Readers committed to physical books can give a sigh of relief, as new figures reveal that ebook sales are falling while sales of paper books are growing – and the shift is being driven by younger generations.
More than 360m books were sold in 2016 – a 2% jump in a year that saw UK consumers spend an extra 6%, or £100m, on books in print and ebook formats, according to findings by the industry research group Nielsen in its annual books and consumer survey. The data also revealed good news for bricks-and-mortar bookshops, with a 4% rise in purchases across the UK.
Nearly two-thirds of children will always want to read print books even though there are ebooks available. Literacy advocate and teacher Donna Rasmussen thinks this is because “We are tactile creatures. We will judge books by their covers and that’s okay,” she said. “We do many creative things with books we can’t with digital, like building a poetry out of book spines.”
Recent research conducted by BookTrust in association with the Open University revealed that 76% of surveyed parents found their children prefer print books for reading for pleasure and 69% prefer print books for educational reading. As for interactive e-books…
This week, Digital Book World held their annual conference on digital publishing in New York City.
This year the conference was buzzing about book marketing, data, and discovery, among other topics. And from SEO to author branding, many sessions focused on connecting with readers and increasing revenue.
Here are eight of our top takeaways from the conference.
1. Authors and publishers need to collaborate more on author branding.
Unless you’re a writer, I imagine you haven’t been paying quite as close attention to the publishing industry and all its weirdness as I have, and that’s a shame, because it’s been really entertaining. Actually, entertaining isn’t the right word. It’s been insane, but the kind of insane that’s unreasonably fun to watch from a safe remove. …
JZ Comment: Brilliant piece by Gene Doucette and I suggest this is REQUIRED READING by anyone in the publishing industry. It backs up comment and warning I have made on previous jimandzetta blog posts about so-called ‘falling ebook sales’. The Big 5 simply do NOT like the ebook market.
Ingram Content Group (who distribute LSI/IngramSpark print on demand books and ebooks ) has acquired the distribution arm of the Perseus Books Group for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition comes on the heels of the sale, earlier this week, of Perseus’ publishing division.
We all know that books are, in fact, judged by their covers. Because of this, and because the marketplace is so crazy competitive, your cover can make or break your book. But there’s a bit of a rub where cover design is concerned, which is that many authors fancy themselves book designers. But being the expert on your book does not necessarily make you the expert on your book’s design.
Hopefully if you’re an LSI (Lightning Source International) or Ingram Spark print-on-demand user you’ll have seen the notice in 2015 of the impending new printing charges, and the re-categorizing of print sizes. If you HAVEN’T then you may need to take action NOW. Here’s a link to the PDF of the new pricing schedule.
You will also see from the information how some book sizes have been re-categorized in the small/medium/large categories. The good news, however, is that if you’re doing 5.5″ x 8.5″ or 6″ x 9″ trade paperback sizes then those still remain in the ‘small’ category.
How does this affect your costs and book pricing? Well, although it IS an increase, to be fair to LSI/Ingram this is the first time they have increased printing costs for many years. I did a quick calculation on one of our books, which is 274 pages at 6″ x 9″ and the increase in printing costs was roughly 50c. Ultimately it will depend on each book’s size and page count, and also the profit margin you have built into your pricing. If you have a smaller margin you may need to ACT NOW!
By now, LSI/Ingram users SHOULD have been setting new prices for their books where necessary in order to be ready for the increase on 8th Feb. If you haven’t, you better get to it now in time for the meta changes at the end of the month!
Book publishing startups have picked apart every piece of the publishing stack and re-imagined it for a digital world. Hackathons and crowdsourcing are two pieces of this new puzzle. From content creation to manuscript acquisition to distribution to sales, publishing startups are combining traditional book publishing and tech startup tactics in fascinating ways to reinvigorate and reimagine book publishing. These book startups pride themselves on retaining much of the quality of a traditional publisher, while solving key problems with traditional publishing: high overhead, low tolerance for risk, and slow time-to-market. More…
The AAP released an update: publishers’ sales for the first three quarters of 2015 were down 2.0 percent at $11.9 billion, compared to $12.1 billion in 2014. Adult books up 2.9% while Children/YA were down 7.4%…
JZ comment: When reading this post and the stats, do remember that the AAP figures represent just their own ‘snapshot’ of the sales and of the industry. Amazon for example, the world’s biggest bookseller, do not report sales figures so their entire volume of sales is missing from this report. If anything, the AAP figures may be able to speak to trend changes, but again it is only a fraction of the industry as a whole, and should be viewed as that.
Dynamite, IDW and BOOM! Studios have carved a new niche in comics with a mix of original content and well-known licensed characters.
The trio put out a wide range of series owned by their creators, but key to their success has been licensing well-known media properties — everything from “Transformers” to “Game of Thrones,” “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” to “Sons of Anarchy.” In a North American comic book market estimated to be at least $800 million, independent titles draw in fresh audiences, excite old fan bases hungry for new stories and underwrite the companies’ original series.