EBOOK INDUSTRY NEWS FEED
Ebook market share 2021
Ebooks make up 21% of total book sales
In February 2021, the American Association of Publishers, which represents mostly established, mainstream book publishers, reported that among their members ebook sales accounted for 15.4% of sales revenue. That’s up from 14.3% in 2019.
In January 2020 the UK’s Bookseller estimated global ebook sales to be 19% of total book sales by revenue, and a whopping 36% by unit sales (number of books sold). This massive figure is somewhat driven by the number of backlist ebooks offered by publishers for free or under $1.00.
But some some analysts caution against reliance on stats from mainstream publishers, citing the emergence of a rapidly-growing independent ebook publishing market.
Amy Watson pulled together disparate reports in the public domain, and her December 2018 report suggested a market share of 19 per cent. This aligns closely with our own off-the-record briefings from trade and academic publishers.
Since Watson’s report, book trade bodies reported on that ebook sales had stabilised, after a period of decline between 2015 and 2019.
A July 2020 report from The Association of American Publishers (AAP) put US ebook sales revenue at US $1.94 billion in 2019.
Since March 2020 the world has experienced a rush to digital, due to the Covid pandemic. Publishers and booksellers have reported significant growth in ebook sales globally as a proportion of book sales. Accordingly we estimate ebook sales to make up 21 per cent of total book sales in 2021.
Amazon’s share of the ebook market is 67%
This is a very elastic figure. Amazon’s public statements are often obtuse or non-existent, and it’s left to independent analysts to apply their skills. The figure varies from 83 per cent to considerably less. Our own polling of publishers suggests that, leaving aside Amazon’s own publishing efforts and their self-publishing platform, their share of the ebook market sits at 67 per cent.
U.S. judge dismisses antitrust lawsuits over college textbooks
15 June 2021 (Reuters)
Judge Cote said the independent bookstores and online textbook sellers (plaintiffs) lacked standing to sue because it was the adoption by hundreds of colleges and universities of digital textbooks, rather than the defendants’ conduct, that hurt their sales. “Any injury to the plaintiffs is due to the institutions selecting brick-and-mortar retailers other than the plaintiffs as their on-campus bookstores.”
Where Is Our Spotify for Books?
Congress could fix the problem instantly by extending the first sale doctrine to allow school and public libraries to purchase e-books at regular retail prices and keep them in their collections permanently. At a stroke, this would triple to quadruple the number of e-books libraries could purchase with current budgets and, since the books would never expire, increase their e-book holdings by orders of magnitude over time.
Deadlock between PA and academics in e-book pricing row
7 June 2021 (The Bookseller)
A row over the pricing models of academic e-books has continued, with the Publishers Association (PA) and Higher Education organisations blaming each other for a lack of movement on the issue.
Maryland: Publishers Now Obliged to License Ebooks to Libraries
1 June 2021 (Publishers Weekly)
Bill number SB432 requires any publisher offering to license “an electronic literary product” to consumers in the state to also offer to license the content to public libraries “on reasonable terms” that would enable library users to have access. The bill is scheduled to take effect in January, 2022.
Ebook sales are roaring
26 May 2021 (World Economic Forum)
UK readers turned to digital books in 2020, with sales soaring 24% to $591 million, but print sales were also up 4% to $2.4 billion.
D.C. attorney general files suit accusing Amazon of price fixing
25 May 2021 (Politico)
The move marks another battlefront for the e-commerce behemoth. “For years, Amazon has controlled online retail prices through its restrictive contract provisions and policies,” District of Columbia Attorney General said.
Kobo connects eBooks and notepad for a reader you can write on
21 May 2021 (Pickr)
An eReader like the Kindle or Kobo is meant for reading, but what if you could scribble notes using the same gadget? The latest Kobo has that in mind.
Amazon will distribute ebooks to public libraries
19 May 2021 (Good E-Reader)
Amazon has reached a much anticipated deal with the Digital Public Library of America to distribute 10,000 audiobooks and ebooks to libraries. The content will be provided by Amazons own imprints, such as Thomas and Mercer, Amazon Crossing and 47 North. This is the first time that libraries will receive digital books directly from Amazon
ProQuest Sold for $5.3 billion
17 May 2021 (Publishers Weekly)
Clarivate plc (formerly Thomson Reuters) has agreed to acquire ProQuest from Cambridge Information Group, a family-owned investment firm, and other partners including Atairos, for $5.3 billion, including refinancing of ProQuest debt. The consideration for the acquisition is approximately $4.0 billion in cash and $1.3 billion of equity.
Naver Completes $600 Million Wattpad Acquisition
10 May 2021 (BusinessWire)
Naver, South Korea’s internet conglomerate, and Wattpad, the global multi-platform entertainment company for original stories and a leading social storytelling platform, today announced that Naver has completed its acquisition of Wattpad in a cash and stock transaction valued at more than an estimated USD $600 million.
Korea’s Kakao Buys Storytelling Apps for $950 Million
10 May 2021 (Variety)
Serialized fiction app Radish is being acquired by Kakao Entertainment, the entertainment arm of Korean internet giant Kakao, in a transaction valued at $440 million. In addition, Kakao Entertainment said it is buying Tapas Media, which says it has more than 3 million readers of its short-form online mobile content, for $510 million. Word of the deals come as South Korea’s Naver on Monday announced the completion of its $600 million-plus takeover of Wattpad, a user-fiction story app.
Major Publishers are selling a ton of ebooks in 2021
7 May 2021 (Good E-Reader)
Harpercollins stated that digital sales increased by 38% in the quarter. Ebook sales were up 38%, and digital audiobook sales rose 42%. Their entire publishing division, which includes hardcovers and paperbacks, in addition to digital jumped 45% in profits and a 19% increase in revenue in the quarter ended March 31, 2021, sales rose to $490 million.
You can no longer advertise ebooks using Google Shopping Ads
4 May 2021 (Good E-Reader)
Google stated that “At present, Google cannot provide the best user and publisher experience to meet the high standards for digital books in Shopping ads. While we understand this negatively impacts those who advertise digital books on Shopping, we believe this is the right decision to protect users, publishers, and the Shopping ecosystem.”
Publishing Industry Sales Up 16% Through February
27 Apr-2021 (PW)
E-book sales rose 16.2% over the first two months of 2020, while digital audio sales increased 22.2%.
BibliU uses Gardners fulfilment service
14 Apr 2021 (FE News)
The new relationship means Gardners fulfilment services will allow BibliU to supply print-based learning resources to its clients as required.
The Kindle can now display book covers on the lockscreen
12 Apr 2021 (Good E-Reader)
Amazon is apparently slowing pushing the cover art update to international markets first, at the time of publication people in India, Mexico and other countries have verified it is working. It is only a matter of time before the feature is available in Canada, United States and United Kingdom.
Pavillion Ebook Sales Up 94 Per Cent
06 Apr 2021 (The Bookseller)
UK turnover fell 13% on the previous year, though the company saw an increase of 11% in the US. A sizeable proportion of the printed book business was previously based on heritage and gift stores, which were closed for the majority of the year.
Publishers may be compelled to license ebooks to public libraries in Maryland
02 Apr 2021 (Publishers Weekly)
A Maryland state bill that would ensure public libraries the right to license and lend e-books that are available to consumers is headed to Governor Larry Hogan’s desk.
Booksellers File Antitrust Lawsuit Against Amazon, Publishers
28 Mar 2021 (The Digital Reader)
The second shot in law firm Hagens Berman fight against Amazon has been fired. The firm put out a press release on Thursday announcing that they had found booksellers willing to sue Amazon over an alleged conspiracy with publishers.
ABA Releases Report Detailing Amazon’s Anti-competitive Behavior
17 Mar 2021 (BookWeb)
“Amazon’s anti-competitive conduct extends to the pricing of its proprietary e-book reader and tablet, the Kindle and Fire, which are ‘loss leaders,’ meaning products priced at or below cost to stimulate the sale of more profitable goods or services. Amazon’s intent is to leave consumers with no alternative but to purchase e-books and other products from Amazon, rather than its competitors, regardless of price.”
Scribd Launches in Australia With a Monthly All-You-Can-Consume Subscription Service
17 Mar 2021 (Broadsheet)
At $14.00 it goes up against Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited service, which is also $13.99 per month and includes more than one million titles, but doesn’t include audiobooks.
Small children damned to ignorance if they read ebooks
16 Mar 2021 (New York Times)
Print, [the expert] said, makes it easier for parents and children to interact with language, questions and answers, what is called “dialogic reading.” Further, many apps and e-books have too many distractions…
Digital books can harm learning skills of young readers, research shows
15 Mar 2021 (Study Finds)
Researchers found overall, however, that early readers are less likely to understand picture books when they read the digital version. But the findings, published in the journal Review of Educational Research, show that when digital picture books contain the right enhancements that reinforce the story content, they actually outperform their print counterparts.
Are NFTs (Non-Fungeable Tokens) the future of ebook copyright control?
15 Mar 2021 (Copyright and Technology)
… Ebook schemes can use DRM along with NFTs for identification of ownership. This is essentially the same as a traditional DRM scheme, except that the transaction records and identifiers sit on a blockchain instead of in some vendor’s private database. These schemes support alienation (resale, giveaway, loan)…
See also: What Is This NFT Hype All About?
Amazon Blocks Libraries from Lending eBooks
12 Mar 2021 (Good E-Reader)
The company has acknowledged to Washington Post that they do not permit ebooks from any of their Amazon Publishing titles to be distributed by libraries or borrowed by patrons.
Amazon reveals why it doesn’t sell the e-books and audiobooks it publishes to libraries
11 Mar 2021 (Business Insider)
“It’s not clear to us that current digital library lending models fairly balance the interests of authors and library patrons.”
BibliU appoints former Intel exec as chairman
10 Mar 2021 (Business Cloud)
Former Intel, Vodafone and Seagate executive Mark Whitby has been appointed chair of EdTech firm BibliU. The London company has developed a platform allowing universities and colleges around the world to provide digital content including textbooks to their students.
‘This is the best time in publishing ever,’ says Markus Dohle
10 Mar 2021 (Atlantic Council)
Consumers stuck at home due to the pandemic are spending more money on books than ever before; global literacy rates and the general population are rising; physical and digital books share a “healthy co-existence”
Digital books harm young children’s learning–unless the books have the right enhancements
09 Mar 2021 (Eurekalert)
A comprehensive meta-analysis of prior research has found, overall, that children ages 1 to 8 were less likely to understand picture books when they read the digital, versus print, version. However, when digital picture books contain the right enhancements that reinforce the story content, they outperform their print counterparts.
Apple to Face Charges in EU Over App Store Dominance
06 Mar 2021 (iPhoneinCanada.ca)
The probe is the most advanced among EU investigations that are looking into Apple’s payment system and e-books service and adds to a growing backlash against the levies Apple and Google charge outside developers for using their app stores. The UK opened its own investigation into Apple’s in-app purchases earlier Thursday and the US is also scrutinizing the issue.
Google Released New Tools to Help Littles Learn to Read on Mobile Devices
03 Mar 2021 (SuperParent)
The first new feature allows kids to listen to books being read out loud, and it lets them choose whether pages will be turned automatically or manually as they follow along. Kids can also now tap on individual words in a storybook to hear them spoken out loud.
K-12 Digital Reading Doubled from Fall 2019 to Fall 2020
02 Mar 2021 (eSchool News)
This year’s edition of the What Kids Are Reading report includes in-depth data and analysis on how students’ reading habits changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic
How Reading Ebooks Changes Our Perception (And Reviews)
02 Mar 2021 (bookriot.com)
Ereading has become a numbers game. None of this is to say reading ebooks is better or worse, only that it’s different. And the way we review them differs, too.
The Perfect E-Reader for Comic Book Fans?
16 Feb 2021 (Gizmodo)
The new PocketBook InkPad Color has a large 7.8-inch screen that uses E-Ink’s next-generation color electronic paper technology. The InkPad’s larger screen, which makes it look more like an iPad Mini and less like an Amazon Kindle, is what’s going to draw more people to color E-Ink devices.
Head of Zeus reports sales of £8.4m as e-books rise
10 Feb 2021 (The Bookseller)
Head of Zeus said it sold fewer paperbacks in pandemic-hit 2020 but e-book sales rose to make up the difference, helping it to beat its forecast.
Big Five named as defendants in US e-book price-fixing suit
08 Feb 2021 (The Bookseller)
A class action complaint was initially filed mid January against Amazon, claiming that Amazon.com, the defendant, had “agreed to price restraints” with the five publishers, then described as “co-conspirators”, causing consumers to “overpay” for e-books.
