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ePublish a Book » ePublishing - The week in Brief » ePublishing Week in Brief – November 4th to 8th, 2013

ePublishing Week in Brief – November 4th to 8th, 2013

ePublishing NewsePublishing Week in Brief – November 4th to 8th, 2013


Ebooks and discounts drive 98 publishers out of business

Number of closures is 42% up on last year, as digital books and huge pressure on margins push companies over the brink.
Bleak picture for books business … Closed sign. Photograph: CBsigns / Alamy

Ninety-eight UK publishers went out of business during the past year, 42% more than the year before, figures which reflect an ongoing squeeze on publishers’ profit margins driven by deep retail discounts and new digital business models.

They include Enid Blyton’s publisher from the 1930s to the 1960s, Evans Brothers, and Panos London, a publisher of international health titles, which closed in April after 26 years.

The majority of the publisher insolvencies related to book businesses, but the figure, compiled by accountancy firm Wilkins Kennedy from Companies House reports for the 12 months ending August 31 2013, also comprises publishers of newspapers, journals, periodicals and directories.

Wilkins Kennedy partner Anthony Cork pointed to a clutch of reasons why publishers’ traditional business models were so fragile: discounting, the growth of the ebook market, digital piracy, the growth of the secondhand book market, and the scrapping of the Net Book Agreementin 1997.

Traditional publishers seek copyright protection

With rapid development of internet technologies, traditional publishers are vying to get into the digital publishing business to keep their competitiveness. But the same technology has also made this industry vulnerable to various sorts of copyright theft. CCTV reporter Liu Xinqing visited a publisher in such a transition from traditional to digital, to see how it is trying to take the digital wave to get ahead of others.

It used to be that content was the only thing that matters to readers. But in this digital world, it is not only what they read, but also how they read it makes the difference. Publishers around the world are transforming themselves to meet the increasing demand in digital reading.

“Digital publishing is a path that traditional publishers must tread. It is not a matter of choice, those who do not go digital will go out of business,” Yao Wenrui, President of Shandong Friendship Publishing House, said.

But the road is not always easy.

The digital publishing platform takes much investment to build. And transforming paper books into digital ones will put the publishers and writers at greater risks of copyright theft.

Self Publishing Gains Momentum as Divide Between Print and Digital Book Consumption Widens: Simba Information Report


Paperback print books have about three times as many buyers as digital books. But with self publishing, the rush to digital is much faster, according to the latest report by Simba Information.

Simba Information, a media and market research firm which created The iPad and Its Owner, Trade Electronic Book Publishing and other intelligence products, has released a new report: “The Rise and Impact of Self Publishing,” which details the journey self publishing has taken over the last few years—and shows compelling data on who is actually buying self published books and in what format.

In a 2013 nationally representative survey of 2,000 adults, Simba found about 8.4% of adults had purchased at least one print self-published book, while close to 6% purchased digital. The figures are significant as the divide between print and digital book consumption across the board is much greater; according to “Trade Electronic Book Publishing 2013,” paperback print books have about three times as many buyers as digital books. But with self publishing, the rush to digital is much faster.

Turkish publishing industry on the rise, says chairman

The 32nd International Istanbul Book Fair converges book publishers from around the world. The Federation of Professional Associations of Publishers’ (YAYFED) Chairman, Bayram Murat, says the sector in Turkey is thriving, with figures increasing

Turks read an average of 7.5-8 books per year and Turkey is 13th globally by way of gross revenue gained from the book publishing sector. AA photo

Turk read an average of 7.5-8 books per year, according to the Federation of Professional Associations of Publishers (YAYFED) Chairman Bayram Murat, who always ensures his attendance as a speaker at the annual Istanbul Book Fair.

Turkey is 13th globally by way of gross revenue gained from the book publishing sector, he said, adding that each year these figures remain constant. Murat also said this year they are expecting that the TÜYAP Book Fair to be better than former years.

Noting that first two days of the fair experienced an increase in visitor numbers compared to last year, Murat said the rise equated to about a 20 percent increase, a positive indicator of the industry’s future in Turkey. “We do not know how this will evolve within 9 days. But we can say that this year will be very positive in terms of visitor attraction.”

McSweeney’s Publishing House Launches Crowdfunding Campaign for $15. Yup. For $15.

Aim low and you virtually guarantee success. And if you aim really, really low, then you can orchestrate a reason to bust out the champagne without having achieved much of anything at all.

So it is with the crowdfunding campaign run by publishing house McSweeney’s. For its 15th birthday, the San Francisco-based literary quarterly founded by Dave Eggers has kicked off a crowdfunding campaign to raise $15. Eggers is most famous for his best-selling memoir A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.

McSweeney’s goal is to run the most successful crowdfunding campaign ever. Percentage wise, that is.

Crowdfunding, the increasingly popular method of raising money, solicits small sums from a large number of people. One of the most popular metrics used to measure crowdfunding campaigns on the likes of Kickstarter and Indiegogo is not only how much money a campaign has raised, but also what percentage that represents of the original goal.

Court delays trial into publisher over French author Apollinaire’s book

IA local court postponed its ruling in the case re-launched against a Turkish publisher, who has been tried for publishing and translating the book “The Exploits of a Young Don Juan” written by French poet Guillaume Apollinaire.
The Istanbul court delayed the hearing to Dec. 17, awaiting the translation of an earlier European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) decision regarding the suit.

Sel Publishing Chief Editor İrfan Sancı and his translator İsmail Yerguz was acquitted of the charges of “intermediating publishing of vulgar publications” made against them in 2010, but the Supreme Court of appeals was reversed the acquittal verdict, demanding retrial of the case.

Then-quashed acquittal decision has said the book was literary work, citing expert reports.

Edinburgh University Press buys Dundee’s publishing arm

Edinburgh University Press has bought Dundee University Press for an undisclosed sum.

The university said that it had made the purchase in order to grow its academic publishing business and consolidate its position “as the leading academic publisher in Scotland”.

Dundee’s press was launched in 2004 and had published books on law, history and general interest topics.

Timothy Wright, the Edinburgh University Press chief executive, said that Dundee’s output “complements our own and will underpin our commissioning particularly in the area of law”.

“They also have a focused and excellent list in Scottish history which will sit well with our books in this field. There are numerous opportunities for us to grow the list – particularly in the textbook and digital areas,” he added in a statement.

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