What’s Next for Digital? What Matters? Why?

DBW16 Digital Book WorldPublishers, authors and their business partners converge on BookExpo America in New York City today at a time arguably marked by equal parts stability and uncertainty.

Now that the high-octane days of rapid ebook adoption have given way to a more stable hybrid market, the industry faces a new set of questions, among them what comes next, and how do we get there?

Digital Book World wants to know what you think.

The 2016 Conference + Expo is now in its planning stages, and in order to top this year’s unprecedented lineup of speakers and programs, the event’s organizers are researching the top issues, challenges and opportunity facing publishers today.

Weigh in right here.


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Amazon’s Europe Troubles Likely Aren’t Over (CIO)
Amazon will now report retail sales through several national subsidiaries in the European Union, rather than just from Luxembourg, where it had negotiated low tax rates that drew scrutiny from EU investigators. But those authorities are reportedly still moving forward with a tax probe into the e-tailer’s tax deals in the region.

UK Publishers Deal Blow to Ebook Pirates (GalleyCat)
British publishers win a lawsuit against a clutch of websites known for enabling the illegal sale ebooks, which taken together a UK trade organization estimates accounted for piracy business around 10 million titles strong.

Bertelsmann Launches Imprint in Germany (Pub Lunch)
Beginning next year, Random House Germany will operate the new Penguin Verlag imprint, a development that Publishers Lunch sees as “lending further credence to the idea that Bertelsmann will eventually own all of Penguin Random House.”

Google Play Books Locks out New Sellers (Ink, Bits & Pixels)
Seemingly in response to a rising outcry against what multiple observers have judged to be extensive ebook piracy within Google Play Books, the ebook platform temporarily closes its Partner Center to new registrants, effectively turning away new authors and publishers looking to upload and sell new titles.

Ethics and Opportunity in Chinese Book Market (WashPost)
Executive Director of the PEN American Center Suzanne Nossel sounds a note of caution for U.S. publishers looking to take better advantage of China’s vast book market now that English-language digital growth has slowed. “Americans must not forget that literature is among China’s most controlled state industries,” Nossel writes. “As China’s influence widens, U.S. publishers face choices between principles and profits.”
Related: More on Digital Publishing in China

BISG Appoints New Head (PW)
Mark Kuyper, president and CEO of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association, succeeds Len Vlahos as Executive Director of the Book Industry Study Group, who departs the trade organization next month.

Skyhorse and Salon Founder Start New Imprint (PW)
David Talbot, founder of Salon, joins with Skyhorse Publishing to launch Hot Books, a new imprint dedicated to “of the moment” nonfiction titles that “fill the void” left by the retreat of investigative journalism from the media landscape.

Audible Exploring Unlimited Streaming? (Ink, Bits & Pixels)
Recent indications that Audible could be in tense talks with German publishers over a new contract for digital audiobooks give way to unconfirmed rumors that a key sticking point is a provision that would allow Amazon to offer an unlimited, subscription-based streaming program through Audible, similar to Kindle Unlimited.

New Experiments in Personalized Kids’ Books (WSJ)
A start-up aims to get in on the market for customizable print and digital children’s books, with titles based around parenting needs like helping young children understand food allergies or give up their beloved pacifiers.

Taking the Pulse of LGBTQ Publishing (PW)
With June marking LGBTQ Pride Month and the U.S. Supreme Court due to issue a widely anticipated ruling on the legality of same-sex marriage, Publishers Weekly takes an in-depth look at how LGBTQ issues, authors and content are reaching readers and resonating in the marketplace.

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