Author Archives: DBW

Barnes & Noble Ronald Boire Nook bookstores retail bookselling

Barnes & Noble Selects New CEO to Refocus on Retail

The bookseller appoints Ronald D. Boire, the current head of Sears Canada, to serve as CEO of Barnes & Noble’s retail division beginning in early September. He is set to continue at the helm of the bookstore business that will remain after Barnes & Noble spins off its college division this summer. Boire will succeed Michael Huseby, who will become Executive...

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Scribd Culls Romance Ebooks from Subscription Platform

The subscription content platform Scribd alerts its publishing partners that it’s dropping an undisclosed number of romance and erotica titles from its ebook catalog. The news, shared late yesterday by Smashwords CEO Mark Coker, renews questions about the viability of the subscription model for ebooks at a time when Amazon has overhauled its  compensation model on Kindle...

Apple ebook antitrust price-fixing Denise Cote

Court Rejects Apple’s Appeal of Ebook Price-Fixing Ruling

The U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals today upholds the 2013 ruling of Judge Denise Cote that found Apple guilty of conspiring with leading trade publishers to fix the price of ebooks, in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act. The two-to-one decision requires Apple to begin issuing settlement payouts to customers, a sum that’s been estimated...

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Disney Folds Publishing into New Interactive Media Division

The Walt Disney Company combines the division that houses its children’s publishing business with its interactive media division, in a move the company frames as a reaction to “changing consumer preferences” in a tech-driven market. Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media will be overseen jointly by the heads of the two categories it brings together—Leslie...

Baker & Taylor collectionHQ library ebooks

Baker & Taylor Expands Tools to Help Libraries Buy Wisely

The library content distributor expands a pilot program with collectionHQ, the data analytics service for public libraries, to help librarians make acquisitions geared to patron demand. Called “evidence-based selection planning” (ESP) the program integrates collectionHQ’s analytics tools with Baker & Taylor’s Title Source 360 ordering platform. “Using powerful circulation-based data analytics,” a press release explains,...

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Library Content Platform Hoopla Digital Adds DC Comics

hoopla digital, the digital library content distributor, expands its offering of digital comics in a deal with DC Entertainment. The platform has made a range of multimedia content available to library patrons since it was launched by Midwest Tape in 2013, including video, music, audiobooks and digital comics, all of which can be access...

Scribd Librify social e-reading subscription ebooks

Scribd Acquires Librify, Bulking up on Social E-Reading

The subscription-based content provider Scribd acquires Librify, a social e-reading platform, for undisclosed terms. Librify was founded in 2013 and launched publicly last summer as a “Goodreads plus a book-of-the-month retail platform,” according to co-founder and CEO Joanna Stone Herman. Scribd plans to use the start-up’s social features in order to develop a more robust social e-reading...

Playster Findaway subscription ebooks digital audiobooks

Parterning with Findaway, Playster Adds 50,000 Subscription Audiobooks

The multimedia subscription platform Playster is still in a beta phase, but the Montreal-based start-up is busy bulking up its catalog. A new partnership with the digital content distributor Findaway brings some 50,000 digital audiobooks to Playster’s offering. The deal marks Playster’s first foray into audiobooks, rounding out a catalog that also offers ebooks, video, TV, games...

W3C MathML STM publishers web standards markup language

MathML Language Certified an International Standard

MathML 3.0, the markup language used to render mathematical expressions online and in other digital content, gets the imprimatur of two international standards organizations. With MathML, mathematical formulas can be made interactive, rather than being published as static representations of mathematical concepts or equations. Advocates see that capability as one of the language’s chief virtues in...

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Smashwords Lets Users Offer Preorders without Final Ebook Files

In a move it calls its “most ambitious feature ever, the popular self-publishing platform Smashwords allows authors to begin selling preorders of their titles up to one year before uploading the final assets—a finished manuscript and cover image—to its system. Smashwords has offered preordering capabilities for over two years, but so far only for titles whose files...

