The growing popularity of e-books and the adoption of specialized e-book reading devices are documented in a series of new nationally representative surveys by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project that look at the public’s general reading habits, their consumption of print books, e-books and audiobooks, and their attitudes about the changing ways that books are made available to the public. Most of the findings in this report come from a survey of 2,986 Americans ages 16 and older, conducted on November 16-December 21, 2011, that extensively focused on the new terrain of e-reading and people’s habits and preferences.
The Wall Street Journal states that three international publishers, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins and Hachette Book Group, are now “inclined to settle the matter” with the Department of Justice in the US as “talks . . . are heating up”, though “Apple, another target of the investigation, and two publishers appear reluctant to settle on the terms sought by antitrust authorities in both the US and Europe”. It added: “The situation remains fluid and those positions could change as the Justice Department edges closer to filing an antitrust suit.”
Barnes & Noble has said it won’t carry Amazon Publishing titles in its stores, but it’s backing down in the case of the children’s book line Amazon recently acquired. In December, Amazon acquired the rights to around 450 children’s books from the U.S. division of publisher Marshall Cavendish. Amazon will continue to…
Publishers fear it, but are dependent on it. Readers adore its low prices and convenience, but hear from some circles that they should boycot the company. Writers know they need it — to sell their books. And self-publishers realize that without Amazon, the whole self-publishing phenomenon might never have taken off in the first place.
Over the past five years, print-on-demand technology and a growing number of self-publishing companies whose books can be sold online have inspired writers of all ages to bypass the traditional gatekeeping system for determining who can call himself a “published author.” They include hundreds of children and teenagers who are self-publishing books each year — a growing corner of the book world that raises as many questions about parenting as it does about publishing.
“Self expression has become the new form of entertainment” and that the popularity of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube is evidence of this phenomenon. A large part of this self expression is visual and the popularity of photos and images that are shared in their millions every day is evidence of the compelling power of well crafted high definition images and beautiful photos.
Asked to predict the future for authors in five years time, aspiring novelists said that authors would be more likely to self-publish (52%), earn over half their income from ebook sales (45%) and overall, earn less from publishing (40%). For aspiring authors in the future, most predicted less chance to earn a living (93%) and a greater need to market themselves (76%).
No longer is the author’s job done when he has delivered something brilliant that can be bound between covers or transmitted to any one of a dozen digital reading devices. Authors now have a second job, one that involves connecting with the media and the masses to first build a platform, and second, make themselves and their ideas “discoverable.”
Early sales data indicates that inclusion in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library not only generates additional revenue from loans for authors, but actually increases customer purchases of authors’ work as well.
Chadwick Martin Bailey analyzed why consumers engage via email and Facebook and found that receiving discounts and special offers was the top motivation. Of the US respondents who had an email account, 58% cited that as a reason for subscribing to email lists. Other reasons for email participation included taking part in a specific promotion (39%) and because the consumer was a customer or supporter of the business or nonprofit (37%).