Macmillan Publishing Solutions
When it comes to kids books, there are the cherished classics, new favorites, and other popular titles, and then there is Harry Potter. Oyster, which recently announced that it offers unlimited access to more than 1 million ebooks for $10 a month, has just announced it's adding the Harry Potter series to its library. Readers will be can now enjoy the seven Harry Potter novels as well as the three Hogwarts Library ebooks (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Quidditch Through the Ages, and The Tales of Beedle the Bard).
In a brief brief order this week, Judge Denise Cote ruled that plaintiffs in a second e-book price-fixing case cannot depose HarperCollins CEO Brian Murray.
The plaintiffs in the case (Australian upstart DNAML; Lavoho, LLC, a "successor" to the Diesel eBook Store; and Abbey House Media, formerly BooksOnBoard) had asked that Murray be required to sit for a deposition, but in her order, Cote sided with Harper attorneys, who argued Murray has been deposed three times in connection with the Apple price-fixing case
The recent merger news about Macmillan, owners of the Nature Publishing Group (NPG), and Springer, owners of Biomed Central and other properties, hit the market with plenty of force. It's a major consolidation, and one that ratchets the Macmillan higher education and journals growth strategy up by an order of magnitude. Now, along with Elsevier, Wiley, and Taylor & Francis, we have another multi-billion-dollar publishing behemoth on the market - the combined entity is valued at $5.8 billion.
Holtzbrinck Publishing Group and BC Partners have reached an agreement to merge Springer Science+Business Media (owned by funds advised by BCP) with the majority of Holtzbrinck-owned Macmillan Science and Education, namely Nature Publishing Group, Palgrave Macmillan and the global businesses of Macmillan Education.
The new group, which will have a turnover estimated at €1.5bn and 13,000 employees, will be under the joint control of Holtzbrinck and funds advised by BCP, with Holtzbrinck retaining a 53% share. The merger vaults the new group above McGraw-Hill (€1.4bn), Cengage (ca. €1.3bn)
On Tuesday, startups Scribd and Oyster both announced partnerships with publishing heavyweight Macmillan to bring over a thousand new titles to their respective e-book subscription services. That means the two startups are now working with majority of the so-called Big Five publishers; both had previously offered books from HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster. The Macmillan partnership grows Scribd's $8.99-a-month a la carte collection to more than 500,000 book titles, in addition to the 30,000 audiobooks available on the service after Scribd added them late last year.
Today Macmillan becomes the third Big 5 publisher to make its works available on ebook subscriptions sites Oyster and Scribd, joining HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster. The move to subscription comes as no surprise. In a year-end letter to staff Macmillan CEO John Sargent wrote that, "We plan to try subscription with backlist books, and mostly with titles that are not well represented at bricks and mortar retail stores."
Ebooks are feeling a bit hungover heading into the new year. The 50 Shades of Grey exuberance of 2011 and 2012 feels long ago. The first seemingly viable ebook subscription services launched at the end of 2013 (Scribd, Oyster) and Amazon launched its own ebook subscription service, Kindle Unlimited, mid-2014.
The main difference between Kindle Unlimited and Scribd and Oyster - all of which cost around $10 a month - is that Kindle Unlimited has way fewer books that people have heard of. That's because Scribd and Oyster have been able to attract big-5 publishers
Now that Amazon AMZN has swept away its competition in the $3 billion U.S. e-book business through years of aggressive discounting, it's starting to make peace with publishers, which should mean more profits at the world's largest bookseller. In recent months, Amazon has signed new contracts with three of the world's five largest publishers: Legardere's Hachette, CBS Simon & Schuster and most recently, Macmillan. Those contracts return much of the pricing control of e-books back to the publishers. Not long ago, Amazon fought hard for
Late last week Macmillan reached an agreement with Amazon on a multiyear deal for print books as well as a multiyear deal on the agency model for e-books, starting on January 5, 2015. All our other retailers will also be on the agency model, leaving Apple as the only retailer who is allowed unlimited discounting. Irony prospers in the digital age.
This odd aberration in the market will cause us to occasionally change the digital list price of your books in what may seem to be random fashion.
"There are so many opportunities and - if we're honest - challenges for innovation in digital publishing it's hard to pick one and stick with it, but that's exactly what I'm going to do because some things are worth sticking with."
So declares Cecy Marden, open access project manager at the Wellcome Trust, in a post on the New York Academy of Medicine's Books, Health, and History blog ahead of her involvement in discussions of digital publishing innovations at the American Historical Association's annual meeting next month.
Unsurprisingly, she is ardently sticking to open access