Paper and EBooks

Publishersweekly has an intersting story on E-Boos.With more than 130 of its titles available as downloadable electronic editions, St. Martin\'s Press plans to release many more of its titles simultaneously in print and electronic editions. This could be the new standard for publishers. They are already saying Cryptography Is an Urgent Need.

SMP announced a list of 28 titles currently scheduled for publication throughout 2000 that will be released in paper and digital formats. And Steve Cohen, senior v-p of finance and administration at St. Martin\'s Press, told PW the house has 300 to 400 titles that it could conceivably release in both forms. \"Eventually, every SMP title will be released simultaneously in print and in digital form,\" he said. And those numbers, Cohen added, don\'t even include Tor, SMP\'s science fiction imprint. \"We get a lot of requests for Tor editions,\" he said. Currently, SMP makes the digital files of selected titles available to a variety of e-book distribution channels for conversion into all available e-book formats

Cohen said that beginning with Monica\'s Story in 1998, SMP made 130 of its titles available in a variety of downloadable formats, including Rocket eBook, SoftBook and Palm Pilot editions. Rather than the traditional publishing \"80/20\" model (80% of sales come from 20% of the titles), Cohen said 118 of the titles reported at least some sales and the top 10 sellers represented 50% of the sales. \"People were buying across the list,\" said Cohen. General fiction, rather than science fiction or nonfiction as might be expected, was the top-selling category. The top five e-titles sold 500 to 1,000 copies each, and the next five sold 250 copies each. \"To me, this says that the market is hungry for material. These numbers are very encouraging,\" said Cohen. SMP\'s bestselling e-titles included Digital Fortress by Dan Brown and Reckless Homicide, a thriller by Ira Genberg.

\"We\'re committed to learning more about e-book publishing,\" said Cohen. E-books, he said, \"bring the author to a wider audience. They generate incremental business and I don\'t believe they steal print sales.\" Besides, Cohen said, \"e-books are getting great media attention and that attracts even more attention to your titles.\"

Cryptography Is an Urgent Need

At the Digital Rights Management seminar held in New York last month, Martin Eberhard, CEO of NuvoMedia, urged e-book publishers to be sure that they are taking the necessary steps to prevent the widespread illegal copying that has already caused problems in the music CD and DVD video.

As publishers begin to follow music into the brave new world of electronic distribution, Eberhard said, \"publishers can learn from the music industry\'s expensive mistakes of taking copyright enforcement lightly.\" The best way for publishers to protect copyright is to combine a legal approach with effective technical safe guards, Eberhard said.

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