Category Archives: Books

E-Books Decline 16.4% and Audiobooks increase by 29.2%

The Association of American Publishers has reported that from January to November 2016 e-books declined by 16.4% and digital audiobooks increased by 29.2%. This is good news for the audio industry that has been consistently been seeing massive gains over the past three years.

Trade Books

From Jan. – Nov. 2016 vs. the same time in 2015 trade books were flat at 0.5% growth year-to-date.

  • By Category:
    • Adult Books were down 2.1% to $4.4 billion
    • Childrens & YA Books were up 5.8% to $1.6 billion
    • Religious Presses were up 8.6% to $455.4 million
  • By Format
    • Paperback books grew 6.5% to $2.0 billion
    • Hardback books grew 2.1% $2.5 billion
    • Downloaded audio grew 29.2% to $244.1 million
    • eBooks were down 16.4% to $1.1 billion

Educational Materials and Professional Books

  • Educational Materials had a revenue loss of 9.0% for PreK-12 Instructional Materials and 11.5% for Higher Education Course Materials from Jan. – Nov. 2016 vs. the same time in 2015
  • Professional Publishing was down 21.1% From Jan. – Nov. 2016 vs. the same time in 2015. These categories include business, medical, law, scientific and technical books. University presses were down 2.5% for the 11 months.



Audible Suspends The Ability To Gift Credits

Audible has just disabled the ability for people to send credits to each other. This is a system in which authors would commonly send credits to users to get a free copy of their audiobooks, but it was abused by people on EBAY selling the credits at a steep discount. Audible has stated that the reason why the killed this system was so they could focus on popular gift memberships and send this book feature.

I believe one of the reasons why Audible disabled the ability to gift credits was because of what a small minority of users were doing. A user by the name of Sixbucks explained what he used to do with the credits “Back when there were a bunch of promos running I would have 4 accounts all taking advantage of the deal and gifting the credits to my primary account.” This resulted in one user with many accounts accumulating a massive amount of credits. They would use the credits to rack up a huge library of audio titles or simply sell the credits on EBAY.

I am very sure that authors and narrators that used to give out credits so people can be exposed to their work will be overjoyed that the credit system has been suspended.


How Becoming a Published Author Can Accelerate Your Success

It doesn’t matter what industry you are in—today, customers and clients demand to work with experts. In some cases, they want to work only with the marquee names in a particular field.


As an entrepreneur, you’ve got to take the right steps to demonstrate your expertise and authority—and, if possible, be seen as a bit of a celebrity in your business.

The best way I know how to make that happen: Write a book. The credibility that you can achieve among your ideal clients and prospects by being a published author is amazing. I know—I’ve written or co-written dozens of books, and they’ve have a huge impact in establishing me as an expert in my niche.


The good news: Writing and publishing a credibility-building book is nowhere near as difficult as it might seem at first glance. I recently spoke with Rob Kosberg to get his advice on generating tons of new business using books as primary marketing tools. Kosberg is the author of the best-seller Life After Debt and the founder of Best Seller Publishing, which helps business owners write, publish and successful market their own bestselling books. To date, Kosberg has helped 300 authors in 25 niches use books to accelerate their success.

1. Everybody has a book in them. The most common response most entrepreneurs have to the idea of writing a book is, “I’ve lead a pretty mundane life that isn’t the basis for a book.” Wrong, says Kosberg. “If you’re a business owner, you’ve had experiences and stories that are book-worthy,” he says. “Even if your backstory isn’t especially exciting, you have examples of how you have helped your clients or customers, and that’s more than enough.”


2. Don’t go it alone. That said, getting your own story and ideas out of you and into a well-written book isn’t an instinctive process. Get help by working with a ghost writer who can capture your stories, your insights and—most important—your voice. A lot of entrepreneurs think it’s somehow cheating or being unethical if they don’t write the book entirely by themselves, but that’s simply not true. It’s perfectly acceptable for you to be the author—the person with the expertise and advice—and work with a writer who can get that information on the page in a way that positions you as an authority. Bonus: A writer will help you get your book done faster than if you go it alone—and can even help make the process fun.

3. Use the book to generate leads. The biggest mistaken assumption that business owners usually make when doing books is that they’ll make a lot of money from book sales. That’s almost never the case, unless you manage to get on Oprah.


