Book Biz: Audio Books Surge, eBooks Sag, Quitting Amazon

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Best Covers – 2015

I love great book covers. Like the Supreme Court judging pornography, I can’t lioness coverdefine them but I know them when I see them. I could spend (have spent) hours in bookstores just looking at book covers: the good, the bad and the ugly.

The NY Times starts it off with their selections.

Pinterest posted many Penguin Random House covers and some are fantastic.

Paste magazine has a great slideshow of their selections.

And Buzzfeed presents 34 of “the most beautiful covers of 2015” (whatever that means).

I’m in awe of the designers who can create art that suggests the concept and content of a book on the equivalent of just one page.

Other 2015 Bests

Abe Books compiled quite an array of literary footnotes for the year, including Best Fiction and ending with Books Made Into Movies.

Publisher’s Weekly offers their review with each of their selections.

The extensive lists from Goodreads begin with Best Books of the 21st Century and finish with Best Fantasy of The 2010s.

Digital Magazine Subscriptions Tumble

Like fervent believers who explain away the drop in ebook sales, proponents of digital magazine subscriptions find their only bright spot in library subscriptions. Not sure that’s a big enough market.

Pop-Up Blockers Irritate Gentlemenpopup blocker

Conde Nast’s GQ magazine will charge digital edition readers for each article they read if they insist on using their ad blocking soft-ware article.

Publisher Drops Amazon, Sales Soar

Education publisher EDC stopped selling books through Amazon three years ago. Since then other sales channels sprang up and revenue increased 60% and income rose 300%.

Digerati Say Increased Book Sales a Fluke

Citing the popularity of adult coloring books and the release of Harper Lee’s Go Set A Watchman, ebook devotees claim the increase in book sales is an anomaly. But the fact is that trade book sales fell a few years ago in spite the popularity of Harry Potter and the craze for Sudoku books.

Audio Book Sales SurgeCalibre CD Stick

Audio books are catching, if not surpassing, sales of printed books. Many credit the popularity of working out at local gyms while others point out that boomers are retiring and touring the country. I doubt we’ll see an audio cookbook though.

600-px-booksMost Influential Academic Text

After winnowing suggestions from 200 publishers as to the most influential academic book of all time down to twenty, then letting the public decide, Darwin’s Origin of Species was selected over Plato’s Republic, Paine’s Rights of Man and Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.

Banished Words

Supporters of 1st Amendment rights still believe that unnecessary creation of words or their usage (answering questions by beginning with, “so…”) or phrase (price point) should be subject to rigorous scrutiny. “So” topped the list this year that also included “stakeholder”, “walk it back”, and “man- spreading”. All henceforth banished!

Used Bookstores Thriveused book store

Eschewing Half.com and Amazon’s vast offering of used books, readers who like browsing for their next book are finding that used bookstores offer a sensory experience not available online.

Final Thought

Fiction reveals truths that reality obscures. Jessamyn West

 

About Wayne Johnson 69 Articles

I’ve worked in book manufacturing for over 30 years, closing my company Baker Johnson, Inc. in 2005. Currently I work freelance with a large group of publishers, advising them on the printing options available to them as the book industry endures major restructuring.
My wife Cathy is a retired psychologist and spent most of her career working with the youth at Maxey Boys Training School. She is a small mammal rehabilitator with Friends of Wildlife.
Our daughter Whitney is a PharmD working in the Denver area evaluating the pharmaceutical requirements of nursing homes. Our son Eliot lives in Waterloo and is an editor at Mathematical Reviews in Ann Arbor.