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ePublish a Book » ePublishing - The week in Brief » ePublishing Week inBrief – February 4th to 8th, 2013

ePublishing Week inBrief – February 4th to 8th, 2013

ePublishing NewsePublishing Week inBrief – February 4th to 8th, 2013

Apple Opens Its Arms to Self-Publishing E-Book Authors

Apple is going after the self-publishing crowd in an effort to loosen Amazon’s grip on the e-book market, but it has some catching up to do. For people already at home in the Apple ecosystem, Breakout Books will no doubt be a welcome addition to iTunes, but its catalog pales in comparison to Amazon’s. Apple has promised to add more emerging authors to the mix.

Apple has staked out some precious ground in the e-book battle with Tuesday’s debut of Breakout Books, a new section in the iBookstore.

This move is a no-brainer for Apple as it seeks to match what Amazon is doing with its Kindle platform, said Ben Bogardus, an assistant professor of journalism at QuinnipiacUniversity.

“Hosting books on its servers costs virtually nothing, and the company takes a cut of every sale, so it seems to be a win-win for both independent authors and Apple,” he told MacNewsWorld.

Macmillan, sole e-book publishing holdout, settles with Justice

CEO says maximum damage “was much more than the entire equity of our company.”

Back in December, Penguin became the penultimate publisher to settle with the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) in the alleged e-book price-fixing scheme. On Friday, Macmillan and the DOJ came to a settlement agreement, leaving only Apple in the government’s sights.

Macmillan has agreed to other sales restrictions, including a prohibition until December 2014 on entering into new discounting agreements for e-book titles. As others who have agreed to similar settlements, Macmillan must regularly report to the DOJ on future e-book ventures and any communications it has with its rivals.

“As a result of today’s settlement, Macmillan has agreed to immediately allow retailers to lower the prices consumers pay for Macmillan’s e-books,” said Jamillia Ferris, chief of staff and counsel at the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, in a statement. “Just as consumers are already paying lower prices for the e-book versions of many of Hachette’s, HarperCollins’ and Simon & Schuster’s new releases and bestsellers, we expect the prices of many of Macmillan’s e-books will also decline.”

The DOJ still has an ongoing case against Apple—a trial date has been set for June 2013.

Expanding Options for Publishing: The New Hybrid Author

There have been some fantastic reflections of late on the emerging powerhouse that is the “hybrid author”. One of my recent favorites is Jane Friedman’s interview with CJ Lyons. Lyons discusses her experience on the fronts of traditional publishing (big advance and all) with all its upsides and major downsides (the book was pulled a few weeks before it launched), and her experiences since as one of the most successful self-published authors out there, who, along with her agent, decides whether to accept offers from traditional houses or go it alone on a case by case basis.

But there is an emerging middle ground between traditional publishing and self-publishing; a ground which we occupy at Diversion Books. Diversion publishes in eBook and print-on-demand formats only, with a curated list, a hands-on and long-term approach to marketing and publicity, and high royalty splits beyond what any author would find at even the e-only imprints of the bigger houses.

With all of this in mind, I’d like to discuss a second type of “hybrid author”. We recently signed a three-book deal with Karina Halle, who is a self-published success story. Karina has nearly a dozen titles to her name, with more rolling out each month, it seems. She has an incredibly devout following with which she is constantly and effectively engaging, and is a great self-marketer. Karina does not have a day job; she is a full-time self-published author, paying her bills with royalties. Ultimately, Karina wants to see her books on the shelves of Barnes & Noble—she wants that big deal with a traditional house.

Google creates $82M ‘Digital Publishing Innovation Fund’ for French publishers

What’s the best way to try and smooth relations over with angry publishers? If you’re Google, and the publishers are upset that their content is being indexed by your Web spiders for free, the answer is apparently very simple: Throw money at the publishers. Call me cynical, but that’s undoubtedly the thinking in a recent announcement that the search giant was creating a €60 million (approximately $82 million USD) Digital Publishing Innovation Fund to help the publishers monetize their content.

On Google’s official company blog last Friday morning, executive chairman Eric Schmidt said that “a healthy news industry is important for Google and our partners, and it is essential to a free society.” He went on to list the ways in which the company has tried to help the news industry remain healthy in the past. “Google has worked with news publishers around the globe for years to help them make the most of the web,” he explained, pointing out that the company’s Web searches generate “billions of clicks each month.” When you take that in conjunction with its advertising solutions, the project could generate additional revenue outside of the traditional funding streams journalism has used in the past. Furthermore, he added that the launch of Google Play gave publishers new way to make money, “including through paid subscriptions.”

That, however, was just the preamble to the company’s latest investment in journalism, which comes in two different flavors. “First, Google has agreed to create a €60 million Digital Publishing Innovation Fund to help support transformative digital publishing initiatives for French readers,” Schmidt wrote, with the second element described as a “deepening” of the company’s partnership with French publishers “to help increase their online revenues using our advertising technology.”

Future Publishing: digital now more than 50% of ad revenues

Owner of magazines including Metal Hammer and Total Film says e-editions were boosted by ‘tablet Christmas’

Future Publishing has launched iPad editions for titles including Metal Hammer

Future Publishing, owner of magazines including Metal Hammer and Total Film, has reported that digital accounted for more than 50% of total advertising revenues for the first time in the final three months of 2012.

In an interim management statement published on Monday, Future revealed that digital made up 54% of its total ad revenue, from 45% in the same quarter in 2011.

Future also reported a 24% increase in digital revenues year on year in the final quarter of 2012 following its prediction of a surge in e-edition sales thanks to a “tablet Christmas”.

The company – which said it has closed four games console magazines, launched four digital brands and one print title since 1 October – said that digital revenues now account for 23% of the total. In the last three months of 2011 digital accounted for 18% of total revenues.

Digital revenues from selling iPad and other tablet editions of Future titles has averaged quarterly growth of 16% over the past year, with 40 titles now on Google’s new magazine shop, which launched in December.

Future’s US operation, which reported yet another loss in the final three months of the year, is forecast to return to profitability in the current financial year to 30 September

Publishing Your Book: What Has Changed in 7 Years?

A lot has changed since I wrote my last book in 2006. When I launched Speed Lead, I was largely reliant on the way the publishing trade worked to promote the book. Books were sent out in the mail to the traditional press for review, launch dates were set to coincide with the publisher’s cycle of book fairs and sales force briefings, launch activity was targeted at the traditional print media.

Seven years later, the picture is very different. Even before my new book Making the Matrix Work is published, I can distribute executive summaries via our website, blogs and social media networks and engage in direct conversation with key opinion formers. The value of a good online media source or blog can be higher than that of quality print media as the online links last longer, and can contribute to the ranking of your website.

This brings great opportunities to create engagement and interest, but it also carries some risks

Publishing Arm Of New News Corp To Invest In Digital Companies, Rights

The company has set aside billions to buy up some new partners once the split is complete.As the publishing part of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp splits off from the company’s film and television assets, the new publishing arm is setting aside a large chunk of change to experiment with new digital innovations, buy digital companies and video rights, the Telegraph newspaper reported on Monday.

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