Ronald Boire Barnes & Noble Nook retail bookstores

Barnes & Noble Beats a Path Back to Retail

Barnes & Noble names a new CEO to help steer the company back toward its roots as a bookstore chain after the spinoff of its college division is completed this summer. Ronald D. Boire, the head of Sears Canada, comes to Barnes & Noble with executive-level experience in retail and consumer technology, with a...

Barnes & Noble Ronald Boire Nook bookstores retail bookselling

Barnes & Noble Selects New CEO to Refocus on Retail

The bookseller appoints Ronald D. Boire, the current head of Sears Canada, to serve as CEO of Barnes & Noble’s retail division beginning in early September. He is set to continue at the helm of the bookstore business that will remain after Barnes & Noble spins off its college division this summer. Boire will succeed Michael Huseby, who will become Executive...

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Scribd Adjusts Subscription Model under Strain

Scribd cuts an unspecified number of romance and erotica ebooks from its subscription-based catalog, apparently because paying its content partners based on readers’ activity in the genre is becoming too burdensome. “We’ve grown to such a point that we are beginning to adjust the proportion of titles across genres to ensure that we can...

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Scribd Culls Romance Ebooks from Subscription Platform

The subscription content platform Scribd alerts its publishing partners that it’s dropping an undisclosed number of romance and erotica titles from its ebook catalog. The news, shared late yesterday by Smashwords CEO Mark Coker, renews questions about the viability of the subscription model for ebooks at a time when Amazon has overhauled its  compensation model on Kindle...

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Apple Loses Antitrust Appeal

An appeals court yesterday affirmed Judge Denise Cote’s 2013 verdict finding Apple guilty of violating antitrust laws by conspiring with publishers to fix ebook prices. The majority opinion in the two-to-one ruling finds Cote’s judgment in the case “amply supported and well-reasoned.” But a dissent from the third judge on the panel lays the...

Apple ebook antitrust price-fixing Denise Cote

Court Rejects Apple’s Appeal of Ebook Price-Fixing Ruling

The U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals today upholds the 2013 ruling of Judge Denise Cote that found Apple guilty of conspiring with leading trade publishers to fix the price of ebooks, in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act. The two-to-one decision requires Apple to begin issuing settlement payouts to customers, a sum that’s been estimated...

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Disney Rethinks Publishing in a Tech-Driven Market

The Walt Disney Company combines two divisions into a new Consumer Products and Interactive Media segment, in response to what the company calls “changing consumer preferences in a marketplace increasingly influenced by technology.” Disney Publishing Worldwide will now be housed within the combined segment, which Disney says will be better positioned to utilize its...

Disney Publishing Worldwide children's books interactive digital media

Disney Folds Publishing into New Interactive Media Division

The Walt Disney Company combines the division that houses its children’s publishing business with its interactive media division, in a move the company frames as a reaction to “changing consumer preferences” in a tech-driven market. Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media will be overseen jointly by the heads of the two categories it brings together—Leslie...

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Tipping the Editorial Apple Cart

As founder and CEO at Inkling, I’ve spent nearly six years working across the publishing industry at every level. In my first post in this three-part series, I discussed a few key ways the market has changed. In this second post, I’ll share my tech-centric perspective on the challenges publishers face in transforming themselves. In...

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Baker & Taylor Expands Tools to Help Libraries Buy Wisely

The library content distributor expands a pilot program with collectionHQ, the data analytics service for public libraries, to help librarians make acquisitions geared to patron demand. Called “evidence-based selection planning” (ESP) the program integrates collectionHQ’s analytics tools with Baker & Taylor’s Title Source 360 ordering platform. “Using powerful circulation-based data analytics,” a press release explains,...

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What Programmers Can Teach Publishers

“If publishers had zero tolerance for repetition and boring administrative tasks,” Bibliocloud CEO Emma Barnes asks, “what would the industry look like? And how would publishers’ organizations reflect that internally?” Barnes learned how to code only after founding a small press, and she says the experience has since made her a better publisher. Programmers,...

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Library Content Platform Hoopla Digital Adds DC Comics

hoopla digital, the digital library content distributor, expands its offering of digital comics in a deal with DC Entertainment. The platform has made a range of multimedia content available to library patrons since it was launched by Midwest Tape in 2013, including video, music, audiobooks and digital comics, all of which can be access...

Emma Barnes Bibliocloud coding ebook publishers

Publishers Can Learn a Few Things from Programmers

As both a publisher and a programmer, I’m a member of a very select club. It consists of both those who started out as coders and went into publishing and those who did the reverse. I’m in the latter group, having co-founded a little indie press called Snowbooks in 2003. When I needed a system...

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New Deals around Subscription Content

Two deals announced yesterday reflect some of the changes afoot in the market for subscription ebooks. Newcomer Playster, whose app is still in beta, adds 50,000 audiobooks to its subscription catalog through a partnership with the digital content distributor Findaway. And separately Scribd announces it’s acquired the social e-reading platform Librify. Both moves can...

Scribd Librify social e-reading subscription ebooks

Scribd Acquires Librify, Bulking up on Social E-Reading

The subscription-based content provider Scribd acquires Librify, a social e-reading platform, for undisclosed terms. Librify was founded in 2013 and launched publicly last summer as a “Goodreads plus a book-of-the-month retail platform,” according to co-founder and CEO Joanna Stone Herman. Scribd plans to use the start-up’s social features in order to develop a more robust social e-reading...

