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eBooks

The Effectiveness of Free eBooks is Declining: Smashwords

smashwords304Offering up a free copy of your eBook has been a good way for self-published and first-time authors to promote their books to new readers. However, according to a new report from self-publishing site Smashwords, that tool may soon be played out.

Here is more from the Smashwords blog: “Free ebooks, according to our data derived from iBooks downloads, generated 39 times more downloads on average during our survey period than books at any price. Yet the effectiveness of free is down dramatically compared to our 2013 (91X) and 2012 (100X) survey results. While there is still much untapped greenfield opportunity for indies to leverage free, I expect the effectiveness of free will continue to decline as more authors learn to take advantage of it.”

The report, which includes 12 months of sales data for 250,000 titles across eBook retailers, also revealed that $2.99 and $3.99 were a popular price point for strong sales.

We’ve embedded the entire report for you to explore after the jump. Read more

Wattpad Reveals Winners of First Prize

wattpadprizeDigital literary community Wattpad revealed the winners of the inaugural Wattpad Prize, its first contest to celebrate readers and writers in the community.

There were more than 3,500stories submitted to the contest in both original fiction and original non-fiction. Here is more about the award from the Wattpad blog:

The Wattpad Prize represents the true spirit of expression by recognizing works of original fiction and original non-fiction, by Wattpadders from all over the world. This contest is Wattpad’s new, juried prize that celebrates both writers and readers from the community. To judge the Wattpad Prize, a panel of experts was chosen, comprised of the most dedicated and active Wattpad readers.

We’ve embedded Wattpad’s list of winners after the jump. Read more

Scribd Brings Connu Stories to Subscription Library

scribdappScribd has partnered with literary app Connu, to make stories from the international digital literary publication available to Scribd eBook subscribers.

Connu was founded by editors Susannah Luthi and Niree Noel, who had previously collaborated on the Southern California Review. The idea was to create a place where readers could find curated stories and discover new writers. Writers in the publication include: David Sedaris, Joyce Carol Oates, Ron Carlson, Janet Fitch and Lydia Davis.

Under the terms of the partnership, thirty of the publication’s most popular stories are now available with a Scribd subscription. A new story will be featured every week in Scribd Selects. Readers can access Scribd’s entire eBook library for a subscription fee of $8.99 a month.

OverDrive Expands International eBook & Video Streaming Collection

overdrive304Digital book distribution company OverDrive has expanded its collection adding new streaming content, as well as more than 30,000 European eBook titles.

New European distribution partners include: RCS Group (Italian), Primento (Spanish), Libranda (Spanish), Zebralution (German) and DeMarque (French). New video streaming content available through OverDrive includes: Sesame Street, National Geographic’s Amazing PlanetSecrets of Yellowstone and Stonehenge Decoded.

“Streaming video is the fastest-growing category of digital titles you can now access from your local library,” stated Alexis Petric-Black, OverDrive’s manager of publisher account services. “The OverDrive collection of Hollywood feature films, documentaries, self-help and beloved children’s titles permit the public library to offer a first-stop destination for what to watch online.”

Harper Voyager to Launch ‘Impulse’ Digital Publishing Program

Harper Voyager LogoHarperCollins has expanded the Harper Voyager science-fiction and fantasy imprint with the “Impulse” digital publishing program.

According to the press release, “the vast majority of titles for the digital publishing push were acquired from an open ‘call’ for submissions hosted globally by Harper Voyager in 2012. The editors received more than 4,500 submissions.”

31 “Impulse” eBook titles have been scheduled for publication starting in the Summer of 2014 up until the Winter of 2015. This inaugural list features a variety of genres including urban fantasy, military science fiction, epic tales, fairy tale remakes, and horror stories. One of the first releases, Thorn Jack by Katherine Harbour, will come out as both a hardcover print book and an eBook in July 2014.

Judge Allows Retailer to Sue Apple & Publishers in Price-Fixing Lawsuit

apple-logo-248x300Australian eBook retailer DNAML will be able to proceed in a lawsuit against Apple and the five agency publishers which alleges that DNAML’s business was hurt due to the 2010 eBook price fixing scandal led by the tech company and the publishing houses.

Judge Denise Cote has allowed the case to proceed despite challenges from Apple, Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan and Penguin.

Publishers Weekly has the scoop: “Although Cote in her opinion said proving damages was going to be difficult ‘in the extreme’ for the DNAML, she held that the plaintiff’s case met the standard to proceed. But while Cote suggested that proving damages might be difficult, she added that DNAML’s ‘lost investment,’ in its business ‘may be reasonably quantifiable.’”

Penguin Releases Previously Unpublished Dorothy Parker Stories

cover45445-smallPenguin Classics has put out two eBook specials of previously unpublished works by famed author Dorothy Parker and her biographer Marion Meade.

The first is called Alpine Giggle Week: How Dorothy Parker Set Out to Write the Great American Novel and Ended Up in a TB Colony Atop an Alpine Peak. The piece is a letter that Parker wrote to her publishers in 1930 from the top of a mountain.

The Last Days of Dorothy Parker: The Extraordinary Lives of Dorothy Parker and Lillian Hellman and How Death Can Be Hell on Friendship by Meade tells the story of Dorothy Parker’s final days.

Open Road Acquires Premier Digital

openroadOpen Road Integrated Media has acquired the backlist from independent eBook publisher Premier Digital Publishing, in a deal whose terms were not disclosed.

The acquisition brings  300+ mystery, science fiction and fantasy titles to Open Road’s catalog. Authors in the acquired catalog include: Piers Anthony, Alan Jacobson, Andre Norton and Stephen Ambrose. The titles will be available through Open Road beginning in July.

“The missions of Premier and Open Road are uniquely aligned,” stated Jane Friedman, co-founder and CEO of Open Road. “The addition of Premier to the Open Road family will enhance the value we provide to both creators and consumers of high-quality digital literary content.”

Open Road has been growing its backlist through acquisition over the last year. Earlier this year, the company acquired more than 1,200 titles from E-Reads.

 

Perseus Books Now Available Through Scribd’s eBook Subscription Service

scribdappeBook subscription service Scribd has announced a new partnership with Perseus Books.

The partnership brings thousands of Perseus titles to the Scribd collection. This means that titles including: Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger, Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin and Belly Laughs by Jenny McCarthy will now be available through the eBook subscription service.

Scribd members can access the entire collection of Scribd eBooks for a subscription fee of $8.99 a month.

Target to Sell eBooks

librifyBig box retailer Target has teamed up with eBook subscription startup Librify to offer eBooks for sale, as well as a platform to have online discussions about books.

The program will be curated by Target employees who will select a book of the month to promote to readers. The goal is to get readers to use Target’s website as a destination for their online book clubs.

USA Today has the news: “The service will be targeted at women, especially young professionals and moms of the coveted Millennial generation. Target is vague on the details at this point, saying more will be revealed this summer. But Stone Herman says there will be promotions and discounts for Target shoppers who arrive at librify.com through Target’s website, and in-store displays will promote the partnership.”

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