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“Potter” Sets Amazon Pre-order Record
February 2, 2007

With the date—July 21—set for the publishing event of the year, the release of J.K. Rowling’s latest “Harry Potter” novel, signs of the oncoming consumer frenzy are already here. Amazon said today that “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” first-day advance orders taken on yesterday exceed the online retailer’s first-day pre-order number of the previous edition of the series by 547 percent, according to a report by Reuters. Rowling announced the name of the seventh and final Potter book on her Web site yesterday. Lisa Holton, president, Scholastic Trade Books and Book Fairs, told Book Business in an interview in the February issue that the publication of

Content Crossroads & Distribution Junction
February 1, 2007

The hot-button issues in the book industry today surround an increased focus on content and alternative forms of distribution. Publishers are still keeping a watchful eye on the Internet and the fear that it may replace the print-based distribution business in the future. But there appears to be a greater acceptance and realization that “content” is a publisher’s real asset, and that the delivery method means nothing if the content isn’t outstanding. An increased focus on content, book search tools, digital distribution, a declining print readership, increased used-book sales, rising fuel and paper costs, and decreasing bookshelf space in retail superstores are all

Are the E-book ‘Barbarians at the Gate’?
February 1, 2007

E-books may still be only a small part of the total publishing market, but e-book sales are growing, and many expect big things for the format in the near future. EBooks Corporation Ltd., which provides more than 70,000 e-book titles to consumers at eBooks.com, estimates that the e-book market hit $130 million in 2006, and expects it to reach $220 million this year. “Five years out, the total e-book market will be between $3 billion and $5 billion,” projects Stephen Cole, managing director of eBooks, which has partnerships with 327 publishers worldwide, including Random House, Simon & Schuster, Zondervan, Dell, Warner Books and Oxford University

Ready to Print
February 1, 2007

Amazon bolstered its print-on-demand (POD) book division and consequently put the rest of the industry on notice that retail distribution is continuing to change, after it made a significant push to add new digital color presses to its operations. The leading online retailer would not publicly disclose the number of Hewlett-Packard (HP) presses that it purchased or the price paid, but said several HP Indigo presses and production manager controllers were installed and put into operation in a number of the company’s fulfillment centers, when the announcement was officially made in December 2006. Never Out of Stock The move is an effort to fulfill

Optimizing Your Web Presence
December 1, 2006

Don’t be afraid of electronic distribution—make your content available online, because it’s the best way to appear on radar screens these days. For smaller marketing departments, it’s the best way to market your books. So says the National Academies Press’ (NAP) Michael Jensen. “You have to give material to search engines to munch,” he says. “Content is its own best advertising. That’s only going to increase in significance. Most people feel like once the PDF gets out there, suddenly the market will dry up, [but] it’s demonstratively not true. I don’t know of an instance where somebody made the material available for free

Yahoo Becomes Second to Deny Google Data
December 1, 2006

Google suffered another setback in its efforts to defend its digital book library when rival Yahoo declined to provide information to assist with an upcoming copyright infringement lawsuit revolving around its digital-book scanning program. Yahoo responded to a Google subpoena and objected to providing information for two upcoming court battles Google will face against the Author’s Guild and McGraw-Hill Companies. The plaintiffs accuse Google of digitizing material without prior consent from the copyright holder. Google had hoped to gain information about how its competitors had undertaken similar projects. Yahoo said in its Nov. 20 filling to the United States District Court in the Northern District of

SPONSORED CONTENT: Coming Soon to a Bookstore Near You
November 10, 2006

Or maybe that should be, Available Now at a Bookstore Near You. After all, it was only a few years ago that digitally printed books were thought of as a modern version of vanity press for wannabe authors or only appropriate for titles with narrow audiences. It was acceptable for volumes catering to niche interests, product manuals, and the college course packs but not for “real” books. After all, the machinery was relatively slow, digital printing was low quality, and existing binding equipment couldn’t deliver a marketable product. How things have changed. Now there are digitally printed books at major book stores, at Amazon, and

Amazon Says “No” to Google
October 27, 2006

Amazon.com balked at rival Google Inc.’s request for book scanning data, when it responded this week that it would not provide information the search engine giant had requested via subpoena earlier this month. According to published reports by the Associated Press, Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, filed its objections Monday to the subpoena it was served on Oct. 6. Claiming that revealing the information would expose trade secrets, Amazon was not willing to cooperate. The Seattle-based online book retailer offers “Search Inside,” a feature that offers customers the ability to search inside of select books that publishers have agreed to show potential purchasers. Google

Google Subpoenas Rivals on Book Scanning
October 13, 2006

Another chapter in the battle for book search dominance was written last week as Google issued additional subpoenas to other major book search players in a bid for information the company believes could be used in its future legal battles. According to published reports this week by Bloomberg, the Mountain View, Calif.-based company filed paper on Oct. 5 in U.S. District Court to seek information from Amazon.com, Microsoft and Yahoo about each of the rival book searches for future use in several lawsuits Google faces. The world’s largest online retailer (Amazon), largest software producer (Microsoft) and most-popular U.S. Web site (Yahoo) have all announced or

Distribution:Are We Getting Swept Up in ‘The Tail?’
October 1, 2006

If there’s ever a good time to talk about the state of book distribution, this would be it. Right now, everyone is abuzz about changes occurring within the system thanks in part to the July release of Chris Anderson’s “The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More.” Anderson, editor of Wired magazine, declares the demise of common culture and cites occurrences called “long-tailed distributions,” or distributions to a greater number of smaller markets, rather than one, big mass market. According to Anderson, this helps distributors since they are no longer cut off by bottlenecks of distribution, such as limited