Thursday, July 16, 2015

e-Book Sales Plummet 7.5% in the First 3 Months of 2015


The Association of American Publishers has just released their annual data report and e-book sales are not doing that great. In the first three months of 2015 they have plummeted 7.5% from the same period last year. Meanwhile paperback sales have increased by 8.9% giving further credence that people are switching back to print in greater numbers than originally thought.

Bookstores all over the world are starting to do brisk business when it comes to print, as the novelty of e-books have clearly waned.  The Kindle "has disappeared to all intents and purposes", said James Daunt the head of Britain's biggest book chain Waterstones. He also reported that print book sales lifted by 5% in December 2014.

Meanwhile, Australian bookseller Jon Page of Page and Pages said "print sales were up 3% last year, which is fantastic because for the last three years we'd actually seen a decline in that time."

Chapters Indigo, the largest bookseller in Canada reported during their Q2 2014 earnings call that they generated an extra $9.7 million, despite operating four fewer superstores. They reported double digit increases in print sales as customers are buying less e-readers and tablets.

I think e-books are the modern equivalent of a Polaroid camera or LP record. There is a niche market that will always support it, and make it financially viable for publishers to produce digital editions.  The mass market though, experimented with e-books for awhile and decided that print is far more affordable and carries a true sense of ownership.

How Does Your Library Encourage Reading?


Many libraries are trying out new tactics in order to encourage people to read. Some are giving book recommendations on your checkout receipt based on the title you borrowed, while others track the number of books you read and if you read 1,000 before the child enters kindergarten (repeats are okay) they get a backpack, a certificate, and their name on the wall.

One program I really like is displaying the yearly savings at the bottom of the checkout receipts. It gives you something tangible and one you see the figure rise to over $1,000 it is tremendously validating.

If you regularly visit a library, you will inevitably forget to return a title on time and incur a fine. One library in the US has a program where one month a year, they let kids and families and individuals “read down” their fines. Fifteen minutes of reading in the library (any format) erases $1 from fines on your account! Meanwhile a Canadian library has “Christmas amnesty” where they waive all late fees on your account in exchange for cans of food.

So the question is, how does your library encourage reading and what type of programs do you offer?

Insignia Flex Elite 7.85″ Tablet has 326 ppi & Android 5.0 for $149

Best Buy recently started carrying a new Android tablet called the Insignia Flex Elite. The screen and overall design are reminiscent of the latest iPad Mini. I often highlight tablets with high resolution screens because they are the best tablets for ereading. The Insignia Flex Elite definitely fits that bill with its 7.85-inch 2048 x […]

Go Set a Watchman Breaks Sales Records at B&N


Barnes and Noble has announced that the new Harper Lee title Go Set a Watchman has set a one day sales record for the number of copies sold at US chain.  The last book to have this much hype surrounding it was Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol, which held the previous sales record  in 2009.

Barnes & Noble executive Mary Amicucci predicts that “Watchman” will be the top seller for the year. She noted that it dislodged E.L.James’ “Grey,” the latest in the “Fifty Shades” series, from the No. 1 spot for sales as of Tuesday morning.

In the UK, Go Set a Watchman racked up first-day sales of over 105,000 copies, across print and digital editions, according to publisher Penguin Random House. Meanwhile Waterstones’ own sales for the title are approaching 30,000, James Daunt told The Bookseller.

Bookstore Sales Up 0.9% in May 2015


Brick and mortar bookstore sales are on the rise for the third straight month according to the US census Bureau.  In May 2015 sales across the board for books, stationary and magazines have increased 0.9%, to $776 million from the same period last year.

"The rapid growth of e-book sales has quite dramatically slowed and there is some evidence it has gone into reverse," said Douglas McCabe of Enders Analysis. Though it's hard to say what exactly has caused the apparent slow-down of digital book sales, this does spell good news for fans of physical books.

Jane Green on writing, libraries and cooking

On Wednesday afternoon, best selling author and Digipalooza keynote speaker Jane Green took some time out of her busy schedule to chat with us on Twitter about her career, her favorite books and what she'd be doing if she wasn't a writer. You can read the full conversation right here.

