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A License to Drive Revenue
May 28, 2010

As the book publishing industry continues to shift and evolve, many publishers are seeking to incorporate additional revenue streams into their existing business models. One channel that more and more publishers are experimenting with is product licensing—allowing the use of a brand name, patent or other proprietary right in exchange for a fee or royalty.

Consumer Takes Center Stage at This Year's 'Making Information Pay'
May 14, 2010

Opening his presentation with an image of a woman sitting on a beach with an e-reader, Kelly Gallagher told the crowd of book publishing professionals gathered at the seventh-annual Book Industry Study Group's "Making Information Pay" event last week, "She doesn't care about this meeting today," making the point that the issues and challenges now facing the industry are publishers' responsibilities to solve for the consumer. Gallagher, vice president of publishing services for bibliographic information provider RR Bowker, was one of about a dozen speakers to address the audience at the McGraw-Hill Auditorium in New York City. 

Barefoot Books Reaches 20,000 Listeners (and Counting) With Weekly Podcast
May 13, 2010

While it may not evoke memories of your mom or dad tucking you into bed and reading your favorite bedtime story, Cambridge, Mass.-based Barefoot Books’ latest marketing initiative is a sign of the times in an evolving publishing industry: On March 31, the children's book publisher announced the launch of a weekly podcast series that features free story times from its collection of books. The podcasts offer adults and children the ability to listen to stories at home or on the go.

Bookbinders' Guild Members Gather to Discuss the Evolving Book
May 13, 2010

It was another meeting of book publishing industry minds, as members of the Bookbinders' Guild of New York gathered at Random House's Manhattan headquarters May 11 to discuss the rapidly transforming business of producing books. "Digital Horizons: The Evolving Book" featured presentations from Ken Brooks, senior vice president, global production and manufacturing services, Cengage Learning; Bob Stein, founder and co-director of the Institute for the Future of the Book; and Michael Cader, founder of PublishersMarketplace.com and Publishers Lunch.

Penguin E-Books Are No. 1 on iPad, But Get Zero Love From Amazon
May 7, 2010

On the one hand, Penguin (PSO) has many reasons to feel good right now. A preliminary first-quarter earnings report released by its parent company, Pearson, pointed to the Big Six book publisher's "good start to the year" in the U.S. and the U.K., and noted that "growth in demand for eBooks also remains very strong." Meanwhile, Penguin and Apple (AAPL) have begun what appears to be a beautiful friendship, and other online retailers appear to be ready to sell the company's e-books again after a protracted delay.



Amazon Kindle 2.5 Adds Social Networking
May 4, 2010

Amazon has started rolling out a software upgrade for its popular Kindle electronic readers, adding the ability for users to share e-book passages with friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter.

The new social networking feature in version 2.5 adds another Web link to the standard Kindle and the larger Kindle DX, as Amazon finds itself in an increasingly competitive market, particularly with the introduction of the iPad. Apple's slate computer is designed for reading digital books, as well as watching online video, listening to music and Web browsing.

eBooks ... By the Numbers
May 1, 2010

According to Simba Information's "Trade E-Book Publishing 2010" report, drawing data from a nationally representative survey, an estimated 9 percent of the U.S. adult population bought at least one e-book in 2009 (compared to an estimated 8 percent in 2008).

Amazon Loses E-Book Pricing War
April 2, 2010

Publishers have emerged victorious in the e-book pricing war with Amazon. The world's largest online retailer has conceded to the demands of three major publishing houses and will cease heavily discounting new best-selling e-books, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Amazon and Macmillan already exchanged fisticuffs about money in February with Macmillan leaving the ring unscathed. Now Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins have joined the bandwagon in refusing to allow retailers to set e-book prices.

Agency Model Now Accommodated in Book Industry Standard for Product Information
April 2, 2010

The Book Industry Study Group (BISG) and EDItEUR—the international body that maintains ONIX product information standards—working in collaboration with representatives from the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and the U.K. Publishers Association (PA), have made provisions to the "ONIX for Books" standards to allow for a standard means of communicating agency model sales terms for e-books.

