Think of less diversity among books. Imagine less personality among publishers. And then think of a relentless conveyor belt of books that will enforce this lack of distinction. That’s the dystopian publishing-world future imagined in the wake of last week’s Penguin-Random House merger by Boris Kachka, New York magazine’s book editor, in an Op-Ed published in Wednesday’s The New York Times.
There used to be the Big Six publishers: Simon and Schuster, HarperCollins, Random House, Macmillan, Penguin, and Hachette. After the merger, there are five. This may seem like something only publishing industry insiders would care about. But it shouldn’t be.
The biggest fear of the Penguin Random House merger is the lack of diversity inside the publishing industry, which likely will result in a lack of diversity in the books we end up reading. Here’s how that scenario comes to fruition:
Amazon continues to expand into the publishing world and will now be putting out comics for the Kindle.
SEATTLE — Online retailer Amazon.com Inc. says it will soon start publishing original comics through its new imprint, Jet City Comics.
African Publishers Make Digital Content Accessible
As publishers across the US spring up to meet the needs of digital readers, and as even more existing publishers shift their focus to ebook opportunities, readers have responded with an increase in ebook sales. On an international scale, however, some of the choices for readers and authors are far more limited.
Thanks to Africa-based ebook distribution platform Snapplify, independent publishers across the continent are more easily able to place their content in front of readers, no small task in an area where illiteracy rates still soar due to a lack of access to books, even for educational purposes.
“African publishers have successfully taken advantage of digital distribution to combat this problem; however there are still some that are lagging behind the curve,” the company stated today. “Very little African content ever makes it to the international market via traditional publishing, but digital publishing renders all size publishers equal, allowing them to compete in the digital sphere amongst some of the largest publishing houses internationally.”
Online publishing claims books supplier
The growth of electronic publishing has claimed another victim with the collapse of Australia’s biggest supplier of academic books.
Administrators from Ferrier Hodgson were appointed to Melbourne-based DA Information Services last Friday.
The 60-year-old business, which employs about 45 people, supplies books and journals to the academic, professional and library markets in Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Fiji.
Its clients include hospitals, universities, State and national libraries, theological colleges and law libraries. The company also acts as a regional representative for more than 50 US, British and European-based English language publishers.
Joint administrator John Lindholm said that while Ferrier Hodgson was still coming to grips with DA’s finances and the reasons behind the failure, the growing preference for ebooks was believed to have been a factor in the collapse.
“Hard-book sale volumes have been declining, with e-products taking a bigger slice, and I think it has been difficult to manage that transition,” Mr Lindholm said.
Traditional publishers and booksellers have been seriously squeezed by the rise of ebooks, with a number of high-profile retail book chains going under or forced to reduce store numbers.
Publishing Habits: Marketers, publishers get alternative to Vine, YouTube, Vimeo
Instagram today made its three-weeks-old videos feature embeddable, giving publishers and marketers another option to Twitter Vine, YouTube and Vimeo when it comes to making content more multimedia. In other words, anybody can now grab an Instagram video or photo and post it on their own website, app or other digital platform.
A blog post by the Facebook-owned platform provides the following instructions: “Now, when you visit an Instagram photo or video page on your desktop Web browser, you’ll see a new share button on the right side of your photo (just under the comments button). Click the button to see the embed code. Copy the block of text it gives you and paste it into your blog, website or article. When you hit publish, the photo or video will appear.”
Microsoft rumoured to be considering indie self-publishing
Microsoft has been rumoured to be reconsidering its ban on indie developers self-publishing on its consoles.
The company will apparently allow smaller publishers to release their games directly onto Xbox Live for Xbox One and Xbox 360, according to an anonymous European developer.
“The developer with a long and proven track record is currently in talks with Microsoft about self publishing on Xbox Live,” said GameReactor.
Filed under: ePublishing - The week in Brief · Tags: publishing industry news