Starwatch Consumer

E-book sales lift publishing business

Updated: 2013-05-16T03:45:16Z

Staff and wire reports

Digital boost

E-book sales, especially romance in the year of “Fifty Shades” erotic novels, gave the book business a lift in 2012, according to a survey of publishers released Wednesday. E-book sales in fiction rose 42 percent from the year before to $1.8 billion; nonfiction sales rose 22 percent to $484.2 million. E-book sales in the children’s and young adult categories increased 117 percent to $469.2 million. The survey said e-books accounted for 20 percent of publishers’ revenues, up from 15 percent in 2011.

Waffle taco

Taco Bell, which has been trying to attract customers in the morning, is testing a waffle rolled up like a taco in a few Southern California restaurants, said company spokesman Rob Poetsch.

“We’re pleased with the initial reaction from our customers, and if the Waffle Taco does well in testing, we’ll roll it out to all our restaurants that serve breakfast,” he said. About 820 Taco Bells last year started selling breakfast foods, such as the A.M. Crunchwrap and Cinnabon doughnut bites.

Nielsen a-go-go

Walt Disney Co.’s ABC, responding to the proliferation of smartphones and tablet computers, said it will participate in Nielsen’s trial of new technology designed to measure the mobile TV viewing audience. The test of the Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings system will run through September. ABC is seeking to measure audience demographics and the reach and frequency of online ad campaigns.

Smart warning

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in a new report says that because smartphones are increasing in popularity so quickly, scammers are following suit. One study cited by the Fed found consumers are three times as likely to respond to a phishing email on a smartphone as they are on a computer.

Cancer drug

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new injectable drug, Xofigo from Bayer Pharmaceuticals, that uses radiation to treat advanced prostate cancer. The drug is for men whose cancer has grown into bone tumors even after they received medication or surgery to lower testosterone.

Regulators approved Xofigo based on a study of 809 men with advanced prostate cancer who received the drug or a placebo. Patients taking Xofigo typically lived 14 months, compared with 11.2 months for those taking a placebo.

| Star news services

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