Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Kindle Teams with OverDrive to Lend Library Books

Amazon announced this morning that Kindle owners will soon be able to borrow books from public libraries. Working with vendor OverDrive, which manages e-book lending for the vast majority of public libraries, the deal will make thousands of titles available via more than 11,000 of OverDrive’s public library partners. To date, Kindle has been noticeably absent from library lending, as OverDrive's service worked only with ePub-enabled devices, including the Sony Reader, the Nook, iPads, and smartphones. Amazon officials said that with Kindle Library Lending, library-ebooks managed by OverDrive will now be available for all generations of Kindle devices and for use with free Kindle reading apps on most other devices, including Android, iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, PC, Mac, BlackBerry, or Windows Phone.
The deal is a major score for OverDrive, and for libraries, which have posted impressive circulation numbers over the last year as e-readers and e-books have surged in popularity, and demand for library e-books has surged with it. In 2010, OverDrive reported a 200% increase in library e-book checkouts over 2009, with more than 718 million book and title catalog pages viewed, and more that 15 million digital check-outs of nearly 400,000 titles. Since Christmas, 2010, OverDrive officials say checkouts have jumped further, and are already approaching 2010’s annual total—especially impressive figures that are likely to increase  further with the addition of the Kindle, the most popular reading device. “We hear librarians and patrons rave about Kindle,” said Steve Potash, CEO, OverDrive, “so we are thrilled that we can be part of bringing library books to the unparalleled experience of reading on Kindle."
Of course, not every title available for purchase in the Kindle will be available for lending. Major publishers like Macmillan and Simon & Schuster still do not sell e-books to libraries. The Kindle Lending Library will launch “later this year.”

*From an article by 

Friday, April 15, 2011

E-Books Rank as #1 Format among All Trade Categories for February

by Andi Sporkin
April 14, 2011; New York, NY-- Powerful continuing growth of books on digital platforms--both e-Books and Downloaded Audiobooks--are highlights of the February 2011 sales report of the Association of American Publishers, which is being released today.
The report, produced by the trade association of the U.S. book publishing industry, tracks monthly and year-to-date publishers’ net sales revenue in all categories of commercial, education, professional and scholarly books and journals.
According to the February results, once again e-Books have enjoyed triple-digit percentage growth, 202.3%, vs February 2010. Downloaded Audiobooks, which have also seen consistent monthly gains, increased 36.7% vs last February.
For February 2011, e-Books ranked as the #1 format among all categories of Trade publishing (Adult Hardcover, Adult Paperback, Adult Mass Market, Children’s/Young Adult Hardcover, Children’s/Young Adult Paperback).
This one-month surge is primarily attributed to a high level of strong post-holiday e-Book buying, or “loading,” by consumers who received e-Reader devices as gifts. Experts note that the expanded selection of e-Readers introduced for the holidays and the broader availability of titles are factors.
Additionally, Trade publishing houses cite e-Books as generating fresh consumer interest in--and new revenue streams for--“backlist” titles, books that have been in print for at least a year. Many publishers report that e-Book readers who enjoy a newly-released book will frequently buy an author’s full backlist.
For the year to date (January/February 2011 vs January/February 2010), which encompasses this heavy post-holiday buying period, e-Books grew 169.4% to $164.1M while the combined categories of print books fell 24.8% to $441.7M.*
According to Tom Allen, President and Chief Executive Officer of AAP, “The February results reflect two core facts: people love books and publishers actively serve readers wherever they are. The public is embracing the breadth and variety of reading choices available to them. They have made e-Books permanent additions to their lifestyle while maintaining interest in print format books.”
Allen added that book publishers have been leaders among content providers in identifying and serving new audiences. “Publishers have always strategically expanded into all the markets and formats where readers want to find books, whether it was Trade Paperback, Mass Market or now digital. By extending their work as developers, producers and marketers of high-quality content to emerging technologies, publishers are constantly redefining the timeless concept of ‘books.’”
Other highlights in the February 2011 report (all February 2011 vs February 2010 unless otherwise noted):
Digital categories:
E-Book sales were $90.3 Million, growing 202.3% vs February 2010. Downloaded Audiobooks were $6.9M, an increase of 36.7%.
Trade categories:
Adult Trade categories combined (Hardcover, Paperback and Mass Market) were $156.8M, down 34.4%. Children’s/Young Adult categories combined (Hardcover and Paperback) were $58.5M, a decline of 16.1%
*Year-to-date 2011 vs YTD 2010: E-Books increased by 169.4% while all categories combined of print Trade books declined by 24.8%
Religious books:
February sales of $48.5M were an increase of 5.5%; this reflects growth as well in the category for year-to-date, up 6.1% to $93.9M.
Education categories:
Higher Education sales for YTD (January and February 2011) were $406.9M, down slightly by 5.6% vs YTD 2010. In K-12, YTD sales were $173M, declining 8.9% from 2010.
Professional/Scholarly categories:
Total sales for professional books and journals were $42.9M, a slight drop of 3.6% vs February 2010. Combined sales of University Press (hardcover and paperback) were $6.7M, falling 6% vs last year.
The AAP monthly and year-end sales report represents data provided by 84 U.S. publishing houses representing major commercial, education, professional, scholarly and independents. Data on e-Books comes from 16 houses. The report does not include all book and journal net sales but provides what’s acknowledged as the best industry snapshot currently available.

*From an article by Andi Sporkin for the AAP

Thursday, April 14, 2011

eBook Sales Set Another Record, But Can't Outpace the Decline in Print

eBooks indisputably comprise a significant portion of trade revenues following the Christmas boom in ereading-capable devices, confirmed by another record ebook sales tally from among the 14 publishers who report. The AAP data also shows what publishers' net shipments look like in a world in which no one is sending books to Borders.

February ebook sales totaled $90.3 million, significantly ahead of the record $69.9 million reported the previous month. In January ebooks were the second-largest trade segment, behind trade paperbacks, but in February they moved ahead as the single largest-selling format (with trade paperbacks at $81.2 million).

Just as ebooks rose, print book shipments were down across the board by significant percentages, with adult hardcover suffering the most, declining 43 percent compared to February 2010. Net trade print book sales for the month among the reporting AAP members were $215.2 million--down 30 percent from $308.7 million.

In January, the increase in ebook sales of $37.5 million did not make up for the decline in trade print sales of $50.4 million. It was the same in February, with ebooks' gain of $60.4 million lagging print's decline of $93.5 million.

Overall, ebooks comprise 29.5 percent of the reported trade sales for February. (Which means they are actually somewhat higher, since more publishers report print sales to the AAP than report ebook sales. Similarly, we remind you that direct year-over-year comparisons of ebook sales are skewed because two additional publishers starting reporting ebook data for 2011.)

*An article from today's Publisher's Lunch

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Mystery Times Ten Judging Enters Final Round!

We received over 200 entries in our Mystery Times Ten YA Mystery Short Story Competition. The YA Blogger Panel and Teen Panel have completed their scoring and the top 20 stories (based on their combined scores) are now in the hands of our Editorial Review Panel.

Ten lucky authors will have their stories published in our upcoming Mystery Times Ten anthology.

Good luck to all the finalists! Watch here and on our website for the announcement of the winners in late April!