DBW Weekly Roundup: 1/7/11

DBW Weekly 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.

DriveThru’s take on “app pricing” RPGs
Fred Hicks, Evil Hat Productions

“In the era of 99 cent apps and songs, it is easy to envision a world where the price of digital content continues to fall. Some publishers have been experimenting with low price points and finding some success. I want to offer a few counterpoints to the low price approach.

First, consumers often base their purchasing not on absolute price but rather on price expectation. If you’re not familiar with the term “price anchoring”, I recommend you check out Mintlife’s article here. Consumers will respond to a $1 RPG sale because their price expectation for RPGs in anchored at $15-$50 for a core rulebook and $5-$25 for a supplement. When the price they pay is far outside of their expectation it ignites interest in grabbing the deal.

If all publishers trended prices down to $1 for an RPG, then customers will re-anchor their price expectations at that level and $1 RPGs would no longer ignite large sales volumes for any single publisher. Instead $15 RPGs will seem expensive, much like any app over $1.99 is “expensive”.

Survey Says: The iPad Is Not A Kindle Killer
Erick Schonfeld, TechCrunch

The Kindle appeals to heavy readers. Bookworms are a niche audience, but a lucrative one. About half of the people surveyed read between zero and ten books a year. But 16 percent read more than 25 books a year.

Week after holidays, e-book sales outdo print
Bob Minzesheimer and Carol Memmott, USA TODAY

Barnes & Noble, the nation’s largest bookstore chain, announced it sold 1 million e-books Christmas Day. Amazon’s Russ Grandinetti says the online bookseller began seeing e-books outsell print best sellers in October, but “our print business continues to grow. We see e-books as an additive more than a substitute.”

UK’s Digital Music Boost Slowed In 2010
Robert Andrews, paidContent

BPI figures for the last year available, 2009, showed how UK recorded music income grew 1.4 percent to £928.8 ($1446.69) million on “a strong fourth quarter and increased digital income stream”. If these new volume figures are to be believed, however, 2010 income growth is likely to be reduced or negative when the BPI releases figures in February. It all places the industry in a familiar contradiction – hailing the success effect of digital, but lamenting what it argues is the continuing hurt of illegal downloading…

As Borders Moves to the Brink, Barnes & Noble Has a Happy Holiday
Sarah Weinman, Aol Daily Finance

As CEO William Lynch said in the accompanying statement, B&N owes its big holiday success story to a four-letter word: NOOK, its e-reader brand. More specifically, the NOOKColor, which the company introduced last fall just before the holiday season got underway, has proven to be a huge hit. “NOOKcolor was one of the most sought-after gifts this holiday season and has quickly become the best-selling device at Barnes & Noble,” said Lynch. “And, even more encouraging to us, NOOK’s popularity is helping to drive new sales at both our stores and online, where 60% of NOOKcolor owners are new customers of our Barnes & Noble digital bookstore.”

C. Suisse upgrades Barnes & Noble on Borders woes
Phil Wahba and Lisa Von Ahn, Reuters

Balter said about 70 percent of the chains’ stores overlap. Fewer Borders stores would ease pressure on Barnes & Noble, whose retail sales of paper books have fallen as readers migrate to e-books. Barnes & Noble would take about 18 percent of Borders sales, bringing in an additional $400 million, if the rival chain were to close all of its stores, Balter estimated.

Simon & Schuster Cancels Borders Events
Edward Champion

On Thursday, The New York Times‘s Julie Bosman and Michael J. De La Merced reported that “several people said they were scrutinizing future print runs and examining the schedules of author events at Borders in February and March, with the expectation that they would be canceled.” Bosman and De La Merced did not name any specific sources, but an investigation has revealed that Simon & Schuster has taken steps to cancel events as early as next week.

2011 Social Media Predictions: Now Social Media Marketing Gets Tough
Augie Ray, Forrester

In 2011, social media marketing doesn’t get any easier. Although the medium is maturing, that maturity brings with it a host of new challenges for marketers. Primary among those challenges is that social media is becoming an awfully cluttered and noisy space.  As more people adopt social behaviors and more marketers increase their social media budgets, it is tougher than ever to cut through the noise, reach an audience and make an impression. In addition, Forrester is seeing a marked increase in the number of people worried about privacy in social channels, and this concern is growing most significantly in boomers and seniors.

Tweet of the Week

Dark Horse Comics on Reader Engagement

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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