Note: don't miss our last interview to Angela Slatter » Short Stories Are about Identifying an Essence
I THINK PUBLISHERS HAVE LOST THE BATTLE & THE WAR
"The problem is that the publishing system as it stands is being ripped to shreds by digital change. We do need a publishing industry, we don’t necessarily need THIS publishing industry, the legacy one. There is no reason why any individual publisher MUST survive or that quality publishing won’t happen if the legacy publishers do fail. The Agency battle was and is not really one over the creation or publishing of quality works nor even one over the price we might charge for those quality works or who sets that price, it is over the allocation of profit/revenue within the system that allows for the creation and publishing of quality works." Teleread | @eoinpurcell
WHAT AMAZON'S EBOOK STRATEGY MEANS
"As noted, Bezos targeted bookselling because it was ripe for disintermediation. By purchasing from the publisher directly when a customer had already bought a copy, his company could keep its overheads down—and in particular, minimize its warehouse space (never mind the cost of running premium retail outlets and paying shop sales staff). This allowed him to buy wholesale and sell retail, at a big discount compared to the regular retail trade (with their higher overheads). So. What's wrong with this?" Charlie's Diary
THE E-BOOK WARS: WHO IS LESS EVIL, AMAZON OR BOOK PUBLISHERS?
"That said, however, the fact remains that virtually every major disruptive or innovative move the book-publishing industry has seen over the past decade has come from Amazon and Google, rather than from the mainstream publishing houses. They seem to have spent most of their time dragging their feet and throwing up roadblocks to any kind of innovation, whether it’s e-book pricing or Google’s book-scanning project (Matt Yglesias at Slate argues the antitrust case is irrelevant because publishers are doomed anyway). Their defense of the agency-pricing model feels like yet another attempt to stave off the forces of disruption. Why not try to adapt instead?" GigaOm
THE ANTI-AMAZON CAMPAIGN JUMPS THE SHARK
"This raises a number of questions. First of all, isn’t Amazon fully within their rights to charge what they like for advertising on their site and marketing to its customers? Do publishers think they can name their price and Amazon must accept? What planet are they on? It makes perfect sense that Amazon would raise their prices. In the last twelve months, the e-book market has grown dramatically. I think it’s safe to assume that the number of visitors to the Kindle Store has also risen by a huge amount. If a newspaper doubled its circulation, wouldn’t it be prudent of them to raise their advertising rates?" Let's Go Digital
E-BOOKS: WHAT NEXT?
"I have no idea what to make of all this, and no way of predicting the future. We’re living through a weird era where giant companies like Apple and Amazon, who don’t create knowledge but simply provide platforms for consuming it one app or download at a time, are hastening the demise of traditional publishing. Publishers are having a harder time explaining the value they add in an era when (as Clay Shirky recently put it) publishing isn’t a job, it’s a button. Academic books seem poised to go the big deal license route we went with journals, (even as open access publishing becomes an easier proposition with simple tools like PressBooks). And readers and the libraries they serve are wondering what’s going to happen next." Inside Higher Ed
WHAT THE DOJ E-BOOK LAWSUIT MEANS FOR READERS NOW
"As soon as the new contracts are in place (and Justice will be holding onto a copy of each of those contracts), let the discounting begin. Forrester analyst James McQuivey told Digital Book World last week that he expects Amazon to discount e-books slowly and strategically, starting with bestsellers. Publishing industry consultant Mike Shatzkin, on the other hand, believes Amazon “will do the splashiest discounting they possibly can, making the point as loudly as possible that they deliver the lowest prices to the consumer and daring their competiton to match them.”" PaidContent | @laurahazardowen
AFTER THE DOJ ACTION, WHERE DO WE STAND?
"I would summarize the situation this way. Amazon (which includes any other player largely dependent on Amazon) and the most price-conscious ebook consumers have won. Everybody else in the ecosystem: authors, publishers, and other vendors, have lost. The reaction from all quarters seems to confirm that analysis." The Idea Logical Company | @MikeShatzkin
PEW SURVEY SHOWS HOW E-BOOKS ARE CHANGING THE EQUATION FOR PUBLISHERS, READERS
"E-book users earn a gold star for reading more avidly than any other group. The Pew study finds e-book readers are "relatively avid readers of books in all formats: 88 percent of those who read e-books in the past 12 months also read printed books. Compared with other book readers, they read more books. They read more frequently for a host of reasons: for pleasure, for research, for current events, and for work or school. They are also more likely than others to have bought their most recent book, rather than borrowed it, and they are more likely than others to say they prefer to purchase books in general, often starting their search online." Significantly for publishers who feel the ground shifting under their feet with recent developments such as the demise of Borders and some other traditional bookstores, e-book readers are more likely to buy the books they read, while other readers are more apt to borrow." MediaShift
NPR » On Writing A Best-Seller (Shhh, There's a Formula) The Atlantic » Can the Computers at Narrative Science Replace Paid Writers? Granta » The Reader and Technology Wired » James Bridle: Literature needs much more than ebooks