Ebook market share 2022
Ebooks make up 21% of total book sales
In January 2022 the American Association of Publishers, which represents mostly mainstream consumer book publishers, reported that among their members ebook sales accounted for 11.3% of sales revenue. Bear in mind that this figure relates to revenue from the sale of popular, consumer ebooks released by established trade publishers. It largely excludes sales of educational and technical titles, and sales through self-publishing platforms such as Kindle Unlimited. And those categories typically comprise a much higher percentage of digital sales. But if you’re curious about the books you see in your local bookstore, then 11.3% is a useful data point. In October 2021, research outfit NPD Group reported that, “e-books account for 18% of sales, or more than one in six books sold.”
Consider Mark Williams’ argument in a December 2021 article where he says, “AAP reports October ’21 ebook REVENUE was worth $84 million. For the same month Kindle Unlimited paid out $39.8 million in ROYALTIES. Just how big is the real ebook market no-one wants to talk about?” This simple comparison suggests that overall (at least US) ebook market share by revenue might be as much as double the AAP’s reported stats — something like 28%.
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 back-list ebooks offered by publishers for free or under $1.00.
Amy Watson pulled together disparate reports in the public domain, and her December 2018 report suggested a market share of 19 per cent for ebooks. 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.
On balance, we estimate ebook sales to make up 21 per cent of total book sales in 2022
Amazon’s share of the ebook market is 68%
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 Amazon’s share of the ebook market, excluding its own Kindle publishing efforts, sits at 68 per cent.
Recent news about ebook market size
Ebook Sales Down 8.5% in 1st half of 2022
19 Aug 2022 (Publishing Perspectives)
AAP’s StatShot shows in the first six months of 2022 Ebook revenues were down 8.5 percent as compared to the first six months of 2021 for a total of $500.4 million. The month of June was down 6.3 percent compared to June 2021, for a total of $83.0 million.
UK’s 2021 ebook sales up 10% compared with 2019
28 November 2021 (The New Publishing Standard)
HarperCollins: Ebook sales up 5% year over year
5 November 2021 (Good E-Reader)
Ebooks accounted for 21% of consumer book revenues in the September quarter.
NPD Research: Soaring E-books Sales Fall Back to Earth
6 October 2021 (PRWeb)
e-books account for 18% of US book sales.
US Ebook Sales Drop in June 2021 after 2020’s COVID Boost
24 August 2021 (Publishing Perspectives)
Down 19.9 percent, as compared to June of 2020, for a total of $87.7 million.
23% of Americans bought an ebook last year
9 August 2021 (Statista)
US Ebook Sales Drop in May 2021
21 July 2021 (Publishing Perspectives)
down 23.4 percent in May, compared to May of 2020
AAP reports US Ebook Sales Growth Stabilising
28 June 2021 (Publishing Perspectives)
April 2021 sales are slightly down on April 2020
Ebook sales are roaring
26 May 2021 (World Economic Forum)
UK ebook sales 24% up in 2020
Major Publishers are selling a ton of ebooks in 2021
7 May 2021 (Good E-Reader)
Harpercollins’ digital sales increased by 38% in the 1st quarter.
Publishing Industry Sales Up 16% Through February
27 Apr-2021 (PW)
E-book sales rose 16.2% over the first two months of 2020
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
Audiobooks and ebooks are 18% of HarperCollins Revenue
05 Feb 2021 (Good E-Reader)
Ebook and downloadable audiobook sales combined accounted for 18% of the HarperCollins’ total sales in 2020.
ebook sales increased by 12.6% in 2020
01 Feb 2021 (Good E-Reader)
In 2019, ebook sales were down 4.9%
ebook sales in the US were up 20.4% in October
14 Dec 2020 (Good E-Reader)
Year-to-date, ebook sales were up 16.5%. Ebooks accounted for 10% of all trade sales in October.
Peak University Library Body Issues List of Demands for Ebook Provision
25 November 2022 (Council of Australian University Libraries)
CAUL identifies 10 areas where the provision of eBooks is not compliant with standards, impacting students with disability and off-campus students.
Apple’s ebook app has lost it’s cute page-turn animation
22 November 2022 (The Verge)
Am I being dramatic? Yes. Has this change made me read on my phone less? Also yes. … replaced by an animation that wouldn’t feel out of place in a Tinder rip-off or a PDF-viewing utility app.
Cambridge University Press Partners With Norway’s Ludenso on AR Textbooks
22 November 2022 (Publishing Perspectives)
Using the Oslo-based ‘Ludenso Studio’ platform, Cambridge expects to enhance its textbooks with increased value in imagery and other assets. The offer is described by Ludenso as an augmented-reality authoring tool, which lets publishers “enrich either existing or new textbook titles with 3D models, embedded videos, audio clips, or links.”
Springer Nature Signs Open-Access Agreement with Japanese Universities
21 November 2022 (Publishing Perspectices)
The University of Tokyo is among the institutions participating in the accord, and the program will allow researchers open-access publication from those facilities in more than 2,000 Springer Nature journals. The participating universities will retain reading access to all existing journals to which they currently have access, and other consortia member-universities are invited to join the agreement.
Anna’s Archive: eBooks Search Engine Emerges After Z-Library Shuts Down
20 November 2020 (TechWorm)
With Z-Library now taken down, the ‘team’ behind the Pirate Library Mirror has launched “Anna’s Archive” – a free online shadow library meta-search engine for finding pirated books. “We deliberately violate the copyright law in most countries. This allows us to do something that legal entities cannot do: making sure books are mirrored far and wide,” they note in their blog post.
Pearson’s CEO is bringing the textbook giant into the future
18 November 2022 (Fortune)
… by tracking readers’ habits: ‘We can tell the author that no one reads chapter four or that they should double down on animation in chapter six.’ Since becoming Pearson’s CEO two years ago, Bird has focused on refashioning the education company’s image as a leading print textbook publisher to that of an online learning company that encompasses career training, reskilling, and lifelong learning.
Google and Amazon Helped the FBI Identify Z-Library’s Operators
17 November 2022 (TorrentFreak)
For the investigation, the FBI used search warrants directed at various companies such as Amazon and Google. This showed that the personal information of Anton Napolsky could be linked to Z-Library email addresses and domains in several instances. For example, Napolsky’s personal mail.ru address was used to register [email protected], [email protected], and [email protected] His personal phone number was also linked to Z-Library email addresses.
ebook sales increase by 2.7% in August 2022
16 November 2022 (Good E-Reader)
Year-to-date eBook revenues were down 6.7% as compared to the first eight months of 2021 for a total of $673.3 million.
Two Russian Nationals Charged with Running Massive E-Book Piracy Website
16 November 2022 (US Dept of Justice)
Defendants Operated Z-Library, Which Offered Free Download of Copyrighted Works. Earlier today, in federal court in Brooklyn, an indictment and a complaint were unsealed charging Russian nationals Anton Napolsky and Valeriia Ermakova with criminal copyright infringement, wire fraud and money laundering for operating Z-Library, an online e-book piracy website. The pair was arrested on November 3, 2022 in Cordoba, Argentina at the request of the United States. At the same time, Z-Library’s network of online domains was also taken offline and seized by the U.S. government, pursuant to a court order that was also unsealed today.
Storytel Raises another $39 million
9 November 2022 (Press Release)
“The Company intends to use the net proceeds from the Directed Issue to, inter alia, partially repay a bridge loan facility totalling SEK 500 million provided by Swedbank AB (publ), as part of the Company’s financing of the acquisition of Audiobooks.com, which was announced on 12 November 2021 and 7 January 2022. Swedbank AB (publ) has offered to refinance SEK 200 million of the outstanding bridge loan facility with a term loan of the same amount. The proceeds will also strengthen Storytel’s balance sheet and capital structure and thereby increase the Company’s financial flexibility to pursue future strategic opportunities in line with the Company’s implemented strategy of profitable growth.”
Millie’s Library pushes ahead with IPO despite lukewarm market
6 November 2022 (The Investor)
Millie’s Library, one of South Korea’s largest e-book subscription platforms, said Friday it will make its stock debut on the tech-heavy secondary bourse Kosdaq later this month, despite the unfavorable market sentiment.
5 Best Z-Library Alternatives in 2022 to Download eBooks
5 November 2022 (Techworm)
Ebook Pirate Site Z-Library Domains Seized by US Department of Justice
5 November 2022 (Techdator)
Since yesterday, some of the major domains linked to Z-Library have disappeared from the internet as if they were being wiped out completely. And a close look at their domain records revealed that the nameservers of these domains were changed to SEIZEDSERVERS.COM – which is controlled by the US Department of Justice, where the agency keeps all the shutdown sites resulting from criminal proceedings. While some are inaccessible, some Z-Library domains displayed a seized banner from the US Department of Justice and the US Postal Inspection Service.
Audiobook seller Storytel tops core profit forecast, shares rise
3 November 2022 (NASDAQ)
Earnings (EBITDA) reached $5.3 million and beating expectations. The improvement was mainly driven by a shift to focus on profitable growth, the acquisition of Audiobooks.com, and a restructuring in the first half of the year, the company said. “We are focused on our core markets in the Nordics, the Netherlands, Poland, Bulgaria and the United States.”
Springer Nature Reaches 2,000 International Open-Access Books
31 October 2022 (Publishing Perspectives)
Less than two years after passing the 1,000th open-access book milestone, Springer Nature now has 2,000 open-access book titles. On reaching the new milestone for number of open-access titles published, Niels Peter Thomas is quoted. He’s the president and managing director of books for greater China at Springer Nature, and says, “Springer Nature has and remains committed to enabling a sustainable journey to open access for all researchers, regardless of publishing format.”
Audiobooks platform xigxag gains B Corporation certification
31 October 2022 (The Bookseller)
Co-founders Kelli Fairbrother and Mark Chaplin said B Corp certification “forms a cornerstone of xigxag’s strategy to differentiate it from big tech competitors”.
They said that by putting accessibility and sustainability at the heart of their business, they aim to encourage everyone to enjoy more books by modernising the digital reading experience and making reading more accessible.
Ed tech giant Chegg gets an F for security after sensitive info on 40 million users stolen
31 October 2022 (The Register)
The laundry list of what Chegg allegedly did wrong reads like a how-to-get-breached-for-dummies book. For example, the company allowed employees and contractors to use a single AWS access key that provided full admin privileges over all data in the S3 databases. It also failed to rotate access keys to the S3 databases, and stored personal information in plain text instead of using encryption.
First NFT Books by NY Times Bestselling Author Sell Out In 45 Seconds on Book.io
25 October 2022 (Press Release)
Joseph Nassise, a New York Times, USA Today, and Der Spiegel bestselling author of more than fifty books, sold 2,746 NFT books on Book.io in 45 seconds. The sale took place on Thursday, October 20th, with the feature title being The Heretic, the first book in Nassise’s Templar Chronicle series.
Rampant ‘Shadow Libraries’ Drive Calls for Anti-Piracy Action
19 October 2022 (Bloomberg Law)
“I’ve heard authors say, ‘I put out a book in the morning and it was on Z-Library in the afternoon,’” said Umair Kazi, director of policy and advocacy at The Authors Guild. It’s not easy: Elsevier, one of the world’s largest science publishers, sued Libgen and another site called Sci-Hub in 2015 over copyright infringement. A New York federal court awarded $15 million to Elsevier in a 2017 default judgment, and issued a permanent injunction against the sites. The sites haven’t paid the damages, however, and moved to mirror sites, according to the 2021 Authors Guild report.
Trade ebook sales down 6.6% in July (year-on-year)
19 October 2022 (Good E-Reader)
In July 2022 in the United States eBook revenue is on the decline. Revenue was down 6.6% for the month as compared to July 2021 and the format generated $82.4 million. Digital and downloadable audiobooks were up 8.9%, coming in at $69.3 million in revenue.
