Month: July 2011

Go Read This | What’s a book? It’s whatever you want it to be — Tech News and Analysis

In case you missed it, stop thinking book or ebook and think, content and the many ways to sell it:

This kind of “format shifting,” in which a newspaper or magazine takes content that has already been published and reformats it for the Kindle or some other device, makes a lot of sense. That content can theoretically reach readers who might never have picked up the newspaper or magazine, or who missed it when it was first printed, or who want to read it in book form while sitting on their couch or at the beach rather than on a computer. And if the cost is low enough, they will be willing to pay for that convenience.

via What’s a book? It’s whatever you want it to be — Tech News and Analysis.

Go Read This | Unbound: The Crowdfunding Cargo Cult | Mssv

Great piece on Unbound, all of which I agree with, by Adrian Hon:

Where Kickstarter is transparent, Unbound is bafflingly opaque – although this coyness may stem from publishers’ reluctance to talk about hard numbers even when they’re raising all their money from the public. Transparency also applies to creators; on Kickstarter, they write their own project descriptions and film their own videos, allowing their personality, experience, and trustworthiness (or lack thereof) to shine through, and from the earnest amateurishness of some efforts actually helps convey how much they could use the money.

Unbound writes project descriptions for their authors. They’re slick, but they’re also soulless (which is odd, since if anyone ought to be able to write well, it’s authors) and distancing. This leads to another issue – do successful authors like Terry Jones even need the money? After all, they’re asking for a lot – £10,000 at a minimum, and much, much higher in most cases – so you want to be sure it’s being used wisely.

via Unbound: The Crowdfunding Cargo Cult | Mssv.

I Wrote A Comment On IPN | Irish Booksellers Are Missing Out On Digital Sales | Irish Publishing News

It’s about booksellers and ebooks:

Last week a new science-fiction and fantasy title, A Dance With Dragons, sold 2,200 copies in hardback in Ireland. What’s more, it did so at over €20 per copy. An impressive result and a great boost for the booksellers who sold it.

In countries like the US and the UK though the same book sold huge numbers of hardback copies AND huge numbers of ebook editions, 170,000 print copies and 110,000 e-book copies1 on its first day of sales alone in the US according to its US Publisher, Random House. In the UK, the Bookseller reports that, ‘HarperCollins sold more than 10,000 e-books’ and ‘ 28,840 copies last week in bookshops.’2

You would imagine that with a perfect opportunity to increase the visibility of ebooks in Ireland and with a clear market for the ebook version, Irish booksellers would have been keen to exploit the interest. You’d be wrong. No Irish bookseller sold a single copy of

via Friday Comment: Irish Booksellers Are Missing Out On Digital Sales | Irish Publishing News.

Go Read This | Harry Potter Goes Google for the New Pottermore E-book Site

You know, this really IS a very good idea for Google. It will popularise their platform and probably engage LOTS of readers just as they are transitioning to ebooks. Might even help them sell some of those new ereaders they’ve launched!

Its no surprise that Pottermore has turned to Google to run what is bound to be a wildly popular e-commerce site. How well this deal will help boost Googles own e-bookstore efforts, beyond just sales of the Harry Potter titles, remains to be seen. No doubt Google hopes to be able to lure fans and book-buyers in to its e-bookstore for all their reading needs.

via Harry Potter Goes Google for the New Pottermore E-book Site.

Go Read This | Repro buys printing operations of Macmillan India

Coming on the heels of their decision to offload MPS, this suggests that Macmillan are very keen to concentrate on publishing, at least in India. It’s funny though, it’s almost as if they were tidying up their look for something.

The acquisition, which includes MPIL’s printing operations in Chennai, with a deliverable capacity of about 6 million books annually, would strengthen Repro’s foothold in the South Indian market.

Commenting on the deal, MPIL Managing Director Rajiv Beri said: “Printing is not our core activity and we would like to focus on publishing growth. This is a strategic decision which will further consolidate our investments and energies in development and delivery of quality, need-based content.”

via Repro buys printing operations of Macmillan India.

Kobo Launches Germany’s Largest E-Bookstore, Beating Out Amazon | paidContent

I’d expect this to test three things:

  1. As Kobo and Amazon compete in Germany and push greater awareness of their deices, will the greater availability of devices that will create drive ebook uptake
  2. Fixed pricing means that self published books will have a huge pricing advantage if the authors chose to use it. Will self published ebooks begin to gain more purchase in Germany because of that?
  3. Now that you can reach German consumers on multiple platforms digitally, will there be more translation of foreign language texts into German for digital sale?

There’s more of course, but those are the ones that interest me.

Kobo—and presumably Amazon—chose to expand to Germany first because the German book market is the second-largest in the world, after the U.S. E-books are still gaining traction there and in the rest of Europe, and “it’s a market where local experience matters,” Kobo CEO Michael Serbinis told us. “Creating a locally merchandised offering with local recommendations was key.” He said Kobo employees have been working with German publishers to add titles to the store for over six months. The company is also in discussions with German retailers and booksellers and will soon announce local partners. Book prices in Germany are fixed, with all e-book prices set by publishers.

Kobo is simultaneously launching German-language iOS and Android apps, and will launch its German-language E-Reader Touch in August, for €149. $208.23/£131.51 An international version of the Kindle, which costs €139, $194.25/£122.69 is available in Germany and other countries, but it has English-language menus and an English keyboard.

via Kobo Launches Germany’s Largest E-Bookstore, Beating Out Amazon | paidContent.

Go Read This | The London cluster | FutureBook

Well worth reading, certainly gets the head thinking and the blood up, it sounds very exciting:

If the United States is an ocean, its creative, media and technology industries split over the vastness of North America, London is a pond, in a non-pejorative sense. Ponds are ferociously competitive and fecund areas. New York of course has Silicon Alley, and at one remove perhaps I am totally missing the buzz of what is really happening in Brooklyn lofts, and perhaps too I am overlooking much of the undoubtedly brilliant work taking place on the Continent and elsewhere. Equally I’m not doing down the rest of the UK – Britain is a closely knit place, and London sits at the centre of a web that spans the whole country. There is a huge amount of traffic between London, Edinburgh, Oxford, Cambridge, Bristol, Manchester and other centres of books and technology, but the tight cluster of London sits at the heart of it all. Clusters, after all, are by definition geographically limited. Nor is it to be complacent; complacency isn’t an option in such an environment.

via The London cluster | FutureBook.