Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue

06/24/2011

E-Books … A Major Shakeup is Coming … Stirred By the Wizard


The Wizaed Cometh

A crossp0st today from my Writers Welcome Blog  (WWB)… One I feel is interesting and important enough to promulgate to those that may not follow WWB:

Pottermore.com is coming! … And bringing with it a real time, online lab that should flush out issues like e-book pricing, eliminating digital booksellers (i.e. Amazon) as the middleman, acceptance of a common format (i.e. ePub) acceptable to all devices across all platforms.

Phewwww! What a statement. Sounds like rocket science when it’s only common sense.

This strategically, ingenious concept will force a faster solution to many bottlenecks created by the various device manufacturers and digital booksellers trying to kidnap the market for its own exclusive profit.

This could only be brought by something so popular and powerful unto itself that it would lend itself to an exclusive sales site, with its own rules, that would draw people away from the status quo.

That power is Harry Potter!

This from paidContent.org by Laura Hazard Owen:

Three Ways Pottermore.com Could Change Book Publishing

After a suspenseful buildup, J. K. Rowling has announced that Pottermore.com will be an e-bookstore, exclusively selling Harry Potter e-books and digital audiobooks. Pottermore could shake up digital publishing as much as the Harry Potter books first shook up print publishing over a decade ago. Here’s how.

Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) will be cut out as the middleman and could be forced to open up the Kindle to new book-publishing formats. Pottermore.com does not officially launch until October, and right now many details are still unclear. But we know that the site will be the only place to buy Harry Potter e-books and that they will be compatible with a range of devices. Rowling stressed that selling the books directly “means we can guarantee people everywhere are getting the same experience and at the same time,” and Pottermore CEO Rod Henwood told The Bookseller, “We want to make sure anyone who buys it can read it on any device. We are talking to the Kindles, the Apples, the Googles, Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS) to make sure they are compatible. We set the pricing, we maintain the policy of making them available to as many readers as possible.”

We don’t know if that means that Pottermore.com will be selling multiple editions of the Harry Potter books—in the Kindle format, say, alongside formats like EPUB—but it seems more likely that the site would sell e-books in just one format, probably EPUB. Right now, the Kindle doesn’t support the EPUB format. But if any author could get Amazon to change its policy, it’s J. K. Rowling. The Kindle has the largest market share of any e-reader in the U.S.—it’s believed to be between 60 and 65 percent—and it would be an incredibly dumb move for Amazon not to allow the Harry Potter e-books to be read on its device. The company would risk losing users to the Barnes & Noble Nook, the Kobo, and other devices that do support EPUB.

In fact, rumors that Amazon is going to start supporting EPUB have been floating around for awhile now, mainly in association with the news that the Kindle will support library lending this fall. Amazon should probably get on the EPUB train by July 31, when Pottermore.com is going to be opened up to a select million users.

Interesting experiments with pricing. Since Rowling is selling the e-books directly, she can do what she wants with pricing. Her UK publisher, Bloomsbury, and her U.S. publisher, Scholastic, are getting a cut, but these books are being …

Read and learn more 

 

 

06/09/2010

Apple Gobbles eBook Share; Amazon Needs to Go Cheap to Compete

Filed under: Apple iPad,eBook market share,eReaders,Kindle,Kindle cost — gator1965 @ 7:42 pm


Apple is devouring the eBook market and the strictly eReading devices need to cheapen-up to remain in the game…At least that’s my opinion, as well as others like Geoffrey A. Fowler of the Wall Street Journal:

Fowler writes:

At Steve Jobs’ Apple Worldwide Developers Conference keynote on Monday, he dropped a stat that’s become the buzz of the publishing business. In the first 65 days that the iPad has been on the market with Apple’s new iBookstore, Apple customers have downloaded some 5 million e-books — and the company has captured a 22% share of the e-book market, he said. Presumably that count will go up when Apple releases its iBooks app for the iPhone later this month, too.

There’s plenty of room for debate on what those sales statistics mean, exactly. Apple, like other e-book retailers, “sells” a lot of free e-books that would pad the tally. Also, there are many different ways to count the size of the publishing industry, depending on the sorts of books one includes. Gartner analyst Allen Weiner said it must have been based on “some sort of voodoo algorithm”, given the secrecy that surrounds sales figures in the publishing industry. Jobs said only that he got the market share figure from “five of the six biggest publishers in the US.”

Nonetheless, the stats have renewed speculation about what this means for Amazon’s Kindle, which has led the market both in e-reader and e-book sales. Last month, Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos told investors that the Kindle wouldn’t have color for some time, and that the company was focused on making the device serve hard-core readers.

Amazon introduced its current-generation Kindle device in February of last year, and dropped the price to $259 last October.

Writer Seth Godin had a modest proposal for Amazon: Amazon should cut the price of its Kindle dramatically.

Godin dubs a $49 device the “paperback Kindle.” It wouldn’t be hard to hit that price “if you use available wifi and simplify the device,” he wrote. Or even, he suggests, make a “Kindle of the month club,” whereby people who sign up to get a Kindle book each month would get the device for free. The impact could be that the Kindle could quickly blow away some of its competition from companies that depend on gadget sales, not e-book sales, to make a profit.

“You can’t out-Apple Apple,” Godin said in an interview. “If all Amazon does is try to come up with something sort of like an iPad but less colorful, they are going to fail.”

Moreover, he said the current Kindle isn’t cheap enough, and doesn’t contain the social reading functions — call it a virtual book club — that would really differentiate it as a reading device from the iPad.

Already, other single-purpose e-reading devices are playing in the sub-$200 market. Sony has offered discounts that drop the price of its entry-level reader to $169. And Kobo’s basic e-reader sells for $150.

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