Bertelsmann’s BDMI Invests in Book.io, the First Ever NFT Ebook Platform
17 October 2022 (PRNewswire)
Publishers and authors will be able to generate income from digital “used book” sales, said Joshua Stone, Book.io’s CEO. “It’s a partnership with a venture capital group that understands the value of intellectual property and has been investing in media for over 15 years. We have a huge vision for Book.io
Student Preference for Online Learning Up 220% Since Pre-Pandemic
14 October 2022 (Campus Technology)
The survey asked students about which instructional elements were most important to have available online. E-textbooks or required readings 63%. @educause
A New Venue for Publishers’ Backlist: The ‘Yonder’ App
13 October 2022 (Publishing Perspectives)
The new app from Webtoon and Wattpad associates is being pitched as a service that can serialize publishers’ backlisted titles.
Ingram Invests in Web3 eBook Startup Book.io
30 September 2022 (Press Release)
“Book.io is building the infrastructure for putting ebooks and audiobooks on-chain, which will allow readers to truly own the digital books they purchase, instead of the current industry licensing model. This will enable an entirely new secondary digital market where publishers and authors can earn royalties and leverage new author-to-reader direct engagement channels.”
Amazon, Big 5 Publishers Beat Book Antitrust Suits, For Now
29 September 2022 (Law360)
A New York federal judge Thursday dismissed two antitrust lawsuits accusing Amazon and the country’s five largest book publishers of secretly fixing digital and traditional book prices, backing the “well-reasoned” recommendations…
EdTech Startup Bibliu Raises Further $15m for US Expansion
29th September 2022 (Business Innovation Magazine)
It’s the first tranche of $15M in a Series B funding, led by its current investors with participation from new investors. The funds are targeted for expansion in the US market, including new product development, additional publisher partnerships and further investments in sales and marketing.
EdTech innovator BibliU secures $5.5m investment
28 September 2022 (Press Release)
BibliU, the leading provider of digital learning platforms for higher education institutions, today announced a new £4.7M ($5.5M) investment to continue its expansion across the UK and US. The company has raised the second and third tranches of Series B funding, following an initial £12M ($15M) investment in June 2022. The investment will enable BibliU to expand its services across the US and UK markets, develop new products, secure additional publisher partnerships and invest further in sales and marketing, stimulating growth.
The Kindle Scribe Lets You Add Hand-Written Sticky Notes to Your eBooks
28 September 2022 (Gizmodo)
It’s the first Kindle that works with an included stylus to turn your e-reader into a digital notebook. It’s much larger than Amazon’s other e-readers, more like the reMarkable 2 or the Boox tablets from Onyx.
Storytel Rolls Out Its Audiobook Service in France
27 September 2022 (Publishing Perspectives)
The Stockholm-based audiobook corporation Storytel, in association with some of French publishing’s biggest players, goes live in France. Storytel now is operating in at least 25 markets.
Amazon Relents on Self-Service Ebook Returns
22 September 2022 (Publishing Perspectives)
After months of hate from high profile authors and publishers, Amazon’s change reportedly will prevent a self-service return of a Kindle ebook for a full refund if a consumer has read more than 10 percent of the text.
Authors, Publishers & Booksellers Face Their Dark Nemesis
22 September 2022 (FinTech Zoom)
Here’s why you should be freaked out about ebook piracy. A nice, glowing description of how people can just download any of 4 million DRM-free ebooks at no cost. Z-Library is a free, elegant, easy interface. It’s highly likely that most, if not all, of your list is available via this site.
Wiley Under Fire for “Abruptly Removing” 1,300 Titles from Libraries
21 September 2022 (Irish Examiner)
The Library Association of Ireland (LAI) objects to the new model it said Wiley is now pursuing, which is to sell its books as ‘eTextbooks’ on a subscription model based on class sizes for “exorbitant fees”. Such a model is “unsustainable, anti-competitive and highly problematic in the use of public funds”, it added.
Germany’s Ebook Market January to June: ‘Slight Growth’
21 September 2022 (Publishing Perspectives)
In the first half of 2022, consumers bought more ebooks per capita and paid more for them, offsetting a smaller buyers’ base. Average Price of an Ebook Up 0.4 percent to €6.48.
French Publishers Win Z-Library Piracy Blocking Order
21 September 2022 (torrentfreak)
With more than 11.2 million ebooks and almost 85 million articles available from its archives, Z-Library is a formidable educational resource. However, viewed from the perspective of publishers, Z-Library is not only unfair competition but also highly illegal under copyright law.
Canadian ebook sales were strong in 2021 (From Booknet Canada)
20 September 2021 (Good E-Reader)
Over half of all publishers (52%) saw increases in ebook revenue compared with 2020. The most popular e-book retailers were Amazon (76%), Kobo (71%), and Apple (68%). The rest of the channels include Barnes and Noble, Google Play Books and Scribd.
Spotify dives into audiobooks with a library of over 300,000 titles
20 September 2022 (engadget)
Each one requires a separate purchase before you can listen in the app. In addition to their own section alongside music and podcasts, audiobooks will show up in your recommendations on the main page.
Unpacking the ownership of Storytel
17 September 2022 (Simply Wall St)
The group holding the most number of shares in the company, around 35% to be precise, is individual investors.
AAP Annual Statshot Report: Ebooks droop after a strong COVID boost
16 September 2022 (Publishing Perspectives)
“While ebook revenue had increased for the first time in years during 2020, climbing 12.4 percent, in 2021 the format again declined, falling 5.0 percent, and coming in at $1.97 billion.”
BookFunnel enables restricted ebook delivery for author promo
16 Sept 2022 (BookFunnel)
Authors asked for a way to send books to readers, track who was downloading, and have some kind of limit to protect their ARC links, and we delivered (heh). Certified Mail launched with landing page stats, download counts and limits, and watermarked EPUBs and MOBIs files (to deter file sharing).
The Receipt Of Free E-books May Trigger An Obligation For Influencers To Label Their Posts As Advertising
15 September 2022 (ReedSmith)
“…under the new [EU] legal framework, a ‘commercial purpose’ of a post on social media, which triggers the labelling requirement, does not only exist where influencers receive monetary compensation. Influencers who are promised a “similar consideration” are required to label their posts accordingly.
Hong Kong court sends five speech therapists to prison for ‘seditious’ children’s ebooks
11 September 2022 (Opindia)
In one of the books, the story narrated how a village of sheep fought back against a group of wolves who tried to take over their settlement, which was interpreted as supporting the pro-democracy movement by the court.
Spotify to begin testing audiobooks aiming to utilize personalized recommendations
9 September 2022 (RouteNote)
the company announced its partnership with Storytel – an audiobook platform – in May last year. Under the agreement, Spotify allowed its users to access Storytel audiobooks through the Spotify app. (via @routenote)
UK might abolish the VAT on audiobooks
8 September 2022 (Good E-Reader)
The movement to abolish the tax stems from authors and publishing organizations. This is not as farfetched as it sounds, in 2020 the VAT was changed from 20% to 0% on ebooks.
A New International App For Serializing Backlist
7 September 2022 (Publishing Perspectives)
The team behind Korea’s Webtoon is preparing to launch a new serialized fiction app. “The company sees this new revenue opportunity for back-catalogue content as similar to how streaming unlocked new revenue for studios.”
Humble Bundle Offers 31 Bushcraft Survival Books for $15
08 September 2022 (Post Apocalyptic Media)
For this current set of books, entitled Bushcraft Survival Guide with a retail value of $400, Humble Bundle is offering up 31 books for $15 or more.
Book publishers, Internet Archive spar over fate of digital-book lending lawsuit
08 September 2022 (Reuters)
The publishers responded Friday that the Archive’s argument is a “study in blind denial that ignores established law.” They said courts and Congress have rejected the Archive’s position that buying physical books allows it to create “millions of unauthorized ebooks.” They also said the Archive “displays contempt for authors” by usurping the market for their e-books, and challenged the Archive’s assertion that its project is not commercial.
Start-up Immer uses empathic software to get the world reading again
7 September 2022 (Innovation Origins)
“This machine makes use of an innovative technique that does not exist in the book world yet. The machine is able to automatically process all existing books, which lets us conveniently analyze the content. For instance, a romantic story can be shown in soft colors. But we also use it to generate summaries, and suggest the right book to the right person. The great thing about this is that we can track how people then read the books, so that we can continue to fine-tune our analyses further.”
How self-publishers are taking digital library eyeballs from mainstream publishers
4 September 2022 (The New Publishing Standard)
“…self-publishers are collectively making serious money from the reading public and eating into publishing market share, no matter how much mainstream industry reporting prefers to repeat the Dohle mantra that ebook market share is somehow frozen in stone at 20%.”
Kobo’s Clara 2E ereader looks like the ultimate Amazon Kindle rival
3 September 2022
Kobo’s new Kindle rival protects your eyes and is better for the planet, too.
Small French company ePagine: You can lend your ebook to 29 friends
3 September 2022 (Globe Echo)
The sharing of books is possible since each electronic book can be activated up to thirty times, which makes it possible to read on different media or pass the purchased book to friends or family members by giving them the passphrase that serves as the password.
Ebooks plaintiffs scramble to salvage class action after magistrate calls for dismissal
2 September 2022 (Reuters)
“The deals accomplished what both Amazon and the publishers wanted: They cemented Amazon’s overwhelming dominance of the ebooks market while allowing publishers to jack up prices.” Hmmm…
Sweden’s Storytel Appoints HBO Exec as CEO
30 August 2022 (PublishersWkly)
Larcher was most recently head of HBO Max Global, where he helped launch the streaming service in some 60 countries across Europe and Latin America. The company replaced three board members as well.
Settlement Reached in Canadian eBooks Class Actions
29 August 2022 (Press Release)
If the proposed settlement with Apple is approved, the net settlement proceeds will be combined with the net settlement proceeds from an earlier settlement with the Publishers and distributed to settlement class members in accordance with the terms of a Distribution Protocol to be approved by the Courts.
Brooklyn Public Library makes banned ebooks available to teens for free
27 August 2022 (NPR)
An update now on a library that is not removing books from circulation – quite the opposite. Since April, the Brooklyn Public Library has been making e-books and audiobooks available to teens around the country for free. The program is called Books Unbanned.
Storytel appoints Johannes Larcher as new CEO and announces proposed changes to the Board of Directors
27 August 2022 (Survey Paid)
Johannes Larcher has more than 20 years of experience from the streaming and media industry. In his most recent position as head of HBO Max International, he planned and led the launch of HBO Max in 60 countries across Latin America and Europe and was responsible for the management of WarnerBros.
Ebook NFT startup changes name from booktoken.io to book.io
27 August 2022
After launching in January 2022, the company has simplified its brand.
Japan to start full use of digital textbooks from 2024
26 August 2022 (Japan Times)
Japan’s education ministry plans to start the total use of digital textbooks from fiscal 2024, rolling them out first in English classes for fifth and sixth graders and junior high school students. Digital textbooks will also be fully used for mathematics classes, from fiscal 2025 at the earliest.
Ebook Sales Down 8.5% in 1st half of 2022
19 Aug 2022 (Publishing Perspectives)
AAP’s StatShot shows in the first six months of 2022 Ebook revenues were down 8.5 percent as compared to the first six months of 2021 for a total of $500.4 million. The month of June was down 6.3 percent compared to June 2021, for a total of $83.0 million.
The Best Ebook Subscription Services for Every Kind of Reader
18 August 2022 (Wired)
We tried out several of the most popular options, delving into their available libraries, apps, and features to determine the best ebook subscription services and audiobook subscriptions for different people.
E Ink to expand e-paper production capacity
18 August 2022 (DIGITIMES Asia)
Lee expects color e-paper to grow in penetration in e-books… in the near future. The company aims to reduce production cost for color e-paper to a level lower than that for LCD panels.
