digital

Why Huge Publishing Advances can be Huge Steps Backwards

The reality of a six figure advance is highlighted this week by the failure of Harper Collins to realise its investment in Kindle best-selling sensations Mark Edwards and Louise Voss. A lot of noise was made in 2011 as the Harper Collins joined in a desperate scrap to secure the writing talents of the duo. Sadly and not surprisingly the transition from Kindle sensations to mainstream authors did not work for either Harper Collins or Edwards and Voss.

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Adaptive, Attractive, Interactive: A New Chapter for Digital Textbooks

It sometimes seems that not a day goes by without another article on the death of the textbook. This is perhaps with good reason; the classroom of the future is one that’s connected, collaborative, and built around tablets and digital devices. That’s if it even exists physically; many point to MOOCs and virtualized learning environments as the way forward. Either way, the isolating world of the print textbook seems to be one that will soon be consigned to the dustbin.   Read more »

Rizzoli and Amazon launch BigJump, a Literary Award for unpublished Novels in Italy

Rizzoli, Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) and the Italian startup 20lines launched BigJump, the first literary contest devoted to thrillers, romance and historical novels where readers will contribute to award a prize to the  participating novels. Authors can take part in the contest for free with an unpublished or self-published novel. Registration begins ends on February 14, 2014. To learn more about the rules (in Italian language), visit www.BigJump.it. Read more »

Launching open value-added bundles in Italy (pbook+ebook)

Italian RCS Libri publishing group has just launched “110 Libri+” (literally 110 Books+), the first mass-market publishing initiative in Italy to offer value-added p+e bundles in the main online bookstores. Read more »

Of Mills and Penguins

The Readmill-Penguin deal is being touted as all sorts of things - I was asked recently to comment on the possibility that it was the first blow in Random House-Penguin’s insurgency against Amazon. (And it would be an insurgency, which actually says a lot about where we stand.) I felt uncomfortable reading the Guardian piece, not because it’s not what I said - it is, if not absolutely verbatim - but because I came across unclearly. Read more »

The second wave

What do you do when digital adoption slows? Move on.

With e-book growth officially slowing now in both the US and UK, much of the talk at the pre-Frankfurt digital shows Publishers Launch and Contec was about where to go and what next? Read more »

iOS 7: Doing it for the kids

One of the less remarked upon features of iOS 7, the new mobile operating system for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch, has been the arrival—at last!—of a Kids category for the App Store. Read more »

Will you be in the nine percent of publishers that survive?

“Across industries, only 9% of disrupted organisations ever recover,” found Clark Gilbert and Clayton M Christensen in recent research into innovation in digitally disrupted markets. Read more »

What are we selling?

At the excellent Byte the Book event in London earlier this week, Michael Bhaskar, Rebecca Smart, Richard Kilgarriff and John Bond debated the changes hitting publishing and how this affects our business models. As it so often does, the question arose of how publishers provide value to their customers or authors. To answer this question, I think that publishers need to think more carefully about what they’re really selling. Read more »

Change

It's crisis. Yes, still. When it will end? Nobody knows. Although, according to Bernard Wientjes of the Dutch labour union VNO-NCW, the crisis will end on 1 January 2016. Right… From previous crises, or attenuated variants thereof, the book world experienced little to no problems. Books are traditionally sold mostly to people who have a bit more to spend. You can at least clearly state that the largest group of book buyers is not on the lower end of the income level. Read more »

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