The big get bigger: sales growth across formats for UK’s top six
05 Feb 2021 (The Bookseller)
The top six UK trade publishers recorded a cumulative 15.5% rise in e-book sales in pandemic-hit 2020, shattering their digital sales high point and recording their first group double-digit percentage bump in seven years. Hachette, Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Pan Macmillan, Bloomsbury and Simon & Schuster collectively sold 54.5 million consumer e-books through UK retailers in 2020, up from the 47.2 million the sextet shifted in 2019.
Audiobooks and ebooks are 18% of HarperCollins Revenue
05 Feb 2021 (Good E-Reader)
Digital sales increased 15% compared to the prior year, driven by growth in both e-book and downloadable audiobook sales. These formats combined accounted for 18% of the publishers total sales.
EdTech Top Hat raises 130 million and swaps CEOs
4 Feb 2021 (Betakit)
Silagadze’s decision to depart as CEO comes after more than 12 years leading the company. He is set to remain on Top Hat’s board and plans to remain involved, supporting day to day and general operations.
Digital Courseware Provider Top Hat Gets $130M and a New CEO
Ebooks made up 9.3% of total book sales in November
01 Feb 2021 (Gizmodo)
“After a jarring drop-off at the beginning of the pandemic, the US print book market has shown remarkable resilience throughout 2020, posting impressive gains, even as alternate formats like ebooks and audiobooks have also grown,” said Kristen McLean of the NPD Group, a market research firm.
ebook sales increased by 12.6% in 2020
01 Feb 2021 (Good E-Reader)
Adult fiction had the largest sales increase among ebook categories, followed by adult nonfiction. In 2019, ebook sales were down 4.9%
Why (and How) Amazon Created the Kindle and Changed the Book Industry Forever
27 Jan 2021 (Entrepreneur)
Excerpt from the book ‘Working Backwards’. Longtime Amazon execs reveal how the company dealt with massive disruption … and transformed itself as a result.
One of the best Kindle features was also a security disaster waiting to happen
23 Jan 2021 (Tech Radar)
Amazon Kindle vulnerability opened the door to account takeover. The exploit revolved around the popular “Send to Kindle” feature, which allows users to deliver ebooks to their devices via email, researcher Yogev Bar-on explained in a blog post. Armed with knowledge of the device address, a hacker could have delivered a malicious ebook that, when clicked on, would allow them to perform arbitrary code execution.
Korea’s Naver buys storytelling incubator Wattpad for over half a billion dollars
19 Jan 2021 (The Verge)
South Korean web company Naver is buying Wattpad for over $600 million, the companies announced today.
Amazon.com and ‘Big Five’ publishers accused of ebook price-fixing
16 Jan 2021 (The Guardian)
Class action lawsuit filed in US claims the houses have colluded with the online giant to keep prices artificially high.
Medium Acquires Digital Reading Platform Glose
15 Jan 2021 (Publishers Weekly)
Digital publishing platform Medium has acquired Glose, a digital reading platform and e-book and audiobook retailer based in Paris. Glose incorporates social media elements and allows readers to create book lists, comment on books, share a variety of information from passages highlighted in books to their personal reading goals.
Amazon Hit with E-book Price Fixing Suit
14 Jan 2021 (Publishers Weekly)
The law firm that successfully sued Apple and five major publishers for colluding to fix e-book prices in 2011 has now filed a class action suit against Amazon, accusing the company of colluding with the Big Five publishers to restrain price competition in the e-book market.
ebook sales in the US were up 20.4% in October
14 Dec 2020 (Good E-Reader)
Digital book revenues were up 20.4% for the month as compared to October 2019, for a total of $96.9 million. On a year-to-date basis, ebook sales were up 16.5%, generating $956.3 million for the first ten months of 2020. Ebooks accounted for 10% of all trade sales in October.
Connecticut is investigating Amazon’s practices in the e-books market
13 Jan 2021 (New York Times)
William Tong, Connecticut’s attorney general, said in a statement that the state “has an active and ongoing antitrust investigation into Amazon regarding potentially anticompetitive terms,” in the distribution agreements the company has for electronic books with some publishers.
289 million ebooks were borrowed from the public library in 2020
09 Jan 2021 (Good E-reader)
which is a 33% increase from 2019. This is primarily due to the global pandemic, since most bookstores were closed for the vast majority of the year.
Demand for digital books rose significantly in 2020
29 Dec 2021 (Sky News)
The UK’s Publishers Association said that while sales for print books fell by 17% in the first half of 2020, demand for digital books rose by 13%.
Amazon’s Kindle Lending Library program is ending next week
28 Dec 2021 (Android Central)
The Kindle Lending Library program allowed Kindle users to browse through a large selection of eBooks and borrow one for free every month. Lending for Kindle, which lets Kindle owners lend digital books to friends and family, will continue to be available.
More on netgalley hack: Bandits made off with user accounts
24 Dec 2021 (Good E-Reader)
NetGalley Has Been Hacked
23 Dec 2021 (The Digital Reader)
The hackers defaced the NetGalley home page, and they also may have made off with a backup copy of the NetGalley database.
Japan to accelerate e-textbook use by removing screen time limit
21 Dec 2021 (Nikkei Asia)
Japan will remove the limit on the amount of time that children can spend looking at screens in class from April as it aims to introduce digital textbooks to all schools by fiscal 2025, Nikkei has learned.
Current rules state that digital textbooks can only be used in under half of classroom times in each subject, due to worries that children’s eyes and health would be adversely affected by spending too much time looking at screens.
Google is going to convert ebooks to audiobooks
08 Dec 2020 (Good E-Reader)
Many frontlist and backlist titles will never be converted to a proper audiobook, so Google has developed a beta system that will employ AI and auto-generated narrators.
Ebooks and Audiobooks Usage In Schools Exploded in 2020
04 Dec 2020 (Good E-Reader)
38,000 schools in 71 countries saw an 80% increase over the last year with the usage of ebooks and audiobooks.
Amazon Publishing in Talks to Offer E-books to Public Libraries
04 Dec 2020 (Publishers Weekly)
The potential deal would be a breakthrough moment in the library e-book market as Amazon currently does not make its digital content available to libraries. It would also be a major coup for the Digital Public Library of America’s upstart e-book platform and its SimplyE library reading app
UK publisher income down 11% in first half – but ebooks up 26%
16 Nov 2020 (Books+Publishing)
Despite a surge in sales of ebooks (up 26%), first-half revenue for UK publishers was significantly down.
VAT ends … but Kindle ebooks go up in price
15 Nov 2020 (The Times, London)
Amazon, which paid UK taxes of £293m on sales of £13.7bn last year, laid the blame for price increases at the door of the publishers. “Ultimately, the decision on prices in those cases is the publishers’ alone.”
Pandemic drives ebook and audiobook sales by UK publishers to all-time high
14 Nov 2020 (The Guardian)
The pandemic has revived the fortunes of the consumer ebook. The format, once touted as the future of reading, has suffered six straight years of sales declines since peaking in 2014 but this year has been different, with sales home and abroad up 17% to £144m in the first half. UK publishers can now expect consumer ebooks to enjoy their best year since 2015, when sales were just under £300m.
University staff urge probe into e-book pricing ‘scandal’
13 Nov 2020 (BBC)
Publishers say the costs are due to the different formats and shared-use. But Ms Anderson said the situation had become so financially serious for university libraries that it was time for MPs and competition authorities to hold publishers to account.
UK audiobook sales surge in lockdown
09 Nov 2020 (Books+Publishing)
According to Nielsen’s survey results, audiobooks make up a 34% share of weekly reading in the UK, up from 33% in 2019 and 25% in 2017. Ebooks have a 27% share and print is at 39%, down from 45% in 2017.
HarperCollins reports a 13% increase in book sales
07 Nov 2020 (Good E-Reader)
Digital sales increased by 20% in the September 2020 quarter compared with the same eriod last year. This was due to the continued growth in both ebooks and digital audiobooks. …digital borrowing is not just an early lockdown fad. After experiencing an initial surge, the higher level of demand has been sustained.
Most ebook and audiobook users multitask: New study explores the details
06 Nov 2020 (TeleRead)
Nineteen percent of ebook multitaskers are watching TV, and others are talking with other people, exercising, doing work or homework, commuting/traveling, personal hygiene, playing games, or something else.
TikTok’s owner invests in ebooks
05 Nov 2020 (Good E-Reader)
ByteDance has just invested $170 million into China’s largest ebook readers and publishers, Zhangyue.
Barnes & Noble’s Nook Service Still Crippled by Hack
27 Oct 2020 (The Digital Reader)
It has been over two weeks since hackers had their way with B&N’s servers, and the retailer still hasn’t fully recovered. The hack, which has since been confirmed as a ransomware attack, originated in B&N’s corporate offices before spreading to their servers, store computers, and even the cash registers
Library ebook lending surges as UK turns to fiction during lockdown
23 Oct 2020 (The Guardian)
Ebooks borrowing up 146% from March to August, with crime thrillers popular.
Quebec libraries see boom in digital book lending during pandemic
17 Oct 2020 (CTV News)
During the lockdown that lasted between March and June, digital loans jumped 117 per cent while the number of users grew by 175 per cent. Digital loans for children’s books were especially popular, with a 482 per cent increase. Libraries in Quebec have increased their acquisition of digital books by 134 per cent.
Hackers bring down Barnes & Noble’s Nook platform
15 Oct 2020 (The Register)
Bookseller’s computer network fell over this week, and its IT staff are having to restore servers from backups. The effects of the collapse were first felt on Sunday, with owners of B&N’s Nook tablets discovering they were unable to download their purchased e-books to their gadgets nor buy new ones.
Amazon to escape UK digital services tax that will hit smaller traders
14 Oct 2020 (Tha Guardian)
Amazon will not have to pay the UK’s new digital services tax on products it sells directly to consumers but small traders who sell products on its site will face increased charges.
Google Play Books implements 70% commission on ebook sales
14 Oct 2020 (Good E-Reader)
The ebook revenue split has been increased to 70% in 60+ countries. For many publishers, this new revenue split has already gone into effect.
Pearson ebook sales up 9 per cent
14 Oct 2020 (MarketScreener)
“Accelerated shift to digital in US Higher Education Courseware with digital registrations including eBooks up by 9% showing signs of secondary market recapture, and print and bundle units sold into US Higher Education colleges down by 32%.”
eBook revenues were up 18.2% in August 2020
13 Oct 2020 (Good E-Reader)
On a year-to-date basis, ebooks were up 14.8%.
House subcommittee proposes antitrust updates: Ebook interoperability boost?
07 Oct 2020 (TeleRead)
Report recommends, “that Congress pass new legislation mandating interoperability and data portability between services.” It could also require Amazon to let you move your entire Kindle library to your Nook if you wanted, or import competitors’ DRM-laden formats to your Kindle.
Publishers Worry as Ebooks Fly off Libraries’ Virtual Shelves
01 Oct 2020 (WIRED)
Checkouts of digital books from a popular service are up 52 percent since March. Publishers say their easy availability hurts sales.
Open letter calls for ‘investigation of academic publishing industry’
30 Sep 2020 (Research Information)
‘Due to UK copyright law university libraries cannot simply purchase an ebook in the way an individual can – instead we are required to purchase a version licensed specifically for university use. Public policy to support education and research should support a healthy ebook market, but we in fact see the opposite.’
UK Libraries have lent out 3.5 million ebooks during pandemic
28 Sep 2020 (Good E-Reader)
Chrys Mellor, libraries general manager for North Yorkshire County Council, said ebook and audio were up 78% and 3,000 new members have signed up for cards during lockdown.
Playster has gone bankrupt
11 Sep 2020 (Good E-Reader)
Playster was initially founded in 2014. They offered a tiered subscription approach to not only have ebooks, but also games and videos. They formed relationships with HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Harlequin Paramount Pictures…
Publishers Dismayed By 25% Increase in eBook Revenues in July 2020
10 September 2020 (The Digital Reader)
Publisher revenue was down 9.4% for the month of July, and down 5.8% year to date. The decline is largely the result of steep declines in sales of educational materials for both college and K-12, while at the same time most other segments of the industry have shown surprising resilience in the face of serious supply issues.
Arrests in August led to a dramatic decline in pirated online content
4 September 2020 (Torrent Freak)
More than a week has passed since a US Government enforcement action hit the piracy scene hard. The release group SPARKS was the main target but, directly and indirectly, many other pirate groups were affected as well.
Bloomsbury shifts assets to the cloud
4 September 2020 (Diginomica)
Bloomsbury has migrated digital assets relating to its academic and professional titles to a cloud-based DAM platform from Cloudinary. In the four months to the end of June 2020, academic and professional book sales rose by 4% to £11.8m. Digital books and resources, meanwhile, accounted for almost half that revenue, up from 30% for the year to February.