New Standards for EBook File Formats
17 August 2022 (Recently Heard)
Amazon has just announced a new KF8 (Kindle Format 8) format. The KF8 format replaces Amazon’s.mobi format and adds over 150 new formatting capabilities, including fixed layouts, nested tables, callouts, sidebars and Scalable Vector Graphics. New specs for the ePub format (used by Apple, Google and many others) were recently finalized but barely mentioned by the publishing media.
Snapplify is now a major player in the international higher education industry
15 August 2022 (Tech in Africa)
Leading supplier of ebooks for use in higher education in Africa, Snapplify has offices not only in Africa but also in Europe, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The startup has collaborated with hundreds of publishers to provide universities with the necessary academic content. Additionally, it is home to the continent’s largest network of independently owned bookshops.
The Biggest Plot Twists in the Simon & Schuster Antitrust Trial
10 August 2022 (Vulture)
Penguin Random House chief executive officer Markus Dohle: If readers got access to all titles as e-books for less than $10 monthly, there would be a “tectonic” result on authors’ pay and revenue for publishers. From @vicbekiempis
Judge Backs Dismissal of ‘Implausible’ Amazon, Big Five Price-Fixing Suit
5 August 2022 (Publishers Weekly)
from the outset of the case, lawyers for Amazon and the publishers have insisted the alleged conspiracy was “irrational” and “implausible” and that there was simply no evidence to suggest collusion of any kind. In a thoroughly reasoned 54-page report, issued August 3, magistrate judge Valerie Figueredo agreed.
Taylor & Francis grows 3% in first half as parent Informa’s profits soar
4 August 2022 (The Bookseller)
Stellar results for the overall Informa business (T&F’s parent company). T&F’s sales were buoyed by “improving growth in academic markets, robust subscription renewals and good growth in e-books and advanced learning.
Penguin Random House CEO defends merger, claims e-books, Amazon are bigger threat than consolidation
4 August (Associated Press)
Justice Department is suing to block $2.2 billion merger with Simon & Schuster, which would create publishing giant. The biggest threat to the publishing industry comes not from consolidation but from the explosion in recent years of subscription-based or cheap content, such as e-books, Dohle said, calling it “all-access.” He cited especially Amazon, which has some 50 million book titles available, and Disney.
Pearson Says Blockchain Could Make It Money Every Time E-Books Change Hands
1 August 2022 (Bloomberg)
“In the analogue world, a Pearson textbook was resold up to seven times, and we would only participate in the first sale. The move to digital helps diminish the secondary market, and technology like blockchain and NFTs allows us to participate in every sale of that particular item as it goes through its life.”
Kobo is now displaying advertisements on their e-readers
1 August 2022 (Good E-Reader)
Kobo has always made a big deal on their various marketing campaigns that unlike the Kindle, Kobo devices are ad-free, but apparently this is not the case anymore.
May Ebook Sales Were Soft, AAP Reports
1 August (Publishers Weekly)
The digital formats had mixed results with downloadable audio sales up 5%, but e-book sales falling 5%, compared with May 2021.
Are ebooks on the decline again?
28 July 2022 (Book Riot)
From @ArvynCerezo. In 2020, ebook sales rose by 11%. But in 2021, sales declined by 3.7%. Ebook sales also plummeted from January to March this year, according to the Association of American Publishers. In January, it was a 10.1% fall from last year. In February, sales dropped by 6.9% as that trend continued. In March, it went down again as sales dipped by a whopping 12.2%.
Books Are Now NFTs
27 July 2022 (Press Release)
Web3 Startup Book Token Launches eBooks on Chain, Sells $100K Worth of eBooks in First Day. The company created 10K NFT eBooks, all with unique computer generated cover art based on an original, a video inside the book, over 70 high-resolution images, and over 650K words. These “unburnable” books, will live forever on the blockchain, do not degrade over time, and can be transferred around the world in mere seconds. Books can be read in Book Token’s anonymous browser-based reading dApp(decentralized application.)
OverDrive’s Sora, the reading app for schools, clocks 100 million downloads
26 July 2022 (The New Publishing Standard)
“It’s difficult to quantify what 100 million books looks like — and doubly difficult when the books in question are ebooks and audiobooks. There’s no physical reference point that can paint an accurate picture — no quirky stat for how many times they’d wrap around the Earth lined up in a row or measure up against the world’s tallest skyscraper.”
The Crypto Revolution Wants to Reimagine Books
21 July 2022 (Esquire)
“That’s the beauty of web3,” Guerrero says. “At the end of the day, it’s all about ownership, and if you own something, you have the right to resell it. You have the right to lend it. For the first time in history, the author of the IP will always get something back.”
… and a more sympathetic view of the Open Library
18 July 2022 (The Nation)
In their attack on libraries, megapublishers roll a Trojan horse into the courts. “One book, lawfully bought or acquired, one scan, one patron at a time—no money changes hands. And yet the publishers’ brief does its best to cast the librarians of the Internet Archive as a gang of thieves and pirates.”
Authors’ Guild President Rages against the Internet Archive’s Open “Library”
15 July 2022 (The Bookseller)
“It is galling for authors to see tech millionaires like Brewster Kahle helping themselves to our books without paying for them, and then applauding themselves for providing a public service…”
US Federal Court Sanctions Rakuten Foe $108K For ‘Frivolous’ Appeal
14 July 2022 (Law360)
A split US Federal Circuit panel on Thursday sanctioned a patent owner and its law firm around $108,000 for filing what the court called a “frivolous” appeal of a lower court decision… “Pop Top did not explain how any of the cited evidence demonstrates that Kobo’s eBooks contain code related to highlighting,” the court ruled. Kobo argued that the highlighting function is located in the Kobo app, not the e-books, as Pop Top alleged.
Audiobook platform xigxag secures £500k equity investment and plans 17 hires
14 July 2022 (The Bookseller)
Audiobook platform xigxag has secured a £500,000 equity investment from the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund (CIOSIF) as part of a larger £1m funding round.
AAP report: US ebook revenues down 9.7% in April
11 July 2022 (Assoc of American Publishers)
eBook revenues were down 9.7% as compared to the first four months of 2021 for a total of $338.1 million. eBook revenues were down 8.3% for the month of April 2022, as compared to April 2021.
AAP’s April StatShot: $84 million ebook revenue grossly undestated
11 July 2022 (The New Publishing Standard)
… it is patently obvious that the real value of the ebook market is significantly higher than the $84 million reported by the APA.
Publishers, Internet Archive File Dueling Summary Judgment Motions in Scan Suit
8 July 2022 (Publishers Weekly)
“Masquerading as a not-for-profit library, the Internet Archive digitizes in-copyright print books on an industrial scale and distributes full-text digital bootlegs for free,” the publishers’ brief states.
German ebook sales up 3.2% year-on-year
7 July 2022 (Publishing Perspectives)
Sales of ebook downloads on the general public market—excluding textbooks and reference books—rose only slightly by 3.2 percent in the second pandemic year; their share of sales on the general public market was 5.7 percent, while in 2020 they were +16.2 percent to 5.8 percent
Authors speak out against trend of reading and returning ebooks
11 July 2022 (NPR)
Self-published writers say Amazon’s lenient return policy is risking their livelihoods. “Yeah, here’s the deal. Social media influencers have been promoting what they are calling a life hack, encouraging readers to buy e-books, read them really fast and then return them within seven days to get their money back.”
Storytel’s results remain predictable thanks to safe forecasts and zero ambition
7 July 2022 (The New Publishing Standard)
Stockholm-based e-book and audiobook subscription service is playing safe and obscure with its quarterly report. Almost all the growth we are seeing in the Non-Nordic sector is from the acquisition of audiobooks.com.
EU booksellers’ muted response to limp new ebook operability rules
5 July 2022 (Publishing Perspectives)
“The measures introduced should be reinforced to ensure that consumers are not locked into artificial silos when using e-readers and reading e-books.”
Is Apple’s iBooks app broken?
1 July 2022 (Phone World)
The app now has an average rating of three stars on the App Store. Almost all of the negative reviews claim that, after a recent update, Apple Books no longer opens any books.
Audiobook and ebook piracy is on the rise in Italy
1 July 2022 (Good E-Reader)
Digital book and audiobook piracy is running rampant in Italy, with no end in sight. The Publishers Association issued a report that stated that book piracy was estimated at $856.7 million dollars and cost over 5,400 jobs.
Rakuten Kobo Expands further into Italy with audiobooks and new partnerships
30 June 2022 (Good E-Reader)
A new partnership with lafeltrinelli.it, IBS.it and Libraccio.it and a “new Rakuten Kobo ecosystem”.
Library Futures Releases Policy Statement and Draft US eBook Legislative Language
30 June 2022 (Library Journal – Info Docket)
Mitigating the Library eBook Conundrum Through Legislative Action in the States. “We have developed model legislative language that avoids the problematic Maryland language and that we therefore believe will hold up against legal challenges. In short, we propose model legislation grounded in state consumer protection, state contract law, state procurement law, and contract preemption.”
Educopia to Create a Community-Governed OA Book Analytics Service for Publishers
30 June 2022 (Info Docket)
“Designed to inform and empower small-to-medium book publishers worldwide, the Book Analytics Dashboard Project will serve the diverse array of presses that serve scholarly communication and academic authors and audiences.”
New report on global digital book sales
28 June 2022 (Books+Publishing)
Across all markets, there was a spike in audiobook sales and subscriptions in 2020 before a slight decline in 2021 and first quarter 2022. Sales and subscriptions levels remain significantly higher than during the pre-pandemic period.
Manchester entrepreneur building ‘Netflix for education’
20 June 2022 (Business Cloud)
“At the moment, education is a very dispersed, segmented market,” Chloe Barrett, CEO of Immersify Education, tells BusinessCloud. “There isn’t a platform allowing you to access everything in one place: information, workshops, lectures, revision sessions, feedback. We want to bring all those resources into one platform. We’re building towards becoming the go-to platform for educational resources: the ‘Netflix of educational content’.”
A Chat with James Gray, Founder and CEO of EdTech: Kortext
20 June 2022 (TechRound)
“What excites me most about our developments in this area is that we can find a way to actually harness a student’s digital behaviour, and utilise this to empower institutions and educators to support a student in real time. This means recognising a student may be struggling early and help them before the issues they are facing become overwhelming. It has the potential to change the world…”
Future 50: Edtech start-up adds four new faces to its team
20 June 2022 (Eastern Daily Press)
Readingmate, an edtech company based in Norwich, has recruited four new people and moved into larger offices as it prepares to launch a new reading app for schools in September. Established in January 2021 by James Rix and his wife Hannah, a former English teacher, Readingmate aims to address the “inequity of opportunity” for children – with only one in 11 having a book of their own.
Spotify comes for audiobooks
9 June 2022 (The Verge)
Spotify wants to make audiobooks the next pillar of its business. On Wednesday, company executives pitched the audiobooks business to investors as their next target for industry domination. When they launch the audiobooks vertical (which is TBD), it could have huge ramifications not only for Spotify’s own business, but for the publishing industry as well.
Judge in Maryland strikes down library e-book law
13 June 2022 (Washington Post)
“…the law’s “practical impact” would force publishers “to offer their products to libraries — whether they want to or not — lest they face a civil enforcement action or criminal prosecution … While the goal of this bill is laudable, unfortunately, copyright protection provides the author of the work with the exclusive right to their works.”
New York’s Cambridge Information Group Acquires the UK’s Emerald Group
10 June 2022 (Publishing Perspectives)
England’s Emerald Group and its Emerald Publishing now are part of CIG, an investment firm in New York City and Bethesda, Maryland. Cambridge Information (CIG) is a family-owned investment firm, often working in education, information, and software. It has owned ProQuest in the past [and acquired eBooks.com’s academic library service, EBL, in 2013.]
