Not much to see here you might think on the surface. A company announcing a new product and a partnership at an industry event.
But hold on! It’s Faber (yeah, that Faber) not DK making the announcement. Who would ever have expected a solar system App from them?
What’s more, the partnership is not just another sign of just how established brands face challenges from all across the board (and Faber’s own brand is threatened too), but it shows that savvy publishers like Faber can move fairly rapidly in the digital space.
Faber is publishing an e-book app on the solar system in its first collaboration with digital publishers Touch Press.
The new venture was unveiled today at The Bookseller’s FutureBook Conference in London where Henry Volans, head of Faber Digital and Max Whitby, co-founder of Touch Press showcased their launch title, Solar System for iPad.
The interactive book, priced £7.99 and available from the App store next month, is written by New Scientist cosmology consultant Marcus Chown. He previously wrote popular science book Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You (Faber). The new book, a complete guide to our solar system, uses interactive software to include ‘multi-touch’ 3D planets and custom-made animations and videos.
via Faber teams up with Touch Press for galaxy iPad guide | theBookseller.com.
Philip goes on to conclude that Publishers have much to bring to the party. he might be right, but the core power they used to have of reaching people through distribution is now gone, the balance of power has shifted and Authors or Rights Holders have a greater ability to operate without publishers:
She told me: “Penguin accepted long ago that they didn’t have the digital rights. Of course they wanted to do it, but why would we. With a brand like ours, people are looking for the books anyway, so the publicity and marketing will happen. It also gives us greater clarity of sales, which books are selling and where. We are very lucky to have such a big brand.”
Of course the deal will be interpreted as a shot across the bows of traditional publishers. And why not? Despite the energetic way that the estate has looked after the Bond brand in recent times—including the development of the Young Bond books and the new titles written by Sebastian Faulks and the Jeffery Deaver version to come—it is unlikely that the estate would have seen an opportunity to self-publish in this way until fairly recently. It has seized the opportunity at the right time, and in a way that will allow it see closely how the market develops.
via Publishers should be stirred, but not shaken by Bond move | FutureBook.
I’m a fan of publishers taking charge of their own destiny, especially when the future is so uncertain.
That said, I just don’t think publishers have the right skill sets right now to actually set prices for consumer facing products.
They need to work very hard to get those skills though, because, as long as they are setting prices without knowing what they are doing, the longer they’ll make bad decisions and probably hurt themselves in the long term.
More than three-quarters of people working in the book trade believe e-books should be priced at current street prices or less, according to early results of a FutureBook survey into digital thinking. The majority of respondents indicated that publishers are best placed to set this price, even though they don’t believe the agency model has a long-term future.
via Publishers should set e-book prices, says FutureBook survey | theBookseller.com.
The import of this statement escaped me the first time I glanced at it
The Publishers Association has set out an agreed position on e-book lending in libraries that will see library users blocked from downloading e-books outside of the library premises. Faber c.e.o. Stephen Page announced the new guidelines this morning (21 October) at the CILIP Public Library Authorities conference in Leeds.
Page told conference delegates that “all the major trade publishers have agreed to work with aggregators to make it possible for libraries to offer e-book lending” with the addition of certain “controls”. He said the guidelines had been developed because of concerns over free e-book lending offered by some libraries to lenders “wherever you are” in breach of publisher contracts.
via PA sets out restrictions on library e-book lending | theBookseller.com.
Now, I can’t decide if this is the stupidest thing I’ve read all day, all week, all month or all year. Heck it could even be the stupidest thing I’ve read all decade.
Publishers should be embracing ebooks. Embracing ebooks in libraries even more and certainly not trying to lock library services into stupid and unworkable restrictions.
If they are worried about lending beyond territories that publishers have contracts for, then some other method could easily have been found rather than to take away one of the most impressive features of ebooks from libraries.
Great, off the cuff thoughts from Philip Jones about Agency Pricing in the UK!
5 The agency model is a short term device. No-one I’ve spoken to believes it can last long term; though Evans did indicate that agency terms were used in other sectors, for instance fashion, as well as the app store. I checked the fashion angle with Draper’s deputy editor just now and she said this was “not strictly true”. An r.r.p. is set by fashion houses, which retailers would be wise to stick to if they still want to continue to receive the goods, but there is no legal contract to enforce it. Probably because it would be illegal to have one.
via Ten things about the agency model in the UK | FutureBook.