Digital Book Wire

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...

Amazon-HarperCollins Negotiations Peek into Public View

Amazon’s contract negotiations with HarperCollins have come to a something of an impasse, according to an anonymous source Business Insider reports as knowledgeable about the matter. It’s the first time the public has gotten any indication—however limited and hard to corroborate (HarperCollins has declined to comment)—that the publisher’s talks with Amazon may not be going smoothly. HarperCollins’s distribution contract...

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Smartphone Ownership Hits 64% in the U.S., Millennials “Heavily Dependent”

64% of American adults are smartphone owners, a figure that’s risen from 35% just four years ago, according to the latest Pew study. For many, the devices are a primary means of accessing the Internet. 15% of Americans say they have few other ways to get online besides their smartphones. Perhaps unsurprisingly, many of those who rely most on...

IPR License Expands Licensing Opportunities for Self-Published Authors

Related: Tom Chalmers of IPR License on Why Publishers Must Boost Investments in Rights Departments [Press Release] IPR License and Digi-Rights® announce promotional rights and licensing campaign for self-published authors New service aimed at helping US-based self-published authors generate additional domestic and international rights and licensing sales London England UK and Bloomfield Hills, Michigan USA...

Apple’s Tablet Sales Sink 15% in 2014 as Market Slowdown Continues

The trend seen in the first half of 2014 carries through to the full year as well, with Apple having shipped 15% fewer iPads in 2014 than it did the previous year, according to new data from ABI Research. Meanwhile, Samsung’s tablet sales are up 7% for the year, continuing the growth charted back in September. According to ABI’s analysts, “the...

Book Industry Study Group’s Executive Director Departs

[Press Release] BISG Executive Director to Resign Vlahos to Tattered Cover; New Executive Sought (New York, NY: March 26, 2015) The Book Industry Study Group (BISG) announced today that Executive Director Len Vlahos will resign his position effective June 12, and will relocate to Denver, Colorado where he and his wife will join the...

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Three Ways to Engage Millennials on Social Media

“Authenticity is key,” said Huffington Post Teen Editor Taylor Trudon about engaging with young readers on social platforms, speaking at a conference hosted by Publishing Perspectives in New York City this morning, called “Designing Books for Young Readers.” Striking a tone that digital natives perceive as authentic doesn’t always come easily to book publishers. Social media marketing is nothing new in publishing...

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New Survey Finds Millennial Readers Clinging to Print

A new study by Publishing Technology finds U.S. millennials—defined as people currently between the ages of 18 and 34—almost twice as likely to read a print book as an ebook. That finding squares with similar print preferences Pew researchers found among older readers as well. Among adults 18 and up, 28% read an ebook in 2014 as compared with the...

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Emerging Global Internet Users Young, Social, Read English

A Pew study published last week finds that Internet use in emerging and developing countries is highest among younger, more affluent, better educated users who read English—all potentially good news for English-language ebook publishers setting down roots in international markets. Despite wide variation in the rates of access among the 32 countries Pew surveyed, national income correlated strongly to...

With Focus on Print, Scholastic Invests in UK Children’s Publisher

Scholastic has acquired a minority stake in Make Believe Ideas, a UK-based children’s publisher. The move represents an effort to double down on interactive content focused on early learning for babies through children five years old. But in the case of this particular collaboration, interactivity does not mean digital. A line of print titles due out in the...

Rakuten to Acquire OverDrive

The Japan-based parent company of ebook retailer Kobo announces it will acquire OverDrive in a $410 million cash deal with Insight Venture Partners, OverDrive’s majority shareholder since 2010. A leading distributor of digital content in the library market, OverDrive “will take advantage of the global reach, scale and technologies throughout Rakuten’s portfolio,” according to a press release issued today. For...

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Free Webcast: Keeping Pace with Digital Natives—Trends and Tactics for the Children’s Market

Join Digital Book World on Tuesday, April 7 at 12:00pm ET / 9:00am PT / 5:00pm GMT for a free webcast investigating the latest trends in children’s and families’ e-reading habits and what that means for publishers. Kids are fast becoming more involved in determining what and how they read, and parents are growing more comfortable spending a greater amount on...

Lego and Little, Brown Launch Publishing Partnership

[Press Release] LITTLE, BROWN BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS ANNOUNCES A CREATIVE NEW PUBLISHING PROGRAM BASED ON POWERHOUSE LEGO® BRANDS Multi-Book Deal Begins with Graphic Novels and Launches in Fall 2015 New York, NY [Monday, March 16, 2015] — Little, Brown Books for Young Readers will launch a new publishing program based on internationally popular...

