If authors keep up with the information reflected in the Author Earnings reports by Hugh Howey and crew, then they’ll see a picture of how much authors are actually earning across different platforms, genres, and more. But the Nielsen data shows a year-end picture of how different formats stacked up, as well as where consumers are buying books, not just by brand name of retailers, but by market type, too.
The data for 2014 is in, and it showed a noticeable increase in ebook buying habits where new titles where concerned. This goes a little against the grain of an industry that for a long time has released new titles–especially expected bestsellers–first in hardcover, then paperback, then audio, then any other possible options. Ebooks were a slowly adopted format when e-readers first came on the scene, but that is shifting as publishers recognize the substantial sales dollars that come from the lower-priced and easier accessed format.
One of the very telling aspects of the report was where books are actually being purchased. With all of the concern on the part of self-published authors about not being readily included in bookstores and libraries, the data shows that’s simply not where readers are finding content. The majority of book sales are happening through online retailers, followed closely behind by major chain bookstores like Barnes and Noble (which has a website and has an agreement through BookBaby to stock self-published titles on its website). Yet some authors are still so concerned about wanting their books in brick-and-mortar bookstores, demonstrating the fact that they may know very little about the current retail climate.
One of the chief goals of the Author Earnings initiative has been to disseminate information just like this in order to help authors of every avenue make informed decisions about their careers. This glimpse into the bookselling realm will hopefully keep authors, publishers, and book retailers up to date on how books reach readers’ hands.
Friday, April 3, 2015
Arnaud Nourry, the CEO of Hachette said in a recent interview that e-book subscription services have no future. He was referencing the dirge of websites that have opened in the last few years, such as Scribd, Oyster and Entitle.
In a recent interview with the Bookseller, Arnaud said “We now have an ecosystem that works. This is why I have resisted the subscription system, which is a flawed idea even though it proliferates in the music business. Offering subscriptions at a monthly fee that is lower than the price of one book is absurd. For the consumer, it makes no sense. People who read two or three books a month represent an infinitesimal minority.”
Penguin Random House’s CEO Tom Weldon echoed Arnaud’s sentiments at the Futurebook conference a little awhile ago in the UK. “We have two problems with subscription. We are not convinced it is what readers want. ‘Eat everything you can’ isn’t a reader’s mindset. In music or film you might want 10,000 songs or films, but I don’t think you want 10,000 books.”
Many of the top publishers that have bought into the whole e-book subscription model have expressed trepidation about including their modern bestsellers. Companies like Macmillan have recently opened up their catalog of titles and started doing business with some of the leading sites, but they did it with older books. Readers will likely never find a current New York Times bestseller on a site like Scribd.
I don’t think e-book subscription websites are a viable business model. The main problem is that these services are not profitable on their own and they rely on venture capital in order to keep the lights on. Scribd has raised $42 million dollars since 2007 and Oyster has attained $14 million dollars in the last year and a half.
e-book subscription websites are a relatively new segment of the market and most top publishers have not bought into the concept yet. Those who do, have done it in a very limited fashion with their backlist. Instead, most just rely on Amazon to push their digital sales since the Seattle company controls 75% of the North American market and 95% in the United Kingdom.
The summer SYNC program is back again for 2015, offering two free audiobooks each week all summer long! The program starts May 7th and will offer two Young Adult audiobooks, one classic title and one current title, that users can keep as long as they wish. Once the week ends two new titles will become available so be sure to sign up for alerts at http://www.audiobooksync.com/ so you don't miss out on any of these great books!
This year's program includes classics like Great Expectations, Dracula, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Around the World in Eighty Days as well as popular current titles by Kami Garcia, Terry Pratchett and many others. The selections are designed to pair perfectly with school and library summer reading programs but audiobook lovers of all ages are sure to love them as well. Never tried an audiobook before? Well now is the perfect opportunity!
To help get the word out we are offering three free webinars with Audiofile for our partners to further explain the Sync program. The first will take place on April 22nd and you can sign up for it here. Audiofile has also created a tool kit to help promote the Sync program to your patrons which you can find at audiobooksync.com
Join us in discovering wonderful YA audiobook content both classic and new all summer long!
Adam Sockel is a Social Media Specialist with OverDrive
There are certain times of year when new anime arrives in hordes, and April is one of those times. And sometimes it can be hard to weed through the slew of new shows and find the ones worth watching. The following is a list of the top five most promising new series, whether by the based material or just the great premise of the plot. For the purposes of this list, we’ve excluded second seasons and limited the list to brand new series.
5. Food Wars/Shokugeki no Sōma
It isn’t uncommon for manga serialised in Weekly Shōnen Jump to get an anime adaption. Although cooking doesn’t immediately spring to mind when thinking of high stakes shōnen anime, but Food Wars never fails to deliver. It follows the protagonist as he attends an elite cooking school where only 10% of the students graduate. If you’re a fan of culinary TV like MasterChef, this is one anime you won’t want to miss.
4. Battle Spirits Burning Soul
Bandai’s popular card game, Battle Spirits, has already had it’s share of anime series. Burning Soul, however, is unique and has a different story from its predecessors. TV series based on merchandise have been a staple in our culture for as long as anyone can remember, and never seems to go out of style. If you’re looking for some of that good old-fashioned Saturday morning charm, this is the anime to watch.
3. Kyōkai no Rinne
This anime promises a flair for the supernatural. With an art style similar to InuYasha, the story follows Sakura, a girl who can see ghosts after she was pulled into the other side as a child. When she reaches high school, Sakura decides to rid herself of these abilities with the help of a young shinigami. A bit of action, a bit of romance, and a lot of ghosts, the 2009 manga has a retro feel to it, and the anime promises just the same amount of fun.
2. Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?
Look at that title. If there were ever a series to instantly catch a person’s attention, this would be it. In a world where adventurers seek out fame and fortune in the Dungeon. However, one young man named Bell goes in, not to win fortune, or glory, but to simply pick up a girl. Great reasoning! The series also takes n interesting mythological spin by having adventurers belong to a Famili, led by a certain god. The main character is the only Familia member of Hestia, going up against other mythological favourites like Loki and Freya. There’s a lot to love about this premise, and everyone should give it a go!
1. Vampire Holmes
This anime is not actually based on a manga or novel, but a smartphone game. The story follows a private detective in London, who always catches his criminal. His job takes a new description when he takes on a secret mission from the Metropolitan Police – chasing after vampires. While the smartphone game certainly roused enough interest to warrant the anime, at the end of the day, . I mean, it’s about a vampire hunter in London who goes by the name Holmes. What more can you ask for?