Digital Book Wire

Simon & Schuster Strips “Buy It Now” Requirement from Library Ebook Program

When Simon & Schuster launched its library ebook program in June, it stipulated that participating libraries must offer a “Buy It Now” button allowing patrons to purchase the ebooks they borrow. Today the publisher makes that requirement optional in an effort to expand the program to libraries that hesitated to jump on board as a...

BitLit Bundles Elsevier Ebooks

Four months after HarperCollins launched a pilot program with the ebook bundling start-up BitLit, Elsevier follows suit. BitLit offers customers discounted ebook versions of titles they already own in print. More than two hundred publishers already offer their titles through BitLit’s bundling service, which currently consists of about 40,000 ebooks. Elsevier kicks off its own BitLit...

Five Digital Publishing Leaders Weigh in on Industry’s Future

Here’s one short thought each from five industry leaders on where digital publishing is headed: “For the foreseeable future, we will operate in a hybrid print and digital world.” –Jonathan Nowell, President, Nielsen Book “Ebooks and digital media enable execution of a variety of new business models globally, opening new channels by delivering content in...

Oyster Invites Authors’ Input on Business Model, Launches Literary Journal

Ebook subscription service Oyster launches two new programs today–one to improve what happens behind the scenes, the other geared specifically to readers. Oyster’s new Author Advisory Board invites top authors to weigh in on how Oyster does business. According to an Oyster spokesperson, board members “will provide input and feedback on product and content decisions at Oyster to...

Open Road Doubles Down on Spanish-Language Ebooks

Related: Emerging Markets and Global Distribution Opportunities Explored at Digital Book World 2015 [Press Release] OPEN ROAD ESPAÑOL PARTNERS WITH ROCA EDITORIAL IN PUBLISHING A SLATE OF BESTSELLING EBOOKS Open Road’s Spanish Imprint, Open Road Español, Will Market and Distribute Spanish-Language Ebook Translations of Bestselling Contemporary Fiction Backlist Titles from Authors Michael Connelly, Neil Gaiman,...

Nook Launches Audiobook App for Android

Nook launches an audiobook app for Android users, sweetening the deal by bundling two free audiobook titles with first-time downloads of the new app for a limited time. Earlier this month, Scribd added audiobooks to its subscription ebook platform in a move meant to give Amazon’s Audible a run for its money. An audio streaming start-up...

Digital Book World Seeks Input from Authors on Publishing Experiences

What do authors want? How are authors faring in the changing publishing ecosystem? Those are questions we’ve asked before, along with a number of others, in two previous Digital Book World and Writer’s Digest Author Surveys. And they’re among the new set of questions about the author community that we’re asking again this year. We invite...

Amazon Adds Features to Latest Kindles

Amazon rolls out new features in a software update to its latest Kindle and Kindle Voyage e-readers. Two of the more noteworthy additions include support for “Family Library” and “Word Wise.” The first allows users to share content among Kindle devices through linked Amazon accounts. The latter is an in-text dictionary/thesaurus, designed to offer young...

Hachette and Amazon Bury the Hatchet

Hachette announces today it has concluded a new “multi-year” contract with Amazon, ending the standoff that has captured the industry’s attention since May of this year. The agreement covers print and ebook distribution and will take effect early next year. Much like Simon & Schuster, which struck a deal with Amazon last month–in a development many saw...

Vook Buys Enhanced Ebook and App Publisher

Related: Why Vook Is Bullish on Digital Publishing Acquisitions | Vook Co-Founder Matt Cavnar to Speak Live at Digital Book World 2015 [Press Release] Vook acquires Coliloquy’s publishing business Vook, Inc. is pleased to announce it is acquiring the publishing arm of Coliloquy, a Palo Alto-based digital publisher of enhanced and interactive ebooks and apps....

