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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...

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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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HarperCollins Expands Spanish Offering

Continuing to widen its international profile, HarperCollins launches two new divisions devoted to Spanish-language publishing. With HarperCollins Español and HarperCollins Iberica, the publisher plans to increase the volume of titles available for Spanish-language readers worldwide. The first of those is to be a translation of Harper Lee’s forthcoming Go Set a Watchman. HarperCollins CEO...

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European Court Rules Ebooks Aren’t Goods

Ebook readers in the European Union will soon have to spend more. An EU court deems ebooks “electronically supplied services” rather than products, preventing them from being taxed at the lower rates print books can. The standard value-added tax (VAT) rates in EU member states varies, but in Luxembourg and France, it’s 17% and...

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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...

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For Publishers’ SEO, Divide and Conquer

Book publishers wanting to optimize their web content to drive discovery should approach it as a battle waged on two fronts: the elements they control, and the ones they don’t. Off-site content, like book reviews, fall into the latter category, but what marketing expert Murray Izenwasser calls the “mechanicals” of publishers’ own sites can be tailored to...

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How to Know Your Readers Better

First, head down to your local grocer. Small neighborhood shops tend to intuit something about cultivating customer relationships that other businesses, including many publishers, often miss. To be fair, it’s only quite recently that that’s begun to change. As digital marketing expert Murray Izenwasser recently pointed out, most publishers experimenting with direct-to-consumer strategies are...

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Looking Beyond Ebooks, Scribd Bulks up

Scribd has doubled its content offering over the past six months, hitting the 1 million mark after adding 10,000 digital comics yesterday. In the course of that expansion, the label typically used to describe Scribd’s main program–“ebook subscription service”–has become a bit of a misnomer. Scribd expanded into audiobooks last November, adding 30,000 titles...

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Apple Shifts Focus for iOS 9

One of the biggest developments for ebook publishers when Apple launched iOS 8 last September was the company’s decision to bundle the update with its iBooks app. At Digital Book World last month, iBooks Store Director Keith Moerer estimated 1 million new customers had flocked to iBooks each week between the iOS 8 rollout...

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When Low Ebook Prices Aren’t Enough

As the economics of digital bookselling evolve, bargain prices don’t always pack the punch they once did in terms of driving sales. That’s partly a function of the sheer volume of titles being pumped into the market, but major publishers’ willingness to experiment with price promotions is also influencing readers’ buying habits and expectations....

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Three Steps to Direct-to-Consumer Publishing

Many publishers tend to think of direct-to-consumer publishing as being about either e-commerce or marketing. In fact, it’s about both ingredients–plus one more. Earlier this week Biztegra co-founder Murray Izenwasser argued that establishing a direct-to-consumer strategy is achievable for every publisher regardless of its size and that doing so is more important than ever. Now he...

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Amazon Eyes RadioShack Real Estate

When the rumors late last year that Amazon would be opening physical stores didn’t materialize in time for the holiday season, few expected that would be the end of it. Recent reports now say the e-tailer is talking with RadioShack about moving into some of its stores as the gadget retailer totters toward bankruptcy....

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Where Does Apple Go from Here?

Nearly 70% of Apple’s revenue in the most recent quarter and the entirety of its growth came from the iPhone, leading one observer to remark that the tech company “is now as dependent on the success of one product line…as Microsoft once was with Windows.” Pointing to the experience of Microsoft, at one time...

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Simon & Schuster Sweetens the Deal for Authors

It’s no secret many authors aren’t convinced traditional publishers offer them contract terms worth signing for. Over the past two years, Digital Book World and Writer’s Digest have tracked some of that dissatisfaction in our annual Author Surveys. Enter Simon & Schuster’s North Star Way imprint, which the publisher bills as a more “client-centric...

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Amazon Prime Members Spending Big

By one recent estimate, Amazon Prime subscribers spend more than twice what the e-tailer’s other customers do. Prime members drop an average of $1,500 a year, compared with the $625 spent on average by non-Prime members, according to a new report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners. The same research group estimated that about 7...

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Authors Recalibrate for Tight Book Market

Slow money is better than no money, or so it appears from the 2015 Digital Book World and Writer’s Digest Author Survey. Authors in this year’s sample who self-published their work were more likely to be satisfied than their traditionally published counterparts by more modest earnings. One reason why, writes Dana Beth Weinberg, who...

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Mobile Boom Spurs Ebook Growth in China

One of China’s largest booksellers reports its customers bought 60 million ebooks in 2014. That’s about 20% the volume of its hardcover sales but a share that’s risen by 10% since the previous year. As industry experts have said repeatedly over the past year, China’s book market is growing fast. And ebooks in particular are on...

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How Authors Balance Risks and Rewards

When authors sign contracts with publishers, exactly what is given and what’s expected in return? What do publishers and indie authors do that makes some of them successful and others less so? The results of the 2015 Digital Book World and Writer’s Digest Author Survey are in, and they lay the groundwork for a...

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Mobile Moves to the Center

How the mobile boom is driving a number of trends in a digital landscape where ebook growth has stalled, a full recap of Digital Book World 2015 conference coverage, Amazon reassures authors on Kindle Unlimited, data on authors' earnings and much more.

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iBooks Adding a Million New Users a Week

Apple's iBooks head Keith Moerer joins DBW15 to discuss the ebook business's rapid growth, charting the rise of audiobooks among ebook readers and beyond, Macmillan and Springer merge, rethinking social media and more.

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Kids Gain Control Over Their E-Reading

Why more children's publishers are training their focus on kids themselves rather than their parents, Macmillan enters a shifting subscription ebook landscape, Penguin Publishing Group reshuffles upper ranks and more news from DBW15.

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New Routes to Reader Data

An alternative approach to the fee-based, aggregated user data retailers occasionally supply, kids and parents figuring out where ebooks fit, the year in review for publishing M&A, Amazon's latest crowdsourcing plans and much more.

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Why 2015 Is the Year of the Customer

Rodale Books Publisher Mary Ann Naples agrees with Seth Godin that publishers must rethink their customer relationships, the can- and can't-do's of data-based publishing, Recorded Books bulks up and much more.

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Four Reasons to Attend Digital Book World 2015 Next Week

In many ways, 2014 was a challenging year for publishers, but it wasn’t without its upsides, either. The Amazon-Hachette dispute stoked mistrust about the biggest publishers’ relationship with their top distribution partner, but it resolved with Hachette regaining the right to set its own ebook prices, much as Simon & Schuster had done the month before....

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Talking Ebooks with Apple and Amazon

Leaders at the two biggest ebook retailers to take the stage next week at Digital Book World 2015, Smaswords increases output, sizing up supply-and-demand in the digital market, Scribd raises $22 million, what's next for Nook and more.

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Amazon Counts Year-End Gains

Amazon adds 10 million new Prime members and says device sales grew by leaps and bounds this holiday season, assessing authors' Kindle Unlimited qualms, Kobo aims to upsell erstwhile Sony loyalists with new devices and more.

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Three Steps to Better Book Marketing

Three ways to upgrade your book marketing tactics for the vastness and vagaries of the digital marketplace, Amazon's one-hour delivery service scores high, e-commerce driving supply chain innovation and much more.

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How Amazon Could Disrupt Anew

One industry leader's case for why Amazon could still prove a game-changer in the mobile market, what's ahead in digital content delivery, leadership changes at Wiley, reconsidering global ebook pricing and much more.

Driving Innovation in Digital Learning

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt CEO Linda Zecher on driving technological change in K-12 publishing, why Amazon is making peace with publishers, Macmillan head John Sargent expresses frustration over ebook distribution options and more.