The publishing industry has encountered plenty of change in the past decade, most acutely due to the consumers’ mass adoption of digital content, which has been widely reported.
Accordingly, the old stalwarts have been forced to adapt in a competitive environment, and this has opened up opportunities for smaller, more agile publishing groups to capitalize and find a niche. Unfortunately, some Goliaths have fallen by the wayside, and we’ve seen many complex buy-outs and mergers as a result of the changing market conditions.
In this piece, I speak to some truly innovative publishers to get a handle on how they’re navigating a successful path through volatile waters.
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The Ebook Glass Is Half Full (American Libraries)
According to a panel of experts assembled by the American Library Association’s Digital Content Working Group (DCWG) at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston, the ebook glass is half full. Libraries have reasons to be optimistic about the ebook future, though this optimism is tempered by warnings to keep the pressure on publishers, vendors, and ourselves to produce a coherent user experience. It’s no secret that we’re not there yet.
What’s Your Mobile, Snackable Content Strategy? (Joe Wikert)
Last week I highlighted some of the more interesting findings reported in a document Google published called Micro-Moments: Your Guide to Winning the Shift to Mobile. This week I want to focus on a couple other important points in that document, as well as provide an example of how publishers need to leverage the mobile opportunity that awaits them.
Ebook Sales Abate for Big Five (Bookseller)
For those who predicted the death of the physical book and digital dominating the market by the end of this decade, the print and digital sales figures from the Big Five for 2015 might force a reassessment.
How Amazon Can Improve (Chris McMullen)
I love Amazon. As a customer, as a reader, as an author. Yet, I see ways that Amazon could be even better. Although I use Amazon frequently as both a reader and author, most of this post is from the publishing perspective. I don’t intend for my post to come across as a complaint or criticism. Rather, I love Amazon, and I’m thinking, “How could I love Amazon even more?”
Amazon Sales Top $100 Billion (PW)
Total revenue at Amazon topped $100 billion in 2015, hitting $107.0 billion. The jump makes for a 20 percent-increase in sales, over 2014. Excluding the negative impact of foreign currency exchange, sales were up 26 percent. The company also reported a dramatic gain in operating income, which rose to $2.2 billion in the year, from $178 million in 2014. Net income was $596 million, compared to a loss of $241 million in 2014.
Nielsen’s Whirlwind Overview of World Markets (Pub Perspectives)
The good news is that people think there’s good news. In a webcast this week from in London Book Fair’s Quantum16 Virtual Conference, Nielsen’s Andre Breedt started his survey of key markets with a check of consumer confidence. He put special emphasis on the Quantum16 markets: Brazil, China, India, the Philippines, Poland, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States. The data was drawn primarily from the Nielsen Consumer Confidence Index of the third quarter of 2015, the latest available stats, with some additional sources used for areas in which Nielsen as yet doesn’t have a full service running.
Want to Succeed in Self-Publishing? Be Realistic (PW)
After working as a network TV producer and writer for 40 years, Terry Irving finally sat down and wrote his debut novel, Courier. He landed an agent, but when he lost his job at Bloomberg News, he started looking into self-publishing. And then, on the day he was going to make the book available to purchase online, he got a call from his agent. “A British publisher was going to read it on his vacation. So, I halted the mighty CreateSpace presses and in a week, the publisher returned from whatever sandy beach he was relaxing on and sent me a letter so full of praise that I still have it framed and mounted on my wall above my computer so I can read it when I feel down. I got a contract and basked in the glow of being a published author.”
Meredith Wild, a Self-Publisher Making an Imprint (NY Times)
Meredith Wild has an unusual amount of sway for an author, owing to her high-profile position at Waterhouse: she founded the company. After sales of her self-published erotic novels took off on Amazon and other sites, Ms. Wild created the press partly as a way to get print versions into bookstore chains and big-box stores.
Winter Institute 2016 Ends on High Note (PW)
Over the past 11 years, the American Booksellers Association has transformed Winter Institute into one of its signature educational conferences. This year’s institute, held in Denver from January 23th to 26th, was no exception, with its mix of big-picture topics, such as minimum wage and online retail, and micro-workshops on holding author events and inventory control. Above the Treeline used the occasion to unveil Edelweiss’s new format, aimed at helping booksellers determine which books are publishers’ lead titles in a given season. A pilot program will launch shortly, with a full-store rollout this summer.