Product Launches

E-book subscription service Oyster launches new journal
November 21, 2014

Oyster, the e-book subscription service, is getting into the content-creation game. The service, which has been likened to a "Netflix for books," has unveiled a new online, literary journal called The Oyster Review. The new publication will feature a mixture of essays, interviews and profiles, from well-known contributors like The Awl Network co-founder Choire Sicha. "Think of it as a field guide to a life well read, a place of literary exploration and discovery," Oyster editorial director Kevin Nguyen wrote in an introduction to the publication.

Why Amazon will never lose the book war
November 21, 2014

If you were looking for a simile to describe Amazon's relationship with authors, you couldn't do better than picturing Amazon as King Kong and the authors it desperately and clumsily wants to court as Fay Wray. One compelling reason for this analogy is that the courtship between brute and beauty was destined to leave a lot of collateral damage in its wake. Amazon has been trying to get around publishers and win the affections of authors for some time. There were several strategic moves. Launching the Kindle-which coincidentally took place seven years ago today-was one. 

Curiouser and curiouser: What we discovered at FutureBook 2014
November 19, 2014

What was the mood coming out of FutureBook 2014? Positive, challenging, grown-up-and most importantly, still curious. The day began with three different words: content, community and commerce. Keynote George Berkowski set the tone with a challenging talk sayings that publishers needed to focus on other entertainment companies as their main rivals, not other publishing houses. "You are not in the same industry, but the people who are reading Fifty Shades of Grey and The Hunger Games are the same people sat on the tube reading BuzzFeed and every day." 

Digital Census: 10 Key Findings
November 14, 2014

1. The iPad is now more popular than the Kindle: For the first time, the percentage of respondents who commonly read on an iPad (41.9%) outstrips those who do so on a Kindle (37.9%). 2. Amazon dominates e-book retail: More than two-thirds (71.0%) of all Census respondents say they buy e-books regularly from Amazon-more than five times as many as do so frequently from the next most popular e-retailer, Apple's iBookstore (13.4%). 

Press Release: IPR License develops Author Hub
November 12, 2014

This is a dedicated member resource aimed at helping authors maximise their membership opportunities on the IPR License platform. The Hub will incorporate a raft of information regarding rights and licensing, popular articles, guidelines for uploading works and an extensive directory of services listing all relevant author support services. Tom Chalmers, Managing Director of IPR License, commented: "The thought process behind the development of the Author Hub was a simple one, to offer even more value to our author members."

Prominent Editor’s Exit Is Setback for Amazon Publishing Unit
November 10, 2014

When Amazon hired the novelist Ed Park as a senior editor in its New York publishing office in 2011, it seemed an unlikely match. Mr. Park - a member of New York's literary elite who had worked for the Poetry Foundation, co-founded a literary magazine and edited The Village Voice's literary supplement - seemed ill suited to Amazon's algorithm-driven business. The incongruity was precisely the point. By hiring Mr. Park and later giving him his own imprint, called Little A, Amazon signaled that it was willing to take risks on works with more aesthetic than commercial value.

Press Release: Scribd Adds 30,000 Audiobooks to Its Library, Creating the Largest Unlimited Book Offering from World's Top Publishers
November 7, 2014

Scribd, the leading subscription book service, today announced that it is broadening its offering to give subscribers access to more than 30,000 audiobooks. Titles will include new releases, as well as smash hits and award winners like The Hunger Games trilogy, The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolaño, and Daring Greatly by Brené Brown, all for Scribd’s current price of $8.99 per month. The addition of this extensive audiobooks selection, which includes titles from Blackstone, HarperCollins, Scholastic and Naxos, to Scribd’s existing library of more than half a million e-books represents the largest unlimited-access offering of e-books and audiobooks available today.

Scribd Adds Audiobooks To All-You-Read Library, Piling Pressure On Amazon
November 7, 2014

Scribd doesn't take kindly to being cribbed. In July, the San Francisco company woke up to find that had imitated one of its core services, introducing an all-you-can-read book subscription service that rivaled the "Netflix for books" model pioneered by Scribd and fellow competitor Oyster. With "Kindle Unlimited," the Seattle retailer made it a selling point that it had more titles than the little guys, as well as something the others didn't have: more than 2,000 audiobooks. On Thursday, that distinction is no more

Will Amazon Lead Us to the Golden Age of Books? A Future Tense Event Recap.
October 31, 2014

The unfortunate Fire Phone aside, the glut of opinion pieces and blog posts about Amazon of late have really been about one thing: books. So, is Amazon really as bad for book culture as we fear, or could the company of "1-click" sales, Kindles, and two-day shipping in fact be leading us to a golden age? A Future Tense conversation that included voices from bookselling and publishing, authors and readers, moderated by Nicholas Thompson, the editor of the, tackled this question in New York on Wednesday evening. (Future Tense is a partnership of Slate, New America, and Arizona State University.)

From ‘Fifty Shades’ to ‘After’: Why Publishers Want Fan Fiction to Go Mainstream
October 31, 2014

It starts with a familiar name, but then takes a turn. Jay Gatsby actually faked his death, and is now reunited with Daisy. "Scandal's" Olivia Pope is somehow working on Robert F. Kennedy's presidential campaign. And a member of the boy band One Direction is falling in love on a college campus - making roughly 250 million online readers swoon. These are plot twists found in the universe of fan fiction, where authors borrow from another writer's world, taking characters, places and even real people and putting them in stories all their own.