This Week in Indie Publishing

E-Commerce Giant Dangdang Opens To Self-Published Authors In The West

Peggy Yu Yu, co-founder and chairman of Dangdang, left, and Guoqing Li, co-founder and chief executive officer of Dangdang, right. in New York in 2010. Photographer: Jin Lee/Bloomberg

E-commerce giant Dangdang and self-publishing platform PublishDrive announced a partnership that, for the first time, allows authors in the West to make their self-published e-books available on the website.

Dangdang, whose competitors are Amazon (Dangdang, like Amazon, just got into the physical bookstore game, opening its first store in January of this year; it also launched an e-reader, like Amazon, in 2012) and, launched its e-book platform in late 2011, but, until now, that platform had not been usable by Western authors.

Read the rest of this story HERE.

Traditional Publishers Are Selling Way More Non-Fiction Than Fiction

2013 was the last year that the adult fiction category beat non-fiction in revenue.PEXELS.COM

In the publishing industry, adult non-fiction revenues are soaring above fiction revenues and have been widening the gap for the past five years. Adult non-fiction revenue totalled $6.18 billion across the publishing industry in 2017, while adult fiction revenues reached $4.3 billion, according to Penguin Random House, using data from Association of American Publishers (AAP), the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, and Bookscan.

2013 was the last year that the adult fiction category beat non-fiction in revenue (at $5.21 billion in revenue to non-fiction’s $4.82 billion). Revenues for adult non-fiction have rapidly risen every year since: $4.97 billion in 2014, $5.59 billion in 2015, $5.87 billion in 2016, and finally $6.18 billion last year. In the same five-year period, adult fiction revenues dropped from a high of $5.21 billion in 2013 to 2017’s low of $4.38 billion.

Read the rest of this story HERE.

Who Wants to Buy Barnes & Noble?

A lawsuit filed by the struggling retailer’s former CEO reveals deep problems—and a potential suitor.

Can things get worse for Barnes & Noble? In 2018, it comes across as a silly question. Decades removed from its heyday as the brutalizer of small bookshops—the inspiration for Tom Hanks’s soul-destroying monolith in You’ve Got Mail—the store is running on fumes. Its stock price sits at five dollars. Its high-profile attempts to compete with Amazon in e-commerce and e-books have been expensive failures. It has had four CEOs in the past five years, a period in which it has closed stores and laid off staff, including 1,800 in February.

Read the rest of this story HERE.

Why Is The Federal Government Threatening An Indie Book Publisher With $100,000 In Fines?

Along with his husband, James Jenkins runs Valancourt Books, an independent, print-on-demand publisher that specializes in reprinting long-lost works. Reflecting the couple’s eclectic tastes, Valancourt’s selection runs the gamut from obscure Gothic horror to forgotten queer literature. Its catalogue now has over 400 books in print, with the publisher adding roughly 20 new titles each year.

The couple has painstakingly typed out manuscripts from microfiches and rare print editions (including from the only surviving copy for some books), and converted them to digital formats. So when a customer orders a book, Valancourt will send the digital files to a printing vendor, who then prints a single-bound volume. “This way, the books stay in print indefinitely,” Jenkins explained.

Read the rest of this story HERE.

Bill Gates: These 3 books ‘opened a new world for me’

Bill Gates

Bill Gates is an avid reader. The Microsoft co-founder reads every night, has reviewed hundreds of books on his blog and regularly shares lists of his favorite books. He often credits books likes these for helping him understand new perspectives and even changing his priorities.

In one blog post, Gates writes about meeting with famed epidemiologist Dr. Bill Foege, a long-time mentor who sparked the tech billionaire’s interest in global health by way of a reading list years ago.

Read the rest of this story HERE.

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