Monday, 30 May 2011

iPads in the Classroom in Ireland

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iPad with on display keyboardImage via Wikipedia
County Mayo in Ireland is set to take the lead in introducing ereaders to the classroom. St Coleman’s College in Claremorris, Co Mayo, will introduce the Apple iPad this September to all of its 90 first year students on an optional basis instead of students lugging heavy school bags filled with books. The move to introduce the iPad to its students followed several weeks of discussions with teachers, students and parents.

Students opting for the electronic learning suite, including apps, textbooks and iPad device will have an estimated cost of €700, but with cost spread over a three-year period School principal Jimmy Finn was quick to point out on RTE's Morning Ireland radio programme that the introduction of the iPad to the classroom had 96% support from teachers and students, and students could opt out if they so wished.

This is not the first time the iPad has been introduced to the educational system in County Mayo. Earlier this year, Sancta Maria College in Louisburgh introduced the iPad to their students as part of a pilot project to promote modern technology in the classroom.

A survey measuring international standards in literacy, numeracy and science, carried out by the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and conducted by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) found that Irish people are falling behind people in other countries when it comes to reading and math and currently is placed seventeenth on the reading level and twenty-sixth in math.

Individual schools and colleges in Ireland have been experimenting with ereader pilot programs, but without any real concerted effort or backing from the Irish Department of Education. Gill & Macmillan, a publisher and distributor, funded a pilot project using the iLiad, a device developed by iRex Technologies in the Netherlands, in Caritas College, Dublin in 2008 for eighteen of the school's students.

What is needed in Ireland is a properly co-ordinated program to bring technology like ereaders to all the classrooms of Ireland.   

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Book Country - Old Country For New Authors?

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Later this year something is going to happen in the publishing industry that many analysts and experts told us would never happen. As far back as 2009, when Thomas Nelson and Harlequin launched their self-publishing service imprints, the naysayers maintained the ‘big six’ publishers would hold firm and the self-publishing service bug would never reach the elite established beaches of New York’s publishing houses. A lot changes in publishing these days, and even the most conservative publishing voices are learning that the industry can no longer cling to the ‘Garrison Keillor Comfort Blanket’. Publishing is and should be a business—no matter what level it is undertaken, be it by the humble self-publisher or corporate ‘big six’.

Last month Penguin USA launched Book Country under the auspices of Molly Barton, director of business development at Penguin and president of Book Country. The venture has been in the Penguin mixing pot for well over twelve months and following its launch is operating online in beta mode with further tweaks and improvements to come. Book Country was primarily set up as a place for readers and writers of genre fiction to come together to interact, read, comment, critique, learn and discover about books and the world of publishing under ‘an atmosphere of encouragement and creativity.’

Initially, establishing a new online community will be the focus, but later this year, Penguin’s Book Country will begin offering self-publishing services for ebooks and print on demand to authors in its community.

“Later this year, Book Country will offer a convenient and affordable way to self-publish eBooks and print books. With a variety of services available, we want you to be able to put your book on the map. As Book Country grows, we will continue to offer additional features and services we think you will appreciate.”

Barton, in an interview with Publishers Weekly last month expounded further on the new venture:

“While Book Country is distinctive, it is not the only online writing community nor is it the first to be launched by a major book publisher. HarperCollins has organized the online writing community of Authonomy, and InkPop, an online community focused on teen writing. Book Country is reminiscent of iPublish, a failed online writing community and digital publishing venture launched by former Warner Books president Larry Kirshbaum in 2000. Barton acknowledged the connection and noted that she had discussions with a former iPublish editor while developing the Book Country concept. While iPublish was a pioneering venture anticipating many of the services offered by Book Country, it was a bit ahead of its time and was forced to close in late 2001 with mounting financial losses. But it’s a different time and different market for e-books and digital publishing in 2011.”

