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Posts tagged publishing industry

Publishing in the social world
November 22, 2010 | 9:50 am

6a00d83452242969e200e55005dca58834-150wi.jpgI spent most of last week at our Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco. If you missed it, you'll find all of the video for it here. I came away from it with two things in mind. First, Google is under attack from every angle. Sure, they've felt competitive pressures before but whether it's from Facebook, Bing or some startup in a garage, I get the impression it's more intense now than ever before. No wonder they're giving all employees a 10% pay raise! Seriously, search is getting more social every day and tomorrow's...

Authors and ebook problems: expanding the net of responisbility
October 13, 2010 | 9:33 am

proffread.jpegI recently complained about production problems in two new novels I purchased in ebook form – Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings and David Weber’s Out of the Dark — both from TOR/Tom Doherty/Macmillan (see On Books: Brandon Sanderson and David Weber — 1 Up, 1 Down and The Problem Is: Publishers Don’t Read eBooks!). The failure in both instances, I think, at least as regards the problem of producing an ebook, is that review-before-release rights either didn’t exist in the authors’ contracts or if the rights did exist, they weren’t exercised. With all the problems consumers are seeing in ebooks,...

Two views of the future of publishing
October 6, 2010 | 7:15 am

press1[1] The Guardian’s Books Blog had a pair of interesting articles touching on the future of publishing yesterday. First, Robert McCrum talks about a recent debate on the future of publishing held by the Free Word Centre, with representatives from Google, the BBC, and publishers Faber and Canongate. (A representative from Amazon had been scheduled to take part as well, but pulled out at the last minute.) One interesting part of the article has to do with the Google representative’s discussion of his company’s scanning of out-of-print books. McCrum is a bit hostile to his assertions that Google...

Can the publishing industry adapt to the Internet?
July 12, 2010 | 5:30 pm

rosedale-library Nic Boshart, the Digital Services Coordinator at the Association of Canadian Publishers, has an interesting editorial at The Literary Platform about the Internet vs. bookstore dichotomy, and what the publishing industry can and should do to win back the public’s hearts and minds. Boshart writes of the closing of one of Toronto’s largest remaining independent bookstores, This Ain’t the Rosedale Library, and of the devaluing of such bookstores as community centerpieces—places people hang out and talk to each other about shared experiences, such as books they have read in common. And this is coming about because of...

E-books cause publishers to cleave to tried-and-true authors and series
July 12, 2010 | 2:21 am

images-1.jpegThat's the title of an article in The Vancouver Sun. Serial-type books are what is attracting publishers now, the article says: With book sales stagnating in recent years, the nascent e-books market has thrown the industry into turmoil. In response, large publishers are taking fewer financial risks and betting more of their dollars on established authors, says Eileen Gittins of the self-publishing company Blurb. com. "In the face of these economics, publishers just cannot take the risk," Gittins said. "They need some sure wins." Similar to movie studios betting on well-known franchises to bring box-office gold, publishers want to market more blockbuster...

Luke Johnson agrees with me by Eoin Purcell
July 2, 2010 | 7:06 am

waterstones.pngA few months ago I wrote this: As readers shift to digital, the economics of book shops will become skewed, favouring online emporia. Booksellers can react by hand-selling to customers and making themselves relevant, in the way that Raven Books in Blackrock, Co Dublin, has. (I am increasingly sure of finding a pile of relevant books there every time I walk in). No doubt this will mean concentrating on older, out-of-print, and second-hand books, titles that appeal directly to the customer, and print-on-demand works (though I am less convinced of the economic case for this). Whatever way you look at it, as...

Pricing the indie ebook: what’s fair?
June 30, 2010 | 8:51 am

images.jpegI received an email recently from an indie author whose work I reviewed on Smashwords, questioning a comment I made in the review about the ebook being priced fairly high ($7.99) for the sort of book it was. She had some reasons for setting the price at this level: she was basing it on what she thought a 'real' paper book would sell for, and she felt that the availability of a free sample meant that the reader could decide---and if they decided to commit to the novel, why not command a retail price? I wrote her back with my analysis,...

Is the publishing industry stuck in an ivory tower?
June 23, 2010 | 9:15 am

ivorytower In my last post, I quoted from a Publishing Perspectives post covering The Big Money’s “Untethered 2010: Profitable Media in the Tablet Era” conference, about how e-reader manufacturers were confident their devices still had a place in a post-iPad world. But reading further in that post, I found more interesting material. The rest of the article seems to suggest that those manufacturers, and publishers, may be living in an ivory tower—exemplified by this passage: “As long as we have a competitive marketplace, ultimately consumers will tell us what they want,” [Brian Murray of HarperCollins]...

US chips away at UK export markets – good for readers? bad for authors?
June 18, 2010 | 9:30 am

images.jpgAn article about this in the Bookseller today. US publishers are evidently seeking rights to territories that are considered the domain of UK publishers in lieu of global deals, says the article. India, Singapore, Malaysia and South Africa are the contested territories right now. Anthony Goff, president of the Association of Authors Agents said: "US publishers are trying to erode those assumptions that markets like India and Singapore automatically go to the British publishers. ... Goff described this situation as "small skirmishes" compared with the larger issue of global territories, which was "a huge battle to be...

