Six Things Publishers Can Learn From Venture Capitalists

shutterstock_3142799It’s been long known in the book publishing industry that publishers are a lot like venture capitalists. They have a pool of money that they use to invest in buying and developing content and then attempt to distribute and sell that content, hopefully at a profit overall.

Like venture capitalists, publishers try to make their pool of money go as far as possible. They need to be selective and quick. They need to make long term plans while laser-focused on the present.

As the business of publishing evolves, there are more cues publishers can take from the venture capital world.

Here are six lessons for publishers from venture capitalists.

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The rest of the day’s top news:

Readfy: Free, Advertiser-Supported “Spotify for Ebooks” (DBW)
The latest “Spotify for Ebooks” comes from Germany, where it has raised nearly €500,000 ($686,650) through a crowdfunding platform to get started. Readfy already has 3,500 beta testers and 15,000 titles. The price for readers is free. The venture is advertising-supported.

Revenue Declines Continue at Harlequin (DBW)
For years, the rise of ebooks and the threat of self-publishing has eaten into Harlequin’s earnings. The fourth quarter of 2013 – and the full year – were no different.

Three Questions Every Publishing Pundit Should Ask (The Shatzkin Files)
When it comes to predicting what’s next in the media business, everyone seems to have an opinion. What’s in shorter supply is circumspection. Here are three questions we all should be asking about predictions on book publishing’s future.
Related: Join Mike Shatzkin at Digital Book World 2015

Libraries Shift Toward Ebooks (Library Journal)
In 2013, 7% of library budgets went toward buying ebooks, and the bigger the library, the higher proportion of their budget they spent on ebooks. Ironically, librarians anecdotally say that ebooks being so easy to access and cheap for consumers has cut into their engagement with their patrons.

Publishers Association in UK to Try Library Ebook Pilot (The Digital Reader)
The pilot will study the effects on ebook lending in libraries on the publishing industry in the UK. Four libraries will initially participate in the program.

More Adaptive Learning (DBW)
Higher education content provider MindEdge has partnered with a start-up to bring adaptive learning to its content.
Related: How Digital Reading and Adaptive Learning Are Revolutionizing Education

As E-Reading Takes Off in India, So Does Self-Publishing (Business Insider India)
Ebook adoption is happening faster in India than local pundits expected. It’s being driven by rapid adoption of digital and mobile technologies. Authors there are starting to realize that self-publishing is a viable option for them.

Iran Opens “Piracy-Proof” Ebook Store (Iran Book News Agency) was launched with much fanfare in Iran, with the country’s cultural minister and other luminaries looking on. It will allow Iranians to purchase and read ebooks on an array of devices. It also claims to be piracy-proof.

Economists Say Ebook Judge Doesn’t Understand Markets (Fortune)
In an amici curiae brief filed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, two economists claim that Judge Denise Cote didn’t really understand both market forces and antitrust law when she found Apple guilty last summer of colluding to raise the prices of ebooks.

Booksellers Angry at L.A. Times Amazon Connection (Pub Lunch)
The L.A. Times has links to Amazon books pages in conjunction with its upcoming Festival of Books. Booksellers are unhappy.