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When the Publishing Industry Looks at Itself in the Mirror, Does It Like What It Sees?

Late last week, Publishers Weekly released its 2014 Salary Survey. While many of the findings were what you would expect—i.e., overwhelmingly white, female employees working longer hours than the year before and with a little more pay—they still manage to leave you feeling, well… a bit disappointed.

Cue Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” and read on.

Let’s start with the (kind of) good news: 85% of respondents are at least somewhat satisfied with their jobs. We’ve also seem to have (modestly) overcome a fear of total sector collapse, with 54% of us reporting we are very or extremely confident in the industry’s future. Read more

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Millennial​s: Libraries Brightest Hope?

1101130520_600Millennials tend to get a bum rap. Remember that Time magazine cover that painted them as “lazy, entitled narcissists who still live with their parents?”

They’re the ME ME ME generation, the cover reads, but then boldly proclaims “why they’ll save us all.”

Yes the cover girl may have been pictured with an iPhone in her hand, but chances are she had a library card in her back pocket.

Could libraries be among the first of the Millennials heroic conquests?

According to a new report from the Pew Research Center Internet Project the answer is a hopeful perhaps. Read more

88% of Americans Under 30 Have Read a Book in the Last Year: Pew Research

pewlogoEighty-eight percent of Americans under 30 read a book in the past year, which is more than older Americans, according to a new report form Pew Research. The report revealed that 79 percent of Americans 30 and older had read a book in the last year.

The research investigated how young Americans are using libraries. The report revealed that millennials are just as likely as older adults to have used a library in the past year. The report also found that this group is more likely to have used a library website in the past year than older Americans. While millennials admit to knowing where their local library is, many reported that they are unfamiliar with all of the services the library offers.

Here is more from the report: “Among those ages 16-29, 50% reported having used a library or bookmobile in the course of the past year in a September 2013 survey. Some 47% of those 30 and older had done so. Some 36% of younger Americans used a library website in that time frame, compared with 28% of those 30 and older.”

 

Publishing Salaries Up 2.8% in 2013: Publishers Weekly

pwlogoPublishing salaries increased 2.8 percent in 2013, according to a new study from Publishers Weekly.

The increase in salary is consistent with the rise in salaries between 2012 and 2013, which also rose 2.8 percent on average.

Here is more from Publishers Weekly: “The salary increase in 2013 was held down to some degree by the number of employees who received no raise in 2013—19% said their pay was flat in the year. One-quarter of employees said they received a raise of between 2.0% and 2.9% in 2013, while another 20% reported a raise of between 3.0% and 3.9%. Overall, 74% of employees received a raise under 4% in 2013.”

Digital Textbooks Are Evolving College Students Learning Experiences: BISG Report

BISGDigital textbooks are changing the way that college students obtain books and the way that courses are structured, according to BISG’s fourth annual report Student Attitudes Toward Content in Higher Education, Volume 4,

The research tracks and analyzes how students and faculty members obtain, consumer and teach educational content in multiple media formats. According to the report, students usage of textbooks is declining slightly while online study guide usage is slowly gaining momentum. In addition, students revealed that they are always on the hunt for low cost and free ways to get course materials, from scanning copies of their friends’ books to downloading pirated copies of textbooks illegally.

Here is more from the press release: “Instructors report much higher levels of assigned textbooks than do students, while the percentage of students who actually purchase their books is lower still, perhaps as students ultimately are the ones to decide whether the value of a ‘required’ textbook justifies the cost.”

Libraries Are Challenged by eBook Business Model: Study

logo-iflaWhile more libraries in the U.S. are buying and distributing eBooks to patrons, the business model still needs to be worked out,  according to a new study by the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA).

Unlike the print book business model, in which libraries buy a certain amount of books for a set price and distribute those texts widely, most digital content is licensed with specific conditions about when and where it can be distributed. According to the report, libraries are struggling with “an inability to guarantee library user access to otherwise commercially available eBooks with reasonable pricing and acceptable use conditions.”

Here is more from the report:

…libraries continue to have to deal with imposed and inflexible terms and conditions, some of which impede legislated copyright exceptions. As a result, efforts are underway in university libraries to retain the right to interlibrary loan through piloting controlled access to researchers outside the institution with the content licence. Such pilots have sought publisher consent.

 

Study Claims That Reading Harry Potter Makes Kids More Gay Friendly

hpReading Harry Potter books can make kids more gay friendly argues a new paper by Italian researchers, published online recently in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology.

New York has the scoop: “In one study, researchers gave high school kids in Northern Italy two questionnaires: one asked about the books they’d read (both Potter and non-Potter) and the other was meant to gauge their attitudes toward gay people. As it turns out, the kids who were bigger Potterphiles — and who identified with the eponymous character — were also more likely to have positive feelings toward gay individuals.”

New York points out that outside factors could also be at play. For instance, Harry Potter readers could come from more liberal families since some religious groups have criticized the series.

Only 17% of Parents Say Reading is Top Priority This Summer: Study

bebooksmartOnly 17 percent of parents say reading is a top summer priority. This depressing news is according to a new survey from Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) and Macy’s. Harris Interactive surveyed more than 1,000 parents with children ages 5-11 online in April to come to this conclusion.

The research also found that kids spend almost three times as many hours a week watching TV or playing video games as they do reading in the summer months. In fact, kids spend an average 17.4 hours a week watching TV or playing video games and only 5.9 hours a week on average reading. The study did reveal that parents who emphasize reading are twice as likely to have a child that reads every day. For those kids that do read, the research found that 83 percent prefer print books to eBooks.

To help promote summer reading and literacy in general, Macy’s and RIF have launched their 11th annual Be Book Smart campaign today. The effort encourages Macy’s customers to donate $3 at any Macy’s store register which will help fund children’s literacy efforts. Shoppers that do so will get $10 off a purchase of $30 or more. The campaign runs through July 13.

The Self-Published Book Market Grew 79% in the UK in 2013: Nielsen

nielsenbooksSelf-publishing is taking off in the UK. In fact, the self-publishing market grew by 79 percent in 2013 in the UK, according to new research presented by Steve Bohme, research director at Nielsen Book, at the Literary Consultancy conference this morning in London.

The Guardian has the scoop: “With print sales falling by 10% last year, and book purchasing as a whole down 4%, ebook sales continue to grow, according to Nielsen’s comprehensive tracking of book purchases, up 20% in the UK in 2013, with 80m ebooks bought by UK consumers, to a value of £300m. But it is the DIY market which is showing the most eye-watering growth, up 79% to 18m self-published titles purchased, worth £59m, according to the statistics released on Friday.”

While self-published books are on a rising trajectory, they still only represent a small portion of the overall publishing market in the UK.  In fact, according to the report, this portion of the market only accounts for 5 percent of the total books bought and only 3 percent of the money spent on books last year. However Nielsen expects these numbers to continue to grow.

 

 

eBooks Expected to Outsell Print in the UK by 2018: Report

samsungkindleeBooks will outsell print books in the UK by 2018, according to a new report from Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC).

The company made the prediction based on the fact that the eBook market is growing steadily in the UK. According to the report, eBooks represented 18 percent of all book revenue last year and this will grow to 41 percent by 2018.

“The entertainment and media industry is at the forefront of the digital revolution, because so many of its products and services can already be delivered in digital form,” stated Phil Stokes, Entertainment and Media lead partner at PwC. ”It may not be long before digital revenues from print, film, publishing and music overtake physical revenues in some markets. Media companies don’t need a digital strategy anymore; they need a business strategy, and a business model, which is fit for the digital age.”

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