Wednesday video pick: Licensing opportunities for book publishers

Licensing opportunities for book publishers at the Licensing International Expo 2011 with Ira Mayer of The Licensing Letter.

Wednesday video pick: Margaret Atwood at TOC 2011

Author Margaret Atwood on “The Publishing Pie: An Author’s View” at TOC Con 2011.

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Wednesday video pick: Death of the Page, the Dawn of Digital

Matt MacInnis, “The Death of the Page, the Dawn of Digital” at TOC Con 2012.

Matt MacInnis is the founder of Inkling.

Wednesday video pick: Future of Digital Distro / Ebook Marketing

Tim O’Reilly, at TOC 2010: “The Future of Digital Distribution and Ebook Marketing.”

(From the O’Reilly Media Youtube channel).

Wednesday video pick: Better than Free, with Kevin Kelly

Kevin Kelly, cofounder of Wired magazine, from TOC 2011. “Better than Free: How Value Is Generated in a Free Copy World.”

(Video from the O’Reilly Youtube channel)

Seth Godin on ebook sales policies

Influential business and marketing author Seth Godin, founder of the Amazon-partnered publishing experiment The Domino Project, recently wrote that Apple’s iBookstore has refused to carry his latest title:

I just found out that Apple is rejecting my new manifesto Stop Stealing Dreams and won’t carry it in their store because inside the manifesto are links to buy the books I mention in the bibliography.

Quoting here from their note to me, rejecting the book: “Multiple links to Amazon store. IE page 35, David Weinberger link.”

And there’s the conflict. We’re heading to a world where there are just a handful of influential bookstores (Amazon, Apple, Nook…) and one by one, the principles of open access are disappearing. Apple, apparently, won’t carry an ebook that contains a link to buy a hardcover book from Amazon.

That’s amazing to me. It must be a mistake, right?

His followup post, An ebookstore is more like a web browser than a bookstore, is here.

The overall question posed by Godin (“Should YouTube be able to block videos that promote Vimeo? Should Bing refuse to link to Google docs if you search for it? What about the Comcast cable box on your TV–should CBS be off limits?”) is one that will likely be revisited in the future.

For further reading: another recent interview with Godin on “libraries, literary agents and the future of book publishing as we know it.”

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Libraries: it’s not just Random House

Jessamyn West has a great post up at librarian.net called let’s be honest about the ebook situation. She says in part:

Sarah Houghton has a great post about ebooks, the current situation with some publishers opting out of providing ebooks to libraries and what she is doing about it at her library. I agree with her that if we want to solve the problem, we need to be honest about what we’ve been doing and what others have been doing, notably publishers that are making it difficult for us to provide their titles digitally. Libraries want to do this and we can’t. Patrons should know that, and know why.

With policies and processes changing so rapidly in the e-publishing world, is this the forecast of things to come in library ebook lending from all publishers?

Random House ebook prices increase 300% for libraries

Random House first announced the price hike without details at the beginning of February when it “reaffirmed its commitment to the library ebook market.” RH recently provided the following breakdown for what it is now charging library ebook distributors:

  • Titles available in print as new hardcovers: $65-$85
  • Titles available for several months, or generally timed to paperback release: $25-$50
  • New children’s titles available in print as hardcovers: $35-$85
  • Older children’s titles and children’s paperbacks: $25-$45

“We believe our new library e-pricing reflects the high value placed on perpetuity of lending and simultaneity of availability for our titles,” said Stuart Applebaum, a Random House spokesperson. “Understandably, every library will have its own perspective on this topic, and we are prepared to listen, learn, and adapt as appropriate,” he said. [The entire text of the statement Applebaum sent to Library Journal is reproduced at the end of the Digital Shift article.]

The rationale for the price hike to distributors was to align ebook pricing audio book downloads for library lending.

Librarian Kathy Petlewski wrote this post on RH’s supposed commitment to libraries which reflects the views of many digital collections acquisition staff across the country. She says:

How do they think we can afford to build a decent collection of e-books when we’re spending over $100 per book? I am terribly disappointed by this latest turn of events. E-readers are flying off shelves as retailers like Barnes and Noble and Amazon advertise the availability of borrowing free e-books from local libraries. When the free supply dries up due to these exorbitant pricing practices, owners of these devices will be forced to purchase their books directly from these same retailers or stop using their devices.

(First spotted on The Digital Shift).


1 FREE Audiobook RISK-FREE from Audible

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Wednesday video pick: John Ingram

John Ingram, Chairman of Ingram Content Holding, speaking from the 2011 Frankfurt Book Fair.

(Video from Publishing Perspectives)


Zinio Digital Magazines - Reading Revolutionized

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Amazon removes IPG’s Kindle titles

First reported at Publisher’s Marketplace, the news is out that Amazon has removed all Kindle versions of IPG books from its bookstore in a dispute over pricing and compensation. IPG (Independent Publisher’s Group) is the second-largest independent book distributor.

IPG’s president Mark Suchomel said in an e-mail alert this week: “I am disappointed to report that Amazon.com has failed to renew its agreement with IPG to sell Kindle titles.” He added “Amazon.com is putting pressure on publishers and distributors to change their terms for electronic and print books to be more favorable toward Amazon. Our electronic book agreement recently came up for renewal, and Amazon took the opportunity to propose new terms for electronic and print purchases that would have substantially changed your revenue from the sale of both. It’s obvious that publishers can’t continue to agree to terms that increasingly reduce already narrow margins. I have spoken directly with many of our clients and every one of them agrees that we need to hold firm with the terms we now offer.”

Amazon continues to sell print editions of IPG’s titles, and electronic editions of IPG books continue to be available in Barnes and Noble’s Nook store.


Over 2 million ebooks!

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