Much noise and heat generated by short ebooks (the kind of which, TheIrishStory.com has been selling for some time). Laura Hazard Owen’s piece over at PaidContent gets to the heart of it:
They don’t cannibalize other formats. It’s nearly impossible to find a magazine that will run a 10,000-word story these days (much less a magazine that will run your 10,000-word story — even if you’re a professional journalist). Many of these stories simply would not have been published in print, and that’s not because they’re not good enough. They just weren’t quite a fit for magazine or book publishers. Now the projects can come to light, and journalists who might once abandoned these stories because they weren’t sure how to pitch them can make a little money off them.
via Why 2012 was the year of the e-single — paidContent.
One common element ties Amazon’s online retail, cloud services and foray into the tablet market: data. For Amazon, the hardware does not matter. The goal is not to make margins on selling fancy consumer hardware and expensive equipment. Through efficiency, Amazon can experiment in retail, publishing and its enterprise service offerings.
I still have my doubts, though. AWS is not infallible. Its repeated outages have given its competition plenty of room to differentiate against AWS. And low margins do not necessarily mean success. It impacts revenues and its overall stock price — factors that can’t be ignored.
via Amazon Is Not A Commerce Company | TechCrunch.
Interesting to see the long term trend impact of online sales on bookstores:
According to a study by Experian for The Telegraph newspaper, there are 1,878 bookshops left on the high street today, including independents and Waterstones stores, whereas in 2005 there were 4,000. Separate research by analysts at Mintel suggests UK consumers spent £261 million on e-books in 2012, nearly twice the £138 million spent in 2011, while physical book sales fell from £3.3 billion last year to £3.1 billion this year.
via Bookshop numbers halved in seven years, says research | The Bookseller.
On the face of it this seems an odd move for a company so keen to unload its trade business into a joint venture with Random House in the driving seat. However, the college stores and the fact that students and their instructors are rapidly moving online are clearly the driving factor on this deal, reminding us just how much Pearson sees education as its future:
Will Ethridge, chief executive officer of Pearson North America, said: “With this investment we have entered into a commercial agreement with NOOK Media that will allow our two companies to work closely together in order to create a more seamless and effective experience for students. It is another example of our strategy of making our content and services broadly available to students and faculty through a wide range of distribution partners.”
Worth noting too is the increased value now being placed on B&N’s Nook business. Seems that their device play has worked even better than might have been expected, even this time last year.
via Pearson buys stake in Nook Media | The Bookseller.
Interesting piece from Joe Esposito over on The Scholarly Kitchen:
The problem that advertising-supported businesses have when the Internet comes along is that online advertising has so many places to go. The inventory is immense. Thus, a publication in print that earns $1 in advertising revenue goes online and finds it can only earn one-tenth of that. The internet turns dollars into dimes. And this is true for every segment of media, including advertising-supported or subsidized scholarly journals.
What is happening now is that the attempt to build a comparable advertising business online is proving to be fruitless for all but a handful of players, notably Google and Facebook. The now-famous paywall of the Times, and the higher paywall of the Wall Street Journal, is but the first step in the direction toward paid content over advertising. The short- or medium-form works the Times is contemplating are another step.
via The Slow But Steady March Toward Paid Content « The Scholarly Kitchen.