Books in the News: IBook Sees 1 Million New Users Each Week and More

By Barbara Danza, Epoch Times
January 28, 2015 1:00 pm Last Updated: January 28, 2015 8:27 pm

Keith Moerer, director of iBooks at Apple, revealed that the application has enjoyed an average of “1 million new customers every week since mid-September,” according to GigaOm, quoting Moerer after his appearance at the Digital Book World conference in New York. Among other factors, Moerer pointed to the ability of Apple to leverage iTunes customers as a reason for the steady growth, according to the report.

Mark Zuckerberg Makes Second Book Club Pick

Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the second pick of his new book club, A Year of Books. Steven Pinker’s “The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined” addresses violence in modern times compared to the past. Zuckerberg commented in the announcement, “It’s a timely book about how and why violence has steadily decreased throughout our history, and how we can continue this trend. Recent events might make it seem like violence and terrorism are more common than ever, so it’s worth understanding that all violence—even terrorism—is actually decreasing over time. If we understand how we are achieving this, we can continue our path towards peace.”

Simon and Schuster Introduces Online Video Courses

Publisher Simon and Schuster has released its “Simon Says” platform of online video courses taught by popular authors. Aiming to “inspire and uplift through online video courses and live events,” SimonSays.com presently features three video previews to courses such as A Short Guide to a Long Life and Finding Your Purpose and Living It. Course prices are listed from $25–$85.

“Today’s consumers have made it plain that they want and expect more from authors, and in offering these up-close, off-the-page experiences we are partnering with our authors to satisfy that demand,” said CEO and President Carolyn Reidy in a statement.

Penguin Publishing Group Shakes Things Up

Penguin President Madeline McIntosh enacted a number of major decisions recently, according to Publishers Weekly, including closing two imprints: Hudson Street Press and Gothan Books, and naming a new president to Viking: Brian Tart who replaces Clare Ferraro. Tart, the former president of Dutton, hands his former duties to Ivan Held, president of G.P. Putnam’s Sons, who will oversee the newly combined Putnam and Dutton imprint. A number of other new hires and reappointments are outlined in the report, which describes the collection of decisions as a “reorganization.”