Internet Archive Says ‘Emergency’ Digital Library Protected By Fair Use
10 June 2022 (@InfoDocket)
On Thursday, the Internet Archive told U.S. District Court Judge John G. Koeltl it will argue both lending programs — the emergency program, which lasted from March through June of 2020, as well as the original program — are protected by fair use principles. Read their sumbission.
The Palace Project Officially Launches its New Library E-book App
10 June 2022 (Publishers Weelky)
One library e-book platform to unite them all? That’s the vision behind the upstart Palace Project, the nonprofit library-centered digital content platform which this week announced a major step forward with the official launch of the patron-facing Palace App. Now available for download in app stores (for iOS and Android) the Palace app allows patrons at participating libraries to potentially access all of their library’s digital content via a single interface
A New Way to Choose Your Next Book
7 June 2022 (New York Times)
Tertulia is a sleek new app that takes a novel approach to online discovery. Using a mix of artificial intelligence and human curation, Tertulia aggregates book discussions and recommendations from across the web, drawing from social media posts, book reviews, podcasts and news articles to generate reading recommendations that are tailored to individuals’ tastes and interests. To get personalized recommendations, users answer questions about which genres they like and what types of people they want to hear about books from.
British edtech Bibliu secures funding boost with $15m injection
8 June 2022 (Sky News)
Existing investors including Stonehage Fleming and Nesta Impact Investments are injecting further money into the digital educational resources company. The funding will be used to help Bibliu expand in the US, including through partnerships with publishers and new product development, it said.
Kindle Alternative Called PocketBook Era has 64GB of Storage and More
6 June 2022 (Tech Times)
PocketBook, a Ukrainian-born, Switzerland-based company is now coming out with an e-reader that’s 7-inches and equipped with built-in speakers. Its page contrast has also been improved by 15% and instead of following other e-readers with a plastic layer on top, it uses a flash screen making it sit better with its bezels. To add, users can also control the screen’s light based on either brightness or temperature in order to make the device more usable in different conditions. The PocketBook Era has a built-in speaker specifically designed to support audiobooks
Court Seeks Proposed Declaratory Judgment in Maryland E-book Case
6 June 2022 (Publishers Weekly)
However the court ultimately rules, Maryland’s library e-book law is a step closer to its end. In February, Boardman issued a preliminary injunction barring Maryland’s library e-book law from being enforced, holding that the state’s law is likely preempted by the federal Copyright Act. And in an April filing, the AAP asked federal judge Deborah L. Boardman to convert her preliminary injunction blocking the law into a permanent injunction.
College Trends: The Pandemic increased adoption of E-Textbooks
According to Student Monitor’s Spring 2022 survey, recently released, we might be headed that way. We found that since the return of students to campuses, the 23% jump in student spending on digital, distance learning materials that began in the Fall of 2020, has continued to increase through 2022 even as students have returned to the classroom.
Amazon to pull Kindle out of China
2 June 2022 (Reuters)
After Amazon’s deep, decade-long effort to curry favour in Beijing, China had become Kindle’s largest global market, “accounting for 40%+ of our world device sales volume”. It did not give a specific reason for pulling out.
Physical Bookselling Gains on Digital Retail in Italy
1 June 2022 (Publishing Perspectives)
The growth of online sales in Italy appears to have been halted. Bookstores accounted for more than half of all sales with 52.4 percent, online sales settle at 43 percent, and large scale distribution drops further to 4.6 percent.
The merging of Comixology and Kindle has created a hell I’d like to escape
30 May 2022 (The Verge)
Amazon has taken two distinct mediums — digital comics and digital books — and smashed them together into an unholy blob of content that is worse in every single way. Apparently, if you let one company acquire a near-monopoly in the digital books and comics spaces, it will do terrible things that make the experience worse.
e-book subscription service Bookclub Millie files for Korean IPO
30 May 2022 (Korea JoongAng Daily)
Based in Seoul and still booking substantial losses, Bookclub Millie was established in July 2016. About 110,000 pieces of audio content and e-books from 1,400 publishers are available through the service, according to the company. Bookclub Millie began to offer Korea’s first monthly subscription plan for e-books in 2019, and has garnered over 4.5 million subscribers as of April, up 50 percent from a year earlier.
China releases national standards for digital textbooks in primary, middle schools
30 May 2022 (Xinhua News Agency)
The standards stipulate basic procedures for publishing digital textbooks which will be used in primary and middle schools, make quality demands for their contents, propose inspection processes and methods, and put forward an overall plan for the education and publication sectors.
Barnes & Noble Releases an eReader with Actual Freaking Buttons
29 May 2022 (Review Geek)
The GlowLight 4e has—gasp!—physical buttons on both the right and left bezels for page turns, something neither Kobo nor Amazon eReaders offer! No more swiping or tapping on the display, only to be left frustrated because it didn’t properly register your gesture.
ebook sales plummet 12.2% in March 2022
27 May 2022 (Good E-Reader)
Year-to-date ebook revenues were down 9.8% as compared to the first three months of 2021 for a total of $249.3 million. This is primarily attributed to the vast majority of people no longer in lockdown and are not buying as many ebooks anymore.
Legible Takes eBookstore Global With UK and Ireland Content Offering
25 May 2022 (Press Release)
This initiative spearheads Legible’s strategic expansion into international English-speaking markets. In 2021, UK digital book sales alone generated GBP 3.2 billion. By expanding into these markets Legible will be able to accelerate both readership and revenues. Access to additional global markets is forthcoming.
Owners of older Kindles won’t be able to buy ebooks on-device soon
25 May 2022 (Input Mag)
It’s likely the older Kindle hardware won’t physically be capable of connecting to the Kindle Store as the summer draws to a close. The original Kindles were all set up to use TLS 1.0 and 1.1 for their internet connections, and compatibility with newer TLS protocols just isn’t possible from these devices.
Kortext founder James Gray: “Is there a systemic problem with ebooks?”
23 May 2022 (Research Informatiion)
Students expect seamless online access to their course content that is both fair and affordable – and, ideally, free. To deliver a solution that enables university libraries to meet the needs of their students, publisher models need to evolve. There has to be some movement to break down these barriers.
Kobo’s Michael Tamblyn Announces Arabic as a Primary Language
23 May 2022 (Publishing Perspectives)
The heft that Rakuten Kobo can bring to the Arabic markets is considerable, of course, as much of the region works to develop both its digital-publishing and -distributional capacity while working to draw its broad consumer base of hundreds of millions of Arabic speakers in the direction of digital potentials. “At our heart,” Tamblyn said of his company and its Toronto-based staff, “we are booksellers.”
E Ink capacity to expand to fill orders
19 May 2022 (Taipei Times)
“Reading is still the most affordable leisure activity that people have,” E Ink CEO Johnson Lee told an online investors’ conference in Taipei. As e-books are less expensive than paper books, “we have so far not seen a slowdown in demand,” Lee said. “We are seeing quite robust demand.”
E-book sales fell in 2021 to lowest point since 2012
19 May-2022 (The Bookseller)
According to Nielsen’s UK Book Market in Review 2021 report, 80 million e-books were downloaded in 2021.
E-textbook service Perlego to make Mondadori Group titles available on platform
18 May 2022 (The Bookseller)
Non-fiction, science and fiction e-books will become accessible to university students who use the Perlego service.
Student Spending on Course Materials Fell 22% in 2021–22
18 May 2022 (Inside Higher Ed)
Students spent an average of $97 on e-textbooks.
Apple rumored to be developing foldable iPhone with an external E Ink display
17 May 2022 (Good E-Reader)
Apple has long been rumored to be working on a foldable iPhone device, one that would serve as a smartphone in its folded state and a tablet when unfolded. Now there are reports of Apple including a color E Ink display on the outer surface…
Conservative parents take aim at library apps meant to expand access to books
12 May 2022 (NBC News)
In several [US] states, apps [Like Overdrive and Epic] — and the companies that run them — have been targeted by conservative parents who have pushed schools and public libraries to shut down their digital programs, which let users download and read books on their smartphones, tablets and laptops.
Storytel: Streaming Revenue Up 35 Percent in Q1 Year Over Year
13 May 2022 (Publishing Perspectives)
Storytel’s first quarter reflects the reorganization of the company underway. Streaming revenue was up 35 percent in Q1 2022 over Q1 2021 to 699 million Swedish kronor (US$69.7 million).
Norway’s Beat Technology is behind Fluister
11 May 2022 (Publishing Perspectives)
They’re working in partnership with the Veronica media group and the Libris.nl chain of independent bookstores to open subscription service offering audiobooks, ebooks, and podcasts at a monthly flat rate of €12.99 (US$13.68).
Dutch streaming platform Fluister to launch in June with audiobooks, e-books, podcasts
11 May 2022 (Telecompaper)
Publishers Singel Uitgevers, WPG Uitgevers and VBK Uitgevers have announced a new streaming platform called Fluister (Whisper). The Fluister streaming service offers unlimited access to a huge amount of audiobooks, e-books and podcasts.
Amazon to half-heartedly support ePub on Kindles
5 May 2022 (Input Mag)
Any ePub file you send to your Kindle using Amazon’s service is actually getting converted to a proprietary KF8 file, which isn’t exactly the same thing as the e-reader “supporting” ePub files; in fact, it’s totally different. There are advantages to KF8 files — they’re designed for the Kindle, and fully-support the e-reader’s specific ways of displaying footnotes, fonts, and typesetting. But the major disadvantage of Amazon’s half-step remains: There’s still an annoying digital middleman keeping .epub files from working like the books they are.
Kobo has made improvements to Store, Apps and Web Reader
2 May 2022 (Good E-Reader)
This Spring, Kobo has made a number of improvements to their shopping experience, their reading apps and the new Web Reader, which allows you to read ebooks in your internet browser. They have also made significant improvements to their software on various Kobo e-readers, such as the Elipsa and Sage. If you wanto to find out the latest new enhancements fixes and new features, we have their entire changelog.
Public Library Turns To E-books In Nationwide Fight Against GOP-Led Book Bans
1 May 2022 (Youtube)
As an unprecedented wave of GOP-led book bans and challenges sweep through school libraries nationwide, one library is turning to technology to help teen readers overcome censorship in their local communities. For a limited time, the Brooklyn Public Library’s “Books UnBanned” campaign
Digital book readership in China exceeds 500m in 2021
24 April 2022 (Shine.cn)
The overall scale of China’s digital reading market reached 41.57 billion yuan (US$6.4 billion), marking a year-on-year growth of 18.23 percent, according to the China digital readership report 2021. Over 70 percent of these readers are under the age of 25, stated the report mainly compiled by the China Audio-video and Digital Publishing Association, adding that more and more readers are willing to pay for digital content.
Nextory’s 69% subscriber growth in Q1 may not be as impressive as at first appears
21 April 2022 (The New Publishing Standard)
Prior to this all Nextory’s growth had been organic – open in a new market (a proven market where others had set the pace, not a virgin market), and with a successful marketing push bring on board new subscribers, typically with high double-figure percentage results, although per many past TNPS discussions on this topic, percentages without baselines do not tell us much. But in 2021 the Nextory acquisitions era began, first with the buy-out of Spain’s Nubico.
Public libraries unwittingly offered ‘hate’ books through a private service
20 April 2022 (The Verge)
An ebook subscription platform used by thousands of public libraries in the US and elsewhere is offering Holocaust denial, COVID disinformation, LGBTQ conversion therapy, and other conspiracy theory books, according to a report by Motherboard.
Returning an ebook after reading: is Amazon’s return policy damaging to authors and publishers?
13 April 2022 (Melville House)
There has been a huge upswing in author’s ebooks being returned to Amazon AFTER they have been read. In response, an online petition has been set up by author Reah Foxx on Change.org, demanding Amazon change their ebook returns policy, which at time of writing has over 36,000 signatures and is rapidly climbing.