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Penguin Random House and Amazon Reach New Ebook Deal

The world’s largest trade publisher today confirms it’s reached a multi-year agreement for Amazon to distribute its print and digital titles in the US and U.K., becoming the final Big Five publisher to do so. A spokesperson for Penguin Random House, speaking to Publishers Weekly, declined to give further details about the terms of the...

Amazon Refreshes Kindle Paperwhite E-Reader

The latest version of Amazon’s popular Kindle Paperwhite e-reader is available for preorder starting today. The device retails for $119 and will ship on June 30. The new Kindle Paperwhite improves on the screen resolution of its predecessor, with a 300 ppi display featuring twice the pixels of the earlier model. It also utilizes Bookerly, Kindle’s recently designed default...

Oyster Lumin ebook e-reading

Oyster Adds Light-Adjusting Technology for Easier E-Reading

Oyster, the ebook subscription service and retailer, adds a new feature to its e-reading platform that adjusts the color and brightness of mobile users’ screens in order to improve the e-reading experience. Called Lumin, the software decreases the amount of blue light emitted by LED screens, which some recent research has suggested can be harmful to readers’...

Highlights and Hot Topics from BookExpo America 2015

Like most big, annual trade conferences, BookExpo America was many things to many people. The sheer volume and variety of programming, not to mention all the news and announcements that broke during the three-day event last month, made for quite a lot to absorb. That’s why we’ve put together a special mid-month issue, the second in...

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ALA Slams Bid to Modernize U.S. Copyright Office

The American Library Association (ALA) says a bill now up for consideration in Congress does too little to address what it sees as the issues plaguing the U.S. Copyright Office. ALA President Courtney Young says the Copyright Office for the Digital Economy (CODE) Act doesn’t solve the issue of severe underinvestment in technological resources...

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Amazon Hit with Ebook Antitrust Probe in Europe

Expanding its regulatory scrutiny of the biggest U.S. technology companies, the European Commission (EC) today opens an investigation into Amazon’s ebook contracts with publishers in the European Union. A key area of concern are clauses requiring publishers to inform Amazon of terms with its competitors that may be favorable, a practice the EC says may “make it...

Inkshares crowdfunding crowdsourcing ebook publishing start-up Twitter

Inkshares Lets Users Crowdsource Book Ideas on Twitter

There’s good news for anyone with an idea for a book that can be summed up in 140 characters or less. The crowdsourced publishing start-up Inkshares introduces a feature allowing users to tweet those capsule concepts and see whether they’ll actually take shape. Called Inkshares Ideas, the company bills the new feature as a sort of...

AAP Association of American Publishers StatShot ebook sales

New AAP Figures Show Ebook Growth Mostly Flat

The Association of American Publishers (AAP) introduces new, full-year snapshot of the U.S. book market in 2014. The program, called StatShot Annual, is distinct from both the monthly StatShot reports the organization releases and the now retired BookStats program. With a sample size somewhat larger than that of the monthly report (based on some 1,200 publishers),...

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IPR License Adds NetGalley Integration

The rights platform IPR License partners with NetGalley to allow its users to request digital review copies. IPR License is pushing to make its platform more attractive to rights-holders seeking to license content worldwide. In March the company launched a campaign designed to help self-published authors monetize their work in foreign markets. For NetGalley, the new...

Simon & Schuster to Distribute Gallup Titles

Simon & Schuster signs a global sales and distribution agreement with Gallup Press, the research organization’s publishing arm. Effective January 1, 2016, the deal puts Simon & Schuster in charge of distributing all of Gallup’s English-language print and ebooks around the world, as well as translated titles in certain markets. The agreement covers both front- and back-list titles. In an...

Survey: What’s Next for Children’s Content?

The children’s book market is a subject of considerable debate among authors and publishers. Are young readers fundamentally different from their elders? If so, in what ways? Research over the past year or two has painted sometimes conflicting pictures of the children’s market, with some saying millennials are more than happy sticking with print, and others...

Actively Learn HarperCollins ebooks e-reading learning K-12 education publishing

HarperCollins Adds Ebooks to K-12 E-Reading Platform

In a deal announced yesterday, HarperCollins adds “thousands” of popular trade ebooks to Actively Learn, a digital content platform for K-12 students. Actively Learn aims to make it cheaper for school districts to access learning content than the typical costs of buying print or digital titles a la carte. It says its e-reading platform and content...

