The Business Case for Publishers Going Direct

direct-to-consumer ebook publishersMany publishers agree direct-to-consumer strategies are critical for building a brand identity and connecting with customers in novel ways.

In other words, the marketing case for going direct is pretty widely understood.

But fewer publishers are as convinced they can establish revenue streams on their own that are substantial enough to compete with the biggest online retailers.

One industry insider sees it differently. “You are being defeatist if you think your website is just about building your brand—even though it’s certainly about that, too,” says Emma Barnes, CEO of the UK-based Bibliocloud.

“Publishers that assume Amazon has won their customers for good will be proved absolutely right.”

Much more.

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Can Amazon Prime Keep Growing? (The Motley Fool)
The subscription-based program has seen tremendous growth in recent months, even after Amazon increased the price to $99 (amid a chorus of doubters) nearly a year ago. It’s been estimated that there are some 40 million Prime members in the U.S. to date. Simply put, where does it go from here?
Related: How Amazon Could Disrupt Anew

Mondadori Makes a Play for RCS Books (Pub Lunch)
The Italian publisher puts forward a non-binding offer to buy RCS Libri, the books division of Rizzoli’s parent company RCS MediaGroup.

Comparing Global Ebook Prices (Pub Perspectives—Infographic)
Taking a snapshot of three growing ebook markets—India, Australia and Germany—global ebook distributor ePubDirect offers a glimpse at how average prices stack up against one another across key genres, plus the major market features impacting ebook pricing to date.
Related: ePubDirect’s Joe Lennon on Content Authoring Technologies

ICYMI: Kindle Gets More Multilingual (Ink, Bits & Pixels)
Late last week Amazon quietly added new titles to the Kindle Store published in Hindi, Russian, Hungarian, Polish and (why not?) Latin. One observer expects Russian ebook readers to get their very own national Kindle Store very soon.

For Ebooks in Taiwan, Signs of Interest but Few Measures (Focus Taiwan)
The news here isn’t so much that recent trends in Taiwan’s consumer book market might translate to an uptick in ebook adoption. It’s rather the fact that gaining a clear sense of the size of the ebook market, such that it is, is extremely hard to do—something that’s equally true of other emerging global ebook markets potentially much larger than Taiwan’s.
Related: Ebook Publishers’ Global Imperative

Fanfiction Site Woos Hollywood (Good E Reader)
The fanfiction platform Skrawl teams up with film industry insiders (including a Goonies alumnus) to allow talent agencies and production companies to crowdsource user-generated content for new projects as well as to connect with fans.

New Seuss Set Loose (PW)
As though not to be outdone by the recently rediscovered manuscript of Harper Lee’s forthcoming Go Set a Watchman, a posthumous title by Dr. Seuss, identified in 2013, prepares for publication in late July by Penguin Random House Children’s Books. It’s called What Pet Should I Get?

Scribd vs. ComiXology: A Digital Comics-Off (Teleread)
For one industry watcher’s money, the Amazon-owned ComiXology may have the edge when it comes to UI, but Scribd’s new digital comics offering gains points for the platform’s discovery features, which allow users to search titles by character, series and so on. One potential pitfall, in this view, is how easy it is to read digital comics in high volumes at a speedy clip, theoretically triggering more payouts by Scribd to comics publishers.


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