“In a world where users can access entertainment from their mobile devices anytime and anyplace,” writes Scribd COO Eric Shoup, “all forms of media are competing against each other for a resource that is quickly becoming scarce: user attention.
“Media consumption patterns are increasingly mobile, increasingly digital and often multi-platform. This evolution has created a “multi-tasking” form of consumption, in which users rarely give their full, undivided attention to a single media source from start to finish in one uninterrupted session. In fact, a recent study revealed that this multitasking behavior means that the average American is fitting in 31 hours of activity on a daily basis—many more hours of activity than there are in a day. This is only possible with multi-tasking, with users listening to music while they exercise, or playing a game while they watch TV, or listening to a podcast while they read.
“The study shows that users spend 19 minutes of the day reading, but more than 1 ½ hours on social networks and more than five hours watching video. Of course, these sessions aren’t all in one sitting and probably not even of the same content. In a recent user research project we conducted at Scribd, we found more than one participant reading five or more books at the same time—through small portions of each intermittently as time permitted and the interest struck them.
“Reading is facing an uphill battle against other forms of media in the fight for attention.”
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Books in Browsers 2016 (Pub Perspectives)
“This is the edge of the future of publishing”: Peter Brantley on the future of the industry and of Books in Browsers, with BiB VII scheduled for November 3 and 4 in San Francisco.
The Adult Coloring Book Boom Continues (PW)
Adult coloring book sales have slowed somewhat since the holiday frenzy of 2015, but the category is still one of the hottest segments in the industry. This has publishers and media companies—including some that have never before published a book—looking to experiment with the form and find more ways to get their titles to stand out in a crowded marketplace.
Every Business Book Is a Start-up (BookMachine)
It’s a terrible irony of nonfiction publishing that the people with the most interesting things to say are often too busy actually doing their thing to sit down and write a book about it. Business leaders are not natural writers, at least not usually. They’re often great communicators, especially on a conference stage or in a training workshop, but writing a book is a sustained, lonely effort and there’s no reason why your average extrovert entrepreneur should be any good at it.
Compelling Back Cover Copy (IngramSpark)
The back cover copy you write for your book is among the most important marketing messages you’ll craft. It’s the essence of your book’s most exciting features, distilled into a few hundred words. It typically serves as the foundation for your online book descriptions, as well as any press releases or pitches you make to the media. It will get re-used and re-fashioned for dozens of purposes. Whatever labor you expend on perfecting it will reward you in the long run.
10 (Practically) Cringe-less Self-Promotion Ideas for Authors (PW)
Confession: no word gives me more angst than the boastful, hyphenated noun self-promotion. The thought of soliciting book sales from my middle school crush on Facebook is downright creepy. Moreover, prowling around on social media websites in search of new friends and followers is a complete time suck. “Self-promotion isn’t for me,” I confided to an author friend the night of my first book release party. Biting into a salmon mousse canapé, she smirked, as if she knew so much better. (Spoiler alert: she did.)
Germany’s Publishers’ Forum: Bedeviled by Data (Pub Perspectives)
A reluctant industry? At Publishers’ Forum in Berlin, a first day of sessions has exposed what some see to be a surprisingly entrenched reluctance to embrace data’s central role in building relationships with consumers.
Library Usage Falls 14.3 Percentage Points Since 2005 (Bookseller)
There has been a “significant” decrease in public library usage over the last nine years with usage falling from 14.3 percentage points since 2005, new figures have revealed.
Who Is the Book Fair for? (Bookseller)
By contrast to its outsized cousin, the London Book Fair has always been a gentle affair. Apart from anything else, it is principally about the US and UK (and it’s smaller). Perhaps the most crushing thing about a first visit to the Frankfurt Book Fair is the realization one is sharing a building with tens of thousands of publishing types. It is a stern test of one’s sense of individuality…
The Hard Work of Bookselling (PW)
So often people romanticize bookstore life as one of sitting comfortably, usually in a rocking chair, reading all day. This image, while lovely, is very far from the truth of bookstore life. The first thing I tell people who think we read all day is, well, actually, if you see staffers at bookstores reading, the store is likely to go out of business soon. We are busy all day and store work is surprisingly physical. The days can be long and there is a lot of hauling of boxes and many steps taken on a regular day, but throw offsite events into the mix and you really don’t need to belong to a gym.
Pearson Has Expected Q1 Decline (Pub Lunch)
Pearson issued a first quarter “trading update” in connection with their annual meeting. As expected, results were weak, with overall sales down 6 percent, “in line with expectations.” They say Penguin Random House “had a solid first-quarter performance with a strong bestseller performance and net integration benefits partly offset by reduced demand for ebooks, following industry-wide changes in terms in 2015.”
Australian Government Proposes Dropping Book Import Restrictions (Pub Lunch)
Australia’s publishing (and bookselling) business has remained protected by “parallel import restrictions” that have kept the country relatively de-Amazoned — but just as American antitrust law has been favoring low consumer prices over market consolidation, the Australian government is prioritizing lower prices for books over protecting the local publishing business. The Australian Government Productivity Commission just issued a draft report on intellectual property arrangements that recommends repeal of parallel import restrictions for books “in order for the reform to take effect no later than the end of 2017.”
A Few Words with Nigeria’s Richard Ali (Pub Perspectives)
At the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, Nigerian publisher and writer Richard Ali talks about the multilingual hurdles faced by those working in publishing in Africa.