A Major Textbook Publisher Has Gone Private. What Does That Mean For Its Transition To Digital?
12 April 2022 (EdSurge)
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, a Boston-based K-12 education content and technology provider, has finished its sale to Veritas Capital, an investing firm which markets itself as seeking to improve education. The deal gave the publishing giant an estimated valuation of $2.8 billion based on a price of $21 per share, according to publicly available documents.
Explore a Magical Library of Disney Manga With Humble Bundle and Tokyopop’s Disney Manga Book Bundle
11 April 2022 (Anime News Network)
Live now through April 27, the magical bundle features a plethora of Disney Manga worth over $363 in total. With the bundle, fans can enjoy popular titles including: Disney and Pixar’s Toy Story, Disney Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas: Zero’s Journey, Disney Stitch!, Disney and Pixar’s WALL•E, and many more. To access the content, customers will need to create or log in to their eBooks.com account.
Maryland Gives Up on Its Library E-book Law
11 April 2022 (Publishers Weekly)
Maryland’s action comes after federal judge Deborah L. Boardman on February 16 ruled that Maryland’s library e-book law is, as critics had argued, preempted by the federal Copyright Act, holding that the threat of civil and criminal penalties for non-compliance with the act amounts to “a forced transaction” that would “effectively strip publishers of their exclusive right to distribute.”
Teething Troubles as Legible Restructures
11 April 2022 (Yahoo Finance)
Listed ebook startup Legible is in the process of finalizing a strategic corporate restructuring and reallocation of duties following the layoffs and resignations of a number of its staff. Ms. Helina Patience, Legible’s former Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Laura Brady, Head of Accessibility, are no longer with the Company.
Storytel streaming revenue hits $74 million in Q1, tops 2 million subscribers, but few signs for optimism globally
8 April 2022 (The New Publishing Standard)
Unless a major opportunity to enter a mature market comes along akin to the Audiobooks.com deal that just brought Storytel to the USA, we can expect few surprises hereon and cannot rule out some of Storytel’s emerging-market operations being shuttered.
E.U. Reduces, and in Some Cases Eliminates, VAT on Books
7 April 2022 (Publishers Weekly)
VAT on books and e-books, as well as other goods and services, will be reduced or eliminated in the E.U., with member states now granted the ability to reduce VAT on books and e-books to 0% should they wish. (While VAT has not been outlawed or eliminated, it will not be charged, but governments still have the ability to levy VAT in the future on books and e-books.)
As print sales plummet 20%, industry says print fatigue is to blame
3 April 2022 (The New Publishing Standard)
Imagine for one second that it was ebook sales that had precipitously dropped 20% in the past week and was down almost 8% so far this year. Industry pundits would be reeling out the “experts” and “spokesmen” patiently waiting for their next opportunity to explain how screen fatigue, the desperate desire to visit a bookstore, the sheer pleasure of holding a book in one’s hand, and how readers hanker for the feel and smell of the printed book were driving digital publishing into oblivion.
Barnes and Noble is disabling Nook ebook purchases on Android
1 April 2022 (Good E-Reader)
Google Play has changed their app developer terms in early 2022. They currently charge 15% for the first million dollars in revenue and this jumps up to 30%, once the threshold has been met. This means that selling digital content such as audiobooks and ebooks are not financially viable, since they have low profit margins.
Fantasy author’s record-breaking Kickstarter campaign closes at $41.7 million
31 March 2022 (CNBC)
Brandon Sanderson’s Kickstarter campaign has topped $41.7 million from more than 181,000 backers and is the most-funded Kickstarter in the crowdfunding site’s history. Those that backed the campaign will get access to four new novels as either digital e-books, audio books or physical copies in 2023. People who spent over a certain threshold will also receive eight monthly subscription boxes of items related to Sanderson’s work.
Line Digital Frontier acquires eBOOK Initiative Japan
31 March 2022 (Good E-Reader)
eBOOK Initiative is an e-book service provider based in Japan that started operations in 2000. With more than 270,000 books to offer, eBOOK Initiative is also among the largest content providers in the country. Its acquisition by Line Digital Frontier will allow Naver Webtoon to grow and expand further in Japan.
Richard Charkin: Digital Publishing, Then and Now
30 March 2022 (Publishing Perspectives)
The trick in digital times, says Richard Charkin, is for publishing’s senior management to ‘back untested ideas’ outside their comfort zones.
Legible Inc: How This Browser-first eBook Company is Revolutionizing the Reading Experience
30 March 2022 (Stockhouse)
Although eBook devices such as Kindles and Kobos have popular methods of consuming and reading books, Legible differentiates itself through its browser-first, device agnostic-reading system and by providing an immersive reading experience for its users. In other words, Legible’s platform can be used on any device, anywhere — including existing e-readers such as Kindle and Kobos. The company will also be launching its app, which will be called Legible Wander, which will allow for offline reading and continuously synchronize to Legible’s website. At present, Legible has a market capitalization of $20.216 million and a share price of $0.32.
Humble Bundle’s Stand With Ukraine bundle raises over $2M in less than a day
19 March 2022 (PC Gamer)
The bundle went live today and is already a runaway success. Games are obviously the big attraction but the bundle also includes some digital books, including core rulebooks for Pathfinder, Starfinder, and Warhammer Fantasy, and graphic novels like Makhno: Ukrainian Freedom Fighter.
Berrett-Koehler Publishers Saw Growth in 2021
18 March 2022 (Publishers weekly)
Digital sales (e-books, audio, and online training programs) accounted for 27% of revenue. Recently, when doing bulk sales for companies’ virtual events, BK bundled print books, e-books, and audiobooks; attendees could choose their preferred formats, and it made it easier for overseas participants to access content.
‘Spotify for textbooks’ edtech Perlego raises £38m
16 March 2022 (UKTech.news)
Perlego provides university students with ‘unlimited access’ to 800,000 textbooks in six languages. London-headquartered Perlego says this model helps publishers recoup losses from pirated textbooks while also making educational resources more affordable for students. The company will use the proceeds of its Series B funding to attract more users in the US, which currently accounts for 40% of its customer base. Globally, it has more than 400,000 users hailing from 6,000 institutions in 172 countries.
We must end the ‘us and them’ standoff between libraries and publishers
15 March 2022 (Times Higher Education)
University libraries and publishers remain at a damaging impasse over digital textbooks – the solution requires communication, collaboration and openness to big ideas
Google is now rolling out the redesigned Play Books widget
13 March 2022 (Good E-Reader)
Although this widget has been around for many years, Google launched a redesigned version with the December 2021 announcements.
US investor Apollo mulls bid for education publisher Pearson
12 March 2022 (The Independent)
US-based investment firm Apollo has confirmed it is considering a bid for education publishing giant Pearson. The investor said that it was evaluating an offer, that would be made in cash, for the FTSE 100 listed company.They are considering a bid, but warned that they could withdraw their interest.
Six Upcoming Color ePaper Technologies
11 March 2022 (Good E-Reader)
six of the best non-backlit technologies that will change the way we read.
Kobo’s e-reader plans for 2022
6 March 2022 (Good E-Reader)
Kobo has started to pivot their business towards e-readers that have digital note taking functionality. In 2021 Kobo issued the Elipsa and Sage, two hybrid e-readers and e-notes. When paired with a stylus, customers can freehand draw, annotate ebooks and PDF documents and solve complex math equations. They are bullish about audiobooks and every new device in the future will have this functionality.
Storytel suspends Russia operations
4 March 2022 (The New Publishing Standard)
Clearly their long-term prospects are bleak, even if the war itself is brought to an early close. Short of a change of regime in Russia it seems improbable Storytel will be able to resume operations in Russia.
Fantasy Author Raises $15.4 Million in 24 Hours to Self-Publish
3 March 2022 (New York Times)
Brandon Sanderson set out to raise $1 million on Kickstarter in 30 days to fund four new books. He blew past it in about 35 minutes.
See also: https://inews.co.uk/news/book-fans-crowdfund-record-18-5m-for-new-brandon-sanderson-fantasy-novels-1501240
Court Blocks Maryland’s Library eBook Law
3 March 2022 (TechDirt)
The Court more or less says that if publishers need to license ebooks on reasonable terms to libraries, it’s for Congress, not the states to decide.
The Huawei MatePad Paper is a Kindle competitor with E Ink technology.
27 February 2022 (Ceng News)
It runs Huawei’s HarmonyOS, which is the same as on its smartphones, and while it comes with the App Gallery for apps, we’ve been told it also supports sideloading APK files. This means you’ll probably be able to install your favorite e-book reader app, but if not, Huawei Books is already installed and has a library of 2 million books available for purchase.
Connecticut Introduces Library E-book Bill
25 Feb 2022 (Publishers Weekly)
The bill is similar to efforts in other states now underway, in that it would require publishers who offer an e-book to consumers in the state to also offer to license the works to libraries on reasonable terms. One notable difference, however, is that the Connecticut bill offers a broad definition of what is meant by “reasonable” terms.
US Congressmen appeal on behalf of former Amazon employee tortured for disclosing child exploitation in China
25 February 2022 (The BL)
A group of U.S. Congressmen sent a letter to Amazon’s CEO on February 16 urging the company to help a former employee of one of its factories in China who spent two years in prison where he was tortured for disclosing the labor exploitation and mistreatment of school-age children.
Amazon Admits ComiXology Update Broke the Interface, Promises Fixes
25 February 2022 (CBR)
The Amazon’s digital comics storefront ComiXology issued a statement regarding recent changes to the platform that have left countless customers frustrated and — in some cases — unable to read their digital books. “We want to take a moment to address the transition to our new app & comics webstore experience,” ComiXology wrote.
Baltimore court halts state’s ebook licensing law at publishers’ request
18 February 2022 (Reuters)
U.S. District Judge Deborah Boardman in Baltimore agreed on Wednesday with the Association of American Publishers, the book publishing industry’s national trade group, that the statute likely conflicts with federal copyright law. New York’s state legislature overwhelmingly passed a similar law last year, which Governor Kathy Hochul vetoed in December based on similar copyright concerns. Legislatures in states including Massachusetts, Illinois and Rhode Island have been considering similar laws.
Amazon’s Comixology Overhaul Is Here, and It Sucks
17 February 2022 (Gizmodo)
Reading comics in Amazon’s Kindle Cloud Reader is a major pain in the ass. The old Comixology browser reader was functionally quite basic, but Kindle Cloud Reader—designed more for reading digital books than a primarily visual medium like comics—lacks even those basic functions.
Legible’s Elegant Web-Based Reader
15 February 2022 (Streetwise Reports)
Legible.com is an innovative browser-first and device-agnostic book entertainment platform for readers and publishers alike. So, as Hainsworth told Streetwise Reports in a recent interview, “We allow people to read when, where, and how they want,” unlike other platforms. Being browser-first also gives Legible “a more globalized and accessible market,” he says, “because people don’t need to buy into the device industry” to access the content they want.
Library of Congress expanded online content in response to the pandemic
14 February 2022 (Federal News Network)
LC has been busy building an online collection of what are known as open access e-books. The effort accelerated when the pandemic hit and people had more access to online books than to physical libraries.
John Grisham and Scott Turow: “Online piracy is a scourge on American authors — Congress must intervene”
14 February 2022 (The Hill)
While piracy is of course infuriating to us — nobody likes to be the repeated victim of crime — it is financially devastating to midlist and debut authors because of lost sales and fewer opportunities to get published. Piracy of struggling authors’ work may well make the difference between earning a living or not.
