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ebook typograhy Kindle Bookerly Literata

Why New Ebook Fonts Fall Short

There’s been much ado recently about Bookerly and Literata, the two newly designed default typefaces for Kindle and Google Play Books, respectively. But according to expert ebook developer Laura Brady and top digital typographer Charles Nix, neither new ebook font is all it’s cracked up to be. That’s because “the ebook environment challenges the...

Ronald Boire Barnes & Noble Nook retail bookstores

Barnes & Noble Beats a Path Back to Retail

Barnes & Noble names a new CEO to help steer the company back toward its roots as a bookstore chain after the spinoff of its college division is completed this summer. Ronald D. Boire, the head of Sears Canada, comes to Barnes & Noble with executive-level experience in retail and consumer technology, with a...

Scribd romance ebooks Smashwords subscription ebooks

Scribd Adjusts Subscription Model under Strain

Scribd cuts an unspecified number of romance and erotica ebooks from its subscription-based catalog, apparently because paying its content partners based on readers’ activity in the genre is becoming too burdensome. “We’ve grown to such a point that we are beginning to adjust the proportion of titles across genres to ensure that we can...

Apple ebook antitrust price-fixing Denise Cote

Apple Loses Antitrust Appeal

An appeals court yesterday affirmed Judge Denise Cote’s 2013 verdict finding Apple guilty of violating antitrust laws by conspiring with publishers to fix ebook prices. The majority opinion in the two-to-one ruling finds Cote’s judgment in the case “amply supported and well-reasoned.” But a dissent from the third judge on the panel lays the...

Disney Publishing Worldwide children's books interactive digital media

Disney Rethinks Publishing in a Tech-Driven Market

The Walt Disney Company combines two divisions into a new Consumer Products and Interactive Media segment, in response to what the company calls “changing consumer preferences in a marketplace increasingly influenced by technology.” Disney Publishing Worldwide will now be housed within the combined segment, which Disney says will be better positioned to utilize its...

Emma Barnes Bibliocloud coding ebook publishers

What Programmers Can Teach Publishers

“If publishers had zero tolerance for repetition and boring administrative tasks,” Bibliocloud CEO Emma Barnes asks, “what would the industry look like? And how would publishers’ organizations reflect that internally?” Barnes learned how to code only after founding a small press, and she says the experience has since made her a better publisher. Programmers,...

Playster Librify Findaway Scribd subscription ebooks audiobooks

New Deals around Subscription Content

Two deals announced yesterday reflect some of the changes afoot in the market for subscription ebooks. Newcomer Playster, whose app is still in beta, adds 50,000 audiobooks to its subscription catalog through a partnership with the digital content distributor Findaway. And separately Scribd announces it’s acquired the social e-reading platform Librify. Both moves can...

W3C MathML STM publishers web standards markup language

Do Standards Help or Hinder Innovation?

Many trade publishers fall asleep at the mention of standards. Support for EPUB3—just to name one—is still far from universal, and there are few signs that that’s changing quickly. But outside trade publishing, standards arguably garner more urgent attention from digital content developers, distributors and their partners. W3C, a web standards group, secures the...

ebook developers digital production Joshua Tallent`

Understanding Ebook Production (and Why You Might Want to)

With the ebook market basically stuck in neutral, some ebook developers are doing a bit of soul-searching. In one view, the profession may be losing some of its appeal as publishers pare back their investments in digital production and talented coders seek fatter paychecks in other industries. And it doesn’t help that acquiring professional-grade...

book marketing Goodreads discovery ebooks

Focused Book Marketing in a Fragmented Market

“The key change authors and publishers need to embrace—and it’s a change that’s both an opportunity and a challenge—is that the book discovery landscape is fracturing,” Goodreads co-founder and CEO Otis Chandler says. Some see that shift leading to readers exercising more control over how content is curated and discovered. For publishers, Chandler explains,...

