DBW Weekly Roundup: 8/6/10

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:

Publishers’ New Programs, Special Offers Aim to Help Indie Booksellers

  • Goldberg noted that Perseus offers targeted discounts, especially on backlist titles, and an extensive rep team. “For a company that is quite a bit smaller than one of the big six we have maintained a field force that is the same size as many of them and in some cases actually larger,” he said. “I consider our field organization to be one of the best around.” He also noted that “independents play a disproportionate role in making books, establishing backlist, and supporting the list.” To aid retailers, “Perseus has almost by necessity had to refrain from the same old thinking and work outside the proverbial box,” said Goldberg. “PGW and Consortium and CDS, now Perseus Distribution, have all had to think progressively over the years. It’s part of life as a distributor.”

Amazon: We have 70-80 percent of e-book market

  • Some numbers we haven’t released before…80 percent of Kindle books we sell are sold to Kindle owners. They may have a Kindle app on a phone or an iPad or Mac or PC, but they at least have a Kindle. So 20 percent do not. I think it’s a combination of the health of both businesses. The device business continues to grow with a device [the second-generation Kindle] that’s over a year old, and then the content is growing both with the device sales and independently with the apps. We see a lot of customers start with apps and buy a Kindle later. We see others who’ve had a Kindle for a year and half and have an Android phone and they’ve started using the Android phone for Kindle in the last month or so.

‘The Printed Book Will Still Dominate for a Long Time to Come’

  • Dohle: I don’t agree with that prognosis. I think it’s too aggressive, too much hype. The market share for electronic books, even in the United States, will more likely be between 25 and 50 percent by 2015. But this development still represents a huge opportunity for us. It creates new growth. I meet people in America who say: I started reading again because of my e-reader — and so did my children.

What Americans Do Online: Social Media And Games Dominate Activity

  • “Despite the almost unlimited nature of what you can do on the web, 40 percent of U.S. online time is spent on just three activities – social networking, playing games and emailing leaving a whole lot of other sectors fighting for a declining share of the online pie,” said Nielsen analyst Dave Martin. Of the most heavily-used sectors, videos/movies was the only other to experience a significant growth in share of U.S. activity online. Its share of activity grew relatively by 12 percent from 3.5 to 3.9 percent. June 2010 was a major milestone for U.S. online video as the number of videos streamed passed the 10 billion mark. The average American consumer streaming online video spent 3 hours 15 minutes doing so during the month.

OpenSky helps authors develop their brands

  • Although everyone agrees stories need to be told and distributed — most still through words in the form of sentences that make paragraphs that make chapters — the industry remains uncertain about future ways to turn a profit. Naples’ escalator epiphany was that authors couldn’t rely on publishers and agents to sort out the future. They had to harness the Internet on their own, to find new ways not only to draw audiences but also to keep them, and make money at it too. She’d observed how musicians were sidestepping the major labels by using online tools to connect with and sell their music directly to fans. “There’s something through direct selling that can make a difference in an author’s career,” she remembered thinking that day.

Tweet of the Week

Sarah Weinman on B&N "sale"

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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