The Roundtable is a live, interactive webcast gathering some of the most outspoken industry professionals to debate the hottest publishing issues of the week, as being discussed in traditional media, the blogiverse and on Twitter. From celebrity book deals to eBook rights and pricing to [insert YOUR pet topic here] — if it’s related to books, it’s on the agenda.
Topic: 2010: Highs and Lows
This episode of The Roundtable was webcast live at 1pm EDT on Thursday, December 2, 2010.
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Guy LeCharles Gonzalez, Dir. of Programming & Business Development, Digital Book World
The Most Dramatic Publishing Event of 2010? Easy, the Introduction of Agency Pricing for E-books
Mike Shatzkin, Publishing Perspectives
Adding to the drama surrounding the shift to agency was the fact that the biggest of the Big Six trade houses, Random House, sidestepped it. This put them in a position where they a) sell their books for more per unit, b) see their books offered to the consumer for less per unit, c) can tell agents their royalties are higher per unit, d) are not offered in Apple’s iBookstore (but are available on all Apple devices through Kindle, Nook, and Kobo, at least), and e) have earned the enmity of the other publishers in the Big Six. The Agency 5 see themselves, not without reason, as having sacrificed revenue at a difficult time for the industry’s long run good while Random House takes tactical advantage of the shift (and, in the words of one CEO, are “gloating” about it).
Apple iPad Steals Market Share from Amazon Kindle
Danny King, Daily Finance
As the e-reader market has grown, Kindle’s share has slid to 47% from 62% between Aug. 1 and Nov. 8, while the iPad’s market share doubled to 32% over the same period, according to the report. The survey also indicated that people intending to buy an e-reader during the holiday season are about 25% more likely to purchase an iPad than a Kindle. The report suggests that Apple may be threatening one of Amazon’s top profit centers even as the company continues to grow. Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, posted a third-quarter profit that rose 16% as sales of electronics and other products, including Kindle, surged 68% from a year earlier.
RH and Wylie Come to Terms; Random ‘Wins’
Rachel Deahl, Publishers Weekly
We are pleased to announce that The Wylie Agency and Random House have resolved our differences over the disputed Random House titles which have been included in the Odyssey Editions e-book publishing program. These titles are being removed from that program and taken off-sale. We have agreed that Random House shall be the exclusive e-book publisher of these titles for those territories in which Random House U.S. controls their rights.
Dark Horse Circumvents iTunes, Plans to Sell Direct
Guy LeCharles Gonzalez, Digital Book World
Launching in January 2011 with over 130 individual issues and “several dozen collections,” Dark Horse Digital Publishing will be a proprietary, web-based platform accessible via any device with a browser (but not Kindles, Nooks, or Kobos), as well as via proprietary apps for iOS, Android and others to follow. Their ecommerce model will be “very similar to the Kindle experience and as seamless as possible for the user,” with a Dark Horse-branded app replacing their title-specific apps (400,000+ downloads to-date), and an online store where comics can be purchased, downloaded and synced wherever they’re being read. Existing standalone apps will be upgraded and those comics migrated into users’ accounts in the new store. Hershman noted that selling direct gives them full control and flexibility on pricing and availability of their content.