Audiobook and ebook sales account for 17% of HarperCollins Revenue
12 February 2022 (Good E-Reader)
In the last three months of 2021, which include the critically important holiday shopping period, HarperCollins sales increased by 13% and generated $617 million dollars in sales. Digital sales rose 8% in the quarter compared to the prior year, driven by growth in downloadable audiobooks. Audiobook and ebook sales represented 17% of HarperCollins overall revenue, which accounted for $104 million in sales.
PRH Continues Temporary E-book, Digital Audio Terms for Libraries
11 February 2022 (Publishers Weekly)
Under the terms of its programs, PRH will continue to offer libraries (through participating wholesalers) the option to license e-books and digital audio for one-year terms at a 50% prorated price as an alternative to the standard two-year term (for e-books) or perpetual access (for digital audio). A cost-per-circulation model is also available.
A Merger in Self-Publishing: Draft2Digital’s Acquisition of Smashwords
8 February 2022 (Publishing Perspectives)
Together, the merging Draft2Digital-Smashwords self-publishing platform claims 250,000 writers and more than 800,000 ebooks.
“How to Remove DRM From Kindle Books in 2022”
8 February 2022 (Cloudwards)
What can we say?
Legal Battle Over Maryland Library E-book Law Intensifies
31 January 2022 (Publishers Weekly)
“Maryland makes clear that it intended both to interfere with the statutory provisions of the United States Copyright Act and to challenge the authority of the United States Congress to weigh and determine questions of copyright policy in the digital environment,” the AAP brief states.
The real size of the ebook market is grossly understated
30 January 2022 (The New Publishing Standard)
Amazon’s unlimited ebook subscription service paid out $450 million to self-published authors in 2021 as AAP reports US ebook market worth $1.1 billion. Just how big is the real ebook market no-one wants to talk about?
Shopify fires back at textbook publishers, defends infringement policies
29 January 2022 (Reuters)
Shopify in a court filing called the lawsuit “an attempt to do through this Court what Plaintiffs could not achieve in the legislative sphere,” where they allegedly had sought to change the law to “impose liability for the infringements of others on internet platforms like Shopify” and expand “the universe of actors subject to copyright damages.”
US Book Industry Sales Up 12% in 2021
28 January 2022 (Publishers Weekly)
After rising 11% in 2020, e-book sales declined 3.7% last year, and the format’s share of adult sales dropped from 17.1% in 2020 to 14.7% last year.
Illinois, Rhode Island Introduce New Library E-book Bills
28 January 2022 (Publishers Weekly)
The bills are also similar to efforts passed in Maryland and New York last year (although New York governor Kathy Hochul vetoed the bill last month.) Similar bills are being considered in several more state legislatures, library leaders tell PW.
US Trade Ebook revenues were down 4.7 percent in calendar 2021
26 Jan 2022 (Publishing Perspectives)
…as compared to calendar year 2020, for a total $1.1 billion
PChome forms a deal with Kobo to sell ebooks and e-readers
19 January 2022 (Good E-reader)
PChome 24h is based in Taiwan and is an ecommerce website. They carry popular brands such as the Kindle, Onyx Boox, Moan and many others. The company just signed a deal with Kobo to sell ebooks and Kobo branded e-readers on the site.
Trinity College Dublin selects BibliU for all their e-textbooks
18 January 2022 (FE News)
ComiXology to be integrated into Amazon Kindle
15 January 2022 (Good E-Reader)
ComiXology may have had an independent existence even after being acquired by Amazon eight years ago, but all of that is set to change.
Digital Growth Drives Edinburgh U Press over £4 Million in 2021
13 January 2022 (Publishing Perspectives)
Digital acceleration: The growth outlined in Edinburgh University Press’ annual report includes a 49-percent gain in ebook sales, year over year.
Harry Potter Ebooks to be Removed from Pottermore Site
11 January 2022 (The Verge)
The option to redownload existing book purchases from Pottermore will disappear for good at the end of January. Users can download a DRM-free EPUB until then.
Harlequin Plus – a new ebook and print subscription service
11 January 2011 (Good E-Reader)
The service is available now in the United States and costs $14.99 per month. Content can be read on the website and via apps for Android and iOS.
Sweden’s Storytel Cites a 20-Percent Gain in 2021 over 2020
10 January 2022 (Publishing Perspectives)
Storytel reports good momentum for its audiobook and ebook streaming services in Poland, Russia, and Turkey—and less so in the Netherlands.
Nearly 1 in 3 Americans Are Reading Ebooks
07 January 2022 (Bookriot)
One of the key findings from a new study by the Pew Research Center shows that 30% of Americans now read ebooks, up from 25% in 2019. The number of those who read a print book stayed the same. See also
“E-Book Laws Put Writing Profession at Risk”
7 January 2022 (Consumer Electronics Daily)
The writing profession is under threat from state legislators seeking to strengthen public libraries’ hand in negotiations with e-book publishers like Amazon, Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., told us Wednesday. Library advocates said in interviews that e-book laws in Maryland and New York are an important step in ensuring libraries maintain their role in society.
Digital Checkouts Surge in 2021 for OverDrive Education’s Sora
06 January 2022 (Publishers Weekly)
Following a record-setting performance in 2020, OverDrive Education has reported that e-book checkouts through its Sora student reading app increased 62% year-over-year in 2021 and that digital audio checkouts grew by 24%. Perhaps not surprisingly, digital checkouts of the consistently hot comics-and-graphic-novels category rose 100% over 2020. These results continue the upward trend sparked by the switch to remote and hybrid learning situations necessitated by the pandemic.
The terms major publishers have for libraries for audiobooks and ebooks in 2022
05 January 2022 (Good E-Reader)
Michael Kozlowski’s easy summary of current trade publishers’ public library sales terms.
Russia – downturn in print book sales between 50 and 70 percent
04 January 2022 (Publishing Perspectives)
Growth in ebooks and audiobooks remains high, making digital formats the main driver in the market at this point.
Ukraine-Based ‘Kiss Library’ Under Permanent Injunction in Book Piracy Case
04 January 2022 (Publishing Perspectives)
Working together, the United States’ Authors Guild, Amazon Publishing, and Penguin Random House win a default judgment against Ukraine-based ‘Kiss Library.’
ebook revenue increased by 5.6% in November 2021
03 January 2022 (Good E-Reader)
Digital Book revenue has been in a state of decline since the Spring of 2021, but this all changed in November. The format increased by 5.6% and generated $91.5 million in revenue. For the first 11 months of the year, ebook sales were slightly down, by 4.6% and US sales were $984.0 million.
Govenor Vetoes New York’s Library E-book Bill
30 December 2021 (Publishers Weekley)
Just hours before it was set to become law, New York Governor Kathy Hochul on December 29 vetoed New York’s library e-book bill. The bill is now back with the legislature, where it is tabled. “The law would allow the author, and only the author, to determine to whom they wish to share their work and on what terms.”
US States Target Taxes Being Missed on Off-the-Radar Ebook Sales
30 December 2021 (Bloomberg Tax)
Increasingly frustrated by the way some e-commerce businesses characterize such transactions, US state revenue agencies plan to take a deep dive into the tax treatment of digitally delivered goods and services in 2022.
[The chaotic and onerous raft of tax obligations placed on SMEs by 50 (yes, count ’em, 50) US states are set to become even more insane.]
[Press Release] Legible Signs on to Ingram Core Source
23 December 2022 (Yahoo.com)
… like everyone else
Challenge over Maryland library e-books law set for February
22 December 2021 (The Bookseller)
A law forcing publishers in the US and abroad to license e-books to the state’s public libraries in the US state of Maryland is expected to come into effect as planned on 1st January 2022 after a court challenge was set for February.
Amazon partnered with Chinese propaganda arm
17 December 2021 (Reuters Foundation)
Beijing delivered an edict: The American e-commerce giant must stop allowing any customer ratings and reviews of President Xi’s books in China. Amazon’s compliance with the Chinese government edict is part of a deeper, decade-long effort by the company to win favor in Beijing. Amazon says, “Ideological control and propaganda is the core of the toolkit for the communist party to achieve and maintain its success. We are not making judgement on whether it is right or wrong.”
Social Reading App Fable Announces $20 million Investment
16 December 2021 (Yahoo Finance) Press Release
The Fable app features book recommendations by tastemakers and offers members a platform to create their book lists, start or join book clubs, and discuss books with other readers while sharing highlights, comments, links, and pictures. With ebooks from Big Five publishers and key indies, Fable has nearly a million ebooks available for sale in its webstore.
Japan to test digital textbooks in schools from next April, with focus on English
13 December 2021 (The Japan Times)
In the program, students will be given both digital and paper textbooks so that the ministry can study their distinctive roles and the effects of the introduction of digital textbooks. The ministry aims to introduce the use of digital textbooks fully in fiscal 2024.
Wattpad Webtoon Partners With ViacomCBS Paramount+
12 December 2021 (The New Publishing Standard)
Online Reading Threatens Western Publishing’s Complacency. One of America’s biggest studios is planning to milk content from Wattpad Webtoon authors – many of whom have never published a regular print book or even a regular ebook – and the stories will be streamed on Paramount+.
Kobo is secretly beta testing a brand new Web Reader
12 December 2021 (Good E-Reader)
They have been working on it for over six months. It was designed to work on any major internet browser on your computer or mobile device. The Kobo Web Reader only supports Books with no DRM (Digital Rights Management). However Kobo plans on refining the overall experience and unveiling new enhancements. You can test the feature out yourself…
Textbook shortages driving ebook sales
10 December 2021 (The Advance-Titan)
“More instructors have been choosing to assign digital materials like courseware and access codes for the last few years, but that usage was trending upward long before the pandemic.”
Ebook streaming service BookBeat launches in Norway, with more countries promised
9 December 2021 (The New Publishing Standard)
News from Bonnier-owned Sweden-based BookBeat that is has finally launched its audiobook and ebook subscription streaming service in Norway, taking its total market count to nine.
AAP Sues to Block Maryland, New York Library E-book Laws
9 December 2021 (Publishers Weekly)
The suit seeks an order declaring the Maryland law “void and unenforceable because it is preempted by federal law and unconstitutional,” as well a preliminary and permanent injunction against enforcement of the act.
How Canadian reading habits have changed since COVID
9 December 2021 (Kobo Press Release)
“When it comes to the kind of books Canadians are reading, two strong themes emerge: reading to escape, which is understandable in the circumstances; and reading to reflect and educate themselves.”
Ebook market share is grossly under-reported
8 December 2021 (The New Publishing Standard)
AAP reports October ebook REVENUE was $84 million. For the same month Kindle Unlimited paid out $39.8 million in ROYALTIES. Just how big is the real ebook market no-one wants to talk about?
Year-to-date US ebook sales down 5.6%
8 December 2021 (Publishing Perspectives)
Ebook revenues were down 12.3 percent in the month of October 2021, as compared to October of 2020, for a total of $84.0 million. Year-to-date ebook revenues were down 5.6 percent, as compared to the first 10 months of 2020, for a total $892.5 million
Naver to acquire SoftBank’s Japanese ebook company at an eye-watering valuation
5 December 2021 (Korea Economic Daily)
Naver will invest up to $144.5 million in eBOOK Initiative Japan Co., a Japanese e-book platform. The Korean portal operator aims to shore up its presence in Japan’s e-book market, which has experienced steep growth alongside webtoons’ increased popularity. On earnings of $8.4 million, that amounts to an earnings multiple of x17.3.
Investment Group Led by David Steinberger Buys Open Road
2 December 2021 (Shelf Awareness)
A newly formed investor group led by David Steinberger has acquired Open Road Integrated Media for a purchase price reported to be between $60 million and $80 million.
Youboox launches a “new” format that combines ebook and audiobook.
