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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
A look at Apple's new iPad, including its iBooks app and iBoostore.