The walls

19 October 2018

The walls are the publishers of the poor.

~ Eduardo Galeano

Blogging Schedule

19 October 2018

The metronome-like blogging schedule of TPV will be a bit less so for the next few days.

Nothing bad is happening, just a few other scheduled items that will take a bit of time out of the day for PG.

Publisher Revenue for Trade Books Increases in August 2018 and Year-to-Date

18 October 2018

From The Association of American Publishers:

Publishers’ revenue for trade (consumer) books and PreK-12 Instructional Materials increased in August 2018 compared to August 2017, continuing the trends from the July data which also saw growth in these categories. The increases added $26 million in revenue (+1.2%) for publishers in August 2018, offsetting slight declines in other categories.

For the first eight months of 2018 (Jan. – Aug.) trade publishers saw growth in all tracked categories – Adult Books, Children’s/YA and Religious Presses – compared to the same timeframe in 2017. Adult Books added $153 million (+5.2%) for the year-to-date compared to 2017. Overall book publisher revenues were down slightly (-0.6%) through August 2018.

. . . .

Print books generally saw revenue growth, with strong gains in both hardback and paperback books in August 2018 vs. August 2017. Publisher revenue also increased +45.2% for downloaded audio compared to August 2017. Revenues for eBooks and board books were flat at +0.2% and -0.2% respectively.

Link to the rest at The Association of American Publishers

Kindle Singles

18 October 2018

Kindle Singles is publishing on skates. It prints like lightning; our book meets readers in hours. I’ve spent so many years waiting for publishers to consider whether they wanted to print a book of mine, making contracts, taking months to fit it into the Fall list or the Spring list, fitting it into an advertising plan.

~ Richard Bach

Read to Your Kid With the Perfect Sound Effects Accompaniment

18 October 2018

From Offspring:

Last night, I read my daughter a story before bed, like I always do. I picked an old favorite from her bookshelf—Giraffes Can’t Dance. But this time, a musical cast accompanied my narration.

“The warthogs started waltzing …” I read. Just then, a romantic melody started playing.

I continued. “And the rhinos rock ‘n’ rolled …” Suddenly, there was an interlude by an electric guitar.

The lions danced a tango that was elegant and bold.” Right on cue, a dramatic tango tune cut in.

Okay, so there were no actual musicians in my kid’s bedroom—that would have been weird as we were sitting in our pajamas. But it felt like they were there, thanks to a free iOS app called Novel Effect.

. . . .

As you read a children’s book aloud, your iPhone, iPad or connected speakers play custom music and sound effects to enhance the story. The system uses voice recognition technology to drop in the sounds at the perfect moment, so you can go at your own pace. There’s a well-timed “ba-dum-bump-chhhh” in The Book with No Pictures, the hum of machine engines in Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, and lively underwater effects in The Pout-Pout Fish. There are even some voice cameos by certain characters—in Where the Wild Things Are, Max appears with his famed line “I’ll eat you up.”

Novel Effect works with more than 200 different books, from classics to recent bestsellers. There are some titles that come with the app, but for most of the selections, you must already have a copy of the book, whether print or digital. (There’s also an option to open a book in iBooks directly in the app.) Once you tap “Read book,” you can just set your device aside and start reading.

. . . .

Novel Effect is currently creating media designed to be used with Alexa, which makes a lot of sense. It’d be nice to not need my phone at all to use the technology.

Link to the rest at Offspring

Sci-Fi, Women Leading Audiobook Consumption

18 October 2018

From Publishing Perspectives:

In a new study released Tuesday (October 16), BookNet Canada is reporting a strong leading interest for science-fiction and fantasy among surveyed Canadian audiobook listeners. Publishers, the report says, have almost quadrupled their production of audiobooks since 2015.

. . . .

BookNet content revealed that 61 percent of Canadian publishers say they’re producing audiobooks, an increase of 24 percent over the 2016 response and “nearly quadruple” the 16-percent response of 2015. Of that 61 percent of publishers who say they’re producing audio, 40 percent of them say their production is managed by a third-party producer, 43 percent is made in-house, and 10 percent is handled by retailers.

. . . .

Publishing observers will note that in Canada, female consumers seem to be leading the way in audiobook consumption, while in other markets male consumers are the main audio listeners. In June, for example, a report from the Publishers Association in the UK indicated that audiobooks there are most popular with men aged 25 to 44. This male interest could be a bright spot in the international industry, which at many points has been over-reliant on women in the marketplace for a consumer base.

