copyright office American Library Association ALA digital libraries

ALA Slams Bid to Modernize U.S. Copyright Office

The American Library Association (ALA) says a bill now up for consideration in Congress does too little to address what it sees as the issues plaguing the U.S. Copyright Office. ALA President Courtney Young says the Copyright Office for the Digital Economy (CODE) Act doesn’t solve the issue of severe underinvestment in technological resources...

ebook developers digital production Laura Brady

Do They Still Make Ebook Developers Like They Used to?

Are talented ebook developers getting harder to come by? Some in the field believe that they are. Digital production expert Laura Brady says there are probably several, interconnected reasons for that. For one thing, acquiring the necessary skills can be time-consuming and costly, and candidates who possess them can usually expect higher salaries in...

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Amazon Hit with Ebook Antitrust Probe in Europe

Expanding its regulatory scrutiny of the biggest U.S. technology companies, the European Commission (EC) today opens an investigation into Amazon’s ebook contracts with publishers in the European Union. A key area of concern are clauses requiring publishers to inform Amazon of terms with its competitors that may be favorable, a practice the EC says may “make it...

ebook developers digital production Laura Brady

Are Good Jobs for Good Ebook Developers Drying up?

Lately there have been rumors within the profession that it’s becoming harder and harder to hire a good ebook developer. Is this true? In my personal experience, it is. But I also think there are broader issues at play than just a shortage of talent. A conversation on the subject during a recent #eprdctn...

AAP Association of American Publishers StatShot ebook sales

New Data, Same Slow Ebook Market

Ebooks grew modestly in 2014, a year that saw a 4.6% uptick in revenue overall, according to new full-year figures from the Association of American Publishers (AAP). But while the nearly 1,800 U.S. publishers who participated in the AAP’s latest survey say their ebook sales rose 3.8% on balance last year, the bigger story...

Inkshares crowdfunding crowdsourcing ebook publishing start-up Twitter

Inkshares Lets Users Crowdsource Book Ideas on Twitter

There’s good news for anyone with an idea for a book that can be summed up in 140 characters or less. The crowdsourced publishing start-up Inkshares introduces a feature allowing users to tweet those capsule concepts and see whether they’ll actually take shape. Called Inkshares Ideas, the company bills the new feature as a sort of...

AAP Association of American Publishers StatShot ebook sales

New AAP Figures Show Ebook Growth Mostly Flat

The Association of American Publishers (AAP) introduces new, full-year snapshot of the U.S. book market in 2014. The program, called StatShot Annual, is distinct from both the monthly StatShot reports the organization releases and the now retired BookStats program. With a sample size somewhat larger than that of the monthly report (based on some 1,200 publishers),...

IPR License NetGalley global rights global publishing

Greasing the Gears on Rights Deals

If you’re a big publisher already, one way to pursue growth amid a sluggish ebook market is to get bigger. That’s the approach HarperCollins has adopted (among others) in the roughly ten months since it acquired Harlequin. Another is to ramp up on content licensing. As Tom Chalmers of IPR License sees it, revenue...

IPR License NetGalley global rights

IPR License Adds NetGalley Integration

The rights platform IPR License partners with NetGalley to allow its users to request digital review copies. IPR License is pushing to make its platform more attractive to rights-holders seeking to license content worldwide. In March the company launched a campaign designed to help self-published authors monetize their work in foreign markets. For NetGalley, the new...

Simon & Schuster to Distribute Gallup Titles

Simon & Schuster signs a global sales and distribution agreement with Gallup Press, the research organization’s publishing arm. Effective January 1, 2016, the deal puts Simon & Schuster in charge of distributing all of Gallup’s English-language print and ebooks around the world, as well as translated titles in certain markets. The agreement covers both front- and back-list titles. In an...

Emma Barnes Bibliocloud ebook publishing production editorial workflows IT

The Publishing Problems Technology Can’t Solve

With ebook growth flattening out, many publishers are doing a bit of housekeeping. It’s smart think about investing in automated production-editorial workflows and other digital solutions, Bibliocloud CEO Emma Barnes observes, but the reason many publishers “think they need a system is usually because of problems with process, not data,” she says. For someone...