EdTech Sharks Set to Snap Up Minnows
2 September 2020 (Hechinger Report)
Analysts and industry insiders expect a wave of acquisitions as already-dominant brands like Cengage seek to corner even more of the market by snatching up smaller players that provide services they don’t. “We’re seeing people with capital be opportunistic, who say this is the time to buy a company in a different subject area to round out their portfolio.”
US judge issues injunction against pirate book site
28 August 2020 (GeekWire)
John Grisham, Scott Turow, R.L. Stine, Sylvia Day, and other top American authors are named as plaintiffs in the suit. They request that the defendants return all profits made off the alleged illegal sales. The preliminary injunction orders the defendants to stop selling the alleged counterfeit books.
COVID is Wrecking the Printed Book Supply-Chain
27 August 2020 (New York Times)
“With a lack of capacity and growing uncertainty in a printing world, will that force the marketplace back to digital?” said Corey Berger, senior vice president of marketing for Readerlink.
US ebook sales were up 39.0% in June 2020
18 August 2020 (Good E-Reader)
On a year-to-date basis, eBooks were up 12.7%, coming in at $544.5 million for the first six months of 2020. Notably, eBooks revenues in the Children’s and YA category saw a 132.5% jump during the month, coming in at $14.6 million. On a year-to-date basis eBooks revenues in the Children’s and YA category were up 62.4% for the first six months of the year, generating $61.6 million.
US publishing bodies protest against Amazon tactics
18 August 2020 (The Bookseller)
Three US trade bodies, which represent thousands of authors, publishers and booksellers in the US, have signed a joint letter claiming a series of anti-competitive tactics help Amazon to exercise market dominance. The AAP said, “Its practices against both book suppliers and book customers have threatened the vitality of the American publishing industry and rendered any meaningful competition from other publishers, booksellers or emerging platforms impossible.”
UK EdTech Startup BibliU raises a further €550K
12 August 2020 (Morning Tick)
The funding will be used for new technical hiring and improving technicalities to support the increase in demand by Universities. BibliU raised $10M (~€7.6M) in April. David Sherwood, CEO & Co-founder of BibliU said, “We believe COVID has pulled the transition to digital learning forward by at least 5 years.”
Ebook sales in the US generated $1.94 billion in 2019
31 July 2020 (Good E-Reader)
The Association of American Publishers has announced that in 2019 ebook sales declined 4.9% and generated $1.94 billion. Overall sales are down 30.8% for the five-years since 2015. Over the past five years publisher sales to physical retailers have decreased by 35.9%.
Internet Archive Fires Back in Lawsuit Over Covid-19 “Emergency Library”
30 July 2020 (Vice)
After the Internet Archive made over one million books available for free for the duration of the Covid-19 pandemic, powerful publishers sued. Now, it’s fighting back.
eBook Unit Sales Rose in April 2020
26 July 2020 (The Digital Reader)
Year-over-year e-book sales in the United States declined by 5 percent, with 55 million units sold through April 2020. However, unit sales in April 2020—the first full month of COVID quarantine—rose by nearly one-third (31 percent) compared to March 2020.
Audiobook and eBook revenue continues to soar
13 July 2020 (Good E-Reader)
In the United States, audiobook and ebook revenue continues to soar. Digital book revenues were up 39.2% in May and generated $113.0 million. On a year-to-date basis, eBooks were up 7.3%, coming in at $435.4 million for the first five months of 2020.
Amazon and publishers target major ebook pirate website
9 July 2020 (Good E-Reader)
“In the last decade, and especially the last couple of years, the number of piracy complaints handled by the Authors Guild has skyrocketed, which is why we no longer could sit by and allow book piracy entities like KISS Library to continue to rob authors and publishers of their ability to earn a living,” said Doug Preston, president of the Authors Guild and one of the plaintiffs.
HarperCollins Publishers Joins Forces with Glose to provide eBook access to readers
8 Jul 2020 (PR Newswire)
Glose now fulfills all direct sales from Harper Collins publishers’ websites and programs. Glose, founded in 2015, is a social reading platform designed so that readers can read their ebooks on all devices, but a lso connect with each other through the books they read.
Read Steve Jobs’ emails. Here’s why you can’t buy digital books in Amazon’s apps
30 June 2020 (The Verge)
Jobs said, “iBooks is going to be the only bookstore on iOS devices. We need to hold our heads high. One can read books bought elsewhere, just not uy/rent/subscribe from iOS without paying us, which we acknowledge is prohibitive for many things.” [6 February 2011]
Student spending on Textbooks continue to Decline
25 June 2020 (Good E-Reader)
Two different research firms, using two different methodologies, arrived at roughly the same conclusion regarding the multi-year decline in student spending on course materials. The most recent Student Watch survey indicated that course material spending dropped by 35% over the last six years.
OverDrive Acquires RBmedia’s Audiobook Library Business
25 June 2020 (FinSMEs)
OverDrive, owned by private equity giant KKR, is acquiring the assets of RBmedia’s library business, including the RBdigital platform in North America, the United Kingdom and Australia. RBmedia is also owned by KKR.
E Ink unveils new foldable 32 inch e-paper display
21 June 2020 (Good E-Reader)
E Ink has just unveiled a new prototype that has a 32 inch foldable display. It opens and closes like a real book and this technology might come to a new e-reader in the near future. “It is the closest anyone has come to mimicking the real book experience on e-paper.”
What you need to know about the Apple antitrust investigations
17 June 2020 (The Evening Standard)
The European Commission has launched two investigations into Apple’s practices. EU’s antitrust division is investigating the iPhone maker’s practices around its App Store charges and Apple Pay practices.
B&N to continue pushing its Nook ebook platform
12 June 2020 (The Bookseller)
CEO James Daunt said, “One of the things where I differ from my immediate predecessor at B&N is that I consider the ability to sell e-books to be a great strength, and the company had stopped investing in Nook. That will change. We will make Nook very much part of what we do.”
Ebook Revenue increased by 10% in April
11 June 2020 (Good E-Reader)
During the first full month of the lockdown, US ebook revenues jumped 10.7% as compared to April 2019 for a total of $92.9 million, bucking a long-standing trend of monthly declines.
Internet Archive bails out of its “National Emergency Library”
10 June 2020 (Internet Archive Blog)
“We moved up our schedule because, last Monday, four commercial publishers chose to sue Internet Archive during a global pandemic.”
Major Publishers Sue the Internet Archive’s Digital Library Program in the Midst of Pandemic
4 June 2020 (TechDirt)
The publishers didn’t just decide to sue over the National Emergency Library: instead they’re also suing over the entire “Controlled Digital Lending” process.
End of The Pirate Bay? Torrent site in serious trouble as strict new block kicks-in
25 May 2020 (The Express – UK)
Automatic blocks to stop users from visiting The Pirate Bay appear to be extremely effective. 80 percent of those surveyed stay away from The Pirate Bay due to the difficulties accessing the site after the introduction of the block.
Print and digital readers like different books, library data suggests
20 May 2020 (The Guardian)
The addition of ebooks reflects new users coming to public libraries, who might be less likely to get to a library in a working day.
ebook sales declined 5.7% in first 3 months of 2020
19 May 2020 (Good E-Reader)
The format made $232 million in sales. On a year-to-date basis, Downloaded Audio was up 16.6% as compared to the first three months of 2019, with a total of $155 million for the year so far. The Downloaded Audio format has seen continuous growth every single month since 2012.
Walmart launches a $99 tablet including Walmart Ebooks
18 May 2020 (The Verge)
$99 for the eight-inch and $129 for the 10-inch model. Includes Android 10 and USB-C.
Why “Enhanced” ebooks flopped
18 May 2020 (The Book Designer)
- Not all retailers accept enhanced ebooks.
- Those that do don’t accept the same kinds.
- The market for enhanced ebooks hasn’t turned up — at least, not where we expected.
Ebook sales drop again in March
19 May 2020 (Publishers Weekly)
E-book sales did not show any signs of increasing in March. Sales from reporting publishers were down 7.1% in the month.
Japanese publisher plans blockchain e-books distribution with about $2.8 million
18 May 2020 (Cryptopolitan)
The company said that the blockchain e-books distribution would be introduced first to My Anime List, which is considered as the world’s biggest social community and database for anime and manga.
Over 2 million new users have registered with Kobo during the Pandemic
13 May 2020 (Good E-Reader)
Rakuten Kobo is reaching profitability, sales are up and during the past three months the company has signed up 2 million new users. It is readily apparent that the global pandemic and the closure of most bookstores across the world are driving up ebook adoption.
Ebooks hacked from Microsoft’s Github Account
10 May 2020 (The Tech Education)
Hackers have stolen 500GB of data from a Microsoft Github account including ebooks. The hacker reportedly got full access to the ‘Private repositories. Then, he downloaded 500 GB of data that includes private projects. The breach occurred on March 28, 2020.
Marvel is Shutting Down Its Digital Comics Shop
11 May 2020 (ScreenRant)
Marvel has announced they will be closing the Marvel Digital Comics Shop on June 2nd. Readers will still be able to access already-purchased digital books after that date. After the closure, Marvel’s digital comics will be available to purchase through Comixology.
eBook sales are undergoing a revival in 2020
9 May 2020 (Good E-Reader)
Digital book sales are increasing across the board, due to the viral pandemic. Thousands of physical bookstores have closed all over the world and companies like Amazon are taking weeks to ship out the latest bestseller in hardcover or paperback. Digital book sales can be instantly purchased and they are available via apps, tablet or e-reader.
Colour E-Ink Readers are Here
1 May 2020 (Good E-Reader)
The first wave of color E INK products that are using Kaleido are right around the corner. Pocketbook is going to be releasing the six inch Pocketbook ColorPocketbook Color sometime in June and Onyx Boox is releasing their six inch ColorOnyx Boox offering around the same time.
U.K. Scraps Its 20% VAT On Ebooks
30 April 2020 (Forbes)
The U.K. government’s Treasury has today announced that, starting May 1, it’ll drop its value added tax (VAT) on digital publications. The decision was already planned to take affect in December of this year, but was pushed up seven months in response to the coronavirus pandemic and its negative impact on the publishing industry.
Most men stop reading a book by page 50
28 April 2020 (UK Daily Mail)
… but women are more likely to persevere past page 100.
UK’s Guardian dubs eBooks.com the Ethical Alternative to Amazon
27 April 2020 (The Guardian)
“Ebooks.com serves customers around the world and has titles starting at 99p in the UK. It has got the thumbs-up from Ethical Consumer magazine and is the only ebook seller in its top five.”
Humble Bundle’s Covid-19 package raised $6.5 million for coronavirus charities
27 April 2020 (TechSpot)
Unlike other Humble bundles that give a portion of the money raised to developers of the games, 100 percent of the $16.5 million in this instance went to charity.
Kortext providing thousands of electronic textbooks for free
27 April 2020 (Bournemouth Daily Echo)
James Gray, chief executive and founder of Kortext, said; “The scale of the FSTP is truly ground-breaking. Only by pulling together as a sector has the programme been made possible and ensured we are able to support all UK students with an unprecedented amount of content on a single, customisable digital bookshelf for free, thus ensuring they can continue to study at this crucial time of year.”
Cambridge University Press partners with Perlego on online textbooks
24 April 2020 (The Bookseller)
Perlego will host a range of content from the publisher on its platform, which also includes titles from Pearson, Wiley and Cengage.
Penguin Random House India launches ebook store on Amazon Kindle
19 April 2020 (The Hindu)
Publishing group Penguin Random House India on Friday announced the launch of its first exclusive ebook store with Amazon Kindle. Readers will find over 400 bestselling titles available on Amazon India website at discounted prices.
CoreSource data breach: Ingram hack resulted in theft of publishers’ titles
17 April 2020 (The Daily Swig)
Asked when the breach was detected and how many titles were illegally downloaded, a spokesperson told The Daily Swig, “as this is still under investigation, we really aren’t able to disclose anything more than this at the present time”.
UK relaxes copyright licence terms to support educators through COVID19 crisis
17 April 2020 (fe News)
The UK’s copyright licensing agency has temporarily increased the copying limits from 5% to 30%. These changes will last until schools re-open or 31 July at the latest.
BibliU Raises $10 Million to Scale Online Textbooks
17 April 2020 (EdSurge)
The Series A investment was led by Nesta Impact Investments. Guinness Asset Management, clients of wealth management firm Stonehage Fleming and investors associated with impact investment bank ClearlySo also participated. Oxford Sciences Innovation reinvested.
US ebook sales were $75 million in January 2020
7 April 2020 (Good E-Reader)
This was down 6% from 2019 when the format generated $80 million. March’s data will likely surge, due to people practicing social distancing and most bookstores are closed, so ebooks would be the only format many people could easily access.