Another key data point . . . has to do with a decline in book consumption among audiobook users’ surveyed responses. While the general industry position is that audiobook listening can and does increase book consumption, BookNet’s responses this summer showed that while in 2016 46 percent of respondents said they consumed five or fewer books in a year, 55 percent said that in the 2018 survey.

And as in United States reports from the Audio Publishers Association, one of the key advantages that audio fans cite about audiobooks is being able to listen while doing other things. Those multitasking headphoned consumers always seem to list doing chores around the house as a big moment for listening, and Canadians seem well onboard with that concept.

Link to the rest at Publishing Perspectives

Anthea Bell, ‘magnificent’ translator of Asterix and Kafka, dies aged 82

18 October 2018

From The Guardian:

Anthea Bell, the translator who brought classics from Asterix to WG Sebald to an English readership, has died at the age of 82.

Her son, Oliver Kamm, a writer for the Times, announced the news on Thursday morning, describing Bell as “a literary giant and, in all respects, a brilliant person”. Kamm had written in December that his mother had fallen ill a year earlier, and was in a nursing home. “Her great mind has now departed and she no longer knows who I am,” he wrote. “Though her career is over, she remains a literary giant and no one has taught me more about language and languages.”

Bell, who worked from both French and German, translated texts by authors including Sebald, Stefan Zweig, Franz Kafka and Sigmund Freud. She first began translating Asterix in 1969, coming up with some of its best jokes and puns. In her version, Obelix’s small dog Idéfix became Dogmatix, and the druid Panoramix became Getafix. The Oxford Guide to Literature in English Translation describes her work on Asterix as ingenious and superbly recreated, displaying “the art of the translator at its best”.

. . . .

Self said that he had read Bell’s translations all his life, five years ago convening a translators’ symposium to discuss the “vexed problem” of translating Kafka, at which Bell shone. “Particularly inspiring was her analysis of his humour as a writer – incomprehensible to English readers until mediated by this very fine and very great mind,” he said. “In an era when Britain seems once more to be winding itself yet tighter into its immemorial and monoglot garb, we’d do well to remember the huge importance of literary translation as a vector for our understanding of – and empathy with – other peoples.”

Link to the rest at The Guardian

EBay Sues Amazon, Alleging Sellers Were Illegally Poached

18 October 2018

From The Wall Street Journal:

EBay, on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against, accusing the company of illegally poaching sellers on its marketplace via eBay’s internal messaging system.

The lawsuit, filed in Santa Clara County in California, accuses Amazon of having “perpetrated a scheme to infiltrate and exploit eBay’s internal member email system” over the past few years. The alleged scheme was used by dozens of Amazon sales representatives in the U.S. and abroad to recruit high-value eBay sellers to Amazon, the lawsuit said.

. . . .

“For years, and unbeknownst to eBay, Amazon has been engaged in a systematic, coordinated effort to infiltrate and exploit eBay’s proprietary M2M system on eBay’s platform to lure top eBay sellers to Amazon,” eBay alleges in the lawsuit. “The scheme is startling in breadth—involving large numbers of Amazon representatives (“Amazon reps”), targeting many hundreds of eBay sellers, and spanning several countries overseas and many states in the United States (including California).”

In the complaint, eBay cites alleged evidence “that Amazon coordinated this scheme from its headquarters,” including that many of the messages sent to its sellers followed similar patterns or were even identical. Many of the accounts used to send the messages were accessed from devices linked to Amazon internet protocol addresses, the lawsuit adds.

. . . .

EBay’s lawsuit accuses Amazon of intentional interference with contractual relations and economic relations, as well as fraud and violation of the California penal and business and professions codes.

Amazon and eBay have been competing for both sellers and consumers for years. Both companies heavily rely on independent merchants to sell items on their sites. EBay is wholly reliant on such sellers to sell on its marketplace, while Amazon uses a hybrid model as a retailer with a platform for independent sellers, too.

Still, Amazon as of late has relied more heavily on independent merchants to fuel its sales. Typically, those transactions are more profitable because Amazon takes a cut of the revenue and charges for warehousing, advertising and other fees. More than 50% of all items sold on its site are now provided by outside sellers.

Link to the rest at The Wall Street Journal 

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