Book Biz: Tablets vs eReaders, Kid Lit gets Oscar Nods, xpedx Closes Stores

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It seems that 2012 may have gotten off to a stronger start than many had hoped for. A survey of printers indicates that an increasing number of them are not only profitable but are also adding employees. And Amazon reported print book sales enjoyed a “double digit” increase in sales in the last quarter of 2011.

Arabic eBooks

eReaders that can display Arabic have been developed and there is a nascent Arabic eBook industry. Notice too in the article that conventional book sales are forecast to rise 5% in the United Arab Emirates.

Paperless Society? Not Even Close

In an effort to determine if children of the digital age still find paper relevant and useful, 80% of European youth surveyed believe paper is an integral part of their lives.

Studying Amazon

I think we all follow the ups and downs of Amazon, if not always as supportive fans. It is the elephant in our room. Here are excerpts from a recent article about Amazon in Businessweek.

Remainder Distributor Closes

Many of us assumed (wrongly) that sales of remainder books would perform well through a recession, so it was a surprise that one of the largest remainder distributors, Fairmount Books, is closing after twenty-nine years of operation.

iPad vs. eReaders

Research is beginning to show that the public (and hence publishers) find the iPad format superior to tablets like the Kindle Fire and Nook Color for eBook reading.

Kindle vs. Kobo

Because the Kobo eReader hasn’t been much publicized in America doesn’t mean it’s not successful. Internationally, Kobo narrowly outsells Kindle. It only matters because the Kindle uses a proprietary format while Kobo accepts more than a dozen.

Industry Dead Pool

An unscientific survey asked readers to predict the health (or lack thereof) of four organizations integral to the print/publishing industry. The winner surprised me.

xpedx Closes Stores

One of the nation’s largest paper distributors is closing its retail stores. xpedx has announced it’s doing away with it’s Stores Division. At one time it had 140 stores in 32 states. xpedx is owned by International Paper, the largest paper manufacturer in the world.

Romney Sympathizes (and Blames)

Prior to the final Republican Debate before Florida’s Primary, Mitt Romney held a rally at a print shop that was closing after 99 years of operation. You know who he blamed for the closing, but when we closed our shop in 2005, there were 1,000 commercial printers closing in America each year.


Jaipur Literary Festival

I never thought much about literary events in countries busy building infrastructure and industry, but this account of the Jaipur (India) Literary Festival captures a very different event than one of our local festivals might provide.

Bookstore Tips

I think we’ve all thought wistfully about owning a bookstore. Here are 25 wry tips to think about before taking the plunge.

Children’s Book Stories Rule Oscars

Stories from children’s books that were made into movies last year have received 21 Oscar nominations.

eTextbooks for All Levels

College eTextbooks have been described here before, but the largest textbook publishers now have developers creating texts for the iPad for lower levels too.

DRM and Piracy

A major eRetailer argues that publishers should stop using digital rights management (DRM) because it hurts sales and it doesn’t seem to stop those who are determined to defeat it anyway.

Sexy Authors

Canteen magazine has decided that novelists need a more contemporary image and so has commissioned photographs that portray authors in lustier portraits than one might have expected.

Final Thought

It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it. ~Oscar Wilde

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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.