2 December 2021 (The New Publishing Standard)
Via a partnership with Fyctia, with sound courtesy of Wave Audio, the Swedish-owned French digital books streaming service Youboox has taken the option to switch between audiobook and ebook to a new level
Textbook publishers sue Shopify over alleged ‘massive’ IP violations
2 December 2021 (Reuters)
Major educational publishers on Wednesday accused e-commerce company Shopify of enabling rampant piracy in a lawsuit filed in Virginia federal court. The publishers asked the court for statutory damages of up to $150,000 per infringed copyright and $2 million for each counterfeited trademark, and listed more than 3,400 copyrights that users allegedly violated. The complaint said Shopify gives “lip service” to IP protection while profiting from infringement.
UK Ebooks up 10% on 2019
28 November 2021 (The New Publishing Standard)
The pandemic bounce in the UK book market is being sustained in Pandemic Y2, at least for the first six months. And the other numbers the PA shares with us offer hope we have stabilised at a new market normal as we lurch into the unknown that is Pandemic Y3.
To Save Its Campus Bookstore, This University Took It Online
24 November 2021 (EdSurge)
At the University of Alaska Anchorage, the answer was to embrace the changing times. Now the its bookstore space is a go-to spot for hoodies, snacks and for faculty to get some tech support. But there’s a notable absence of one thing—textbooks. The university shifted two years ago to a fully virtual bookstore, one where faculty can post their required reading and students can place their orders (or keep shopping around).
Chegg Responds to Pearson Copyright Lawsuit
23 November 2021 (Publishers Weekly)
Lawyers for popular online study service Chegg responded this week to a sweeping copyright lawsuit filed in September by Pearson Education, arguing that Pearson’s accusations of “massive” copyright infringement are “legally flawed” and anti-student. The suit revolves around Chegg Study, a popular subscription study service that features answers to end-of-chapter homework questions from various texts for $14.95 a month.
Apple Books is labeling some Romance and Erotica ebooks as Explicit
23 November 2021 (Good E-Reader)
Apple Books has begun to roll out a new feature for ebook titles in the romance and erotica categories. There is now an “explicit” badge that is in the title located underneath the book name and author name on search results and also categories. There is no notification within the book description page.
Storytel to pay $135 million for audiobooks.com
21 November 2021 (The New Publishing Standard)
The US is investigating the terms ebook distributors charge libraries
18 November 2021 (Good E-Reader)
Two US representatives have written letters to aggregators that distribute and sell digital content to libraries. They want to know all about the standard ebook licensing agreements for every major publisher they work with, including Hachette, HarperCollins, Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster.
UK Publishers asking ISPs to block pirate domains
12 November 2021 (Tech Nadu)
Big publishing houses added even more domains on the target list of their campaign to thwart book piracy. They now ask major UK ISPs to block more and more domains that facilitate illegal book downloading. Blocking injunctions for pirate sites that permit access to premium content extend to the infamous Sci-Hub and Libgen as well.
Spotify expands into audiobooks with acquisition of Findaway
12 November 2021 (Tech Crunch)
Spotify has been investing hundreds of millions to build out its podcasts business. Now the company has set its sights on another form of audio, with today’s acquisition of digital audiobook distributor Findaway.
Storytel enters the U.S. with acquisition of Audiobooks.com
12 November 2021 (Reuters)
Swedish audiobook streaming group Storytel (STORYb.ST) said on Friday it had agreed to buy Audiobooks.com from investment firm KKR, marking its entry into the U.S. market. The acquisition will be financed through existing funds and a newly issued $57.3 million loan facility.
Danish e-textbook pirate gets suspended jail sentence
6 November 2021 (Torrent Freak)
Latest in a Series of Successful Prosecutions. Rights Alliance has pursued several cases against textbook pirates over recent years.
HarperCollins: Ebook sales up 5% year over year
5 November 2021 (Good E-Reader)
Ebooks accounted for 21% of consumer book revenues in the September quarter.
[PR] Follett to Divest Baker & Taylor
4 November 2021 (BusinessWire)
Baker & Taylor, a distributor of physical and digital books and services to public and academic libraries will now operate as an independent, privately-owned entity after a divestiture to a private investment group led by President and CEO Aman Kochar.
The Outlook for Chegg as the Economy Reopens
4 November 2021 (Guru Focus)
The textbook provider is headed toward rough seas with the looming “COVID wane”. Chegg expects lackluster numbers for the fourth quarter. The stock has fallen 62% so far in 2021.
Australia’s Booktopia goes deeper with Kobo
3 November 2021 (Tech Guide)
For $13.99 per month, Australian readers will be able to enjoy full access to more than 580,000 e-books in the Kobo Plus catalogue with more being added each month. This launch extends the partnership between Kobo, the global digital eReader leader and Booktopia, Australia’s largest online book retailer after the companies released co-branded e-reading apps for Android and iOS in April 2020.
Blind People Won the Right to Break Ebook DRM. In 3 Years, They’ll Have to Do It Again
27 October 2021 (Wired)
On Wednesday, the US Copyright Office recommended that the Librarian of Congress once again grant a three-year exemption to break ebook DRM when needed for accessibility.
[Review Video] Microsoft’s new foldable Surface Duo 2 includes Kindle app
21 October 2021 (Cnet)
The Surface Duo 2 has been upgraded in just about every way compared to the original. “The surface duo is a productivity machine that takes multitasking to the next level.”
Google says ebook services will now be eligible for lower service fees
21 October 2021 (The Verge)
Regulatory pressure and public pressure from companies like Epic Games and Spotify have factored in to Google’s decision. Google is doing what it can to set up release valves for all that pressure by reducing store fees where it feels it can. It’s far from clear that the lower fees are going to appease regulators anywhere.
Another class action lawsuit over the risk of iTunes purchased content removal
20 October 2021 (9to5Mac.com)
In April a judge gave the go-ahead to a class action lawsuit over this in California. In that case, it was over content that could not be re-downloaded. A new class action has been filed in New York against Apple for misleading consumers into believing it is selling them Digital Content on iTunes, even though it is only providing them with a license.
AAP: Ebook Sales Grew 11.7% in 2020 to $2.12 billion
8 October 2021 (Publishing Perspectives)
While ebook revenue had declined since 2014, during calendar year 2020 the category was up 11.7 percent, coming in at an estimated $2.12 billion, presumably as part of the digital acceleration that led many in lockdowns and other constrained conditions to try reading electronically.
Huge transition to digital textbooks in 2020
8 October 2021 (Publishers Weekly)
The pandemic accelerated the shift to the increased use of digital materials, particularly in higher education. Sales in the higher education segment fell 5.7%, to $3.10 billion, something the AAP attributed in part to “widespread adoption of cost-effective e-textbooks in both sales and rentals.”
[PR] OverDrive Acquires TeachingBooks.net
7 October 2021 (PRNewswire)
The acquisition of TeachingBooks significantly enhances OverDrive Education’s Sora reading app and platform to serve K-12 schools around the world. TeachingBooks provides K-12 schools with more than 265,000 curated materials from trusted educational sources, as well as their own proprietary content, to enrich how a book is taught in the classroom.
Higher education sector calls on publishers to remove barriers to provision of e-books and e-textbooks
6 October 2021 (News Anyway)
The partners aim to work constructively and actively with publishers and suppliers to ensure affordable and sustainable models that support student and academic needs and maximise efficiencies across the supply chain.
NPD Research: Soaring E-books Sales Fall Back to Earth
6 October 2021 (PRWeb)
For the year-to-date through June 2021, unit sales declined by 8%, versus last year, but sales were still 8% higher than they were in 2019 before the pandemic … e-books account for 18% of sales, or more than one in six books sold.
Germany’s Inkitt Raises $59M
5 October 2021 (Tech Times)
NEA and Axel Springer invested, along with Michael Lynton, Chairman of Snap, and Stefan von Holtzbrinck of Holtzbrinck Digital. The online service aims to bring new e-books and other forms of written media online. People are focusing more on its integration with readily available smartphones and devices. Not only that, its content would focus more on original content and features from renowned artists that brought their masterpieces to the platform.
Storytel’s Skeppstedt made director at Sesamy
5 October 2021 (The Bookseller)
Lotten Skeppstedt has been appointed director of books and podcasts at Sesamy, a Swedish platform for subscription-free audiobooks and e-books. Skeppstedt said, “While digital books are becoming the primary source of income for creators and publishers worldwide, accelerated by lockdowns, how people discover, purchase, consume and store digital books deserves to be improved. Sesamy is determined to make the user journey a whole lot more exciting and rewarding, empowering both the creators and their fan base to engage in — and spread — great stories.”
Study finds association between screen time and short-sightedness
5 October 2021 (The Lancet)
A meta-analysis of studies of smartphone and tablet exposure and myopia in children and young adults (aged 3 months to 33 years). Smart device screen time alone or in combination with computer use is significantly associated with myopia.
62% of College Students Prefer Printed Textbooks
30 September 2021 (Printing Impressions)
This represents a 10% decline in print textbook preference since 2015, when 72% of students reported favoring print textbooks, but it doesn’t mean students are embracing e-textbooks. Despite the growing e-textbook market, student preference for e-textbooks increased by just 2% from 2015 (27%) to 2021 (29%), while the number of students who have no preference increased by nearly 8% over that same period.
Latvian government agrees to reduce VAT for books and printed press to 5%
30 September 2021 (Baltic News Network)
The Ministry of Culture notes it is necessary to reduce VAT for books and printed press to 5% in order to promote their accessibility in Latvia, stabilize numbers and prices.
Over 50% of UK university students now use Kortext e-learning materials
30 September 2021 (FE News)
“This week’s announcement comes as Kortext revealed it is now available in over 120 universities across the UK, with Wolverhampton, Bournemouth and Chester, the most recent partnerships announced. James Gray, CEO of Kortext said: “Always accessible e-learning materials have been essential for students since the beginning of the pandemic.”
Educational Publishers Obtain Preliminary Injunction Against 60 Illegal Websites
27 September 2021 (BusinessWire)
In addition to Google and Bing, the websites rely on payment processors, web hosts, domain registrars, proxy service providers and other internet service providers, all of whom are required by the Court’s injunction to stop facilitating the pirate websites’ illegal activity.
US Senate Finance Committee Presses Publishers on Library Ebook Contracts
24 September 2021 (Book Riot)
A letter to each of the Big Five trade publishers demands answers to a long list of detailled questions by October 7.
Boon for Ebooks (?) as the Print Supply Chain Bogs Down
17 September 2021 (Quartz)
Supply chain problems have touched almost every aspect of book production, storage and delivery, mostly as a result of Covid-related bottlenecks. Printer capacity issues plagued the publishing industry last year, too, though 2021 is expected to be worse.
Ebooks Are an Abomination
15 September 2021 (The Atlantic)
If you like ebooks, great. Enjoy your dim, gray screen in peace. If you hate them, don’t worry about it. Who says everything must involve a computer? Maybe it’s better, even, to protect the print-book market by building a firewall against ebooks’ expansion beyond their rule over genre fiction. Just give up and read normal books, like humankind has done for 2,000 years.
Pearson sues Chegg for copyright infringement
14 September 2021 (EdScoop)
The British-owned publisher and education services firm Pearson on Monday filed a copyright lawsuit against the textbook rental and “homework help” service Chegg, alleging the company is selling answers to question sets in its textbooks.
Edtech giant Blackboard to merge with Anthology
13 September 2021 (EdScoop)
Blackboard, founded in 1997, was an early educational technology provider that today serves more than 150 million users worldwide, both in K-12 and higher education. By merging with Anthology, the new company seeks to provide an “edtech ecosystem,” for higher education institutions modernizing their technology, according to the release.
Stephen King’s new short story is a Humble Bundle exclusive
10 September 2021 (The Verge)
All pay-what-you-want proceeds (starting at a $5 minimum) from “Red Screen” will benefit the American Civil Liberties Union while the story is available, from September 10th through September 16th.
