My long-held conviction that broad-based subscriptions for ebooks were not likely to work is partly based on facts that are now changing. It is still by no means a slam dunk that ebooks must go where Spotify has taken digital music and Netflix has taken the digital distribution of TV and movies, but it looks more likely today than it did six months ago. Still, looks could be deceiving.
The core of subscription economics is to pay less to the content supplier than they earn other ways to give you some headroom
As the ongoing dispute between Amazon and Hachette sees the huge online retailer continue to block and/or delay sales of some of the publisher's books, two smaller startups in the industry are merging forces. Blurb, which lets authors self-publish and print their books, is buying Graphicly, a platform that lets authors publish and distribute e-books, with a specific focus on image-heavy content like comics and photography.
Terms of the deal have not been disclosed but Micah Baldwin, the founder of Graphicly, tells us that the outcome "was a positive one for everybody". Graphicly, founded in 2009, had raised some $7 million since 2010,
While it may be a bit soon to say the ebook business has matured, it's definitely true to say it's finally outgrowing its awkward adolescence. Today, ebooks as we have come to know them are taken for granted. But the more important news is how many of our assumptions about them are being challenged. Here are a few of the highlights.
irebrand Technologies, a leading publishing industry technology services company, announced today that its eBook Architects team has released a new EPUB quality assurance tool, FlightDeck, into a 2-month open beta. FlightDeck gives publishers and authors clear and actionable information on the quality and salability of their EPUB 2 and EPUB 3 files.
Occasionally I've asked book publishers if they've ever considered a turnabout: withholding their books from Amazon until Amazon makes some concessions. They always insist that they couldn't withstand the short-term financial hit such a move would entail. They surely know the reality of their own bottom lines far better than I do, and they certainly haven't gotten the same free pass from Wall Street that Amazon has enjoyed over the past couple of years.
Friedman would eventually run the whole show at both Knopf and later, News Corp's HarperCollins. She left that CEO role in 2008 but wasn't yet done with publishing. In 2009, she jumped right back in-this time as an entrepreneur-taking advantage of the Amazon Kindle/Apple iBooks digital revelation to launch eBook publisher Open Road Media. "I'd always been entrepreneurial but within a corporation," says Friedman. " You go through your career and someone is always thinking that someone was protecting you. I wanted to do it on my own ."
At the age of 50, Park established his company Gitden in a rundown office in the Sadang neighborhood of Seoul and produced the Gitden Reader after two years during which he barely left his desk. The application has shoved aside products by Apple, Google, and Amazon to gain recognition for its world-class quality.
The International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF), which maintains the electronic publication (EPUB) standard for e-books, published on May 12 the results of its assessment of the compatibility of e-book readers on app stores to the EPUB 3.0 standards.
In the past year Apple's tablet OEM competitors experienced a growth of 79%, while Apple experienced only 13% growth in tablet shipments. Despite growing challenges, as the tablet market reaches saturation in advanced world markets, ABI Research projects Apple to remain a strong force in the market if it emphasizes its strengths and explores new opportunities.
Unlike most disruptive innovations, ebooks were very quickly adopted by the publishing industry's most profitable customers, people who buy the most, spend the most, and talk the most about books.
Disruptive innovations start out by addressing the needs of a small unprofitable market. They address a customer base that non-disruptive products do not. Those who buy a disruptive product at the outset are customers who are less likely buy the disrupted predecessor.
Mark Gurman's report, which cites unidentified sources, said the feature will allow iPad users to run two apps at the same time on either half of the screen. This is a major change for Apple. Currently, all officially available apps can only run individually, in full-screen mode. In addition to running two apps at the same time, the update will reportedly allow separate apps to interact with each other, such as dragging text or images from one app to the other.