Publishers stand to lose sales worth $46,000 per day thanks to poor search abilities of smartspeakers

For a while it seemed like smartspeakers were the new black of digital audio, driving sales ever higher. But a new study by Score Publishing suggests all is not well in the smartspeaker market, with book-related search queries at best delivering accurate results only 72.5% of the time, and the one we’d expect to do Read More …

StreetLib completes Pan-African digital footprint. Launches a publisher portal for every nation in Africa. 800m Africans online by 2025

Italy-based digital books distributor and publishing facilitator StreetLib has completed the third stage of its global roll-out, and now offers an author and publisher portal for every nation in Africa. The New Publishing Standard (TNPS) is published by StreetLib to further the debate about the global book markets. TNPS is not a StreetLib promotion tool. 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 …

Wattpad authors and readers blaze the diversity trail together with #MuslimRomance, #MuslimLoveStory, #IslamicLoveStory, #DiverseLit, #FreeTheLGBT and #Girlpower

While other publishers talk a lot about diversity and equality, and have taken steps to make it happen, Wattpad is way ahead in the diversity game. Wattpad’s 2018 Year in Review is a stunning array of statistics showing that, if diverse writing is readily available to read, the readers will jump on it. But will Read More …

Is the IPA / UN Sustainable Development Group Book Club sustainable?

In a press release today the International Publishers Association announced its collaboration with the UN’s Sustainable Development Group to create a Book Club for children’s titles that will promote the Sustainable Development Group’s goals (SDGs). The Book Club initiative will put the spotlight on books as a tool to encourage children and young people to Read More …

Publishing News Round-Up 7 May 2018

It would be impossible to try cover even a fraction of the publishing news that lands on my e-desk each day, but there’s so much happening in our industry that passes unnoticed. So here’s a selection of some of the best publishing stories from the past 48 hours or so. Apologies if some are behind Read More …

7 million users in the Philippines as Wattpad’s Tencent-backed Asia plans step up a gear

The Philippines has long been one of Wattpad’s strongholds, but this month comes news from Manila Bulletin that fully 7 million of Wattpad’s 65+ million users around the world are from that one country. After the latest $51 million round of Wattpad funding in January, with a substantial portion coming from China’s Tencent – Tencent Read More …

Kenya’s eKitabu and USA’s SIL LEAD win the Book Boost: Access To All Challenge

Improving literacy is a challenge in even the richest and most stable monolingual countries. For less-developed countries where multiple languages are the norm the challenges are that much more difficult, even in otherwise stable societies. The provision of books is of course a key part of any programme to improving literacy, but print books are Read More …

Augmented reality, educational games for science textbooks, and a Youtube channel. The Bangladesh book fair delivers more surprises

The month-long Amar Ekushey Boi Mela book festival in Dhaka is among many other things an opportunity for publishers to release new books, and every day the list of new titles has been mounting. But this past week three innovative new additions to the list came in the form of a Youtube video, a science Read More …

Juggernaut sets the pace for Indian publishing in 2018. Prepares to take on Kindle Unlimited

It’s New Year’s Day, 2018, and already India’s new year of book festivities is well underway. The eleven-day Vijayawada Book Festival starts today, January 1, warming the ground for the massive Kolkata International Book Fair at the end of the month. And in between (and overlapping) these there’s the New Delhi World Book Fair kicking Read More …

Beware the future. It’s closer than you think. AI and Publishing

Anyone who thinks AI won’t be able to write literature that’s as good as anything a human can produce within a couple of decades is deluding themselves. That was ALLi’s Dan Holloway over Christmas on the ALLi site, but I’ve deliberately kept the quote until today because it is one best suited to open the Read More …

Driverless cars open up new publishing opportunities. Renault is first to rise to the challenge

The French car manufacturer Renault has bought a 40% stake in Challenges Group, the publisher of the weekly economics magazine Challenges and four monthly science and history journals. Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn, reports Bloomberg, plans to stretch the carmaker’s suite of products to entertaining passengers in future driverless vehicles. (That means) new content specially designed Read More …

Harry Potter and the magic of Augmented Reality

Two big AR stories are making the news this week, both with consequences for the publishing industry. Apple is working on an augmented reality head-set that will likely launch in 2020 and replace the iPhone as top product, according to Bloomberg. Tim Cooke believes AR will be the next big thing. That’s AR as in augmented Read More …

The BBC gets interactive with Alexa and audio

One of the most exciting aspects of the Global New Renaissance now unfolding is how digital technology is allowing new art-forms to emerge that, far from destroying publishing, are energising and empowering the industry. Virtual reality and augmented reality are good examples. Enhanced ebooks and interactive ebooks another. Now comes interactive audiobooks. Interactive with Amazon 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 …

Tencent moves on Wattpad as Wattpad hits 60 million users. Could Nook be next?

Back in September I ran a post here on Nook’s future, speculating on the possibility Nook could be acquired by the Chinese ebook behemoth Tencent, which was actively looking for global expansion possibilities. A sentiment shared by Jane Friedman and Porter Anderson at the Hot Sheet. Nothing yet to suggest Tencent has Nook on its Read More …

OverDrive leads the way with dyslexia-friendly ebooks

What do WB Yeates, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Lynda La Plante, Jules Verne, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Agatha Christie have in common? They all endured some form of what we now call “learning disabilities,” chief among them likely dyslexia, which although first recognised in the late 1890s did not become widely accepted as a learning difficulty until Read More …

The largest purchaser of short fiction in the United States

“This American short fiction app is hoping its author quality control will attract a wide audience to its mobile story ‘bursts’”, says Molly Flatt over at The Bookseller’s Futurebook. Flatt is discussing Great Jones Street, the latest addition to the mobile-first short reads realm. Founded in 2015 by Kelly Abbott, Great Jones Street joins the Read More …

Listening to the pictures – the rise of audio-comics

Ecoutez les images (Listen to the pictures) Comics are rarely out of the news these days, and even here in West Africa there is no escaping comics and their spin-offs. As I write this there are twenty kids behind me watching one of the Spiderman movies (I of course am too busy writing for TNPS Read More …

Terribly Tiny Tales and Penguin go twitteresque in India

On Facebook Live today an improbable partnership between the world’s biggest trade publisher and the publisher of the world’s smallest stories comes to fruition with the launch of a book of 250 stories, each less than 140 characters long. “The book features curated favourites from the TTT community and brand new tales as well as Read More …