Publishers, Amazon Move to Dismiss Booksellers’ Antitrust Suit
09 September 2021 (Publishers Weekly)
“…Plaintiffs new theory, in other words, attacks the very essence of robust and healthy competition that the antitrust laws overwhelmingly seek to promote. Plaintiff’s Amended Complaint is baseless and should be dismissed.”
Former Student Sentenced for Selling Pirated e-Textbooks
10 September 2021 (TorrentFreak)
“The convict has now received a punishment for violating copyright law, and thus has a stain on her criminal record. A relationship that may matter to her for many years to come. Therefore, it is important to understand that even though it is easy to do so, it is a criminal offense to copy e-books without the permission of the author.”
US Judge Orders Apple to Ease Restrictions on App Developers
10 September 2021 (New York Times)
The decision could have major implications for thousands of businesses that pay Apple billions of dollars each year. A federal judge on Friday struck a serious blow to Apple’s control of its App Store, giving companies a way to avoid handing Apple a cut of their app sales and potentially upending a $100 billion online market. Apple counts on revenue from its App Store to fuel its expansive profits, and the decision could eat away at that money. It was a damaging loss for the company, which is facing increasingly pointed questions from regulators and politicians around the world about its business.
The Publishing Ecosystem in the Digital Era: On John B. Thompson’s “Book Wars”
02 September 2021 (LA Review of Books)
“So what happens when the oldest of our media industries collides with the great technological revolution of our time?” That sounds like hyperbole — book publishing hasn’t exactly stood still since Gutenberg. A lot happens in 500 years, even without computers. But for an industry built on the time-tested format of print books, the internet understandably looked and felt like an existential threat as well as an opportunity.
An App Called Libby and the Surprisingly Big Business of Library E-books
02 September 2021 (New Yorker)
The high prices of e-book rights could become untenable for libraries in the long run, according to several librarians and advocates I spoke to—libraries, venders, and publishers will probably need to negotiate a new way forward. “It’s not a good system.”
Apple to let reader apps steer users towards out-of-App-Store purchasing following Japanese watchdog probe
02 September 2021 (The Register)
Ebook, music, newspaper programs can now whisper of the universe beyond the iOS walled garden. The iPhone goliath will, from early next year, allow these applications to “include an in-app link to their web site for users to set up or manage an account”.
More here https://goodereader.com/blog/electronic-readers/kindle-for-apple-iphone-will-be-able-to-sell-you-ebooks-again
Salman Rushdie to bypass print and publish next book on Substack
01 September 2021 (The Guardian)
“I’ve been looking at [Keret’s] Substack and it’s so witty and enjoyable, and he’s clearly having a wonderful time doing it, I thought, ‘maybe I could do that’.” Substack provides a platform for readers to subscribe to individual writers, whose posts are sent to your inbox or can be read online. Writers often provide a mix of paid and free content, which is what Rushdie plans to do. “I’m going to kind of make it up as I go along…”
EU’s VAT Reform Turns E-Commerce Upside Down
27 August 2021 (Bloomberg Tax)
From July 1, 2021, cross-border business-to-consumer (B2C) ebook sales must be taxed in the destination country once the standard EU-wide distance-selling threshold of 10,000 euros (net) is exceeded. This means that even one item sent from one EU member state to another will be taxed in the destination country.
June Ebook Sales Decline 19% in 2021 after 2020’s COVID Boost
24 August 2021 (Publishing Perspectives)
June 2021 ebook revenues were down 19.9 percent, as compared to June of 2020, for a total of $87.7 million. But Year-to-date sales are holding up: Ebook revenues were down 0.3 percent as compared to the first six months of 2020 for a total of $542.8 million.
E-Books Still No Match for Printed Books
9 August 2021 (Statista)
In the United States for example, where e-books are very popular in comparison, 23 percent of the population are estimated to have purchased an e-book last year, compared to 45 percent who bought a printed book.
Apple Appeals Ohio Tax On E-Books
9 August 2021 (Bloomberg)
Apple appealed an Ohio tax assessment it claims didn’t treat the company as an agent for sales of third-party e-books and apps sold in its App Store. Disputing roughly $2.8 million of commercial activity tax, interest and penalties that Ohio regulators say it owes on revenue from electronics and e-commerce between October 2011 and September2016. See also Law360.com
Swedish Audio Streamer Storytell Posts Strong Growth
8 August 2021 (Good E-Reader)
Its streaming sales were up 19 percent over Q2 2020 while the subscriber base jumped 29 percent year-over-year… Negative growth in profit margin is being attributed to increased spending towards marketing efforts aimed at building awareness in regions such as Poland, Finland, and the Netherlands.
Amazon Kindle flaws could have allowed attackers to control the device
6 August 2021 (Tech Republic)
A Kindle user could have unknowingly triggered the exploit just by opening a malicious e-book sent by the attacker, Check Point said. No other action would have been required. With the vulnerabilities exploited, an attacker could have gained remote control to delete a user’s e-books and even turn the Kindle into a malicious bot to attack other devices on the user’s network.
Kortext expects ebooks to be covered by course fees
2 August 2021 (Daily Echo)
James Gray: “By definition, wealthier students [once] had an advantage over poorer students, those that struggled to pay for that content. And they would rely on the library buying a few copies, where then they would have to queue up and to get access to that.”
Pearson launches $14.99/month textbook subscription service
30 July 2021 (EdScoop)
Students can subscribe to the service, called Pearson+, or pay $9.99 for the service’s “single” tier, which allows access to only one book at a time. Both tiers require a minimum four-month term. The subscription model is intended to mimic how students consume content through other popular online services.
Vodafone offers 10,000 free e-books for children
30 July 2021 (Mobile Marketing)
The books explore themes of internet bullying, managing screen time, and being mindful of internet predators in fun and engaging stories.
Introducing the Icecream Ebook Reader app for Windows PC
30 July 2021 (Good E-Reader)
It supports several eBook formats. Those include epub, fb2, mobi, pdf, cbr, cbz, txt, which means almost all eBooks are decipherable with the Icecream Ebook Reader. It comes free too and is extremely easy to use as well
Kobo is going to disable in-app purchases on Android in September
28 July 2021 (Good E-Reader)
Google is changing its billing system and this is forcing Kobo to close down their bookstore.
Greece lowers tax on e-books and audiobooks from 24% to 6%
22 July 2021 (Good E-Reader)
The minister of culture said the move is aimed at boosting demand for ebooks and audiobooks in the country.
Byju’s acquires kids online reading platform Epic for $500M
21 July 2021 (VentureBeat)
Byju’s has acquired Epic, a digital reading platform for children.The company cut deals to make digital versions of books with more than 250 book publishers. Now Epic has more than 40,000 digital books. The effort is part of a plan to invest more than $1 billion in the U.S. educational market. Epic, founded by Suren Markosian and Kevin Donahue, has 50 million users—children in the United States who access digital books for free.
US Ebook Sales Drop in May
21 July 2021 (Publishing Perspectives)
Ebook revenues were down 23.4 percent in May, compared to May of 2020 for a total of $86.3 million. But ebook revenues were up 4.7 percent as compared to the first five months of 2020 for a total $455.2 million.
New bitBook is a print and e-book hybrid with the feel of a real book
17 July 2021 (Good E-Reader)
One of the obvious benefits, if it can be so said, with bitBook is that it has the look and feel of a real book. That includes even the smell of a real paper book as well. That said, there is none of the cables, plastic, or electronic components visible to the eye. That way, users will have almost the same feel as reading a real book, with all the electronics concealed underneath.
tiktok Now Driving Book Sales
16 July 2021 (Simon & Schuster)
BOOKTOK 101: Your guide to a major new force in publishing. As Goodreads, Instagram and YouTube once fundamentally altered the way people read, review and recommend books, TikTok is the latest social media phenomenon to exert a seriously powerful influence on the bestseller lists.
OverDrive Completes Acquisition of Kanopy
15 July 2021 (Press Release)
OverDrive, the digital reading platform for libraries and schools, has completed the acquisition of Kanopy, a video streaming service for public and academic libraries.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt changes library ebook terms
9 July 2021 (Good E-reader)
Ebook titles from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt will change from one copy/one user perpetual access model to 26-lend metered access model, one copy/one user on August 1st, 2021.
25% of Canadians read ebooks
4 July 2021 (Good E-Reader)
When it comes to reading books, the vast majority of Canadians continue to read hardcover and paperback novels. In 2020 and the first few months of 2021, 75% of purchases were print books, while digital books made up about 25% of purchases.
Bookwire Releases 2020 ‘Digital Consumer Book Barometer’ Report
28 June 2021 (Publishing Perspectives)
European publishers report massive surge in digital sales, shifts in pricing preferences, and growth in subscription and library deliveries.
AAP reports US Ebook Sales Growth Stabilising
28 June 2021 (Publishing Perspectives)
In the first 4 months of 2021, ebook revenues were up 14.5 percent (as compared to Jan-Apr 2020), for a total of $368.9 million. But April 2021 sales are slightly down on April 2020, for a total of $90.8 million.
Profile of UK Edtech startup Kortext
27 June 2021 (The Mirror, UK)
Under £20 million revenue. Under 1 million users. Attracted £15 million of outside investment. Adding 50 new staff, taking the number of employees to almost 200.
Fiftieth anniversary of the first ebook
26 June 2021 (Ebook Friendly)
Yes, it’s been 50 years since Michael Stern Hart had typed the text of the US Declaration of Independence on a terribly expensive Xerox Sigma V mainframe and sent it to other users of the University of Illinois network.
Aron Levitz Leads the Newly Merged Wattpad Webtoon Studios
24 June 2021 (Publishing Perspectives)
Aron Levitz, who had led the fast-growing Wattpad Studios division since its inception in 2016, will lead what’s being called the Wattpad Webtoon Studios. Naver, the new parent company, has committed US$100 million to the studios division, which—if Levitz’ success with Wattpad Studios is any indication—could eventually become the main engine of the combined company’s earning punch.
EdTech firm Kortext raises £15m from dmg ventures
23 June 2021 (FE News, UK)
Kortext announced that it has finalised additional investment funding from dmg ventures. The platform hosts 2million e-textbooks from over 4,000 publishers and provides every student with their own personal study space, connecting them to their course, their peers, and their lecturers. Paul Zwillenberg, CEO of DMGT will join the Kortext Board. Everyone is excited.
New Browser-Based Reading and Publishing Platform Launched
14 June 2021 (Publishers Weekly)
Legible’s in-the-works subscription model will cost $14.99 a month and offer a 60/40 revenue split, favoring the publishers. Legible has attracted international investment. It currently has some 40 employees. “We are unambiguously ambitious. We are a Canadian company, but we are making a global play.”
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%.
Useful stats about ebook adoption rates around the world
23 April 2021 (Statista)
In the United States for example, where e-books are very popular in comparison, 23 percent of the population are estimated to have purchased an e-book last year, compared to 45 percent who bought a printed book. Ebook penetration is deepest in China.
BibliU Raises $10M in Series A Funding
20 April 2021 (FINSMES)
BibliU, a London, UK-based digital learning platform that makes textbooks and reading materials accessible, secured $10m in a Series A equity funding round. So far, BibliU has raised $15m in venture capital.
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.
Here are the big 5 publishers terms for libraries in 2021
16 February 2021 (Good E-reader)
Publishers have a few different models for libraries. The most common is one book, one use. In order for a library to loan out one ebook, they have to buy it. If a book is popular, the library might purchase 10-20 ebooks, so there is enough to go around and the waitlist is not too long. Many publishers have got rid of their perpetual access programs, where libraries pay for the book once, and own it forever, to a two-year metered model, which provides lower prices on e-books licenses that expire after two years
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 2020 (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 2020 (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 2020 (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 2020 (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 2020 (Good E-Reader)
NetGalley Has Been Hacked
23 Dec 2020 (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 2020 (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.