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. Continue reading “The Finkler Answer”

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. Continue reading “Ebooks Don’t Cannibalize Print, People Do”

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. Continue reading “Pass the Gestalt, Please”

The iPad: Gateway Drug to Digital Learning?

In my last post, What’s Next in Digital Reading I explored my notion that there are three kinds of reading; extractive: immersive, and pedagogic. Extractive reading works in digital form as finding and extracting data and information is optimized by the power of digital. Immersive reading struggled to flourish in digital form until the e-ink screen went mainstream with the release of the Kindle. Pedagogic reading, the kind done when learning from a textbook, has yet to take hold as there hasn’t been a device and/or business model for delivering lesson-based reading that has gained any traction. However, this is all about to change dramatically because of the iPad. Continue reading “The iPad: Gateway Drug to Digital Learning?”