In its opening on Tuesday, the eighth annual Digital Book World conference in New York City attracted some 650 registrants. This year’s new structure included four distinct programming tracks and a “captain” for each:
● Laura Dail for Editors, Authors, and Agents;
● Bill Kasdorf for Production, Distribution, and Operations;
● Rick Pascocello for Marketing and Sales; and
● Kempton Mooney for Data, Analytics, and Marketing.
And while few surprises came out of the key sessions on Tuesday (January 17), it was interesting to hear Macmillan CEO John Sargent say as he opened his keynote that when conference attendees were asked to submit questions ahead of the event, “Oddly enough, almost none of the questions had anything to do with digital—here at Digital Book World.”
‘The Good News and the Bad News’
This had played into what Sargent wanted to say, however, about the abiding thrust of the industry’s work. While he sees “a bit of hand-wringing, still, on the digital dark side,” seven years into the digital disruption of publishing, “ink-and-paper books continue to be the favorite, not only the way for the population as a whole but for our kids to read.”
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Pearson to Sell Stake in Penguin Random House (PW)
Faced with worse-than-expected results in its North American higher education publishing business, Pearson said this morning that it is putting its 47-percent stake in Penguin Random House up for sale. Pearson has held its share in PRH since it merged Penguin with Bertelsmann’s Random House in 2013, with Bertelsmann controlling a 53-percent stake in the giant trade publisher.
Pearson to Slash Ebook Rental Prices by 50% in Digital Push (Bookseller)
Pearson plans to launch its own print rental program for courseware and reduce ebook rental prices by up to 50 percent as it bids to accelerate its shift to digital.
Leak Indicates Microsoft Will Try Again at Selling Ebooks (Pub Lunch)
Leaks from this spring’s Creators Update to the Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system suggest that Microsoft is yet again trying to establish a presence in the ebook market. In this first look on MSPowerUser, which contains screenshots of the new feature, we learn that a “new e-book store will be integrated into the Windows Store as a dedicated section where users will be able to buy books from a range of different publishers and authors.
For Books, VMI in Warehouses Might Happen Before VMI in Stores (Mike Shatzkin)
The sales-and-returns convention by which most books are sold by most publishers to their retail and wholesale accounts is too often described as “consignment”. It actually isn’t. Actual consignment terms would give us a quite different supply chain, and we may be closer than most people imagine to shifting to it. Although major trade accounts do purchase their stock from publishers with the rights to return unsold stock for full (or nearly full) credit, this is quite different from true consignment in a number of ways.
How to Research Your Novel… And When to Stop (Creative Penn)
I love book research. It’s one of the most fun parts of the book creation process for me, but I definitely need to make sure I don’t disappear down the rabbit-hole of research and forget to actually write! In this article, I’ll explain how to conduct research for your books, how to organize and manage the information you find, plus how to know when to stop researching and start writing.
How to Win at Publishing Now (Futurebook)
Digital has already transformed every area of the publishing industry – but we’re only just getting started. As we enter the fourth industrial revolution of wearable and connected devices, there will be countless more opportunities for us to adapt and evolve. However, that will require every one of us to understand the tech, build a culture that embraces digital ways of working, and boost our skills as individuals – a far from easy task.
Audiobooks.com Brings Digital Audiobooks into the Home with Sonos (DBW)
Audiobooks.com subscribers can listen to their content of choice through Sonos speakers, offering high-quality sound in every room of their homes.
Cambridge University Press: A Marked Improvement in MARC Records (Pub Perspectives)
In a major focus on its metadata, Cambridge University Press is working this year to improve the discoverability of its material for library users.
Follett, VitalSource Partner on One-click Access to 80,000+ Digital Titles (DBW)
A collaboration between Follett Higher Education and Ingram’s VitalSource makes it easier for college students to access their digital learning materials.