DBW Weekly Roundup: 7/16/10

DBW News RoundupDigital Book World presents a weekly round-up of some of the most interesting news, commentary and tweets related to publishing that you may have missed, from all over the digital book world:

Pass the Gestalt, Please

  • Ebooks aren’t a secondary or tertiary income stream for publishers like subsidiary rights; ebook income replaces hardcover and/or paperback income. That’s right, ebook income replaces print income. So if the hardcover is out at $30 ($15 net after 50% reseller discount) and the ebook is available through an agency model at $15 ($10.50 net of agency 30% commission), the publisher is earning $4.50 less for every ebook purchased instead of the print book.

Indie ebooktailers and the Agency Model: Where Are They Now?

  • ToC:  Given that the wholesale pricing and terms will be changing (and possibly will vary according to publisher), how much work will it require to make programming changes on your site?

KLA:  Quite a lot of programming changes!  Matter of fact, we heard that a few of the smaller eBook retailers decided to just drop out since it was too much for them. We have a blog posted here about the implications of Sales Tax. We had to install a very comprehensive tax table to our backend system. In addition, A5 allows for no discounts and thus we had to modify our entire system to identify any A5 and prevent discounts on the site.

Is ePub, ePub or ePub?

  • We already have DRM diversion as Apple, Amazon and Adobe go their separate ways. We still have multiple format s with Amazon, Blio, epub, Apple epub, Adobe ebook and obviously these will develop different versions and be open to different interpretations. What we need to remember is that its not just the consumer that is faced with the question of interoperability but also the publisher and aggregator who has to hold and maintain them. Someone who invested early in digital files may now have to revisit these in order tomake them comply with the new demands. The recent change from 1.03 to 1.05 version of epub is a classic example of such a change.

Digital Comics: Now What?

  • DC co-publisher Jim Lee and executive v-p of sales and marketing John Rood were reached soon after DC announced their new initiative—a standalone app for iPad and iPhone and comics on sale via the popular ComiXology app—and were already excited about the possibilities to reach new readers while remaining careful to make sure their traditional retail partners are comfortable—or at least relatively comfortable—with the change. In DC’s case this took the form of a Retail Advisory committee. Rood said it been a very “collaborative” experience, and DC plans to put some of their digital profits back into strengthening the retail stores via “a mixture of things, from shared revenue to consumer incentives that close the loop to marketing funds that draw attention to the comic book shops as the epicenter of fandom.” Rood, like many others, feels that digital is a means to create new consumers.

Conde Nast’s Largest Web Property Literally Begging Users for Money

  • Reddit users to the rescue… right? Well, it seems that they’re not too keen on propping up Reddit financially. One user helpfully offered to buy the site; others wondered if they were just subsidizing Conde Nast’s tone-deaf decision to starve one of the biggest user-driven websites on the Net. And, yeah, Reddit has robust pageviews, a diehard community and strong growth. Instead of forcing Reddit to trade on that loyalty in what amounts to a fund-raising drive, Conde should realize that a few extra resources could go a long way to increasing profitability. Maybe they could cut back on those sweet holiday gifts?

The New Cowbell

  • One negative result is that this practice spurs people to “make numbers” through the overuse of re-tweeting and re-posting of content. This is the social media “echo chamber” run amok-without any sort of context or new content to hint why they posted it in the first place, “thought leaders” are reduced to talking loud, but saying nothing. If it were all about hitting post quotas, anyone could be a “thought leader.” Without any perspective or opinion, it’s a mindless, fruitless effort to be heard -rather than trying to emerge from the herd.

Tweet of the Week

Matthew Diener on Defining Failure


That’s just a taste of what you may have missed this week. To stay on top of the most interesting news, commentary and tweets related to publishing, keep in touch via our RSS feed, follow us on Twitter, join your publishing colleagues in our LinkedIn group, and connect with the broader DBW Network.


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