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Parterning with Findaway, Playster Adds 50,000 Subscription Audiobooks

The multimedia subscription platform Playster is still in a beta phase, but the Montreal-based start-up is busy bulking up its catalog. A new partnership with the digital content distributor Findaway brings some 50,000 digital audiobooks to Playster’s offering. The deal marks Playster’s first foray into audiobooks, rounding out a catalog that also offers ebooks, video, TV, games...

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Do Standards Help or Hinder Innovation?

Many trade publishers fall asleep at the mention of standards. Support for EPUB3—just to name one—is still far from universal, and there are few signs that that’s changing quickly. But outside trade publishing, standards arguably garner more urgent attention from digital content developers, distributors and their partners. W3C, a web standards group, secures the...

W3C MathML STM publishers web standards markup language

MathML Language Certified an International Standard

MathML 3.0, the markup language used to render mathematical expressions online and in other digital content, gets the imprimatur of two international standards organizations. With MathML, mathematical formulas can be made interactive, rather than being published as static representations of mathematical concepts or equations. Advocates see that capability as one of the language’s chief virtues in...

ebook developers digital production Joshua Tallent`

Understanding Ebook Production (and Why You Might Want to)

With the ebook market basically stuck in neutral, some ebook developers are doing a bit of soul-searching. In one view, the profession may be losing some of its appeal as publishers pare back their investments in digital production and talented coders seek fatter paychecks in other industries. And it doesn’t help that acquiring professional-grade...

ebook developers digital production Joshua Tallent

Seven Ways to Get Ebook Production Training

My colleague and fellow ebook developer Laura Brady wrote recently about the challenging job prospects facing would-be ebook production professionals. As she pointed out, learning how to create ebooks is neither an easy process nor a cheap one. But Brady also noted that there’s still a range of ways to acquire production training—to which...

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Focused Book Marketing in a Fragmented Market

“The key change authors and publishers need to embrace—and it’s a change that’s both an opportunity and a challenge—is that the book discovery landscape is fracturing,” Goodreads co-founder and CEO Otis Chandler says. Some see that shift leading to readers exercising more control over how content is curated and discovered. For publishers, Chandler explains,...

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How to Work with Influencers to Drive Book Discovery

Ask authors and publishers about the biggest challenge they face, and chances are the top answer you’ll get is book discovery. Yes, it’s been the No. 1 issue in the industry for years, but it’s getting increasingly difficult. Millions of books are now published every year. Mass media, already the preserve of the rarified...

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Penguin Random House Inks Amazon Deal

With Penguin Random House announcing a new multi-year distribution contract with Amazon, all Big Five publishers have now come to terms with the e-tailer. What those terms consist of, though, remains to be seen in the case of the world’s largest trade publisher, which declined to confirm whether it, too, had agreed to a...

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Smashwords Lets Users Offer Preorders without Final Ebook Files

In a move it calls its “most ambitious feature ever, the popular self-publishing platform Smashwords allows authors to begin selling preorders of their titles up to one year before uploading the final assets—a finished manuscript and cover image—to its system. Smashwords has offered preordering capabilities for over two years, but so far only for titles whose files...

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Penguin Random House and Amazon Reach New Ebook Deal

The world’s largest trade publisher today confirms it’s reached a multi-year agreement for Amazon to distribute its print and digital titles in the US and U.K., becoming the final Big Five publisher to do so. A spokesperson for Penguin Random House, speaking to Publishers Weekly, declined to give further details about the terms of the...

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Oyster Ups the Ante on E-Reading Experience

If the e-reading experience were better, would more people pick up the habit? Oyster is hoping they might. Much as Kobo aims to convert print devotees with its latest e-reader, Oyster intends a new feature to make e-reading “more comfortable and enjoyable for our existing users” as well as to court “readers who might...

Amazon Refreshes Kindle Paperwhite E-Reader

The latest version of Amazon’s popular Kindle Paperwhite e-reader is available for preorder starting today. The device retails for $119 and will ship on June 30. The new Kindle Paperwhite improves on the screen resolution of its predecessor, with a 300 ppi display featuring twice the pixels of the earlier model. It also utilizes Bookerly, Kindle’s recently designed default...

Oyster Lumin ebook e-reading

Oyster Adds Light-Adjusting Technology for Easier E-Reading

Oyster, the ebook subscription service and retailer, adds a new feature to its e-reading platform that adjusts the color and brightness of mobile users’ screens in order to improve the e-reading experience. Called Lumin, the software decreases the amount of blue light emitted by LED screens, which some recent research has suggested can be harmful to readers’...

Inkling digital publishing start-ups innovation Matt MacInnis

How Book Publishers Can Outlast Book Publishing

“The book was a very sensible solution to a lot of problems for a long time, until it wasn’t,” says Inkling founder and CEO Matt MacInnis. “Today it increasingly isn’t.” MacInnis is among those who believe the traditional publishing model is under threat from “fast-changing customer expectations” to which publishers can’t always adapt quickly...

Inkling digital publishing start-ups innovation

How to Survive the Death of the Book

As founder and CEO of Inkling, I’ve spent nearly six years working across the publishing industry at every level. In this three-part series, I’ll share my tech-centric perspective on the industry. This first post addresses the changes I’ve seen in the book market and the key trends driving them. Second, I’ll discuss the challenges I’ve observed...

Gareth Cuddy Vearsa data digital publishing innovation disruption ebooks

Data, Innovation and Future-Proofing

“Between the rise of the self-published author and more efficient methods of content creation and distribution,” Vearsa CEO Gareth Cuddy says, “the value of being ‘published’ is diminishing year by year.” If that’s the case, though, Cuddy doesn’t believe it dooms publishers to obsolescence. “I think a lot of publishers are beginning to focus...