Ebook Industry News Feed

What Just Happened

Ebook Industry News Feed
Ebook Industry News Feed

US Ebook Sales Up 3.4% in May-17 (YoY)
28 September (The Digital Reader)
This is the first monthly increase over prior year sales since March 2015, according to the StatShot Monthly report from the Association of American Publishers (AAP).

Amazon capitulates in Chinese Kindle deal with Alibaba
22 September (Recode)
At one time Amazon thought it could really compete with Alibaba. No longer.

B&N Capitulates on Ebooks Generally
19 September (Publishers Weekly)
[Steve] Riggio … assured shareholders that B&N is no longer in the tech business. While the Nook e-reader and e-books will remain a part of the company’s offerings to customers, bricks and mortar stores will be its focus. Riggio explained that when e-book sales began exploding several years ago, B&N felt it had no choice but to enter the digital market. In retrospect, Riggio said, B&N didn’t have the culture or financing to compete with the likes of Amazon and Google.

Now You Can Use Google Search to Find eBooks Available at Your Local Library
19 September (Fortune)
Search giant has added a new feature that will now show up in the search results for any book title, listing local public libraries where users can borrow the title in ebook form.

EFF angry at Worldwide Web Consortium effort to add DRM media controls to web browsers.
18 September (Cory Doctorow at BoingBoing)
The W3C has published draft standards to enable content owners to stipulate and control usage of ebooks and other media. Ultimately this could lead to big publishers releasing content on the web, without users having to download additional e-reader software. But “everything-should-be-free” advocates are against it.

DRM System Offers Readers Bitcoin Bounty to Snitch on Pirate Sites
14 September (Copyright and Technology)
Combines bounty hunting, multi-layer watermarking and web-crawling to sniff out infringing ebooks

AAP Reports Publisher Revenue Up, eBook Revenue Down
11 September 2017 (The Digital Reader)
The strong growth of audiobook downloads continued in First Four Months of 2017, with publisher revenue for this format jumping by 29.6%, to $100.6 million in in the first four months of 2017. eBooks revenues, on the other hand, fell 4.6% to $374.9 million.

If kids are reading paper books, parents might be to blame
10 September (The Digital Reader)
Do juvenile reading habits actually reflect a preference? If 75 per cent of parents wish their children had less screen time, it’s no wonder they’re buying them printed books.

Hard-Won Lessons in Managing Digital Rights
8th September (Publishers Weekly)
Many houses can’t identify which rights they own, let alone collect the rights revenue owed to them.

Nook Revenues Dropped 28%
7 September (The Digital Reader)
Nook revenues fell 28.1%, to $29.5 million. “NOOK generated EBITDA of $0.6 million, an $8.6 million improvement over the prior year on expense reductions.” Which presumably means that Nook lost $8 million in 2016.

Amazon Acts Against Authors, Publishers for Scamming the Kindle Store
7 September (The Digital Reader)
Amazon fought the scammers by changing the best-seller algorithm and payment system for Kindle Unlimited several times, but the scammers were always one step ahead.

Kobo adds audiobooks to its iOS and Android apps
6 September (The Verge)
… with two ways to buy them: a la carte, or with a $10 per month subscription service that nets you one book per month. The service launches today in Canada, the US, the UK, Australia and New Zealand via an update to the apps.

De Gruyter will digitize the entirety of its backlist
5 September (No Shelf Required)
40,000 books, all the way back to 1749, to be digitized by 2020. Many treasures are among works to be digitized, including Noam Chomsky’s Syntactic Structures as well as versions of Grimm’s Fairy Tales, to name but two.

Amazon Urges Unknown Authors to Slash Ebook Prices
5 September (The Digital Reader)
That advice came out of a discussion of the tactics indie authors in KDP use to drive discovery, specifically how some indie authors initially lower a book’s price to build awareness, and then gradually increase price until they find the point on the demand curve that maximizes book revenue.

College Textbook Spending Dropped 17% Since 2007
28 August (The Digital Reader)
Survey shows why textbook publishers are running scared. Nearly a quarter (23%) of students who purchased at least one course material bought a digital version, an increase of 8% from fall 2015. In spring 2016, 25% of students surveyed reported using a free method to obtain what they needed for class, up from 19% the previous year.

McGraw-Hill and iFlipd Pilot a Weekly Textbook Rental Program
25 August (Publishing Perspectives)
Each rental comes with an ebook edition, which is accessed on iFlipd, as well as a print copy, according to a student’s requests.
The program allows students after eight weeks to either own the book or to earn a $50 rebate.

Second-hand ebook dealer ReDigi is back in court
25 August (The Digital Reader)
ReDigi wants to allow consumers to resell their “used” digital media. Five years ago, record labels filed suit, and ReDigi subsequently went bankrupt. But now, in a kind of zombie sequel, ReDigi fights on.

Canadians are reading more books on their smartphones
22 August (GoodEreader)
Those between the ages of 18 and 44 were more likely to have listened to an audiobook than read a print book or ebook. Audiobook use is about on par with ebooks for readers 45-54 and continues to decline with the older age brackets.

Print Book Use Is Falling Faster in Research Libraries
21 August (The Scholarly Kitchen)
Between 2009 and 2015, total initial circulations in ARL libraries fell by almost half (from 36 million to 19 million). During that same period, the decline in circulations per student has continued as well.

Digital isn’t dead for book publishers
21 August (The Bookseller)
We’re just waking up from the first hangover. Any digitally native reading experience is arguably going against learned behaviour. Publishers are cautiously experimenting with business models and content, learning and pivoting to support what works.

Amazon’s Patent on One-Click Purchase Expires Next Month
19 August (Quartz)
The patent application was filed in 1997 and granted in 1999. In September 1999, Amazon sued Barnes & Noble for using a one-click checkout feature on its website, and ultimately won an injunction that forced the bookseller to add more steps to the checkout process.

W3C Publishing Summit Program Now Available Online
17 August (InfoDocket)
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) announced today the program of its inaugural W3C Publishing Summit to be held November 9-10, 2017 in the San Francisco Bay area, California, featuring keynotes from Internet pioneer and futurist Tim O’Reilly and Adobe CTO Abhay Parasnis.

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