What is most interesting about the above quote is the fact iPublish and its creator Larry Kirshbaum is mentioned. Barton certainly wouldn’t have foreseen it back then in 2000, and I doubt Publishers Weekly knew it when they wrote this article in April, but Kirshbaum this week was announced as director of publishing at Amazon to oversee its series of recently launched publishing imprints.

The only reason I mentioned the Amazon link here was purely for the purpose of irony. Good books and stories are often filled with irony and it seems the story and future of publishing is also laden with it. Amazon gets a bad rap from publishers and booksellers. Publishers will claim how the nasty behemoth has muscled in on the publishing industry and dictates the terms, logistics and very platform books are sold on. Booksellers will argue the unfair advantage and power the online retailer now has with its customers.

The truth is Amazon has been good for books and reading, and it understood what publishers have long forgotten about books – the reader is king and customer. Connect with them, market and sell to them, and you hold the market in the palm of your hand. When the publishing industry was too busy charming the knickers off the biggest literary agencies and authors, and working out how they could extract the maximum profit from the fewest amount of books published, and only wanted to listen to the cries of a handful of media-generated trends in celebrity blockbusters, Amazon had its filthy nose shoved into the shit of silicon valley, watching, monitoring, buying and recruiting any small company or person with legs to run the pace of the emerging digital world.

So has Penguin and their step into offering an online community and self-publishing services moved them any closer to playing a vital part of the book and the future of publishing? Time will certainly tell. It may be too little too late. What is clear is that Penguin have not made the mistakes of HarperCollins with Authonomy, who instead of creating a writing community for readers, created a platform for authors competing with each other, and an advertising playground for companies selling publishing services.

I’ll also digress to mention the latest plan by Hachette Book Group, Simon & Schuster and Penguin Group to launch, a consumer-oriented online platform to market and promote books. There is no doubt the big six are fighting hard to combat and engage with the changes in the publishing industry, but it begs a singular question. All of these publishers have had their own online websites attempting to engage with the reader, but until now, they have never taken it seriously. So what makes different other than being supported by three big publishers? If publishers failed to engage with the readership of their books on their own—what makes them think together that things will be any different?

For me, everyone wants to simplify the publishing equation. Authors are learning that there is a way of reaching their readership without the need for agents and publishers. Publishers (and now agents) are learning that they can reach their true buyers when they bypass the traditional bookstore. Booksellers may prove to be the ones who find it hardest to find a place in any kind of future equation.

I greatly welcome Book Country—still fear it may be another Author Solutions administrated service when the self-publishing services launch later this year—but still hope that this may be something more innovative than we have seen before.

What Book Country has over ASI is that - as yet - the work promised to authors will be carried out in-house rather than farmed out to freelance services.

UPDATE (August 2012)
It will be interesting to see if ASI is integrated with Book Country following the purchase by the Pearson Group or whether the two entities will be kept separate.

UPDATE January 2013

Book Country, You've Been Tango'd!

RATING: 7.0/10


Sunday, 29 May 2011

"Democratic" publishing venture launched at Hay | The Bookseller

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"Democratic" publishing venture launched at Hay | The Bookseller

"A publishing platform which allows readers to choose what should be published has been launched, supported by Faber and created by "QI" writers John Mitchinson and Justin Pollard, and Crap Towns author Dan Kieran.
Launched at the Hay Festival today (29th May), will enable authors signed up to the site to pitch book ideas directly to readers. Readers then pledge their support to an idea, from £10 to funding the whole book. When an idea has attracted enough support, the book will be written."
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The Independent Publishing Magazine | Normal Service Has Resumed!

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Thank you for bearing with us this weekend. All the major changes have now been implemented on the site and normal service has resumed 24 hours ahead of time. The toolboxes have been closed and the IT guys happily dispatched out the front door, filled with tea, breakfast rolls, cakes and beers, and happy in the knowledge that we hit almost all objectives:

  • Create more 'whitespace'
  • Reduce cramped style of website
  • Improve navigation
  • Promote lost information
  • Emphasize re-branding
  • Increase font point
  • Increase space for video embedding
  • Purge needless/duplicated info

The world is now a better place, and I'm left with just the vacuum cleaner and dust cloth to deal with a few sharp edges. Does anyone know how to remove grease stains from a deep-pile carpet?!
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Saturday, 28 May 2011

The Independent Publishing Magazine - The IT Toolbox

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Bear with us this weekend. The IT guys have arrived. The toolboxes are open, and already they are in deep discussion about a tea break, and how best they might implement the tea break. This could be a long one!

