Amazon and Publishers: Predator and Prey

cheetahReheating a story from his well-read book on Amazon, The Everything Store, author Brad Stone talked of Amazon’s policy of viewing publishers as “sickly” gazelles to be eaten by Amazon, the cheetah, in negotiations.

Many publishers sitting in the audience at Digital Book World 2014 likely view the largest bookseller in the world with a wary eye, and in a series of panels and talks there wasn’t much said that would make them lower their current level of vigilance.

In fact, now more than ever publishers should be alert, said Stone, even as ebook sales may be flattening in the U.S.

“Jeff Bezos and his colleagues do not believe that the pace of change in any media business is stagnating,” said Stone. “If ebook sales are flattening, Amazon will find a way to spark them.”

Much more.

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The rest of the day’s top news:

Simon & Schuster Expands Ebook Library Lending Program (DBW)
The last of the biggest U.S. publishers to experiment with selling ebooks to libraries is expanding its experiment, started in April of 2013 – but with caveats that may not make librarians too happy.

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DBW14: Wall Street Hates Book Publishers (DBW)
Publicly traded companies that own major book publishers would be so much more beloved among investors if only they would sell their publishing assets, said Cramer.

DBW14: Authors Not Satisfied With Publishers or Self-Publishing (DBW)
In a major survey conducted by Digital Book World and Writer’s Digest, some 9,000 authors revealed that they have a lot in common with cable and satellite TV subscribers: They’re just not satisfied.

Related: What Advantage Do Traditional Publishers Offer Authors?

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DBW14: Forceful Pitches From Ebook Subscription Services But Nothing New (DBW)
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DBW14: Will Amazon Win Ebook Subscription Battle? (Businessweek)
While publishers remain skeptical of upstart ebook subscription services, Amazon is already well on its way to owning the market.

International Ebook Market Growth (The Digital Reader)
The Russian, Brazilian and Dutch ebook markets are all still showing strong growth even as the U.S. ebook market stagnates.

DBW14: Five Kinds of Direct-to-Consumer Sales Relationships for Publishers (DBW)
More publishers today are selling their wares directly to consumers. Here are five ways to look at the challenge of doing so.

DBW14: Publishers Must Offer Services, Not Just Books, to Make Subscriptions Work (DBW)
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HarperCollins Partners on Transmedia Project (DBW)
HarperCollins has formed a partnership with Digital Book Awards-winning Niantic Project on a new transmedia venture.

DBW14: Publisher-Start-up Survey Results (Good E Reader)
Three-quarters of book publishing start-ups consider themselves to be disruptive to the industry.

DBW14: Publishers Vs. Start-ups (PW)
Will book publishing start-ups and publishers ever really get along? Well, in many cases, they already do. And in some cases, they don’t need to.

Case Study: Bubble Bath Promotion From Chick-Lit Author (DBW)
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