It’s OK if your book doesn’t fly off the shelves (or the e-shelves). The reason: Your book isn’t an end—it’s a means to get lots of new clients, get booked for speaking engagements at events, get booked on local radio and TV and generally raising awareness of you (and your expertise) among ideal prospects.


That’s why your book effort should be accompanied by a lead generation strategy—which could be as simple as having prospects call a phone number you give out during a radio show appearance to get a copy of the book and more information. Or you can use various e-marketing and direct marketing strategies.


Pro tip: Be willing to give away your book for free. The leads you can generate from simply getting your book into prospects’ hands are much more valuable than the cost of the book itself. For example, one of Kosberg’s clients used his book to get a speaking engagement at a trade show—the book gave him the credibility to get the attention of the organizers, who had refused to book him in the past. Then he gave away copies of the book to prospects at the event—and ultimately generated $700,000 worth of new business as a result.


4. Take advantage of self-publishing options. In the “old days”—maybe 10 years ago—publishing a book meant going through a publishing company and spending big bucks. They might make you print a thousand copies, most of which would end up sitting in a box in your basement. Now, of course, you can self-publish inexpensively through Amazon and other services. Even better, you can print your book on demand in whatever amount you need.


RBmedia launches with focus on digital media, acquires

A new digital media company is making its debut with a splashy acquisition: RBmedia, a new entity formed by combining eight brands focused on digital magazine and audio content, will acquire, the audiobook streaming and download service the offers access to over 100,000 books via apps for various devices and platforms.

The company’s reach already includes spoken audio content, but the audiobook acquisition opens up a whole new audience, including listeners on platforms like Sonos, CarPlay, Android Auto and across over 10,000 libraries worldwide that use RBmedia’s tech for book lending. The Maryland-based company had already enjoyed a strong library business, but the acquisition represents its direct-to-consumer efforts.

“The biggest picture is that audiobooks are really exploding,” explained RBmedia CEO Tom MacIsaac in an interview. “They’re benefiting from a bunch of other trends in the market, and we’re really trying to take advantage of that; we’re trying to build a category-killer in the space. Print book and ebook growth is especially flat. Depending on who you listen to, audiobook growth is 20 to 30 percent per year. We think that’s for two principal reasons – one is the growth of podcasts.”

“We think of podcasts as training wheels for audiobooks,” MacIsaac continued. “When consumers get accustomed to listening to short-form content, it basically conditions them and gets them excited to embrace listening to long-form content. That dynamic has really, really helped the growth of audiobooks.”


The other big contributing factor to the rise of audiobooks, MacIssac says, is the growth of voice-based interaction, via connected homes and connected vehicles. Use of voice assistants like Siri, and devices like the Amazon Echo and Google Home, have primed consumers for audio content delivery. Likewise, in-car platforms like Android Auto and CarPlay, and growing use of smartphone-based content delivery apps for in-car listening, have helped grow the amount of time and attention users have to dedicate to listening to long-form audio.

While RBmedia’s spoken audio business focuses on book-length content, the company is also in regular discussion with dedicated podcast businesses regarding potential collaboration where their models and interests intersect. MacIsaac said that they often talk to “Gimlet, PodcastOne” and others and that they’re “going to be announcing ways in which we collaborate with them” at some point in the future.

The new media distribution company also offers distribution for digital magazines, games, language learning, continuing education courses and more. Basically, it partners with platforms and operates its own wherever there’s a demand for getting digital editions out to the masses. Spoken audio is a key growth area, however, and one where it’s clear McIsaac and company see a lot of new opportunity.

Nook 4.7 adds quote sharing, voice search, and several other improvements

NOOK Tablet 7″ Design and Build

At 7.4 by 4.2 by 0.4 inches, the NOOK Tablet 7″ won’t easily fit in a front pocket, but it’s fine for a back pocket; just be careful to not sit on it. And at just a bit over half a pound, it’s about the weight of a paperback, and much more portable than a hardback.


The design is generic: a black plastic rectangle with rounded corners. Still, the many curves makes it comfortable to hold. The size contributes to this, as this is a computer that’s very easy to hold in one hand.

The NOOK Tablet 7″ is well constructed, but it does slightly flex when opposite corners are twisted. This certainly isn’t an excessive amount of flexing, but it’s a reminder that budget tablets like this one aren’t particularly rugged. Still, we’ve dropped our test unit a time or two onto a hardwood floor, and it’s showing no signs of damage, so it certainly isn’t fragile.



