Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue

06/05/2010

FastPencil = Higher Margins for Authors

Filed under: FastPencil,iBookstore,iPad,publishing — gator1965 @ 9:19 pm


I’m always on the lookout for publishing sources that help writers get published fast and simple…and I discovered FastPencil in a PRNewswire press release.

FastPencil appears to be a great resource for writers so check it out at http://www.fastpencil.com/ :

FastPencil Puts Authors on the iPad With New iBookstore Publishing Service
FastPencil Automatically Transforms Digital Content for Easy Distribution to Apple’s iBookstore

Next generation publisher, FastPencil, today expanded sales opportunities for authors by announcing iBookstore distribution. FastPencil makes the process seamless for authors to get their content into any channel by providing them with an end-to-end publishing solution that enables them to write, publish and sell books on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and now the iBookstore for iPad readers.

“With over 2 million iPad units sold already, Apple is revolutionizing the publishing industry,” said Michael “Mash” Ashley, FastPencil Co-Founder and CTO. “Authors want to be part of the revolution, they want their books everywhere. The beauty of FastPencil is that we automatically turn a manuscript into an eBook and put it into the iBookstore as well as Kindle and the entire Ingram Digital network so the author can focus on writing great books.”

The iBookstore, announced this past March in conjunction with the iPad, is reinventing the publishing industry and giving consumers a new avenue for purchasing and accessing literature. FastPencil is dedicated to making it easy, fun and economical for anyone to write a book and the iPad makes it even more profitable to be an author with little cost or risk by providing a new platform to sell books.

“Last year 764,448 titles were produced by self-publishers and just 288,355 titles were published through traditional publishers,” said Steve Wilson, FastPencil Co-Founder and CEO. “With so much happening in the industry right now including new devices, formats and rules of the game, authors need to hedge their bets with a device and format agnostic service that takes care of the transformation for them and future-proofs their work.”

Read more: http://alturl.com/tu3y

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05/04/2010

Google eBook Service "Google Editions" Coming This Summer



Good ole Google is entering into the eBook market with a program that will be available through ANY computing device! How about that??…

Here is a report by Sarah Lai Stirland (pictured at left), Assistant Managing Editor of BroadbandBreakfast dot com:

Google plans on launching its open eBook service Google Editions by June or July, according to a Tuesday report in the Wall Street Journal.

Google Wants To Open Up the Market For Digital Books
Google’s manager for strategic partner development Chris Palma disclosed the company’s plans during a Tuesday morning panel discussion sponsored by the Book Industry Study Group in New York City. The panel discussion focused on cloud computing and the business of publishing.
Unlike Apple and Amazon’s eBook services, Google’s will be available through any computing device. The launch of the service appears to have been delayed by the negotiations over the different visions between Google and the publishing industry over how its service should function.

The Journal story says that the service will allow readers to both buy digital books directly from Google as well as from book retailers’ web sites. The pricing of the books will be closely watched as the publishing industry has fought Amazon’s push to sell books for a flat $9.99 on its electronic book device the Kindle.

Consumers have already downloaded more then 1.5 million eBooks through Apple’s new iBookstore, according to a company statement issued Monday. Apple sold its millionth iPad on Friday after just a month of its launch, according to the statement. TechCrunch reports that Amazon has sold around three million Kindles as of this January. The company first released the product in late 2007.

The future of digital book licensing and the separate issue of the impact of the Google’s book search settlement will be discussed at the inaugural Intellectual Property Breakfast Club meeting May 11 in Washington, DC. The panelists include: Jonathan Band, counsel for the Library Copyright Alliance, Michael Capobianco, vice president of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America and Sherwin Siy, Public Knowledge’s deputy legal director.

Now if they’ll only make a water-resistant book device that can brought to the beach. Perhaps they could charge a premium.