Emma Barnes Bibliocloud ebook publishing production editorial workflows IT

No Computer System Can Fix a Broken Publisher

With stability taking hold of the hybrid print-digital market after years of rapid ebook growth, many publishers are turning to evaluate how workflow automation and other IT solutions can streamline their businesses and make them more efficient. That’s undeniably a good thing, but as I’ve written before, the allure of a new digital system...

Publishers Launch Kids children's ebooks publishers

Whither the Children’s Market?

By some recent measures, children’s and young adult titles have powered a level of growth that few other categories are able to match. At the same time, though, research paints a complicated and sometimes uncertain picture of the ways kids interact with ebooks. As more digital natives enter the market, children’s publishers, authors, app...

Survey: What’s Next for Children’s Content?

The children’s book market is a subject of considerable debate among authors and publishers. Are young readers fundamentally different from their elders? If so, in what ways? Research over the past year or two has painted sometimes conflicting pictures of the children’s market, with some saying millennials are more than happy sticking with print, and others...

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Are Mobile Apps for Publishers Overrated?

Not long ago, many publishers thought rising to the mobile challenge meant building apps. But as smartphone use expands and that first phase of experimentation recedes, “many publishers are finding that the revenue apps generate hardly ever covers the costs of development, let alone the overhead,” Felix Wenzel of Librios writes. At the same...

mobile apps book publishers responsive web design

Not All Publishers Need Mobile Apps

Back in 2010, at the European Tools of Change Conference in Frankfurt, I took part in a research group evaluating the pros and cons of mobile apps for book publishers. I remember one of the speakers saying something along these lines: “Before you put $10,000 aside to make an app, have a look at...

Actively Learn HarperCollins ebooks e-reading learning K-12 education publishing

Getting Trade Ebooks into More Classrooms

Actively Learn, a digital content library and e-reading platform for K-12 students, adds “thousands” of popular titles published by HarperCollins, including classics like The Bridge to Terabithia. The platform lets students and school districts rent individual ebooks for limited periods, typically for less than it would cost to buy those titles in print or...

Actively Learn HarperCollins ebooks e-reading learning K-12 education publishing

HarperCollins Adds Ebooks to K-12 E-Reading Platform

In a deal announced yesterday, HarperCollins adds “thousands” of popular trade ebooks to Actively Learn, a digital content platform for K-12 students. Actively Learn aims to make it cheaper for school districts to access learning content than the typical costs of buying print or digital titles a la carte. It says its e-reading platform and content...

Full Fathom Five digital publishing genre ebooks readers

The New Digital Acquisitions Playbook

Do editors’ strategies for acquiring new digital titles need a refresh? One publisher thinks so. As the ebook market slows down, Full Fathom Five Digital’s Samantha Streger says that “many of the hit-making formulas acquiring editors and indie authors developed just a few years ago are bringing diminishing returns.” Genre fiction in particular has...

pastgenre

Getting Past Genre in Digital Acquisitions

The growth of ebook publishing has heralded the growth of genre publishing—and it’s no wonder: Readers gravitate toward online communities that mirror their interests. By publishing genre-oriented ebooks, publishers and authors can cater to established communities of readers. And since ebooks can often be produced inexpensively and sold at lower prices than many of...

Joshua Tallent EPUB Kindle Amazon ebooks

In Defense of Many Ebook Formats

Amazon tends to take flak for hanging onto its proprietary Kindle ebook format. But as digital production expert Joshua Tallent sees it, that’s a little unfair. “Apple has iBooks Author, Barnes & Noble has proprietary formats for children’s books and fixed-layout nonfiction and Inkling has a proprietary XML format, just to name a few.”...

EPUB ebook formats Firebrand

Why Proprietary Ebook Formats Work

As someone who has been creating ebooks for more than a decade, I am often asked whether I think Amazon will someday let go of its proprietary Kindle format and switch to EPUB. My response has been the same since the question was first posed to me in 2009: I don’t see any reason...

