Self-Publishing Shifts Focus

shutterstock_127177601Changes in self-publishing aren’t only, or even primarily, a matter of market statistics and proliferating tools and services. They’re also a function of the ways authors today think about their work and business priorities in an evolving marketplace.

Appraising those changes at a recent conference, IPR License founder Tom Chalmers argues many of the issues that previously characterized the self-publishing world are becoming less relevant as others come to the fore.

For one thing, he says, “the traditional versus self-publishing argument is finished,” with the focus turning instead to authors’ evolving array of publishing options “and how to be as successful as possible through the route chosen.”

Much more.

Related: Digital Book World Solicits Authors’ Feedback on Publishing Experiences

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Judge Approves Apple Ebook Settlement (PW)
Judge Denise Cote approves Apple’s settlement over ebook pricing, clearing the way for the tech company to begin paying $400 million to readers and $50 million to lawyers. An appeals court that will review an earlier verdict in a few weeks could reduce those figures dramatically but isn’t expected to do so. Still, a final payout could be a long time coming.

Ebook Subscriptions, Bundling Gaining Ground (DBW)
As leading ebook subscription services Oyster and Scribd launch new ventures and ebook bundling initiatives multiply, BitLit co-founder and CEO Peter Hudson foresees both models becoming more integral parts of the digital ecosystem.
Related: Hear from Peter Hudson Live at DBW15

Amazon Sets up Shop in NYC (WSJ)
Amazon agrees to lease a twelve-story building across from the Empire State Building in New York City for seventeen years. The 470,000 square feet will be devoted primarily to office space and to support shipping operations. The rumored retail storefront Amazon was reportedly pursuing in advance of the holiday shopping season has not yet materialized, and it’s uncertain whether the new site will ultimately house one.

Amazon Readies New Video Service (NYPost)
Taking new aim at Netflix and Hulu, Amazon is said to be planning an advertising-supported video streaming service separate from the instant video package already available to Prime members.

Kobo Offers Ebook File, DRM Info (Good E Reader)
In a small but noteworthy step that provides ebook readers with greater information about the ebooks they purchase–and thus how compatible they’ll be with users’ devices–Kobo notes the file type and whether it’s equipped with Adobe DRM.
Related: Dave Anderson, VP of Vender Management at Kobo, to Speak at DBW15

Going Cold Turkey on Ebooks (Good E Reader)
Michael Kozlowski of Good E Reader decides the trouble of finding good ebooks is no longer worth the effort. The “organic abundance” digital publishing has wrought has made discovery challenges all but insurmountable for ebook readers, Kozlowski concludes, leading him to opt for the “artificial scarcity” that the traditional print publishing model enforces. It’s doubtful many other readers will make so dramatic a break with ebooks even as these concerns persist. Still, here’s how Kozlowski reached his tipping point.

Texas Approves New Crop of Textbooks (NPR)
After an involved, sometimes tense process working with textbook publishers, the Texas State Board of Education approves a new slate of social studies materials. Some of those books have come under fire, though, after educational officials pressed successfully to raise the profile of Moses as a purported influence on the American Founding Fathers and to dial down the role of slavery in instigating the Civil War.
Related: How Education Publishers Are Navigating the Current Market at DBW15

Children’s Books Go Gender Neutral (New Republic)
Ladybird Books agrees to stop assigning children’s titles to boys or girls according to the content. But as one observer sees it, “it’s not enough to switch the labels around. That’s only the start. We also need to look at what it is we’re labeling.”
Related: Publishers Launch Kids Conference at DBW15 Examines the Latest Trends in Children’s Publishing


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