We are carrying out maintenance and implementing some navigational improvements to the online magazine. Things may pop up in the most unexpected places and there will be much plugging things out and plugging them back in. Content and menus will be moved on an ongoing basis over the next 48 hours and there will be much holding of chins, standing ten feet back, accompanied with cries of 'a little more to the right' and 'no, actually, I liked it where we first put it'. But most importantly, I expect to hear the 'have you tried turning it off and back on?' a great deal.  
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Friday, 27 May 2011

Andrew Wylie |

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Andrew Wylie -

There is an interview feature with literary agent Andrew Wylie in this week's edition of the Wall Street Journal magazine. You can read some of it at this link.

"The devaluation of quality editing and writing is sad and it's inevitable. Each house has a large number of titles to publish, and with a difficult economy, fewer people to handle the publications. But publishers need to become smaller, leaner, and they will have to learn new disciplines. The whole one-year publication process must be reduced.
We try to avoid people who can't write. You can usually spot them from the first sentence, or from the cover letter. It's a little like sitting in the audience at Carnegie Hall and watching someone walk up to a piano. If you're trained, you can tell the difference between someone who knows how to play and someone who doesn't. Of course, sometimes you want to work with people who have a significant achievement, which is not writing, and so that usually requires closer editing, and ghostwriting. Heads of state are not always the best writers."
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Erza Pound, Richard Nash and the Literary Movements of Past and Future

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Richard Nash's big bet: What if literature and Big Publishing must finally part ways? | Capital New York:

This is a fascinating piece by Gillian Reagan in Capital New York on former Soft Skull Press owner Richard Nash, now running Cursor and it's innovative community imprint Red Lemonade. I see a great deal of similarity in what Nash is doing with this new imprint, and sometimes I wonder if we are not looking at a modern day 21st century digital Ezra Pound.

"The website allows writers to self-publish to the site right alongside the works of published authors, including Tillman, and get feedback from other writers, published and otherwise, on their work. They can highlight sections and make notes about passages in any of the work, sharing a kind of digital marginalia with their fellow users directly on the site. They can also buy each others’ work in digital and print form; promote readings at cafes and bookstores; and get advice and support from the online community as they write drafts."
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Thursday, 26 May 2011

Good e-Reader Interview with Kobo CEO Michael Serbinis at Book Expo 2011

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Shatzkin on The Challenges For Publishers in 2011 | Publishing Perspectives at BEA

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Publishing Perspectives caught up with Idea Logical's Mike Shatzkin at Book Expo America. Shatzkin outline the areas he believes the publishing industry needs to focus on in 2011. Not surprisingly pricing and rights were high on that list.

Author Barry Eisler Announces His Deal with Amazon's Thomas & Mercer Imprint

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He gave St. Martin's Press the two fingers when he claimed the publisher offered him a two-book $500,000 deal earlier this year, and instead chose to publish his last book through Amazon's Kindle. During an interview with Idea Logical's Mike Shatzkin at today's Publishers Launch Conference (part of Book Expo America), bestselling suspense author Barry Eisler revealed he had just inked a deal with Amazon's new thriller imprint, Thomas & Mercer for his latest John Rain novel.

Eisler went on to explain that his next book would be released initially in ebook format with a print edition to follow and his advance was' comparable' to traditional deals offered to him for his book and his royalties would be 70% (net or retail wasn't specified). Significantly, Eisler suggested that he now viewed the release of print editions as a way of maximising digital sales even if the royalty rate on the print edition was quite low.

