Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue

08/17/2011

Amazon Publishing – Print is Thriving – And Other Insider Information


Awesome Amazon ???

Amazon’s business makes publishers nervous because it’s finally allowing the online retailer to cut publishers out of the loop entirely. Amazon is making more of its own books, and it’s got the authors to sell them.”

Amazon is adding more writers and renowned authors to its own company’s publishing imprints to produce new books directly for the reading consumer and bypass other established ‘publishers’ entirely. 

Gaining control of the online digital book retail business just seemed to whet Amazon’s appetite to gobble up more control in the bigger publishing business (in disruption due to the new tech transition) … including print, which is doing just fine right now, thank you very much. 

These interesting details provided by Anthony John Agnello , consumer and technology writer for InvestorPlace:

Amazon Publishing Continues to Boom With New Exclusives

Traditional publishers being pushed out of the picture

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) frightens book publishers. Not because electronic books are going to replace print by September. Far from it. Print is thriving, and while e-book sales have grown 1,300% in the past three years, they still represent only a fraction of overall revenue in the publishing industry. Amazon’s business makes publishers nervous because it’s finally allowing the online retailer to cut publishers out of the loop entirely. Amazon is making more of its own books, and it’s got the authors to sell them.

A Tuesday report in The New York Times said Amazon has made its latest promising acquisition in an ever-growing stable of authors producing original books for the company. Timothy Ferriss, the self-help author behind the bestseller The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich, will release his new book The 4-Hour Chef exclusively through Amazon Publishing imprint.

4-Hour Workweek has spent 84 weeks on the Times‘ Advice bestseller list. That book was published by Crown, an imprint under the Bertelsmann-owned Random House. Ferris never entertained a counteroffer from his previous publisher after talking with Amazon because they would not have been able to match what Amazon was offering as “a technology company embracing new technology.”

This is just the latest major publishing effort from Amazon since editor Laurence Kirshbaum came on as head of Amazon Publishing in May. Imprint Montlake Romance, an all-romance branch of Amazon Publishing, opened for business in May. Connie Brockway’s The Other Guy’s Bride will be the imprint’s first book out this fall. Brockway’s previous books were distributed under the Dell Publishing mass-market imprint, another house under the Random House banner.

Read and learn more

Related post: Is Amazon a Danger Lurking in the Publishing Industry?

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09/26/2010

Ingram Book Distributors to Expand to Australia


Ingram…one of the world’s largest, privately-owned book distribution companies… contains 11 companies (that I know of) under it’s umbrella. These companies manufacture, market and distribute books and magazines in all formats for all devices, including mobile.

Ingram operates internationally and will have five plant locations after the Australian opening. Locations are in La Vergne, Tn; Allentown, Pa.; Milton Keynes near London; and Maurepas, France.

Randy McClain, Business Editor of the Tennessean Dot Com, reports this on the Ingram Content Group:

If I can trust my push-button, online Australian slang handbook, let’s just say that Ingram Content Group has come up with some good oil Down Under.

Translation: The La Vergne-based company with an expanding global reach has come up with a good idea for the book market in Australia. It’s one that should mean revenue growth for Ingram and more sales for its primary customers — book publishers worldwide with which Ingram does business.

Under the flag of its Lightning Source division — an on-demand print-manufacturing outfit — Ingram plans to open a book manufacturing and distribution center in Australia by next summer. The exact location is still a matter of research and crafting satisfactory lease terms.

But it’s likely that a sprawling warehouse-like space similar to Lightning Source’s La Vergne campus will be up and running by June. Inside will be all manner of computers, high-speed line printers and book binding gear designed to speed on-demand production of everything from novels to academic tomes.

The idea is to help publishers get books to market Down Under quicker — even small orders. Lightning Source’s average print run, which can be for a publishing house or the corner bookstore, is 1.8 books per order. But sales add up when you have 4.4 million titles stored digitally for immediate use.

Read more http://alturl.com/sfijz

11/29/2009

The Keys to a Barnes and Noble Book Signing


Getting book signings at major bookstore chains is a real plus in marketing and selling your book. However, if you are self-published or have a print-on-demand (POD) book, it is more difficult to arrange these type of book signings.

