The discounting on Macmillan ebooks has begun. Amazon and its competitors have started offering lower prices on the big publisher’s best-selling titles, including Silver Linings Playbook and Killing Kennedy.
Per Pub Lunch, the price war that many in the industry anticipated never really materialized beyond skirmishes around a handful of top-selling titles. Well, not everyone in the industry saw that happening. Forrester analyst James McQuivey told us in April 2012 that he anticipated Amazon and others lowering prieces “slowly” and “strategically.”
But who predicted what and how right or wrong they were isn’t material now. What matters now is what happens next. Here’s something to watch: Today, the $14.99 ebook is an endangered species; tomorrow, it may be extinct. This has an effect on the entire ebook ecosystem. As consumers get used to paying less and less, will front-list best-sellers find it harder to gain purchase at $14.99? Will self-published and mid-list ebooks priced at $4.99 and $5.99 start seeing competition from front-list titles? Will prices go down across the board as a result? We’ll see.
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The rest of the day’s top news:
Open Access Hits the Big Stage (DBW)
A special issue of the journal Nature explored changes in academic and scientific publishing and it looks like the open access model is gaining more traction.
Toshiba Launches E-Reader in Japan (The Digital Reader)
Amazon, Kobo, Sony and now Toshiba. For a country that doesn’t do much e-reading, Japan sure does have a crowded ebook retail marketplace.
Another Non-Traditional Acquisition (PW)
Random House as inked a three-book deal with Beth Reekles, a 17-year-old phenom who has made her name gathering a massive following on the Wattpad reading/writing community.
Frommer’s Revenge (AP)
Google shut down the print versions of the Frommer’s travel guides soon after acquiring the property from Wiley. Founder Arthur Frommer has now bought the rights and will resume print publication.
Capturing Lightning in a Library (Macleans)
The British Library is undergoing a massive project: Storing and saving every British website, blog and e-newsletter “to preserve the nation’s ‘digital memory.’” Why? In the digital era, publication isn’t preservation.
National Library of The Netherlands Takes 80,000 Titles Online (Pub Perspectives)
In 2011, the national library began to digitize 160,000 of its titles. Now half of them are available online.
International Breakfast (BCIU.org)
Join Dr. Fabien J.C. Gehl, economic and trade affairs manager and trade negotiator for the directorate general for trade at the European Commission, for a free breakfast next week where he will be discussing trade and regulation issues for digital content and e-commerce between the U.S. and EU. You might learn something – or, at the very least, get fed.
iPad Five Rumors (BGR.com)
There are now unsubstantiated rumors swirling around the next generation of iPads. Of course you knew one would come eventually, but there is one interesting tidbit: Apparently, this newest iPad will be a complete revamp.
Tool to Analyze Twitter (Retweetlab.com)
We just wanted to bring you this neat tool that helps you analyze your tweets and their effectiveness. It probably won’t help you sell more books (just like Twitter!) but it’s fun (also like Twitter).
If the Book Industry Was Game of Thrones (TOC)
What if the book publishing industry was Game of Thrones? Well, the evil Cersei Lannister would be Amazon; the young and bold Jon Snow would be start-ups; and the drunk and befuddled King Baratheon would be the traditional publishers. One thing this item doesn’t highlight is how in Game of Thrones many of the characters you know well and come to love suddenly die. Also, if you haven’t read the books or seen the HBO adaptation, this won’t make any sense to whatsoever.
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Image Credit: Macmillan image via Macmillan