Why Academic Publishing Needs Digital Platform Solutions

shutterstock_317586104While traditional books are standalone products, marketed separately and designed to inform without context, their use in academic contexts can be very different, according to Bob Pritchett.

In a blog post for Digital Book World, Pritchett writes, “Students use large amounts of digital content in a specific subject area in a short time. Their research, their writing and their pursuit of a degree are focused on a limited number of domains, and they need access to a large number of resources and tools for managing all their content.”

“Platform solutions offer a way to address the special needs of a specific knowledge domain,” Pritchett continues, “and they make it easier to bundle content and achieve higher value transactions.”

Much more.

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What Happens to Your Digital Collection When Amazon Dies (Atlantic)
When you purchase a movie from Amazon Instant Video, you’re not buying it, exactly. It’s more like renting indefinitely. This distinction matters if your notion of “buying” is that you pay for something once and then you get to keep that thing for as long as you want. Increasingly, in the world of digital goods, a purchasing transaction isn’t that simple.

Ebooks Change the Game for Both Backlist and Export (Mike Shatzkin)
“There are two aspects of the business that ebooks should really change,” writes Mike Shatzkin. “One is that ebooks can really enable increases in sales of the backlist. The other is that ebooks will really enable sales outside the publisher’s home territory.”

Barnes & Noble Expands Nook Lineup (DBW)
Barnes & Noble released a new version of its Samsung Galaxy Nook e-reader measuring 9.6 inches. The retailer also announced a trade-in promotion for customers to receive discounts on the new device.

The Agile Future of Book Publishing (Pub Perspectives)
When the digital revolution in publishing began, publishers moved quickly to digitize their content in order to take advantage of this new, growing audience. But in most cases, the text and layout of print books were merely digitized—what some call “print-under-glass.” At the time, it was enough that publishers had to create multiple formats for the different ebook vendors. But when it came to enriching the content, they were faced with the challenge of not yet knowing how to proceed and how deep to go in order to engage the changing demand of the digital reader.

The Weird, Obsessive World of Free DIY Audiobooks (Wired)
“I’ve spent the past year with strange voices in my head,” writes John Adamian. “Soothing, rich-voiced, strangers intermittently whispering, crying, yelling, and practicing terrible accents in my ear. This is because I discovered the weird world of LibriVox, a charmingly scrappy DIY community site dedicated to creating free audiobooks for public domain texts.”

Author Releases Novel on Instagram (Wired)
Author and photographer Rachel Hulin is releasing her new novel on a most unexpected platform: Instagram. Hulin began to share pieces of the novel’s nearly 200 pages on her account a few weeks ago and plans to roll the story out over the next nine months—a period that roughly follows the timeline of her story. An interactive website accompanies the Instagram account, creating a multimedia experience. Readers can listen to music and learn humorous tidbits about the the two characters in Hulin’s novel.

Booktrack Announces New Content Deals (DBW)
Booktrack announced content partnerships with Sourcebooks, RosettaBooks, the Nelson Literary Agency, Orca Book Publishers and Mighty Media Press. Featuring a community of more than 2.5 million users worldwide, Booktrack offers over 16,000 titles in 30 different languages, across all genres of reading.

SpotlightUnraveling the Turkish Book Market (Pub Perspectives)
The Turkish book market offers great opportunities for foreign publishers, but you have to go into it with open eyes. Here are a few of the nuances and pitfalls to avoid.

Book Club App Novellic Offers Early Access (DBW)
Novellic, a new book platform developed to help readers create, find and join book clubs, has opened up a limited number of beta test accounts for keen book readers and book club owners. The new multi-platform app and web service aims to help readers form new micro-communities around book genres and tailors book suggestions around specific reader interests.

SpotlightU.S. Publishers Head to Cuba (PW)
To take advantage of the thaw in American-Cuban relations, Publishers Weekly, the Combined Book Exhibit and PubMatch have created the U.S. Publishing Mission to Cuba set to take place February 12th-17th next year. The event, to coincide with the Havana International Book Fair, will feature a two-day conference for U.S. and Cuban publishing executives.

Author of ‘The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep’ Speaks (PW)
The originally self-published Swedish children’s book The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep may seem to be an overnight sensation, but its success, claims author Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin, is actually the result of a slow build over roughly five years. According to Ehrlin, the sudden spike in international sales for the book—which Random House Children’s Books bought for seven figures in August and released on Friday—is thanks to a perfect storm: word-of mouth praise driven by ebook giveaways, coupled with Amazon U.K. providing entree to consumer media once the self-published book had taken off.

One in Four Germans Reads Ebooks (Digital Reader)
A new survey shows that ebook adoption has increased slightly in Germany over the past year. The German market research firm Bitkom revealed that 25 percent of a recent survey group had read an ebook. This was up 1 percent from last year.


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