HarperCollins builds new ebook sales platform for CS Lewis titles ComputerworldUK Global publisher HarperCollins has brought in Digital River to manage global web commerce and online payments for consumer ebook sales of its CS Lewis titles across...
Massachusetts Chooses Baker & Taylor as eBook Platform Partner Sacramento Bee This pilot project was conceived by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioner's (MBLC) Statewide Resource Sharing Committee to explore new models of ebooks.
One of the better ways to get a customer is to catch them young. this is why Amazon has a Amazon Student membership deal, and it could be why Amazon has started a pilot program to test affiliate partnerships with college bookstores.
There’s been no announcement from Amazon, and the program doesn’t even have a name yet, but for earlier this Fall Amazon started a year long pilot with the University of California – Davis bookstore.
UC Davis Stores has a dedicated portal page on Amazon.com (davis.amazon.com). The portal launched in mid-September and offers a selection of Amazon’s stock similar to what the bookstore would stock (in other words what a student is inclined to buy). This portal is functionally a part of Amazon (and not UC Davis Stores’s servers or stock system), and any order placed there is filled by Amazon via their network of warehouses and partners.
Publishers like to think of themselves as being “experts at building author brands” (according to this perceptive piece by Mike Shatzkin). The trouble is that increasingly just isn’t true. Publishers can be terrific at exploiting brands – E.L. James sold vastly more books as a result of being published by Random House than she would have done otherwise. But she was a brand before they got their hands on her.
In the UK the depressing picture emerging from retail is that publishers are really struggling when it comes to publishing debut fiction or non fiction by an author without a brand platform. If a debut does not win a prize, get a reading group pick or is in some other way struck by lightning then sales are all too likely to be measured in the hundreds or very low thousands. Five thousand is the new forty thousand.
So bad has it become that one has to ask whether in fact the best thing for the major publishers to do is to give up publishing new authors altogether and simply focus on maximising existing brand authors. By offloading the 90% of their list that loses money, and a vast proportion of the infrastructure required to service that below the waterline product their profitability would go through the roof.
I’ve never thought ads in ebooks would make a viable business model, but sometime next year that idea is going to be put to the test. A new startup in Germany is building an ad-supported platform, and they plan to launch in the middle of 2014.
1) The international market will rise significantly
Yup! Amazon keeps on adding international stores to its Kindle lineup, with Australia joining the Kindle familyjust this month. Meanwhile, Kobo remains a major player outside the US, launching new tablets pre-loaded with the more open Google Play store, and partnering with independent booksellers.
2) The reading app experience will become highly sophisticated
Yup again! I predicated that even the apps would get collections, cross-device syncing, multi-language support and so on. True on all counts. The Kindle for iOS app added a collections feature recently, and independent apps such as Marvin have features such as Dropbox support and even a vocabulary builder which mimics the new Paperwhite feature.
3) ‘Interoperability’ will be the new buzzword
This was the only one that didn’t completely pan out. I think the search for quality DRM-free books remains a niche market. Most customers buy a Kindle or Kobo or Nook and stay within the walled garden of their on-board store quite happily.
4) Prices will go up
Yes, yes, yes! I have been trying to plow through my purchased-but-unread books this month, and after enjoying a Jodi Picoult title much to my surprise (I had bought it for my mother) I went looking for her backlist on Amazon. There were a few in the $8-9 range, but I was shocked to find several pushing the $20 price point. House Rules, from 2010, was $18.95. Second Glance, from 2003, was $19.09. That is $7 more expensive than the full-price paperback! It seems like every time I have looked for a book, I have found these sky-high prices, for titles both old and new. This is why I only get ‘mainstream’ books from the library now.
5) ‘Netflix for Books’ will happen, and it will be huge
Thank you, Oyster Books and Scribd for making this dream come true! Alas, Oyster is only for Americans right now, but I absolutely love the concept and I think this will be the wave of the future. I think all the tiny children in my life will be quite amused at the notion that Mom and Dad and Uncle and Aunt used to buy individual books or music or movies to keep. As long as Oyster and Scribd can keep their library growing, and work out territorial restrictions, I think their business model will be a hit!
Amazon.com is shaking things up again, this time with the keywords and book description.
In the past you were allowed, encouraged even, to use similar book titles and author names in your book description. This is no longer the case. Amazon has been notifying people about this but I just spoke with an author who got no notification, her book was simply pulled off of the Amazon site. Do NOT use author names or book titles in your book description or keywords/tags.
This Video Game Could Revolutionize Publishing The Atlantic For all their noises about exploring and expanding the market, publishing companies have been slow to embrace the possibilities of interactive texts.