Penguin Random House Amazon ebooks agency pricing

Penguin Random House Inks Amazon Deal

With Penguin Random House announcing a new multi-year distribution contract with Amazon, all Big Five publishers have now come to terms with the e-tailer. What those terms consist of, though, remains to be seen in the case of the world’s largest trade publisher, which declined to confirm whether it, too, had agreed to a...

Oyster Lumin ebook e-reading Kobo Kindle Paperwhite

Oyster Ups the Ante on E-Reading Experience

If the e-reading experience were better, would more people pick up the habit? Oyster is hoping they might. Much as Kobo aims to convert print devotees with its latest e-reader, Oyster intends a new feature to make e-reading “more comfortable and enjoyable for our existing users” as well as to court “readers who might...

Inkling digital publishing start-ups innovation Matt MacInnis

How Book Publishers Can Outlast Book Publishing

“The book was a very sensible solution to a lot of problems for a long time, until it wasn’t,” says Inkling founder and CEO Matt MacInnis. “Today it increasingly isn’t.” MacInnis is among those who believe the traditional publishing model is under threat from “fast-changing customer expectations” to which publishers can’t always adapt quickly...

Gareth Cuddy Vearsa data digital publishing innovation disruption ebooks

Data, Innovation and Future-Proofing

“Between the rise of the self-published author and more efficient methods of content creation and distribution,” Vearsa CEO Gareth Cuddy says, “the value of being ‘published’ is diminishing year by year.” If that’s the case, though, Cuddy doesn’t believe it dooms publishers to obsolescence. “I think a lot of publishers are beginning to focus...

copyright office American Library Association ALA digital libraries

Copyright Crises and Controversies

The American Library Association (ALA) blasts a bill pending in Congress that would bring the U.S. Copyright Office out from under the auspices of the Library of Congress. According to ALA President Courtney Young, the legislation, called the CODE Act, “does not address the longstanding problems facing the agency,” whose technological resources Young says...

ebook developers digital production Laura Brady

Do They Still Make Ebook Developers Like They Used to?

Are talented ebook developers getting harder to come by? Some in the field believe that they are. Digital production expert Laura Brady says there are probably several, interconnected reasons for that. For one thing, acquiring the necessary skills can be time-consuming and costly, and candidates who possess them can usually expect higher salaries in...

AAP Association of American Publishers StatShot ebook sales

New Data, Same Slow Ebook Market

Ebooks grew modestly in 2014, a year that saw a 4.6% uptick in revenue overall, according to new full-year figures from the Association of American Publishers (AAP). But while the nearly 1,800 U.S. publishers who participated in the AAP’s latest survey say their ebook sales rose 3.8% on balance last year, the bigger story...

IPR License NetGalley global rights global publishing

Greasing the Gears on Rights Deals

If you’re a big publisher already, one way to pursue growth amid a sluggish ebook market is to get bigger. That’s the approach HarperCollins has adopted (among others) in the roughly ten months since it acquired Harlequin. Another is to ramp up on content licensing. As Tom Chalmers of IPR License sees it, revenue...

Emma Barnes Bibliocloud ebook publishing production editorial workflows IT

The Publishing Problems Technology Can’t Solve

With ebook growth flattening out, many publishers are doing a bit of housekeeping. It’s smart think about investing in automated production-editorial workflows and other digital solutions, Bibliocloud CEO Emma Barnes observes, but the reason many publishers “think they need a system is usually because of problems with process, not data,” she says. For someone...

Publishers Launch Kids children's ebooks publishers

Whither the Children’s Market?

By some recent measures, children’s and young adult titles have powered a level of growth that few other categories are able to match. At the same time, though, research paints a complicated and sometimes uncertain picture of the ways kids interact with ebooks. As more digital natives enter the market, children’s publishers, authors, app...

mobile apps book publishers responsive web design

Are Mobile Apps for Publishers Overrated?

