The Day Digital Died

It was a seemingly innocuous situation… I was sitting in a room filled with publishing types: book publishers, librarians, agents, industry press, metadata specialists, and consultants of varying shapes and sizes. We were there in an advisory role to one of the digital publishing conferences. Read the rest of this entry »

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  • Published: Jan 5th, 2011
  • Category: Books
  • Comments: 2

Amazon’s Newest BFF

Last week Amazon announced that the third generation Kindle became the best selling single product in their history! (http://bit.ly/dOL8AQ) Triangulating this news with an insider rumor insider claiming that Amazon sold over 8 million Kindle’s last year puts the Kindle in the same sales range as the iPad.  One has to wonder what the reaction in Cupertino to this shocking bit of news. Read the rest of this entry »

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  • Published: Oct 26th, 2010
  • Category: Books
  • Comments: 6

The Finkler Answer

As many of you know, I made a move from academic to trade publishing over the summer. The transition has been fascinating, and I think the last 3 months have been the most exciting in my career as my role has shifted from strategic licensing at OUP to overseeing all sales and marketing at Bloomsbury.  In my new job I have already participated in nearly every imaginable trade business scenario: retailer terms negotiations, international sales & distribution deals, book launches, author tours, agent negotiations, and even a Man Booker winner.

Perhaps most interesting about my new role is that I am one of the few people in my industry who runs sales and marketing operations on both sides of the Atlantic. Seeing how London differs from New York in trade is fascinating, but what has struck me most is the prevailing zeitgeist regarding world English rights.  The proposition that one publisher should NEVER be sold world English rights for a work seems to have become the default position, especially by UK based agents. Read the rest of this entry »

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  • Published: Sep 27th, 2010
  • Category: Books
  • Comments: 21

Ebooks Don’t Cannibalize Print, People Do

Last week in The Bookseller, Philip Jones covered a seminar in the UK by Enders Analysis that presented data done as a part of a Nielsen BookScan report.  The article led with the following statement.

“The growth in e-book sales in genres such as romance and science-fiction is leading to a cannibalisation in sales of printed books, according to Nielsen BookScan data.”

This led to the inevitable debate on the Read2.0 listserv (also known as the Brantley List for the devoted followers of Mike Shatzkin). While there was little illumination in the ensuing voluminous discussion, there was an overall consensus that ebooks were indeed cannibalizing print books. Read the rest of this entry »

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  • Published: Jul 15th, 2010
  • Category: Books
  • Comments: 36

Pass the Gestalt, Please

In the past two weeks I have heard forcefully stated pronouncements by agent Andrew Wylie and chair of the Society of Authors, Tom Holland, regarding ebook royalty rates.  A 50/50 share between author and publisher is the only possible outcome they can accept, citing the tired and somewhat old argument we have heard before:

The publisher has little or no incremental out of pocket cost to create ebooks, therefore the income should be split in the same manner as subsidiary rights, which is generally 50/50. Read the rest of this entry »

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