DBW Weekly Roundup: 9/24/10

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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:

Bargain Books in Transition
Judith Rosen, Publisher’s Weekly

Chris Eaton, senior v-p of purchasing, isn’t worried about going the way of Strictly or the other wholesalers that have recently closed. “In our opinion, they simply overpaid for product to gain market share,” he says. “We have positioned American Book Company as a low-cost operator. Being a 100% employee-owned company, everyone has a stake in our success and a desire to do things in the least expensive and most efficient way. Also we have a wider customer base with multiple trade channels.”

“We are very excited about the future of this industry,” says Eaton. “Although we realize that the industry will continue to change, we see only continued demand for bargain product.” Still, e-books remain the great unknown. “Obviously, they will have an impact,” says Haug. “Eventually, there will be less product available, but that’s still three or four years down the road. Will it be catastrophic? No.” Paper predicts that e-books will take their toll on popular fiction first, but that the two can co-exist. “There’s always been change,” he says. “First superstores were going to take over, then the Internet, and now e-books.”

E-books: A new chapter begins
Peter Nowak, CBC News

Number 1 is the availability of great content. E-books have been around for a long time, for 10 years, but 10 years ago you couldn’t get John Grisham or bestsellers. You could get some romance and some science fiction, but that was about it. Today you can get a ton of great content, and also today you have this range of different devices that are connected. You have these great screens that are like paper. Those contribute to the fact that consumers are ready to consume books in digital form. A lot of consumers, certainly in [the under] 45 category, have been asking the question, ‘Well why can’t I get my books this way? I can get all my music this way.’ The consumer is ready.

E-book sales begin to cannibalise print
Philip Jones, The Bookseller

The data, released as part of a seminar held yesterday with Enders Analysis, ‘Digital Seminar: e-books and their impact on the market’, showed genres such as science fiction and romance are “overperforming” thanks to the tastes of early adopters of e-books. For example, the e-book market share of the science fiction and fantasy sector globally for the 10 weeks since June was 10%, more than treble the genre’s market share of print book sales. The share taken by romance and saga books was 14%, seven times its print market share.

Evidence that Social Media Really Does Drive Sales
Lauren Fisher, TNW

Sony have proved the power of Twitter with a fairly covert social media campaign  that incentivised people to purchase their products. They offered over 1,500 Twitter users the chance to build a customised Sony Vaio laptop, as well as offering them a 10% discount. And it worked, as they reported an increase in Sony Vaio sales from Twitter in that period of $1.5 million. This is a pretty impressive figure and also puts into action this new way of buying – social commerce. Sony offered their consumers a more personliased shopping experience, where they had a real influence on the end product. What I like about this campaign is its simplicity, and the clear focus on sales. While many social media efforts focus on giveaways and competitions, this had a clear sales target at the core that offered something a little bit extra to users – in the customisation of the laptop. The users on Twitter feel privileged because they’re getting something no-one else can, with an added incentive of the discount to complete the purchase.

85% Of Teen Brand Word-Of-Mouth Occurs Offline
Karlene Lukovitz, MediaPost – Engage:Teens

The significant overlap in the brands appearing in the teen and general public top 20 lists appears to have much to do with “visual cues” as WOM triggers, Keller observes. He cites recent research from Wharton marketing professor Jonah Berger confirming that the products that tend to have the most sustained WOM over time are ones for which we most frequently see visual cues in our daily lives – frequently in the form of actual product usage, as well as advertising and marketing. This, says Keller, underlines the importance of taking a holistic, sustained approach to WOM that includes product usage, advertising, point-of-sale activity and promotional strategies. For marketers looking to engage teens, in particular, a key value in teen versus general public brand WOM behavior comparisons may lie in using them as a jumping-off point to analyze what controllable factors tend to drive WOM among teens — specifically, whether the channels and messages being employed by their brands facilitate sparking conversations about them, Keller says.

A New Way to Market Music on Spotify
Ad Age

Each chapter of the novel has been published as a track on Spotify and is located by typing a code into Spotify’s search field. At the end of each chapter the listener is offered a choice, and can progress through the story by searching for the next code — ultimately leading to disaster or success. Throughout the experience the listener encounters music from Hurts’ album “Happiness.” Getting to one of the novel’s possible endings without dying offers listeners a further preview of the album. In the first week the novel received 160,000 streams, with more than a third of the listeners making it through the first ten chapters. Forty percent of streams on all these chapters came from 18- to 22-year-olds; another 15% to 20% came from 23- to 27-year-olds.

Tweet of the Week

DBW Tweet of the Week: #fbcc10 attendees

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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