“What is the revenue potential of licensing at your organization, and how well are you capitalizing on it?” asks David Marlin in a blog post for Digital Book World.
Through his work providing rights solutions over the past 16 years, as well as his time serving on the Book Industry Study Group’s Rights Committee, Marlin has “learned that the value of rights operations varies widely from publisher to publisher. For some, rights income makes up only a fraction of a percent of overall revenue. For others, it may be 10-20 percent or more.”
“No matter the volume of rights transactions,” Marlin continues, “a rights management system will help maximize your licensing revenue. In this article, I will explore this opportunity.”
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Amazon Is Building a Tech Business for the Long Haul (New York Times)
Amazon Web Services doesn’t just want to dominate the global business in selling computing online. It also wants to be the rarest thing of all in the technology industry: a long-lived company. Its strategy hinges on an unprecedented level of automation in computer programming and maintenance, coupled with offering new products and services at a rate none of the old-guard companies seem able to match. The idea seems to be to dominate not so much by the traditional “vendor lock-in” of hooking customers on proprietary technology, but by making itself the center of the styles and habits of cloud computing.
Amazon Asking Workers to Complete Daily Satisfaction Survey (Fortune)
Over the past few months, Amazon has been ramping up efforts to get regular feedback from corporate staffers about their work environments. The effort is being expanded two months after a New York Times expose portrayed the online retailer as a pressure cooker where worker hardships are ignored and back-stabbing is encouraged. Dubbed Amazon Connections, the internal system poses questions daily to employees to collect responses on topics such as job satisfaction, leadership and training opportunities.
Publishers, Amazon Not to Blame for Author Poverty Wages (PW)
After polling 1,674 Authors Guild members, Mary Rasenberger, executive editor at the Guild, created a splash a few weeks ago by claiming that most of its members’ annual earnings were below the federal poverty level of $11,670. She spread the blame around: bookstore closures, the rise of Amazon, publisher consolidations, and the low royalties authors receive from publishers. But do these alarm bells ring true?
Mapping the Digital Future (PW)
Despite all that has been said and done, full monetization of intellectual property (IP) continues to be a stumbling block for publishers. “A new trend highlighting this issue is the outgrowth of new publishing universes, which is best exemplified by the growing power of fan fiction,” observes executive v-p for business development Jane Tappuni of Publishing Technology.
Related: Content, Not Wrapper: The New Frontier for IP and Rights Management (DBW)
Frankfurt Book Fair 2015: A New Era Begins (PW)
After a decade of change in the publishing industry, the 2015 Frankfurt Book Fair marks something of a turning point. As evidenced by the changes to the fair’s layout and the topics and speakers in the fair’s professional program, it is clear that the publishing business is no longer in the midst of a digital transition. The transition is complete. There’s less talk of digital disruption, and gone are the tired predictions of the death of print. In 2015, both the industry and the fair have settled into a new phase. And at Frankfurt, it is all on display.
Skoobe: Subscription Ebooks Are Succeeding in Germany (PW)
Ebook subscription services have been the subject of intense interest in North American publishing, especially with the failure of Oyster last month and the growing pains of rival service Scribd over the summer. But before either of those services existed, there was the German upstart Skoobe. Launched in 2012, Skoobe is going strong. Skoobe CEO Constance Landsberg offers an international take on ebook subscriptions.
What Libraries Need to Consider When Looking at Ebook Lending Solutions (PW)
Ebook lending in libraries has its challenges, but as the explosion of new players, platforms and service providers in the field suggests, it is on the upswing. How do you choose which ebook lending service is best for your library?
Mexico Is the New El Dorado for Spanish Publishing (Pub Perspectives)
Diana Aldana of Turner Libros says that with its large population and market, Mexico has become the new El Dorado of Spanish publishing. “Mexico is now having a second wave of Spanish publishers wanting to, if not live, at least set up shop there,” says Aldana. But the country stands very much on its own, with the largest Spanish-speaking population in the world and producing many of its own books—just 10 percent of those sold in the country are imports.
Hindi Language Books Are Having Their Moment on Amazon (Quartz)
In India, more and more bookworms who read in Hindi and other regional languages are shopping online. In the last six months, Amazon, the world’s largest bookstore, has found its sale of Hindi books in India rise by 60 percent. Alongside, there is an increase in supply from authors, with the selection of Hindi books seeing a 40-percent jump in the same period. Amazon India launched its online Hindi bookstore in April last year, with 23,000 titles.
Iran Boycotts Frankfurt Book Fair (Guardian)
Iran has announced that it will boycott this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair after organizers invited the author Salman Rushdie, whom Iranian scholars said should be killed, as a guest speaker. The foreign ministry said the fair had, “under the pretext of freedom of expression, invited a person who is hated in the Islamic world and create the opportunity for Salman Rushdie … to make a speech.” It said the Islamic republic “strongly protests” Rushdie’s appearance and had decided against participating in the fair, which is one of the world’s largest such events. The ministry called on other Muslim nations to join its boycott.
Knowledge Unlatched Moves into Second Phase (Bookseller)
Knowledge Unlatched, the Open Access scheme for humanities and social science books run by publisher Frances Pinter, is entering a second pilot phase with much increased support from publishers. The not-for-profit scheme brings libraries and publishers together, on a global basis, to fund the publication of high-quality, specialist scholarly books and make them Open Access.