The New York Times
Struggling against plunging prices and a shrinking audience, book publishers think they've found a compelling vision for the future: magazines.
Today, the San Francisco-based literary startup Plympton launched an online fiction service called Rooster. It's sold by subscription. It's priced by the month. And it automatically delivers regular content to your iPhone or iPad. In other words, it's a book service that looks a lot like a magazine service. And it's just the latest example of how books are being packaged like magazines.
Tuesday, March 4th, 2014, New York, NY: Leading ebook technology company Vook today launched Author Control, a daily market intelligence dashboard that allows authors to track the sales and unit downloads of their books in Amazon, Amazon KDP, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Nook Press, Kobo Writing Life, CreateSpace, Smashwords, Google, and Samsung, and display their results in a secure, easy-to-use online and mobile-accessible dashboard. Learn more about the new service at http://vook.com.
We're thrilled to announce that Scribd now offers readers over 300,000 book titles through our subscription service! That's right - your personal digital library has now expanded to include 300k+ New York Times bestsellers, literary classics, groundbreaking non-fiction, and more. And with big numbers comes a lot of big, interesting data. So, we designed an infographic to highlight some fun facts about Scribd subscribers and their reading habits.
Today, StoriesAlive, the largest collection of children's interactive stories and creative workbooks, announced two additions to its library app available via iPad and Android tablets.
Apple (AAPL) pulled no punches in the 65-page brief it filed Tuesday, asking a higher court to overturn the controversial results of last year's e-book antitrust trial and placing blame for the outcome squarely on the shoulders of the judge who heard the case. In Apple's view, U.S. District Judge Denise Cote was not only wrong about the law when she ruled that the company orchestrated a conspiracy with publishers to fix the price of e-books, she was wrong about the facts as well.
Independent bookstores, with their paper-thin profit margins and competition from Amazon, have found themselves a Daddy Warbucks.
The best-selling author James Patterson has started a program to give away $1 million of his personal fortune to dozens of bookstores, allowing them to invest in improvements, dole out bonuses to employees and expand literacy outreach programs.
Borders is long gone, Barnes & Noble (BKS) is on the ropes, and total sales at U.S. bookstores have fallen 22% over the past five years. Is every book lover's nightmare coming true? Is the publishing industry somehow being destroyed by a combination of Amazon (AMZN) price cutting and a wave of Netflix (NFLX) watching, iPhone gaming and tweeting?
Definitely not, though you might come away with that ridiculously pessimistic view from some recent coverage trashing Amazon's role in the industry.
On the surface, it looked like business as usual at this year's Digital Book World conference in New York City earlier this week, with no groundbreaking announcements, no radical plans hatched to transform the book business as we know it. But as always, when publishers convene to discuss the state of the industry, a few ideas emerge.
Teens Not Reading for Fun
Of the news repeated over-and-over again in private conversation, it was that a recent Nielsen Books survey revealed 41% of teenagers aged 13-17 said that they do not read books for fun.
The publishing industry has been challenged by the online sales success of Amazon, the rise of eBooks, print-on-demand and most recently by self-publishing. Though the overall unit sales and book revenues for traditional publishing held up in 2012, pricing wars have accelerated. The 2013 holiday season, for example, saw bestsellers like John Grisham's Sycamore Row discounted (in eBook form) all the way down to $3.29, as Porter Anderson notes in his story on eBook pricing.
You won't see Adolf Hitler peering back at you from the featured display tables at Barnes & Noble any time soon. But browse the most popular e-book stores these days and Der Führer's mug is seemingly unavoidable. For a year now, his magnum manifesto has loomed large over current best-sellers on iTunes, where at the time of this writing two different digital versions of Mein Kampf rank 12th and 15th on the Politics & Current Events chart alongside books by modern conservative powerhouses like Sarah Palin, Charles Krauthammer and Glenn Beck.