ePublishing Week in Brief – September 30th to October 4th, 2013
Ebooks gone global: Report suggests less resistance, more legal sales and importance of Apple
A new report on global ebook sales suggests that as the ebook market matures in the U.S. and U.K., other countries are starting to pick up the slack.
The growth of the ebook market outside the U.S. and U.K. has been slow — but 2013 may be a turning point, according to a new report on the global ebook market (PDF) from consultant Rüdiger Wischenbart. The latest edition of Wischenbart’s annual report finds ebooks “transcending their initial niche in a number of countries in continental Europe” — but the transition looks different in emerging markets like China, Russia, India and Brazil. And interestingly, in some developing countries it appears that Apple, not Amazon, is the lead player in ebook sales.
The report takes a stab at providing ebook penetration by country, relying largely on pulling data together from previously published reports by other sources like PwC and regional publishing organizations. And Wischenbart notes that it’s very challenging to get apples-to-apples data:
Scribd moves beyond document sharing with $8.99/month ebook subscription service
On Tuesday, Scribd officially launched its new ebook subscription service, which offers all-you-can-read access for $8.99 a month. The service includes a broad partnership with ‘Big 5′ publisher HarperCollins.
There must be something in the water: Just under a month after startup Oysterlaunched a Netflix-like subscription service for ebooks, the six-year-old document sharing site Scribd officially rolled out its own ebook subscription service on Tuesday. Overall, the service is a strong contender in this emerging space, and if you’re trying to choose between Scribd and Oyster, you’ll have to consider selection, design and platform — more on each of those below.
Scribd’s service — which is just called “Scribd” — actually soft-launched with participation from some small publishers this past January, but the hook for Tuesday’s announcement is that Scribd has secured the bulk of “Big 5″ publisher HarperCollins’ catalog for its service. The company won’t share how many titles it has in total, but says it has books from over 30 publishers, including “thousands” of bestsellers. Besides HarperCollins, participating publishers include Workman, Kensington, Sourcebooks, RosettaBooks and E-Reads, among others. Users can subscribe for $8.99 a month or can buy ebooks individually. They can also try the service free for a month.
Apple patents technology that will allow authors to sign ebooks
Digital reading is poised to get a little more personal with the news that Apple is planning a system to allow authors to sign ebooks. A patent was filed on September 26, which would allow authors to use an app to place their signatures on a new page in the front of readers’ ebooks. The signatures would be authenticated either with embedded certificates or with photographic proof—say, of the author and reader—which could be placed next to the signature.
The news was reported by Patently Apple, a site that primarily follows the development of new Apple technologies. Apple’s plans echo the websiteAuthorgraph, which launched in 2011 as Kindlegraph, and encourages readers to petition authors for a digital signature to be added as a new page in their ebooks.
Apple’s patent goes a step further by creating interactivity zones, so that certain signatures can only be obtained by meeting an author in person at a reading or signing event. It also places an emphasis on personalization, with an indication that readers may be able to design their own versions of the autograph page.
Christian Self-Publishing Advances with New Collaboration
A new partnership involving four established companies in Christian publishing will offer authors a variety of services, ranging from editing to distribution.
The new company, 1Source, is a collaborative effort including Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild, Believers Press, Bethany Press, and Anchor Distributors. It has already signed novelists Brandilyn Collins and Bill Myers. Myers has sold more than 8 million books and Collins is writing her 28th book. Their new books will appear as part of 1Source’s Jerry B. Jenkins Select Line in spring 2014.
BookBaby Releases Free Guide: eBooks for Fundraising
Indie publishing powerhouse announces its step-by-step guide for using eBooks to raise funds for schools, clubs and organizations.
PORTLAND, Ore., Oct. 2, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — BookBaby announces the release of its latest guide entitled eBook Fundraising, targeted towards schools, clubs, civic organizations and other groups needing new, innovative fundraising ideas. The free comprehensive step-by-step guide is available for download now at http://www.bookbaby.com/fundraising.
Student lands six-figure publishing deal
A former Lancashire student has landed a six-figure deal for her debut novel about a tragedy-stricken Mormon family.
Literary star and Edge Hill University alumnus Carys Bray has signed with Hutchinson publishing director Jocasta Hamilton for her book ‘Here We Are Together’, about a Lancashire Morman family whose world is shattered when the youngest daughter, Issy, dies. Carys completed the novel as part of a PhD in Creative Writing at Edge Hill and couldn’t believe it when she got the call.
She said: “Forty-eight hours after she sent my novel out on submission, my agent telephoned me at home and said, ‘You need to sit down’. No one has ever said that to me before. When I heard the news, I reached for my mobile to text my husband but I couldn’t form the words because my thumb was shaking so much. My children appeared and as soon as they realised what was happening they ran around the house cheering.”
She added: “I’m delighted that my novel has been selected by a publisher with such an impressive list. Hutchinson and Windmill publish some wonderful writers and their books are objects of beauty. It was a real pleasure to meet Jocasta and hear her talk so enthusiastically about the novel and I can’t wait to work with her.”
Four Things Trade Publishers Can Learn From STM Publishers
Unlike other media businesses, trade publishing was insulated from the ravages of digital distribution of content until a distribution system arose that could disrupt traditional channels. But in the six years since Amazon’s Kindle hit the scene, trade publishers have transformed their revenues, staffs and workflows to represent the new ebook reality of the industry.
STM publishers (that is, scientific, technical and medical publishers), however, have been dealing with digital distribution for decades, having to service its early-adopting, technology-friendly audience as early as the 80s and 90s.
As a result, STM publishers have learned a lot about digital adoption and workflows. Here are four things trade publishers can learn from STM publishers*:
Filed under: ePublishing - The week in Brief · Tags: publishing industry news