Digital Book Wire

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...

Macmillan Epic subscription ebooks children's publishing

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!...

scribd

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...

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Launches Portal for Ed-Tech Developers

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt launches a new web portal allowing designers and developers to collaborate on digital ed-tech products. The portal is the brainchild of HMH labs, a technology incubation division set up last year, and marks the first time Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has exposed its application programming interfaces, or APIs, to external developers. A key reason for doing...

Tablet Sales Diminish for Apple and Samsung Alike

Apple’s iPad sales fell 23% in the first quarter of 2015 compared with the same period last year, according to new figures from ABI Research. It’s the second consecutive quarter where the tech company’s tablet sales have shrunk. While ABI found Samsung managed 7% tablet growth over the course of 2014, its first-quarter 2015 sales are likewise down—in Samsung’s...

BookBub ebook marketing email promotion

BookBub Gets $7 Million in New Funding

BookBub, the email book marketing start-up that launched a localized program in India earlier this month, pulls in an additional $7 million in new equity and debt financing to pursue further growth. The latest funding comes scarcely more than a year after the company raised $3.8 million, and CEO Josh Schanker says the new resources will...

Amazon Web Services AWS Educate higher education

Amazon Launches Cloud Computing Education Program

Amazon Web Services introduces a program designed to help secondary and higher education students gain skills and training in cloud computing technology. Called “AWS Educate,” the program offers a slate of resources to instructors and institutions to incorporate cloud-related content into their coursework. Amazon cites the growing demand within many industries for skilled workers with training in...

Kobo Ebooks Southwest Airlines digital content discovery

Kobo Launches Free Ebook Platform for Southwest Airlines Travelers

In a deal announced yesterday, Kobo introduces an e-reading platform for Southwest Airlines passengers, the latest in a flurry of separate initiatives to put ebooks in closer reach of travelers. The platform offers approximately 140 free ebooks (a figure Kobo plans to grow), of which about 85% are full-text editions, while the remainder are samples of titles readers can buy after landing. Nearly a...

BookNetCanada ebook publishers direct-to-consumer sales

Most Canadian Publishers Now Selling Ebooks Direct

66% of Canadian publishers are now selling ebooks directly to consumers, according to a new survey by BookNet Canada. That share rose 24% since 2013, when 42% of Canadian publishers reported offering direct sales. Ebook retailers remain the primary distribution channels for most publishers, BookNet Canada finds, but the sharp growth in direct-to-consumer sales methods shows widespread interest...

Digital Book World Retires Ebook Best-Seller List, Launches New Column

After nearly three years of tracking the top 25 best-selling ebooks each week, Digital Book World is retiring our popular Ebook Best-Seller List. Past editions can still be found here, spanning August 2012 through April 2015. But because making sense of the limited sales data that freely exists about the ebook market remains a top priority for authors...

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BookBub Expands Discount Ebook Service to India

The email book marketing start-up BookBub launched in India yesterday, the company’s third international expansion after rolling out its service in Canada in January this year and the UK in September 2014. In order to help connect English-language titles with more Indian readers, BookBub also introduces support for Flipkart, the e-tailer considered to be India’s biggest online...

Macmillan BitLit Tor ebook bundling

Macmillan Partners with BitLit on Ebook Bundling

The ebook bundling start-up BitLit adds Macmillan to its list of publishing partners in a deal that brings just under 3,000 titles to BitLit’s offering. The majority of those are published by Tor, a science-fiction and fantasy imprint well-known for its digital rights management (DRM)—free ebooks. Macmillan also includes select Farrar, Straus & Giroux and St. Martin’s...

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Booktrack Adds Retailing and Embedding Functions

The ebook soundtracking start-up Booktrack yesterday introduced monetization and embedding functionality to its platform. The move turns Booktrack into a retailer for what it considers to be “a new ebook genre,” according to the company’s Co-founder and CEO Paul Cameron: the ebook enhanced with immersive audio. Booktrack’s soundtrack-generating tools remains free to use and thousands of its titles free...

edtech education publishing Inkling Pearson innovation

What Drives Innovation in Education Publishing (and What Doesn’t)

Big companies aren’t always great innovators. But how come? Clancy Marshall, VP of Global Core Platforms at Pearson, posed that question to Inkling founder and CEO Matt MacInnis at the Book Industry Study Group (BISG)’s “Adapt, Innovate, Learn” conference on higher education in New York City this morning and received this two-word answer: finance...

BISG higher education digital content students

Students Value Efficiency and Effectiveness in Digital Content

52% of higher education students who responded to a recent Book Industry Study Group (BISG) survey agreed with this statement: “I would rather pay $100 for a learning solution that improves my result by one letter grade and reduces my study time by 25% than $50 for my current textbook.” According to Nadine Vassallo, BISG’s...

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Linda Zecher Scholastic ed-tech

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Acquires Scholastic’s Ed-Tech Business

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt announces plans to buy Scholastic’s Education Technology and Services business for $575 million in cash, in a deal set to close in the second quarter of 2015. Speaking with Digital Book World last December, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt CEO Linda Zecher said, “I believe we need to put our focus on making...

Inkling digital publishing CMS ebooks Ixxus Alfresco

Inkling Partners with Ixxus on Alfresco Content Management Tools

[Press Release] Inkling and Ixxus Announce Partnership to Deliver Off-the-Shelf Inkling-Alfresco Integration Ixxus, leading provider of publishing solutions, becomes Inkling’s Global Systems Integration partner London, UK — April 23, 2015 — Inkling, creators of the world’s only integrated cloud content platform, today announced a new technology partnership with Ixxus, the leading global provider of publishing solutions. The...

