Online Sales

PRH Signs Amazon Sales Agreement
June 18, 2015

Penguin Random House has signed new long-term sales agreements for print and e-book sales with Amazon in both the US and UK, on undisclosed terms.

The agreement was confirmed by Amazon. A PRH spokesperson said: "We do not discuss our relationships with our retail partners. But, as you can see, we still are in business with Amazon, and with all our retail partners, and will continue to be." In the US, Penguin Random House was the last of the original agency publishers to reach a new agreement after its Department of Justice

How A Simple Metadata Fix Can Double Book Sales
June 17, 2015

Ronald Schild CEO of Germany's MVB discusses how research shows simple metadata fixes, like putting the language of a book in your metadata, can double sales.

"I'm evangelizing for metadata, currently I'm trying to create awareness among publishers about metadata for marketing," says Ronald Schild, CEO of MVB Marketing- und Verlagsservice des Buchhandels GmbH, which is the technical and digital subsidiary of the German Publishers and Booksellers Association.

Why the EU-Amazon Fight Was Inevitable
June 15, 2015

Just ten days ago, industry and regulators in Europe feared that the Commission's probe into Amazon had gone dormant.

But while the timing of the probe announced Thursday by Margrethe Vestager, the European commissioner for competition, may have been a surprise, the Commission's interest in the topic is certainly not. A series of high-profile bust-ups in recent years over e-book pricing have drawn the attention of regulators. And at the heart of this dispute is a simple question that has big ramifications for the future of digital publishing.

Who should set the price of e-books: the publishers or Amazon?

D2C Isn’t Just About Selling, Says Hachette, Perseus & Rodale. It’s About Great Content.
June 12, 2015

One of the most experimental and exciting areas of book publishing right now, especially in the trade market, is direct-to-consumer marketing. It's a topic that has been discussed extensively here on Book Business, but it's worth a deeper dive as all of the Big Five and many mid-size and small publishers have launched experiments in this field. Book Business had the opportunity to hear three forward-thinking leaders from Perseus Books Group, Hachette, and Rodale Books on the topic at our Book Business Live event in March. They offered a variety of strategies to driving greater sales, but the big lesson was that D2C marketing is really about content marketing and relationship building.

Author Paul Coelho Tests ‘Pay as You Wish’ Model on His Blog
June 12, 2015

Don't like Paulo Coelho's book? Don't pay for it.

The bestselling author of "The Alchemist" put free e-copies of two of his books on his blog this week. He is asking readers to decide later whether the works were worth purchasing, and if so, to name their price. The Brazilian-born author, who posted "Manual of the Warrior of Light" in English and "Brida" in Portuguese, wrote: "If you like the text, please buy it-so we can tell the publishing industry that this idea does not harm the business."

Barnes & Noble Could Soar
June 8, 2015

Barnes & Noble could make for exciting reading this summer, as the retailer moves toward separating its college bookstore business from the rest of its operations in August. The spinoff of Barnes & Noble Education will showcase an attractive business with good growth prospects that is buried inside the bookseller, whose results have been depressed by a disastrous foray into the tablet area with Nook. The split will also let investors get a clearer look at the company's underappreciated retail bookselling division, which generates significant free cash flow.

Ursula K. Le Guin Breaks Down Amazon's Model for Selling Books, and Explains What It's Doing to Us
June 5, 2015

This past Tuesday, the SF&F (Science Fiction and Fantasy) legend and notorious literary feather-ruffler continued her long campaign against Amazon, this time, as explicitly as possible, via a blog post entitled "Up the Amazon with the BS Machine or Why I keep Asking You Not to Buy Books from Amazon."

In it, she immediately declares that she and Amazon "are not at war." With that said, she proceeds to insist her indifference with regards to Amazon as a house goods supplier or even tool for those looking to self-publish

New Bookindy App Helps Bookshops Fight Back Against Amazon
June 4, 2015

Independent booksellers have launched a new weapon in their two-pronged offensive against online retailers such as Amazon and the supermarket chains who pile books high and sell them low.

In a neat piece of entrepreneurial oneupmanship, the Bookindy app uses Amazon's own technology to upstage it, answering its inventor's question: "Can you promote local independent bookshops on the very system that's designed to destroy them?" The app is an extension for the Google Chrome browser which, when downloaded, changes slightly how the Amazon website looks when you open it up.

In the UK, Penguin Random House v. Amazon is New Normal
June 1, 2015

Just as the swifts have returned to UK skies reassuring us that summer is shortly here and that all must still be well with the global eco-system, so the latest terms dispute with Amazon is similarly reassuring in its own way. After all, if there were no dispute with Amazon, wouldn't we be worried?

According to the tech news site Recode - and congratulations to it for breaking the story (how many had heard of the site before, one wonders) - Penguin Random House UK is currently negotiating a new contract with the retailer.