A typical problem of budget tablets is that they have terrible screens. Fortunately, that’s not the case with this Barnes & Noble model at all. It has a 7-inch display at a 1024 by 600 pixel resolution. That works out to be a pixel density of 171 ppi. These numbers translate to a better than adequate experience when reading books, and an acceptable one when watching video, playing games, etc.

Some people feel that a phone makes an adequate ereader, and don’t see the value in a 7-inch tablet. It’s worth noting that the screen area of the NOOK is a bit over 20 square inches, while the iPhone 7’s is just 9.4 sq. in. That’s a lot more reading area.

This is an IPS screen so it offers wide viewing angles. And the backlight is bright enough to make it easy to read out of doors, just not in direct sunlight. In fact, the backlight is so strong those who want to read in bed might consider getting a third-party application to further dim the screen.

The aspect ratio is 16:9, so it’s shaped more like an HDTV than a page of paper. When held horizontally this is ideal for reading two pages of a book, or watching a TV show.

Happily, the NOOK Tablet 7″ includes a microSD card slot, allowing the storage capacity of this device to be expanded. This isn’t really important for those who just want to hold ebooks on this device, as the built-in storage capacity is plenty for that, but those who want to install additional applications will want a microSD card. Even an inexpensive one will add quite a bit of capacity, and the Android OS makes this relatively simple.

A micro-USB port is located on the top of this computer, making it easier to use this device while it’s connected to its charger. But this port can do much more. We successfully tested it with a micro-USB flash drive, and then went so far as to connect it to a USB hub, allowing a keyboard, mouse, and flash drive to be used simultaneously.

The Power and Volume Up/Down buttons on this Barnes & Noble device are all arranged along the right edge. This makes them convenient whether the NOOK Tablet 7″ is being used in portrait or landscape orientation.

The rear-facing 2 MP camera of the NOOK Tablet 7″ is actually surprisingly good, within its limitations. The cameras in budget tablets are often dreadful, but the one Barnes & Noble used is capable of taking good pictures in well-lighted conditions. Even pics in somewhat dim lighting are usable. With no flash, this isn’t the camera for low light pics.

Selfies taken with the front-facing camera aren’t bad either, whether indoors or out.

There’s a single speaker on the back of the NOOK, which doesn’t put out very much volume. It’s usable to watch video or play games in a quiet environment, but anyplace more noisy will require a pair of headphones. Fortunately, a 3.5mm headset port is included.

NOOK Tablet 7″ Performance

The Barnes & Noble NOOK Tablet 7″ has a 1.3 GHz quad-core processor at its heart, with 1 GB of RAM. This is a low-end configuration of the type one would expect from a sub-$50 device like this one.

What it means in real-world use is that the computer is just a bit slow. Not unusable slow by any means, but users shouldn’t look for the lightning fast response times offered by tablets that cost 10x as much. Instead, they should expect newly opening applications to take a second or two to be ready to go. Another good indication of performance is that the device takes about a minute to boot up after being completely shut down. A little slow, but acceptable.

The NOOK Tablet 7″ comes with 8 GB of built-in storage, but a large percentage of that permanently taken up by the operating system and bundled applications, leaving just 3.34 GB of storage available to users. As mentioned earlier, this is probably plenty for most people who are just looking for an ebook reader that can check email and do a bit of web access. People who want more should invest in a microSD card; even an $8 one would make this computer more useful.


Norway has opened a doomsday vault to house the world’s most precious books

At this moment, there is a collection of every known crop on the planet embedded nearly 1,000 feet underground, shrouded in the icy arms of Norway’s Svalbard mountain.

This stockpile is known as the Global Seed Vault, and it just got a new neighbor.

A Norwegian company called Piql (pronounced “pickle”) recently announced it’s building the World Arctic Archive. The collection is like the Global Seed Vault, only it preserves digital data — primarily historical and cultural documents — instead of food.

Millions of pages of records, books, letters, and manuscripts will find their way into the doomsday library archives, which officially opened on March 27.

Piql founder Rune Bjerkestrand says the company is storing all that data on special film reels, which effectively turn the letters into ones and zeroes that can be represented in gigantic QR codes. These codes are invulnerable to hacking, as they’re effectively “carved in stone,” Bjerkestrand told LiveScience.

The entrance to the international gene bank Svalbard Global Seed Vault (SGSV) is pictured outside Longyearbyen on Spitsbergen, Norway

Clients who wish to use the archives can put in a request to Piql to store their documents. Once the data gets housed, the client can only retrieve it by asking Piql staff to manually unearth it, before uploading it online.