Penguin Random House direct-to-consumer ebook publisher

Penguin Random House Launches Discovery-Focused Website

It was said back in January that 2015 would be the year of the customer, with publishers thinking afresh about how to build direct relationships with readers. And sure enough, Penguin Random House today launches a new website that greatly expands its consumer-facing marketing and discovery efforts. As CEO Markus Dohle put it in a...

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BookShout Serves Simon & Schuster Ebooks with Cheerios

The ebook distribution platform BookShout partners with Cheerios to serve select Simon & Schuster titles to breakfasting children across the U.S. The publisher’s “Cheer on Reading” literacy program has placed free Simon & Schuster children’s books inside Cheerios boxes since 2003. Now, instead of stuffing print titles into cereal boxes, they’ll come printed with BookShout-provided codes...

Goodreads Adds 180,000 Free Audiobook Samples

Beginning later this week, Goodreads will let users listen to free audio samples of 180,000 titles on its platform through a new “Listen” button drawing from Audible’s digital audiobook catalog. Those samples will be available to all Goodreads users whether or not they are Audible customers, but the new feature comes with an offer of a 30-day free trial...

Penguin Random House Tries Subscription Audiobooks with Scribd

Penguin Random House may be keeping its ebooks out of the subscription market, but not its audiobooks. One week after partnering with Oyster on its newly launched ebookstore—but not on its subscription platform—the world’s biggest trade publisher brings more than 9,000 digital audiobook titles to Oyster’s competitor in the subscription ebook space, Scribd. (Oyster does not offer...

Simon & Schuster Puts Ebooks on Playster’s Subscription Platform

In a deal announced this week, Simon & Schuster becomes the second major publisher to make its ebooks available on the subscription-based digital content platform Playster. The first book publisher to partner with Playster, HarperCollins added 14,000 back-list titles to the Montreal-based subscription service last month. Currently in beta, Playster offers unlimited access to catalog featuring a range...

HarperCollins Signs Amazon Deal, but Details Scarce

Earlier this month, it looked like HarperCollins and Amazon were at loggerheads over provisions in the distribution contract Amazon had proposed to the publisher. Now the two have come to terms. As of two weeks ago, those terms, according to a Business Insider story that some viewed a move by Amazon to put pressure on HarperCollins,...

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Renews Ebook Services Deal with LibreDigital

[Press Release] CHICAGO, April 14, 2015 — R. R. Donnelley & Sons Company(Nasdaq:RRD), announced today that LibreDigital, a service of the RR Donnelley Digital Solutions group, has been awarded a multi-year agreement to provide eBook services to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Trade Publishing. Under the terms of the agreement, which marks the renewal of the...

HarperCollins Expands International Profile with Four New Divisions

Building on Harlequin’s overseas publishing programs in the Netherlands, Japan, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, HarperCollins launches four new international lines: HarperCollins Holland, HarperCollins Japan, HarperCollins Nordic and HarperCollins Polska. Harlequin’s existing operations in those regions will continue as HarperCollins introduces an additional 30–50-title list tailored to each new division beginning this fall. Leading off the...

Nielsen Partners with Openbook to Share Global Ebook Data

A new agreement between Nielsen and Openbook aims to bring the portraits of global book markets into sharper focus. Openbook, a leading book sales tracking service in China, will trade data and insights with Nielsen, whose division in the country will supplement Openbook’s domestic research operations. Chinese Openbook subscribers will also gain access to additional sales data covering U.S. and...

Penguin Random House Brings Ebooks to Acela Passengers

Penguin Random House adds free samples of some of its best-selling ebooks to the digital content platform Amtrak is launching for Acela Express passengers. Similar to a partnership HarperCollins reached with JetBlue in November 2014, the Penguin Random House program allows passengers who like the excerpts they read to purchase the complete title. The offering also includes Penguin Random House audiobooks,...

Eyeing Amazon, Oyster Launches Ebookstore with All Big Five Publishers

Starting today, the ebook subscription service Oyster is no longer just that. Eighteen months after launching publicly, the company unveils an ebookstore offering a la carte titles from all of the Big Five publishers, encompassing all front- and back-list ebooks, including preorders, available everywhere else. Because the new store’s wares are available even to non-subscribers, Oyster moves...

Kobo Unveils New E-Reader to Take on Kindle Voyage

Kobo launches its latest e-reader today, the Kobo Glo HD, which it bills as a device featuring “the highest resolution screen available on the market, at the lowest price.” At $129.99, the device is $70 cheaper than the $199 Kindle Voyage, which Amazon rolled out in September last year. The Glo HD features a six-inch,...

Firebrand and NetGalley Pursue New Markets

[Press Release] Worldwide expansion as Firebrand adds senior staff in the UK; NetGalley launches in France New York, April 7th, 2015—Firebrand Technologies, a worldwide provider of publishing systems and technologies, and NetGalley, which provides digital galleys to professional readers, have announced two events which will significantly strengthen their presence in new markets. First, Firebrand is...

Tablets to Overtake Notebooks by 2016

The tablet market may be slowing, but notebooks appear to be doing worse. According to new figures from ABI research, notebooks are ceding market share to other mobile computing devices. Analysts estimate that by 2016, notebooks will account for only 47% of the market—falling from 51% in 2013—whereas tablets are projected to hit 52% by that time. It’s...

Reedsy Adds Author Platform Tools

The self-publishing services platform Reedsy, which launched in November last year, adds tools for authors to develop more robust web presences for connecting with readers. According to a press release announcing the new features, Reedsy now lets authors “integrat[e] Goodreads fans, Amazon portfolios, social media accounts and personal blog posts into a single webpage.” Originally...