Why authors are so angry about the Internet Archive’s “Emergency Library”
2 Apr 2020 (Vox)
Authors are suffering under the pandemic economy, too. They say the Emergency Library will make things worse.
Australian bookseller Booktopia partners with Kobo for ebooks
1 Apr 2020 (Good EReader)
The partnership, going by the catchy name “Booktopia by Rakuten Kobo”, features an integration of the Booktopia and Kobo ecosystems.
Copyright Alliance blasts Internet Archive’s “vile” Emergency Library
31 Mar 2020 (ZDnet)
The organization of professional writers said it was “shocked” at the scheme, as the Internet Archive has “no rights whatsoever to these books, much less to give them away indiscriminately without consent of the publisher or author.” The Authors Guild said that COVID-19 has been used “as an excuse to push copyright law further out to the edges” which, in turn, is causing authors that are already struggling to pay the bills additional harm.
Overdrive Readership Is Up 30% Amid Pandemic Lockdowns
28 Mar 2020 (Forbes)
10.1 million digital books were borrowed from public libraries worldwide via Libby last week, according to new statistics from Overdrive, the company behind Libby, which represents a nearly 30% increase from the same week last year.
Yale UP Makes Digital Textbooks Temporarily Free For All Students
27 Mar 2020 (Diverse)
YUP has arranged with digital content providers EBSCO, ProQuest, UPSO (Oxford) and De Gruyter to make a wide selection of ebooks accessible to students at no cost through their institutions’ libraries. It also has agreements with popular online textbook rental stores VitalSource and Chegg
Access 1.4 Million Digital Books For Free At The National Emergency Library
26 Mar 2020 (Forbes)
The options seem endless. Looking for a great read? Digital bestsellers include everything from Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code and John Grisham’s The Firm to Toni Morrison’s Beloved, Paula Hawkins’s The Girl on the Train and Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. (How different is this from piracy?)
How the coronavirus will change book publishing, now and forever
25 Mar 2020 (LA Times)
Ed Nawotka asks whether this is the moment people turn to ebooks.
New, Colour Ebook Devices Coming Soon
22 Mar 2020 (The Digital Reader)
With news breaking that new color ereaders ( the first in nearly seven years) may be shipping later this week in China, now seemed like a good time to start thinking about when those screens might show up on other ereaders such as the Amazon Kindle. The answer is most likely not going to be as simple as you would expect.
Libraries React to Macmillan Embargo Lift
20 Mar 2020 (American Libraries)
CEO John Sargent said in a letter to librarians, “There are times in life when differences should be put aside.” He added that Macmillan would return to the pricing model in effect prior to the November 1 embargo. “In addition, we will be lowering some ebook prices on a short-term basis to help expand libraries’ collections in these difficult times. Stay safe,” he wrote.
Amazon Is Selling Dozens of e-Books With Dubious Coronavirus Advice
16 Mar 2020 (Vice)
One even listed its author as the US Department of Health – even though the real HHS says this isn’t an official publication.
People who read ebooks, read more
13 Mar 2020 (Good EReader)
A new study from The National Endowment for the Arts reports that adults who read ebooks and listen to audiobooks consumed the most books per year: a median of 10 compared to four for print-only readers.
UK sales tax on e-books scrapped
11 Mar 2020 (BBC)
The 20% tax on e-books and online newspapers, magazines and journals will be abolished on 1 December. But the BBC has learned that it will not apply to audiobooks, something that the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) said was “disappointing”.
Ebooks accounted for 7.7% of Hachette’s Revenue in 2019
27 Feb 2020 (Good EReader)
… which means the format made around €83 million for the year.
Ingram Lightning Source is going to remove thousands of books
26 Feb 2020 (Good EReader)
In a welcome move, Ingram is bringing the hammer down on thousands of dodgy and harmful books. But not ebooks. Not yet.
Ebook revenue fell 4.2% in 2019 and generated $983.3 million
10 Mar 2020 (Good EReader)
New sales data in from Simon & Schuster, Hachette and HarperCollins.
Amazon will pay $0 in taxes on $11,200,000,000 in profit for 2018
17 Feb 2020 (Yahoo! Finance)
Though Amazon might have taken advantage of new breaks and loopholes available under TCJA, this isn’t the first year that Amazon has avoided paying federal tax. The company reported $5.6 billion in U.S. profits in 2017 and paid $0 last year as well.
Pearson: US education unit remains a drag on sales
21 February 2020 (iNews)
Operating profit at the group was hit hard — halved from the previous year to £275m. Sales of physical books declined 30 per cent, with the growth of digital products only making up for it slightly with “modest” growth. Half of all learners now prefer eBooks, the company said.Publisher continues to target digital growth to increase revenue.
Simon and Schuster: ebook sales up for the first time in 3 years
21 February 2020 (Good Ereader)
Ebook sales were up 1% over 2018.
[Job] Print Production Coordinator, Hampshire, UK
19 February 2020 (The Bookseller)
Attractive salary and great company benefits. This is a permanent role and will support content project management for the Higher education and ELT print and digital products, through the production cycle.
Critical security vulnerabilities fixed in Digital Editions
11 February 2020 (HelpNet Security)
Adobe has released a security update for Adobe Digital Editions. This update resolves a critical and an important vulnerability. Successful exploitation could lead to Arbitrary Code Execution and Information Disclosure respectively in the context of the current user.
Eastern U. Senate considers textbook rental future
11 February 2020 (The Daily Eastern news)
The chief concern regarding textbook rental is the decreasing availability of hard-copy versions of books. Every year more publishers are ditching print versions of textbooks and going to exclusively digital editions of books. That change in supply has forced Eastern to re-think its current textbook rental model.
Ebooks experienced a 4.3% decline in November 2019
10 February 2020 (The Good E-Reader)
Digital book sales in the United States, fell slightly in November 2019. Major publishers from January to the end of November generated $913 million dollars, so they did see a strong return on their digital investments. Digital Audiobooks continue to be the lone brightspot, the format saw an increase in sales by 23% in November and from the same time period the format made $526 million dollars.
Top Hat Raises $55 Million to Take on Big Textbook Publishers
4 February 2020 (EdSurge)
The Toronto-based company has raised $55 million in a Series D round, led by Georgian Partners and iNovia Capital. Founder Mike Silagadze believes younger faculty members and a future generations of college students will help drive institutions to adopt digital materials instead of print. “What sets us apart from a legacy player is we don’t have the albatross of print,” he says. “We start from a digital-first standpoint.”
[JOB] Associate, Ebook Production at Penguin-RH, New York
3 February 2020 (mediaBistro)
An opportunity for a full-time Ebook Production Associate at Penguin Random House. This role on the Ebook Operations and Development team will convert titles into electronic formats, distribute the electronic books (Ebooks) to retailers and maintain these products once they are in market. This opening is a great opportunity to learn about the production of Ebooks as part of a fun, energetic team working in a high-paced, rapidly changing environment.
Reviews & previews boost ebook sales by 30%
2 February 2020 (Forbes)
Exposure to an ebook review boosts the likelihood of a purchase by between 7 and 17%, and that’s the same effect that exposure to an ebook preview results in. But exposure to both of them escalates that chance of a purchase by 31%.
Authors have earned $1.1 Billion since the launch of Kindle Unlimited
2 February 2020 (The Good E-Reader)
Since the launch of Kindle Unlimited in 2014, authors have generated over $1.1 billion dollars and in 2019 authors earned more than $300 million from the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Select Global Fund.
Macmillan banned from DBW conference over ebook embargo
31 January 2020 (Books+Publishing)
Digital Book World (DBW) has banned Macmillan employees from attending its 2020 conference in solidarity with the American Library Association’s (ALA) campaign against the publisher’s restrictions on new release ebooks.
[Job] Online Sales and Data Manager at Welbeck Publishing, London
28 Jan 2020 (The Bookseller)
Based in the very trendy Fitzrovia, close to Goodge Street and a stone throw away from Oxford Circus. £35k to £40k depending on experience.
JK Rowling made £31.5 million last year from ebook sales
25 Jan 2020 (Daily Mail)
Rowling earned £86,317 per day as profits more than doubled in 2019 ahead of the 20th anniversary of the first film. Profits at Pottermore Ltd – the Harry Potter writer’s firm – went from £3.4 million to £6.9 million last year.
Pirate ebook site shut down
24 Jan 2020 (Digi Statement)
As reported by Torrentfreak, the domain Ebookee.org seems to have suspended by the Public Domain Registry but it is not yet clear why the suspension has been taken. However, the website was on the radar of many big publications including Penguin Random House, Harper Collins, Cambridge University Press, Amazon, and National Geographic for copyright infringement. The website has over 858,782 complaints registered under DMCA which can be seen on the Google Transparency Report.
Italy is experiencing a piracy problem with ebooks
23 Jan 2020 (Good E-Reader)
The Association of Italian Publishers recently conducted a study and they found that pirated ebooks account for €528 million in loses, which is around 23% of all digital sales.
Cengage Adds eTextbooks to Cengage Unlimited
22 Jan 2020 (Information Today)
Cengage today announced that it will offer an eTextbook option within Cengage Unlimited, giving students access to more than 14,000 ebooks, study tools and more for $69.99 a semester. A survey conducted by Morning Consult found that, after tuition, paying for textbooks and course materials is the biggest source of financial stress for students. In addition, almost three-quarters of students prefer access to ownership when it comes to their learning materials.
Ebook Pirate Risks Crippling Sanctions
19 Jan 2020 (TorrentFreak)
Because of pirate’s refusal to provide documents, the plaintiff is asking for a number of damning facts to be taken as a given in the case moving forward and it’s clear he wants no prisoners taken.
PRH Pulls Ebooks from European Subscription Services
18 Jan 2020 (The New Publishing Standard)
PRH titles are disappearing from the Storytel, Nextory and Bookbeat platforms.
The Bookseller to run weekly UK e-book chart
10 Jan 2020 (The Bookseller)
Data will be supplied by Bookstat, the sales tracking service that monitors titles on online retailers such as Amazon, Apple and Barnes & Noble. The chart is distinct from the publisher-supplied e-book charts that The Bookseller runs monthly and weekly.
E Ink’s New Electronic Paper Could Bring Colour to the Kindle
9 Jan 2020 (Gizmodo)
The company has managed to improve the technology so that a full page refresh can be completed in about two seconds, which, based on the demo I was given, feels more than fast enough for coloured E Ink to finally be adopted into devices such as the Kindle.
Why Ebook Subscription Services Will Finally Succeed In The Coming Decade
3 Jan 2020 (Forbes)
By the middle of the coming decade, one of the Big 5 (or whatever the number of major publishers is by then) will have done a full-catalog deal with a subscription ebook service. The other major publishers will follow at a safe enough distance to avoid antitrust scrutiny. By the latter half of the coming decade, we’ll finally be accessing ebooks as we do digital music and video.
The Next eBook Boom
29 Dec 2019 (The Digital Reader)
Younger age cohorts are not only more likely to have read an ebook, they are also buying more ebooks. As Gen Z gets older, the younger age bracket will be replaced with more digital-first buyers. Each year will bring us more ebook buyers, and that means more sales.
Rakuten sells Overdrive to KKR
24 Dec 2020 (MarketWatch)
Private-equity firm KKR & Co. Inc. announced Tuesday afternoon that it has agreed to acquire Overdrive, which helps libraries and schools deliver digital content to users, from Rakuten Inc. The two sides did not provide a price tag for the Ohio-based property, which Rakuten purchased for $410 million in 2015. But Rakuten said it would recognize about $365.6 million in profit from the sale in the first quarter of 2020.
The 2010s were supposed to bring the ebook revolution. It never quite came.
23 Dec 2019 (Vox)
Because ebooks are often more expensive than Amazon’s heavily discounted print books, traditional publishing’s ebook sales seem to have fallen off — and Amazon is more dominant than ever.
Germany is lowering the VAT on ebooks to 7%
21 Dec 2019 (The Good E-Reader)
Germany plans on lowering the VAT on ebooks from 19% to 7% starting in January. This VAT reduction was made possible by the passing of the VAT Directive from 2018, which created the possibility of equal tax treatment for printed and digital publishing products.
Readers hit by ‘stealth tax’ on ebooks
21 Dec 2019 (The Telegraph)
“Families across the UK who receive e-readers this year for Christmas will be stuck with an unfair 20 per cent tax on all books they buy. This is a penalty on people who need or prefer to read digitally. The tax system needs to be modernised to remove this barrier to childhood literacy and promote access to books for all.”
