Go Read This | Rethinking the Future: The Digital Divide

Excellent post, as per usual, from Martyn Daniels on the future of the book. Three nice observations:

The second observation is that digital is different. Many in publishing see it as merely replace the physical jacket with a digital one. Same text, same blurb same stuff. Some want to enrich it by adding more media and make it in effect ‘fatter’, but remains the same story, same stuff.

The challenge is to recognise that digital offers not just more media opportunities but a fundamental change in the amount of content produced, accessible and how it is read. Why do we still continue to produce 300 pages or the print economic model? Why does the work have to be complete? After all the serial story is not that far away? Why do we combine digital and print rights and surely its like combining film and print rights – sometimes relivant but far more the case not.

via Brave New World: Rethinking the Future: The Digital Divide.

Go Read This | Predictions for 2011 from Smashwords Founder – GalleyCat

That Mark Coker is one smart fellow!

8. International ebook market explodes, causing publishers to rethink territory rights restrictions – The proliferation of affordable, high-quality dedicated ereading devices, smart phones and ereading apps, and the international expansion of big US-based ebook retailers into green field markets, will power significant revenue for US authors, publishers and retailers. Large publishers will miss some of this growth due to self-inflicted territory rights restrictions, whereas indie authors and small publishers won’t face the same limitations. Publishers begin to realize geographic territory rights hinder ebook sales by limiting distribution, and will instead look to carve rights (or hold on them) language by language.

via Predictions for 2011 from Smashwords Founder – GalleyCat.

Quick Link | Why The Book Business May Soon Be The Most Digital Of All Media Industries | paidContent

Ahhh, the fun, the frolicks, the change and the turmoil are all just ahead of us folks. in some ways,it’s exciting, in others it’s terrifying, on balance I’m for it!

The punchline is this: 2010 will end with $966 million in e-books sold to consumers. By 2015, the industry will have nearly tripled to almost $3 billion, a point at which the industry will be forever altered.

Right now, the number to track – and the one that determines how many e-books will sell – is the percent of a consumer’s books that are bought and consumed digitally. To get at this number, we have to understand how people get books today. Did you know that the two most common ways people get books today is borrowing them from a friend or getting them from the library? Evidently content – at least in the book business – is already quite free, even without the help of digital.

via Why The Book Business May Soon Be The Most Digital Of All Media Industries | paidContent.

Go Read This | The Asymmetry of Waste in the Age of Abundance — A Reversal of Scarcity’s Balance « The Scholarly Kitchen

Great piece on scarcity, abundance, content and strategy, or at least the thinking necessary to get there!

The asymmetry of choice in the age of scarcity allowed providers to define the available choices. Now, consumers choose from a myriad of sources and versions. Any asymmetry they may experience in the future could be the asymmetry-of-choice — controls they impose for their own convenience, not for the convenience of producers. This creates uncertain demand for providers, and the move toward a more efficiently utilized information environment will have huge effects on all our familiar aggregations, packages, and delays.

The Asymmetry of Waste in the Age of Abundance — A Reversal of Scarcity’s Balance « The Scholarly Kitchen.

Go Read This | W H Smith makes all e-books half price | theBookseller.com

I used to worry that the digital developments that seemed to be moving so fast in the US would outpace Ireland and the UK and result in UK and Irish publishers losing out.

It now seems to me that in fact the opposite is the case. The maturing of the ebook market in the US gave UK retailers forewarning and they decided not to just let Amazon waltz in and take their territory from them.

They spent money to develop ebook delivery platforms and while they may not have the range of devices that they have in the US, they can fight on price and so they are.

That said, the readers bonanza that the book prices being reporting today represents will be the lower profits of Booksellers later this year and the margin pressure on publishers this Autumn. but it’s also a sign that ebooks really are a big deal this side of the water too!

If publishers are able to resist the margin pressure in the face of this price war, they should end up doing well out of the ebook price war. Of course, if they can’t that’s a whole different ballgame.

All of that goes just for the UK, by my estimation neither Publishers or Booksellers in Ireland are ready for the ebook to any great degree.

When Amazon launched its UK Kindle store, Steve Kessel, senior vice president of Amazon Kindle, told The Bookseller the prices would be the lowest in the market. However, WHS is selling the Lampard memoir cheaper than Amazon.co.uk, which has it on sale at £4.86. It does beat WHS on the other titles mentioned above. The Pacific is on sale on the Kindle for £9.44 and McGiffin’s memoir for £7.97.

via W H Smith makes all e-books half price | theBookseller.com.

PS: I’ve finally succumbed and added Ebooks as a category rather than just a tag!

Go Read This | The printed book’s path to oblivion – The Shatzkin Files

It’s a day for good articles on the future and books!

It is very hard for me to grasp why anybody would prefer a printed book 30 or 40 years from now. I’m sure by then screen technology will be able to simulate any aspect of the printed book that could possibly be of interest (except, perhaps, for the smell of the paper, ink, and glue, but, then maybe a companion air-wick would do the trick. I wonder if you can use the same aromas for all titles, or whether some customization will be required.)

via The printed book’s path to oblivion – The Shatzkin Files.

Author-functions and work-functions « Snarkmarket

Much more of value in this post, you should read it!

Maybe being the author of a blog is a new ver sion of being an author of a book. I started (although I’m not the only author of) Book futurism because I started stringing together a bunch of work that seemed to be about the future of reading; through that, my writing here, and some of the things I wrote else­where, I became a kind of authority on the subject (only on the internet, but still, I like who links to me); and maybe I’ll write a book, or maybe I’ll start a blog with a different title when it’s time to write about some thing else. I don’t know.

via Author-functions and work-functions « Snarkmarket.