Authors guild book publishing contracts digital

Fixing Author-Publisher Partnerships

As The Authors Guild sees it, the digital age has not been kind to most authors. According to preliminary results from a recent survey of its members, the organization finds authors’ income from their writing fell 24% over the past five years. “Authors are earning less, but publishers are making as much money as...

Digital Book World Launches Free Booklet Series, Revamps Membership Program

For those who work in digital publishing, keeping up with the conversations at the heart of the industry isn’t always easy. News of partnerships, staffing changes, product launches and start-up entrances and exits either seem to whip by too fast or start to feel redundant. The popular DBW Daily email newsletter condenses that flood of news and information into a...

Do Publishers Innovate Too Slowly? Can Start-ups Help?

“Books gestate very slowly,” veteran publishing entrepreneur Richard Nash observed at IDPF’s Digital Book 2015 conference at BookExpo America in New York City yesterday. “But the life-cycles of start-ups are much shorter.” When it comes to driving innovation, Nash asked, is that mismatch a problem, an advantage or something else altogether? Start-up leaders who joined Nash on yesterday’s panel couldn’t answered that question...

Authors guild book publishing contracts digital

Authors Guild Pushes for Book Contract Reform

The Authors Guild launched a “Fair Contract Initiative” yesterday designed to rethink what the organization sees as inequitable agreements between authors and publishers in the digital age. Through a series of “commentaries” it will publish on its website, the Authors Guild wants to arm authors with information about key terms over which to haggle with publishers. According Mary...

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HarperCollins Tries Mobile Marketing with Shazam

“We need to be more ambitious about who our audience is,” digital strategist Molly Barton exhorted publishers at the Digital Book 2015 Conference at BookExpo America earlier this week, urging them to look for readers in unlikely places. Now HarperCollins announces a mobile marketing partnership with Shazam, which first came to prominence an app...

HarperCollins Expands LibreDigital Contract for Global Ebooks

HarperCollins extends its partnership with the R. R. Donnelley–owned Libre Digital for global ebook services and metadata management. The multi-year agreement allows HarperCollins to leverage LibreDigital’s Harvest platform, which the company describes in an announcement today as offer tools that help “publishers to scale their digital businesses globally while maintaining visibility and control of their...

HarperCollins Shazam digital ebook mobile marketing discovery readers

HarperCollins Partners with Shazam on Interactive Mobile Marketing

HarperCollins and Shazam team up to offer mobile users access to interactive multimedia content, including “author interviews, special offers, videos, playlists and more,” according to an announcement the publisher released today. The Shazam logo will now appear on certain HarperCollins print and digital titles, and readers who scan their devices across it will automatically launch a...

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Publishing in a Reader-Powered World

Publishers are losing control over the curation of their content, Canelo’s Michael Bhasksar told attendees at IDPF’s Digital Book 2015 conference at BookExpo America yesterday. And readers themselves, Bhaskar said, are taking over. That’s leading publishers and retailers to rethink their marketing and discovery strategies in ways that play into readers hands. But as...

Happenings on the Library Ebook Front

I’m pleased to bring you some news today from the American Library Association (ALA). First, I’d like to announce the release of Digital Futures, our fifth supplement to American Libraries magazine, focused on digital content issues. Two members of the publishing community are contributors, both to the report itself and to our guiding theme...

Discovery Challenges Mount in a Reader-Driven World

Editors and imprints are steadily losing the ability to dictate how their content is curated and discovered, says Canelo co-founder Michael Bhaskar, speaking at the International Digital Publishing Forum’s Digital Book 2015 conference at BookExpo America in New York City this morning. That power, as Bhasksar sees it, has devolved to readers. Or, at...

HarperCollins Adds Ebooks to Follett’s Pre-K–12 Offering

[Press Release] Follett to Offer HarperCollins eBooks to PreK-12 Students Nationwide New agreement supports Follett’s continuing effort to drive literacy; available titles to include Harper Lee’s anticipated ‘Go Set a Watchman’ MCHENRY, Ill., May 27, 2015 – Follett today announced it has launched a robust collection of nearly 18,000 ebook titles for PreK-12 students through...