03/20/2010

Amazon Wrangles Publishers as iBookstore Grand Opening Looms

Filed under: Amazon,Apple,eBook costs,iBookstore,iPad,Kindle Reader,publishing — gator1965 @ 6:25 pm

With both Apple and Amazon pressuring publishers for deals on content for their digital devices, what will happen to consumer prices for digital books, magazines, games, etc?…Gee shitski, don’t you just LOVE the intrigue? Whatever does happen, this writer can’t help but think it will be be good for all concerned!

Kindle looks over after taking a deep drag on his cig, stares deeply into iPaddy’s eyes and whispers “Was it good for you, too, you Digital Tiger,you?”

Katherine Noyes of MacNewsWorld writes on this intensifying subject:

Apple’s newest charmed pair, the iPad and the iBookstore, will amble onto the publishing scene in just a couple of weeks, and Amazon is justifiably fearful. Its popular Kindle may quickly become a has-been, and it could lose hard-won ground in the e-book marketplace. What’s a giant to do? Twist a few arms. If publishers bow to Amazon’s latest terms, will e-book prices rise or fall?
With an unwavering focus on Apple’s (Nasdaq: AAPL) forthcoming iBookstore, Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) has begun pressuring e-book publishers to sign three-year contracts that ensure no competing retailers will get better prices or treatment.

That’s according to a recent report in The New York Times, which cites two industry executives with direct knowledge of the discussions.

The new tactics come hard on the heels of Amazon’s conflict with Macmillan earlier this year over the publisher’s switch to an agency model, whereby retailers such as Amazon act as agents of the publisher and earn a 30 percent commission on publisher-set prices. Those prices, Amazon asserted, were “needlessly high.”

Amazon’s stock tumbled following that well-publicized conflict, in which the e-tailer even stopped selling Macmillan books temporarily in protest.

The titles were soon restored to Amazon’s virtual shelves, but the latest round of pressure tactics raises the question of how far the company would be willing to go to compete with Apple’s iBookstore, which will launch in the United States with its iPad device on April 3.

Five of the ‘Big Six’ for Apple

Apple, in fact, has been applying similar pressure to publishers participating in its iBookstore, The New York Times reported, including five of the “big six”: Macmillan, Simon & Schuster, Hachette, HarperCollins and Penguin.

Only Random House has not yet signed on, The Times said.

Such publishers will use the agency model for iBookstore sales , allowing them to set prices as long as they pay Apple 30 percent. Typical prices under that model are $12.99 to $14.99 for most newly released titles.

Apple does stipulate, however, that publishers must not allow other retailers to sell their e-books for less than their iBookstore prices, according to The Times.

Whereas Amazon ultimately agreed to let Macmillan set its own prices, it has typically tried to keep its titles at $9.99.

“My sense is that consumers have been very happy with the pricing model Amazon has established,” Kurt Scherf, vice president and principal analyst with Parks Associates, told MacNewsWorld.

“It’s very easy to compare an Amazon digital title with hardback or paperback, and I think that’s part of the reason why Amazon has had the success it has had,” he added.

‘Publishers Will Have More Power’

Amazon’s business and reputation both suffered as a result of its conflict with Macmillan, Susan Kevorkian, program director for IDC’s mobile media and entertainment service, told MacNewsWorld.

So, if it chooses to limit access to the works of publishers who won’t sign its contracts, it will be hurt even more, she predicted.

“As the e-reader market grows, publishers will have more power in the marketplace because they control copyrighted work and can dictate payment terms for it, and because more retailers — and options for consumers to buy digital books — will emerge to challenge Amazon and Apple,” Kevorkian explained.

Amazon is “still in the content business,” she noted, so it “needs to offer as wide and deep a selection of content as it can in terms of physical and digital books — the latter to keep Kindle competitive.”

Going forward, retail price competition in digital books is “more likely to be at the expense of retailers’ margins than publishers’ revenue and profits,” Kevorkian concluded. “The takeaway here is that publishers will set digital book prices, and retailers will need to follow suit with their pricing, rather than dictating retail prices to consumers.”

Amazon on Thursday also launched its new Kindle for Mac, a free application for reading Kindle books on Macintosh computers.

Neither Amazon nor Apple responded by press time to MacNewsWorld’s requests for comment.

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