subscription ebooks

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Mobile Putting New Focus on Customer Relationships

There’s reason to believe the major tech companies understand a lesson outside publishing that’s steadily reshaping the rules of the game within it. Google recently took steps to sharpen its e-commerce edge against Amazon among mobile users. Yet few observers believe Google wants to become an e-tailer itself. Rather, the race is for relationships...

DBW In Brief digital disruption ebook publishing

Digital Disruption: When, Whether, Whence?

Is the worst of the digital transition over? Some expect mostly smooth sailing for publishers in the next few years, while others say more change is coming that few are prepared to weather. Rather than referee that debate, Digital Book World is putting it under the microscope. Our latest issue in the “DBW In...

Macmillan Scribd Oyster subscription ebooks

Macmillan Wades Deeper into Subscription Ebooks

What began at Macmillan as a tentative (and even downright reluctant) experiment with subscription ebooks early this year is now steadily expanding. The publisher adds more than 1,000 additional back-list titles apiece to both Scribd and Oyster’s subscription-based catalogs, expansions that roughly double its offerings on the two platforms. A portion of both new batches...

Scribd Macmillan subscription ebooks

Macmillan Doubles Ebook Offerings on Scribd and Oyster

In an expansion of the partnerships with the leading subscription ebook platforms it kicked off in January this year, Macmillan doubles its offerings on both Scribd and Oyster, adding roughly 1,000 titles apiece to the two platforms. Both of those contributions cover popular back-list fiction and nonfiction ebooks, which Scribd says includes best-selling titles by Grace Paley, Hilary Mantel, John McPhee and...

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...

Scribd

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...

Scribd subscription ebooks Trip Adler Mark Coker Smashwords

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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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...

Playster

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...

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...

Penguin Random House Amazon ebooks agency pricing

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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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...

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’...

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),...

Macmillan Epic subscription ebooks children's publishing

Macmillan Adds Kids’ Ebooks to Epic! Catalog

Deepening its participation in the subscription model, Macmillan contributes several hundred children’s ebooks to Epic!, a leading subscription service for kids’ content. Nearly six months into its experiment with subscription ebooks, Macmillan becomes the third Big Five publisher, after HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster, to partner with Epic!. Epic!, which offers more than 100,00...

Macmillan Epic subscription ebooks children's publishing

Macmillan Adds Ebooks to Subscription Platform Epic!

Macmillan becomes the third Big Five publisher, after HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster, to partner with the children’s ebook subscription service Epic!, in a deal announced today. The agreement makes “a few hundred” of Macmillan’s back-list ebooks available on Epic!’s catalog, which currently numbers more than 10,000 titles. According to the company’s co-founder Kevin Donahue, Epic!...

Scribd

Sharpening Global Focus, Scribd Adds to Front-List Catalog for Australia

The subscription content platform Scribd adds more than 200 front-list ebooks to the catalog available to Australian readers, including best-selling titles from Simon & Schuster, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Harlequin Australia. According to a Scribd spokesperson, the company is focused on taking a targeted approach to international growth, “and one of the main ways we’re accomplishing that...

Macmillan BitLit Tor ebook bundling

Macmillan Tries Ebook Bundling with BitLit

Macmillan becomes the second Big Five publisher after HarperCollins to team up with the Vancouver-based print and ebook bundling start-up BitLit. Most of the nearly 3,000 titles Macmillan adds to BitLit’s content offering are DRM-free ebooks from Tor, the sci-fi and fantasy publisher. BitLit offers readers free and cheap ebook editions of print titles...

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Authors’ Views Vary on Subscription Ebooks

As the subscription model for ebooks evolves, authors and publishers are keeping a close eye on how much they earn from individual borrows on the leading platforms. Kindle Unlimited, Amazon’s subscription-based program, continues to compensate authors at rates that have been widely criticized as too meager. But author and researcher Dana Beth Weinberg reminds...

Which Authors Do Subscription Services Benefit?

Subscriptions services may yet turn out to be a next game-changer in publishing, but for the moment that market is in a state of flux and expansion. Oyster recently added an ebookstore loaded with Big Five titles, a move that could in turn bolster the subscription model, potentially attracting new readers and making the brand more competitive...

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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,...

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...

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...

Emma Barnes publishers branding direct-to-consumer

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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Global Ebook Opportunities Rising

A recent Pew study hints at growing opportunities for ebook publishers and retailers to reach more English-language readers around the world. Not only are rates of Internet use are higher among younger, more affluent, better educated members of the 32 developing countries Pew surveyed, those users also tend be social media savvy and read or speak...

Pew global ebooks readers publishing

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...

ebook discovery

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...

HarperCollins Expands Bookmate Offering

Many of the leading ebook subscription services are growing, both in terms of content and reach. Amazon brought Kindle Unlimited to Mexico and Canada less than two weeks ago. And earlier this month, Scribd added 10,000 digital comics to its subscription-based platform. Now Bookmate brings its total catalog up to 250,000 titles after adding...

HarperCollins Expands Subscription Ebook Partnership with Bookmate

[Press Release] Bookmate expands deal with HarperCollins Agreement will increase Bookmate’s English-language catalogue to 250,000 titles 20 February 2015: Bookmate, the subscription-based social reading service, has today announced the expansion of its deal with HarperCollins Publishers. The agreement, which expands the deal struck in October 2014, will add a significant number of books from...