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How Amazon Could Open ‘Profitable’ Retail Stores

How Amazon Could Open ‘Profitable’ Retail Stores

A Wall Street Journal story has propelled a rumor that Amazon will open 400 or more stores in malls into industry discussion. Nobody really knows whether it is true and, as I write this, Amazon has not commented for the record. If it is true, then I certainly am guilty of one wrong prediction....

Books That Don’t Start Strong Will Lose the Reader

Books That Don’t Start Strong Will Lose the Reader

“In the first post in this series, I introduced the notion of the ‘Internet of Bookish Things’ to describe how (e)books were now nodes on the Internet that could record how books are being read,” writes Andrew Rhomberg in a blog post for Digital Book World. “And in last week’s post, ‘Reading Fast and...

How to Pick the Best Ebook Format

How to Pick the Best Ebook Format

“As a book designer, I understand the desire to mirror a book’s print design with its ebook counterpart,” writes Kevin Callahan in a blog post for Digital Book World. “But as an ebook reader and developer, I know that print publications are different enough from their digital versions that one design does not always...

Mike Shatzkin: Publishing ‘at a Fragile Moment’

Mike Shatzkin: Publishing ‘at a Fragile Moment’

The Digital Book World Conference + Expo is right around the corner, taking place March 7th-9th in New York. And to find out more about some of the programming that’s scheduled, as well as some insight into the state of the book publishing industry, we sat down with Mike Shatzkin, CEO of The Idea...

A Look at How Three Publishers Are Doing It

A Look at How Three Publishers Are Doing It

The publishing industry has encountered plenty of change in the past decade, most acutely due to the consumers’ mass adoption of digital content, which has been widely reported. Accordingly, the old stalwarts have been forced to adapt in a competitive environment, and this has opened up opportunities for smaller, more agile publishing groups to...

Why Ebook Markup Is a Sign of a Publisher’s Health

Why Ebook Markup Is a Sign of a Publisher’s Health

“I see the presence and proper use of semantic markup in the production process as one of the signs of the health of a publisher,” writes Joshua Tallent in a blog post for Digital Book World. “While this may not have been as true just 10 years ago, the publishing world has changed considerably...

Reading Fast and Slow – Observing Book Readers in Their Natural Habitat

Observing Book Readers in Their Natural Habitat

“In last week’s post, I introduced the notion of the ‘Internet of Bookish Things,’ and how (e)books were now nodes on the Internet that could record how books are being read,” writes Andrew Rhomberg. “In this week’s post, I will begin the exploration of what we can learn using this new ‘superpower.’” “One of...

The (Real) Future of Publishing

What Is the Real Future of Publishing?

My seven-year-old is a voracious reader. Long gone are the days when I had to read something to him or hope that he missed the inappropriate language spray-painted on a street sign. Now I’m in the process of teaching him that not everything he reads is true or completely accurate. And the same can...

Playster Capitalizing on Oyster’s Shutdown, Scribd’s Reduction

Playster Capitalizing on Oyster’s Shutdown, Scribd’s Reduction

Playster, which bills itself as “the all-inclusive, global media and entertainment platform,” came out of beta in December, entering the ever-changing field of ebook subscription services. What distinguishes Playster from similar efforts, though, is that “inclusivity” the company touts: users can bundle ebooks, audiobooks, movies, music and games all under one service. With Playster...

Why It’s Time to Focus on IP Rights

Why It’s Time to Focus on IP Rights

Copyright, intellectual property and licensing might not sound like the most colorful of subject matters, but that should certainly not deter from their importance, especially within the publishing industry. “Some may consider these areas of the market as being less flexible or less prone to change than others,” writes Tom Chalmers in a blog...

John Ingram on the State of Publishing

John Ingram on the State of Publishing

John Ingram, chairman and CEO of Ingram Content Group, has been leading the successful transformation of the company for some time now. And what was once primarily a book wholesaler has become a comprehensive, innovation-driven company that, founder and Ingram’s father, E. Bronson Ingram, may not recognize. John Ingram will be one of the...

All About the Internet of Bookish Things

All About the Internet of Bookish Things

The Internet of Things, or IoT for short, is one of those buzzwords that is making the rounds in Silicon Valley. Earlier this month, many of the electronic gadgets on display at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas were connected cars, autonomous drones, Internet-connected thermostats (Nest) and others. Sensors and Internet connectivity are...

Independent Publishers in a Modern World

Independent Publishers in a Modern World

When we presented our analysis of Search Engine Optimization factors amongst independent book publishers more than 16 weeks ago, we began a journey that I hoped would be eye-opening to the participants and Digital Book World readers alike. What we’ve learned on our way has certainly been enlightening—a chance to view achievements, challenges and...

The Mousetrap of Better Book Discovery

The Mousetrap of Better Book Discovery

Remember ebooks? Those were the days, weren’t they? Those crazy few years when the fad of reading on a Kindle swept the nation. Now, of course, that fit of mass hysteria is behind us. Ebook sales are falling, down more than 10 percent in 2015—YA down 44 percent—while used bookstores are coming back. Yes,...

When Will Content Be Truly Mobile?

When Will Content Truly Be Mobile?

Here’s a radical idea: sell the all-in-one edition where my print purchase also includes the ebook and audio formats. We’re seeing the beginnings of this with alternate format add-ons, like Amazon’s Audible narration and Kindle MatchBook; the former brings audio to the ebook and the latter provides a discounted Kindle edition if you’ve already...

There Is Revenue That Publishers Are Preventing Themselves from Getting

There Is Revenue That Publishers Are Preventing Themselves from Getting

In a blog post, Mike Shatzkin writes: “In our Logical Marketing work with partner Peter McCarthy over the past couple of years, helping publishers with the next-phase challenges of digital marketing, we have identified three specific cross-functional opportunities that exist in every publishing house that are especially difficult for the biggest ones to address...