Shatzkin/Biba emails on the agency model post
June 4, 2010 | 8:13 am

images.jpegAfter I made the linked post yesterday, I sent Mike (at the left) a heads up. We ended up having an interesting email exchange. As we very seldom, unfortunately, get the publishers' side of the discussion here, I asked Mike if he would let me reprint the exchange. He graciously agreed and here it is: Biba I don't know if you read us, but I though it was fair that I let you know about an article I published today: http://www.teleread.com/2010/06/03/boy-do-i-disagree-with-this-mike-shatzkin-gets-it-100wrong-about-the-agency-model/ Shatzkin Seldom. Thanks for letting me know. The consumer is voting with their dollars and saying they don't really care whether the...

Boy do I disagree with this! Mike Shatzkin gets it 100% wrong about the agency model!
June 3, 2010 | 10:58 am

unfair.jpegMike Shatzkin publishes a blog that is always worth reading - The Shatzkin Files. One of his latest articles is Agency seems (to me) to be working; I hope its legal. In that article Mike talks about the beginning of the use of the agency model and how publishers love it so far. In that article he talks about how the Texas AG is investigating the model (we think) and says: It would make many publishers very unhappy if the Agency model were deemed illegal. One major house CEO I spoke with two weeks ago was positively rhapsodic about the...

iPad: ‘Jesus pad’ or ‘Judas pad’?
June 3, 2010 | 9:15 am

Prior to its launch, the iPad was sometimes called “the Jesus pad” for how it was expected to “save” the publishing industry. Peter Cox at FuturEbook has an editorial in which he states that it might better be called “the Judas pad.” Cox cites the way that it is not legal to lend digital books to friends—previously the industry’s “no. 1 source of book sales” according to Cox—“without committing a serious criminal act.” He also suggests that the publishing industry was suckered by “agency pricing”—that despite the promise of greater control over prices allowing publishers freedom to...

Frustrated ebook buyer in Australia
June 1, 2010 | 9:07 am

frustration.jpgWe are all aware of this problem, but it doesn't hurt to underline it in the hopes that someday it will be changed. Here is an email I received from Michael Nahas in Australia: ... I would like to relate a frustrating experience I had recently. I suppose it could be tagged with the "DRM" label. I have been a member of the Fictionwise site for several years and up to recently have been generally satisfied with their service. Since their takeover by Barnes and Noble, however, I have experienced problems buying ebooks from them because I do not live in...

Penguin Ayn Rand version goes from $9.99 to $27.99 in Kindle store!
May 28, 2010 | 4:20 pm

Fountainhead-after.jpg Got the following email from John Hagewood and thought you should know about it: Penguin schminguin...I don't care WHAT any of these Agency 5's have promised, it sure looks like Penguin are trying to kill eBooks deader than a doornail from where I sit. I waited for MONTHS for Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead to make it to the Kindle store last year, and when they did I picked them up for $9.99. As of now, the Agency Model price is now $27.99. Mass market paperback is $9.99. Of course they have RENAMED the ebook "Hardcover Centennial Edition", but...

Brett Sandusky: Publishing industry should refocus on consumers
May 24, 2010 | 11:16 am

sandusky Publishing professional Brett Sandusky had an epiphany last month, brought on by a panelist at a publishing conference who kept repeating the phrase, “The reader is the consumer who is your customer.” Up to this point, the publishing industry has been strictly business-to-business (“B-to-B”)—not dealing directly with consumers, but with intermediaries such as agents and bookstores. It’s as if we are an industry of ninjas, or a group of faceless factory workers buying, creating, selling, and promoting products without one genuine interaction with the people for whom we are making these products. This, of...

The Konrath Effect: Will New Technology Ruin Talented Authors?
May 19, 2010 | 9:16 am

frustration.jpegThat is the title of an article by author Jason Pinter in The Huffington Post. After discussing author J. A. Konrath's recent decision to publish his next book through Amazon, Pinter says that Konrath wouldn't be able to do this successfully unless his previous books had been published by Hyperion and he then goes on to say: ... There are still myriad ways a traditional publisher can help a new author that would be lost by simply throwing a book up on Amazon. You lose the benefit of a real editor. You lose any money spent on advertising, promotion, co-op to...

Publishing University runs for 26th time in New York
May 14, 2010 | 2:42 pm

p7iq_logo.jpgThe 26th annual Publishing University, put on by the Independent Book Publishers Association, will be held in New York on May 24 and 25. Two full days of classes for those who want to learn how to publish both pbooks and ebooks. You can find the full conference program here. I see our old friend Mark Coker, of Smashwords, will be speaking, and there will be keynotes by Seth Godin and Sourcebooks' Dominique Raccah I'll be attending the first day's sessions and will let you know what's happening. Unfortunately, the second day conflicts with the IDPF meeting,...

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