Quick Link | Leather: books and packaging « Bespoke Editions

I’m telling you, this new Kate Hyde endeavor is the way forward for books. Especially once the market for actual physical books gets smaller and smaller over the next twenty years or so.

Like most bibliophiles, I adore leather-bound books, especially the smell. Yet you’ll almost never see a fine leather-bound book in commercial publishing. The decision to feature genuine leather is pretty much confined to those with a serious commitment to the art of bookbinding or rare book conservation. The reason is the extreme expense and the necessity of foil blocking the books, preferably by hand for a small quantity, which prices it well above what most people are prepared to pay, even for a very special gift. (A very fine example of a leather book done traditionally on a relatively large scale of print run: the Folio The Luttrell Psalter.)

via Leather: books and packaging « Bespoke Editions.

Go Read This | There’s only one Seth Godin, but there are other authors who might emulate him – The Shatzkin Files

A rather good piece by Mike Shatzkin on Seth’s move.

Publishers should have remembered the axiom that you should be careful what you wish for. This was, perhaps, the beginning of the unbundling of the publisher’s suite of services to the author. It used to be that the publication of a book was the platform and the publishers’ publicity and marketing efforts worked to capitalize on it. This was all part and parcel of the package: paying an advance; editing and shaping the book; putting it into a distributable (printed and bound) form; getting it known; and, of course, getting it into a store where a customer could buy it.

via There’s only one Seth Godin, but there are other authors who might emulate him – The Shatzkin Files.

Quick Link | Seth Godin Drives Another Nail Into the Book

Mathew Ingram adds some interesting nuance to the Seth Godin reaction:

Not every author or artist has that ability, and not every book is going to find an established audience that way. There are still going to be mass-market blockbusters in publishing, just as there are in movies and music, where the marketing machine goes into high gear to reach as large an audience as possible. But for established authors and artists who specialize in a particular niche, connecting directly with readers or fans can be a far better approach than relying on the traditional infrastructure of the content-distribution industry. At the end of the day, that is a good thing for fans of both books and music.

via Seth Godin Drives Another Nail Into the Book.

Go Read This | Seth’s Blog: Moving on

I’ve been interested to read Seth’s reasoning since I read his comments first on GalleyCat. I think he puts the radical case for there being no need for publishers pretty well and he highlights to me the danger that exists for publishers with their top rated talent.

On the other hand this piece calls out for a response, one that says the value of collecting, curating and promoting not just the ideas of one man, or one group but all the ideas about or around a niche that matter and building on that a community and services that community values.

The thing is–now I know who my readers are. Adding layers or faux scarcity doesn’t help me or you. As the medium changes, publishers are on the defensive…. I honestly can’t think of a single traditional book publisher who has led the development of a successful marketplace/marketing innovation in the last decade. The question asked by the corporate suits always seems to be, “how is this change in the marketplace going to hurt our core business?” To be succinct: I’m not sure that I serve my audience (you) by worrying about how a new approach is going to help or hurt Barnes & Noble.

My audience does things like buy five or ten copies at a time and distribute them to friends and co-workers. They (you) forward blog posts and PDFs. They join online discussion forums. None of these things are supported by the core of the current corporate publishing model.

Since February, I’ve shared my thoughts about the future of publishing in both public forums and in private brainstorming sessions with various friends in top jobs in the publishing industry. Other than one or two insightful mavericks, most of them looked at me like I was nuts for being an optimist. One CEO worked as hard as she could to restrain herself, but failed and almost threw me out of her office by the end. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t heartbroken at the fear I saw.

via Seth’s Blog: Moving on.

Go Read This | E-book price war “absurd” | theBookseller.com

You have to wonder how long this can go on for and who is going to lose. The sense I get is it sure won’t be Amazon, but it VERY WELL may be the Publishers!

However, another senior publisher attacked the pricing strategies of W H Smith and Amazon. He said: “It’s absolutely absurd to devalue our product but I’m not surprised because our industry is populated by nincompoops.”

He said Amazon’s move could make the agency model less attractive to publishers. He said: “In this instance, on the wholesale model, publishers are fine because it is retailers taking the pain. If we say a book is £10 and you get 40% discount, we get £6. If the retailer chooses to sell it for £2, we’re still all right.”

A review of e-book prices undertaken by The Bookseller shows that Amazon and WHS are offering the lowest prices. Kindle and WHS e-books are also significantly cheaper than their counterparts on Apple’s iBookstore, where prices are set by the publisher.

via E-book price war “absurd” | theBookseller.com.