The iPad Impact
April 1, 2010

The iPad launch was a classic bit of business theater. In what may prove to be one of the great product launches of his fabled career, Steve Jobs unleashed his unique alchemy of stealth, spectacle and awe to lay his pearls before the impatient masses. The public played its role fervently, at once being swept up into the rapture of the Apple hype machine and then recoiling at being manipulated so skillfully.

Fast Stats
April 1, 2010

1 Year The contract term for which best-selling author Gavin de Becker's expanded and updated e-editions of two of his books, "The Gift of Fear" and "Just 2 Seconds," will be available exclusively in Amazon's Kindle Store (www.amazon.com/kindlestore). This is the first time "The Gift of Fear" has been available electronically, and both books will be exclusive to the Kindle Store for one year.

Author Royalties in the Hot Seat
April 1, 2010

With ostensibly lower production costs and a rich vein of backlist titles to mine, it may have been inevitable that e-book publishers would leverage the advantages of their medium to 
offer authors a higher percentage roy-alty rate for their works. This did not make it any less of a jolt when celebrity 
author Stephen Covey signed a digital rights deal with e-book publisher RosettaBooks, garnering him more than half of net proceeds for e-book sales of two of his older backlist books, including the famous "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People," which would be sold exclusively through Amazon.com for one year. (Covey's print books are published by Simon & Schuster, which released a statement reflecting its position that e-book versions of the company's print titles should remain part of the company's catalog.)

eBooks ... By the Numbers
April 1, 2010

Amazon.com Inc. announced at the end of 2009 that its Kindle 
e-reader had become the most gifted item in Amazon's history. On its peak day of the holiday season (Dec. 14, 2009), Amazon customers ordered more than 9.5 million items worldwide—a record-breaking 110 items per second—according to an Amazon press release.

Amazon Exclusivity Deals: Who Wins?
March 26, 2010

It seems every week I receive a press release or read a news article about a new e-book exclusivity agreement an author has struck with Amazon. This week, it was best-selling science fiction author F. Paul Wilson.

According to the press release I received from Amazon, Wilson has made five of his books available in the Kindle Store exclusively for one year using Amazon's e-book self-publishing tool, Digital Text Platform.

Editor's Note: Book Business to Present "Making Books Social" Webinar
March 26, 2010

On Tuesday, April 6, at 2 p.m. EST, Book Business will present the HP-sponored webinar, "Making Books Social."

Recognizing the importance of social networking in the lives of today’s teen readers, publishers are blending Web sites and social media with new book releases to start conversations and keep them going. They are looking for opportunities for readers to not only order and review new titles online, but also to share their enthusiasm for books with fellow members of social networking sites; communicate with authors; and use a variety of up-to-date digital tools to express interests and opinions.

Finding the Sweet Spot Between Free and Paid
March 9, 2010

Bruce Brandfon, Scientific American: always charged for content and a few years gave it away for free on the web. Couldn’t monetize it by way of advertising. A year ago decided to publish tidbits and took the features stories off the web. Previously published features on the web for free before the magazine came out. As a result subscriptions increased. Lesson learned as publishers of content is that rates they were able to generate on the web were very small compared to the rates they could generate in print.

'Flawless' Campaign: Bringing Sexy Marketing Back?
February 26, 2010

Quite honestly, as a consumer, I rarely see a marketing campaign for a book that excites me, or gets people talking. I understand that book publishers generally don't have the marketing budgets to support big, splashy campaigns for a single title, but as a book lover, it's difficult to see the launch of so many great books often met with a collective yawn from the general public.

Sell More Books Through Segmentation
February 26, 2010

If you're like most book publishers, you're always interested in finding new ways to increase unit sales, revenue and profits. One way to achieve this goal is to tap into new markets for your current titles. Easier said than done? At the upcoming Publishing Business Conference & Expo, March 8-10, in New York City, Brian Jud—president of Avon, Conn.-based Book Marketing Works—will lead a session entitled, “Sell More Books in Large Quantities, With Fewer Returns,” to help publishers discover and sell to new markets.