Digital Book World Launches Free Booklet Series, Revamps Membership Program

For those who work in digital publishing, keeping up with the conversations at the heart of the industry isn’t always easy. News of partnerships, staffing changes, product launches and start-up entrances and exits either seem to whip by too fast or start to feel redundant. The popular DBW Daily email newsletter condenses that flood of news and information into a...

Do Publishers Innovate Too Slowly? Can Start-ups Help?

“Books gestate very slowly,” veteran publishing entrepreneur Richard Nash observed at IDPF’s Digital Book 2015 conference at BookExpo America in New York City yesterday. “But the life-cycles of start-ups are much shorter.” When it comes to driving innovation, Nash asked, is that mismatch a problem, an advantage or something else altogether? Start-up leaders who joined Nash on yesterday’s panel couldn’t answered that question...

HarperCollins Expands LibreDigital Contract for Global Ebooks

HarperCollins extends its partnership with the R. R. Donnelley–owned Libre Digital for global ebook services and metadata management. The multi-year agreement allows HarperCollins to leverage LibreDigital’s Harvest platform, which the company describes in an announcement today as offer tools that help “publishers to scale their digital businesses globally while maintaining visibility and control of their...

HarperCollins Shazam digital ebook mobile marketing discovery readers

HarperCollins Partners with Shazam on Interactive Mobile Marketing

HarperCollins and Shazam team up to offer mobile users access to interactive multimedia content, including “author interviews, special offers, videos, playlists and more,” according to an announcement the publisher released today. The Shazam logo will now appear on certain HarperCollins print and digital titles, and readers who scan their devices across it will automatically launch a...

Discovery Challenges Mount in a Reader-Driven World

Editors and imprints are steadily losing the ability to dictate how their content is curated and discovered, says Canelo co-founder Michael Bhaskar, speaking at the International Digital Publishing Forum’s Digital Book 2015 conference at BookExpo America in New York City this morning. That power, as Bhasksar sees it, has devolved to readers. Or, at...

HarperCollins Adds Ebooks to Follett’s Pre-K–12 Offering

[Press Release] Follett to Offer HarperCollins eBooks to PreK-12 Students Nationwide New agreement supports Follett’s continuing effort to drive literacy; available titles to include Harper Lee’s anticipated ‘Go Set a Watchman’ MCHENRY, Ill., May 27, 2015 – Follett today announced it has launched a robust collection of nearly 18,000 ebook titles for PreK-12 students through...

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Kobo Entices Booksellers to Sell Ebooks

Expanding its partnership with the American Booksellers Association (ABA), Kobo launches a program that rewards booksellers for getting customers to try ebooks. Called “eRead Local” and due to kick off later this summer, the initiative offers booksellers $5 for every new customer they drive to Kobo, plus a $5 credit for customers toward their first...

DBW16 Digital Book World

Survey: What Matters Now in Digital Publishing?

The Digital Book World Conference + Expo 2016 is now roughly nine months away, and a program that reflects the emerging issues and challenges facing the industry is already taking shape. The unprecedented depth and breadth of programming this year’s conference delivered was the product of intensive conversations with thought leaders and research into publishers’ most pressing concerns and...

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Macmillan Adds Ebooks to Subscription Platform Epic!

Macmillan becomes the third Big Five publisher, after HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster, to partner with the children’s ebook subscription service Epic!, in a deal announced today. The agreement makes “a few hundred” of Macmillan’s back-list ebooks available on Epic!’s catalog, which currently numbers more than 10,000 titles. According to the company’s co-founder Kevin Donahue, Epic!...

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Sharpening Global Focus, Scribd Adds to Front-List Catalog for Australia

The subscription content platform Scribd adds more than 200 front-list ebooks to the catalog available to Australian readers, including best-selling titles from Simon & Schuster, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Harlequin Australia. According to a Scribd spokesperson, the company is focused on taking a targeted approach to international growth, “and one of the main ways we’re accomplishing that...