Tuesday News: Amazon & Australia, erotica & math, ebooks & schools, women & men
Amazon steps up Australian book sales through The Book Depository – While Amazon is working to increase its presence in Australia via its subsidiary business, The Book Depository, Australia’s own online retailer, Booktopia, acquired Bookworld, which was the second largest Australian online bookseller. Booktopia’s CEO, Tony Nash, insists that he doesn’t consider Amazon a threat to his business and even looks forward to the amped up competition, because it highlights the strength of the online market.
Booktopia ships four million books a year from a 10,000-square-metre automated distribution centre at Homebush, in Sydney, and holds 750,000 units and 110,000 titles in stock.
Booktopia expects sales to rise from $52 million a year ago to more than $80 million in 2016, following the acquisition in 2015 of Bookworld from publishing house Penguin Random House.
Amazon and The Book Depository are the largest players in the Australian online book market and are estimated to sell more than $200 million of books a year to Australian consumers.- Sydney Morning Herald
The Upstart Pub Behind the Surprise Hit, ‘Calendar Girl’ – Waterhouse Press was founded by a banker, and claims to be using a “heavily mathematical” strategy (think Moneyball) to sell books. I know it shouldn’t matter whether a publisher — or even an author, for that matter — is only in the business of books for the money, but this article left the proverbial bad taste in my mouth. I have to wonder, too, how authors who sign with this guy will ultimately be treated, when they are basically cash cows. Or it seems that way based on this PW piece.
The business of publishing books is often considered an art, more than a science. Not for the new house behind the came-out-nowhere bestseller, Calendar Girl. Waterhouse Press, which published the 12-book erotica series that USA Today just touted as the next Fifty Shades of Grey, is being led by a former banker who is taking a numbers-driven approach to cracking the bestseller list. So far, it seems to be working. . . .
Grishman estimated that Carlan was earning about $500-a-month from her writing when she signed with Waterhouse in August 2015. Now, he said, Waterhouse has sold over 600,000 units in Carlan’s Calendar Girl series, which follows down-on-her-luck Mia Saunders who is forced into becoming a high-priced call girl in order to pay off her father’s gambling debts. Waterhouse has also begun to see foreign sales for Calendar Girl (which is available in both digital and print). – Publishers Weekly
Shelve paperbacks in favour of E-books in schools? – The National Literacy Trust undertook a research project among 40 English schools (and 800 children) that focused on the effects of having students try reading ebooks. This BBC article suggests a number of positive outcomes, especially for boys, who seemed to benefit the most, both in enthusiasm for reading and skill level. If you are interested in the full report, you can download it here. From the Literacy Trust’s summary of the project:
The research found that during the project, which lasted for an average of 4.2 months, boys’ reading levels increased by an average of 8.4 months, compared to 7.2 months progress made by girls. At the same time, the percentage of boys that felt reading was difficult almost halved from 28.0% to 15.9%, suggesting that confidence in their own reading ability also increased as a result of this project. Twice as many boys also thought reading was cool at the end of the project, increasing from 34.4% before to 66.5% afterwards. – National Literacy Trust and BBC News
Man Asks Wife To Draw What’s Going On In Her Head, The Result Is Awesome – You may have seen this already, but if you haven’t, it’s pretty funny. And while the rendering is being praised for its accuracy, I suspect it’s a pared down version of what’s really going on in her head at any given moment, maybe because the paper wasn’t big enough or she was afraid of freaking her husband out too much. – Yahoo!