Hachette Sales Down Nearly 5% in 2014

Full-year revenue dropped 4.9% in 2014, a year marked by Hachette Book Group’s bruising standoff with Amazon over ebook profit margins, which ended in November with a new distribution contract restoring a version of agency ebook pricing to the publisher. Digital sales shrunk to 30%, down 3% since 2013, when ebooks and digital audiobooks together made up...

Penguin Random House Launches Site for Parents of Young Readers

[Press Release] BRIGHTLY: NEW ONLINE RESOURCE INSPIRES PARENTS TO RAISE LIFELONG READERS EMAIL PROGRAM AND SITE LAUNCH POWERED BY PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE New York, March 9, 2015—Today, Brightly (www.readbrightly.com), a new online resource that encourages parents to raise lifelong readers, launches as a Penguin Random House initiative. Brightly aims to provide moms and dads...

HarperCollins Increases Spanish-Language Output

[Press Release] HarperCollins Publishers Expands Spanish Language Publishing Forms HarperCollins Español and HarperCollins Iberica New York, NY (March 9, 2015) – HarperCollins Publishers today announced the expansion of its Spanish-language publishing efforts with the creation of HarperCollins Español and HarperCollins Iberica. Utilizing the existing framework in the Americas and Spain, the company will increase...

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Barnes & Noble Splits off College Division to Form Standalone Company

[Press Release] Barnes & Noble to Separate College Business from Retail and NOOK Digital Businesses Will Create Two Highly Focused Companies with Different Growth Profiles and Enhanced Flexibility to Pursue Independent Operating Strategies NEW YORK, NY – February 26, 2015 – Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), today announced the filing of a Registration...

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Amazon to Publish First Batch of Kindle Scout Titles

Amazon rolled out its crowdsourcing initiative Kindle Scout in October last year, and now the first ten of 21 titles selected through the program for publication under the company’s Kindle Press imprint are due out a week from today. The authors of those projects chosen to date each receive a five-year contract, $1,500 advance and 50% digital...

HarperCollins Expands Subscription Ebook Partnership with Bookmate

[Press Release] Bookmate expands deal with HarperCollins Agreement will increase Bookmate’s English-language catalogue to 250,000 titles 20 February 2015: Bookmate, the subscription-based social reading service, has today announced the expansion of its deal with HarperCollins Publishers. The agreement, which expands the deal struck in October 2014, will add a significant number of books from...

Scribd Adds 10,000 Digital Comics as Subscription Catalog Hits 1 Million

The term “ebook subscription service” may be losing some of its utility. With the addition of 10,000 digital comics to its subscription-based content catalog today, Scribd now offers more than 1 million titles across a range of media. That puts the size of Scribd’s content offering roughly on par with Oyster’s, which said it had hit the...

Q&A with Sam Rennie, Founder of Crowdsourcing Publisher Readership

Experiments in crowdsourcing book content have heated up over the past six months. In October last year, Amazon launched its “reader-powered publishing” program Kindle Scout, the e-tailer’s second recent project that places editorial powers in the hands of readers. Last week a UK-based start-up called Readership announced its own venture in crowdsourced publishing. Digital Book World sat down with founder...

Simon & Schuster Offers Expanded Author Services in New Multimedia Imprint

Simon & Schuster rolls out a new imprint designed to “offer authors an expanded suite of profile-building, ancillary services that extend beyond the boundaries of traditional publishing,” according to a statement released today. The imprint, called North Star Way, will focus on wellness and self-improvement nonfiction, delivered in a variety of multimedia formats in addition to...

Ebook Bundling Start-up BitLit Signs Wiley

In a deal with Wiley announced today, BitLit, the Vancouver-based print-and-ebook bundling start-up adds nearly 1,000 of the publisher’s technical titles to its offering. Wiley’s contribution includes the full catalogs of its Wrox Press and Sybex imprints. Since launching a pilot program with Elsevier in November 2014, BitLit has roughly doubled the total number of ebooks it...

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Free Webcast: Mobile Strategies for Authors and Publishers

Join Digital Book World on Tuesday, February 17 at 12:00pm ET / 9:00am PT / 5:00pm GMT for a free webcast where you will learn the latest trends in the shifting mobile market and how authors and publishers can adapt strategically. The explosion of mobile devices—smartphones and tablets—is transforming the nature of digital publishing. Publishers...

Gumroad Takes Direct Sales Platform to Android

E-commerce platform Gumroad launches an Android mobile app today, as it promised to do four months ago after rolling out an iOS app. As with that version, the new Android app allows users to build custom libraries of digital content sold by partnering content creators over an array of social media channels and websites. Extending the same offering available to Apple...