Canada’s Shelfie Partners with Germany’s De Gruyter in Ebook Bundling

Shelfie (formerly BitLit) is a free mobile application that connects readers to their books. The company is considered among the most doggedly successful of the publishing-sector startups, now partnering with more than 1,200 publishers. Shelfie currently boasts more than 450,000 titles and 24,000 audiobook titles available through the app.

The reason the app is called Shelfie is that it allows readers to digitize their print library by taking a photo of a bookshelf (a “shelfie”) and upload it to the system. Readers then can identify a list of books available free of charge or at a discount, and are able to download an ebook or audiobook simply by snapping a photo of their book’s copyright page marked with a bookplate or their handwritten name.

Source: Canada’s Shelfie Partners with Germany’s De Gruyter in Ebook Bundling

A Breakthrough for Library E-Books?

In July, the New York Public Library rolled out its much-anticipated e-book app, SimplyE, which seeks to solve a problem that has plagued library e-book users by reducing the once-cumbersome process of checking out library e-books to three clicks or fewer. Make no mistake, the app represents a major step forward for library e-book lending.

The app comes after years of complaints from library e-book users forced to wrestle with clunky interfaces and processes for e-book lending, all powered by a growing array of vendors. Anyone remember the Tools of Change conference in 2011, when librarian Katie Dunneback famously demonstrated the 21 steps a library patron needed to navigate before being able to access a library e-book? The SimplyE app now puts all of that aside, providing users one simple interface for all ePub-based library e-books, regardless of vendor (such as OverDrive, Bibliotecha, and Baker & Taylor).

Source: A Breakthrough for Library E-Books?

The Fastest-Growing Format in Publishing: Audiobooks 

Audible has been making audiobooks more visible to potential customers. It is providing audio clips for Amazon.com as well as Amazon’s book-recommendation site, Goodreads. Amazon also is more prominently featuring Audible’s Whispersync for Voice option, which allows e-book readers to toggle back and forth between an e-book and a discounted audiobook version. (Using this technology, someone could, for example, read a few chapters on the train home and then switch on the audiobook while cooking dinner.)

Whispersync sales were up nearly 60% in 2015 compared with the previous year—a reflection of both its increased visibility and an uptick in available titles to around 100,000, according to Audible.

Source: The Fastest-Growing Format in Publishing: Audiobooks – WSJ

Apple Dusts Off its Ebooks Playbook for Music

Library_of_Congress_(1)It’s hard to tell whether Apple is simply trolling Spotify with its pitch to the Copyright Royalty Board to adopt a fixed, per-use royalty rate for songwriting rights on streaming services in place or the current revenue-based formula, or whether it’s a serious proposal. But if it’s the latter, the CRB should at least consider the source before adopting it.

As E-book Sales Decline, Digital Fatigue Grows

The Codex Group’s April 2016 survey of 4,992 book buyers found that e-book units purchased as a share of total books purchased fell from 35.9% in April 2015 to 32.4% in April 2016.

In light of the April study results, Codex president Peter Hildick-Smith believes that the book industry’s experience with digital sales differs from that of music and video because of two factors. First, electronic devices are optional for reading books (unlike for listening to music or watching video), and the current range of e-book reading devices—including smartphones, tablets, and dedicated e-readers—has not delivered the quality long-form reading experience needed to supplant print, even with e-books’ major price and convenience advantages. Second, Hildick-Smith said, a new consumer phenomenon, “digital fatigue,” is beginning to emerge.

Source: As E-book Sales Decline, Digital Fatigue Grows

Self-published authors have found a way to actually make money

screenshot-qz.com 2016-06-08 16-13-50As the power of the “Big Five” publishers (Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Random House, and Simon & Schuster) in the US ebook market wanes, self-publishing authors have overtaken them in terms of unit sales.

And though Author Earnings shows that in terms of gross dollars made off ebooks, Big Five publishers do better than self-published authors, the site also shows that as a group, self-published authors are taking home more of the pie than those who publish with the Big Five.

Source: Self-published authors have found a way to actually make money — Quartz

Macmillan Buys Self-Publishing Platform Pronoun

ebook_buttonPronoun offered its suite of publishing services to authors at no cost, giving them a 100% royalty on their e-book sales. From the beginning, Brody has positioned Pronoun as an entrepreneurial platform aimed at empowering individual authors with a variety of digital tools and data on e-book sales and the book marketplace.

Brody said that Pronoun’s platform will continue to be offered for free to individual authors and that the service will also continue to “pay royalties on Pronoun’s existing payment schedule.” Pronoun authors will also retain, Brody said, “creative and financial control” of the books they publish through the platform.

Source: Macmillan Buys Self-Publishing Platform Pronoun

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