How One Publisher Is Revitalizing Language Learning

language learning, apps, digital publishingIn this series of conversations with independent publishers, we’ll hear from some truly innovative people. These people are making waves, throwing shapes and shaking up different areas of the publishing industry.

It’s rewarding to speak with entrepreneurs who love what they do and believe in their mission. Last month, I was alerted to the presence of One Third Stories, a brilliant new publisher co-founded by Alex Somervell and Jonny Pryn. This inventive London-based duo are revitalizing language learning for kids with their unique storybooks.

This week, I spoke to Pryn about what drives them and how they view the industry.

Hi, Jonny. Thanks for taking the time to chat to me. Firstly, could you tell us a little about One Third Stories, and what you’re all about?

Much more.

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Self-published Titles 22% of UK Ebook Market (Bookseller)
Sales of self-published ebooks accounted for 22 percent of the digital book market in the UK last year, although growth in overall ebook sales is slowing. Steve Bohme, research director at Nielsen Book UK, said self-published titles rose from 16 percent of the ebook market in 2014 to over a fifth of the market (22 percent) in 2015. At the same time he said ebook sales grew by 5 percent in volume in 2015—a lower growth rate than in 2013 and 2014, leading to the e-book share of books only rising marginally last year by 1 percent to 27 percent of the market from 26% in 2014.

HarperCollins Signs Audiobook Deal with hoopla digital (DBW)
HarperCollins announced a new audiobooks deal today with hoopla digital, a free service that offers library patrons online and mobile access to more than 450,000 movies, ebooks, music and more. The publisher is offering its entire digital audiobooks catalog to the service, including Veronica Roth’s Divergent series, C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia series, and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird.

For Children’s Books, Popular Franchises Dominate (PW)
From movie tie-ins to old favorites, our 2015 Facts and Figures compilation of children’s bestsellers reveals a wide range of titles, not dominated by one franchise as in many previous years. Our lists are based on print unit sales at outlets that report to Nielsen BookScan, which tracks roughly 80 percent of the print market. Here we compile the books that sold more than 100,000 copies in four categories: Hardcover Frontlist, Paperback Frontlist, Hardcover Backlist, and Paperback Backlist.

Balaraba Ramat Yakubu: Translating Injustice into Inspiration (Pub Perspectives)
Turning her own story into women’s rights advocacy, Nigeria’s Balaraba Ramat Yakubu is the first female Hausa-language writer to be translated into English.

Polish Publishers, Politicians Struggle With Textbook Policies (Pub Perspectives)
The earlier government’s free textbook mandate is cited for closures of a number of Polish publishers. A plan for e-textbooks remains in question.

London Book Fair Adds Julian Fellowes to Author Line-up (DBW)
In a press release, the London Book Fair announced: “The London Book Fair has unveiled a glittering author line-up for 2016 including Julian Fellowes, Audrey Niffenegger, Jeffrey Archer and many more.”

Market Overview for Poland: Last Hope for Fixed Book Prices? (DBW)
In a press release, the Frankfurt Book Fair announced: “Following its successful debut in 2015, Frankfurt Book Fair’s opening conference THE MARKETS will once again shift the focus to seven book and media markets.” The markets in 2016 are: Poland, Brazil, United Kingdom, The Netherlands & Flanders, The Philippines, Spain and United Arabic Emirates.

The Biggest Misconception About Scholarly Publishing (Scholarly Kitchen)
Scholarly publishing, like any industry or profession is subject to interpretation, from within, from without, from adjacent industries and from random people walking down the street. As the discourse surrounding scholarly publishing increases, we thought it would be informative to Ask The Chefs: What is the biggest misconception people have about scholarly publishing?


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