ePublishing Week in Brief – January 6th to 11th, 2013–01–13
Amazon Should AutoRip All The Books You’ve Bought To Your Kindle
Amazon recently announced a new feature called AutoRip that provides CD buyers with free digital copies of those tracks.
As the name suggests, it just offers as a convenience what CD owners can do to copy songs from a physical disc to their computers and MP3 players already.
What if Amazon took that a step further and offered e-book versions of every book you’ve bought?
Everyone on Twitterseemed to have that same thought simultaneously this morning from BuzzFeed editor Matt Buchanan to YouTube executive Hunter Walk to Foursquare product chief Alex Rainert, among many others.
Customers could buy books from Amazon, receive a digital copy, and then have the freedom to decide between reading the printed copy or the digital copy on their Kindle or other tablet.
Analyst Upgrades News Corp. Stock Citing Catalysts, Publishing Upside
The value of many of News Corp.’s assets, including its future standalone publishing business, “is still being under-appreciated,” Sanford C. Bernstein’s Todd Juenger says.
LONDON- News Corp. shares had a strong run in 2012 ahead of a planned separation of the entertainment and publishing businesses of Rupert Murdoch‘s conglomerate.
Despite the gains, Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Todd Juenger wasn’t bullish on the stock until Thursday, when he upgraded it to “outperform,” similar to other analysts’ “buy” ratings,” citing several catalysts. He also boosted his price target on the stock by $4 to $31.
“The value of many of News Corp.’s assets is still being under-appreciated,” Juenger wrote in a report. “A conservative sum-of-the-parts reveals a fair value of $6 per share for [publishing business] New News and $25 per share for [entertainment company] Fox Group.” He added that “New News may be especially under-appreciated.”
Penguin Random House merger begins a new chapter for publishing
The new industry giant has made room for a wide variety of new initiatives that are good news for authors, publishers and readers
Richard Ford’s brilliant new novelCanadaopens audaciously: “First, I’ll tell you about the robbery our parents committed. Then about the murders, which happened later”. An account of the dramas in publishing last year might begin in similar vein: “First, I’ll tell you about Agency pricing and the Department of Justice. Then about the mergers that happened later.” 2012 was a fascinating year in publishing, a year of accelerated change, culminating in the Penguin Random merger. 2013 has kicked off with Pearson (Penguin’s owner) investing in the Nook e-reader. Whatever one might think about the wisdom of these strategies, both these events are bold moves in the war for the heart of the reader, and indicate dramatic change.
For some time the market for writing has been in demonstrable good health in theUK, with a large audience buying a great number of books. From the rise of Waterstones in the 1980s, through the mass-market explosion of the 90s, and more recently the arrival of writing for the web and the ebook with the new self-publishing model,UKreaders have been a substantial, various audience with an appetite for books and reading. The hunger has been for writing from around the world, but it is especially well-served by a highly productive community of writers inBritainandIreland, many of whom are read across the globe.Readingand writing are strong in theUK, not in crisis.
Changing Customer Expectations – How the Publishing Industry is Adapting to the Writing on the Wall
A December 2011 report by Deloitte on the educational publishing market points to the fundamental market shift – digitization, the changing preferences of younger readers to e-books, and the massively reduced cost and time to market provided by “print-on-demand” publishing technology.
The institutional education market – K-12 and tertiary education – has been somewhat protected with highly targeted publisher sales forces catering to the specific needs of educational institutions and the close professor-author-publisher relationship. At the post-graduate level we see venerable institutions like Harvard offering MBA programs online accessible anyplace and anytime with full digital content and tutoring arrangements.
When you look at the general market the shift is even more spectacular. Amazon now sells more e-books than physical books. The economics for a traditional large publisher requires at least 10,000 copies to be sold in the first year for a new book to be considered worthwhile. The production time is 4-6 months means that many topical books can be outdated by the time they hit the shelves ofr the kindle or iPad.Saleof 50,000 copies are required for the book to be considered commercially successful. It has become a high-risk business.
The future of publishing is micro
Technology taketh away and technology giveth. The rise of digital media has killed the business models of newspaper and book publishers and booksellers. But it is also providing new venues for authors and smaller publishers who would have never had a chance in the old order.
“Publications can be distributed on the open Web or via apps. In 2013, as reading habits shift to memory-lite and cloud-enabled mobile devices such as iPads and large-screen smartphones, this approach to publishing will become more prevalent and important. Also according to the tenets of micropublishing, digital magazine issues or books can be short and produced using free or very cheap software, so publishers don’t need to invest as much in design, distribution, or marketing, freeing up budgets for editorial. For the same reasons, micropublishing is also a movement that is friendly to self-publishing.”
Micropublishing doesn’t have to be all-digital, either — it can incorporate the best efficiencies of digital and print. The New York Times’ David Streitfeld documents the example of micropublisher James Morrison, who employs the Lulu self-publishing platform in conjunction with Amazon to sell very small quantities of rare or out-of-print books. The new model, which combines online and print resources, works well for very small runs of even just one copy of a book:
Six Things I Learned About Publishing a Book That Very Few Books Will Tell You
Landing a book contract with a major publisher, Penguin, was a dream come true, and I thought I knew what awaited me. Prior to that wonderful day, I spent many years acquiring knowledge about the publishing process, mostly by reading books, articles, and blogs. Even so, there were quite a few things that I learned along the way. Here are some of the ones that surprised me the most:
1. Yes, you can get a book deal via social media. After many years of pitching book concepts through a literary agent to no avail, I ended the relationship and decided to try my own luck. I searched for editors at publishing houses on LinkedIn and sent a pitch to an editor using an InMail. Because the number of characters is limited, I had to convey the entire book concept in just a few concise paragraphs. To my amazement, a social media-savvy editor, Marian Lizzi at Perigee (an imprint of PenguinUSA), responded and requested more details. So there you have it — an InMail that eventually led to a book deal.
2. You might need an agent even if you land a publisher without one. Penguin decided to make an offer, but I had no literary agent to represent me. Anyone who has ever seen a book contract knows that these are complicated legal documents with numerous terms, caveats, clauses, and stipulations. Even though I am a court-certified interpreter with legal knowledge, “literary legalese” has its own specialized terminology. For someone outside of the publishing business, the help of an agent is critical. When I hired a new agent (Scott Mendel), he did far more than just negotiate the contract. His help was essential at every stage.