One of the more common complaints of those who have held out against eBooks thus far is the comparative difficulty (and subsequent lack of charm) of presenting a book as a gift digitally rather than physically. Gift an eBook, however, launched this past week, is a venture that aims to level the playing field between the two. Continue Reading →
Clearly feeling threatened by others edging in on its whole ‘selling books at unsustainably low prices’ thing, Amazon has started to price-match Sainsbury’s October e-book promotion, which sees the supermarket selling a shifting variety of popular titles digitally for 99p each. The promotion, which began last week, features a selection of one day only special offers that changes every weekday, alongside a stock of dozens of other titles that will remain at the reduced price for the whole month. Yesterday’s (October 9th) daily titles included David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas, Sarah Winman’s When God Was A Rabbit and John Banville’s Booker-winning The Sea, all of which were subsequently brought down to 99p on Amazon too. The title with the largest discount was Bridget Asher’s The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted, down £6 from its usual Sainsbury’s retail price of £6.99. Continue Reading →
‘I do not like my books in print
I do not like having to squint
I only read my books on Kindle
Anything else seems like a swindle’
…might be the weird Green Eggs and Ham-influenced manner in which a particularly bright yet techno-snobbish child would care to tell the world that it had not yet been exposed to the iconic works of Dr. Seuss due to their only being available in print and not digitally. Although in that case, if it hadn’t actually read the book, how would it be able to make a reference like that? Let’s not think too deeply about this. The point is, as of this month, Random House will be filling a void in that delightfully uppity child’s life, with the first batch of a planned 41 digital releases from the erstwhile Theodor Geisel’s bibliography. Continue Reading →
The phrase can’t see the wood for the trees is most often used in a reflective situation framed by the word ‘I didn’t, or ‘we couldn’t’, rather than ‘we can’t’ or ‘we don’t’, because it’s generally only after we mess something up beyond repair that we realise we were focussing on a small and perhaps unimportant element of a larger whole the entire time.
It’s difficult in publishing, perhaps, to identify what constitutes the wood and what are the trees. Bookshops, authors, readers: all these avenues vie for the top tier of our attention, and at different points someone is always willing to tell us which of them are the most important to our business and how. But when I think back to why I got into publishing in the first place, the thing that remains are the stories. Continue Reading →
I do love a good first. The first t-shirt day of the summer; the first beer on a night out; the first time you wear a new hoodie. Last week saw the announcement of the first digital-only literary list in the UK, Blackfriars from Little, Brown. The list promises to curate 9 to 12 titles a year from new or established authors, and is launching in June. Now there’s a first to get out of bed for. Continue Reading →
In the last two years, a lot of publishers have been buying into self-published ebook successes in a big way. There’s the Amanda Hocking trilogy, John Locke (the first man to really “crack” the KDP system and sell one million kindle ebooks), 50 Shades of Grey, and, quite recently, Wool by Hugh Cowey to name a few of the main deals. Some of these have earned seven-figure advances, something debut authors would only dream of. But are they worth it? Continue Reading →
A few weeks ago Eric Huang kindly answered some questions about his role at Penguin and how they are working and collaborating with new companies to strengthen their offer as a publisher.
There is no doubt that Penguin is going through an interesting transition, attempting to re-define and break the mold, while bringing content to their audiences in new ways and with new people… Continue Reading →
Last week saw the release of a new Kobo range, and (not to be outdone) the yearly release of the new Kindle line. Despite Bezos’ insistence that he doesn’t need his customers on the ‘upgrade treadmill’, Amazon released an upgrade to pretty much every single one of their devices, including two new Kindle Fire tablets and the predicted backlit eInk reader. So, as readers, what are we looking at for Christmas this year?