Land Rover Turns Enhanced Ebook Publisher

Perhaps the future on enhanced ebooks doesn’t hinge on cheaper-to-produce, universally supported interactive capabilities or on a more seamless multimedia reading experience. It could be that the what the format really needs in order to take off is corporate sponsorship. After all, one publisher recently announced a multimedia ebook partly underwritten by Sweet’N Low, in exchange for product placement within the...

Launch Kids to Explore Digital Opportunities in Children’s Publishing

[Press Release] ‘Launch Kids’ at Digital Book World Conference + Expo Centers on the Transformation, Opportunities of the Children’s Publishing Business Event Looks at How Content Providers, Publishers Reach and Teach Kids of All Ages Through New Media, Devices and Technology NEW YORK (Nov. 10, 2014) — The 4th annual Launch Kids, a one-day...

Blurb Links Authors With Vetted Publishing Professionals

There’s no shortage of freelancers, consultants and service providers for authors looking for help with their publishing projects. But evaluating them all is a forbidding undertaking, and Blurb is aiming to fix that. With the launch of its “Dream Team,” the publishing platform offers to connect authors with vetted publishing professionals who come recommended by...

Scribd Launches Unlimited-Access Audiobook Catalog

Scribd adds a 30,000-title library of audiobooks to its subscription-based catalog, at no additional cost to users. The move is the latest expansion of Scribd’s content offering after adding more than 15,000 Harlequin ebooks, building on an existing partnership with HarperCollins, which acquired the romance publisher in May. According to Scribd co-founder Jared Friedman, the Harlequin addition has “gone...

LibraryThing for Libraries Improves Recommendation System

Related: Rethinking Ebook Discovery Technologies at Digital Book World 2015 [Press Release] LibraryThing for Libraries Answers “What Do I Read Next?” New additions to recommendations feature makes Catalog Enhancement even more useful to patrons ANN ARBOR, MI, November 4, 2014 – Library users will find it easier than ever to discover what to read...

New ePubDirect Platform Offers Data and Analytics on Global Ebook Markets

Related: ePubDirect CEO Gareth Cuddy to Address Global Publishing Challenges and Opportunities at Digital Book World 2015 [Press Release] ePubDirect Launches new Worldwide eBook Platform Powerful new analytics tool enables book publishers to grow revenue November 3, 2014, Cork, Ireland. – ePubDirect, the fastest growing eBook company in the market, have announced the release of...

Oyster Adds User Curated Ebook Recommendations to Drive Discovery

Ebook subscription service Oyster introduces “Book Lists,” allowing users to recommend and share personalized collections of titles. The feature offers a rough equivalent to the experience of creating and sharing a playlist on a music streaming platform like Spotify, and it’s likewise aimed at boosting discoverability. Book Lists are now available to all Oyster subscribers at...

Wiley Partners With Safari on Digital Reference Platform

[Press Release] Wiley & Safari’s PubFactory Announce Strategic Partnership John Wiley & Sons, Inc., and Safari today announced a strategic partnership that will deliver the next generation in digital reference platforms for students, faculty and librarians. Wiley Reference Library will combine Safari’s award-winning PubFactory platform with Wiley’s prestigious online reference portfolio. Wiley Reference Library...

Publishers Adopt Lexile Reading Metric to Level Children’s Content

Related: Publishers Launch Kids Explores the Cutting Edge of Children’s Publishing at Digital Book World 2015 [Press Release] HarperCollins, Penguin Young Readers, Random House Children’s Books Among Publishers to Add Lexile Measures for Its Books Major Publishers Use Popular Reading Metric to Help Individuals Choose Level-Appropriate Texts DURHAM, NC–(Marketwired – Nov 3, 2014) – Today,...

ALA Applauds Adobe’s Privacy Steps, Encourages More

The American Library Association responds to Adobe’s recent software update to address concerns over the transmission of user data culled from Adobe Digital Editions, the ebook reading platform. In a statement today, the ALA applauded the patch Adobe instituted last week in order to end the clear-text delivery of that data. But the organization expressed...

HarperCollins Widens Direct Marketing Push With Podcast Series

HarperCollins announces a weekly podcast program featuring conversations with some of the publisher’s top authors. The series, called “HarperCollins Presents,” builds on the publisher’s existing base of followers on SoundCloud, the audio streaming platform, and marks the latest in a coordinated effort to market directly to readers. HarperCollins launched a direct-to-consumer sales platform through its website...

Marvel Adds Digital Comics to Kobo Catalog

Marvel adds many of its most popular digital comics to Kobo’s content library, in a deal a Kobo spokesperson says encompasses more than 250 fixed-layout illustrated ebooks. Related: The Latest in Fixed-Layout Ebook Production | Kobo’s Nathan Maharaj to Speak at Digital Book World 2015 [Press Release] Top series like The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America and Amazing Spider-Man...

Adobe Updates Digital Editions to Address Privacy Concerns

As promised, Adobe is rolling out a software update to Digital Editions 4 in order to address privacy concerns involving the data gathering program that came to light earlier this month. In addition to displaying the relevant sections of its privacy policy more prominently, Adobe is changing protocol to address what many saw as one of the biggest issues–the...

Simon & Schuster Strikes Amazon Deal Reviving Agency Ebook Pricing

This post has been updated with new information. Simon & Schuster has reached a multi-year distribution agreement with Amazon, according to reports today by the Wall Street Journal and Business Insider. Neither Amazon nor Simon & Schuster have publicly announced the deal, but Publishers Lunch reports that it marks a return to the agency pricing model,...

Kobo President Michael Tamblyn to Indie Authors: You’re on Amazon’s Hit List

Kobo President and Chief Content Officer Michael Tamblyn (@mtamblyn) took to Twitter today to explain why, in his view, indie authors won’t be exempt from the tactics Amazon is using against Hachette in order to squeeze more profit from the publisher’s titles. Here’s what Tamblyn calls his “32 Notes on Amazon-Hachette-IndyAuthors.” Learn more: To hear more...

Ebook Subscription Service Entitle Improves Recommendation Engine

Entitle announces an upgrade to its recommendation engine in an effort to improve discovery through its subscription-based ebook platform. Related: Tactics for Boosting Ebook Discovery at Digital Book World 2015 Entitle CEO Bryan Batten explains how the upgraded recommendation system works: We currently employ a content analysis recommender system which reads, analyzes and understands the actual...

Growth Projected for Digital Educational Content

A new survey suggests the market for supplemental educational products is expanding, driven by an uptick in institutions’ investment in digital content as well as by the impact of the Common Core standards. Learn more: Digital Book World 2015 Explores the Digital Transition in Higher Education and What the Common Core Means for Publishers [Press Release] STAMFORD,...

Kindle Scout, Amazon’s “Reader-Powered” Publishing Program, Launches

In a letter today to authors, Amazon named and officially rolled out “Kindle Scout,” the “reader-powered” publishing program that was rumored in the past few weeks to be in the works. Kindle Scout is one of two (unrelated) initiatives at Amazon that experiment with crowdsourcing in order to select content for publication. Related: More Crowdsourcing to...

Aspen Institute Applauds Libraries’ Digital Transformation, Urges More

A report released today by the Aspen Institute commends U.S. public libraries for the many ways they are adapting to the digital era. Taking the measure of those advancements, the report urges libraries to assume even broader roles as digital innovators and platforms for community building and information dissemination. In a press release accompanying...

ALA Confronts Adobe on Ebook Data Gathering

The American Library Association (ALA)’s President Courtney Young vowed to “continue investigating possible violations of applicable federal or state laws on commerce/trade and privacy” in response to last week’s revelations about Adobe’s extensive tracking of ebook readers’ data through Adobe Digital Editions 4. The platform is widely used by public libraries in order to lend...