Go Read This | Kobo’s new deals propel them into the top tier of global ebook competitors – The Shatzkin Files

Interesting throughout:

All other things being equal, I can see a global ebook marketplace that some years from now is 90-95% controlled by Amazon, Apple, Kobo, and a local player in each country, with Google getting most of the rest. Google may punch above its weight on the long tail because discovery of the obscure or highly niched content might be their forte; one scholarly publisher told me at Frankfurt that he is already seeing some real growth in his Google sales, which no trade publisher has said in my earshot yet.

via Kobo’s new deals propel them into the top tier of global ebook competitors – The Shatzkin Files.

A Discussion On The Future Of Media

I joined Adrian Weckler and Conor Pope on Nadine O’Regan’s The Kiosk on Phantom on saturday 5th February 2011 to discuss the plight of print media. Prompted by the closure of two Waterstone’s store in Dublin and the receivership of The Sunday Tribune, the discussion was a little glum but not without its bright patches. It is below:
[Audio https://eoinpurcell.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/phantom-105-2-the-home-of-rock-in-dublin-listen-back-the-kiosk2.mp3%5D

Folks Quoting Me | Final chapter for much-loved Dublin bookstore – The Irish Times – Thu, Feb 03, 2011

I’m quoted (wearing my IPN hat) in the Irish Times today about the Waterstone’s closures in Dublin. Real shame those stores are closing:

Eoin Purcell editor of Irish Publishing News says the Dublin closures are particularly unfortunate given the city’s new title of Unesco City of Literature. “I think there is great sense among readers, writers and publishers that we are losing something. It is a real shame. People will miss it. The Dawson Street branch is a fantastic store with enormous range. Some books there you wouldn’t find in most stores. It has an amazing military history section, for example. You can find these books online but going to the shelf and browsing and looking through books – there’s nothing like it.”

via Final chapter for much-loved Dublin bookstore – The Irish Times – Thu, Feb 03, 2011.

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!

Brain Shots: A nice promotion by Waterstone’s & The Bodley Head

Very nice idea from Waterstones & The Bodley Head! Clever way to take advantage of the digital form preference for shorter material and yet promote the longer form books in both print and digital, savvy!

Brilliant ideas are at the heart of the books published by Bodley Head (part of the Random House Group) – but knowing that not everyone has the time to read all 400+ pages of each of their titles they’ve created Brain Shots: ‘big idea’ books in a byte-sized format.

via Fiction, Children’s books, eBooks, Non-fiction books, textbooks and more at Waterstone’s.

Luke Johnson Agrees With Me

Waterstones Logo

Waterstones LogoA few months ago I wrote this:

As readers shift to digital, the economics of book shops will become skewed, favouring online emporia. Booksellers can react by hand-selling to customers and making themselves relevant, in the way that Raven Books in Blackrock, Co Dublin, has. (I am increasingly sure of finding a pile of relevant books there every time I walk in). No doubt this will mean concentrating on older, out-of-print, and second-hand books, titles that appeal directly to the customer, and print-on-demand works (though I am less convinced of the economic case for this).

Whatever way you look at it, as a big book-buyer I should be a chain store’s best customer. Instead, like many avid readers, I’m what’s killing them.

The Sunday Times – Think Tank: Lost In The Amazon
&
Eoin Purcell’s Blog – Bookshop Are Dead And I Killed Them

Then today I read an interview with Luke Johnson who ran Borders for a time. this is what he said:

I bought Borders thinking we could turn it around. I believed wrongly we could reverse the downturn in high street book sales. It’s a great sadness that we couldn’t. In my opinion, the high street book store is doomed.

He did say, that there was hope for stores like Watersones and that:

Publishers I’ve spoken to agree that the one-size-fits-all bookstore doesn’t have a future. But there is still room for independents that know their customers.

I agree the local independent have a chance. But the utterly depressing reality is that at least in the UK and Ireland, big high street stores are in trouble. Eason remains dominant here and may well gain some advantage from that, especially as supermarkets have been slower to take big steps into books (though Tesco is having an impact) but the slide is inevitable.

It contrasts fairly remarkably with the confidence of Barnes & Noble as pointed to in the last post.

One point that struck me yesterday was Waterstone’s belief in the power of ebook sales to drive their growth in their press release they said they had and ‘Excellent start for e-books at waterstones.com, approaching one million downloads.’

That makes two major booksellers on different sides of the water with hope of decent sales of ebooks. Interesting news I think anyway. perhaps if they can peel some of the sales away from Amazon in print, drive for sales in ebooks and slowly but surely wind down their bricks and mortar stores, they can avoid the downfall scenario I had originally envision and emerge as slimmer chains selling mostly virtually.

Here’s hoping,
Eoin

The Sony Reader WILL be on sale in Ireland

Eoin Purcell

You forget how easy a phone call can resolve questions sometimes
Or at least I do. In any case a quick call to Waterstones on Dawson Street, Dublin left me in no doubt about whether the Sony Reader will be available in September:

IT WILL BE

It will go on sale 4th September 2008, priced at €249 with free content and 500 bonus points for Waterstones card holders. Good news I should think, for all those who have an interest!

I’ll buy it, I can feel it in my bones,
Eoin