Piql believes its technology can preserve film for at least 1,000 years — although, technically the idea is it can last forever. The archive will live in a mineshaft inside Svalbard, where permafrost keeps the temperatures right around freezing. 

Bjerkestrand says a cold and dry climate is ideal for preserving film.

One other perk: The mountain is located on a demilitarized zone. Even if the apocalypse happens and global war threatens the future of humanity, at least Piql’s reels (and the neighboring food stores) will be safe.

Not that anyone would be around to read (or eat) them.


33 Strategies of Kama Sutra : Make Her Scream – Last Longer, Come Harder, And Be The Best She’s Ever Had

Among the most vulnerable things that can wear out with time is intimacy. Most couples go through difficult times and commitments that take a toll on their intimacy. In most cases, when affection wears among lovers, one person is usually affected than the other. If any of the partners does not take the initiative to restore intimacy into the relationship, chances are your relationship will end up breaking as one or both of you seek intimacy from outside.

It is believed that the human body is a small atomic factory where chemical elements needed in the body are continually manufactured using low quantities of energy. Besides, there is also the production of energy sufficient for extraordinary phenomena. These include higher states of consciousness, paranormal abilities, sublimation of particular energies and higher intelligence. Others are elevated levels of happiness and euphoria, to mention just a few.

If you can move into lovemaking totally the ego disappears, because at the highest peak, at the highest climax of lovemaking, you are pure energy.


This college senior’s app connects young readers of color to books they can relate to

In high school, Kaya Thomas was a self-proclaimed “nerdy black girl.” She loved books, but she often felt like the literary world didn’t love her back.

“As a teen, I was feeling erased by the books I was reading at my libraries and at school,” Thomas says. “The characters were never anything like myself.”

Libraries were filled with pages upon pages of white characters going on adventures dreamed up by white authors. Thomas, however, was looking for books that made her feel seen — and she knew others were, too. 

So when she grew from a nerdy black girl into a black woman studying computer science at Dartmouth, she knew she could help close this literary gap. Now, she’s the creator of a free app called We Read Too, which allows young readers to browse more than 600 books featuring black, Latinx, Asian, Indigenous, and other non-white characters. All of the featured books are written by people of color, with readers of color in mind.

The simple app specifically targets children and young adults of color, cataloging books in a searchable database by author and title. Each book’s profile features a plot description, a photo of the cover, and links to share the book on social media or buy it online. There’s also a “discover” feature, which randomly matches users to a book by genre.

Thomas is currently fundraising on Indiegogo to expand the app, hoping to feature more than 1,000 books. The campaign has already raised more than $12,000, surpassing its original goal of $10,000.

With the money, Thomas plans to launch an Android version of the app this year, and redesign the iOS version with new features. 


America’s unhealthy obsession with productivity is driving its biggest new reading trend

“I probably started reading ultra hardcore about seven or eight years ago,” says Tom Bilyeu, an entrepreneur based in Los Angeles. “Ultra hardcore” means that Bilyeu reads everywhere: While he brushes his teeth, while he gets dressed, in the 30 seconds it takes to cross rooms in his house, he’s reading.

“My big secret is,” says Bilyeu, “I read in all those little transitional moments.” Plus, for the last eight years, he’s optimized his intellectual consumption by listening to audiobooks at three times the normal speed.

Audiobooks are the latest trend in book publishing. They’re part of the podcast boom, and they’re helping US publishers keep losses down as ebook sales from big-name companies continue to slump. What’s been around since the 1980s has a sleek new face, and today who’s listening, where, and why, offers a glimpse into a new reading trend sweeping the US.

Audiobook listening is growing rapidly specifically with 25- to 34-year-olds, thanks to a pernicious “sleep when you’re dead” mindset reflective of the young, aspirational, educated American: We are fearful of mono-tasking, find downtime distasteful, and feel anxious around idleness. Even when picking socks from a drawer, young workers feel better if information’s somehow flowing into their brains. And this is exactly the restless market that book publishers need.

A fast growing format

Audiobooks are booming audibly in the mobile age. In the US, growth of audio is stronger than any other format, according to the Association of American Publishers, which tracks revenue from 1,200 book publishers. And while audiobook unit sales numbers are still small (from January to September 2016, US traditional publishers sold $240 million in audiobooks, compared to $1.8 billion in hardcover books), the format’s growth has meant more and more publishers are putting their money in people’s ears.

