“The publishing business is one of the few industries with the audacity to create a lot of new products without testing them on consumers first,” Rob Eagar writes in a blog post for Digital Book World.
“Failing to test new products on consumers before launching them is a risky business move,” Eagar continues. “Yet authors and publishers continually pump out thousands of books each year and rarely test their content on readers before publication.”
Advocating for a similar position that Andrew Rhomberg took in a blog post for DBW, Eagar asks, “How can you consider yourself successful when you never give your products a chance to reach their full potential?”
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Prime Membership Will Continue to Grow Amazon (CNBC)
Amazon can grow revenue more than the market expects thanks to its ballooning Prime membership, RBC Capital Markets analyst Mark Mahaney said Friday. RBC increased its price target on Amazon to $705 from $650 based on momentum in its Amazon’s Prime business. It was trading at more than $524 a share on Friday. The firm’s third annual Amazon consumer survey suggested U.S. Prime adoption has risen from 25 percent of customers in 2013 to 40 percent today. The firm now believes Amazon has 50 million U.S. Prime subscribers and 60 to 80 million global subscribers. Amazon does not make those figures public.
Clock Ticks on Apple’s Supreme Court Bid (PW)
Might consumers see ebook refunds from Apple in time for the holidays? Apple’s hopes for a reversal of Judge Denise Cote’s 2013 verdict finding it liable for price fixing now rest with the Supreme Court. And attorneys this week confirmed that Apple has until roughly the end of September to petition the high court for review, or to file an extension.
New Barnes & Noble Chief Touts “Omni-channel” Approach (PW)
In remarks accompanying the release of Barnes & Noble’s first-quarter results for fiscal 2016, executives stressed that future growth for the retailer will involve integrating its retail, website and Nook operations to allow customers to buy books anytime, anywhere, regardless of format. Ron Boire, who was B&N CEO for only two days when the results were released on September 9th, said he and his team will pursue an “omni-channel” approach that will blend the company’s different businesses to create a compelling experience for consumers, whether they are shopping at a retail store or online.
What Ever Happened to Google Books? (New Yorker)
It was the most ambitious library project of our time: a plan to scan all the world’s books and make them available to the public online. “We think that we can do it all inside of ten years,” Marissa Mayer, who was then a vice-president at Google, said in 2007, when Google Books was in its beta stage. Today, the project sits in a kind of limbo. On one hand, Google has scanned an impressive 30 million volumes, putting it in a league with the world’s larger libraries (the library of Congress has around 37 million books). That is a serious accomplishment. But while the corpus is impressive, most of it remains inaccessible.
Is Native Advertising Ethical? (Forbes)
Sponsored content is working for marketers and publishers, and readers are engaging with it. Spending on native advertising is expected to reach $4.3 billion this year, up nearly 34 percent since last year. However, because of the “wall” that has long separated editorial content and advertising, readers are understandably suspicious of sponsored content. Is it inherently deceptive of publishers to blur the lines between editorial content and ads?
The Future of Libraries (PW)
For years, librarians have been poring over virtual reference transcripts for clues to the future, and yet little formal research has been conducted on what’s actually happening at reference desks today. It’s time to acknowledge that something else—which we are only beginning to understand—is taking the place of traditional reference service in public libraries.
AHA Publishes Guidelines for Evaluation of Digital Scholarship (AHA)
In a blog post, the American Historical Association (AHA) writes, “With greater numbers of historians making contributions to scholarship through digital means, the discipline must grow to encompass the variety of formats and media available in the rapidly evolving digital environment. We can only do so by giving proper credit for work on digital projects that contribute to historical knowledge. To encourage these developments in our discipline the AHA has published Guidelines for the Professional Evaluation of Digital Scholarship by Historians.”
Mexico’s Literary Publishing Potential (Publishing Perspectives)
Author and editor Eduardo Rabasa has become something of an international publishing star, one whose vocal support of the Mexican publishing industry has made him a prominent figure on the international scene. As the co-founder of Editorial Sexto Piso, an independent publisher launched in Mexico in 2002, he has championed the idea of publishing quality books in translation and originally written in Spanish, in both fiction and non-fiction, for a growing audience of readers in the world’s largest Spanish-speaking market.