He concluded by highlighting his own utter disdain at the length of time it took publishing houses to publish a title from the time of submission.

We may only be witnessing the tip of the iceberg here for bestselling authors, but if Eisler's deal with Amazon is the shape of things to come, then it may be time to stop talking about publishers' model of business, and rather time to start to focusing on the emerging model of publishing and strategy for authors.

This news story is about to get a considerable amount of inches in the media in the coming hours and days, and perhaps for a great deal of time to come.

About Barry Eisler
Barry Eisler spent three years in a covert position with the CIA's Directorate of Operations, then worked as a technology lawyer and startup executive in Silicon Valley and Japan, earning his black belt at the Kodokan International Judo Center along the way. Eisler's bestselling thrillers have won the Barry Award and the Gumshoe Award for Best Thriller of the Year, have been included in numerous "Best Of" lists, and have been translated into nearly twenty languages. Eisler lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and, when he's not writing novels, blogs about torture, civil liberties, and the rule of law.
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Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Publishing Innovators | Jerry D. Simmons - Author Advocate

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Jerry D. Simmons has spent many years in the book publishing industry and I first came across him on Nothing Binding (a social network, resource for writers to communicate and sell their work) several years ago. He is an absolute hive of experience and has given many talks on the industry and delivered tutorials for self-publishing authors - some of which are linked below.

Yes, Jerry has made a life of being an advisor and consultant in the business of publishing to companies and authors, but first and foremost, he has always remained an advocate for authors.

From Jerry D. Simmons online bio:

I am a book publishing guide for unpublished writers and small publishers looking for sales growth. My career in publishing began in 1976 as a Sales Representative for Random House. In 1979 I joined the book division at Warner Communications, where I spent more than twenty-three years in sales and management. During that time the company expanded to become The Time Warner Book Group (sold to Hachette Book Group in 2006). Our sales team distributed over a thousand titles a year from a number of large publishing houses and imprints including Little, Brown; Warner Books; Hyperion; Miramax Books; Bulfinch; Back Bay; Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; and Disney. I sold books to some of the largest independent booksellers and mass merchants in the country and my sales group generated hundreds of millions of dollars in book sales throughout the United States and Canada. I retired as Vice-President, Director Field Sales.

In 2005 I founded this web site, which has become “THE” source for information about book publishing. My eNewsletter TIPS for WRITERS is read by writers around the world. In 2007 I founded the free online marketing platform which introduces writers and authors to a global audience. In 2009 I launched the INDI Publishing Group, providing writers with an imprint for their published work while creating opportunities for writers choosing to publish independently.

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Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Amazon Announce Breakthrough Novel Award Finalists

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Amazon and Penguin USA today announced the finalist for this year's Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. Amazon customers will now be able to vote for the list of finalist by following this link. The overall winners will be announced next month (June 13th).

Here is the press release followed by a list of the 2011 general fiction and young adult fiction finalists:

Six finalists have been selected from among thousands of qualified writers in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest, the international competition in search of the next popular novel, sponsored by (NASDAQ:AMZN), Penguin Group (USA) (NYSE:PSO) and CreateSpace, part of the Amazon group of companies. From now through June 1, Amazon customers can vote for their favorite work at after reading excerpts from the finalists' respective novels in the general fiction and young adult fiction categories. The two grand prize winners of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, who will each receive a publishing contract from Penguin Group (USA) which includes a $15,000 advance, will be revealed in Seattle on Monday, June 13, 2011.

An expert panel will weigh in with their comments on the finalists for customers to consider while voting. The 2011 expert panelists for the general fiction category are: Lev Grossman, author of the New York Times bestseller "The Magicians" and theupcoming sequel "The Magician King," and book critic for Time magazine;literary agent Jennifer Joel of ICM; and Marysue Rucci, Vice President, Editorial Director with G.P. Putnam's Sons. The expert panelists for the young adult fiction category are: Gayle Forman, journalist and author of the New York Times bestsellers "If I Stay" and "Where She Went"; literary agent Julie Just of Janklow & Nesbit; and Jennifer Besser, Vice President and Publisher, G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers.

