Notable news out of the publishing world: The two top titles on
) iTunes store's bestseller list for the week ending September 2,
The Road to Forgiveness
and Melody Grace's
, are both self-published books. The event deserves even more
, because these books pushed
by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling out of the lead to the No. 3
Meanwhile, self-publishers have gotten another leg of support from
celebrated Canadian author Margaret Atwood. DoubleDay, publishers
of Atwood's newest novel
the book in conjunction with Wattpad, the Toronto-based social
writing website that boasts millions of users. Founded in 2006,
Wattpad is a free platform that allows anyone to publish stories --
thousands are published everyday -- which are read and ranked by a
notably active community of readers. In 2011, the company received
$3.5 million in venture funding from Union Square Ventures, Golden
Venture, and W Media Ventures (now Version One Ventures), which has
spun off companies to
) in the past.
A Wattpad app is available for Apple iOS, Google Android,
(BBRY) OS, and on the Amazon Kindle.
Atwood has been a long time supporter of the social media platform,
which recently added a crowdfunding section to support authors.
Announced yesterday, independent publisher Sourcebooks has now
teamed with Wattpad to publish select titles as physical books and
distribute them in bookstores and on the Web.
Are we finally seeing the success of alternatives to traditional
publishing, an industry whose demise has oft been hailed imminent?
As a 2008 article in
New York Magazine
: "...the demise of publishing has been predicted since the days of
Gutenberg. But for most of the past century...the business of books
has jogged along at a steady pace." Remember that the global
bookstore chain Borders, which at its height boasted roughly 700
super and specialty stores in the US, didn't shutter its doors
because people weren't buying books. Instead, it missed the
importance of an emerging trend of e-commerce, outsourcing its
online store to Amazon in 2001 in order to focus on its
Publically traded book publishers
(MHFI) have seen their respective earnings grow in the last
John Wiley & Sons
(NYSE:JW.A) reported flat revenues for fiscal 2013, amidst a
(PSO) is also in the middle of a restructuring. It expects modest
revenue growth for fiscal 2013.