Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue

04/04/2011

Exactly What is E-Book Distribution?


E-Book Distribution?

Many may already know the answer to this question…but, don’t realize they know the answer. So we are going to put things into focus with this post.

I was reading a piece about the coming launch of a new, and first, e-book distribution company in Brazil. Seems they are a few years behind us in this endeavor. Anyway, the news piece raised some questions in my mind as well as giving me an insight into how publishing companies think through establishing new formats and business models to keep up with the changing technology in publishing.  

Six big Brazilian publishers: Objetiva (partially owned by Santillana), Record, Sextante, Rocco, Planeta and L&PM — teamed up to launch an e-book distribution company called Distribuidora de Livros Digitais (DLD)…Which simply means Distributor of Digital Books in English.

The main question that flew into my mind while digesting this news was: ‘Hey, what the hell is involved in digital distribution?’ There’s no old- fashioned shipping and placing physical books in various, geographically separated bookstores and other outlets through contacts and contracts, etc…All that is involved is uploading your digital book for download to buyers, right?

Well, there is a little more involved, but not much. For instance, these e-book distributors must develop a platform to protect your e-book from piracy downloads, etc.

Go Publish Yourself gives a good initial definition of e-book distribution.

Now, just who are the e-book distributors in the good old U.S.A.? Anybody know off-hand? Again…many may already know the answer to this question…but, don’t realize they know the answer.

Author Wallace Wang, whose site’s mission is ‘meant to help potential authors understand how to self-publish, market, and ultimately profit from their books while avoiding traditional book publishers, stores, and distributors altogether’, has the answer…PLUS additional information and resources. 

Onward to the news article in Publishing Perspectives by Carlo Carrenho that churned all this in my mind (including an interview with Roberto Feith, Objetiva’s CEO and Chairman of DLD’s board):

Brazil’s DLD E-book Distribution Platform Opens For Business

A year after six Brazilian publishers launched the DLD e-book distribution platform, it opens for business today.
 
In March 2010, six Brazilian publishers –- Objetiva (partially owned by Santillana), Record, Sextante, Rocco, Planeta and L&PM — teamed up to launch an e-book distribution company called Distribuidora de Livros Digitais (DLD). The business model has several similarities with that of Libranda , in Spain –- though it’s a distinctly Brazilian enterprise. The company officially launched in August under the leadership of CEO Roberto Vaz Moreira. Since then the team has been working hard, albeit discretely, to launch the platform.

Still, it’s not uncommon in Brazilian publishing circles to hear the suggestion that DLD is little more than a good idea, one that is likely to remain vaporware…

In this exclusive interview, originally published in Portuguese at PublishNews, Roberto Feith, CEO of Objetiva and DLD’s chairman, openly reveals the actual plans, expectations and launch schedule of the new e-book distributor.

Please note that, at present, Brazil lags some three or four years behind the US in terms of digital development. Currently Xeriph is the only function e-book aggregator in Brazil, and Singular Digital is finding its way to becoming digital distribution hub for publishers. DLD, when it launches, will probably compete with both companies.

PublishNews Brazil: When will DLD launch its operation?

Read and learn more 

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9 Comments »

  1. He’s right about the primary markets (Amazon, B&N, Apple). In terms of market share, it’s basically 70% Amazon, 15-20% B&N, 5% or so Apple, and the rest divided by everyone else (Sony, Kobo, Google, etc.).

    He’s off on some little details (Apple, for instance, gives 70%, not 55%. Apple is hard to upload to without a Mac, so many people upload through services that handle that for you – I am guessing he found an uploader who is taking the difference we’re seeing here.).

    He’s also left of Smashwords, which allows a publisher to distribute to Kobo, Sony, Apple, Diesel, and B&N – at a 60% rate. (You can do B&N PubIt directly instead if you want, there’s some pros and cons for each method.) I am guessing he left of Smashwords because of the requirement for no DRM – he seems to be terrified of piracy.

    News flash, though: there is no way to stop digital piracy. No DRM that cannot be cracked. No system which cannot be converted to be read elsewhere. And in fact, a US court has already ruled that breaking ebook DRM is legal, provided it is for personal use only. Software is available now which simply and easily allows DRM cracking and ebook translation to other formats. It’s not even difficult anymore. So I think his understanding of the current anti-piracy methods is a little flawed, possibly out of date.

    Comment by Kevin O. McLaughlin — 04/09/2011 @ 9:45 am | Reply

    • Kevin,
      Thanks so much for the updated stats on the e-book distributors and the DRM conundrum! Timely and enlightening input!

      Comment by gator1965 — 04/09/2011 @ 4:33 pm | Reply

  2. Jeanne (http://thegreennun.org) commented to me via email:

    Happy to learn that South American countries are getting in on the act.

    Comment by gator1965 — 04/09/2011 @ 8:02 pm | Reply

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