The Second-Hand Ebook Market May Never Take Off
19 Dec 2019 (Fortune)
Europe’s highest court issued a ruling Thursday that could have implications not just for the book industry, but for the digital film, gaming and music sectors too. The case involves a Dutch startup called Tom Kabinet, which has since 2014 been trying to make second-hand ebooks a thing. At first, it simply tried to run a second-hand ebook market, but publishers took it to court and won a ruling saying Tom Kabinet had to make sure it wasn’t selling pirated copies of ebooks. So the firm rethought its strategy and morphed into a kind of book club. Now even that model has been ruled illegal.
No duty on ebooks under new North American trade deal
19 Dec 2019 (CarScoops)
The new U.S.-Mexico-Canada-Agreement, or USMCA, was first signed by President Donald Trump and the leaders of Mexico and Canada a year ago. Duties will be prohibited on ebooks.
Pearson Sells Mixed Reality Learning Unit to a New Company, GIGXR
18 Dec 2019 (EdSurge)
On Dec. 16, Pearson announced the first two deals made by its recently formed venture fund, which invested $4.2 million in two companies: online bootcamp Springboard and Knowledge to Practice, a medical startup.
Now, the publisher confirmed that it has spun off its Immersive Learning team, selling its assets to a new company, GIGXR, based in Venice, Calif.
Textbook Spending Down
16 Dec 2020 (Inside Higher Ed)
Students reported spending an average of $205 on course materials in the fall semester of 2019, down from $265 in 2018. Spending has consistently declined over the past five years. The AAP attributed the decline in spending to the increased availability of lower-cost digital textbooks, rental programs, subscription deals and open educational resources.
Students howl as McGraw-Hill, Cengage textbook merger nears DOJ approval
16 Dec 2019 (New York Post)
The US Department of Justice’s antitrust division has signaled it will approve a merger of the No. 2 and No. 3 largest textbook publishers behind Pearson if they agree to sell some assets
Study suggests animated digital storybooks better suited to children’s learning
19 Dec 2019 (iNews UK)
The study, published in journal Developmental Psychology, found the recall abilities of children aged between three and five-years-old improved when an adult was reading to them from a digital book as opposed to a traditional hardboard title.
Google and Bing agree crackdown on pirate websites
09 Dec 2019 (Livingston Ledger)
It means those searching for music videos, digital books and live sports will be directed to bona fide providers rather than pirate sites.
Perlego Raises $9 Million to Grow E-Book Library
20 Nov 2019 (EdSurge.com)
London-based Perlego, a provider of a streaming service for educational books, has raised 7 million pounds (about $9 million) in a Series A round. Founded in 2016, Perlego will use the money to improve its non-English content and expand into European markets, according to a statement Tuesday. The company claims to provide access to more than 250,000 digital books from more than 2,300 publishers with a monthly subscription of 12 pounds (about $16).
Xiaomi to announce its own eReader on November 20
14 Nov 2019 (Gizmochina)
A sketch of the eReader shows it has thick bezels around the display. It also has a button on the top. There are no buttons on the side bezels like we have on some Nook and Kobo eReaders and there doesn’t seem to be any on the sides. This means all the controls are on-screen.
JOB Digital Operations Manager at Hachette NY
13 Nov 2019 (MediaBistro)
Manage the processes, protocols, and systems for distribution of ebooks and metadata into the digital supply chain for Hachette Book Group. The ideal candidate will have 3+ years’ experience in one or more of the following areas: ONIX, XML, EPUB, or ebook distribution or production.
JOB Production Manager San Francisco
7 Nov 2019 (Publishers Weekly – Job Zone)
City Lights is looking to hire an experienced book production manager to oversee the production of approximately 16 titles per year. The person in this role will shepherd books through the entire production process from creative inception to getting physical books into the distribution warehouse and ebooks into that distribution chain.
JOB Account Manager (German/French Speaking) at Atwood Tate, UK
7 Nov 2019 (The Bookseller)
Are you a German or French speaking Account Manager looking for some fresh challenge? We have a rare opportunity with a market leading digital media company distributing eBooks, audio books and video products to libraries and schools. This home-based opportunity will give you a freedom to make the role your own to develop and deepen relationship with the European clients.
Apple’s Services Play Gets Mired in Censorship
7 Nov 2019 (Yahoo / Bloomberg)
Apple services such as the App Store, digital books, news, video, podcasts and music, put the company in the more precarious position of information provider (or at least overseer), exposing it to a growing online crackdown by China’s authoritarian government.
JOB Digital Publishing Associate at Abrams, NY
6 Nov 2019 (MediaBistro)
The Digital Publishing Associate will manage the development of digital products, collaborate with all departments to facilitate digital product workflow and promotion, and provide administrative support to the department.
Alternative Textbook Providers on the Rise
4 Nov 2019 (Inside Higher Ed)
Prices of ebooks and courseware are falling. The average digital courseware product was priced at $87.67 per student in 2019, down from $97.42 in 2018. FlatWorld, a small publisher that charges between $24.95 and $39.95 for its digital textbooks, gained 2,000 new faculty adoptions in the 2019-20 academic year, an increase of 10 percent over the previous year. The publisher has 135 titles in use at over 1,500 institutions in the U.S.
Chegg: Where’s the Company Headed?
1 Nov 2019 (Yahoo Finance)
With the online education market open for the taking, Chegg is quickly trying to create a solid subscriber base. Chegg’s subscription service allows students to rent textbooks for a semester at half the cost of buying them. On top of that, the company also offers one-on-one tutoring services in a variety of subjects at bargain prices. At the beginning of this year, Chegg recorded more than 3 million subscribers.
Online piracy is declining among young internet users
31 Oct 2019 (CMU: Cmplete Music Update)
Online piracy among young internet users continues to decline as legal music, video and gaming platforms become the primary sources of entertainment for 15-24 year olds, according to the latest piracy report from the European Union’s Intellectual Property Office. Of those surveyed, about a third still accessed at least some of their online content from unlicensed sources, but that’s 5% less than the last time the EUIPO did a study of this kind in 2016.
MPs call for end to ‘reading tax’ in UK
31 Oct 2019 (The Guardian)
Readers currently pay 20% VAT on all digital books, including ebooks and audiobooks. Print books have been zero-rated since VAT was introduced in 1973, “on the general principle of avoiding a tax on knowledge”. Campaigners against the digital book tax argue that it unfairly affects readers living with sight loss and disabilities, who may rely on the technology.
Over 28% Of US Adults Read Both Physical and Digital Books
28 Oct 2019 (Forbes)
The Pew Research survey, conducted earlier this year, found that 25% of U.S. adults had read an e-book in the past twelve months, compared to 26% in a survey conducted in early 2018. E-book readership has remained between 25% and 28% since 2014. Respondents also indicated their use of multiple formats: 28% read both physical books and a digital books (a category that includes e-books and audiobooks), while 7% read digital books exclusively. Regrettably, 27% of respondents read no books at all.
How a University Took on the Textbook Industry
24 Oct 2019 (EdSurge)
Some economists say OpenStax and other OER producers helped to halt the decades-long rise of textbook prices, which, along with other supplies, now set the average undergraduate back between $1,200 and $1,440 each school year, according to the College Board.
Patagonia to Stop Printing Galleys
23 Oct 2019 (Publishers Weekly)
“The printing and distribution of ARCs requires unnecessary expenditure of natural resources—paper to print, fossil fuel to distribute,” Karla Olson, director of Patagonia Books, said. In this era of climate crisis, electronic ARCs ought to be the new standard…”
ebook sales declined 7% in August
18 Oct 2019 (Good E-Reader)
Ebooks were not the only thing that declined in August, but book sales across the board. Publisher net revenue for Trade, including sales to bookstores, wholesalers, direct to consumer, online retailers, etc., was down 3.6% as compared to the same period last year.
Ebook Piracy Grows, Contrary to The Trend
12 Oct 2019 (TorrentFreak)
The only category for which the piracy rate went up was Ebooks. Between 2012 and 2017 the number of Ebook pirates increased from 6.3% to 7.7%, which is marginally significant.
Ebook Pirate Fined & Handed 20-Day Suspended Sentence
10 Oct 2019 (Torrentfreak)
A 28-year-old man from Denmark has been handed a 20-day suspended prison sentence for selling pirated ebooks via the Internet. “[I]t is devastating for the copyright that the authors have, and also for the publishers, when the basis for their business is taken away. Therefore, the gain must be confiscated,” the Judge said.
274 million ebooks lent through OverDrive last year
9 Oct 2019 (Fast Company)
People are flocking to free e-books and streaming movies at their public libraries. While by many accounts e-book sales overall have plateaued in recent years, library e-book use is still on the rise: Rakuten OverDrive, the biggest platform providing e-books to library patrons, reported that its library customers around the world lent out 274 million digital books in 2018, up 22% from the previous year
A purchaser’s right to on-sell ebooks to be tested in Europe?
9 Oct 2019 (Lexology)
Watch this space: A French court just ruled that a computer game, once bought by a user, is subject to the “right of exhaustion”.
Will the Microsoft Surface Duo and Neo be good for reading ebooks?
6 Oct 2019 (Good E-Reader) Last week Microsoft announced the Surface Duo and the Surface Neo that will be released in 2020. They both feature a clamshell hinged screen that fold open and give you more ample real estate.
The constant ebook decline is over
2 Oct 2019 (Good E-Reader)
in 2019 ebooks are making a comeback. For the second month in a row they are starting to see gains. In the United States, revenue for eBooks increased, going up 0.4% in July and garnered $83 million in sales. This followed a 4.2% increase in May 2019.
Search Amazon And Find If Your Library Has The Book For Free
1 Oct 2019 (Forbes)
With this app, once I see the results on Amazon, GoodReads, or BN.com, I click through to my library’s page (if it shows it is available, of course), then I can borrow digitally or get on the waiting list, or place a hold for traditional book.
Pearson bowled over by the speed of print’s decline
27 Sep 2019 (The Times)
US students had bought far fewer textbooks than expected when they returned to their universities and colleges after the summer break, Pearson said. While CEO John Fallon admits to “short-term pain”, he says it will force a faster shift to digital. That’ll leave Pearson less vulnerable to Amazon and Barnes & Noble, which have built a market for second-hand textbooks.
91% of Russians would rather pirate than pay for content
25 Sep 2019 (The Next Web)
14 percent admitted to downloading ebooks from illegitimate platforms. 75 percent of respondents indicating they’ve resorted to illegal downloads to save money.
25% of US adults read an ebook last year
25 Sep 2019 (Pew Research Center)
Seven-in-ten U.S. adults (72%) say they have read a book in the past 12 months in any format, a figure that has remained largely unchanged since 2012. There has been an uptick in the share of Americans who report listening to audiobooks, from 14% to 20%.
Libraries “positively impact” retail ebook sales
23 Sep 2019 (The Good E-Reader)
42 percent of US adults surveyed reported that they had bought the same book they had previously borrowed from a library. 70 percent reported that they had bought another book by an author whose other works they’d borrowed from a library.
2 reasons beyond prices that the Cengage-McGraw merger should worry every college student
20 Sep 2019 (Market Watch)
Cengage and McGraw-Hill currently control about 24% and 21% of the textbook market, respectively, while Pearson — the other giant in America’s textbook industry — controls about 40%. If the merger goes through, that means just two companies would control over 80% of U.S. textbook sales. This is particularly troublesome when you consider the fact that since 2000, textbook prices have already risen 146% — far above the rate of inflation.
French court: consumers have the right to resell games – and the ruling could apply to eBooks
19 Sep 2019 (The Digital Fix)
Consumers have the right to resell their digital games in the same way they would a physical product.
Audible Claps Back at Publishers Over Copyright Infringement
17 Sep 2019 (Geek.com)
It’s the underhanded way Audible approached the feature that publishers are not on board with. The August lawsuit claims “willful copyright infringement,” and highlights Audible’s alleged efforts to “take for itself cross-format features” without authorization from, compensation to, or quality control by intellectual property owners.
Why we will never fall out of love with [printed] books
8 Sep 2019 (The Herald Scotland)
If the physical book vanishes then so will much of culture and a lot of what’s best about humanity. Rather than just the words inside, Prof Tom Mole is interested in the book as a “thing” and how, out of all our inventions, it has had the most profound impact on humanity.
Viacom Launches Nickelodeon eBook Subscription App
5 Sep 2019 (License Global)
The “Bookids by Nickelodeon” app is available in France on Android and iOS, as well as an add-on through VIMN’s Pay-TV partners. It offers nearly 200 ebooks published by Nickelodeon and will be updated with an average of 10 new books every month.
Pirated Textbooks Include Malware
5 Sep 2019 (Tech.Co)
According to Kaspersky, the files that are hidden in essays and textbooks vary in their threat levels, with the least dangerous downloading fairly harmless, if unwanted, software, and the biggest threat potentially able to take over an entire network.
