The Amazon Effect (Roundtable: 5/20/10)

#DBW RoundtableThe 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: The Amazon Effect

This episode of The Roundtable was webcast live at 1pm EDT on Thursday, May 20, 2010.

Subscribe to the audio podcast here. DBW Members can access the interactive video archive of The Roundtable here.

Featuring:

Pablo Defendini, Interactive Producer, Open Road Integrated Media
Kate Rados, Dir. of Digital Initiatives, Chelsea Green
Bridget Warren
, Former Co-Owner, Vertigo Books

Special Guests:

Jason Allen Ashlock, Founder, Movable Type Literary Group
Jason Pinter, Best-selling Author and Former Editor

Moderated by:

Guy LeCharles Gonzalez, Dir. of Programming & Business Development, Digital Book World

Links:

Is Konrath’s SHAKEN Change You Can Believe In? – Guy LeCharles Gonzalez

Konrath makes several interesting points in explaining his decision that every publisher should take note of:

1) “I signed a print deal with a company that can email every single person who has every bought one of my books through their website, plus millions of potential new customers.” Publishers with direct connections to their readers are better equipped to compete in a digital book world than those who only sell through intermediaries.

2) “Amazon is smart, savvy, and pays attention to my suggestions. The Kindle version of Shaken is going to be released for $2.99.” Not $9.99 or $14.99, but closer to the $1.99 he had so much success with on his own.

SHAKEN Shakes Things Up – Lee Goldberg

I woke up this morning to a bunch of emails asking me why this is a significant development in publishing. How is this any different, they ask, than what Joe is already doing self-publishing  his unpublished work on the Kindle?

In essence, Amazon Encore is a publisher that has picked up Joe’s mid-list series from Hyperion. They are publishing the book first as an ebook then later as a trade paperback. The difference here is that the publisher is also the largest bookstore on earth and will put their considerable promotional and marketing might behind his book. But there’s a bit more to it than that.

Amazon as Book Publisher May Change the Game for the Industry – Sarah Weinman

In other words, if James Patterson wakes up and realizes he can get even richer by dealing directly with Amazon (or Apple, or Google, or Barnes & Noble, or all of them), and cuts out his longtime publisher Little, Brown, then and only then will the game change drastically — and it will also be game over for publishing as we know it.

The Konrath Effect: Will New Technology Ruin Talented Authors? – Jason Pinter

Amazon and other online retailers have made it incredibly easy to publish books on their servers. They give each author the ability to format books price them how the authors themselves see fit. There is certain freemarket sensibility here that is inspiring, and in a way each author becomes the proprietor of their own small business. However, I feel that the example of Konrath will inspire other, less successful and even less talented authors to publish their works online. They might see the Kindle as a bypass, a way to showcase their works that the Evil, Stupid Publishing Overlords in New York were too blind to realize are, in fact, literary masterpieces.

Barnes & Noble Announces PubIt!™, an Easy-to-Use Digital Publishing and Distribution Platform for Independent and Self-Publishers

The announcement marks Barnes & Noble’s latest move to continue to build one of the world’s largest digital catalogs, spanning eBooks, journals, periodicals and other types of reading material. PubIt! titles will be distributed through BN.COM and Barnes & Noble’s eBookstore, which currently offers more than one million digital titles to millions of dedicated customers in-store and online.

Face It – In Music, Devaluation Is The New Reality – PaidContent: UK

Actually, Rhapsody and Napster – and labels – have been asking this very question since the early part of last decade.  When digital music conferences were packed and billions were at stake, subscription success was almost viewed as a future truism by some.  A matter of time.  So many songs, so much access, how could it not make sense?

Maybe the new rule is that, if it looks good on paper, it’ll never work.  If it seems like an obvious winner, maybe it’s destined to lose.  But the seemingly-illogical consumer reaction can be dissected.

Twitter (as RTd by @digibookworld)

RT @jasonashlock: Konrath deal w/ AMZN is not a gamechanger, but it is a harbinger. @pablod #dbw

RT @babetteross: major authors are likely to stay with pubs to take advantage of the larger distribution/rights benefits @jasonpinter #dbw

RT @pa4culture: #DBW Pubs letting go of midlist authors – Amazon has positioned itself to scoop those authors up, utilize backlist for Kindle

RT @deegospel: Patterson’s web presence is about satisfying the reader, creating a community, which keeps him in current and wanted #dbw

RT @MissAdventuring: #dbw Healthy competition among tech and publishing will create some very interesting solutions tbd.

RT @tstcpublishing: and, as well, you have to wonder/worry about a vertical monopoly with Amazon #dbw

RT @pa4culture: #DBW In last moments @jasonpinter: 1st mention of bricks/mortar. Not liking the sustainability of B&N. @glecharles: B&N.

RT @muttinmall: Can’t count out a brand w/ 750 stores that are performing just fine. I think @glecharles is right; sales will be up. #DBW

RT @pa4culture: #DBW Good luck with figuring out who will be out in front by Jan 1. Oy. Managing the mishmash indeed.

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