UK Ebook Sales Soar but Physical Book Sales Unaffected
September 18, 2012

For the first half of 2012, digital fiction sales value was up 188 percent compared with the sales figures from the same period last year. Children's books and non-fiction books also saw major growth in the digital market, rising 171 percent and 128 percent respectively.

For the same period, physical book sales value fell by just 0.4 percent. These numbers are annoucned just as Fifty Shades of Grey enjoys incredible popularity in ebook format and bookseller Waterstones secured a partnership with Kindle ebook readers.

States' ebook settlement: Preliminary approval, and a 2013 hearing
September 17, 2012

A judge has preliminarily approved the states’ $69 million ebook pricing settlement with publishers, but consumers won’t receive any payments until after a hearing is held in February 2013. Payments would range between $0.25 and $1.32 per ebook.
states, u.s. states, map, united statesphoto: Shutterstock   

Federal district judge Denise Cote has preliminarily approved (PDF) the states’ $69 million ebook pricing settlement with Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster.

Serving Up Justice: Learn how the DOJ case against Apple and the big publishers could affect you
September 11, 2012

I have been reading a lot of news reports over the last months about the Department of Justice lawsuit against Apple and five of the big six publishers, and I’m sure you have too (many of them in this newsletter). We all know this is an important legal case for those of us who work in this industry, maybe even work for one of the companies involved in the suit.
What does it all mean? Many of us are wondering: How will it impact me, my company and/or my job? What do I need to know about this lawsuit and, judging from the complexities of the reports I read, how can I hope to even figure out and understand what the takeaway of all this is for me?

Short-Form Digital Grows at University Presses
September 11, 2012

Back in March, the Digital Digest profiled Princeton Shorts, a new short-form e-book program launched last fall by Princeton University Press. At least two more AAUP presses have launched short e-book programs this spring: Stanford, with Stanford Briefs, and North Carolina, with UNC Press E-Book Shorts.

For Princeton and North Carolina, the digital shorts content comes from already-published, bestselling titles. Princeton Shorts and UNC E-Book Shorts re-package excerpts of full books—as North Carolina describes it, "essential concepts, defining moments, and concise introductions." In contrast, Stanford's Briefs are made up of all new content.

Ebook price drops begin — and Apple is discounting, too
September 11, 2012

The Department of Justice’s ebook pricing settlement was approved last Thursday, and HarperCollins, one of the three settling publishers, has already entered into new contracts with ebook retailers – including Apple. The retailers can now set their own prices on HarperCollins titles. So what kinds of changes are we seeing? A roundup of select titles (the prices are correct as of Tuesday morning, but are subject to change).

Amazon and Apple's Giant Markups on Flash Storage
September 10, 2012

 Apart from the look and feel of their products, there’s a key difference between Amazon’s new tablets and Apple’s iPads: the amount of money each company charges for storage. Apple customers typically pay more to get extra gigabytes, but over all, both companies do a major markup on memory.

Take the example of the 8.9-inch version of the Kindle Fire HD.

Lawyer files Hail Mary request to stop ebook price changes
September 10, 2012

Just days before a court ruling forces major publishers to tear up ebook contracts, a prominent attorney has asked to suspend the proceedings until an appeals court can weigh in on a price-fixing settlement between the U.S. Department of Justice and three publishers.

In documents filed late Friday, Bob Kohn asked U.S. District Judge Denise Cote to stay her ruling on the grounds that consumers will be irreparably harmed by new e-book prices if the settlement goes forward.

Judge Approves E-Book Pricing Settlement
September 7, 2012

Updated In a decision that could start an e-book price war in the publishing industry, a federal judge on Thursday approved a settlement between the Justice Department and three major publishers in a civil antitrust case that accused the companies of collusion in the pricing of digital books.

The long-expected approval soundly rejected criticisms of the deal that had accumulated throughout the summer from hundreds of parties, including Barnes & Noble, the Authors Guild and the American Booksellers Association.

BISG Unveils Powerful New Bookstats Features
September 4, 2012

“Awesome,” should be the headline to describe the features and analytical power of the new AAP/BISG sponsored Bookstats report on industry sales and trends, for which the analytical work is managed by Bowker. It is especially so when one looks back on the decades during which BISG struggled with data gathering and data analysis tools that were short of the task—resting on a lot of intuitive extrapolation; and the AAP contented itself with industry reporting that used actual returns from participating publishers and no extrapolations; and neither included most of the emerging vast universe of independent publishers. And publishers had two sets of figures to work with.

Hachette Digital Revenues up to 27% Overall
August 31, 2012

In the first half of the year, the Hachette Book Group derived 27% of its revenues from digital publishing, according to an announcement from the company today. Digital revenues were up 20% in the first half of the year compared to the first half last year.

While digital growth was strong at the book publisher, it represents a significant slowdown compared to the early years of digital at Hachette. In 2008, digital publishing accounted for about 1% of Hachette’s overall revenues.