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Bookmate wins innovation award at London Book Fair
April 16, 2014 | 4:25 pm

3platform-2-1024x527Bookmate has gained attention recently as the e-book subscription app grows overseas. It seems that readers aren't the only ones to notice the Russian-based company. Bookmate won the Digital Minds Innovation Award at the London Book Fair last week. Hundreds of companies were in the running for the award, but Bookmate made it to the final with five other companies. Each company spoke to a group of digital publishing leaders, and the winner was picked by popular vote. "It's an honour to receive such recognition from many of the of the most important digital thinkers within the global publishing community," said Bookmate's...

Charon Coin Press picks up horror anthology series
April 16, 2014 | 2:25 pm

cropped-charoncoin_banner_web1Charon Coin Press, an independent publisher of speculative fiction, has acquired several series of horror and dark fiction anthology properties previously held by Rymfire Books under Armand Rosamilia. These include the series State of Horror, Heavy Metal Horror, Post-Apocalyptic Raid, I, Executioner, Revenant 1 & 2, and Vermin. These, and will apparently be followed by others as the basis for the anthologies division of Charon Coin Press. Charon Coin Press founder Jerry Benns was apparently editor for the State of Horror anthologies since January 2014, and the acquisitions were part of a transition from editor to full-blown publisher. "I didn’t start out...

Wiley buys into executive e-learning with CrossKnowledge acquisition
April 16, 2014 | 12:25 pm

CrossKnowledgeEducation and learning specialist publisher John Wiley & Sons has announced the acquisition of CrossKnowledge, "a learning solutions provider focused on leadership and managerial skills development, for $175 million in cash."As well as ramping up the publishing consolidation and M&A trend another notch, this development also marks another step in convergence between specialist publishing companies and other non-publishing content businesses in related sectors. "In today's knowledge-based economy, organizations of all different shapes and sizes are looking to address skill, productivity and performance gaps through investment in their current workforce rather than hiring additional resources," said Steve Smith, President and CEO of...

Herrick backdates emoticons to 1648?
April 16, 2014 | 12:25 pm

Robert_Herrick_HesperidesWhile attending the WCF Davos Forum in March, I was lucky enough to attend a presentation by Scott E. Fahlman, widely hailed as "father of the first smiley emoticon in 1982." As it happens, though, there have been other challengers to that claim - the New York Times once ran a story citing an excerpt from an Abraham Lincoln speech in 1862 that may have had a smiley inserted. Now, though, writer and editor Levi Stahl claims he may have discovered one of the earliest emoticons of all - a line in the poem "To Fortune" by 17th-century English poet...

Telephone box libraries in UK unite two obsolete services – or not
April 16, 2014 | 10:25 am

telephone boxWhatever your feelings about the future prospects of print book libraries, there is no doubt that they are anything but the cutting edge of library services. And the same can be said of public telephone call boxes. So it is a tad heartening to see several instances in the UK of people repurposing the iconic red telephone box, now just about as dated as the original Dr Who Tardis, as miniature local libraries and book exchanges. The latest is in Lewisham in London, making it the smallest library in the capital, but others have been sighted in Essex and Derbyshire, and...

Morning Roundup: February bookstore sales dropped. Which metrics really matter? and more
April 16, 2014 | 9:00 am

bookstore sales droppedThe Chicago Sun-Times Shuts Down their Comment Section (The Digital Reader) It’s widely accepted that the anonymity of the internet can turn almost anyone into a troll, and nowhere is this more true than in the comment section. *** February Bookstore Sales Dropped 6.8% (Publishers Weekly) Hampered no doubt by bad winter weather, bookstore sales fell 6.8% in February, to $791 million, compared to February 2013, according to preliminary estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau. *** We are Drowning in Data About Readers and Attention, But Which Metrics Really Matter? (GigaOM) Thanks to the web and real-time measurement tools, the media industry has gone from having...

GenCon 2013 Interview: M. Sechin Tower, Lead Developer at Exile Game Studio
April 15, 2014 | 9:00 pm

GEDC1287During GenCon 2013, I had the chance to speak with Sechin Tower, Lead Developer at Exile Game Studio and author of Mad Science Institute. I asked him about Exile’s use of Kickstarters for publishing its game products, and this is what he had to say. Me: Tell me what Exile’s been doing with Kickstarters. Sechin: Exile has been a recent comer to the Kickstarter market, but we’ve found it extremely useful to not only jumpstart a project that would take a little longer to get going, but to also get the word out and to give people a...

If you write, start planning to attend GenCon Indy this August
April 15, 2014 | 7:20 pm

GEDC1339 When I attended GenCon Indy for TeleRead last year, I interviewed a number of self-publishing authors, game industry execs, and other people with interesting stories to tell. I’ve posted a few of these, but life has been so busy over the last few months that I have had a hard time getting around to doing most of them. I’m going to try to change that in the weeks to come. I’ve got another interview transcribed and posting later tonight. That being said, it’s worth noting that if you’re wanting to come to GenCon in Indianapolis this year,...

Germany sees mixed feelings on Amazon Publishing market entry
April 15, 2014 | 6:25 pm

amazon publishingThe launch of Amazon Publishing in Germany, already covered in TeleRead, has elicited some mixed feedback from German publishers, booksellers, and other book market players. As reported in Stuttgarter Nachrichten, some, like Klett-Cotta editorial CEO Michael Zöllner, "do not see any impact on the German book market," while others, like Mirjam Berle, spokeswoman of Germany's largest bookstore chain Thalia, say: "the publishers have to fear the market power of Amazon." Bookstores are apparently some of the most negative respondents about taking Amazon Publishing titles on board. Stuttgarter Nachrichten quotes one local book vendor as saying she would not "let the Devil...

British printers struggle to cope with shift toward digital media
April 15, 2014 | 5:46 pm

printingpressMy friend Michael Brotzman pointed out this story to me from the New York Times, about how the printing industry in Britain is coping with the decreased demand for its services. Even as high technology leads to printers that can print bigger runs, faster, more efficiently, and with fewer operators, demand is dwindling and so are employees. The British printing industry is down from an estimated 200,000 workers in 2001 to fewer than 125,000 now. And for the jobs that are left, the UK is more and more often having to compete with lower labor costs of printers in continental...

Norway pursues possible publisher cartel favoring own book chains
April 15, 2014 | 4:25 pm

Norway flagAfter the reports of Amazon entering the Swedish market amid possible restricted competition, now Scandinavian neighbor Norway has reportedly seen a crackdown on anti-competitive practices in the local book trade. According to the Norwegian press reports, the Norwegian Competition Authority (Konkurransetilsynet) has raided the offices of the country's big four publishing houses - Aschehoug, Cappelen, Gyldendal, and Schibsted - to investigate a possible cartel designed to restrict book supply to supermarkets and other outlets in favor of the publishers' own-branded book chains. Norway has a highly restricted publishing and book market that might facilitate such abuse. As per research in Regionalism...

Photos of Amazon 3D, 6-camera smartphone prototype surface
April 15, 2014 | 2:44 pm

bgr-a-phone-1-500x231There goes Amazon, changing the game again. I’ve noticed that when Amazon introduces its own spin on an already-established device, it likes to add some new and different feature from right out of left field to distinguish itself from the competition. With e-readers, it was the free 3G service to let people buy e-books and check their mail from anywhere. With the Fire TV it was the extensive gaming focus and voice search. Now, with Amazon’s impending smartphone, it appears to be six cameras and a 3D display. The Boy Genius Report has exclusive photos and more information about...