“At a time when Amazon sells nearly half of all their books, book publishers come to negotiations with less leverage,” according to author and New Yorker contributor Ken Auletta.
That remains the case even now that Hachette and Simon & Schuster have reached new distribution deals with the e-tailer, giving both of them back the right to set their own prices on ebooks.
There are a number of ways Auletta says publishers can try to regain some clout in their dealings with Amazon, including by mergers and acquisitions and by opening up new distribution channels.
None of the approaches publishers might pursue in order to rein in the e-tailer will be easy to pull off. Perhaps a better question is whether they should attempt it.
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Unfinished Business at Authors United (PW)
Authors United, the group launched by Hachette author Douglas Preston amid the publisher’s standoff with Amazon, hasn’t dissolved now that the battle is over. The organization still plans to approach the U.S. Justice Department to press for an antitrust investigation. “The main problem hasn’t gone away,” Preston says.
Kobo Sizes up the Ebook Market (Good E Reader)
Valuing the ebook market and forecasting its future growth is a tricky business, but that hasn’t stopped industry analysts from trying. Kobo, for its part, puts global ebook sales at $14.5 billion and expects that figure to reach $22 billion by 2017. More from the ebook retailer’s new “Book Report” and remarks from Kobo president Michael Tamblyn.
Upping the Quality Standard for Digital Content (DBW)
Finalists for the 2015 Digital Book Awards were announced on Friday, prompting this Q&A with program director Anne Kostick on the judging process and changes in the digital content marketplace. As Kostick puts it, “The formerly low bar is higher now, but the high bar is still cleared only by a handful.”
Were Discovery Better, Most Kids Would Read More (GalleyCat)
A new survey from Scholastic suggests book discovery challenges prevent up to 73% of children from reading as much as they’d like to. That figure is based only on young readers’ own stated intentions, but it still points up a widespread desire for good content that should encourage children’s publishers working to improve discoverability.
Related: Ebooks and E-Reading Devices to Top Kids’ Holiday Gifts
More Subscription Ebooks for Kids (The Digital Reader)
Nabi rolls out a subscription service exclusive to its line of children’s tablets, offering ebooks alongside games, video, music and other multimedia children’s content for a monthly fee of $5.
Related: Publishers Launch Kids Explores New Frontiers in Digital Children’s Content
Rethinking Social Media in Book Marketing–Webcast (DBW)
The rising volume of new titles combined with changes in how social media platforms work is causing the marketing challenges to pile up for authors and publishers. This webcast, the second in a two-part series, takes an advanced look at how to coordinate social messaging across platforms, control how content is shared and convert engagement into discovery and sales. Sign up for tomorrow’s free webcast and save 40% off the price of this one.
Libraries’ Shift to Digital Reaching New Patrons (Good E Reader)
As libraries evolve into much more digitally-driven institutions, many are pursuing ways to bring information and tech resources to underserved communities. Surveying some of those efforts, Good E Reader’s Michael Kozlowski concludes that for libraries, “the advent of digital is opening up an entirely new demographic of user.”
Google to Lend E-Reading Devices to NYC Library Users (Teleread)
Google partners with New York City’s three library systems for a new program designed to lend wifi-enabled devices to about 10,000 patrons, plus Chromebooks for public school students.