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Posts tagged Mike Shatzkin

Shatzkin shares latest on maximizing the backlist in digital publishing era
July 30, 2014 | 6:47 pm

mikeshatzkin.jpgMike Shatzkin's commentary on developments in the publishing industry has often featured in TeleRead in the past - not always in entirely respectful terms. All the same, he's often good for wrap-ups of not-quite-leading-edge newly-received wisdom in mainstream publishing, and one such piece is his latest post entitled (deep breath...): "Publishers need to rethink their marketing deployments and tactics in the digital age to take advantage of their backlists." Shatzkin delves into the traditional publishing priorities of frontlist versus backlist marketing ("Books have always been launched like rockets. The publisher commits maximum firepower to getting them off the ground. Most crash to...

What is NOT in doubt about Hugh Howey’s Author Earnings report
February 17, 2014 | 6:10 pm

So, self-publishing and traditional-publishing author Hugh Howey published a report on some data he pulled from Amazon and crunched (Paul covered it here), purporting to show some things about the number of self-published books compared to those from traditional publishers. This has touched off a lot of blowback in the last couple of weeks as everyone and their uncle has attacked the data set for not being comprehensive. Howey has some interesting things to say, to be sure. Across 7,000 titles, Howey noticed that those from Big Five publishers tend to have the lowest average star rating, but the highest average...

‘The commune is passé’: Publishers need to wake up and face the new world
December 13, 2013 | 2:49 pm

Fullscreen capture 12132013 23200 PM.bmp‘Tis the season for holiday specials, and one of the more obscure yet entertaining ones you will find is the Oscar-nominated “A Doonesbury Special” from 1977. Nominated for Best Animated Short, this half-hour TV special features the Doonesbury gang looking back at the just-ended hippie movement and trying to figure out where it all went and make sense of where they are now. I bring it up, because it seems like the big publishers and the Authors Guild are in a similar boat. They’re looking back at the era when they dominated publishing—they were the great gatekeepers, and the...

Paper vs Pixels? Why Can’t We All Just Get Along!
December 5, 2013 | 4:49 pm

paper vs pixelsI bought a cookbook this week---in paper---and the Beloved's first words reaction was a smirk, followed by 'I'm telling on you!' This misguided response---the notion that paper vs pixels is an either/or scenario---is a surprisingly common one, and I have encountered it again and again. It always surprises me. Who says it has to be one or the other? Might some books be better in e-form, while others, like the big, glossy cookbook, be better in paper, and a book fan like me can buy them both? The latest piece by Mike Shatzkin both shares my question and attempts to answer...

Mike Shatzkin shows publishing spiraling down the drain
November 19, 2013 | 3:08 pm

For anyone who has ever spent time in the accretion disc of  a black hole, the situation of the publishing industry will seem alarmingly familiar. At least according to Mike Shatzkin, whose analyses of the future evolution of publishing have appeared quite often in TeleRead in the past, and who just weighed in on Digital Book World, in an interview with DBW editorial director Jeremy Greenfield entitled "The Challenge and Opportunity of Self-Published Authors for Publishers," on the subject of where publishing is going and what that vast sucking sound is. Shatzkin feels that self-publishing is at a stage where it can...

Shatzkin outs marketing, not editorial, as new driving force in publishing — world yawns
September 9, 2013 | 12:50 pm

ShatzkinMike Shatzkin, founder and CEO of publishing consultancy The Idea Logical Company and " widely-acknowledged thought leader about digital change in the book publishing industry," has just run a blog post entitled "Marketing will replace editorial as the driving force behind publishing houses"—so at least there's no doubt about what his thesis is. He says, quoting his father Leonard Shatzkin, that whereas the traditional position was that “all publishing houses are started with an editorial inspiration,” which under the pressure of economic realities mutated into sales-driven structures focused on getting books into stores, nowadays "marketing has largely usurped the sales function....

The Battle for Bookstores: Who’s their ideal customer now?
August 16, 2013 | 10:46 am

bookstoreI'd bookmarked several articles this week waxing philosophical about the fate of the bookstore, and it seems I am not the only one who noticed this trend: Laura Hazard Owen did a nice round-up for GigaOM summarizing the contributions from some main players. Joseph Esposito, Mike Shatzkin and Seth Godin all approach the book issue from different vantage points (Esposito and Shatzkin are cunsultants, Godin is an author) but reach a few similar conclusions, about the move to e-books (inevitable, whether welcome or not) and the shift to purchasing online versus purchasing in stores. Godin seems a little more sentimental and hopes...

Mike Shatzkin discusses publishers, agency royalties, books on shelves, and publisher relevance
June 27, 2013 | 9:15 am

Publishing industry veteran and consultant Mike Shatzkin weighs in on the agency royalty mess I mentioned a little while ago. He elaborates on what Brian DeFiore said about how the most successful authors are largely exempt from this, because their advances are calculated to come out to more money than their expected sales should generate, and discusses the agent community reaction to these revelations. The publishing industry is facing a hardscrabble battle with retailers for profit margins on book sales—since the less money the publisher makes, the more the store can make, and vice versa. Lest you thought Amazon...

Scissors, Paper, Screen: The Future of Reading
June 8, 2013 | 12:01 pm

The Future of ReadingBack in 2011, which in Internet time is eons ago, I  wrote a commentary about how reading on paper surfaces—books, newspapers, magazines—might be superior (in terms of brain chemistry) compared to what we do when we "read" on screens, be they iPads, Kindles or computers. The article elicited a variety of comments, ranging from ''you're nuts'' to "bravo." Mostly, "you're nuts" and "get with the program" and "get a life!" So I tried get a life and emailed Canadian novelist Margaret Atwood, who has a keen interest in reading and literacy issues (and whose brother is a neuroscientist). I asked her how she felt about my '''reading'' versus ''screening'' ideas,...

Bookstore Survival: Can we help?
February 1, 2013 | 4:11 pm

Joanna's Morning Links post today included a link to a Mike Shatzkin article about the future of Barnes & Noble. I found this statement particularly telling: "It is a virtual certainty that if a book has three different prices: print in the store, print online, and ebook, the printed book in the store will cost the most. This is not a formula to assure bookstore survival." If Amazon.com has taught us nothing else, it has taught us that books should be inexpensive. I know that authors and publishers wish Amazon had not taught us the lesson, but it's been well and truly taught. Publishers,...

How To Understand the DoJ’s E-Book Pricing Settlement
September 11, 2012 | 12:43 am

It's been my experience that avid readers tend to be the sorts of people who take great pride in their intelligence. And intelligent people, for reasons that are obvious enough, aren't always forthcoming when they encounter complicated subjects they don't entirely understand. I mention this because I suspect that a decent portion of the e-reading community is having a hard time wrapping its collective head around the now-approved e-book pricing settlement situation. And that's a shame, because this particular case offers anyone who's interested a fantastic opportunity to observe the process of free-market capitalism in all its exquisite absurdity. I'll be the first to admit that all the...

Mike Shatzkin ponders near-future of publishing under DoJ settlement
July 26, 2012 | 8:43 pm

Publishing industry consultant Mike Shatzkin has posted a look on his blog at what the settlement terms could mean for the near future of publishing as the publishers who’ve settled put the required contract changes into effect. Assuming things move forward at all speed, the terms could be in effect as soon as mid-September, well in time for the holiday season. Although Shatzkin was a fairly vocal critic of the settlement in past columns, he doesn’t waste any time complaining about the DoJ’s decision to let it remain unchanged. Instead, he talks about the business models publishers might consider...