French ebook store Numilog rolls out pay-per-page reading for consumers. Will it be vulnerable to the problems that Kindle Unlimited faces?

The French ebook and audio store Numilog has been focused primarily, although not exclusively, on academic and reference books, which can be expensive to buy and often are not read end to end. That can be a deterrent to buying, unless you really need to, and so Numilog has rolled out a new consumption model Read More …

Digital serial books subscription service Serial Box raises $4.5 million. Partners with Marvel. But still we’ll be told people are reading less

Founded in 2015 by former Penguin Random House global digital director Molly Barton and co-founder Julian Yap, Serial Box is just one more example in a never ending list of digital operators that are stealing readers from mainstream bookstores and online stores, creating the fallacy that people are reading less. Serial Box is a clever play on Read More …

US e-textbook subscription service Cengage hits 1 million subscribers in just 7 months

2019 is definitely shaping up to be the year digital subscription comes of age. Hard on the heels of Scribd announcing its one millionth subscriber – Scribd defies its critics. Hits 1 million subscribers , and with Storytel on target to clear a million subscribers by end 2019 – Storytel Q4 report: Subscribers up 44% Read More …

Storytel prepares Germany launch, consolidating subscription as a serious challenger to the traditional publishing model

It all seemed so implausible at the start of this decade. Ebooks had officially arrived, thanks to Amazon’s Kindle store breathing life into a format that had been around since long before. But it was just a digital extension of the status quo retail model. It was printed books on a screen, not remotely exploring digital’s Read More …

Storytel Q4 report: Subscribers up 44% Y/Y. Streaming sales up 38%. Targets 1.1 million subscribers by end 2019

We won’t know the full story for Storytel 2018 until April, but the Q4 results are out and include an overview of the year, and a clear picture is emerging of consistent and sustainable growth, driven by digital. As I’ll explore in a follow-up report on the Swedish book market, what we are seeing in Read More …

‘Jessica Jones,’ ‘Punisher’ Canceled. Netflix led the streaming surge and now pays the price as suppliers copy the Netflix model and content is siloed

“Jessica Jones, Punisher Canceled as Netflix Completes Marvel Purge” runs the headline in The Hollywood Reporter, but it’s not so much a purge as the inevitable consequence of the direction video streaming is taking. And publishing is not so far behind. Original content is of course a great draw for consumers, to a degree. But Read More …

Storytel partners with airline and ups its reading game with Ztory buy out. Spotify gets into podcasts. Others discuss digital fatigue

It sometimes seems like the US book market and the rest of the world are on different planets. “Capitalizing on Book Publishing Trends in 2019” is the title of a free webinair from Book Business later this month. I did think about signing up, but when they wanted my address and telephone number as compulsory Read More …

Scribd defies its critics. Hits 1 million subscribers

It all seemed so improbable just a few years ago, when many believed Scribd would follow Oyster into oblivion as Amazon moved into the ebook subscription game. And then of course there’s all that nonsense about how people are reading less nowadays and how the digital reading fad has faded and how… By the logic Read More …

Storytel launches in Bulgaria – 15th market. Storytel international site links drops from 30 to 17 countries

The official press release doesn’t tell us much, but Storytel Bulgaria is now officially Storytel’s 15th market, fifteen months after Storytel acquired the Bulgarian audiobook firm D&D Factory. No numbers for Bulgarian content, but what there is will be available alongside Storytel’s 50,000 English-language titles. UPDATE: Storytel Bulgaria launches with 300 titles in Bulgarian. Stefan Read More …

Storytel confirms Bulgaria launch for 2018. At least six new markets in 2019 (inc. Brazil and Singapore). Mofibo ebooks to come under Storytel brand

Although we don’t have the date yet, it’s now official that Storytel will be launching in Bulgaria this year, and as there’s only this month to go it now seems certain Storytel Bulgaria will formally be announced in the Bulgarian capital at the Sofia Literary Festival (11-16 December), running in tandem with the Sofia International Read More …

In the fight against Storytel, Denmark’s JP/Politikens Hus acquires Danish online bookshop Saxo.com

The acquisition, subject to regulatory authority approval, of Denmark’s largest online bookstore Saxo by minority stake-holder JP/Politikens Hus has repercussions beyond the Danish border. If the translation is accurate, Saxo’s Jørgen Balle Olesen said in a press release, I hand over the keys to JP / Politikens Hus with a mixture of pride and vodka. Fortunately, Read More …

Falling Fiction Sales -Why Is It Happening? – The Hot Sheet Reviewed – 14 November 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 (when possible) as one of the best bi-weekly 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 …

Amazon finally launches Audible in India, almost a year after Storytel. Sticks to one audiobook subscription model against Storytel’s unlimited ebooks and audio

Impossible to second-guess why this took so long – the expectation was early 2018 – but Amazon has finally launched a beta version of Audible in India, and it has stuck to its standard model despite an almost year long head start by rival Storytel. Sweden’s Storytel beats Amazon’s Audible to the India audiobook market Read More …

Plympton’s “Cli-Fi” for Amazon; what agents want in YA; PublishDrive’s new royalty model – The Hot Sheet Reviewed – 1st November 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 (when possible) as one of the best bi-weekly 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 …

Storytel to launch in Singapore in 2019

In marked contrast to Storytel’s usual approach of keeping quiet about new launches until everything is ready to go, Storytel’s Asia expansion plans are being announced well in advance. This week comes a Storytel press release confirming Storytel will be launching in Singapore in 2019, with titles in English and Chinese. This will come as no Read More …

Thalia invests in Skoobe as Storytel booms. Amazon’s KU a magnet for scammers

As I write this, HarperCollins’ CEO Charlie Redmayne is due to make a keynote speech at Frankfurt on the subscription model. Too soon to report on that, but in a preview interview over at Publishing Perspectives earlier this month Redmayne said, Ultimately, if subscription is a business model that consumers buy into, then it’s incumbent Read More …

Nextory partners with Libreka to prepare a Germany launch, competing with BookBeat and Amazon. Storytel prefers the low-hanging fruit

This is Storytel’s global reach as we start October 2018: Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Spain, India, United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Italy, with imminent launches in Bulgaria and Mexico, and a Brazil launch unconfirmed but looking likely. With the exception of Italy, none are countries where Amazon’s Audible is an active Read More …

Bonnier’s BookBeat reports 97% growth against fierce competition from Storytel. German investment next. UK still on the backburner

While US and UK publishers watch the Scandinavian experiment from a safe distance, a mixture of envy and fear in their eyes, Sweden’s BookBeat goes from strength to strength, leaving no doubt that, whatever publishers may feel about the subscription model, consumers love it. Bookbeat’s June, July and August revenue grew 97% compared to 2017, Read More …

The Week In Review

Here’s a summary of TNPS posts from the past seven days. Sao Paulo’s Avenida Paulista bookstore closes – Fnac Brazil now has just one bookstore standing Setswana? Indonesian? Can you tell the difference? Nor can Microsoft A mermaid wearing a bra among the books banned in Kuwait, but protests are gathering momentum Big Bad Wolf Read More …

Storytel’s royalty model “rigged and manipulated.” Storm brews over Storytel’s privileged agreement with Bonnier

With Storytel under increasing pressure from rival operators in the Swedish audiobook arena two things were inevitable. First, Storytel’s market share would fall. And consequent on that Storytel would need to review its royalty arrangements for its content suppliers – in this case established publishers, as Storytel does not deal direct with authors as per Read More …