A recent report from the The Consortium for School Networking in America has highlighted that schools should be allowing their students to bring their own technology to the classroom, rather than just for use at break times. Whilst this is economically viable for schools it does pose a few problems, not only for the parents who will need to be buying this technology for their kids, but for educational Publishers. It essentially means that every title will need to work seamlessly across all devices. This is a big headache for educational publishers, who are creating digital components for their courses. Continue Reading →
Last week there was a bit of a furore in the publishing world after a Guardian journalist Ewan Morrison slated social media promotion by self published authors, basically saying that as a promotional tool Twitter and Facebook etc were overrated and authors should focus on writing books, probably. I know that was a rabid paraphrase, but do go read the article if you want specifics because it’s interesting and incendiary, which are two of the best things an article can be. Continue Reading →
Last week, after my observation that Waterstones is not in a better position to offer bundling now than it was last year, I had a brief debate on Twitter about pros and cons of bundling print and digital during which someone (oh so rightly) asked the question: ‘do customers even want an eBook version of the printed novel they just bought?’ This led to a couple of posts, and Sam Missingham brought out some numbers over on the Futurebook blog from a survey done with 4,000 customers 9 months ago. Here’s a summary:
Thursday, 24th May 2012 (London)
Guest of Honour: Richard Mollet, Chief Executive, The Publishers Association
This seminar will offer a timely opportunity to consider the current and future challenges posed by structural change in the publishing industry emanating from the increased popularity of the eBook, declining sales of physical books and the rise of supermarket retailing. Timed to follow the consultation on Public Lending Rights from library loans and the coming changes to copyright law following the Hargreaves Review, it will address emerging issues concerning the future of book revenues in an already pressured market.
Delegates will assess future trends in book retailing, with planned sessions exploring the maturing eBook market, the growth of the tablet and mobile internet, and how they will affect the future of the eReader. The agenda includes discussion of the effect of reduced sales on publishers and authors, as well as high street, independent and online booksellers, and the future role of the book shop as retailers choose new, diverse models for book promotion, discounting and improving customer experience.
For more details or to book click here.
I’m not going to lie – I’ve always thought audio books were lame as hell. The disappointing nephew of the hardback; the ugly duckling of the literary landscape. They bring back memories of long car rides to boring towns when my mum would put on a tape of some Victorian period drama read by an artist’s rendering of Jane Austen. Invariably I would hear half of it and then miss some and then hear some more of it and the leaps in narrative would piss me off and the English accent would clash with the Australian landscape, and the cases for the tapes were ugly and would get under my feet – a car accident waiting to happen. Continue Reading →
Meanwhile, it’s been argued that the Apple Antitrust Suit Would Aid Amazon Book Monopoly.
On the self-publishing front, there’s talk of The Rise of Indie Authors and How This Helps Publishing and Why You Could Be the Next Stephen King, but here’s 5 Mistakes To Avoid When Requesting A Book Review.
Meanwhile, on the mainstream route, What Is an Author’s Marketing Responsibility With a Traditional Publisher?
And finally, once you’ve had a play around with the ‘Cranberry’ launch of Jellybooks – Discovering, Sharing and group buying ebooks, and checked out The Books That Read You, here 19 Musicians Share What Books They’re Currently Reading.
Welcome to the world of Inanimate Alice, a truly digital novel that has taken the educational world by storm. The idea for Alice first came about in 2003 and the team (Ian Harper, Chris Joseph and award winning author Kate Pullinger) published the first episode in 2005. The story is told by Alice through 10 episodes. Each adventure looks back through her childhood & into her early twenties, a bildungsroman.
The plot for the series uses Alice’s increasing interest and competency in game development to exemplify her transition from childhood to early womanhood. The first four episodes have been completed, the fifth is being released this year and the final five are still in development. With a team of creators fostering its relationship with its readers across the world, this is a novel on an epic scale. Continue Reading →
Here’s a lesson in how to sink an already flooded market: create a piece of software where publishing is as easy as clicking a button, and promote a culture where it is commonly accepted that writing a novel is as simple as putting down whatever comes into your head. Inflate your life jackets now, guys, because we’re there. Continue Reading →
A mighty impressive tale of starting out as an online publisher – Clare Hey, founder of Shortfire Press shares her experience… what do you think?
Whenever I admit to being one of those digital-publishing-type-people, I’m usually told there’s two crucial things I’ve overlooked: