readers (Pub Perspectives)
A new white paper explores ways English-language publishers can leverage popular social channels to gain insights into the reading habits, buying patterns and other trends among Chinese readers of digital content.

Pinterest Adds Purchasing Functionality (TechCrunch)
Pinterest will soon add “buyable pins” allowing users to make purchases directly within the social platform, partnering with several online payment companies that will process transactions. The move comes as part of Pinterest’s recent push to make its platform more appealing to brands and developers.

Seattle, City of Readers (Ink, Bits & Pixels)
Sleepless in Seattle? Chalk it up to lots of late-night reading. In Amazon’s annual roundup of the most well-read cities in the U.S., its hometown clocks in at No. 1, based on sales data encompassing Kindle ebooks as well as print books, magazines and newspapers sold through Amazon.

Comics Publisher Sees Growth from Direct Sales (PW)
Dark Horse, an independent comics publisher says its first year being distributed by Penguin Random House has been a successful one. Some of its latest strides are thanks to the online ebookstore it operates, which Dark Horse says is helping it reach new customers.
Related: To Go Direct, Publishers Must Mean Business

Rockstand Brings Free Ebooks to Rural India (India Today)
The e-reading app partners with READ India, a literacy organization in the country, to distribute ebooks to readers in rural areas through a network of sixteen centers offering access to digital content and basic technology training.
Related: Assessing India’s Rising Ebook Market


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