Why Did Interactive Ebooks Never Catch On?
5 Sep 2019 (BookRiot)
Do readers want interactive ebooks? Do we want to have a soundtrack playing along, a video embedded partway through a nonfiction book, or an animated illustration in a novel? Or is the simple, text-based format of books a feature, not a deficit?
Why Did Interactive Ebooks Never Catch On?
5 Sep 2019 (BookRiot)
Do readers want interactive ebooks? Do we want to have a soundtrack playing along, a video embedded partway through a nonfiction book, or an animated illustration in a novel? Or is the simple, text-based format of books a feature, not a deficit?
Malware Embedded in Pirated e-Textbooks
3 Sep 2019 (cnet)
“We detected 122,000 attacks by malware that was disguised as textbooks. More than 30,000 users tried to open these files,” Kaspersky said.
Cory Doctorow: DRM Broke Its Promise
2 Sep 2019 (Locus)
“There’s a name for societies where a small elite own property and everyone else rents that property from them: it’s called feudalism. DRM never delivered a world of flexible consumer choice, but it was never supposed to. Instead, twenty years on, DRM is revealed to be exactly what we feared: an oligarchic gambit to end property ownership for the people, who become tenants in the fields of greedy, confiscatory tech and media companies, whose inventiveness is not devoted to marvelous new market propositions but, rather, to new ways to coerce us into spending more for less…”
Samsung Galaxy Fold 2 unmasked ahead of its release date
2 Sep 2019 (T3.com)
Samsung is clearly experimenting with some new designs inside its R&D laboratory. This design would be better for reading eBooks.
Pearson data breach compromises students’ personal information in dozens of CNY school districts
31 Aug 2019 (CNYcentral)
Up to a dozen school districts in Central New York have been affected by a Pearson data breach. A spokesperson explained they’re informing all schools impacted by the breach and leaving it to those schools to inform their communities. The company says only names, addresses and dates of birth were compromised.
Audible Will Exclude Publishers’ Works from Captions Program — For Now
29 Aug 2019 (Publishers Weekly)
Audible has agreed to exclude works from a group of major publishers from its Captions program until copyright and licensing issues raised in a recent lawsuit are resolved.
US Ebook Sales Down 4 Per Cent
29 Aug 2019 (Forbes)
The data comes from the AAP’s StatShot report, which drew on a larger pool of participants for its 2019 data than it used for its 2018 report.
Feedbook, Aldiko Bought in Bankruptcy Sale for 230,000 Euros
29 August 2019 (The Digital Reader)
According to Livres Hebdo, Feedbooks had gone bankrupt back in June, and is now being sold off in a fire sale. NetGalley paid 35,000 euros to buy the remaining 50% stake in the broadcast digital press service created in France in partnership with Feedbooks, and De Marque bought the rest of the company for 230,000 euros, and also wrote off a 61-thousand euro debt that Feedbooks owed De Marque.
Publishers Are on a Collision Course With Libraries
27 Aug 2019 (Information Today)
Macmillan CEO, John Sargent, appeared at the beginning of a Book Buzz session in lower Manhattan to discuss the publisher’s recent decision, shared via letter, to place an embargo on multiple-copy ebook sales to libraries in the case of high-demand titles
Microsoft Edge to stop ePub format reading support
27 Aug 2019 (The Windows Club)
Microsoft recommends you to use instead .ePub apps that are available in the Microsoft Store. While they are limited as of now, the support page promises that consumers can expect to see more added over time — a partnership with companies like the DAISY Consortium to add additional, accessible apps.
ProQuest and EBSCO Extend Their Ebook-Purchasing Partnership
20 Aug 2019 (Information Today)
Partnership allows librarians to acquire ProQuest ebook titles through EBSCO’s GOBI Library Solutions platform and EBSCO ebook titles through ProQuest’s OASIS platform.
Google Play is now renting ebooks
18 Aug 2019 (Good E-Reader)
There is a small section that just quietly went live last week and features around 200 titles from Open Road Media. The price ranges from $1 to $2 and the rental period is 3 days
eBook Piracy is on the rise in 2019
13 Aug 2019 (Good E-Reader)
$300 million was lost in author income due to pirated book sales in the United States last year. The legal and tech aspects of book piracy prevention are complex and fast-evolving, but those in the know describe it very simply: it’s whack-a-mole.
Google stops auto-discounting authors’ ebooks
11 Aug 2019 (The Digital Reader)
Google announced a new pricing policy for its ebookstore, Play Books. Anyone who accepts the revised ToS will now earn 70% royalty on ebooks sold in the USA, Canada, and Australia. Their ebooks will be immune to Google’s irritating policy of automatic price cuts.
Pearson Hack Exposed Details on Thousands of U.S. Students
31 July 2019 (Wall St Journal)
Pearson PLC, the British maker of educational software, is warning school districts that a far-reaching data breach has exposed details on thousands of students, chiefly in the U.S. Breach affected more than 13,000 school and university accounts, company said.
(US) Authors Guild: U.S. Publishers Are Still Losing $300 Million Annually To Ebook Piracy
28 Jul 2019 (Forbes)
Pirates seemed to deny that stealing digital works could result in the same financial loss as stealing physical books would, saying they, “believe real life and the internet differ” or that, “culture should be free to all.” The UK’s Intellectual Property Office found in 2017 that 17% of all ebooks consumed that year were pirated.
Hachette says ebooks account for 8.2% of their revenue
28 Jul 2019 (Good Ereader)
Hachette’s ebook sales books brought in $109 million for the year.
Online book-selling scams steal a living from writers
26 Jul 2019 (LA Times)
Well over half of full-time, published authors now earn below the individual poverty level from their writing. While there are many reasons for this, one factor is the surge in book-selling scams: counterfeiting, author “doppelganging,” title cloning, ebook piracy, cut-and-paste plagiarism and other rip-offs — many of which take place on digital platforms like Amazon, Ebay and Google. The variety and cleverness of these cons is breathtaking.
Macmillan to embargo all ebooks to libraries by 2 months
25-Jul-2019 (Good Ereader)
Starting on November 1st, 2019, Macmillan is going to launch a two month embargo on all ebooks to the public library. Under the publisher’s new digital terms of sale for libraries, will be now be allowed to purchase a single—that is, one—perpetual access e-book during the first eight weeks of publication for each new Macmillan release, at half price ($30). Additional copies will then be available at full price (generally $60 for new releases) after the eight-week window has passed.
Audible is adding audiobook captions and publishers are mad
19 Jul 2019 (Slash Gear)
Amazon plans to launch Captions in September, but a number of publishers, agents, and authors are heavily opposing the plan and raising questions over whether the company has the rights to reproduce and provide text from these audiobooks. Captions is currently in beta and not available to publishers at this time.
Pearson pivots to digital
17 Jul 2019 (Newsweek)
“Over half our annual revenues come from digital sales so we’ve decided, a little bit like in other industries like newspapers or music or in broadcast, that it is time to flick the switch in how we primarily make and create our products,” Pearson plc CEO John Fallon told the BBC.
(US) Court Questions Whether Ebook Pirate Site Operator Can Be Sued
15 Jul 2019 (Torrent Freak)
Earlier this year, author John Van Stry sued Travis McCrea, the former leader of the Pirate Party of Canada, over his eBook download platform, EBook.bike. The US-based author sued McCrea in a Texas court demanding more than $200,000 in damages and costs.
(US) Will trade publishers block new releases in public libraries?
9 July 2019 (American Libraries Magazine)
ALA is concerned over recent changes in publisher strategy. At this time, none of the Big Five employs an embargo, but this might change with Macmillan testing the waters with an embargo trial. “It is time for ALA to ramp up engagement on the library ebook lending front.”
(CN) Amazon China Closes Paper Book Section In Favor of Ebooks
4 July 2019 (PanDaily)
Amazon China no longer sells its own paper books, and third party paper books will also be taken down from shelves starting July 18. Although this is just another step in shutting down Amazon’s China businesses, cross-border e-commerce and Kindle digital books will not be affected.
(NL) Dutch agency hammers facebook ebook pirates
4 July 2019 (TechNadu)
Four Facebook users agreed to pay a settlement amount to BREIN, after having pirated thousands of eBooks.
(US) S&S latest publisher to change digital book lending terms
3 July 2019 (Books+Publishing)
Simon & Schuster has become the fourth of the Big Five publishers to change its digital book licensing terms for libraries in the past year, reports Publishers Weekly. In a statement sent to libraries, S&S officials confirmed that its ebooks will be available for two-year terms on a one copy/one user model as of 1 August.
(CA) Big 5 publishers changes library sales business model
30 June 2019 (CBC)
The last of the so-called Big 5 publishers — Hachette Book Group — will stop giving libraries neverending access to its book titles as of Monday, according to the Canadian Urban Libraries Council. Instead, the publisher will make libraries purchase ebooks and digital audio books for two-year terms, increasing the costs for libraries to build up their long-term digital collections in the same way as their hard-copy collections.
(UK) ebook sales increased by 5% in 2018
29 June 2019 (GoodEreader)
Ebook sales actually increased by 5% in 2018, which is good news for the format. It has been in state of consistent decline in the US for a number of years, but it looks like Brits have rediscovered digital audiobooks and ebooks. These two formats combined brought in over £653 million in sales last year.
(US) 1 in 4 units sold to online channels were eBooks
26 June 2019 (Forbes)
Of publishers’ sales to online retail channels, trade print books represented the largest chunk at 45.1%, but eBooks and downloaded audio were popular as well, as 24.5% of publisher’s sales to online channels were eBooks and 13.7 were downloaded audio.
(UK) Ebook sales decline 2% in 2018
26 June 2019 (Guardian)
Overall, the digital book market, which as well as audiobooks includes ebook sales and subscriptions to services such as Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited, rose 4.6% to £653m. Consumer ebook sales continued their slow decline, down 2% to £251m. Sales have fallen 20% since 2014.
(US) Barnes & Noble’s Nook Revenue Down 17%
19 June 2019 (The Digital Reader)
Nook revenues totaled $92 million for the fiscal year. Fiscal 2019 net earnings were $3.8 million compared to a net loss of $125.5 million in the prior year.
(US) Ebook sales decrease by 4.5% in the first quarter of 2019
17 June 2019 (Good E Reader)
One of the leading factors is the rise of digital audiobooks. In the first three months of the year the format increased by 35% and it brought in a respectable $133 million dollars. The decline in ebooks is good for the traditional print industry. Hardcover book sales saw a 7.8% ($594 million) increase in revenue and paperback sales saw a respectable 3.1% ($553.6 million).
(US) Legal lessons from the ebooks antitrust debacle
10 June 2019 (Apple Insider)
Responding to a question about risk in the law and how you avoid it, Apple’s former legal counsel said that there are reasons to look for risk. “Steer the ship as close to that line as you can,” he continued, “because that’s where the competitive advantage lies.”
(US) The wrong turn B&N took, away from ebooks
29 May 2019 (Seeking Alpha)
Amazon led the way in digital with its Kindle platform … Barnes & Noble, meanwhile, went just the opposite way, recommitting to its symbiosis with the physical book market.
(CA) Enhanced ebook bedtime stories not a good idea
28 May 2019 (Montreal Gazette)
The real power of reading is the interaction between parent and child. But many ebooks have enhanced texts that read the story aloud. With these books, parents did less of the reading and ceded the narrative to the device.
Macmillan Learning commits to accessible ebooks for students
8 May 2019 (Books + Publishing)
Born accessible books are developed to ensure that students, regardless of their ability, have the same access to information. The Global Certified Accessible program was established by non-profit Benetech. The program evaluates whether ebooks are designed to be accessible for learners with reading barriers such as blindness, low vision, dyslexia or a physical disability.
Pirating ebooks is an offence against moral justice
15 April 2019 (Good Ereader)
Michael Kozlowski responds in support of angry authors’ open letter: “I believe that ebook piracy is morally reprehensible. You would not walk into a bookstore or secondhand bookstore and steal a book, because you do not want to pay for it or cannot afford to buy it. The same goes with digital, stealing is stealing. You are fundamentally an amoral person if you engage in theft.”
Philip Pullman leads call for UK government action on ebook piracy
8 April 2019 (The Guardian)
Pullman calls piracy ‘an offence against moral justice’ as authors including Kazuo Ishiguro and Margaret Drabble issue warning to business secretary Greg Clark. ‘The acid rain of online piracy is slowly dissolving something we thought was set in stone.’
