by Rose Blessing How many e-book content distributors should a publisher partner with? Which books should be made into e-books? How should the process be managed? What are the pitfalls? If it's your job to figure that out at your company, take a tip from Kate Tentler, a publisher at Simon & Schuster Online in New York City who has been arranging to make Simon & Schuster books available digitally for about a year. Tentler's approach is to keep things simple, with an eye to the long term. For example: how are online distributors chosen? Simple: They are evaluated one by one. Among the
ONLINE BOOKSELLERS Since it was impossible to include everyone, we offer this listing below as a mere snapshot of the emerging business models in this exploding field. Browse this list to get an idea of how today's book publishers sell their wares--both printed and electronic--online. By spending just a few minutes on the Internet yourself, you will probably find even more companies . . . WHO: www.agoodbook.com, "Your basic $4.95 download" WHAT THEY SELL: e-books downloadable for $4.95; the site has an association with www.amazon.com WHAT FORMAT: PDF, HTML. WHO: www.amazon.com, "Earth's biggest selection" WHAT THEY SELL: printed books, CDs, gifts, DVD and video,
Peer into today's kaleidescope of online booksellers By Tatyana Sinioukov Now that more and more bookstores have ".com" in their addresses, physical books are being replaced by e-books that have no spines and no pages you can turn by hand--and they aren't even made of paper. Well, everyone knows that. However, what is fascinating to witness is how both traditional and electronic publishers show great creativity in the way they sell their wares on the Web. As the listing beginning at right illustrates, the emerging business models for selling books online grow more varied and inventive by the day. An example of one company
Fire alarms screamed and lights flashed just as Dick Brass, vice president of technology development at Microsoft's research division, began to speak about the future of e-books at a recent conference. The conference, Electronic Book '99, was hosted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) at headquarters in Gaithersburg, MD. It attracted major e-book makers, display makers, disk drive producers, college librarians, conversion service providers, printers, book and journal publishers and representatives for the blind and vision-impaired. As loud as they were, the shrieking alarms, which were not a special effect arranged by Brass but an NIST building alert (for which we
by Rose Blessing "E-books are more than hype right now. E-books are definitely here," asserted Victor McCrary, group leader, Information Storage and Integrated Systems Group, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). McCrary was speaking at the Electronic Book 1999 conference held in Gaithersburg, MD, in September, the second such conference sponsored by NIST; he chaired the event. McCrary and many other speakers--including the reading-device makers--agreed that improved displays, lowered device weights and decreased power requirements are desired. "A lot of work still needs to be done in terms of (creating) a thriving electronic book industry," added McCrary. He credited SoftBook Press and NuvoMedia
What it takes to build and manage a book publisher's Web site by Tatyana Sinioukov As a publishing medium, the Internet is "maturing," and many book publishers have gained significant experience in site management. We asked publishers and Web service providers what it takes to build--and maintain--a user-friendly Web site, what workflow models work best for book publishers, and what their hot buttons are when it comes to implementing the various workflow techniques. Site management requires implementing smart workflow techniques, managing updating processes and files across networks and platforms, as well as handling time-sensitive content, automating site production, making the site searchable, promoting it,
by Tatyana Sinioukov The next big idea -- the electronic book--has materialized in this fall's releases of SoftBook and Rocket eBook by the two Silicon Valley companies, SoftBook Press, Menlo Park, CA, and NuvoMedia, Palo Alto, CA. BookTech asked some publishers their opinion about a possible onslaught of e-book products. Even those who don't believe it will lead to a sudden death of the paper book want to know how the e-book will read, how it will feel when held, how, if at all, it will affect the book-publishing and book-selling businesses and, ultimately, consumers' perception of a book. Is a book a
With two years of Web-creation experience under her belt, Kelly Maragni, director of marketing, has spent a great deal of time Web surfing for ideas, and notes that by now there are many impressive sites on the Internet related to book publishing. Here are a few of her favorites, which she offers to BookTech readers as sources for inspiration Newspapers/magazines, etc. 1. The New York Times "I like to scan the headlines daily and check bestseller listings for our books frequently!" http://www.nytimes.com 2. Granta magazine "I love the design and there's always something good to read" http://www.granta.nybooks.com 3. American Demographics "My favorite place for
The importance of metadata goes beyond books and magazines. It's increasingly essential to all media: print, ebooks, images, videos--it's what makes it all work together.
Originally a small crime and horror publisher out of Kent, England, Caffeine Nights Publishing has since evolved, developing a robust hybrid app and a dedicated reader base. Unlike most publisher-branded apps, though, the Caffeine Nights app allows users to make purchases of Caffeine Nights books as well as around 30,000 titles from other publishing houses.
"We are involved in the world of the book as an art object—the 'artist's book'." From this perch, director Steve Woodall foresees profound changes in publishing involving the comingling of books, art, and technology.
Jerry Fan, founder and CEO of serial fiction publisher JukePop, believes he can find the next Great American Novel -- with the help of the internet. Like other publishing startups that use crowdsourcing, JukePop hopes to inject a measure of democracy into the editorial process.
What makes the Book Business Buyer's Guide different from other buyer's guides out there is that it provides a great deal of editorial context for the technology listings. From "The Nut's & Bolts of Ebooks & Apps" to "The Ecommerce Imperative" we hope to provide perspective on how these technologies fit into the greater business strategy.
Although digital tech has been transforming the book industry since the CD-ROM hit the scene, publishers have yet to master digital books the way they have printed pages. Because the digital book form continues to evolve, publishers are in a perpetual state of experimentation, testing out app products or introducing interactivity into their ebooks. The industry is still discovering which digital products resonate and how best to produce them.
As publishers continue to test the potential for interactive ebooks, investigating what other sects are doing may offer clues on how to thrive in the digital era. One underexplored publishing segment is comic books, graphic novels, and manga, or CGM for short.
EPUB 3 is a tremendous asset for publishers of all sizes in most market segments. Yet the level of data quality in publishers' EPUB titles continues to be both inconsistent and surprisingly low. This seems to be true regardless of whether the EPUB is generated in-house or through a service provider.