Could Facebook Become the World’s Largest Bookstore?

Could Facebook Become the World’s Largest Bookstore?A month or so ago, Facebook reported its earnings for the fourth quarter of 2015, and let’s just say they crushed the ball. Knocked the cover off. Pointed to the bleachers and then hit it out of the park.

The big moneymaker was its burgeoning video ad business. Facebook states that people are watching 100 million hours of video per day on its social platform. More than 500 million people watch Facebook video every day. Just let that sink in. Facebook isn’t simply a video discovery platform; it’s becoming the video discovery platform. And it’s still growing.

(Worth noting, YouTube is still the market leader and gets roughly 4 billion views per day, but much of the discovery of the new videos is happening on Facebook).

While people in the publishing industry may find this interesting, most won’t find it particularly relevant. To ignore this news, however, would be a monumental mistake.

Much more.

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Amazon to Announce New Kindle Next Week (DBW)
Amazon will announce a new version of its Kindle e-reader next week. In a tweet, Amazon’s founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said, “Heads up readers – all-new, top of the line Kindle almost ready. 8th generation. Details next week.” Given that that’s all the information given, it’s not clear whether next week’s announcement will simply give us “more details,” or if it will also include the product’s launch.

5 Questions with Jacks Thomas, Director, London Book Fair (DBW)
Jacks Thomas is the director of the London Book Fair, a position she has held since January 2013. This year’s fair features a wide array of speakers and panels, as well as the re-branded digital conference now called Quantum. The 2016 London Book Fair takes place April 12-14. I recently spoke with Thomas about how she handled taking over the Fair a few years ago, what she’s looking forward to most about this year’s, and more.

Indie Stores Are Now Selling Digital Audiobooks (DBW) has launched its Indie Partner Program which allows any independent bookstore to sell digital audiobooks.

Supreme Court Delays Decision on Google Books Case (PW)
The wait continues. The Supreme Court did not deliver a decision this morning (as was expected) on whether or not to hear the Authors Guild’s appeal in its long-running suit over Google’s book scanning. The case was on the docket for the court’s April 1 conference, with a decision to be made public today, however the case was absent from today’s orders list.

What Big Publishing Still Does Well (Gene Doucette)
One of the more amusing ironies about this business is that the least-respected categories of the publishing industry also happen to be the best-selling ones: romance, sci-fi/fantasy, mystery, horror, thriller… these are all things that fall under the general rubric of genre fiction, and in a lot of ways they are the engine that drives the whole machine. Why? Because people buy them, and they read them quickly, and then they buy more of them.

How to Write Faster and Never Get Writer’s Block (Creative Penn)
To make a living with your writing, you need to write quality books on a regular schedule. You need to learn to write faster, be more confident about your craft and get over writer’s block. In today’s show, Bram Stoker award nominee, Michaelbrent Collings shares his tips.

Better Children’s Books for a Better World (Pub Perspectives)
A children’s book publisher with passion and purpose, Klaus Humann talks about the Harry Potter high, the spirit of small publishing houses, and his global search for special books.

LOOK! All Eyes on Germany in Bologna (Pub Perspectives)
With a contingent of up-and-coming illustrators and enthusiastic publishers, Germany’s Guest of Honor program at the Bologna Book Fair is designed to inspire and engage the international community.

More Powerful Than You Know (Seth Godin)
I think that’s always been a little true, but now it’s a lot true. Everyone reading this has an enormous amount of power. Cultural power, mostly. The ability to speak up, to paint a picture of a different way, to share words and images with those that care to hear them. But also the power of connection. The power to find people who need to know each other and help make magic happen.

Will the Monograph Experience a Transition to E-Only? (Scholarly Kitchen)
The scholarly literature incorporates a number of different material types. Reference publishing and collections have perhaps been transformed more than any other content type; why should a database be issued in print format at all? Journals and other serials have transitioned away from the print format in so many cases to the point where publishers are winding down even humanistic titles, or considering how and when to do so.


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