"This year was the biggest ever for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest, and there were so many fantastic submissions in both categories," said Nader Kabbani, Director of Independent Publishing, Amazon. "We encourage our customers to go on today to have their voices heard and help select the Grand Prize Winners for 2011."

Tim McCall, Vice President, Director of Online Sales and Marketing, Penguin Group (USA), commented: "It's always wonderful to be able to offer talented writers an opportunity to be published at Penguin, and we look forward to the long and fruitful relationships we've developed with the writers we've discovered in this competition."

(Below title listings are also links to a preview of the books) 
The three finalists in the general fiction category:

Hill lives in Denver where he works at the University of Denver library and plays in "The Babysitters," a rock and roll power trio that includes his wife on drums. "East of Denver" tells the story of Shakespeare Williams, who returns to his family's farm in eastern Colorado to find his widowed, senile father living in squalor. Facing the loss of the farm, Shakespeare hatches a plot with his father and a motley crew of his former high school classmates to rob the local bank.

Morgan has a degree in Russian language and literature. In his words, he has held "a thousand jobs, none of them particularly noteworthy," but says he has always written because it tells him things he "wouldn't otherwise know." His novel features Gustav Arturo Deal, a man who is mostly confined to a wheelchair and is assumed by most to be afflicted with severe brain damage. Deal lives in a monstrosity of a home with a man and a woman who claim to be his parents, and the cast of characters they employ: an Italian mechanic, a French chef, Mexican grounds laborers and a waitress who occasionally seems to be Argentinian.

Smith, who teaches computer applications at a junior college in Brooklyn, has long had a fascination with Roman history. "I Am Livia," a historical novel set in ancient Rome, is narrated by Livia Drusilla, a character based on the real woman who married the adopted son and heir of Julius Caesar. In Smith's story, Livia is a champion of women's rights--mostly her own--and reveals her manipulative and politically cunning nature...something she may have acquired from her father, who was among those who plotted the assassination of her husband's father.

The three finalists in the young adult fiction category:

Baguchinsky, a longtime fan of supernatural tales, wrote the first draft of "Spookygirl" as part of National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, a movement that challenges writers to complete a novel in thirty days. In the novel, Violet Addison has moved into an apartment above her father's funeral home in Florida. Violet regularly converses with the ghosts in the house, but what she is really scared of is starting her sophomore year at a new school. Not only will she battle rumors about her father's involvement in her mother's death, but, even more frightening, the evil forces that inhabit the girls' locker room.

Bertrand lives near Boston with her husband, two Boxer dogs and new infant daughter. A former middle school literacy teacher, she challenged herself to write a novel of her own and completed it in six months, just before the contest deadline. In this paranormal story, we meet Lainey Young, a junior at Northbrook Academy with a secret: she has the supernatural ability to see how someone died or will die. She is shocked when she learns that she is not the only student with extraordinary gifts. Among the others, all members of a hidden society of the psychically gifted, are Jenna, the Sensor, and Carter Penrose, the Historian, an Academy graduate with secrets of his own.

Larson has studied at Providence College in Rhode Island and will soon begin his junior year at the University of Alberta. His early childhood was spent in his birthplace of Niger, West Africa, where his father taught the local language. His novel "Devolution" is a futuristic thriller featuring Dimas, a master thief who navigates a society where computers are built directly into the human brain. When a debilitating virus sweeps the city and the minds of its denizens, Dimas is forced to delve into the underworld in an attempt to locate its source.

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Has the POD Publishing Bubble Burst?

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I normally write the article and then we engage in discussion, but like some of the changes I've introduced recently for The Independent Publishing Magazine, I'll hold my own thoughts, just for now.

