Many digital marketers like to think of themselves as reinventing the wheel—when it comes to selling directly to consumers, old-school marketers couldn't possibly have anything to teach them. That was the impression he recently got from one 20-something-year-old marketer, said Neal Goff, president of New York City-based consulting firm Egremont Associates, on Tuesday afternoon during his session at the 2011 Publishing Business Conference & Expo in New York City.
For a company that celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, Minneapolis-based Lerner Publishing Group is not spending much time looking back at its history and tradition. Instead, it is focused on remaining lithe enough to adapt to the changing book market.
Book publishers attending the recent Publishing Business Conference & Expo in New York who were eager to learn about trends in digital book publishing had come to the right place. On March 9, the 2010 Digital Book Printing Forum was held during the conference at the New York Marriott Marquis. At the forum, representatives from Charlottesville, Va.-based Interquest, a market and technology research and consulting firm in the field of digital printing and publishing, presented findings from its new study, “Digital Book Printing: Market Analysis & Forecast, 2010-2015.”
Right around the time major news outlets were reporting on student protests regarding tuition hikes, a new kind of textbook publisher was letting scholars know that it had heard their cries for lower textbook costs. Less expensive, customized, relevant books now are available, announced DynamicBooks, a subsidiary of Macmillan Publishing.
If you're like most book publishers, you're always interested in finding new ways to increase unit sales, revenue and profits. One way to achieve this goal is to tap into new markets for your current titles. Easier said than done? At the upcoming Publishing Business Conference & Expo, March 8-10, in New York City, Brian Jud—president of Avon, Conn.-based Book Marketing Works—will lead a session entitled, “Sell More Books in Large Quantities, With Fewer Returns,” to help publishers discover and sell to new markets.
The Book Industry Study Group (BISG) will expand its print and digital product initiatives in the next few years, says the group's new executive director, Scott Lubeck, who presided over his first BISG board of directors meeting Jan. 21.
While the term "self-publishing" still may carry a stigma for many in the book industry, the ranks of major publishers embracing the concept are on the rise, and Bloomington, Ind.-based Author Solutions Inc. (ASI) is a part of that turning tide.
Carol Aebersold and her daughter, Chanda Bell, knew they had a winning idea when they transformed their family tradition into a book, “The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition.” But when they submitted the book—about how Santa disperses helper elves to watch boys and girls during the holidays and report back to him nightly at the North Pole—to publishers, no one wanted to take a chance on the concept.
At a time when young children are averaging many hours of television viewing per week (The Nielsen Company recently found that U.S. children ages 2 to 5 years old are watching an average of more than 32 hours of TV a week), Knoxville, Tenn.-based Rivr Media is trying to leverage those viewing habits to engage children more in reading. The company, in partnership with Atlanta-based Dalmation Books, recently introduced a line of digital products called Moving Picture Books, which can be downloaded or purchased as a DVD, and enhances the act of learning to read with TV show-like qualities.
According to recent studies, big things are on the horizon for e-readers in terms of growth and revenue. A recent mediaIDEAS report forecasted that 6 million e-paper display-based e-readers will be sold in 2010—nearly six times the number (1.1 million) sold in 2008. By 2020, the report predicts global annual e-reader sales will reach 446 million units with a value of more than $25 billion. Another study, by research company DisplaySearch, says that e-paper display revenues will reach $9.6 billion by 2018.
As an author of Internet-marketing books and the former Web editor for Chelsea Green Publishing, Jesse S. McDougall knows a bit about using the Internet—and specifically, social media marketing—to sell books.
It's well-known that reference books generally have been suffering lately, another facet of the industry that has been affected by the Internet and consumers' easy access to free information. "For 2009, revenue-wise, … we estimated reference book sales would fall much [more] than that of the other categories we expected to do poorly this year …," says Michael Norris, senior analyst at Simba Information, a market research and consulting firm in Stamford, Conn. "The simple reason is that consumers have a different relationship with reference-book content than they do with, say, a great work of fiction or an engaging biography. They mostly just need a snippet of information here and there, and being that the Web houses a lot of what a consumer thinks he or she needs, few are bothering to buy traditional reference books."
While the Hispanic population in the United States is expected to expand to nearly 50 million by 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, current purchasing patterns indicate that this 16 percent of the nation may not buy books at the same rate as the remaining 84 percent.
With a partnership with Barnes & Noble anchoring the late-2009 debut of its eReader, Netherlands-based IREX Technologies hopes to propel its new e-reading device to the top of the marketplace, according to North American CEO Kevin Hamilton. In addition to the more than 750,000 e-book titles eReader users may purchase through Barnes & Noble's eBookstore—many of which are priced at $9.99—IREX's new device also will allow users to download outside content, such as from Google—a feature that distinguishes it from Amazon's Kindle.
Earlier this month, research company Flurry (Flurry.com) reported that between April and July, the number of digital book application users increased by 300 percent. In July, Flurry tracked nearly 3 million active e-book application users on smartphones. While these numbers may make many book publishers think, "We need to start offering this," a number of publishers already are active in the mobile e-book application space, including Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH).