In a blog post, Mike Shatzkin writes: “In our Logical Marketing work with partner Peter McCarthy over the past couple of years, helping publishers with the next-phase challenges of digital marketing, we have identified three specific cross-functional opportunities that exist in every publishing house that are especially difficult for the biggest ones to address internally. All three of these can unlock substantial revenue and save the house from going down costly rabbit holes trying to address pain points that are clearly felt but not so clearly understood.
“All of them are obvious to one degree or another (and have previously been talked about in some fashion on this blog), so they are being addressed in ad hoc ways. But structural barriers, most importantly organizational silos, make it hard for companies to evaluate them fully and come up with solutions that maximize the opportunities. The effort to take a systematic approach would have a big payoff for any of these. For that to happen, they’d have to be elevated to strategic issues being examined by the highest levels of the company.
“1. AUTHORS. Author activity is becoming an increasingly important component of any book’s marketing impetus. Publishers not only don’t control the author efforts the way they do the marketing the house executes itself, often what the authors do isn’t even evident to them. That means the work by the authors is not included in the overall picture house marketers have of what is being done for the book.”
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Business Musings: Authors Guild 2016 Letter (Kristine Rusch)
On January 5th, 2016, the Authors Guild released an open letter to “U.S. publishers—namely those who are members of the Association of American Publishers.” The letter, based on the fair contracts initiative that the Authors Guild started last year, informs publishers that they need to improve the standard contract model between writers and publishers. Dozens of other writers’ organizations have signed onto this letter, and the Guild requests that writers’ organizations outside of the United States follow suit with publishers in their countries. The point of the letter is “to start a conversation within the industry about antiquated and unfair clauses in ‘standard’ book contracts.”
The Hot and Cold Book Categories of 2015 (PW)
It’s difficult to overstate the impact adult coloring books had on print sales last year, with the coloring book craze driving large gains in several categories. The hottest category in 2015 was art/architecture/photography, which had a 60-percent increase in unit sales in 2015 over 2014 at outlets that report to Nielsen BookScan.
Analyst: 38% of Households Use Amazon Prime (Fortune)
Amazon Prime, the e-commerce giant’s subscription membership service, is now being used by 38 percent of American households. Investment bank Cowen, which surveyed 2,500 U.S. shoppers, said in a research report Wednesday that Amazon Prime had 41 million members in December, a 32-percent increase from the same month a year earlier. Cowan partly attributed the growth to a Black Friday-like sales holiday Amazon held for Prime members over the summer that attracted new subscribers.
Amazon Will Open First Cloud Data Storage Centers in Canada (Bloomberg)
Amazon will open its first cluster of data centers in Canada this year, helping to meet demand from companies that don’t want their data stored in the U.S. where it can be monitored by security officials. The data centers power Amazon Web Services, which rents storage and computing power to other companies. Canada’s Internet storage sector is growing, and companies such as Telus Corp. and Rogers Communications Inc. have made greater privacy under Canadian laws a key selling point in attracting business after revelations two years ago that the U.S. National Security Agency had spied on data networks run by American companies.
Diversity in UK Publishing (Pub Perspectives)
Bobby Nayyar offers a statistical analysis of diversity—or lack thereof—in the catalogs of major UK publishing houses, as well as initiatives to improve.
AAP Partners with UNCF to Enhance Diversity Recruiting Efforts in Publishing (AAP)
The Association of American Publishers announced Thursday a 2016 summer internship program in partnership with the United Negro College Fund to increase the talent, skillset, expertise, views and ideas that define a healthy and vibrant publishing industry. Paid summer internships for high-achieving African American students will be offered at industry-leading companies, including Cengage Learning, Elsevier, Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, Macmillan, McGraw-Hill Education, Penguin Random House, Scholastic and W.W. Norton. Internships will cross functions including editorial, marketing, publicity, sales and digital engineering. Students will be placed in New York, Washington, Boston and St. Louis in its inaugural year.
IPR License Has 28% Year-on-Year Membership Growth (DBW)
IPR License announced a 28-percent year-on-year growth in new member sign-ups. The growth in 2015 compared favorably with the 21-percent increase experienced in 2014. Q4 2015 was highlighted as a particularly strong period as a result of a highly successful Frankfurt Book Fair. Ongoing enhancements to TradeRights, IPR’s fully transactional online rights and licensing marketplace, and the development of key strategic partnerships were also cited as reasons for the significant membership rise.