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eBooks

Hey Indie eBook Authors, Here’s How to Succeed

Smashwords

Smashwords

Attention, indie ebook authors. Mark Coker at Smashwords wants you to know that there’s never been a better time to be you. He writes, “Thanks to an ever-growing global market for your ebooks, your books are a couple clicks away from over one billion potential readers on smartphones, tablets and e-readers. In the world of eBooks, the playing field is tilted to the indie author’s advantage.”

Then, the wake-up call. Coker goes on to report that “the gravy train of exponential sales growth is over,” with indie (self-published) authors seeing “significant” sales decline at Amazon, especially since the July launch of Kindle Unlimited. He had predicted the slowdown and attributes it to the glut of high-quality low-cost eBooks, the increasing rate of eBook supply outpacing demand, and the slowing, much-discussed transition from print to eBooks. Read more

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Simon & Schuster Modifies its Library eBook Program

SimonSchusterlogoSimon & Schuster has made some changes to the rules for its library eBook program.

Henceforth, all the digital books from the publisher’s catalog (this includes both frontlist and backlist titles) will be made available to all libraries throughout the country. Prior to this, a library could only access these titles with participation in the “Buy It Not” merchandising program.

CEO Carolyn Reidy gave this statement in the press release: “Since we first began offering ebooks to libraries, we have been gratified by the enthusiastic response and valuable feedback we have received from our partners in the library community. We very much look forward to serving the broadest possible segment of the library community in order to bring our ebooks to their patrons, while at the same time we hope libraries will consider ‘Buy It Now’ as a new and viable option to generate revenue for the library and provide a service for their patrons.”

NOOK Launches The B&N Sync Up! Program

nookNOOK Media LLC has announced the launch of B&N Sync Up! The executives have curated a selection of paperbacks for this new in-store program.

Customers who buy one of these books can purchase the NOOK eBook edition of that same title for $4.99. The price for the digital copy has been reduced by 70%. Some of the books that have been made available through B&N Sync Up! include Doctor Sleep by Stephen King, The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, and Life of Pi by Yann Martel.

Here’s more from the press release: “The B&N Sync Up! program was created to offer Barnes & Noble customers the convenience of owning both print and digital formats of a great book at a great value with the benefit of being able to easily gift one or both of the versions to a friend or family for the holidays. Now customers can read and enjoy the same books together with their loved ones. The eBook version can be read on any NOOK device and on a multitude of smartphones and tablets via the free NOOK Reading App (available at www.nookapp.com).”

HarperCollins Releases an Enhanced eBook Edition of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’

To Kill a MockingbirdHarperCollins has published an enhanced eBook edition of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird.

The company released the normal To Kill a Mockingbird eBook back in July 2014. The enhancement features on this digital book include a radio interview with Lee, footage from the 1962 film adaptation, audiobook clips performed by Sissy Spacek, and snippets from the Hey Boo documentary with appearances from Oprah Winfrey, Tom Brokaw, and Anna Quindlen.

According to The Associated Press, “HarperCollins spokeswoman Tina Andreadis says the new Mockingbird edition had received 6,500 pre-orders, far more than for the usual ‘enhanced’ book. She says the publisher has sold 80,000 copies of the regular eBook, a figure comparable to print sales. Total worldwide sales exceed 30 million copies since the book’s 1960 release. Both eBook editions are priced at $8.99.”

Scribd Subscribers to Have Access to 30,000 Audiobooks

Scribd 200Scribd will add 30,000 audiobooks to its library.

Subscribers to the digital book streaming service will have access to both new releases and popular backlist titles. Some of the audiobooks that have been made available include Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games trilogy, Roberto Bolaño’s novel The Savage Detectives, and Brené Brown’s nonfiction book Daring Greatly.

Here’s more from the press release: “The addition of this extensive audiobooks selection, which includes titles from Blackstone, HarperCollins, Scholastic and Naxos, to Scribd’s existing library of more than half a million eBooks represents the largest unlimited-access offering of eBooks and audiobooks available today…Listeners can browse special audio-only collections curated by Scribd’s editorial staff, including collections arranged by length, narrator, and subject, from ‘Shakespearean Actors Reading Shakespeare’ to ‘Roadtrip Listening: SF to LA,” to “What to Listen to on the Way to a Job Interview.’”

Oyster Launches a New Book Lists Feature

OysterOyster has added Book Lists to its eBook streaming service. This new feature will allow for greater discoverability.

Readers can build and share lists of their favorite titles. As a subscriber scans a list from the app on their mobile device, they can click on a title that interests them and instantly start reading.

According to the Oyster blog, the company has reached out to different groups and authors to kick off the launch. Organizations such as Warby Parker, Blue Bottle, and the Rhode Island School of Design have curated their own special lists. The group of writers who joined in include The Glass Castle memoirist Jeanette Walls, The Devil Wears Prada novelist Lauren Weisberger, and Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Chabon.

Kobo Adds 250+ Marvel Comics to its Digital Library

marvel logoMavel has formed an agreement with Kobo to add more than 250 comics to its digital library. Kobo users can now access several series including The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America, and The Amazing Spider-Man.

Kobo merchandiser Santiago Melo had this statement in the press release: “For more than 75 years, Marvel has been transporting comic fans to exciting new galaxies. Tackling big issues with larger than life characters, these stories continue to be a constant source of enrichment in our popular culture and we couldn’t be happier to welcome them to the Kobo family.”

Large-Screen Nook Makes Its Debut

large nookSamsung and Barnes & Noble have developed a new big-screen version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook. Customers can purchase it starting today at 650 Barnes & Noble brick-and-mortar stores and online.

According to the press release, this new NOOK features a 10.1-inch HD display which is the largest screen that has ever been made available on this device. It weighs 17.28 ounces.

Walter Isaacson Named Keynote Speaker at the Digital Book World Conference + Expo

isaacsonw-100-sqrThe Innovators author Walter Isaacson will deliver the keynote speech at the Digital Book World Conference + Expo. Isaacson’s presentation will focus on “”Innovators, Collaborators and Change Agents of the Digital Revolution.”

More than 100 speakers will give talks throughout the event. It is set to take place from January 13th to 15th in New York City.

Print Books Outsold Digital Books During the First 6 Months of 2014

nielsenNielsen Books & Consumer has released the results of a recent survey focusing on book sales from the first six months of 2014. According to the findings, 23% of unit sales went to eBooks, 25% of unit sales went to hardcovers, and 42% of unit sales went to paperbacks.

Here’s more from The Huffington Post: “Given the explosive growth of ebook sales since the launch of the Kindle in 2007, with increases in the triple digits for several years, many expected the paper book industry to remain in retreat for the foreseeable future. Recently, however, ebook gains seem to have stabilized with hardcover and paperback books still comfortably dominant.”

Last month, horror novelist Stephen King sat for an interview and shared his opinion that physical books are here to stay. King does not feel that print books will meet the same end as CDs or records. What’s your prediction?

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