Pronoun has an interesting history. It was incorporated seven years ago, in 2009, under the name “Vook,” a portmanteau of the words “video” and “book.” The fledgling company was started not long after the launch of the iPhone (2007), and Apple’s app market (2008) created excited speculation among publishing and technology pundits that enhanced books had bright prospects and that the digital future of publishing wasn’t staid ebooks displayed on e-ink screens, like Amazon’s Kindle, but rather books as apps for smartphones full of interactivity and multimedia capabilities, read on crisp, high resolution retina screens from Apple.
Marketing guru Seth Godin was one of Vook’s early customers, as were the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Vook’s mission was to publish digital books that combine text, video and links to the Internet and social media into singular applications available both online and as mobile applications. That is also a pretty good definition of what an “enhanced ebook” is or is supposed to be.
It didn’t work out that way. How wrong the pundits were. Readers embraced ebooks in significant numbers (now a quarter to one third of the market in English-speaking countries is comprised of ebooks—less in the rest of the world), but enhanced ebooks and books as apps never took off on a large scale.
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Facing Up to the Importance of Your Author Photo (IngramSpark)
If Helen’s face could launch a thousand ships, why can’t yours draw a few good readers? Maybe it’s because your picture looks like a boozy moment from your homecoming reunion at the old alma mater last fall. It’s ironic how many fine independent writers are fully onboard with professional-class editing, design, and production, and yet when it comes to their author photos, you’re likely to be looking at a gallery of amateurism. Raise your hand if a family member took your shot.
Global Study Finds Institutional Library Budgets to Increase 1.4% (DBW)
Publishers Communication Group, Ingenta’s publishing consultancy arm, announced the results of a study that found that institutional library budgets across the globe will increase by 1.4 percent overall this year. The worldwide study interviewed senior librarians in 686 institutional libraries,
Frankfurt’s The Markets: A Snapshot of The Philippines (Pub Perspectives)
With a 96-percent literacy rate reported in 2015, and a young population engaged in narrative, The Philippines is a study in contrasting opportunities and challenges in the lineup of The Markets: Global Publishing Summit in October at Frankfurt.
The Markets Conference to Examine Philippines (DBW)
The Markets, a one-day conference that kicks off the Frankfurt Book Fair, announced that it will “examine in greater detail” the Philippine book market.
How to Customize Your Email Newsletter Sign-Up Forms (Jane Friedman)
The connection with your email newsletter subscribers starts much sooner than you think. Connection begins somewhere unexpected, in a place that many gloss over or ignore altogether: your signup forms. Confession: I hate forms. Paperwork of any kind and digital forms make me crazy. Spreadsheets make me twitch. But the signup forms for email lists are so vastly important that I make an exception and dive down deep. You should too.
Children Who Grow Up with Books Earn More, Study Finds (Bookseller)
Children who grow up with a large number of books in the house earn more money later in life, according to a new study published in the Economic Journal.
Quick, Quick, Back (Bookseller)
In July 2008 when Waterstones revealed that it planned to stock Sony’s ebook device the Sony Reader in its stores,The Bookseller described the decision as “a bold one.” Almost 10 years on, I wonder what happened to that boldness. This month Waterstones announced its exit from the ebook market and although there’s no surprise in this—Waterstones may have been first into the waters, but Amazon was the stronger swimmer—nevertheless it feels final. And, understandable though it is, also regrettable.
Tutorial: How to Use BookBub Ads to Promote Any Book (BookBub)
BookBub Ads is a new way for advertisers — authors, publishers, agents, and other publishing professionals — to reach millions of power readers via dedicated ad space in BookBub’s daily email. When you create a BookBub Ads campaign, you decide which readers you want to target and how much you’re willing to pay for an impression from those readers (one opened email = one impression). When a reader opens an email, BookBub serves the ad of the highest bidder targeting that reader at that moment.
Indigo Posts C$28 Million Profit in Fiscal 2016 (PW)
Indigo Books & Music reported strong gains in sales and earnings for the fiscal year ended April 2, 2016. Revenue rose 11.0 percent over fiscal 2015, to C$994.2 million, and the chain had net earnings of C$28.6 million in fiscal 2016 compared to a loss of C$3.5 million in fiscal 2015. Results include one extra week of sales in fiscal 2016 compared to the prior year.