Tablet Sales Diminish for Apple and Samsung Alike

Apple’s iPad sales fell 23% in the first quarter of 2015 compared with the same period last year, according to new figures from ABI Research. It’s the second consecutive quarter where the tech company’s tablet sales have shrunk. While ABI found Samsung managed 7% tablet growth over the course of 2014, its first-quarter 2015 sales are likewise down—in Samsung’s...

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Why the Amazon Question Is Also a Mobile One

Not long after upgrading its search algorithm to give pride of place to mobile-optimized sites, Google develops a plan to add ‘buy’ buttons to certain search results appearing on mobile devices. The move is reportedly aimed at stemming the tide of shoppers who get irritated trying to make purchases through retailers’ cumbersome mobile sites...

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The Mobile Future Is Now and Amazon Is Winning It

No, I’m not talking about the Fire Phone. Two recent moves by Google drive home an e-commerce lesson many book publishers worried about Amazon’s market dominance are beginning to learn themselves—that a great deal depends on owning customer relationships with mobile users. Last month Google updated its search algorithm to give priority to mobile-responsive websites, and on Friday the Wall...

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Cheerios: Now with Ebooks

Since 2003, Cheerios has stuffed some of its cereal boxes with children’s books published by Simon & Schuster, through a program called “Cheer on Reading.” Now, that program takes a digital turn with help from BookShout. The ebook distribution service is providing Cheerios boxes with special codes offering select free ebooks by some of...

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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,...

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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....

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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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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...

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Smartphone Ownership Hits 64% in the U.S., Millennials “Heavily Dependent”

64% of American adults are smartphone owners, a figure that’s risen from 35% just four years ago, according to the latest Pew study. For many, the devices are a primary means of accessing the Internet. 15% of Americans say they have few other ways to get online besides their smartphones. Perhaps unsurprisingly, many of those who rely most on...

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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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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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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),”...

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Why Small Publishers Must Go Global, Too

Traditionally, being a global publisher has meant being a big publisher. Sandy Grant, CEO of the Australian publisher Hardie Grant, says until recently, independent publishers “often saw ourselves as unable to compete with the multi-nationals for global distribution and thus for global authors.” Especially now that ebooks have leveled off, the need for publishers...

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Android, Apple and Ebooks

Apple’s success with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus has been extraordinary by any measure. And after bundling the iBooks app with iOS 8 late last year, Apple reported bringing in 1 million new customers a week through the holiday season. But the extent to which those gains indicate an increasingly Apple-dominated ebook universe...

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Android, Apple and Mobile Ebooks: A Roundtable

After Apple released its most recent financial results earlier this month, several online outlets jumped to publish headlines like this one on TechCrunch: “Apple’s iPhone Overtakes Android in U.S. Sales for the First Time Since 2012.” That headline was rather breathless by comparison with the report the article draws on, which notes that iOS...

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Can the Movies Save Enhanced Ebooks?

It depends who you ask. The recent success of the enhanced ebook edition of American Sniper–which has reportedly sold over 166,000 copies, besting its unenhanced analog in the iBooks Store–has some asking whether a winning formula has been found at last. Film adaptations are well understood to boost the performance of the ebooks they’re...

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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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What ‘Mobile’ Really Means for Publishers

Many publishers and booksellers today worry that ebooks face steeper odds competing with the wealth of other media now available on mobile devices. But a more seldom heard fear is the one that publishers themselves may not be able to adapt fast enough to meet that competition head-on. After all, it isn’t just consumers’...


What We Talk about When We Talk about Mobile

What exactly do we mean when we talk about mobile strategies for digital publishers? There’s one quick and easy answer. It involves posting regularly to Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and their brethren so that people with smartphones can follow your publicity trail. True enough. But as I moved deeper into research on my report on...

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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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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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Free Webcast: Mobile Strategies for Authors and Publishers

Join Digital Book World on Tuesday, February 17 at 12:00pm ET / 9:00am PT / 5:00pm GMT for a free webcast where you will learn the latest trends in the shifting mobile market and how authors and publishers can adapt strategically. The explosion of mobile devices—smartphones and tablets—is transforming the nature of digital publishing. Publishers...

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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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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.


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.