Pearson Company

To sell books to China, foreign publishers may have to play by its rules
October 9, 2012

China has a huge publishing industry, with over 367,000 titles published in 2011 — making it a large and lucrative market for foreign publishers who want to sell book rights there. But they may face unique challenges, including an ebook market very different from the one in the West.

“Times are hard,” Diane Spivey, rights and contracts director at Hachette’s Little, Brown in the UK, acknowledged in her introduction at Tuesday afternoon’s 26th annual International Rights Directors Meeting at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Google Books Deal Bolsters Dream of Universal Bookstore
October 8, 2012

Google’s deal to settle a seven-year conflict with five major publishers over the search giant’s book-scanning initiative is a milestone in the publishing industry’s grinding transition from print books to e-books. The pact, struck by Google and the Association of American Publishers (AAP), does not address the underlying question of whether Google violated copyright law by scanning millions of books over the last several years. Both sides, apparently weary of legal wrangling, have agreed to disagree on that point. The deal also doesn’t affect an ongoing lawsuit filed against Google by the Authors Guild, which represents thousands of authors.

Stick to Your Ribs: Governance and the Not-for-Profit Publisher
August 8, 2012

I have often reflected on a passage from Jared Diamond's magisterial ”Guns, Germs, and Steel” when the question of the relative success of for-profit and not-for-profit (NFP) publishing enterprises comes up. Although there are some conspicuous exceptions, most of the big dogs in scholarly communications are commercial enterprises.  What is it about the for-profit world of publishing that has enabled it to become dominant over its well-intended, hard-working fellows in the NFP camp?

Penguin profits slump, ebook revenues up 33%
July 27, 2012

Profits at the book publisher Penguin slumped by almost 50% in the first six months, thanks in part to the runaway global success of EL James's Fifty Shades of Grey, which is published by a rival, Vintage Books.

The runaway success of Fifty Shades and The Hunger Games helped cut sales at Penguin by 4% to £441m and its adjusted operating profit down 48% to £22m.

Penguin Buys Self-Publishing Platform Author Solutions for $116 Million
July 19, 2012

In a bid to take a leading position in the growing self-publishing market, Penguin has acquired self-publishing platform Author Solutions from Bertram Capital, a San Mateo, Calif.-based venture-capital and private-equity firm, for $116 million.

The acquisition comes less than a year after Penguin launched its own self-publishing platform, Book Country, and at a time when self-publishing firms are jockeying for favor with authors by offering new features and lower prices. A company statement about the acquisition did not mention Book Country.

PreK-12 Market Sees Growth in Digital Courseware While Textbook Evolution Awaits: Simba Information
July 10, 2012

STAMFORD, CT--(Marketwire - Jul 9, 2012) -  Awaiting the implementation of Common Core State Standards and a turnaround in the economy, the PreK-12 publishing market is in a transitory period: experiencing strong growth in digital courseware while other key segments hold steady, decline or prepare to evolve. According to a recent report by publishing forecast firm Simba Information, the PreK-12 market will post a strong compound annual growth rate of 8.8% through 2015 for digital courseware, while textbooks prepare for a major shift. 

The DOJ Steps In (Or is it: The DOJ Steps In "It"?)
June 25, 2012

As we all know, in April the Department of Justice accused Apple and five of the largest publishers with conspiring to raise ebook prices. I chose not to voice my opinion at that point because my immediate reaction was, "Yikes! How much did Jeff Bezos of Amazon promise to contribute to the Obama re-election campaign?"

It seemed wiser to wait a bit, get more input and put together a more reasoned response.

So what do I, your humble blogger, think now? This is is a bad lawsuit. It will do far more harm than good. Here's why.

Why Apple needs to settle its e-book suits
May 23, 2012

A group of attorneys general from 29 states filed documents last week, which included charts illustrating the many phone calls made between CEOs of the top publishing companies as Apple prepared to launch the iBookstore. Apple and the publishers are accused of conspiring to fix e-book prices. (Credit: Screen shot Greg Sandoval/CNET) commentary has outmaneuvered Apple in the e-books sector. Nowhere was this made more apparent than in court documents released last week. In antitrust lawsuits filed by the U.S. Department of Justice and others, Apple stands accused of conspiring with five of the six largest U.S. book

Pearson's Plug & Play Platform Supported by Apigee Enterprise
May 10, 2012

Apigee, the API company, today announced that Pearson -- the world's leading learning company -- runs its Plug & Play developer platform on the Apigee Enterprise API management platform. Launched last September, the Pearson Plug & Play initiative delivers APIs (application programming interfaces) that provide developers with access to award-winning Pearson content for exploring, testing and integrating into innovative applications.

Global Ebook Outsourcing: A Primer
May 1, 2012

While only the most severe of futurists predict print's total demise, most publishers have accepted that digital products need to be a slice of their revenue mix, and a growing slice at that.

Yet it's one thing to recognize that change must happen; it's quite another to enact that change, especially when you can't exactly hit pause on your business while you reconfigure your workflow, to say nothing of tackling that massive backlist.

That's why many publishers are turning to the wide world of service providers who make it their business to help publishers solve digital content and digital transition issues.