Publishing

Can the iPad topple the Kindle, and Save the Book Business?

Ken Auletta of The New Yorker writes:

On the morning of January 27th—an aeon ago, in tech time—Steve Jobs was to appear at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, in downtown San Francisco, to unveil Apple’s new device, the iPad. Hundreds of journalists and invited guests, including Al Gore, Yo-Yo Ma, and Robert Iger, the C.E.O. of Disney, milled around the theatre, waiting for Jobs to appear. The sound system had been playing a medley of Bob Dylan songs; it went quiet as the lights came up onstage and Jobs walked out, to the crowd’s applause.

In the weeks before, the book industry had been full of unaccustomed optimism; in some publishing circles, the device had been referred to as “the Jesus tablet.” The industry was desperate for a savior. Between 2002 and 2008, annual sales had grown just 1.6 per cent, and profit margins were shrinking.

Panoramic View

Writer Dave Eggers’ publishing house, McSweeney’s, recently released a one-off newspaper called Panorama. The 328-page paper was meant as a celebration of the print form and a demonstration of why newspapers are still uniquely relevant in the digital era. Brooke interviewed Dave live onstage in Washington DC, and asked him about the future of print. You can play the file using the embedded player or you can download the MP3 of the piece here. Transcript here.
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The Race Against Lord Mandelson

While you might not think so, the starter's pistol has metaphorically gone off.

Death of the 'Library Voice'

From the NYTimes City Room Blog, complaints from a patron who finds the new library a bit too noisy.

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iPad Could Help Self-Publishers Kick Open Doors

Some writers hope that the iPad will make it easier for writers to bypass traditional publishers. They also can bypass the library. There is a book in the article that has sold 10,000 copies at Lulu. WorldCat has a record for the book but shows that no libraries hold it.

Full piece on Weekend Edition on NPR

WorldCat record for: Cloud : seven clear business models

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A Housekeeping Note

Posted by request of the Producer at Erie Looking Productions, Gloria Kellat: As a reminder, the LISNews Bulletin will be released at Computers in Libraries 2010. Blake will be giving out copies at no cost to those receiving them as this is a market test to see whether or not there might be interest in a continuing print serial. Although Blake will be giving copies away, the printing cost remains real. We have a patron page in which for USD$10 you will be listed with your chosen affiliation statement in recognition of your support. We already had one benefactor throw down and show their support. To make this happen we need others who are brave enough to stand up as well. Send USD$10 with your name and affiliation via PayPal to [email protected] by April 5th. I will ensure that thank you notes are sent to benefactors but must stress that while such donations can come from anywhere on the planet they are not tax-deductible.

First Agency Model Casualty: Amazon Not Selling New Penguin e-Books

Truth is stranger than April Fools.

Following up on what was expressed in the Shelf-Awareness April 1st edition as the "buy or bye" button

...key among the changes: all book titles listed on Amazon will have "bye" buttons next to the "buy" buttons, only one of which can be activated at a time...

Penguin and Amazon have failed to reach an agreement over terms of sale. As a result, Penguin e-books released beginning today will not be available at the Kindle store. E-books released prior to April 1 are still for sale at the $9.99 price.

Penguin CEO David Shanks explained that Penguin has reached new terms of sale agreements with a number of e-booksellers, but not Amazon. "Our conversations with Amazon are ongoing and we do hope to continue our long-time relationship with them," Shanks said. Shanks noted that new Penguin e-books "are available through Barnes and Noble.com, Sony, Kobo, eBooks.com, reader applications on the iPhone and soon on the iBookstore for the iPad. Additionally, we're working with our digital delivery partners (Ingram, Overdrive, and Baker & Taylor) to make your eBooks even more widely available."

Publishers Weekly reports.

It's a New Month in the Book Trade

Shelf-Awareness on the first of the new month for your viewing pleasure:

Brave New Book World: Adapting to the Coup d'Etat/Apple Shines with iTie iNs/Borders' New Two-for-One Deal/Never-Ending Conference Becomes a Reality/Amazon Opens Northern Front

...also an ad for "Thin Thighs in Thirty Days", which claims NOT to be an April fool if you can believe it...

Amazon's Buy Button Rumors Swirl

Rumors swirled today that Amazon (AMZN) could revoke the buy buttons for books by Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Penguin, or Hachette if the major publishers can't strike an eBook deal with the online bookseller.

Neither Amazon nor the publishers went on the record about the eBook pricing debate. However, the New York Times has spoken with unnamed publishing executives about the terms of the eBook deal--noting that major publishers are "reluctant" to strike this kind of deal: "Amazon has agreed in principle that the major publishers would be able to set prices in its Kindle store as well. But it is also demanding that they lock into three-year contracts and guarantee that no other competitor will get lower prices or better terms."

Around the Internet, various commentators weighed in. eBookNewser noted that "it's a war out there" also reporting on Amazon's quiet launch of a Kindle App for the Mac.

The Arrival of Enriched E-Books

It's not 'just a book', it's "enriched". From the AP:

David Baldacci's next thriller, "Deliver Us from Evil," comes out April 20 as a hardcover, an e-book, and in an "enriched" electronic version which will include passages deleted from the final text, research photos, an audio interview and video footage of Baldacci at work.

"I have a pretty cool office, if I do say so myself," the author told The Associated Press during a telephone interview Monday from his office just outside Washington, D.C., where he sets many of his books.

"For a long time it seemed all people were talking about was pricing and the timing of the e-book. And I want to bring it back to the books themselves, to the content, because that's what should matter. I want people to have a great experience and give them a behind-the-scenes look at what I do, the way you would have it on a DVD."

The "enriched" Baldacci release will cost $15.99, according to Maja Thomas, senior vice president for Hachette Book Group's digital and audio publishing. The regular e-book will start at $14.99, then come down to $12.99 once it becomes a top seller, old hat for a Baldacci novel.

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