Industry News Highlights:

This is an exciting time of year for bibliophiles – by now you must know that Harper Lee is releasing a sequel to her novel To Kill a Mockingbird. Plus, Oprah has selected her new book club title, Ruby. Between ALA Mid-winter, the Youth Media award-winners, Grammy Spoken Word winners (not surprisingly, Joan Rivers’ Diary of a Mad Diva won) and Audie Award Nominees all being announced – there is no shortage of amazing content to read. If you have debated trying audio, or are looking for a new book to listen to – check out the Audie Award Nominees – every book is listened to by audio experts in the industry and evaluated on a variety of topics. If you want to learn more about this process, check out our post: Judging the Audies.

Here is a roundup of the latest industry news.

 

Library:

  • In America’s Star Libraries: 2014, Libraries are compared to their spending peers and ranked based on Circs, Visits, Program Attendance and and Public Internet Terminal Use.
  • At ALA, the Library Information Technology Association gathered to discuss Top Technology Trends, topics covered included: coding classes for girls to the growing infrastructure demands of open access publishing. There is still some work that needs to be done in terms of equal access for patrons at all libraries, but nonetheless, a good overview.

 

Literacy:

  • Reading is so critical at a young age (and as kids grow up!) even more important is reading out loud to foster development. This can help kids explore deeper vocabulary and subjects beyond their independent reading level – this is also a value-add of audiobooks.
  • Scholastic, a seasoned children’s publisher and educational expert has recently released their Kids & Family Reading Report, which supports the New York Times article, above.
  • Mark Zuckerberg has chosen several books for his book club, including: Better Angels by Stephen Pinker; Gang Leader for a Day by Sudhir Venkatesh; On Immunity by Eula Biss.

 

Publishing:

  • Such a good read and glad to see different types of people in the publishing industry getting well-deserved exposure – Notable Publishing People of 2014.
  • In early 2014, Wasserstein & Co. bought Recorded Books, a few months later, Recorded Books bought Highbridge Audio then, in the first few days of 2015, Wasserstein & Co bought Tantor Media. Who’s placing bets on the next acquisition from Wasserstein & Co?
  • We love this NPR interview with our friends at Penguin Random House that showcases the growing demand for audiobooks.
  • A great article from Digital Book World that highlights continued growth in the audio industry – across channels.
  • An unfinished manuscript left after Larsson’s death in 2004, was completed by Swedish journalist and author David Lagercrantz. Really? A sequel to Steig Larsson’s Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy?! Need I say any more?
  • Two interesting (and independent of one another) studies were recently released about the effect of audiobooks. One study highlight the effects of listening to audiobooks at the gym – the study found that students who listened to audiobooks exclusively at the gym went to the gym 50 percent more often than those who didn’t listen at all. Another study tested the effects of music and audiobooks on children post-surgery. The study found that patients who listened to audiobooks felt less pain, as opposed to those who listened to nothing.
  • A fun read that highlights audiobook recommendations for a variety of moods (rainy day blues, stressful day at work, etc.)
  • From a few months back, but nonetheless a must-read if you haven’t come across this one yet. It’s a bit lengthy – but worth the time. An excellent story highlighting the history of ebook pricing, the power of Amazon and the inner workings of the publishing industry as well as the pivot from print to digital.
  • A fascinating read on the evolution of the paperback novel.

 

Tech/Digital:

  • Librarian friends, the Book Industry Study Group is conducting interviews to find out how patrons use digital content. We know there is a need for better discoverability and management of young adult and children’s content. Librarians, talk with patrons and share your feedback – your voice matters!
  • We love reading about innovative libraries taking initiative to adapt to new technology. Lewisboro Library is holding a variety of 90-minute workshops in January – topics range from “iPad Tips & Tricks” to “Downloading for Android”.
  • I will keep saying this – for those who have not bought in to the unlimited subscription format must try it out! Scribd’s website lets you discover content easily with personalized recommendations – not only do they have ebooks AND audio, but Scibd recently added 10,000+ comic books as well. All while never raising their subscription price of $8.99.