This year's IDPF Digital Book Conference theme marks a significant shift in book publishing strategy. "Put the reader first," was a phrase mentioned throughout the day's sessions, urging attendees give their consumers greater agency and in a sense catch up to other entertainment industries that are already empowering their audience. By utilizing digital content channels, publishers can interact with readers more easily than ever before and measure that interaction. This shift is steadily gaining momentum in the industry and leading publishers, including HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster, shared strategies and technology they have employed to understand who their audiences are and how to get them reading.
More audiobook news this week -- Harlequin and HarperCollins announced yesterday the launch of a new imprint, Harlequin Audio. The imprint will release its first batch of audiobooks on June 30th and is planning a list of 200 titles for the year, all of which are existing Harlequin titles.
Epic!, an ebook subscription service for children, is adding digital titles from Macmillan to its inventory. The service offers access to a library of about 10,000 digital titles for $4.99 per month.
Macmillan will provide "a few hundred" children's e-books to Epic!'s library, according to Epic! cofounder Kevin Donahue. When the Macmillan titles go live in a few weeks, Epic! will have titles from two of the Big Five publishers: HarperCollins and Macmillan.
The inclusion of Harlequin and strong sales of Chris Kyle's memoir American Sniper (William Morrow) helped HarperCollins to a 14% increase in revenues in the three months to 31st March, compared to the year before. But e-book revenues declined 3% year-on-year, HarperCollins' parent company News Corp has said, in its latest quarterly results.
Revenues for HarperCollins were $402m in the quarter, up 14% from $354m in the previous year. News Corp said the increase was driven by the inclusion of results from Harlequin, which was bought by News Corp in May 2014, and by "strong backlist sales
Tom Breur, VP of data analytics at Cengage, Adam Silverman, senior director of digital business development at HarperCollins, and Andrew Weinstein, VP of content acquisition at Scribd share great tips for integrating data insights into a publishing organization.
is is an appropriate time to consider the power of Penguin Random House's position in the marketplace. It is very strong. If I were any of the other four major publishers, I would fear PRH more than Amazon as a potential disruptor of my business. When I put that proposition to a UK-based executive of one of those companies at the London Book Fair last week, he readily agreed with me.
When one considers what a segmented business publishing is, the Penguin Random House combination becomes that much more eye-catching.
I had the pleasure of hosting terrific webinar last week, featuring HarperCollins senior director of global digital operations Leslie Padgett and content solutions architect at RSI Content Solutions Eliot Kimber. They did a great job of articulating how HarperCollins has begun to transition from legacy print production to a system that is automated and truly multichannel.
With the latest deal wrapped, Amazon appears to have reached a truce, of sorts, with the publishing industry. Since last fall, the e-commerce giant has successfully renegotiated contracts with four of the five big publishers-Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, and Macmillan. The terms of all the contracts, per the New York Times, let the publishers decide their own e-book prices, but also gave them financial incentives to keep those prices low. Arrangements that give the publisher complete control over e-book prices are known in the industry as "full agency" models.
At the London Book Fair yesterday HarperCollins announced a significant expansion of its foreign language publishing program. The company rebranded a number of Harlequin's international publishing assets as HaperCollins Holland, HarperCollins Japan, HarperCollins Nordic, and HarperCollins Polska.
Multiple retailers report that Harper has informed them their selling terms will change as of Tuesday, April 14. (The change is actually effective midnight Pacific time, rather than Eastern. Amazon would be among those companies that naturally end their business day on Pacific time.) Harper is requiring retailers to implement all price changes within 24 hours.