Magazines Struggle with Newsstand Sales

Does the Drop in Magazine Sales Foretell the Death of Magazines?

Does the Drop in Magazine Sales Foretell the Death of Magazines?

Magazine newsstand sales have been poor in 2015. Retail sales of magazines have dropped as publishers print smaller runs of magazines, reflecting the difficulty of competing against iPhones and Facebook. Fewer people make impulse purchases of the latest issues of popular magazines, knowing they can find nearly identical information for free online.

While newsstand sales contribute to only 7 percent of total circulation figures for most magazines, their gradual drop represents just another stake in the heart of magazine publishers. This segment of the publishing industry has been suffering since mobile began its meteoric rise, and the news about newsstand sales furthers its pain.

The Magazine Information Network (MagNet) reported a 14.2 percent drop in magazine sales at retail outlets between 2014 and 2015. According to the organization, no relief is in sight, as soaring use of social media and mobile technology adjusts the way people consume content. Celebrity and women’s magazines showed the sharpest declines, with drops of 18 percent and 15 percent in sales. Continue reading

Publishers Fight Back Against Piracy

E-book Piracy Is Not a Great Problem...Yet

Ebook Piracy Is A Growing Problem

Ebook piracy is not yet a major issue like music and movie piracy, but it’s a niggling problem for publishers nonetheless. The International Publishers Association (IPA) contends that book piracy costs publishers billions of dollars annually, harming distributors, retailers, authors, and readers along the way.

Given its free and easy access to media, piracy negatively affects sales. Within a short period of time, pirates can create and share electronic files across the globe, causing the perceived value of a book to drop and sales revenue to decrease. A 2013 report by Carnegie Mellon University backs this claim, citing twenty-eight recent journal articles that show how piracy leads to profit loss.

The IPA actively campaigns against book piracy, lobbying for national antipiracy laws and advising its members on methods of fighting against copyright infringement. The organization believes an active stance is necessary because the piracy problem is sure to evolve as technologies advance. Continue reading

Email Newsletters Are Still Effective

Newsletters Beat Social Media Hands Down

Email Newsletters Beat Social Media Hands Down

Even in the age of social media, when email seems like a quaint relic of the past, newsletters sent straight to inboxes are still an effective marketing tool. Readers who are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information shot at them by social media and online publications seem to appreciate the slim, readable summaries that characterize the typical newsletter.

Unlike text messages, WhatsApps, and Instagrams, emails are modest and undemanding. They sit quietly in the inbox, waiting for the recipient to have time to open and read them. A newsletter that’s interesting and readable is more responsive to the reader’s pace than social media posts. Continue reading

HarperLegend Lends Legitimacy to Indie Authors

If You're an Indie Author, HarperLegend is Looking For You

If You’re an Indie Author, HarperLegend is Looking For You

Harper Collins, the historic publishing house, has created a digital imprint that is courting indie authors. HarperLegend, its new publishing line, will print ebooks only. Its goal is to tap into undiscovered authors of “visionary fiction,” or transformational novels that touch on spiritual or growth-related subjects.

With this imprint, Harper Collins is targeting authors who would otherwise self-publish with Amazon. Its website speaks directly to authors, asking them to submit their manuscripts without an agent as intermediary. A senior vice president at the company explained that digital-first fiction is growing, and transformational stories are top sellers. HarperLegend capitalizes on both of these trends.

Harper Collins had already demonstrated its willingness to jump into the digital age by offering some of its backlist titles to subscription services Scribd and Oyster in 2013. Additionally, it sold ebooks directly to consumers in a partnership with Accenture. Continue reading

Amazon Cracking Down on Fake Book Reviews

The Reasons Amazon Wants a Bookstore May Surprise You

5 Star Reviews for $5? Amazon is Cracking Down

Amazon continued its campaign against fake book reviews with its recent lawsuit against individuals offering their reviewing services on Fiverr. Fiverr is a legitimate website that allows people to offer all sorts of professional and creative services for five dollars apiece, but some of its freelancers chose to propose an illegal service: selling five-star reviews of books on Amazon’s site.

The 1,114 reviewers were sued following an undercover sting operation performed by Amazon’s employees. The employees contacted the sellers of fraudulent reviews, some of whom offered to allow the purported book authors to write their reviews themselves. Amazon has asked the court to order the perpetrators to stop posting those jobs, in addition to handing over a list of clients who have used their services. Continue reading

Ebook Sales Skewed by Lack of ISBNs

Publishers partnering with Tech Companies May be Very Risky

Tracking Ebook and Self-Published Book Sales without ISBNs is Difficult

Surprising news about ebooks emerged at the Frankfurt Book Fair, where industry experts from across the globe gather each year. In his speech about the state of the US market, a senior vice president at Nielsen announced that self-published books now comprise 18 percent of total book sales. Unbeknownst to most, sales of self-published books stealthily grew from 14 percent to 18 percent of the market between 2014 and 2015.

Nielsen, a global information and measurement company that monitors consumer purchases, typically pays the indie book market little heed. In the past, writers and writers’ organizations have criticized Nielsen for its neglect of the thriving self-publishing market. Now that Nielsen has included this segment, a fuller picture of the publishing industry is on view. Continue reading