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ePublish a Book » ePublishing - The week in Brief, The ePublishing market » ePublishing Week in Brief – October 15th to 19th, 2012

ePublishing Week in Brief – October 15th to 19th, 2012

ePublishing NewsePublishing Week in Brief – October 15th to 19th, 2012

Affected by ebook price-fixing? Amazon has a few shiny pennies for you

Amazon has gleefully started contacting US ebook customers about the funds they’re entitled to claim after three publishers settled price-fixing lawsuits.

The Kindle-maker told customers that they’d be getting partial refunds of $0.30 to $1.32 for each eligible ebook bought between April 2010 and May 2012.

Ebooks will be eligible if they were published by Hachette, Simon & Schuster or HarperCollins, the three publishers that settled the case, leaving Apple, Penguin and Macmillan still fighting on.

“We have good news,” Amazon crowed. “You are entitled to a credit for some of your past e-book purchases as a result of legal settlements between several major e-book publishers and the Attorneys General of most US states and territories, including yours.”

Random House Says Libraries Own Their Ebooks | LJ Insider

Let’s violate a journalistic tenet and repeat that headline: Random House says libraries own their ebooks.

For those who have been paying close attention, this is not news. It came up at the Massachusetts Library Association conference in May, it was bruited about at the American Library Association (ALA) annual meeting in Anaheim in June, and it was mentioned in a “corner office” interview I had with Skip Dye, Random House’s vice president of library and academic marketing and sales, during LJ’s virtual ebook summit on Wednesday. But the potential implications of Random House’s stance are not receiving enough attention and consideration.

I asked Random House to confirm its position in a subsequent interview, and here is what Dye told me.

“We spend a lot of time discussing this with librarians, at conferences and elsewhere, and it’s clear that there is still some confusion out there around whether libraries own their ebooks,” Dye said. “Random House’s often repeated, and always consistent position is this: when libraries buy their RH, Inc. ebooks from authorized library wholesalers, it is our position that they own them.”

He went on to make clear the distinction with licensing:

“This is our business model: we sell copies of our ebooks to an approved list of library wholesalers, and those wholesalers are supposed to resell them to libraries. In our view, this purchase constitutes ownership of the book by the library. It is not a license.”

That last sentence needs to be underlined and italicized.

The Connecticut State Library’s Advisory Council for Library Planning and Development (ACLPD) this week released a white paper on ebooks which says, among other things, that “While libraries have traditionally valued ownership of materials, when it comes to ebooks, a careful reading and thorough understanding of the licensing agreement with each vendor will hold the library in better stead than promises of electronic ownership.”

“Platforms” are not exclusively the purview of Kindle, NOOK, and other retailers

I am recently awakened to the importance of “platforms” in our dynamic digital publishing world. Some could say I’m slow on this one (and they’d be right). Perhaps it is the “to the man with a hammer everything looks like a nail” syndrome in action, but my belated awareness reminds me once again that the most important single concept publishers need to take on board to succeed in the digital future is “vertical”.

Here’s what woke me up.

We’re working on the Publishers Launch Kids conference on January 15, our second annual exploration of the world of children’s book publishing. We rapidly discovered three (there are more) propositions which create the environment within which kids might well be encouraged by parents and teachers to read digitally.

Storia comes from Scholastic. They worked with 200 pilot teachers to build personalized reading experiences for each child: age-specific and with a personal bookshelf. The business model is individual title purchases; kids make “wish lists” and parents approve and enable the purchases. And there are tools to allow parents and teachers to track the kids’ reading.

After 79 years in print, Newsweek goes digital only

Newsweek, one of the most internationally recognized magazine brands in the world, will cease publishing a print edition after nearly 80 years.

The decision to go all-digital underscores the problems faced by newsweeklies, as more consumers favor tablets and mobile devices over print in an increasingly commoditized, 24-hour news cycle.

The final print edition of the weekly current affairs magazine will hit newsstands on December 31.

The move was not unexpected given both the macro changes affecting the magazine industry and, more specifically, the comments made in July by Newsweek’s owner Barry Diller, head of IAC/Interactive Corp, about the expense of producing a print magazine.

Immediately after Diller’s comments, Tina Brown, editor-in-chief of Newsweek and The Daily Beast, wrote a post on the magazine’s Tumblr page titled, “Scaremongering,” that sought to downplay speculation that it would go all-digital.

But in an interview with Reuters, Brown said of the decision to shelve print, “We started discussing it very fiercely and intensely in June. It’s been in the works a long time, in a sense. And today, we felt ready and absolutely committed to going the course we charted.

Three Ways to Use Amazon to Sell More Books

For many publishers, Amazon is the No. 1 place where their books are sold. The massive online retailer is thought to have about two thirds of e-book sales market share and is considered the largest bookseller of any kind in theU.S.

It behooves publishers to make sure that they’re doing all they can to maximize their sales on Amazon.

In Sept., at the Digital Book World Discoverability and Marketing conference inNew York,’s director of author and publisher relations Jon Fine spelled out for the audience of hundreds of book marketers the top three ways they could make sure they were getting the most out of Amazon.


“Make sure your book is always available,” said Fine.

The first step is making sure the print edition of the book is in stock.

“When people come to our site and see our book in stock, they know they’re going to get it in 24 hours. If a book is not in stock right away, that person is going to find another book and you’ve lost a sale,” said Fine.

The next step is making sure that the title is available wherever readers are around the world – either through print-on-demand or through a high-quality e-book version.

Publishers and authors should also make sure that their book is available in whatever format in which readers might want it.

Parents face hidden costs with eBooks that can’t be rented

THE eBook revolution in schools is throwing up hidden costs for parents.

There is a growing use of eBooks in classrooms — but they cannot be used for rental schemes that schools operate to keep expenses down for parents.

At the moment, it is estimated that between 3pc and 5pc of the school market consists of eBooks, but by 2015 that will have risen to 25pc, and by 2018 it will be 50pc.

For Junior Cert years, parents can expect to pay about €700 for a package providing a student with a three-year licence.

In order to spread the costs, some schools have worked out financing deals with local credit unions.

But principals say a big drawback is that the licensing deal is not-transferable to another pupil.

In contrast, schools operating rental schemes with traditional books can pass them down and expect to get more than just three years out of many books.

National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD) president Donal O Buachalla warned that it was putting schools off investing in new technologies for rental schemes.

 Whispercast for Kindle makes mass ebook/app management easy

Amazon has launched Whispercast for Kindle, a new mass-deployment and management system for ebooks – and soon apps – on Kindles and Kindle apps for schools and businesses. Intended to allow Kindle titles to be bought and shared out among students and employees, as well as remotely control device passwords, wireless settings, and what titles can be purchased. Meanwhile, Amazon says Whispercast for Kindle will soon be able to handle distributing and managing Kindle Fire applications.

For businesses, Amazon is keen to highlight Kindle’s compatibility with digital documents, even if they’re not ebooks purchased from its own store. PDFs and other content can be pushed out, to employees and to customers, and the system will work with company-owned Kindles or Kindles/Kindle apps running on users’ own hardware.

“Today, we are announcing Whispercast, a free, scalable solution for school and business administrators to centrally manage thousands of Kindles and wirelessly distribute Kindle books as well as their own documents to their users” Dave Limp, Kindle VP, said of the new system. “Organizations can also design bring-your-own-device programs at school or work using personally-owned Kindles, Kindle Fires, and other tablets using the free Kindle reading applications for receiving content.”

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