Writers and Editors (Pat McNees's blog)
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Publishers' core functions in an eBook world

September 24, 2012

Tags: book publishing, ebooks, licensing, rights

Mike Shatzkin writes this week of changing models in book publishing, in which publishers will "offload everything except the functions that are absolutely core to publishing: editorial selection and development, rights management, and marketing." Authors, pay attention! He is writing about publishers, but (more…)

Who wins and loses from DoJ's suit against Big Publishers and Apple?

April 15, 2012

Tags: DOJ, book publishing, Amazon, agency pricing, loss-leader discounting

Here's a roundup (with links) of stories and analysis about the Department of Justice's plan to sue five major publishers and Apple for colluding to raise the prices of electronic books (eBooks). Three publishers have agreed to settle. On his blog, After the DoJ action, where do we stand?, Mike Shatzkin, whom I read for the big picture (publishers' view), tentatively summarizes the situation thus: (more…)

Mike Shatzkin on bookselling's past, present, and future

June 7, 2011

Tags: Shatzkin, bookselling, book publishing, e-books, bookstores, libraries

Mike Shatzkin's predictions about what's going on in book publishing and bookselling, and his histories of the trade (from mass market paperbacks through eBooks), are both compelling and unnerving. Technology, curation, and why the era of big bookstores is coming to an end (Shatzkin Files, 6-7-11) (more…)

With Bookish, Publishers Compete with Amazon for Direct Sales

May 10, 2011

Tags: e-books, bookish, book publishing

Three publishers (Simon & Schuster, Penguin, and Hachette), frustrated that few book buyers visit their company sites, have created Bookish.com, hoping it will become a destination for readers the way Pitchfork.com is for music lovers and IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, and Netflix (more…)

Will the e-book revolution have the same effect the paperback revolution did?

March 14, 2011

Tags: book publishing, e-books

I was fascinated by Mike Shatzkin's March 13 blog post on The Shatzkin Files, Ebooks are making me recall the history of mass-market publishing, a history of how the mass-market paperback revolution changed book publishing, comparing (more…)

Nathan Bransford explains the e-book price wars

March 11, 2011

Tags: e-books, book publishing, price wars

In his piece on Why Some E-Books Cost More Than the Hardcover, former agent Nathan Bransford provides an excellent history and explanation of the price wars publishers are fighting with the online gorilla, Amazon, to preserve the value of e-books and level the playing field, so that brick and (more…)

Authors Feel Pinch in Age of E-Books

September 29, 2010

Tags: e-books, book publishing

"The new economics of the e-book make the author's quandary painfully clear," writes Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg in the Wall Street Journal. "A new $28 hardcover book returns half, or $14, to the publisher, and 15%, or $4.20, to the author. Under many e-book deals currently, a digital book sells for (more…)

E-book sales taking off

August 2, 2010

Tags: e-books, book publishing, Kindle

Volume of Kindle book sales stuns Amazon's Jeff Bezos (USA Today's tech columnist Edward C. Baig interviews Bezos). The comments are as interesting as the article. An avid book reader, for examples, says, ". I have no way (more…)

Happy (75th) birthday to the quality paperback!

July 31, 2010

Tags: book publishing

"This week 75 years ago, Penguin brought out the first modern paperback," reports the Read Street blog (Baltimore Sun, 7-29-10). Penguin's first paperbacks were works by Ernest Hemingway, André Maurois and Agatha Christie. "They were colour coded (more…)

Agent Wylie's bold step enlarges authors' share of e-book rights

July 23, 2010

Tags: e-books, book publishing, Kindle

In a stalled rights debate between authors/agents and book publishers about the author's share of income on sales of e-books for backlist titles, literary agent Andrew Wylie took a bold step that may influence negotiations over those rights, writes Julie Bosman in Literary Agent Plans E-Book Editions (more…)

BEA: Why Small Publishing Will Save the World

May 29, 2010

Tags: e-books, book publishing

Literary agent Janet Reid reports from Book Expo about the coming artistic revolution, in BEA: Why Small Publishing Will Save the World. She doesn't know what will do the trick--maybe an enhanced e-book--but it won't come from traditional book publishing, which is not set up to invent (more…)

Book Publishing: After the blockbuster, the niche

May 28, 2010

Tags: book publishing

Book Publishing 3.0, a video of Richard Eoin Nash's provocative half-hour talk on the future of book publishing. Nash's start-up, Cursor, is "a portfolio of niche social publishing communities, one of which will be called (more…)

How to Choose an Online Bookstore Selling E-Books

May 28, 2010

Tags: e-books, book publishing

Geoffrey A. Fowler's piece, The Chapter and Verse on E-Bookstores, in the Wall Street Journal (5-7-10), will confirm any suspicions you may have had that competitors fighting to capture the e-book (and e-book reader/gadget) market are making it tough for (more…)

Amazon, Macmillan and the struggle for control of e-book pricing

February 1, 2010

Tags: e-books, book publishing, Kindle, iPad

Publishers Lunch Deluxe reported to its subscribers Friday (Jan. 29) that Amazon had removed all buy buttons from Macmillan titles, including titles on customers' personal wish lists, in a power struggle with Macmillan over who could set the prices on Macmillan e-books. This was the "first shot across the
purchasing bow in big publishers' efforts to reset ebook pricing above the loss-leader $9.99 (more…)

Predictions about the future of book publishing ( a roundup)

January 8, 2010

Tags: book publishing

"[T]his whole notion that trashy books subsidized quality books is, if it were ever true, certainly not true now," says Michael Nash in a Galley Cat interview. "In fact, publishers typically overbid for big trashy books, because they need volume, they need hits. In fact, the quality backlist is subsidizing the frontlist. And while they are still (more…)

Will e-books make traditional publishers irrelevant?

June 22, 2009

Tags: e-books, book publishing

"The reason you make money as a publisher is that authors believe your participation adds value," writes Bryan Rosner, in a fascinating story for IBPA, the independent publishers association. "Although editing and graphic design are important, the major area in which you add value involves your knowledge of, and access to, printing and distribution resources. If you’re publishing e-books, authors may decide they don’t need you." (more…)

Jonathan Karp puts authors center front in 12 Steps to Better Book Publishing

April 21, 2009

Tags: book publishing, authors, marketing, editing, publishing process

"We all like to believe we are essential to a book's success, but the truth is, we are a marginal factor. The author, and the book, matter most, followed by the media, booksellers and readers. We're facilitators. The most important decisions we make are at the acquisition and positioning stages. That's where sales and (more…)