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...

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Young Readers Say No Thanks to Enhanced E-Reading

How do younger readers want to read? If you go by the numbers, so-called digital natives are just about as frumpy as their analog elders. One recent survey shows U.S. readers ages 18–34 almost twice as likely to read a print book as an ebook on any device. And while Pew researchers found ebooks’ popularity...

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How to Reach Millennial Readers

For book publishers, millennials can be a tricky bunch. They appear to favor print as well as offline, word-of-mouth book recommendations on the one hand, while driving an enormous share of social media activity on the other. Meanwhile, publishers’ marketing resources remain limited, and many are struggling to build relationships with readers where such...

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...

A vantage point to a decade of change

As of 20th April next month it will be ten years since, aged 25, I set-up Legend Press from an internet shop under my shared flat in Stoke Newington. The last decade has been a challenging but unforgettable personal journey but inadvertently it has also coincided with an industry that has irreversibly changed. When...

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Global Ebook Opportunities Rising

A recent Pew study hints at growing opportunities for ebook publishers and retailers to reach more English-language readers around the world. Not only are rates of Internet use are higher among younger, more affluent, better educated members of the 32 developing countries Pew surveyed, those users also tend be social media savvy and read or speak...

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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...

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Prices Swoon on Ebook Best-Seller List as New and Familiar Players Mingle

It’s not always easy to tell what makes an ebook successful. Film adaptations certainly help, as does the name-recognition of a popular author with a large fan base. Those are two probable reasons why the entirety of Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy is back on this week’s list, just as the Insurgent movie hits theaters, and James Patterson’s NYPD...

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Few Children’s Authors Writing for Apps

“Many children’s book authors aren’t huge fans of the so-called ‘picture book apps’ or ‘story apps’ entering the children’s market at ever increasing volumes,” an expert in digital children’s content observes. “One reason why is because they aren’t authoring them.” According to Sandy McDowell, who studies the growing market for picture book apps, developers...

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Picture Book Apps and the Case of the Vanishing Author

Many children’s book authors aren’t huge fans of the so-called “picture book apps” or “story apps” entering the children’s market at ever increasing volumes. One reason why is because they aren’t authoring them. I recently spent a lot of time with children’s authors while completing an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults...

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Holding out on EPUB3 Gets Harder as UX Gets Better

To hear one leading ebook developer tell it, EPUB3 is still greeted with obstinance by a sizable handful of publishers and distributors. But holding out is getting ever harder to justify, especially as digital production specialists become more adept at utilizing EPUB3’s features to improve the user experience. “If for no other reason, I...

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...

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How to Build Rich Navigation in EPUB3

EPUB3 is no longer all that new, but there still seems to be some reluctance among digital publishers to make the final move to a full-fledged EPUB3 workflow. In just the last two months I’ve been asked several times about the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of making the switch. And I’ve offered my opinion, unasked,...

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Rakuten Buys OverDrive

The company that Kobo’s former head once called the “Amazon of Japan” significantly enlarges its ebook business by scooping up OverDrive in a $410 million deal announced yesterday. Acquiring the library distributor is Rakuten’s latest major push into the digital content space, one of three key growth areas the Japan-based company says it’s targeting....

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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Keeping up with Digital Natives

By some accounts, young readers don’t behave much differently than older ones do; some studies find only tepid interest among digital natives in ebooks and other digital content. But the latest report based on an ongoing research project between PlayCollective and Digital Book World paints a more nuanced picture of children and families sorting...

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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...

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Don’t Optimize Alone

Over a year ago, Jellybooks founder Andrew Rhomberg took the stage at Digital Book World 2014 to make the case for publishers partnering with start-ups and other service providers. Nodding to the ratio between resources and ambitions, Rhomberg urged two things on publishers: “Don’t try to do everything in-house” and “Try a lot but...

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This Is Not a Blog Post

It’s an offer for those of you who are publishers or work for one. One of the things I want to do in this column is highlight real-world examples of the direct-to-consumer publishing initiatives whose components I write about each week. If you’ve been reading along, you know one of them is optimization, and...

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Lego Builds Ebook Line at Little, Brown

A deal announced yesterday brings Lego-branded content to Little, Brown Books for Young Readers in print and digital formats. Aimed at readers ages six to eleven and based on three popular Lego product lines, the first titles will be full-color digital comics and trade paperbacks available in time for 2015 holiday shoppers. The partnership...

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...

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When the Indie Math Doesn’t Add up

There’s little argument that most self-publishing platforms offer authors a far greater share of the income from their work than traditional publishing contracts often do. But there’s usually more to the equation. One key variable no route to publication can ever guarantee is sales. And in many cases if authors find they’re unable to...

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The Trouble with Indie Math

The self-publishing platform Lulu.com recently published this infographic drawing on data from the latest report based on the Digital Book World and Writer’s Digest Author Survey as well as from the Author Earnings project: Lulu’s intent is to tout the benefits of going indie—and indeed, the service makes a lot of good points, many of...

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What Drives Discovery the Best?

That’s a question publishers, start-ups and ebook retailers have been testing answers to for years. Two recent discovery initiatives don’t so much stake a new ground as offer a sense of how much of it stands between them in the current field. Going where a number have gone before, Penguin Random House earlier this...

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New Ebook Discovery Efforts Differ on Means

With ebook growth mostly flat, publishers, retailers and a smattering of start-ups are testing new ways to help readers discover content that interests them. One key question they’re all trying to answer in the process is what methods lead to the most meaningful recommendations. Two recent efforts, Penguin Random House’s new children’s reading website Brightly...

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Lagardère Profits Shrink

Sales at Hachette Book Group fell 4.9% in 2014 from the previous year, according to the publisher’s parent company Lagardère, which finds its full-year profits down 11.7% during the period. In the U.S. Hachette weathered a difficult 2014, which included an acrimonious dispute with Amazon over ebook margins. The publisher attributes the 3% drop...

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...

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Google Pushing Publishers to Go Mobile

If many publishers have yet to catch up with where their readers are, Google plans to pressure them to. A few weeks ago, Google made a rare announcement of a change set to weight mobile-responsive websites more favorably in searches. “It’s a push to make mobile responsiveness the new normal for everyone (including publishers),”...