The backdrop is the monoliths in the self-publishing world like Author Solutions may own companies like Xlibris, iUniverse, AuthorHouse and WordClay, but in the past two years the giant of the self-publishing industry has been developing engine rooms for publishers like Harlequin and Thomas Nelson. With the more savvy self-publishing authors and service companies relying on short-run printing and less POD (print on demand), has the POD publishing bubble burst - built on the ashes of vanity houses? With so many new and established authors looking to e-publishing rather than print publishing, are we seeing a plateau for self-publishing services rigid to the POD model, or are we about to witness a new e-vanity model?

Your thoughts are of course welcome on our topic:

Has the POD publishing bubble burst?

Feel free to comment using Blogger or Facebook below:

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Monday, 23 May 2011

Dublin Writers' Festival 2011 - May 23rd to 29th

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The Dublin Writers' Festival began this morning at various venues around the city and runs for the rest of the week until May 29th. You can catch up on the full events by visiting the official site here.
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Thursday, 19 May 2011

The changing nature of the publishing value chain | FutureBook

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The changing nature of the publishing value chain | FutureBook:

Jürgen Snoeren is Digital Operations Manager with Amsterdam publisher Meulenhoff Boekerij. He began his career in publishing as an editor for Meulenhoff and was publisher of the commercial imprint of De Boekerij for several years before becoming Digital Manager in 2009. He has a degree in Literature and recently completed his MBA. Today on FutureBook he pulled together so many news items whirling around in the world of publishing, from agents becoming digital publishers, Amazon as publisher, and the efforts of some of the big publishers like Hachette, Penguin and Simon & Schuster to re-engage with readers.

Snoeren presents some strong arguments as to why publishers need to first concentrate on delivering good quality content before they throw themselves into the lion's den of reader networks and what the true value is in book publishing.

We publishers need to find our own part in this in order to survive. At the moment it’s a bit of a gold rush, with parties claiming their stakes and digging for gold in the hope to find gold first. The gold, here, means “the consumer” or “the reader”. There is a slight edge of hysteria in the way I hear publishers call for the need to reach the consumer’s heart. Certainly in the US, where during the Digital Book World conference last January Vertical Communities were all everybody was talking about.
I find that slightly disconcerting. It is certainly true that publishers need to learn more about the people reading their books – knowing reader’s preferences will be key in the digital marketplace. But I find that the real message for publishers is being drowned out by the constant call for “connecting with the consumer”.
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Amazon to allow ePub ebooks on the Kindle e-Reader | Good E-Reader Blog - ebook Reader and Tablet PC News

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Amazon to allow ePub ebooks on the Kindle e-Reader | Good E-Reader Blog - ebook Reader and Tablet PC News:

The below snippet is from the Good E-Reader blog, and there is enough chatter on the Internet to suggest Amazon is very soon going to acknowledge that the ePub format is by far the format of choice among the e-reading public as well as the publishing industry. This can only be good news because we desperately need some form of formatting standard if e-books are to truly become the leading standard of a book in the publishing trade. 

"We have some rather breaking news with online giant Amazon and their highly successful line of Kindle e-readers. It seems many publishers have been told by the company that in the near-future, they should be submitting their books to Amazon in EPUB format and not exclusively MOBI. They also went on to let us know that Amazon was indeed planning something BIG and that soon the Kindle ereader will have the full capability to read ePub books. This news has been confirmed by at least 4 publishing companies we have spoken with during the last few days."
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Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Bowker Releases Preliminary 2010 Annual Books in Production Report (PDF link included)

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R. R. Bowker today released preliminary figures for book production during 2010 based on their Books in Print database. Traditionally produced books rose by 5% while non-traditionally produced books rose by an astonishing 169%. Be aware that the non-traditional sector is made up by a vast majority of print on demand publishers issuing public domain titles. This sector does include companies offering self-publishing services for authors like Author Solutions Inc (AuthorHouse, Xlibris, iUniverse etc), Lulu and CreateSpace, but these companies only represent a fraction of the overall output of 2,776,260 titles.

Here is the full press release from Bowker below. (The red colouring of author solutions services is mine.) The full PDF report is linked at the end of the press release and when I get a chance I will go through the figures in more detail and post on them.


