The Czech Republic’s first ebook subscription service

Back in early September, before The New Publishing  Standard went live, news broke that the publisher and distributor Euromedia was looking to buy the Czech bricks and mortar bookstore chain and online book and ebook retailer Neoluxor. The move is on hold pending a review by the Czech competition authorities so I’d been waiting for Read More …

Amazon and Christian bookstores pick up the pieces after Family Christian collapse

One of the biggest surprises for me after the collapse of Borders in 2011 was the failure of Barnes & Noble to step in and grab those customers. But at the time Barnes & Noble seemed so enamoured with its Nook project that it was busy looking the other way as Amazon upped its print Read More …

Waterstone’s to be sold again?

The future of Waterstone’s (aka Waterstones sans apostrophe) is in question again as it emerges Britain’s largest book chain may be up for sale shortly. Cutting a long story short, Waterstone’s was rescued from near bankruptcy several years back by a Russian billionaire who handed day to day management to James Daunt and between the Read More …

Virtual reality books are virtually here. Will publishers seize the opportunity?

It’s perhaps a sign of the times, and of the way the centre of digital gravity is shifting in a publishing world once so easily mapped, that the world’s first virtual reality book emerged last year not from Silicone Valley or from South Korea or Japan, but from the deserts of the Middle East. As Publishing Read More …

Pakistan gets graphic to attract reluctant readers

Attracting reluctant readers to books is a worldwide problem for publishers. Comics and graphic novels are one way to bring more readers to books. That’s not their only benefit – comics and graphic novels can make you smarter in other ways, if this post on Geek and Sundry last year is to be believed. In Read More …

India surpasses US to become second largest smartphone market. Publishers should be excited

India is now officially a bigger smartphone market than the USA, and while the US is close to stagnation, with few people left who haven’t connected, India is barely out of first gear. Not for nothing do I constantly say India is the most exciting prospect on the planet for future digital engagement by the Read More …

Wattpad insights

As reported here last week, the Chinese e-commerce titan Tencent is throwing $40 million at Wattpad, at a time when Wattpad is seeing 60 million people a month use the site. Over at Publishing Perspectives today, Porter Anderson carries an interview with Wattpad’s Ashleigh Gardner which offers some statistical insights into Wattpad users. Fan-fiction (fanfic) Read More …

Bookstores at war with Kobo Plus as Dutch ebook sales rise

Earlier this month the Dutch ebook subscription service Kobo Plus, run in tandem by Rakuten Kobo and Bol.com, launched an exclusive new series by Dutch thriller writer Linda Jansma and an exclusive pre-release title from another Dutch thriller writer Willem Asman, in cooperation with the authors’ publishers. Both authors have seen considerable success with digital Read More …

Cash for Kindle ebooks – Amazon goes local down in Acapulco

It’s been more than four years since Amazon launched in Mexico in 2013 with its spearhead Kindle ebook store, branching out into physical goods in 2015. This week Amazon finally bowed to the inevitable next stage of glocalisation and started accepting cash payments to try hold its own against rival Walmex, as WalMart’s Mexico arm Read More …

World’s first digital business library launches in Singapore

When it comes to doing digital business in SE Asia, Singapore is often the first port of call, operating as a digital super-highway junction, a conduit and springboard for access to SE Asia and to south Asia countries like India. Amazon, for example, handles its India digital operations through its Singapore base. For some while Read More …

Insights from Data Guy prior to the imminent next Author Earnings Report

When the Bowker ISBN report first emerged earlier this month The Passive Voice blog ran with the story, and the usual questions were raised in comments about the validity of the conclusions. Not to question Bowker’s numbers – Bowker obviously knows how many ISBNs are bought and / or registered – but to question how much of Read More …

Ebooks grow, slowly, in France

The 4th KPMG Book Barometer is out, and offers a picture of gradual ebook development, with little indication the future will bring any emulation of the exponential growth we saw in the key Anglophone markets, the USA and UK. Seven out of ten publishers in France now offer digital, and 80% of new releases have a Read More …

Tencent’s China Literature set for billion dollar IPO

The Chinese e-commerce titan Tencent has formally launched  its IPO, with November 8 set for its Hong Kong stock exchange debut. The price is expected to hit $1.1 billion, with 151 million shares on offer globally. That’s an increase on original expectations, and suggests Tencent is ready to become far more aggressive in its engagement Read More …

Half of Belgium gets fixed-price book law

From January 1st 2018 a new fixed-price law comes into effect in the French-speaking part of Belgium, putting the region on par with France, Germany and the Netherlands in limiting the discounting options of retailers. The “other half” of Belgium is likely to follow suit in 2018. The restriction applies equally to print and ebooks Read More …

Global book market valued at $143bn

Publishing Perspectives reports today on a new global book market study project, BookMap, which estimates the global book markets to be valued at 122 billion euros – that’s $143 bn USD. With the USA accounting for just 29% of global book sales by revenue that leaves the world outside the USA totalling 71%, although the Read More …

The Hot Sheet Reviewed (second October 2017 edition)

The Hot Sheet is a publishing industry news-sheet for authors, produced every two weeks by Porter Anderson and Jane Friedman, and reviewed here every other Sunday as one of the best twice-monthly industry overviews available to authors. We’re not interested in delivering breaking news, but perspective on stories that are likely to retain meaning for your Read More …

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Analogue Publishing

The Harry Potter books have been translated into 68 languages and have sold 400 million.  Or so says Pakistan Today, reporting on the new Harry Potter exhibition in London. That number is echoed by Rowling’s publisher Scholastic, although Britain’s The Guardian earlier this year was asserting the eightieth Potter translation was under way and sales Read More …

Self-publishing news round-up 21 October 2017

Smart Author Podcasts from Smashwords Being exclusive or “going wide” Amazon acts as judge, jury and executioner Author-signings and ebooks Making end-matter maintenance easier StreetLib-OverDrive Christmas promotion Six stories from the self-publishing circuit this week. Smart Author Podcasts from Smashwords Does the world need yet another podcast on self publishing?  Mark Coker at the indie-oriented Read More …

Arabs don’t read, and other nonsense. Why the MENA market is an exciting prospect

The Second Arab Reading Challenge has just wound up. Twenty-five nations took part. Seven million students from 40,000 schools supported by 75,000 teachers. The challenge? To read fifty books a year. And in the United Arab Emirates alone 300,000 students completed the task. So much for the idea that Arabs don’t read. And yet… There’s Read More …