But, do not despair! There are ways around the obstacles to obtain major bookstore signings AND other means available to you: independent bookstore signings and speaking engagements with backroom sales that allow you to keep more of the retail price, to name two.

Sallie Goetsch, a writer and small business consultant, has written an insightful article on ezinearticles.com explaining how to best obtain book signings, what the major chain book stores have to go through to provide you with one and what you need to have in place to land a major signing. I present her article here for your information:

Dan Poynter wrote in Successful Nonfiction that authors should never host autograph parties. Instead of merely signing their books, the thing to do was offer “mini-seminars.” In an August 27th, 2006 interview with Tee Morris for “The Survival Guide to Writing Fantasy,” Annie Hololob, Community Relations Manager for the Harrisonburg, VA Barnes & Noble, confirms the value of making your book signing into an event. (Tee himself apparently has a habit of staging sword fights during his book signings, which definitely livens things up.) If you want to have an event at a Barnes & Noble, the Community Relations Manager is the person to talk to. This is the person who knows whether the store’s customers are the right market for your book, or whether you’d do better at a store in a different city. (My local Barnes & Noble, for instance, doesn’t even have author events, just a children’s story time.) This is the person whose good side you want to get on.

There are two important things you need before you start assembling your press kit and cultivating the CRM at your local Barnes & Noble, however. Without them, there’s no way the store can carry your books. Large chain bookstores have to operate by certain rules in order to stay in business, and those rules may exclude you and your book for reasons that have nothing to do with your merits as a writer.

Distribution

In order for BN to order, stock, and sell your books, they have to be available through a wholesaler or distributor such as Ingram or Baker & Taylor–one BN already has a relationship with. That means BN can buy the book at a wholesale price, usually 40-60% off the cover price, without going to extra trouble to special-order it. If your book is traditionally published, there should be no problem with this. One of the reasons for choosing to go with a major publisher or established small press is that they are already BN Vendors of Record. The traditionally self-published, those like Dan Poynter who start their own publishing companies, can become Vendors of Record by filling out the BN Publisher Information Form.

The authors who run into real trouble in the distribution department are those with POD books. These books may be good-looking and high quality. They may even be available through Baker & Taylor or Ingram. But unless ordered in very high quantities, they are offered only for the retail price. BN’s standard order when dealing with a new publisher is two copies of every title. Even an order of 30-50 books for a signing isn’t going to provide enough of a profit margin to make it worth the bookstore’s while. And because Print on Demand books are literally printed only when ordered, each copy is much more expensive to produce than a comparable mass-produced book.

Returns

The other thing that keeps POD books-and their authors-out of chain stores like Barnes & Noble is the lack of a returns policy. Bookstores expect to be able to return all unsold books to a publisher, and not to pay the publisher for any of the books until after they sell. Unsold books aren’t even returned intact: the covers get ripped off and they’re sent away to be pulped. (I kid you not. I was horrified to learn this, even after reading all those warnings about not buying books without covers.)

POD houses don’t warehouse books and can’t provide that kind of returns policy, and very few self-published authors are going to want to. But no matter how barbaric a practice pulping is, it’s a fact of life at all major book outlets, and Barnes & Noble didn’t invent it. Nor does a Community Relations Manager have the power to bend the rules about this, however flexible s/he may be about the form your signing takes if you can meet the store’s requirements.

Alternatives

If you’re a self-published or POD author and touring the major chain bookstores is something you can’t live without, you can try to interest a traditional publisher in your book, though you need to make sure that you really own the book in its current form before you do this. (Most POD houses lay claim to the final, formatted version of your book, though the content remains yours.)

Or you can skip Barnes & Noble altogether and hold your book events elsewhere. Independent bookstores are often in a better position than large chains to take a chance on an author, though they, too, need to be able to buy the books at a low enough price to make a profit. Public libraries are almost always willing to accept the donation of a book or two and host a reading.

And, of course, if you make your living as a speaker, back-of-room sales may be your best bet and an opportunity to take advantage of the plus side of self-publishing and POD: getting to keep a far greater percentage of the book’s retail price.


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