How the Simon & Schuster–Amazon Deal Changes the Math

shutterstock_3129803It’s only been a few days since Simon & Schuster confirmed reaching an agreement with Amazon, and already there’s copious speculation about the terms involved and what’s next for Hachette and others.

The prevailing theory is that Simon & Schuster has committed to paying Amazon higher co-op fees in return for what the publisher characterized as a “version” of agency ebook pricing.

As for how the deal shifts the playing field for other publishers negotiating with Amazon, opinion is more divided. Some argue the Hachette standoff played in Simon & Schuster’s favor, while others see Amazon still holding most of the cards and the new agreement giving it even more clout as that battle continues.

Here’s a roundup of all those views and the logic behind them.

Related: Sue Fleming, VP, Executive Director of Content and Programming for Simon & Schuster Digital Joins DBW15


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Test-Driving Kindle Scout (The Digital Reader)
One author submits his manuscript to Amazon’s new crowdsourced publishing program, then explains why, adding, “If I do get the contract and come to regret it, well, as they say around here, I owe you a Coke.” Here are his top seven reasons.

How to Break Rules on Twitter and Sell More Books (Pub Perspectives)
Sam Missingham, Head of Events at HarperCollins UK, advocates a more personable approach to social media that isn’t entirely governed by the goals and principles of digital marketing departments.
Related: Get up to Speed on the Latest Social Media Strategies at DBW15

Blloon Aims to Undersell Ebook Subscription Services (The Digital Reader)
A new platform created by txtr founder Thomas Leliveld goes live in the UK, offering readers a handful of ways to access ebooks more cheaply than unlimited subscription-based services like Scribd and Kindle Unlimited. More details.

Tolino Moves into Italy (Futurebook)
The German ebook retailer and device maker partners with Messaggerie Italiane, Italy’s largest bookseller and distributor and third-largest publishing group. The move brings one industry watcher to remark, “I’m not aware of another instance in which a national brand has closed the gap in ebook sales with Amazon [so] quickly.”
Related: How Messaggerie Italiane Is Pioneering New Approaches to Data

Bookspan Reboots, Turns Publisher (Pub Lunch)
Bookspan relaunches its longstanding Book-of-the-Month Club and rolls out a series of affiliated publishing imprints, some of whose titles will be marketed through Bookspan book clubs.

Charting the Ebook Market’s Slowdown (Forbes–infographic)
Ebooks are still growing, but at a sluggish pace, leaving some analysts to question whether they’ll ever do away with print. This infographic offers a snapshot of the current landscape in the U.S. and worldwide.
Related: Learn how to navigate the digital transition at home and abroad at Digital Book World 2015

Indie Booksellers Appeal to Authors (Galleycat)
A campaign spearheaded by independent booksellers turns its focus on authors, in the words of best-selling “Lemony Snicket” author, to “remind both authors and booksellers of their local, less monolithic resources, and to improve general esprit de corps at a disheartening time.”

Library Lends Ebooks to Airport Travelers (Good E Reader)
The San Antonio Public Library installs two lending kiosks in the San Antonio International Airport. Travelers passing through can receive free temporary library cards allowing them to check out up to three digital items, including ebooks, audiobooks and music, for a week.

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