One digital publishing expert recently back from the London Book Fair perceived a “collective sigh of relief” that the print-digital market is finally stabilizing.
But it might be too soon to take comfort.
According to Gareth Cuddy, CEO of the newly rebranded Vearsa, “for anyone to think that the digital disruption book publishing has experienced in the last few years is over or receding would be foolish in the extreme.”
Pointing to the four phases of technological disruption identified by former Microsoft exec Steven Sinofsky, Cuddy sees the book world positioned at the third stage, in which an industry temporarily “settle[s] in with a harmonious blend of, in our case, print and digital.”
“The danger here,” Cuddy says, “is that complacency sets in, and publishers revert to print cycle–thinking and fail to plan for the future.”
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Children’s Sales Plummet (PW)
The latest figures from Nielsen BookScan show juvenile fiction and nonfiction sales last week down 46% and 39%, respectively, over the same period in 2014, when hits by John Green, Veronica Roth and the Frozen franchise were powering considerable growth.
Related: Kids Say No Thanks to Enhanced E-Reading
Kids Should Read 15 Minutes a Day (Pub Perspectives—Infographic)
According to the International Publishers Association, fifteen minutes of “engaged reading” a day is optimal for children to develop strong reading habits over time. Here’s an infographic in honor of yesterday’s World Book Day with a smattering of stats and figures about promoting literacy and reading habits among children.
Related: Kids Exercising More Autonomy in Digital Reading Content
Ebook Sales to Hit 15% in Latin America by 2020 (Pub Perspectives)
One recent estimate projects digital sales to represent up to 15% of the overall regional book market by 2020. Analysts base this forecast on political and economic stability in Latin American countries over the past decade as well as trends in global Internet and mobile use that look favorable to ebook growth.
Inkling Connects Content Tools with Alfresco (DBW)
A recent deal with the publishing services provider Ixxus integrates the Inkling publishing platform with Alfresco’s content management system, expanding the resources available to users of both systems.
How to Rethink Marketing Copy (The Shatzkin Files)
Since descriptive book copy now plays a far greater role in consumer-facing sales and discovery contexts than it ever used to, publishers need to figure out how to fine-tune it connect titles with their intended audiences. Here’s an overview of this challenge and ways it might be addressed. And here’s a thorough tutorial in effective audience research methods that aren’t resource-intensive.
Another Facebook Tweak to Frustrate Publishers (TechTimes)
The same week Google updates its search algorithm, Facebook does its own part to keep publishers on their toes by tweaking its News Feed yet again. One veteran book marketer called Facebook’s earlier algorithm change the “most newsworthy recent event” last year (and not in a good way) for publishers trying to promote their content and foster engagement on social media. As those adjustments continue, here’s what to watch out for.
Related: Three Ways to Engage Millennial Readers Online
Penguin Random House Drops Books in UK Taxicabs (The Bookseller)
Partnering with the UK-based car service app Hailo, Penguin Random House UK is depositing free books in taxis for passengers to pick up. As part of the same promotion, the publisher is also making free audiobook samples available inside the Hailo app.
Related: Penguin Random House Partners with Scribd on Audiobooks
Germany Pushes to Fix Ebook Prices (Telecompaper)
The German Federal Ministry of Economics introduces a provision in pending legislation that would set a fixed price for ebooks nationwide. In a separate matter relating to ebook prices, an EU court ruled last month that ebooks don’t qualify for the lower tax rates reserved for print books. On the German initiative Telecompaper reports rather cryptically that it “has been greeted by caution on all sides.”
Amazon Wants to Stock Your Car’s Trunk (USA Today)
Amazon launches a pilot program in Munich, Germany with DHL and Audi, allowing Audi drivers to order goods to be delivered directly into the trunks of their cars. How? Amazon Prime processes the orders and furnishes the inventory, Audi grants one-time remote, keyless trunk access and DHL runs the delivery service. But is it scalable? Maybe.
Introducing Wearable Erotica (Fusion)
In case you need something to whet your appetite for the release of the Apple Watch, there’s now an ebook novella featuring the tech company’s latest wearable device in flagrante delicto. It appears under the faintly fictionalized monicker “iWatch” (whereas Siri, who makes an inevitable tasteless cameo, is just called “Siri”).