Book publishing is so over. Nobody buys physical books. The underlying story for Jewish books is that vanity authors are keeping some of the small Israeli and American Jewish presses alive, paying big bucks to have their books published.
Here is the Feldheim story from A7:
Feldheim Publishing in Israel, which caters to the hareidi religious community, is in danger of collapse but may be bought out.E-books are on the way in. Amazon owns Kindle, the dominant e-books ecosystem. For Hebrew books it looks like PDF is the way to go. Reuven also sent us this announcement from Jewish E-books:
Its financial difficulties, reported Monday by B’Hadrei Haderim, are the latest in the book publishing and distributing industry that has been overwhelmed by online publishers and e-books.
Feldheim officials said it has asked for a stay in proceedings of financial claims against the company, and an industry source indicated that the Or Chaim publishing house is negotiating with Feldheim Israel to buy it out.
The stay in proceedings has not affected the operation of Feldheim’s chain of book stores, at least for the time being.
The publishing company was founded in 1939 by Philip Feldheim and now is managed by his son and grandson, who have expanded the firm. His son operates the publishing house in Jerusalem, with several bookstores in the capital city in addition to other Israeli cities with a large hareidi religious population.
Feldheim is known for publishing high-quality books on Judaica and pioneered in adding fiction and non-fiction titles that suit religious readers to its range. Its stores feature books from other publishing houses as well as its own.
The news of its financial difficulties is a blow for authors and readers for whom Feldheim has been their favorite for marketing English language books geared for the orthodox Jewish community both in Israel and in the United States and elsewhere.
“This is very sad,” one author told B’Hadrei Hareidim. “Feldheim is very well organized and a very serious company, and the book market will miss it. If it collapses, not only hundreds of workers will be affected but also thousands of readers.”
Feldheim officials confirmed to Arutz Sheva the financial difficulties at its Israeli branch and added it will decide in the next few days between several possibilities it is examining for rescuing the company.
Jewish E-Books-the most extensive Jewish digital library to date-has built a literary empire of over 1,200 English and Hebrew titles of an assortment of genres, including Judaism basics, Jewish law, Kabbalah, biographies, Jewish history, and fiction, to name a few. Representing major Jewish publishers like Feldheim, Israel Bookshop, Jerusalem Publications, Aish.com, and Sichos in English, the E-Book giant’s repertoire features bestselling Jewish authors like Akiva Tatz, Gila Manolson, Matityahu Glazerson, and Tziporah Heller.
"What makes us unique is that you can’t get our e-books on any other site," explains CEO Levy. "We’ve got classic Jewish books for half the price of hard copy."
Jewish E-Book’s Hebrew sister site, www.j-ebooks.co.il, boasts over 600 Hebrew titles-and has just went live with its one-of-a-kind Hebrew e-Book lending library.
But the e-book titan hasn’t confined itself to the bookshelf: in a trendsetting move, the company recently kicked off its Jewish E-Magazines Department, starting with the AMI e-mag-the very first Jewish digital weekly-and the Comics eMagazine for kids.
A massive breakthrough in Jewish publishing, the unprecedented partnership between Jewish E-Books and AMI Magazine inaugurates an entirely new e-mag market, setting a new standard.
"At Ami, we bring readers from all segments of Jewry a high-quality, intelligent and informative publication," says Rechy Frankfurter, senior editor at the magazine. "As part of our aim to reach a larger and more diverse readership, we’re excited to branch out with Jewish E-Books."
But more than just an e-commerce site, Jewish E-Books has used a cutting-edge business model to become a powerful marketing platform for Jewish authors and publishers. With a widespread presence on Jewish social media like Facebook and Twitter, as well its very own Jewish E-Books Blog-featuring fascinating author interviews and the latest news about Jewish books and everything Jewish, Jewish E-Books.com has become a hub of Jewish action and info, transforming the landscape of Jewish book promotion.
"We want to get the word out-big time," says CEO Levy. "We want every Jew and non-Jew-wherever they’re located-to get the Jewish books they want."