“I am very bullish on audio,” Kristen McClean, executive director of business development for market trends company NPD Book. “This is on the top of my list in terms of things I’m watching.”

“What we’re seeing is something that goes beyond the simple ease of downloading,” she says. “I think there is a shift in consumption going on.”

Audiobooks are a way for people who were once big readers to keep up with their youthful curiosity. As they find themselves with less leisure time than they had in college, the gym and the car become opportunities to be stimulated. “I used to read a lot, and probably stopped when I went to law school,” says Jamie Brooks, a lawyer based in New York City. Now she listens to an audiobook a week, on average three hours a day, on the train to work and before bed.

Audiobook listeners tend to be slightly above average in terms of income and education compared to the rest of the US population, according to 2006 data (pdf), the most recent available from the Audio Publishers Association (APA). “We find that our users are well educated, well paid, and successful,” says Beth Anderson, the executive vice president and publisher of Amazon’s Audible, the world’s largest retailer and publisher of digital audiobooks. “A huge number have masters and PhDs. They’re book lovers.”

Restless minds

Audiobooks mean we never have to be idle. They’re a cure to widespread restless mind syndrome, with its daily self-imposed nagging to make progress: Be more effective, says your productivity tracker. Do and learn more, says your to-do list. Optimize your to-do list, says your faddish new notebook.

Mobile technology helps. David Gross, a doctor and longtime audiobook listener based in Washington DC, recalls the trying process of procuring them 20 years ago: “There’d be a paper catalog, you’d call a phone number, they’d mail you the CDs, you’d keep it for a month, you’d mail it back,” he says. Today, downloads take two minutes, and apps make accelerated listening easy.


America’s unhealthy obsession with productivity is driving its biggest new reading trend

Kindle for iOS finally gets the “Send to Kindle” feature, challenging Pocket and Instapaper

Amazon has quietly rolled out the “Send to Kindle” feature to its Kindle for iOS application that allows you to save to the app articles and documents found on the web. That means your Kindle device or app can replace your preferred “read it later” application — like Pocket or Instapaper, for example — apps where regular web readers often store the longer news articles, features or profiles they want to dig into at a later date.

Amazon, of course, already supported saving web content to Kindle through desktop browser extensions, emails to your “Send-to-Kindle” email address and from Android phones. But now that lineup includes the default iOS browser, Safari, which will make the feature more accessible to a large number of users.

What’s funny about “read it later” apps is that they sometimes become a black hole for content. The act of marking something as “to read” instead of devouring it then and there on the spot typically means it’s not content you’re all that obsessed with in the first place. You sort of do want to read it, you probably should read it, but… well, let’s save that for another day!

Kindle, on the other hand, is more a regular destination for readers — at least those who are not “real book” purists who prefer flipping actual pages to virtual ones. With each launch of the Kindle app, you’ll be reminded of the web content you bookmarked for a later read — and that increases the chance that you’ll finally complete the task instead of continuing to ignore it, as is easier with more isolated apps like Instapaper.

According to Amazon’s App Store description, to use the new feature — which works with documents as well as web pages — you’ll first have to enable it in Safari’s settings. To do so, you’ll tap on the “Share” button in the mobile browser, then add “Kindle” as one of the destinations by toggling the switch.

From then on, when you’re on the web and don’t have time to complete your reading, you can tap on Share, then scroll over to Kindle to save the article to the Kindle app.


When you launch the Kindle app, the article will be saved at the top of your Library, ready for your reading. It will also appear on the Kindle app on any platform, not just iOS, and on Kindle hardware devices themselves — just like any e-book download would.

By saving the web article to Kindle format, you’ll be able to do things like adjust the text, font, page color and spacing to your liking. You also can use other Kindle features, like the ability to look up words in the dictionary, translations or search Wikipedia. Plus, you can add bookmarks, highlights and annotations, as well as track your reading progress, as with any other Kindle e-book.

However, Kindle is not a fully featured “read it later” app. It lacks features you may miss from competitors’ apps — like Instapaper’s text-to-voice option with multiple speeds, or Pocket’s community-powered Recommendations section, for example. But Kindle has a sizable audience as the No. 3 “Books” app on the App Store.


Kindle for iOS finally gets the “Send to Kindle” feature, challenging Pocket and Instapaper