Not long ago, many publishers thought rising to the mobile challenge meant building apps. But as smartphone use expands and that first phase of experimentation recedes, “many publishers are finding that the revenue apps generate hardly ever covers the costs of development, let alone the overhead,” Felix Wenzel of Librios writes. At the same...

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

Getting Trade Ebooks into More Classrooms

Actively Learn, a digital content library and e-reading platform for K-12 students, adds “thousands” of popular titles published by HarperCollins, including classics like The Bridge to Terabithia. The platform lets students and school districts rent individual ebooks for limited periods, typically for less than it would cost to buy those titles in print or...

Full Fathom Five digital publishing genre ebooks readers

The New Digital Acquisitions Playbook

Do editors’ strategies for acquiring new digital titles need a refresh? One publisher thinks so. As the ebook market slows down, Full Fathom Five Digital’s Samantha Streger says that “many of the hit-making formulas acquiring editors and indie authors developed just a few years ago are bringing diminishing returns.” Genre fiction in particular has...

Joshua Tallent EPUB Kindle Amazon ebooks

In Defense of Many Ebook Formats

Amazon tends to take flak for hanging onto its proprietary Kindle ebook format. But as digital production expert Joshua Tallent sees it, that’s a little unfair. “Apple has iBooks Author, Barnes & Noble has proprietary formats for children’s books and fixed-layout nonfiction and Inkling has a proprietary XML format, just to name a few.”...

Authors guild book publishing contracts digital

Fixing Author-Publisher Partnerships

As The Authors Guild sees it, the digital age has not been kind to most authors. According to preliminary results from a recent survey of its members, the organization finds authors’ income from their writing fell 24% over the past five years. “Authors are earning less, but publishers are making as much money as...

HarperCollins Shazam digital ebook mobile marketing discovery readers

HarperCollins Tries Mobile Marketing with Shazam

“We need to be more ambitious about who our audience is,” digital strategist Molly Barton exhorted publishers at the Digital Book 2015 Conference at BookExpo America earlier this week, urging them to look for readers in unlikely places. Now HarperCollins announces a mobile marketing partnership with Shazam, which first came to prominence an app...

ebook publishers readers BEA BookExpo IDPF

Publishing in a Reader-Powered World

Publishers are losing control over the curation of their content, Canelo’s Michael Bhasksar told attendees at IDPF’s Digital Book 2015 conference at BookExpo America yesterday. And readers themselves, Bhaskar said, are taking over. That’s leading publishers and retailers to rethink their marketing and discovery strategies in ways that play into readers hands. But as...

DBW16 Digital Book World

What’s Next for Digital? What Matters? Why?

Publishers, authors and their business partners converge on BookExpo America in New York City today at a time arguably marked by equal parts stability and uncertainty. Now that the high-octane days of rapid ebook adoption have given way to a more stable hybrid market, the industry faces a new set of questions, among them...

Emma Barnes Bibliocloud Digital Book World publishing solutions ebook workflows

‘Easy’ Publishing Is Hard

There’s no shortage of digital products and solutions on the market aimed at streamlining publishers’ processes and making their businesses more efficient. But as Bibliocloud’s Emma Barnes points out, the most innovative new systems are only as good as their most rickety integration points with existing ones. “If you’re not very careful,” Barnes cautions,...

Macmillan Epic subscription ebooks children's publishing

Macmillan Adds Kids’ Ebooks to Epic! Catalog

Deepening its participation in the subscription model, Macmillan contributes several hundred children’s ebooks to Epic!, a leading subscription service for kids’ content. Nearly six months into its experiment with subscription ebooks, Macmillan becomes the third Big Five publisher, after HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster, to partner with Epic!. Epic!, which offers more than 100,00...

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt HMH Labs APIs web developers edtech

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Invites in Developers

A month after acquiring Scholastic’s ed-tech business for $575 million, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt pushes ahead in the space by launching a web portal for developers. Through the portal, external designers and developers can access the company’s application programming interfaces, or APIs, allowing them to build new products and solutions inside the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt...