Issue 2: Apple got Texture, Canongate lusts after audio streaming

Shiver me timbers! You’re reading Issue 2 of Book The Trend — an industry newsletter on the future of publishing.

You promised to put me in a magazine. On every table, in every lounge phone
Beyond iBooks, what’s the future of publishing at Apple? All eyes on magazines. 👀 Apple announced yesterday that it is acquiring Texture, a digital magazine subscription service by Next Issue Media LLC, which is owned by Condé Nast, Hearst, Meredith, Rogers Media and KKR. Get the full dish from the Apple newsroom here.

What’s that I hear?
Audio a-go-go! Canongate has partnered with Zebralution, the German audio distribution company behind the audiobook search engine app Spooks. Zebralution will distribute Canongate’s audiobook library to Spotify, Google and other streaming services in an attempt to reach a new, young, hip audience.

“The audio market is so exciting at the moment, and it’s great to see new players helping to improve access to, and discoverability of, audiobooks in fresh and innovative ways,” says Joanna Lord, audio and online sales manager at Canongate. I’m going to start taking a shot every time I hear the word discoverability.

Epic! A new twist on an old idea
Roll out the red carpet for the newest piece of publishing tech to be described as “Netflix for books.” There have been lots of bids to crack this model (Hi Scribd! Howdy Kindle Unlimited! R.I.P. Oyster!) and the latest to jump on the bandwagon is Epic!, an unlimited subscription service app with a twist.

Epic! is “Netflix for books for kids” — users get access to 25,000 children’s books, it’s free for teachers and students during class hours, and if parents want to access it at home, it costs $8 a month. With audio, video, and quizzes, it’s ticking all the new-age content diversification boxes. Will it be an Epic! win or fail? As with all subscription services, the key is in scale so let’s keep an eye on how it grows. Check it out here.

Interest in ornithology. Ornithology?
Speaking of subscriptions, Rachel Wood has started Rare Birds Book Club, a female-focused subscription book club. For £10, members get a book, written by a woman and featuring a female protagonist, delivered to them once a month. After reading, they can join online chats about the book of the month.

Wood is thinking mobile-first: “I wanted to make the thought of reading feel exciting and novel… it needed to look good and be just as easy to use from your smartphone as it was from your computer.” The site is mobile-responsive (as promised) and has some pretty sweet copy (“fly reads”, get it?).

Meanwhile, on French Twitter
In honour of Oulipo writer G_org_s P_r_c and his famous novel La Disparition, French Twitter have come up with a challenge today (March 13): tweet without using the letter “e.” Check out how they’re doing ici. #JourSansE. Fun fact: The title of La Disparition is translated to English as A Void because its literal translation — The Disappearance — has three “e”s too many.

40 shades of innovation
The Bookseller’s digital branch Futurebook is on the hunt for top publishing innovators. From industry underdogs to intrepid insiders, they’re putting together a Top of the Pubs Top 40 list. Want to enter yourself, nominate your bestie, or put in a good word for Book The Trend ? The deadline for submissions is March 23rd and you can find the entry form here.

If you like Book The Trend, please subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get the future of publishing in your inbox every Tuesday. #BTTFam


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