I was an awkward child who didn't feelJane has written sixteen New York Times best selling novels, multiple cookbooks and even covered the royal wedding for ABC news. She releases a book for her fans nearly every year and never stops writing. Suffice to say she, literally, has a lot on her plate. Despite all that, she managed to spare a few moments to give some thoughts on her love of libraries as well as being considered one of the founders of the #ChickLit genre.

Digipalooza attendees are sure to be treated to a wonderful keynote and we can't wait to hear Jane share her stories and insights into the world of writing. We hope you'll be joining us this August in downtown Cleveland for this great event!


Adam Sockel is a Social Media Specialist with OverDrive.

Kobo Aura Price Drops to $99

I was checking out Kobo’s website today to see if they have anything new going on and I happened to notice that the Kobo Aura has received what appears to be a permanent price drop down to $99. The deal is even better over on the Chapters.Indigo website. They also have the Kobo Aura for […]

Reviewing Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica

How often do we walk past people that might be in need of our help and do nothing? How often do we toss a few dollars or coins at someone that looks like they could use more? How much can we trust someone we don't really know?

In Mary Kubica's Pretty Baby, Heidi Wood sees a young girl struggling with a baby on the platform of the train station one chilly day. For a few days after, Heidi keeps seeing that same girl, and wonders if there is anything she can do to help. When she can't stand it any longer, Heidi offers to take the girl, Willow, and her baby in and help get them on their feet.

Heidi's husband, Chris, is less than welcoming to the thought of a homeless girl and her infant child staying in his home. As Chris and Heidi learn more and more about Willow and her history, they have to decide how far they're willing to go for a stranger. Things become complicated when people start to get attached.

I must admit that I am already a fan of Kubica. Last year, I read The Good Girl and the suspense and plot twists of that story were amazing. I anticipated that the newest work from Kubica, Pretty Baby, would be just as psychologically thrilling and exciting and I was right.

I won't give away any spoilers but I promise you, the ending is a crowd-pleaser. With each chapter, the reader gains more and more information on the fates of these people and what they might be hiding. A tangled web leads to a pretty large confrontation.

If you're looking for a new summer read in the veins of Tana French, Paula Hawkins or Gillian Flynn then this is the book for you.

Boombox Blaster

Now, I often reflect to myself smugly that Pi Towers is a really cool place to work. We’ve got an arcade machine, a fake hamster (Emma has forbidden all pets of the higher orders) in a real cage, brine shrimp (Emma’s OK with those), a Portal Turret, Pac-Man dress-up gear, juggling clubs, about fifty Rubik’s cubes, Biscuits the Robot, a drone whose whirling blades we use to keep Eben’s remaining hair short, a cupboard full of ramen, many remote-control cars, a Hornby train set, Cake Tuesdays, a hydroponic windowsill garden, a Tardis that’s been to space, and Gordon.

Sadly, I think we’ve been out-cooled by an outfit called Neo-Pangea (even their name is cooler than ours). These guys have standing desks. And ceilings made from scaffolding and pallets. And an office dog. And nerf guns. And a much cooler name than ours. They play music in the offices all day long (try that round here and James will likely come over and bludgeon you to death with the base of the soldering station). They are a Digital Boutique. We’re not quite sure what that is, but it sounds cool.

And they’ve used a Raspberry Pi to make office music selection much, much cooler.

Pi Towers: we need to get a Mexican wrestling mask.

Neo-Pangea say:

We turned our pressure-sensitive target into a tiny house that is carried into the clouds by a hot air balloon. Now, when those dreaded tunes pollute our atmosphere, Neo-Pangea's residents can take aim to do something about it. After being hit by a Nerf projectile, the floating house lights up to acknowledge the successful hit. The balloon lights up with LED flames and is reeled into the clouds by a servo. This luminous aerial ballet is a physical representation for the signal traveling to the Sonos API on our Raspberry Pi that skips the player to the next song. The Boombox Blaster now resides in the very heart of the office and in the hearts of those dedicated, slightly mad team members who labored for countless hours to transform this music-fueled fever dream into a useful, blastable reality.

You’ll find a build diary, along with some Node JS script to control Sonos via your Pi, over at Neo Pangea’s blog.

I have just noticed that they also have a guy with a top hat. Pi Towers, we need to up our game.

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