The single biggest distortion in the e-book market goes unmentioned over all 160 pages of the ruling U.S. District Judge Denise Cote handed down this morning, holding Apple guilty of antitrust violations.
"In 2009, Arizona State University Libraries adopted a patron-driven acquisitions (PDA) plan for both electronic and print books. This article describes the decision making process that resulted in a permanent change in collection development at a major academic research library. It considers how the program works from the perspective of library subject specialists and provides some information on the user experience. Finally, the article discusses future directions for PDA and poses questions that must be considered in the context of a major paradigm shift in collection development practices."
"Amazon‘s fifteen year campaign to control the book market—a campaign that has included not paying taxes,pulling buy buttons of accounts that won’t agree to terms, coaching the government to sue its opponents for antitrust violations, and loss-leader pricing so drastic it’s questionable the company has ever made a profit—seems to have finally achieved the monopoly it sought. It’s now doing what successful monopolies have, historically, always done upon taking over a marketplace: raising prices."
"It’s no secret that e-books are slowly taking over the publishing industry… and for the past few weeks, we’ve touched base on the latest craze in the world of electronic books—enhanced e-books.
To recap, what in the world is an enhanced e-book?
Instead of just black and white numbers and letters printed on the page, or embedded since we’re talking electronically, enhanced e-books also include multimedia files (.PDFs, images, videos, and audio files) within the e-book itself."
"This wonderful infographic from Kite Readers, a publishing platform for children’s ebooks, will certainly clear a lot of doubts and help make the right decision.
What’s especially interesting is what prices are parents expecting. If you go with the app, you have to give your book a lower price. Price expectation for a book app is $3.50, compared to $5.80 for an ebook."
The Nintendo 3DS could be a viable e-book reader platform.
Marianela Camacho Alfaro's insight:
The publisher has identified that a large number of grade-school children own 3DS systems in Japan, so it's an ideal platform for the free app, which will be called honto. The books themselves will apparently be a fair bit cheaper than the print equivalents, with novels, picture books and study materials set to be included.
It's been tough times for publishers of every ilk, but what of those in the book-publishing sphere? Amazon now sells more e-books than hardcovers; what are traditional publishers doing to keep up? "At Random House we're constantly thinking about ways we can use technology to connect our authors with readers," said Milena Schmidt, digital communications manager for Random House Digital.
"It’s literally been years since publishing industry experts first scoffed at the current self-publishing methods, as the book world as a whole looked down their noses at authors’ feeble attempts to get published. From the beginning, self-publishing was the kiss of death for a book, if not for the author; as big-name authors began to get big-number contracts off their self-published efforts, that attitude began to change, in the eyes of the publishers and the readers.
But if self-publishing has adapted to the market to the point that authors can find a level of satisfaction in the process, why aren’t traditional publishers changing their business practices to recreate that process for their own titles?"
"I’ve experimented with my e-book prices at lot over the past couple of years. For a week—its first—Mousetrapped was $4.99. I soon learned my lesson there, and dropped it to $2.99. Just before Backpacked came out (at $2.99), I droppedMousetrapped to $1.99 hoping it would lead to more sales, thus leading to more sales of its sequel. When sales of Mousetrapped inexplicably tanked for a month or two, I dropped it to 99c to get them going again. Half-way through its life, I increased the price of Self-Printed from $2.99 to $4.99. I’ve run four of my titles through KDP Select. And recently, I increased the price of my only fiction title,Results Not Typical, from 99c to $2.99, and now it’s selling better than ever."
"Publishers have defended agency pricing as a way to ensure that healthy competition is maintained among ebook retailers. If all outlets offer a book on equal terms (went the argument), the price incentive disappears and stores compete on service. This is one of the reasons many European markets maintain fixed-book-price laws.
Arguing that the largest retailer should offer discounts that few or no other retailers can match potentially hastens the loss of smaller, independent stores. If you believe that support in niche markets comes largely from these kinds of retail outlets, weakening them is a bad move."
"Traditional book publishers are catching up on the e-book trend by launching their first joint sales and reading platform this summer.
Sino United Publishing, which comprises the city's biggest book publisher-retailers - including Commercial Press, Joint Publishing and Chung Hwa Book - plans to launch Super Book City later this month.
About 1,000 new e-books will be available on the platform, general manager Terence Leung Wing-chung said."
"Yeah, that doesn’t work. When you focus on a single ebook that is deeply discounted you are simultaneously ignoring all the ebooks that aren’t being discounted. It’s simply not possible to model a complex system with millions of variables by using a single data point. To do so would be to oversimplify the complexities of the ebook market as a system to the point that the argument has no relevance."