2015 was a big year for libraries’ digital efforts, with a record number of readers borrowing ebooks and digital audiobooks.
Overdrive, the leading supplier of digital content to libraries and schools, reported Tuesday that, in 2015, readers borrowed more than 169 million ebooks. This marked a 24-percent increase over 2014. There was also a notable spike in audiobook usage, which saw a faster growth rate than ebook library borrowing.
Some other notable stats include:
• Ebook circulation was 125 million (19-percent growth over 2014)
• Digital audiobook circulation was 43 million (36-percent growth over 2014)
• Streaming video circulation was up 83 percent over 2014
• 33 library systems circulated 1 million or more digital books in 2015
• Lending of digital magazines and newspapers grew significantly in 2015 (introduced in late 2014)
• Reader visits to OverDrive-powered library and school websites was 750 million (up 14 percent from 2014)
To get all the ebook and digital publishing news you need every day in your inbox at 8:00 AM, sign up for the DBW Daily today!
The Optimized Publisher: XML Sitemaps (DBW)
I would like to turn your attention to the Doodle Track Car, an award-winning toy that allows kids to draw a line (or print out their own racetrack) for a little racecar to obediently follow. Without the line, the car is lost. With the line, the toy will go anywhere you draw it to go. Search engine spiders have a similar makeup to the Doodle Track Car. Without direction, spiders don’t know what to index or where to start. Page titles and meta tags can provide some guidelines, but if you want to send the spiders to exact pages, then an XML (Extensible Markup Language) sitemap is the strongest path to your website content.
The Complete Guide to Query Letters: Nonfiction Books (Jane Friedman)
For years, I’ve offered a lengthy guide on how to write a query letter for a novel. When you’re pitching fiction to an agent or publisher through a query letter, your ultimate goal is to get your manuscript read. Therefore, the query is a sales piece, and it’s all about the art of seduction. A query letter for a nonfiction book isn’t all that different from a fiction query: you’re still trying to get an agent or editor interested in looking at your work, but that may mean a book proposal and sample chapters, rather than the full manuscript.
What’s Barnes & Noble’s Next Chapter? (CBS MoneyWatch)
The story of Barnes & Noble appears to be getting better. But plenty of plot twists are yet to come for the largest bricks-and-mortar book retailer as it battles larger rival Amazon for the hearts, minds and wallets of readers. Wall Street is betting on better times for Barnes & Noble, whose shares have plunged about 61 percent over the past year.
Microsoft’s View of the Future of Edtech (Pub Perspectives)
David Langridge, Microsoft’s Worldwide Education Senior Partner Development Director, discusses the future of edtech.
Bill Gates on Books and Blogging (NY Times)
Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, has emerged as a force in the publishing industry, thanks to the book reviews he posts on his blog, Gates Notes. Gates, who says he reads about 50 books a year, discussed his love of reading, how he makes his selections and what book Warren Buffett recommended. Here are excerpts from a recent email interview.
Penguin Random House Sells Author Solutions to Najafi (Pub Lunch)
Penguin Random House announced Tuesday morning that they finished 2015 in style, unloading the albatross of Author Solutions to an affiliate of Najafi Companies, for undisclosed terms. Former Penguin executive Andrew Phillips, who has been CEO of Author Solutions, is said to be staying with the self-publishing unit.
The Crowd, Your Work and a Choice (Seth Godin)
The crowd prefers sweets. The crowd gets on its feet when your band plays the big hit, and sits down for the new songs. The crowd is the group of people who don’t get what you do, who loom on the horizon as the reward for making your work more popular. And yet, the crowd continually gets more than it deserves, because people like you make work that matters. Work that you’re proud of.