Change in Publishing: links you may have missed in the last days. Follow us on Twitter to get frequent updates.
APPLE IS ALREADY FIGHTING AMAZON IN THE EBOOK PRICE WARS
"Sure, we can’t draw major conclusions about Apple’s new ebook pricing strategy based on what it’s done with one publisher’s books. But in the case of HarperCollins, we’re already seeing that even if Apple would prefer agency pricing, price bands and MFNs for books, it’s willing to compete on price in the absence of those things. And it has a lot more money to do so than other ebook retailers like Barnes & Noble and Kobo." PaidContent | @laurahazardowen
THE FUTURE OF AMAZON: AMBITIOUS, DIVERSE, AND EXPANSIVE
"Goods. Devices. Delivery. Payments. Power. Amazon, perhaps more than any other online property (more than Facebook and Google), knows what you have purchased, what you may want to buy, has built the premier destination to purchase it and mapped out a mobile ecosystem, going so far as to build their own devices, and has will offer an array of delivery options to satisfy each segment’s desires." TechCrunch | @semil
DIGITAL PUBLISHING DEMANDS DIRECT-TO-READER MARKETING
"Readers buy books according to the same principle of self-interest. So, if publishers want to sell more books directly to readers, they must adjust their marketing focus. Selling to retailers usually means promoting books according to genre, topic, shelf space, and price. But, for most readers, those issues are a distant second to determining if the book will be worth their time and money. And, this is where publishers must adopt a new mentality." Digital Book World | @robeagar
MAKING MONEY WHILE KEEPING PRICES LOW: AMAZON CEO JEFF BEZOS EXPLAINS IT ALL (MOSTLY)
"Amazon rolled out a new family of Kindle devices today at a press conference in Santa Monica, Calif., including a high-end tablet for only $499. So, how does Amazon do it? How does it keep prices low, while still offering some of the latest hardware? Not to mention, how does it give away an ever-expanding catalog of movies and books for $79 a year in addition to free two-day shipping? In an interview with AllThingsD, Amazon’s founder and CEO Jeff Bezos provided some insight into the company’s economics." All Things | @triciad
OWNERSHIP IN THE DIGITAL AGE
"Ownership and value march hand in hand. Dylan argues that devaluation brings about access only business models where as I have argued in the past that ownership can increase value. To own something means you have the right to dispose of it – either delete it, resell it, or even remake it from something like a book to a purse. Maybe most important, it means you can bequeath it to another. Once you lose those rights, the digital media becomes disposal." Dear Author | Jane Little
THE CRUEL PARADOX OF SELF-PUBLISHING
"And therein is the essential fact about self-publishing: Digital and print-on-demand technology has made the manufacture of books and their distribution through the Internet vastly more accessible than the traditional publishing model. But for every instance of a self-published work that gains meaningful traction because its author succeeds in finding an audience for it, the overwhelming majority of books do not. There is a menu of services available from companies like Author Solutions, including editing, design, and basic marketing that can cost up to about $5,000 and will give the book a qualitative boost. But with so many books pouring forth, gaining any attention is a formidable challenge. In its sale announcement, Author Solutions said Bowker Market Research, which is a primary source for how many books are published, reported that 211,000 self-published titles were released in 2011 in print or e-books, an increase of almost 60 percent over 2010. Presumably, that number will grow substantially again by the end of 2012." The Atlantic | Peter Osnos
HOW IS CRITIC FREE?
"Is it possible to shift the question toward ethics? What if we ask: How free should a critic be? An idealist might wish to answer that the critic should be completely free in the exercise of his essential function, but what is the critic’s essential function? Is it to describe the book under review? Let’s say you're reviewing a book that rhapsodizes about bodily secretions. And let’s say you’re reviewing it for the New York Times. I know people who will think you spineless if you fail to shock the squeamish as much as the book itself does. But I know others who will be content if your review merely suggests the subject matter with a polite, apotropaic vagueness. There’s disagreement, in other words, about whether a critic needs to be completely free in describing." The Paris Review | Caleb Crain