Microsoft is Closing Its eBookstore (Again)
2 April 2019 (The Digital Reader)
Microsoft was actually one of the early ebook pioneers, but was never really able to exploit the advantages. Their MSReader format launched in the early aughts tech bubble, and was still worth buying when Microsoft killed it in 2011. Then in 2012 Microsoft invested $300 million in B&N’s Nook spin off, Newco, essentially funding the Nook’s international expansion, only to see it go nowhere. (Microsoft pulled out of that partnership in late 2014.) And now Microsoft is killing the ebookstore it launched to replace the Nook Store.
JellyBooks Launches a Cloud Reader
19 March 2019 (The Digital Reader)
JellyBooks offers what is essentially a focus-group service for publishers. It provides readers with free ebooks in exchange for collecting data about their reading habits. (This is the same data that Amazon, Kobo, and the other ebook platforms collect but do not share.)
OverDrive Partners with Libreka to Bring Ebooks to German-Speaking Countries
19 March 2019 (The Digital Reader)
Libreka is one of the largest distributors in Germany representing over 40,000 publishers and more than 1,000 domestic and international trading partners.
Can book piracy be stopped? ‘I can get any novel I want in 30 seconds’
6 March 2019 (The Guardian)
Many reported starting to pirate books during university, when faced with bills for expensive textbooks – “I want to spend my limited funds on going out, honestly.”
Pearson sells K-12 textbook division for $250 million
20 February 2019 (Star Tribune)
The British publishing company said this week it is selling the business to California-based Nexus Capital Management.
10,000 Arabic books have been digitized to ebooks
13 February 2019 (The Good E-Reader)
Project aims to digitize, preserve, and provide free open access to a wide variety of Arabic language ebooks in subjects such as literature, philosophy, law, religion, and more.
Ebook sales are up at eBooks.com
12 February 2019 (About Ebooks)
In summary, we keep listening to our customers and doing what makes them happy. The development list isn’t getting any shorter, but it looks like we actually do know what to do to retain and grow our audience.
A Brief History of the EPUB Ebook File Format
8 February 2019 (BookNet Canada)
ebookcraft speaker, Dave Cramer, takes a quick walk through the history of EPUB, and answers questions like “Why can’t I use HTML?” and “Why does 9/11 come up so much?”
Amazon doesn’t really do academic ebooks
7 February 2019 (Forbes)
A study from Ithaka S+R says EBSCO controls, “86.4 percent of ebook sales to academic libraries … and Amazon didn’t even sell enough academic ebooks to qualify as having any sort of meaningful presence.”
Kids’ Digital Book Subscription Startup, Epic Raises $30M
29 Jan 2019 (EdSurge)
Launched in 2014, Epic, which offers an online reading subscription geared for kids, has raised more than $51 million to date. The company’s revenue relies on consumer subscriptions, which currently cost $7.99 per month. According to Forbes, Epic has enlisted a total 1.7 million subscribers since its founding.
Canadian authors angry too
23 January 2019 (Writers Union of Canada)
“This is an outrageous trespass on the rights of authors,” said TWUC Chair Eric Enno Tamm. “The Writers’ Union is calling on the Internet Archive to stop this practice immediately, and to respect the licence terms for works in library collections.”
Authors rage against Internet Archive’s ebook “library”
23 January 2019 (The Guardian)
The Society of Authors has called on the website’s Open Library to stop making scanned books ‘unlawfully’ available to British readers.
US ebook sales down 3% in 2018
15 January 2019 (AAP)
But up slightly in October and November.
Canadian public libraries protest ebook embargoes
14 January 2019 (Radio Canada International)
The Canadian Urban Libraries Council is calling on Canadians to demand stronger #eContentForLibraries of major multinational publishers. They’ve set up a campaign portal encouraging users to complain directly to trade book publishers.
How ebooks can help you keep your New Year’s resolution to read more
1 January 2018 (TeleRead)
To fit in those five pages, it also helps to keep a book, audiobook app, or e-reader on you as you go about the day. Then, when you have some down time—you’re waiting for a friend, dozing through your commute, or doing a task that doesn’t require your full attention—you can open your text…
Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature hacked
31 December 2018 (Justmaku)
“… I have built a simple ruby script to crawl the book starting with few generic keywords that I knew will be present in the book in several places and then continue in a divide-and-conquer fashion…”
[Analysis] The future book is here but …
20 December 2018 (Wired)
About 45 percent (up from 37 percent in 2015) of all print sales, and 83 percent of all ebook sales happen through Amazon channels.
Glose ebook start-up raises another 3m Euros
13 December 2018 (TechCrunch, via The Digital Reader)
French mobile reading platform lets you share your thoughts with other readers.
Ebook sales up 45% in Germany
11 December 2018 (destatis.de, via The Digital Reader)
E-Books were purchased by 1.6 million households in 2017. This corresponds to an 8% share of all households with expenditure on books. In 2014 there were 1.1 million households (5%).
Push to lower UK’s ebook tax
20 October 2018 (The Sun)
“Digital books could help open a door to reading for some kids that have never been exposed to it, or are growing up in homes that don’t have any printed books. So taxing one form of reading over another is illogical and potentially damaging for new generations of readers growing up digital.”
EBSCO reaches more than 120,000 DRM-free titles on its ebook platform
3 October 2018 (EBSCO.com)
Users can download either the full book or unlimited chapters with no sign-in required, read them in any application and transfer them to any device. Librarians have the choice between the DRM-free unlimited user version of a title or a limited user model with standard DRM-protection For the EBSCO eBooks that remain DRM-protected, users can still easily download DRM-free chapters.
Ebooks account for 15% to 20% of book sales in Australia
2 October 2018 (Books+Publishing)
It is estimated that ebooks make up around 15-20% of the market in Australia, although this can vary greatly between genres. Similar to other English-language markets, ebook sales appear to have plateaued in recent years—at least within traditional trade publishing.
EU set to allow lower VAT on ebooks
28 September 2018 (The Financial Times)
Measure pushed by France will bring ebooks into line with printed equivalent. EU officials had grown tired of hearing domestic political squabbles over reduced rates and in January the European Commission proposed allowing each country to apply reduced rates to most goods and services, as long as they maintained a weighted average VAT rate of at least 12 per cent.
Penguin-RH Tightens Terms for Public Libraries
4 September 2018 (PW)
All ebooks sold after 1st October will expire after the library has owned them for two years.
Penguin-RH to Launch Academic Library platform
4 September 2018 (PW)
The publisher will be creating a program exclusively for academic libraries, under which they will be able to purchase perpetual access copies, although at “a significantly higher price” than public library copies.
How blockchain will dis-intermediate everyone except authors and readers
28 August 2018 (Bitcoin Exchange Guide)
In the publishing sector, blockchain is aimed at providing tracking solutions that will help ascertain who bought what title. This will be done through the use of a token that will be attached to your copy of the ebook –think of it as your personal tag or ownership rights. Two companies are currently testing this out. One in Montreal named Scenarex and another in Latvia named Publica.
Here’s What Scribd’s CEO Thinks Of The New Walmart eBook Service
26 August 2018 (Forbes)
“The biggest obstacle for Walmart,” Trip says, “is that Amazon is just so many years ahead in the ebook and audiobook space and already dominates the market. For Walmart to compete, they’ll need to differentiate their offering from Audible and Kindle.”
Walmart has an e-book and audiobook service now and Amazon must be squirming
26 August 2018 (Mashable)
Walmart has partnered with Rakuten Kobo to bring you a never-before-seen e-book catalog, available in Walmart stores and online. Kobo’s library sports over six million titles of New York Times best sellers, indie titles, and children’s books, as well as digital books to complement many of the physical books that the retailer sells in stores. And they’re all in one app. BOOM.
Here is a breakdown of how much libraries pay for ebooks from publishers
23 August 2018 (Good e-Reader)
Major publishers all have different strategies for selling ebooks to the public library system. Baker & Taylor, Overdrive and a myriad of others have to have enough of a selection to keep their patrons satisfied, but it can be challenging to know all of the different prices, terms and models that publishers employ, since they have changed many times over the years. Here is Good e-Reader’s 2018 edition of what publishers charge libraries for ebooks.
New York Public Library Launches ebooks on Instagram
15 August 2018 (Good e-Reader)
NYPL staff writes, “The full book, short story, or novella is uploaded into Instagram ‘Stories’, complete with unique and engaging design elements. The Instagram-specific design includes stills and videos that mirror the unique layouts of the original works. The background is a warmer white that’s easy to read on screen, and the font is Georgia.”
Walmart and Kobo Are Launching Their Partner eBookstore on 21 August
30 July 2018 (The Digital Reader)
I can now point you to a couple new pages on Walmart’s website where you will shortly find Kobo’s ereaders and ebooks. The pages currently contain dummy images, but the section headings and the page URLs give away a lot of the detail.
TOR is delaying front-list ebooks on Overdrive
18 July 2018 (TeleRead)
“TOR books no longer sells their front-list to libraries. We must wait at least 4 months after the publication date before their new titles will be released to Overdrive for us to purchase. They have decided that library sales may be negatively impacting their retail sales and are participating in a study that will attempt to determine the impacts of libraries on the book market and sales, especially regarding eBooks.”
Can Big Data analytics save the eBook market?
3 July 2018 (ITProPortal)
Big data analytics makes it possible for publishers to profile their readers based on “revealed preferences,” thereby using data on actual measured behavior, as opposed to the past practice of relying solely on “stated preference” information garnered from surveys and third-party data. Moreover, advanced customer segmentation enables publishers to use further statistical and predictive modeling and to utilize various metrics…
Everything you need to know about Social DRM for ebooks
26 June 2018 (Good e-Reader)
DRM enables retailer ‘lockin,’ while watermarking does not. Despite its lack of publicity, e-book watermarking is becoming more and more widely used – especially in Europe. It is time for the publishing industry to recognize the importance and potential of e-book watermarking. Every book publisher should consider adopting watermarking and advocating its use throughout the e-book publishing value chain.
Google Reopens their Play Books Publisher Program
25 June 2018 (Good e-Reader)
Whenever a title is submitted it will compare the body of text to other books in the Play Bookstore and if it is similar it will be automatically denied. Digital books also have the option to enter an ISBN number and it will fetch some ebook metadata and sales could be tracked from Nielson.
Microsoft offering $5 free credit if you buy a $4.99 eBook in the Microsoft Store
25 June 2018 (mspoweruser.com)
Microsoft wants you to try the Microsoft eBook Store, and to make that first purchase easier they are willing to offer you your first book free. Books can be read in Edge on your PC, but also in Edge on iOS and Android. eBooks are only available for US-based users. [How this works with agency pricing restrictions is unclear.]
How Barnes & Noble Made the Nook Profitable
24 June 2018 (Good e-Reader)
A small team and outsourcing everything seems to make the Nook profitable in the here and now, but something needs to change for this to occur next year.
China’s TMall Launches e-Reader App
14 June 2018 (Alizilla)
Tmall developed the new app—called “Tmall Reader”—with Alibaba Literature, the Chinese e-commerce giant’s online business unit dedicated to the written word. It’s hoping to tap into the growing trend of e-reading in China.
Apple Books App Will Replace iBooks
14 June 2018 (Gadgets 360)
The new app, which will debut on iOS 12 later this year, comes as a refresh of the original iBooks app. It offers ebooks and audiobooks through dedicated tabs to iPhone and iPad users. The app also includes a new Reading Now tab that will host all the ebooks and audiobooks that you’re currently reading or listening to.
Tmall Launches E-Reader App as China’s Bookworms Go Digital
14 June 2018 (Alizila)
The app, now available for download from both iOS and Android app stores, offers access to titles, ranging from business and children’s stories to Chinese translations of popular foreign authors. The collection will expand as titles from the nearly 3,000 booksellers and 300 publishers on the platform are added to the app.
UK extends Public Lending Right scheme to ebook authors
7 June 2018 (UK Government)
From July 1, the Public Lending Right Scheme will cover ebooks and e-audiobooks that are loaned from public libraries across Great Britain. The change means that authors are eligible for payment in the same way if their works are borrowed electronically or as physical books.
Microsoft will implement a 95% revenue share for Windows 10 Apps
10 May 2018 (Good Ereader)
Young startups and independent developers will have a financial incentive to make a Windows 10 version of their audiobook or ebook app, instead of just relying on the Apple App Store or Google Play.
AAP: Publisher eBook Sales Fell almost 5% in 2017
9 May 2018 (The Digital Reader)
Trade revenues were essentially flat (a 1.3% increase), while ebook revenues fell 4.7%. After two years of declines, both University Presses (+5.3%) and Professional Books (+8.4%) – which include business, medical, law, scientific and technical books – saw revenue growth in 2017.
Kobo sales declining despite acquisitions
19 April 2018 (The Digital Reader)
Kobo gained a boost in sales by taking over the customer base of German ebook platform Tolino last year but, overall, sales continue to decline.
