Andrew AlbaneseThe world of e-books is like the American west – full of wide open spaces and populated with pioneers. Names like Open Road, Diversion and Brown Girls Books dot the map.

Open Road Integrated Media, established in 2009, releases about 200 e-books a month, focusing on the backlists of more than 2,000 authors, including such notable writers as Pearl Buck, Pat Conroy, John Jakes, Thomas Berger, Joyce Johnson, and Roger Angell. As Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly senior writer explain, Open Road now offers more than 10,000 titles; although the company plans to slow the pace of title output, it will release about a 1000 titles in 2016.

Even as e-book sales slow and fall for the Big Five publishers, independents of all sizes and niches – including Open Road – say they continue to enjoy growth.

“So how do these publishers succeed? Well, basically because they are born digital and live in the ether,” Albanese tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally. “Their practices effectively target digital readers, through the use of social media, promotional newsletters, the creation of genre-focused online communities.”

Every Friday, CCC’s “Beyond the Book” speaks with the editors and reporters of “Publishers Weekly” for an early look at the news that publishers, editors, authors, agents and librarians will be talking about when they return to work on Monday.

E-Book Pioneers Thriving

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