GoodEReader is on location at the 2012 Digital Book World conference in New York and this year’s event is a veritable who’s who of industry experts. Much of the discussion at this year’s event has focused on children’s digital content, for everything from entertaining interactive ebooks to educational content in digital textbooks, especially in light of Apple’s recent announcement concerning educational materials.
Graham Farrar, one of the founders of iStoryTime , spoke to GoodEReader about the exciting innovations that the public can expect for children’s content, as well as about zuuka and iStoryTime receiving a coveted Publishing Innovation Award for children’s content for its groundbreaking title, Five Little Pumpkins . That ebook was the first such title developed with Apple to use the ePub standard while still incorporating all of the interactivity features that the children’s ebook publisher is well-known for.
Farrar spoke about what it is that children are looking for in this type of content, as well as what the parent-consumers want. The younger readers respond favorably to the interactivity, such as bonus games, touch-screen coloring book applications, and the imagery from their favorite characters; the adults who ultimately purchase the content for their children are primarily interested in quality content that they feel confident in giving to their children, as well as the value of the content at that price point.
zuuka and iStoryTime are releasing another title in their bestselling Biscuit ebook series, Biscuit’s Valentine’s Day , available for iPhone and iPad.
They’re certainly not new. There are a number of well-known authors who have enjoyed the success of being traditionally publishing while still taking on their own projects that they self-publish. Some of them come at this from having been self-published authors who caught the attention of traditional editors and publishers. Others worked in reverse, becoming well-known traditionally published authors but experimenting–often in other genres or under pen names–with projects that they themselves control.
Now, this type of writing career has a name. Hybrid authors, as they are being called, were the featured topic of this morning’s sessions at Digital Book World. Phil Sexton presented some very detailed data on the sales and perceptions of the industry from the three types of authors discussed: self-published, traditionally published, and now, hybrid.
According to the data, it would appear almost as though the hybrid authors are the ones with the most satisfaction with the publishing industry and with their own careers. Perhaps the most interesting point Sexton shared was that hybrid authors were almost evenly split on whether they would publish their next manuscript traditionally or on their own.
Following Sexton’s presentation and a interview with author Hugh Howey and his agent Kristin Nelson about his decision to sign a print-only deal with Simon&Schuster after earning an average of $50,000 per month on his own, Laura Owen of GigaOm moderated a panel of agents to discuss this hybrid author status. The agents featured in the panel represent such hybrid authors as Amanda Hocking and Bella Andre.
A lot of news has surfaced recently about the popularity of social reading, which enables fans of a particular book to share annotations and comments across existing social media platforms. At the same time, the world of digital textbooks got a boost from Apple and several other companies since the beginning of this year, making the realization of more widespread publication of e-textbooks that much more feasible.
Copia has found a way to merge the two, and was on hand at Digital Book World this week to demonstrate the functionality and benefits of being able to share educational material with other users. The possibilities for study groups, for additional notes and discussions from course professors, and even from students using the same text at an entirely different college or university with a different professor are nearly limitless.
A narrative explanation and demonstration video from Copia’s interview with GoodEReader can be found below.
At the Digital Book World conference in New York, James McQuivey, Vice President & Principal Analyst, of Forrester Research, talked about some recent survey results. He said that “As we enter 2013, Nook sales are slowing down and Kindle sales are increasing. Apple crossed the 120 million iPad sales mark worldwide, which is a very big deal. Top publishers report that more than 25% of adult sales are digital.”
Recently, Forrester Researched surveyed publishing executives in 2012 from large, mid-tier, and smaller publishers. The companies he spoke with accounted for more than two thirds of the entire publishing sector. 85% of those he surveyed are optimistic about the digital transition. 64% say their company is capable of competing in digital environment and only 55% say that company’s plan has a good chance of succeeding.
One of the more interesting aspects of the survey results has to do with the adoption rate of tablets and e-readers. 60% of the people responding said that tablets are an ideal reading platform and only 23% think that e-readers are an ideal platform. 45% agree that e-readers will soon be irrelevant. One thing that was striking was how the confidence in dedicated apps is waning. 85% of publishers produce apps and 45% say that apps cost too much to produce and only 19% think that apps will change the future of books.
You might have heard of the recent Justice Department settlement with the big six publishers on fixing eBook prices. Most publishers think that the settlement will make Amazon more powerful, but only 30% think that Amazon will lower prices on all books under the wholesale model.
The survey concluded by looking forward into the end of the year and 32% think that print sales will increase and that ebook sales to increase 21%. James explained that the entire industry is starting to settle down. eBooks will account for 50% of all books sold by June of 2014, but 23% say that this has already happened to their company.
Aptara is one of the mainstays in the publishing industry, so they will be at every industry event with exciting new content and demonstrations. At this year鈥檚 Digital Book World , alongside their presentation on the adoption of the new ePub3 and HTML 5 standards, Aptara was also showcasing the work they had already done using Apple鈥檚 latest innovation, iBooks Author .
The iBooks Author platform, announced last week alongside several other Apple offerings, is a full-compliment packaging platform for authors to take the content that they have written and form it into an interactive reading experience. Apple also released major news on digital textbooks when they launched iBooks Author, proving the inherent value in this type of platform.
Carmen Lamb and Jean Kaplansky from Aptara gave GoodEReader a run-down of the key features of this new program, as well as demonstrated a sample text that Aptara developed using the program. Aptara will be moderating a webinar on Thursday with McGraw-Hill to take a one-week look at the reactions so far to iBook Author and to discuss the possible applications of the program. Information on the webinar can be found HERE and the video demonstration from Aptara at Digital Book World can be found below.
Digital Book World is one of the leading conferences, where the entire digital publishing industry gets together and talks about the current state of affairs and future of e-readers and ebooks. Staff writers Paul Biba and Mercy Pilkington are both live in New York City and will be attending the entire conference. We will be bringing you the latest news, interviews, and previews of all the sessions and speakers. If you have a vested interest in digital newspapers, magazines, or publishing, you won’t want to miss it!. Every year, we provide the most comprehensive analysis of the entire event! All day long we will be producing tons of content, so stay tuned.
This is a shot of the Hilton where DBW will be getting started tomorrow morning. 聽It’s fairly warm, but rainy, in NYC right now, but that doesn’t matter because I won’t see the light of day at all of tomorrow. 聽The directional signs are just going up in the hotel: