Authors Front and Center in Multi-Channel Publishing

Librios Hal Robinson digital ebook publishing authors multi-channelAsk most authors and they’ll probably tell you that what makes it into their books is just a fraction of all the thought, research and imagination that went into conceiving it.

But as Librios, Ltd. CEO Hal Robinson sees it, the publishing process isn’t yet set up to extract the most value from what digital production expert Laura Brady recently termed the “artifacts on the proverbial cutting room floor.”

Picking up a thread from his piece on multi-channel publishing last week, Robinson explains that change begins with the ways publishers partner with authors.

“The very diversity of digital media all but necessitates authors’ deeper, ongoing involvement in the publishing process,” Robinson writes.

And from a business standpoint, “authors and publishers may both find they can reduce risk through diversification: a multi-channel approach means not everything will stand or fall on one throw.”

Much more.

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Simon & Schuster: “No Negative Effect” from Agency (Pub Lunch)
CEO Carolyn Reidy says the publisher is so far “not seeing any negative effect of the return” to agency ebook pricing after inking a new distribution contract with Amazon in October last year, but that “we’re working hard to make that happen.” Sales for the first quarter of 2015 at Simon & Schuster are down 4.5%.

Ebooks Grow Modestly in Soft UK Market (Futurebook)
New full-year figures from the UK-based Publishers Association for 2014 show digital sales up in a number of categories, but not enough to compensate for the decline in print. In this thorough breakdown of the data, one industry watcher wagers that the ebook market, while undeniably slowing down in the UK much as it is in the U.S., still has not yet peaked.

Mobile Search Pulls Ahead (Good E Reader)
Just weeks after changing its algorithm to prioritize mobile-optimized websites in search results, Google announces that “more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan.”

Pre-Launch, Jet Seems a Better Bargain than Amazon (WSJ)
The much-talked-about hasn’t even launched publicly, so the pricing analysis one research group recently undertook is little more than a forecast at the moment. Still, the e-commerce newcomer whose pricing model seeks to do Amazon’s one better does seem to delivering lower prices on balance.

Japanese Publisher Tries In-Flight Ebooks (Ink, Bits & Pixels)
Not to be outdone by digital content programs other publishers have rolled out for travelers elsewhere, the Japanese publisher Booklive partners with All Nippon Airways to offer a selection of its own titles to passengers flying between Tokyo and Munich.

Self-Publishing Platform Delivers 100% Royalty to Authors (PW)
Gatekeeper Press, a self-publishing start-up that’s just entered a very crowded field, offers a 100% royalty rate to authors who publish through its platform. In addition, Gatekeeper authors retain their print and digital rights and control the pricing of their titles.

Alibaba to Invest in Indian Device Maker (Reuters)
The Chinese e-tailer is reportedly in negotiations to acquire a 20% stake in Micromax Informatics, an Indian smartphone manufacturer, for about $1.2 billion. The move would help Alibaba play a stronger hand in shaping India’s mobile market—the rapid growth of which is likely already contributing to the country’s emerging ebook market as well.

How Amazon Drones Might Track Your Movements (Popular Mechanics)
In what you could choose to see either as a nifty consumer convenience or as a sign of the dystopian techno-future awaiting us all, Amazon files a patent for a delivery drone model that would be able to track customers’ locations via their smartphones. You know, so it could drop off that toaster you bought.

The Fire Phone Gets an Update (Slashgear)
A recent update to the Android 4.4 KitKat operating system adds a slate of new features to the Amazon Fire Phone, even though one observer comments that some of them “seem almost too basic to have not been available from the beginning, like setting a color for a calendar event or changing the Home screen wallpaper.”


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