Cyber Monday Amazon’s biggest shopping day ever. But still way behind Alibaba. What future the international Kindle stores?

Cyber Monday 2017 broke records in the US. Amazon claimed it was even bigger than Prime Day, and it is believed to have accounted for over half of Black Friday’s online sales. Pretty good going from what is often termed the biggest e-commerce company on the planet. But by what definition? By market capitalisation Amazon comes Read More …

Yaoundé Conference – analogue thinking in a digital age. African publishers needs to embrace digital, not re-invent First World battles.

It’s a sad commentary on the state of Cameroon publishing that the best overview of the industry I can find is from 2005. That may be about to change. This past week in the Cameroon capital Yaoundé a conference on the future of African publishing was wide-ranging in its discussions. Titled ‘The Publishing Industry in Read More …

Tencent joins the half-trillion club, and look how close it is to Amazon…

On Tuesday Tencent, the Chinese e-commerce titan, leapfrogged Facebook to become the fifth most valuable company on the planet. China now holds two of the top six places in the world rankings for market capitalization, and while Apple is still too far ahead to be dislodged, both Tencent and Alibaba are within shouting distance of Read More …

Harry Potter and the magic of Augmented Reality

Two big AR stories are making the news this week, both with consequences for the publishing industry. Apple is working on an augmented reality head-set that will likely launch in 2020 and replace the iPhone as top product, according to Bloomberg. Tim Cooke believes AR will be the next big thing. That’s AR as in augmented Read More …

Pay with bitcoin at Amazon?

Bitcoin is often the topic of discussion in publishing circles, but at the moment it’s just speculative debate, even though Amazon has owned the domain name amazonbitcoin.com since 2013. But this week CoinDesk is reporting Amazon has snapped up three more cryptocurrency domain names – amazonetherium.com, amazoncryptcurrency.com and amazoncryptocurrencies.com. No suggestion yet that this is Read More …

Amazon invests in second submarine cable, but AWS, not ebooks, is the focus

As Mark Twain famously never said, the only certainties in life are that SE Asia is an exciting prospect for e-commerce and Amazon wants to be there. This week comes news of Amazon’s second investment in submarine cables, as it joins Softbank, Facebook and others to finance the 14,000km long, 60Tbps capacity JUPITER (not initials, Read More …

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Analogue Publishing

The Harry Potter books have been translated into 68 languages and have sold 400 million.  Or so says Pakistan Today, reporting on the new Harry Potter exhibition in London. That number is echoed by Rowling’s publisher Scholastic, although Britain’s The Guardian earlier this year was asserting the eightieth Potter translation was under way and sales Read More …

Why social media will drive the nascent ebook markets

“When it comes to their social media preferences, U.S. teens are about as loyal as Brutus was to Caesar,” writes Felix Richter over at Statista. “Back in 2013, Facebook was still their social network of choice. In 2014, Instagram took the throne for a while before being replaced by Snapchat in 2016.” Today Snapchat is the Read More …

Publishing Brief – PublishDrive and StreetLib in the news

It’s been an interesting week on the aggregator circuit. Usually, either at Frankfurt or to coincide with Frankfurt, we hear about new initiatives, partnerships and other news from the western distributors, but this year it’s been relatively quiet. But not totally. Among the pleasant surprises was a series of three posts by PublishDrive’s Zsofia Macho Read More …

India – Publishing’s Brightest Prospect

After 100 years the OUP embraces local-languages. As I touched on yesterday in a post marking Bloomsbury’s first five years in India, one of the biggest challenges facing publishing is catering to the twenty-plus official and many more “unofficial” languages that the Indian people use, often without English as a second language. But that challenge is Read More …