What’s Next for Ebook Retail?

shutterstock_142413079Now that Hachette and Amazon have settled, what comes next for the ebook retail landscape becomes a top question for authors and publishers.

But last week’s deal makes it unlikely that any major change on that front is imminent, says Digital Book World Conference Chair Mike Shatzkin.

With Hachette following Simon & Schuster in returning to the agency model of ebook pricing, the likelihood increases that Macmillan and HarperCollins will follow suit.

The considerably larger Penguin Random House may have more latitude to negotiate a different set of terms, but according to Shatzkin the “overall direction of the book market continues to tilt toward Amazon.”

Much more.


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Agency Ebook Pricing’s Past and Future (Gigaom)
One industry watcher points out the return to agency ebook pricing for Simon & Schuster and now Hachette wasn’t inevitable. How the Amazon-Hachette standoff unspooled over the past six months, seen alongside how it ended, offers some hints about the future of the model.
Learn more: The Ebook Retail and Distribution Landscape Reconsidered at DBW15

Doubts Persist for Subscription Ebooks (Good E Reader)
Tom Weldon, CEO of Penguin Random House UK, says the subscription model for ebooks isn’t viable. We’ve heard this argument before, notably from Simon Dunlop, CEO of the subscription provider Bookmate, who recently said he believes it only makes sense when backed by a social e-reading experience.
Related: Continuing the Debate on Subscription Ebooks (Free Download) | Subscription Ebook Leaders to Join DBW15

Penguin Random House Boosts Audiobook Discovery (Galleycat)
A new app offers free samples of audiobooks in a bid not only to help audiobook customers discover new titles but to convert more ebook readers into audiobook listeners. The audiobook market has heated up in recent weeks.

Kindles Get New Features (DBW)
A software update to Amazon’s latest Kindle and Kindle Voyage includes a word-definition function for young readers and English learners as well as a “Family Library” allowing users to access one another’s content after linking their accounts.

Rakuten Opens Online Bookstore (EnterpriseInnovation)
Kobo’s parent company Rakuten launches an online bookstore in Taiwan in an effort to take advantage of the growing e-commerce opportunity for print and ebooks. Rakuten has taken majors steps this year toward expanding its international book business.
Related: Four Leaders at Kobo to Speak at DBW15

Libraries Explore Custom E-Reading Apps (Good E Reader)
Since libraries work with a range of distributors for all of the digital content they supply patrons, some systems are developing their own apps to tidy up the user experience and–more important still–to help drive discovery.

Want to Monetize the Back-List? Digitize It (Pub Perspectives)
Finding effective ways to keep back-list titles a profitable part of their business isn’t just a challenge for publishers’ marketing departments. One industry insider suggests that digitizing even the most obscure content and making it available online can create markets where none previously existed.
Related: Three Tips for Monetizing Your Back-List | Inside Digital Marketing Today at DBW15

Join the Digital Book World Team (DBW–Job Opening)
Digital Book World is hiring an associate editor to help produce great content and programming for digitalbookworld.com. Learn more about the position and how to apply.

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