Where Books Fit in the World of Content

Where Books Fit in the World of ContentI originally wanted to title this article “So What Is a Book Anyway?” as the last few years have seen a shift in what actually constitutes a book.

Taking a step back, when we were children we were taught what a book was by being handed, naturally, a physical book. It had a cover that was hard, pages that could turn, and words that were read (and probably pictures, as well).

In recent years, however, with the proliferation of ebooks, books no longer have to be read in physical form. They can be read digitally over any number of devices.

Moreover, with the surge in audiobooks, a book no longer needs to be read by the reader, as, similar to when we were children, we can now have someone read it to us.

Much more.

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Is the Ebook Reader About to Stage a Comeback? (Bookseller)
Is the ebook reader about to stage a near miraculous comeback? I ask the question in light of Amazon’s decision to release a new high-end e-ink device, the Kindle Oasis, costing $290 in the US and £269.99 in the UK. Yes, that’s right, it’s a new device that is almost five times as expensive as the basic Kindle, more than twice as pricey as the Kindle Paperwhite, and double the cost of the Kindle Voyage.

New Model for Independent Bookstores (WSJ)
Only a few years back, some wondered if bookstores would survive the twin threats of heavily discounted online titles and easy-to-download ebooks. But the tide of digital book sales has begun to slow, spurring entrepreneurs to re-imagine the physical bookstore, in ways that can compete with the Web without having to match its lowest prices.

Netflix CEO Describes Publishing’s Dilemma (Thad McIlroy)
Netflix released its latest quarter earnings report Monday. In a Letter to Shareholders, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings described the competitive landscape the company faces. In doing so he framed the challenge faced today by all publishers, certainly all book, newspaper and magazine publishers. I’ll quote directly: “If you think about your last 30 days, and analyze the evenings you did not watch Netflix, you can understand how broad our competition really is. Whether you played video games, surfed the web, watched a DVD, TVOD, or linear TV, wandered through YouTube, read a book, streamed Hulu or Amazon, or pirated content (hopefully not), you can see the market for relaxation time and disposable income is huge, and we are but a little boat in a vast sea.”

Amazon Could Make Millions Selling Ebooks in Schools Next Year (Fortune)
Kids, power up your ebooks. Amazon could be coming to the New York City school district next year, shelling out everything from textbooks to story time tales on all kinds of devices for students. On Wednesday, the New York City Department of Education will vote on the proposed $30 million, three-year contract with Amazon, with an option to extend the virtual book-buying deal into a five-year program worth $64.5 million in sales for the company.

How to Save Money and Do Online Book Publicity Yourself (Jane Friedman)
I’ll be honest: publicity is not rocket science. If you are committed to the process, you can do it yourself. It will take you longer, and you will certainly spend many hours chasing opportunities, but you’ll save money. When you hire a PR expert, you are hiring them for their time, expertise, and contacts. Unfortunately, results are not guaranteed. Trust me—that fact is as frustrating for us in the field as it is for you.

HMH’s Subscription Platform ‘Curious World’ (Book Business)
In October 2015, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt launched its first subscription platform Curious World, an early learning app for children between the ages of 3 and 7. EVP and chief of consumer brands & strategy CJ Kettler says the launch was driven by the emergence of a new generation of parents that prefer to subscribe to their favorite forms of media, whether that’s through Netflix or Spotify. “We see this opportunity for subscription services where millennial parents will want a platform that provides content for their children, and we believe Curious World can fill that need.”

Cengage’s Michael Hansen: He’d Like to Teach the World (Pub Perspectives)
“More platform-based, less book-based” is where Cengage Learning finds its future. And this CEO in educational publishing speaks on April 28 to Berlin’s Publishers’ Forum with real insight into his trade colleagues’ challenges: “A novel is a novel is a novel.”

10 Book and Publishing Podcasts (Futurebook)
Just like there are many, many books to read, there are many, many podcasts about books to listen to. We round up 10 of the book and publishing podcasts that should be on your radar.

Tips to Make a Goodreads Impression (BookWorks)
Now more than ever, Goodreads is a fantastic tool to promote your book and interact with other readers. Many authors have jumped on the Goodreads bandwagon, so I’ve put together some tips to ensure that you are put your best foot forward by creating a profile that makes a great impression and forges connections.

Ontotext Releases New Version of Semantic Graph Database (DBW)
Semantic platform provider Ontotext announced today the release of the newest version of its semantic graph database, GraphDB. The newest version makes database setup and data access easier, according to the press release, improving implementation and monitoring of services, and is updated to handle latest versions of the W3C standards and third-party open source libraries.

Sony DADC Announces Collaboration with Datalogics (DBW)
From a press release: “Sony DADC today announced a strategic collaboration with Datalogics, Inc. to bring Sony DADC’s eBook DRM solution to customers looking for an innovative eBook distribution option.”

BookBub Follow Buttons for Your Author Website or Blog (BookBub)
Now that BookBub sends New Release Alerts, an author’s BookBub followers will receive an email whenever they launch a new book. The more followers the author has on BookBub, the more readers they’ll reach, and the more books they’ll sell. Authors, to help you get more BookBub followers, we’ve created buttons and social media icon sets for use on your websites or blogs. Simply link the BookBub image to your Author Profile. Publishers and agents, feel free to send these to your authors or website designers.


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