Publishers Must Dig for the Data Beneath Their Content

Publishers Must Dig for the Data Beneath Their Content

The theme this month here on Digital Book World is data and analytics. We are all hyper-aware of the data that is outside our books (metadata). Simon & Schuster CEO Carolyn Reidy made that point very well last year when she gave an example to Publishers Weekly about the success that came from adding...

Blurb Announces New CEO; Gittins Stays on as Chairman

Blurb Announces New CEO; Gittins Stays on as Chairman

Book and magazine self-publishing platform Blurb announced on Tuesday that Todd Larsen has been appointed Chief Executive Officer. Larsen succeeds Founder and CEO Eileen Gittins, who becomes Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors as well as an advisor to the company. “I am honored and excited to lead Blurb into its next phase...

How Publishers Are Squandering Their Data

How Publishers Are Squandering Their Data

Who has access to the data that can best predict how readers will spend their money? Who has data on how people read books—how far they get, how many they buy, how often they buy, whether their purchases cluster around certain dates? Who has the permission to contact readers by post, email or text—to...

The Future of Interactive Ebooks in Education

The Future of Interactive Ebooks in Education

Technology continues to revolutionize the way we go about our daily lives, and every generation benefits from enhanced learning experiences in their youth and beyond. Chalkboards have become smartboards, homework is accessible through online portals, and tablets have become a legitimate tool for education in the classroom. Furthermore, home learning has been significantly changed...

Amazon Has Won the Self-Publishing Market

Amazon Has Won the Self-Publishing Market

Penguin Random House, the largest book publisher in the world, is chopping off its self-publishing arm. The company said Tuesday that it has sold Author Solutions—the self-publishing author-tools platform that it bought in 2012—to an unnamed affiliate of US private equity firm Najafi Companies for an undisclosed sum. Whether driven by sinking profits or...

The Author Contract Battle Goes Global

The Author Contract Battle Goes Global

Dated January 5th, the Authors Guild’s open letter to the Association of American Publishers leads the loudest call yet for contract reform in publishing’s relations with authors. This is a coordinated campaign being mounted by the world’s key author-advocacy organizations. The letter’s signatories include the UK’s Society of Authors, the Authors Licensing and Collecting...

Libraries Lend Record Numbers of Ebooks and Audiobooks in 2015

Libraries Lend Record Numbers of Ebooks and Audiobooks in 2015

2015 was a big year for libraries’ digital efforts, with a record number of readers borrowing ebooks and digital audiobooks. Overdrive, the leading supplier of digital content to libraries and schools, reported Tuesday that, in 2015, readers borrowed more than 169 million ebooks. This marked a 24-percent increase over 2014. There was also a...

2016 Ebook Marketplace Hopes and Wishes

2016 Ebook Marketplace Hopes and Wishes

Rather than speculate on what might happen in the ebook sector this year, I thought it would be wiser to simply list the developments I’d like to see. So although some, and perhaps all, of these are a long shot, here’s my short list of hopes and wishes for the ebook market in the...

What Goes into a Successful Marketing Plan?

What Goes into a Successful Marketing Plan?

Today’s readers and book buyers are savvy. Ads are not enough to get a potential customer’s attention, and being bombarded daily with emails, texts, posts, tweets, shares, images and videos makes it incredibly easy, and more likely, for people to ignore ads. In fact, people are going out of their way to avoid ads,...

10 Industry Predictions for 2016

10 Industry Predictions for 2016

When trends become clear—from self-publishing to writer events to the boutique model of the industry to the re-growth of print sales and large publisher consolidation—I regularly point out in the office that I predicted them two or three years ago. Given that I’m generally met with bemused looks, I thought I would make an...

How Publishers Can Use Their Authors to Boost Sales

How Publishers Can Use Their Authors to Boost Sales

“Call me Ishmael.” “It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.” “It was a dark and stormy night.” These are the opening lines that have turned writers into authors and kept many a reader glued to the books and statements made by their favorite wordsmiths (Well, maybe not that last...

Why Publishers Must Use Direct Sales

How Modern Publishers Should Use Direct Sales

If you were writing a business plan to set up a new consumer goods business, which of the following two strategies would make most sense? Strategy 1: Identify a market which, while mature, has publicly suffered of late, and whose future is uncertain. Agree with these high-risk target customers that they can return your...

A Brief History of Sales Channels

A Brief History of Sales Channels

One definition I‘ve seen and like of a “sales channel” is “a method of distribution used by a business to sell its product.” The digital age we are currently in has certainly spawned a multitude of new sales channels, yet they still fall into two basic categories, whether you’re doing B2B or B2C: direct...

All About Footnotes in Ebook Design

All About Footnotes in Ebook Design

In previous posts we have been discussing the important parts of the front matter of an ebook. Now we will switch to discussing the back matter, starting with the topic of footnotes and endnotes. Footnotes are an important part of non-fiction writing. They allow authors to cite sources, refer to more information on a...

Amazon Bottlenecks Frustrating Indie Publishers

Amazon Bottlenecks Frustrating Indie Publishers

With publishers in the throes of the holiday season, where purchases can make or break the bottom line, some are experiencing critical issues with their biggest retail partner: Amazon. Supply chain hiccups have left the biggest titles from some publishers out-of-stock and unavailable for purchase at the all-important retailer. Several publishers, wholesalers, and distributors...

What Happened to Innovation in Publishing?

What Happened to Innovation in Publishing?

Remember the excitement surrounding the launch of Amazon’s Kindle eight years ago? It was a clunky device, even by 2007 standards, but it was revolutionary. One of the original Kindle’s breakthrough features was the ability to download books via cellular network. The e-ink display and extremely long battery life also led to its popularity...