Print isn’t dead, says Bowker’s Annual Book Production Report

Traditional publishing grows a modest 5%, while POD sends print total over a record 3 million

New Providence, NJ - May 18, 2010 - Bowker, the global leader in bibliographic information, released its annual report on U.S. print book publishing, compiled from its Books In Print® database. Based on preliminary figures from U.S. publishers, Bowker is projecting that despite the popularity of e-books, traditional U.S. print title output in 2010 increased 5%. Output of new titles and editions increased from 302,410 in 2009 to a projected 316,480 in 2010. The 5% increase comes on the heels of a 4% increase the previous year based on the final 2008-2009 figures.

The non-traditional sector continues its explosive growth, increasing 169% from 1,033,065 in 2009 to an amazing 2,776,260 in 2010. These books, marketed almost exclusively on the web, are largely on-demand titles produced by reprint houses specializing in public domain works and by presses catering to self-publishers and ”micro-niche” publications.

“These publication figures from both traditional and non-traditional publishers confirm that print production is alive and well, and can still be supported in this highly dynamic marketplace,” said Kelly Gallagher, vice president of publishing services for Bowker.

“Especially on the non-traditional side, we’re seeing the reprint business’ internet-driven business model expand dramatically. It will be interesting to see in the coming years how well it succeeds in the long-term.”

In traditional publishing, SciTech continues to drive growth

Continuing the trend seen last year, science and technology were the leading areas of growth as consumers purchased information for business and careers. Major increases were seen in Computers (51% over 2009, with an average five-year growth rate of 8%), Science (37% over 2009, with an average five-year growth rate of 12%) and Technology (35% over 2009, with an average five-year growth rate of 11%). Categories subject to discretionary spending were the top losers, perhaps still feeling the effects of a sluggish economy. Literature (-29%), Poetry (-15%), History (-12), and Biography (-12%) all recorded double digit declines. Fiction, which is still the largest category (nearly 15% of the total) dropped 3% from 2009, continuing a decline from peak output in 2007. Religion (-4%) fell to 4th place behind Science among the largest categories.

Top book production categories:

RankCategory 2010 2009
2.Juveniles 32,638 3,028
3. Sociology/Economics 28,99126,904

Non-traditional Print-on-Demand is concentrated in a handful of houses

In 2008, the production of non-traditional print-on-demand books surpassed traditional book publishing for the first time and since then, its growth has been staggering. Now almost 8 times the output of traditional titles, the market is dominated by a handful of publishers. In fact, the top three publishers accounted for nearly 87% of total titles produced in 2010. A look at the top publishers by title output in 2010 shows who is providing this content, primarily through the web marketplace. SciTech mainstay Springer is the only traditional publisher represented.

Publisher2010 ISBN count 
BiblioBazaar 1,461,918  
General Books LLC744,376
Kessinger Publishing, LLC462,480
Books LLC54,737
Lulu Enterprises Inc.11,127
Xlibris Corporation10,680


Numbers are gathered as a result of Bowker’s maintenance of the industry’s bibliographic database Books In Print and reported through PubTrack Production Trends Analysis. Books In Print is the only bibliographic database with more than 12.8 million U.S. book, audiobook and video titles. It is widely regarded throughout the publishing industry as the most authoritative and comprehensive source of bibliographic data available worldwide, and has been a trusted source of information in North America for more than 50 years. Audiobooks and e-books are excluded. If changes in industry estimates occur, they will be reflected in a later published report.

About Bowker
Bowker is the world's leading provider of bibliographic information management solutions designed to help publishers, booksellers, and libraries better serve their customers. The company is focused on developing various tools and products that make books easier for people to discover, evaluate, order, and experience, as well as providing services to publishers that help them better understand and meet the interests of readers worldwide. Bowker is a member of the ProQuest family of companies and is headquartered in New Providence, N.J., with additional operations in England and Australia. For more information, please visit

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