Ebook sales spur Bloomsbury Publishing
Sales of ebooks leapt 70pc at Bloomsbury, offsetting a fall in print sales, with best sellers such as Heston Blumenthal’s ‘Heston at Home’ boosting the publishing house.
Publishing house, Bloomsbury, pointed to a “seismic shift” in the book industry, revealing that ebook sales had jumped 70pc year-on-year in the three months through May.
Bloomsbury on Wednesday said that the sharp leap in ebook sales had helped offset a 2pc decline in print sales during the same period. In a further sign of the rapid advance of ebooks, Bloomsbury added that the Association of American Publishers had reported that during the first quarter of the year, ebook sales had exceeded hardback sales.
“Ebook sales continue to grow at a rapid rate and we are well placed to take advantage of this seismic shift in the book publishing industry. Despite the economic headwinds we are confident that we have the right strategy in place as well as a very strong list of authors for
Fifty Shades Of Grey soars to top of sales charts after shifting 660,000 copies in a week
Fifty Shades Of Grey has passed a new milestone to become the biggest-selling British novel for adult audiences.
Sales of the book – which shifted another 660,000-plus copies last week – overtook Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-time, as a movie version came a step closer.
Producers of Oscar-winning The Social Network have been announced as the team who will bring the film version of the erotic tale to the screen.
Fifty Shades – the first of a trilogy of steamy tales, dubbed “mummy porn”, by author EL James – has become a literary phenomenon.
In the past week it sold 664,478 copies in paperback, bringing its total to 2.3 million since it was published in April, according to Nielsen BookScan which tracks industry data.
In the past few days it surpassed Curious Incident, which has sold 2,160,000, and is now the 14th biggest seller since accurate records began in 1998.
Publishers’ Online Headache
With tablets come opportunity, but also online piracy.
With mobile devices, magazines have more ways than ever to distribute their content—and more ways of getting ripped off.
Like the music and movie businesses before them, magazines are getting their own taste of piracy with the spread of tablets and handheld mobile devices. It’s easy for thieves to digitally swipe magazine issues and post to BitTorrent sites.
Publishers say piracy is concentrated overseas where no sooner do they get a site shut down than another one pops up in its place. And with all the focus on distributing their content as widely as possible, they don’t really know the scope of the problem or what it’s costing them in lost sales.
“[It’s] a real problem for the future as we get a lot more of these devices out there and it becomes harder to police it,” said Declan Moore, president of publishing and digital media for the National Geographic Society. “There is a general concern that, among the younger generation, there is a disregard for intellectual property.”
With just a few keystrokes, he found an online search engine offering a full year’s worth of interactive Nat Geos (as well as what appeared to be a liberal selection of soft porn). “That’s not authorized, I’m pretty sure,” he said.
Dan Lagani, president of Reader’s Digest North America, said the pirated editions of Reader’s Digest that he sees tend to be lower-resolution and lack the interactivity that the magazine has built into its iPad, Kindle Fire and Nook versions. “It’s not the same consumer experience.”
Publishers Must Adapt (Or Die)
If there’s one book I’d love to force everyone in the publishing industry — the media and music industries too — to read, it’s Adapt, by Tim Harford. One of the best non-fiction books I’ve read in years, Adapt looks at how complex problems can’t be solved by relying on expert opinion, but must be tackled using trial and error. Not just a ‘fling mud at the wall and see what sticks’ kind of trial and error, though, but something smarter, where failure is survivable and success recognisable.
In the journalism world, which is further down the road to destruction than book publishing, we see many examples of organisations that focus solely on radical cost containment as their attempt to balance teetering books. But when you look for radical innovation in editorial products and business models, well, that’s rare as hen’s teeth. In the music industry, innovation from the major players is largely absent. Instead, it’s the plucky start-ups and tech giants who have spotted new gaps in the market and figured out how to exploit them.
So, whence the book publishing industry?
Author Penelope Trunk Takes Advance Then Leaves to Self-Publish Because Publisher Didn’t Know Online Marketing
Author Penelope Trunk got a big advance from a big publisher and then after determining that the publisher was “incompetent” when it came to online marketing, she decided to take the money and run — that is, self-publish.
Trunk revealed this and more in a fiery blog post yesterday in which she recounted multiple meetings with the publishers’ publicity and marketing departments. The climax of her story comes when the head of marketing threatens not to publish her book and she responds, “Great. Because I think you are incompetent. And also, you have already paid me. It’s a great deal for me.”
She won’t tell who the publisher is, but her first book, Brazen Careerist: The New Rules for Success was published by Warren Business Books and, according to book-deal-tracking site Publishers Marketplace, the last book she sold was to Random House in 2007. In her blog post, she says she sold her most recent book, The New American Dream: A Blueprint for a New Path to Success, the subject of the post, to “a mainstream publisher” two years ago.
Warner has since been sold to Hachette Book Group and its name has been changed to Grand Central Publishing. Digital Book Wire has reached out to both Random House and Hachette to confirm whether one of those companies is the publisher in question; this story will be updated as we learn more information.
Hands on: Next Issue all-you-can-read magazine iPad app
We’re all very familiar with the concept of All You Can Eat, from the artery-clogging Vegas buffet to the less-literal digital equivalents such as Netflix for TV shows/movies, the various digital music subscription services, and even Audiobooks.com for audiobooks.
In April, Next Issue Media launched with a similar idea for magazines. Pay a monthly fee and get access to a bunch of digital magazines from Conde Nast, Hearst, Meredith, News Corp., and Time Inc. The problem? It was only available for some Android tablets. As of Tuesday, iPad users get to join in the fun with a catalog of nearly 40 magazines, and the promise of more to come. (See the complete list at the end of this story.)
As an avid reader of magazines on the iPad—I subscribe to several through Apple’s Newsstand, with individual apps, and via Zinio—I was excited to get a chance to play with the iPad version of Next Issue prior to its release.