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...

digital ebook publishing strategies

Making Digital Strategies Pay

Has the digital shift stalled? With print sales jumping 3% in the past quarter and other indicators showing the format’s staying power amid flat ebook growth, the case for publishers to push further into digital might seem to be getting weaker. But the relative stability of the hybrid market now gives publishers an opportunity...

fivewaysfeature

Five Ways to Make Digital Pay

Few doubt ebooks’ importance to publishers’ bottom line, particularly as print sales decline, but with ebook growth mostly flat, many still question how much further a digital strategy should go within a modern publishing business. For every good reason publishers have to expand their digital strategies, there seems to be at least one skeptical objection....

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Using APIs to Publish More Efficiently

“Application programming interfaces, or APIs, aren’t easy to talk about,” writes Bibliocloud Founder and CEO Emma Barnes. “You can’t have a debate about whether or not APIs are a good idea. That would be like arguing over whether the Internet is a good idea.” APIs are already deeply enmeshed in the digital publishing ecosystem,...

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Best-Selling Ebook Prices Rise Before HarperCollins Restores Agency

This week’s Ebook Best-Seller List captures the week ending April 11th, so it doesn’t reflect the return to agency pricing HarperCollins put into effect starting this Tuesday, the 14th. So the modest rise in the average price of a best-seller, from $6.66 last week to $6.98, isn’t a function of that switch. But since all six HarperCollins...

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Penguin Random House Joins Scribd on Audiobooks

When Hachette and Penguin Random House joined in the launch of Oyster’s ebookstore last week, both made it clear they have no intention of putting their ebooks on the subscription model. But who said anything about audiobooks? Adding 9,000 digital audiobook titles to Scribd’s catalog, Penguin Random House deepens its collaboration with the major...

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 Amazon agency ebook pricing

HarperCollins Signs Amazon Deal, Widens Global Reach

Resolving the apparent impasse where HarperCollins and Amazon found themselves earlier this month, the two parties sign a multi-year print and digital distribution contract. Officially, that’s the whole story. Neither HarperCollins nor Amazon have so far confirmed whether the deal rests on terms similar to those three other Big Five publishers have agreed to,...

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...

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Nielsen Puts Global Ebooks in Sharper Focus

Partnering with Openbook, a China-based book sales tracking service, Nielsen aims to help publishers and distributors get a better handle on global markets. In a deal announced yesterday, Nielsen will support Openbook’s research into the Chinese book market and offer that data to Nielsen subscribers around the world. In exchange, Openbook will distribute Nielsen’s...

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...

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Penguin Random House Puts Ebooks on Trains

A new partnership brings a selection of more than twenty popular Penguin Random House ebooks to Amtrak’s Acela Express passengers. The commercial rail operator rolls out a new digital content platform where travelers can read free excerpts of the publisher’s titles, then purchase any of them with the click of a “buy” button. HarperCollins...

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,...

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Video Marketing for Publishers: How, Whether, When?

Video may have killed the radio star, but its impact on the book world is still buffering. Book trailers are by now a familiar if limited presence in the marketing landscape. And while some publishers have built video into their marketing and content offerings, those experiments are still in their early days. So what...

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Pressing Pause on the New Streaming Platforms

Two similar apps recently took the social media universe by storm: Meerkat and Periscope. Both allow you to live-stream video directly from your mobile phone to the web. The real difference between them is that Periscope is from Twitter Inc. while Meerkat isn’t, but Meerkat launched first and received $12 million in funding. If...

oyster

Oyster Opens Ebookstore

With all Big Five publishers on board, Oyster launches an ebookstore that puts it into closer competition with major retailers like Amazon. Readers can still sign up for the start-up’s subscription program, which offers unlimited access to over 1 million ebooks for $9.95 a month. But now, all of those titles plus about 100,000 more...

Digital Book World Ebook Best-Seller List

Prices Climb on Ebook Best-Seller List as Hawkins Holds No. 1

The average price of a best-seller inches up to $6.66 from $6.14 last week on the Digital Book World Ebook Best-Seller List as higher-priced titles crowd the upper rankings. Five of the top ten cost more than $10. And speaking of tens, this week marks the tenth that The Girl on the Train, the best-selling thriller...

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 Michael Tamblyn Glo HD Kindle Fire

Kobo Takes Aim at Kindle Voyage

Unveiling its newest device, the Glo HD, Kobo makes a play for the top shelf of the e-reader market. Retailing for $70 less than Amazon’s premium e-reader, the Kindle Voyage, the Glo HD boasts comparable specs, including six-inch, 300 ppi E Ink touchscreen, 1GHz of processing power and approximately two months of battery life....

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...

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Print Habits Die Hard

It’s difficult to fault publishers for focusing their production workflows around print content. For one thing, it’s a reflection of the current market. With ebook growth slowing down and print holding strong, “typesetting for print is still a primary skill-set publishers need to maintain,” says leading ebook developer Laura Brady. But ebooks too often...

print digital ebook production workflows publishing

Twelve Ways to Update Print Production Habits

I was reading a novel today on a Kindle Paperwhite—or “dogfooding” as some would like this habit to be called. Despite the engaging content, I kept getting jarred out of the ebook by its low production quality. The formatting wasn’t even so horrible, but small mistakes kept punching me out of my immersive experience....

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Three Stats on the Mobile Future

If publishers are inching toward mobile by fits and starts, consumers are barreling forward. Here are key pieces of the emerging mobile picture: 1. It’s dominated by smartphones, ownership of which just hit 64% in the U.S., rising from 35% in 2011. 2. It’s no country for old men, who can get by more easily...

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...

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What Publishers Pay to Change Strategy

Adjusting to the digital market means continuously recalibrating investments to support strategic goals and the organizational resources for pursuing them. Bibliocloud founder Emma Barnes sees those costs as amounting to a “strategy tax” publishers and booksellers shoulder in order to compete. But more than just the “toll a business must pay in order to set the...

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The Real Price of a Strategy Shift

Whatever your strategy, you need to pay a “strategy tax.” That’s the name I give to the cost you’ll end up paying to support your business strategy. Take Amazon. It has a hands-off strategy. Amazon doesn’t want to pay staff to answer phones; it wants publishers to be self-service. We don’t phone them or...

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 agency ebook pricing

Amazon-HarperCollins Contract Talks Sour

Its distribution contract up for renewal, HarperCollins is said to be refusing the terms Amazon has put on the table. According to a Business Insider report based on an unidentified Amazon source, the publisher has been offered “the same contract recently signed by Simon & Schuster, Hachette, and Macmillan.” If the impasse can’t be...