HarperCollins

Go Read This | You know what’s cool? A billion dollars, that’s what’s cool. | FutureBook

If you read nothing else on Oyster and a Netflix for books, make it this by Chris Mceigh. The money quote:

So should publishers allow Amazon to go head to head with fledgling players for control of this new supplementary income stream or hold back from signing those licensing contracts with the Seattle giant till they see where the land lies?

It’s a choice that could define our industry in ways we can’t begin to imagine yet.

via You know what’s cool? A billion dollars, that’s what’s cool. | FutureBook.

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Go Read This | It’s on — US sues Apple, publishers over e-book prices — paidContent

I tells ya, some fun will be had with this one methinks! I hope Agency falls, I really don’t like it!

The Justice Department has at last filed an anti-trust complaint in New York against Apple and five publishers over an alleged price fixing conspiracy. (Update: Three publishers to settle)

The decision to sue comes after weeks of media leaks that suggested the government was trying to pressure the parties into a settlement.

The issue turns on whether five publishers illegally colluded with Apple to implement “agency pricing” in which the publishers set a price and the retailer takes a commission. (see here for more details)

The lawsuit has yet to be posted on the Justice Department’s website but Bloomberg News says Apple and five of the “Big 6″ publishers are named as defendants. The named publishers are Macmillan, Penguin, Hachette SA, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster. (Update: a Bloomberg report says the latter three will settle. This is consistent with a leak earlier this month).

via It’s on — US sues Apple, publishers over e-book prices — paidContent.

The Growth Of The UK Ebook Market

Really fascinating glimpse of the development of the UK ebook business from BML/Bowker (as a teaser for their annual conference in March):

The survey also looks at how the e-book industry fares by genre. The adult fiction market saw spectacular e-book growth in 2011, up from 2.8% of purchases in the four weeks ending 26th December 2010 to 12.5% in the four weeks to 27th November 2011. But again, as e-books are being bought for lower prices, they accounted for only 7.1% of adult fiction spending in the latest period

via Bowker – British Book Buyers are Switching to “e” from Print and Spending Less.

Let’s start with the increase. From 2.8% of purchases to 12.5% of purchases that an increase of 346%.

Not bad going, especially when you consider the report doesn’t include the key Christmas period. That’s the same period by the way that saw Hachette, HarperCollins and Random House each sell over 100,000 ebooks on Christmas Day alone.

That suggests strongly that the 500% increase suggested by at least one UK publisher and referenced by The Bookseller’s Philip Jones in the excellent Futurebook email newsletter:

Were e-book sales in the UK worth £105m in 2011? That was the figure implied by Hachette UK when it stated last week that its e-book sales of £21m amounted to a 20% share of the UK e-book market. Hachette added that its own e-book sales had grown by “nearly 500%”.

We do not know if Hachette’s figure was stated at invoiced or published prices, and whether it included audio-book downloads and/or app sales, but either way it seems unlikely that Hachette’s own e-book growth will not have been reflected in the wider e-book market, meaning a second year of growth at 500%.

Jones has much much more of value in that newsletter this week so I encourage you to go read it. As Jones points out, if that £105m is correct and the market grows at a similar pace in 2012, that would bring digital sales to £500m and around 30% of the market! Pretty impressive growth.

Of course as I pointed our earlier this month, as ebook sales increase the have to overcome larger hurdles to show such large percentage gains. I’m not sure 2012 will deliver that in the UK, but it sure will be fun to find out if it can.

Eoin

Go Read This | Friday Project buys Aldiss backlist | The Bookseller

Interesting deal:

HarperCollins imprint The Friday Project has acquired more than 50 titles by prolific author, and former Bookseller columnist, Brian Aldiss.

Publisher Scott Pack bought UK and Commonwealth rights in the titles—comprising literary fiction, sci-fi and non-fiction works—as well as Aldiss—entire short-story archive from Gordon Wise at Curtis Brown. The acquisition also includes six new titles, which The Friday Project plans to publish in e-book and print editions over the next four years.

via Friday Project buys Aldiss backlist | The Bookseller.

Go Read This | Brains and brawn | theBookseller.com

The Bookseller has a very nice feature on Estate Publishing on the back of the news about HarperCollins acquiring the worldwide rights to Agahta Christie’s work. Best thing in the magazine this week if you ask me (with the possible exception of an editorial by James Bridle).

He says dealing with the estates requires patience and tenacity: it took seven years of discussions with the Tolkien estate before it agreed for HC to release e-books. His first meeting with the Tolkien estate in 1995 involved him having seven publishing ideas in a row shot down. It was, he says, “the most humiliating morning”.

“You sometimes sit and think ‘have I gone native? Am I asking sufficiently challenging questions?'” he says. “You need to make sure you are not assuming too much. I’m fairly confident I’ve got the right perspective. You keeping chipping away.”

via Brains and brawn | theBookseller.com.

Estate publishing, like Classics and (although no-one else seems to think it) mid-list publishing can and should be territory for experimentation, innovation and great publishing.

Penguin’s Classics for instance have shown recently what just the application of some great design and clever curation can do for a list that isn’t even owned exclusively by one publisher.

Quick Link | New Thriller Sells More E-Books Than Hardcovers – Digits – WSJ

Interesting, non?

Weeks after Amazon.com said that it is now selling more electronic books than hardcovers, a leading book publisher said one of its prominent new titles is generating greater e-book unit sales than hardcover unit sales during its first week on sale.

Laura Lippman’s thriller, “I’d Know You Anywhere,” went on sale Aug. 17, and in its first five days sold 4,739 e-books and 4,000 physical hardcovers, said News Corp.’s HarperCollins Publishers.

via New Thriller Sells More E-Books Than Hardcovers – Digits – WSJ.

Quick Links | Adapt to recover, warn publishing chiefs | theBookseller.com

Publishing is hard!

Barnsley, whose company saw sales fall 13.3%, the largest drop among the top 10 and despite Hilary Mantel’s Booker-winner Wolf Hall, explained it had been necessary to take “a lot of cost out of the business”, including cutting the number of titles published by 20%. “We are focusing more on profit than on market share [now at 7.3%],” she said. “Most publishers over-publish for today’s market.”

via Adapt to recover, warn publishing chiefs | theBookseller.com.