Free NASA e-book offers inside look at space station flight controllers
15 April 2018 (The Statesman)
For every hour of 6,371 days and counting, a team of people on the ground has been watching over the space station’s crews and systems from the Mission Control Center at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. Here’s what they do.
Ebook Sales Up 19% at eBooks.com
15 April 2018 (About.Ebooks.com)
Half-year results are in and sales at eBooks.com are up on the same period last year by 19.7 per cent. At the same time ebook sales more broadly are apparently declining. AAP, the US publishers’ trade body, just reported that ebook sales for the 11 months to November 2017 were down by 5.5 per cent. So what’s going on?
Library of Congress to collect every e-book
13 April 2018 (FCW)
In a notice of proposed rulemaking to be published April 16, the Library of Congress will begin including published e-books under its mandatory deposit rule, but only on a by-request basis.
US Ebook Sales Down 5% in 2017
(4 April 2018) The Digital Reader
The 11 months from January to November 2017 were $1.012 billion, compared with $1.072 billion for the previous corresponding period.
What can Google Android do for e-Readers?
(4 April 2018) Good E-reader
It’s arguable that much of the popularity of e-readers stems from their simplicity so adding bells and whistles could undermine future sales and alienate the customer base.
“Tax Cheat” Amazon is a “Job-Killer”
(4 April 2018) American Booksellers Assn
A new report looks at the increasing loss of jobs and state and municipal revenue as a result of the growing retail dominance of Amazon.com. The report says Amazon’s sales tax avoidance strategy has continued despite well-publicized agreements with American states.
Overdrive books its billionth checkout
(20 March 2018) The Digital Reader
Overdrive just announced on their blog that they have loaned a billion ebooks since they first started lending ebooks in 2003.
Why Japan’s Rakuten Is A Hidden Contender In The Ebook Market
(17 March 2018) Forbes
OverDrive’s 2017 numbers: 225 million total digital downloads, representing 155 million ebooks and 68 million audiobooks.
American Publishers, Libraries Cheer Marrakesh Treaty’s US Congressional Introduction
(15th March 2018) Publishing Perspectives
Proposed US law amends the US Copyright Act to allow the creation and distribution of accessible format copies such as braille, audiobooks, and digital files. It promises to enable “institutions like libraries and blind institutions to create an accessible form of the work without regard to the copyright.”
VitalSource added as a vendor to Scottish academic buying group APUC
(14 March 2018) FE News
VitalSource can now provide institutions with a single interface for the purchase of individual eBooks and eBook collections.
26% of Americans read an ebook in the last 12 months
(9 March 2018) The Digital Reader
After a two-year pause, the Pew Research Center has at long last conducted a new poll on media use in the US.
Ebooks more popular with girls than boys
2 March 2018 (BDAILY News)
Are we surprised? eBooks were found to be a more popular platform among girls (14 per cent) than boys (8 per cent) and are most popular with children aged 13-18.
Penguin Random House India launches digital imprint for mobile reading
26 February 2018 (Scroll.in)
Penguin Petit will publish short, low-priced books tailored for phone. To begin with, the series will repackage Penguin Random House India’s extensive list of existing titles.
Madrid names street after female inventor of mechanical ‘ebook’
26 February 2018 (The Guardian)
In 1949, Ángela Ruiz Robles, a passionate and innovative educator and writer from Galicia, came up with a way to expand her students’ knowledge and lighten their satchels at the same time. Her mechanical encyclopaedia – Spanish patent number 190,698 – was a pastel-green metal box packed with spools, innovation and pedagogical enthusiasm.
Pirating ebooks in Sweden could get you 6 years in prison
23 February 2018 (Good E-Reader)
A proposed bill envisions new criminal designations and crime being divided into two levels of seriousness. “In cases of gross crimes, a person may be convicted of gross copyright infringement or gross trademark infringement and sent to prison for at least six months and not more than six years.”
McGraw-Hill Launches Textbook and E-Book Rental Program
20 February 2018 (Campus Technology)
Starting this spring, the company is offering rentals on more than 250 of its copyright 2019 titles, plus all future titles, through its e-commerce channel on the company website as well as through approved distributors.
Major publisher says ebooks are stupid
17 February 2018 (Scroll)
Chattersphere is abuzz with outrage at (Hachette CEO) Arnaud Nourry’s observation that ebooks have not changed the reading experience much. See The Guardian, The Digital Reader, et al.
Telco ORANGE brings ebooks to African Students
13 February 2018 (The New Publishing Standard)
Pre-launch the project already has 29,000 students signed up to receive content in ebook format through the MondoCNED app, that can be consumed online or downloaded.
Russian ebook sales booming
3 February 2018 (The New Publishing Standard)
The figures, largely drawn from Russia’s biggest publishing enterprise Exmo-AST, suggest a 41% growth in ebook sales.
Overdrive Launches Cost Per Circ
31 January 2018 (Good E-Reader)
Provides one more option for libraries and schools. They can mix their collections with a variety of access models – from one copy/one user, metered access to simultaneous use and Cost-per-Circ for eBooks and audiobooks – depending on the title, expected demand, and budget.
Apple lines up to take on Kindle
25 January, 2018 (Bloomberg)
A new app, due to be released in coming months, will include a simpler interface that better highlights books currently being read and a redesigned digital book store that looks more like the new App Store launched last year. The revamped app in testing includes a new section called Reading Now and a dedicated tab for audio books.
Walmart Lines up to take on Kindle
25 January 2018 (The Digital Reader)
All eBook content will be accessible through a Walmart/Kobo co-branded app available on all iOS and Android devices, a desktop app and Kobo e-Readers, which will also be sold at Walmart later this year.
Canada’s Wattpad Announces $51 Million in Funding
17 January 2018 (Publishing Perspectives)
The platform’s community, according to media information, grew in 2017 by more than 40 percent and now draws more than 65 million users monthly to its system, which supports more than 50 languages.
Publica is “a publisher for the blockchain era” – but will authors bite?
12 January 2018 (The Bookseller)
Publica is an online platform that aims to be the first truly decentralised publisher, by using blockchain technology to enable direct transactions between authors and readers.
HarperCollins settles with Canada’s competition regulator
9 January 2018 (Financial Post, CA)
The outcome follows a bureau investigation that asserted an anti-competitive arrangement between HarperCollins and other ebook retailers led to higher prices for Canadian consumers.
Microsoft Quietly Rolls Out Its E-bookstore
29 December 2017 (Publishers Weekly)
Titles for the store are supplied via Ingram’s CoreSource digital asset management distribution platform, and the store offers publishers both agency and wholesale business models. Since the launch, a Microsoft spokesperson said, the site has seen double-digit monthly growth in traffic and purchases.
NYU launches online papyrus collection
21 December 2017 (Library Journal)
Initiative to launch the creation of a comprehensive, searchable digital collection of literary and subliterary texts surviving on papyrus and similar materials from the area of ancient Egypt and environs.
3,500 Occult Manuscripts Online, Thanks to Dan Brown
20 December 2017 (Open Culture)
The Hermetically Open project opens up occult literary history with “an invitation to anyone wishing to consult or study sources belonging to the field of Christian-Hermetic Gnosis for personal, academic or other purposes.”
Ebook sales up 60% in … Iceland
17 December 2017 (The New Publishing Standard)
A 60% increase in e-book sales between January-September this year, and a threefold increase in the first week of November.
Silicon Valley startup will make your e-book highlights and notes work harder
8 December 2017 (The Bookseller)
The founders of Readwise want to help non-fiction e-book readers “read better, read more, and forget less”.
Hoopla adds Marvel Comics and Graphic Novels
8 December 2017 (Markets Insider)
“We are building a digital home for comic book fans where they can find all their favorite characters and have instant access to hundreds of acclaimed works – all with a library card.”
Cengage Launches e-Textbook Subscription Service
5 December 2017 (Inside Higher Ed)
Service will enable students to access Cengage’s entire digital portfolio for one set price, no matter how many products they use.
B&N Still Has a Chance with Ebooks
4 December 2017 (Seeking Alpha)
If BKS would be able to identify and promote a different, more appealing business model, even only for parts of its catalog, it could easily leverage its brand and its connections with publishers (who are all very unhappy with the Amazon dominance) and greatly expand its ebook market share.
e-Textbook Rentals Set for Years of Growth
2 December 2017 (Technavio)
The global e-textbook rental market is expected to grow at a CAGR of close to 21% during the period 2017-2021, according to a new market research study by Technavio.
Atlantic’s revenue drops in 2016 due to ebook sales ‘squeeze’
29 November 2017 (Books and Publishing)
UK publisher Atlantic’s revenue has dropped in 2016 with ebook sales down 20%, reports the Bookseller.
Reasons to scrap the EU’s tax on ebooks
20 November 2017 (The Times)
It was recognised from the very beginning that books were essential to people’s lives and that a tax on knowledge would be wholly inappropriate and economically counter-productive.
Did You Know, Google allows 65 days for ebook “returns”
23 November 2017 (AndroidOS.in)
If you buy an eBook that is defective, you can raise a refund request within 65 days of your purchase.
ProQuest enhances accessibility on eBook Central
18 November 2017 (ProQuest Press Release)
Improvements include compatibility with screen readers like JAWS and VoiceOver, browser magnification and keyboard navigation so that pages can be negotiated without the use of a mouse.
Ebooks Don’t Furnish a Room
14 November 2017 (The Times)
Millennials raised on digital downloads are turning their backs on mp3s and e-readers and fuelling sales of physical books, vinyl records and DVDs.
Pearson Closes DRM-Free e-Bookstore
13 November 2017 (The Digital Reader)
It’s a wrap for MyPearsonStore.com. Purchased ebooks will be inaccessible after 30 April 2018. But, hey, it’s DRM-free so just download those critters and back ’em up.
Draft2Digital sees a “spike” as Pronoun authors migrate
13 November 2017 (The New Publishing Standard)
The not altogether unexpected failure of the US-based distributor Pronoun dealt competitor aggregators an unexpected windfall this month.
Macmillan to Close Its Self-Publishing Unit, Pronoun
7 November 2017 (Publishers Weekly)
Asked why Pronoun was being shuttered 18 months after the acquisition, Seroy said, despite Macmillan investment in the platform and “terrific” feedback from Pronoun authors, “we came to the conclusion that there wasn’t a path forward to a profitable business model.”
New, gorgeous ebook page style from the School for Poetic Computation
29 October 2017 (Go To Hellman)
Despite the entrenchment of Amazon and iPhones, people haven’t stopped taking fresh looks at the reading experience.
Amazon abandons virtual textbook contract with UMass
26 October 2017 (Greenfield Recorder)
After just three years on campus, the retail behemoth Amazon will end its run as the virtual textbook store for the University of Massachusetts Amherst. “It’s a really evolving business at this point, textbooks. The whole business is changing all the time.”
Wiley Announces Digital Archives Program
25 October 2017 (infoDOCKET)
Launching in 2018, Wiley Digital Archives will enable institutional customers to purchase digital access to unique or rare historical primary sources, digitized from leading societies.
Learning A-Z Supplies More Than 6 Billion Digital Books to Kids
24 October 2017 (NASDAQ)
Company provides students with personalized reading practice and offers more than 50,000 reading resources.
Portugal bans DRM protection on public domain content
23 October 2017 (Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing)
Law enacted in June bans putting DRM on public domain media or government works, and allows the public to break DRM that interferes with their rights in copyright.
No One Knows Exactly How Many eBooks Indie Authors Published Last Year
23 October 2017 (Digital Reader)
Nate Hoffelder considers Bowker’s annual report on ISBN registrations and argues that everyone is still misunderstanding the annual statistics.
Library of Congress Launches Rare Books Web Portal
21 October 2017 (infoDOCKET)
Just think of all the dark and vast vaults of the Rare Book and Special Collections Division that are closed to the public and imagine what undiscovered treasures they hold. Now, thanks to the digital age, the stacks are open and searchable.
Major Publishers: eBooks Represent 20% of Total Sales
16 October 2017 (Good Ereader)
Simon & Schuster CEO Carolyn Reidy believes “very firmly” that a new version of the book based on digital delivery will come eventually, though she does not know what it might look like. “Some person who is young and grew up with the screen will come up with something that I hope we recognize.”
US Ebook Sales Up 3.4% in May-17 (YoY)
28 September 2017 (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 2017 (Recode)
At one time Amazon thought it could really compete with Alibaba. No longer.
B&N Capitulates on Ebooks Generally
19 September 2017 (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 2017 (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 2017 (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 2017 (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 2017 (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 2017 (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 2017 (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 2017 (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 2017 (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 2017 (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 2017 (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 2017 (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 2017 (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 2017 (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 2017 (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 2017 (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 2017 (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 2017 (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 2017 (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.