The Surprise Transformation in Our Industry

The Surprise Transformation in Our IndustryIn the opening session of yesterday’s Launch Kids conference at Digital Book World 2016, Sourcebooks CEO and Publisher Dominique Raccah spoke to the innovations her company is making, as well as the greater trends in the children’s/young adult book publishing sector.

“The surprise transformation in our industry,” Raccah said, “is the persistence of traditional books.”

Ninety percent of teens, according to Raccah, read physical books, and 40 percent read exclusively physical books. Children and teens are “not abandoning traditional forms of entertainment.”

Physical books, Raccah said, are “actually a social statement, “a point of view,” “a way of expressing oneself.”

Much more.

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Andrew Rhomberg: How and Why We Measure a Book’s Audience (DBW)
In his workshop at Digital Book World 2016 titled “Data-Smart Publishing,” Jellybooks Founder Andrew Rhomberg described the process by which his company measures reader analytics, and also explained why publishers should be paying more attention to this growing field. The problem, Rhomberg said, is that authors and publishers cannot effectively measure reader engagement. “We still know almost nothing about readers, according to Rhomberg, “especially in trade publishing.”

David Kleeman: Discovering Storytelling Possibilities with Technology (DBW)
In a talk at yesterday’s Launch Kids conference at Digital Book World 2016 called “Children’s Global Media Landscape,” David Kleeman, senior vice president of global trends at Dubit, discussed how artificial intelligence, virtual reality and augmented reality are changing how kids consume stories. With smartphones and tablets allowing them to access limitless amounts of content, Kleeman argued that storytelling not only exists through books but also games and apps.

Finding Your Most Valuable Customers with Data (DBW)
At Nielsen’s mini-conference at Digital Book World 2016, Vice President of Analytics & Insights Jo Henry taught participants how to find authors’ most valuable customers. She showed that analyzing demographics, values, discovery behavior and taste preferences will allow authors and booksellers to maximize profit.

Librarians Say Kids Prefer Physical Books (DBW)
During the “I’m a Librarian – Ask Me Anything” panel at today’s Launch Kids conference at Digital Book World 2016, librarians and literacy advocates discussed kids’ preference for physical books, and the role of ebooks as supplementary reading material. The talk was moderated by Carol Fitzgerald, president of The Book Report Network, and included Richard Watson of Baker & Taylor, literacy advocate and teacher Donna Rasmussen, and Melissa Jacobs, who is coordinator in the Office of Library Services for the New York City Department of Education.

What It Takes to Create Digital Learning Products for Kids (DBW)
At a discussion at the Launch Kids conference at Digital Book World 2016, Ashley Anderson Zantop of Capstone and CJ Kettler of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt talked about what it takes to create innovative digital learning products for kids. While both speakers agreed that kids prefer physical books over ebooks, they argued that kids actually prefer digital products when they elevate their learning experiences.

Jonathan Taplin’s Drive for a ‘Digital Renaissance’ (Pub Perspectives)
Jonathan Taplin—film producer and Annenberg director—will lead Digital Book World’s keynotes with a warning: publishing may be “sleeping through a revolution.”

Amazon’s La Jolla Bookstore to Open This Summer (Pub Lunch)
After advertising for bookstore staff for a new outpost in “the La Jolla or San Diego area,” it’s now clear that Amazon Books will open a store in La Jolla’s Westfield UTC mall, “coming this summer.”

5 Steps to Great Cover Art (Jane Friedman)
If you follow these five steps to commissioning great cover art, you’ll not only wind up with a piece of art of which you can be proud, but you’ll also keep yourself from damaging relationships that you will want to last you a lifetime.

Supreme Court Denies Apple’s Request for Appeal (Pub Lunch)
Yesterday the Supreme Court released results from their Friday Conference, indicating that they denied Apple’s request to have their appeal of the ebook antitrust case heard. The Court’s denial of cert. brings the lawsuit to an end, and also means Apple’s monetary settlement with the state attorneys general and the consumer class providing $400 million in compensation to consumers (plus $50 million in attorney fees) will now proceed.

Scholastic and We Need Diverse Books Expand Collaboration (Pub Perspectives)
Scholastic and the non-profit organization We Need Diverse Books has announced that they are expanding their collaboration in order to put more books by diverse authors with diverse characters into schools.

SoA Seeks New Law to Protect Authors (Bookseller)
The Society of Authors (SoA) is lobbying the government to introduce a new law to protect authors’ and creators’ contracts. Chief executive Nicola Solomon told The Bookseller the SoA is working with the Creative Rights Alliance and other organisations on draft legislation to make changes to the law within “the coming couple of years.”


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