Feb 142010

More news on e-books. From John Makinson, Chairman and CEO of the Penguin Group: “Today’s e-book is a direct descendant of the 1930s paperback.” He gives a bit of history and information on the business side of publishing, then adds:

“Publishers will flourish in this new economy so long as they keep these issues in perspective and understand that it’s fruitless to stand between the reader and his choice. If a consumer wants that Jane Austen novel in downloadable audio, or in large print, or in red ink, or in a digital edition with recipes from the period, we’d better provide it.”

Random House sides with Amazon on e-book pricing. Madeline McIntosh, the President of Sales, Operations, and Digital for Random House, points out that publishers “have no real experience at setting retail prices.” She also thinks delaying the release of ebooks isn’t a good idea.

“Our current policy is we release e-books at the same time as physical books,” followed by “I haven’t been convinced that it’s good for the author or consumer to delay the release. My fear is that the consumer who has fully embraced the technology will buy another e-book that is available or lose interest altogether. What if I train the consumer that the best scenario is to get it free?”

Another look at The E-Book Entitlement Wars says “neither side is facing the reality of the entertainment business.” It claims that a NYTimes article about e-book pricing:

“lacks anything that could be called hard evidence. That’s because Amazon (AMZN), the market-dominating entity, won’t give out sales information. Forced to operate in vacuum, the Times is doing the best it can to come up with a story.”

The Fight over Prices on the Internet is going back to Congress. For books, it’s Amazon and e-bay in favor of one ruling, and publishers in favor of the other.

The British Library is hooking up with Amazon to create a new global readership for forgotten literary gems.

“Making 19th century fiction available for free through the Kindle ebook reader opens up a new global readership for forgotten literary gems. Kindle users will be able to download, free of charge, 25m pages of digitised books, from noteworthy editions of well known authors like Dickens, Conan Doyle and Thomas Hardy to rare early 19th century fiction and even the UK’s best collection of ‘penny dreadfuls.”

That’s it for e-books. On to other subjects. An article on Women’s Ficton vs Romance has quotes from authors Lisa Craig, agent Linda Hyatt and Eileen Goudge.

Bryan Russell has a great guest blog on the writer’s journey at Nathan Bransford’s blog.

A spotlight on Kimberly Cameron & Associates says this about agent Amy Burkhardt:

Amy Burkhardt is the company’s most junior agent and is most hungry for clients. She joined Kimberley Cameron & Associates as an intern in the fall of 2007 and was taken on staff as an agent at the end of 2009. She represents both fiction and nonfiction projects for the adult market. In fiction, she looks for literary and commercial fiction, upmarket women’s fiction, mysteries with a twist or an unusual protagonist, and historical fiction.

Julie Leto announced it to the RWA-WF group already. Now Barbara Vey has made the announcement on her Publishers Weekly blog:

HCI Books is launching a new genre in October 2010 that they promise will ‘rock the romance world and redefine memoir forever.’ Their hook is that each book in the Vows series is based on a true life couple.”

She adds that the first book in the Vows series is HARD TO HOLD by Julie Leto.

This is a fascinating survey of Book-Buying Behavior with statistics and implications.

Canadians reveal how far they will go in a Harlequin Romance Report:

True to form, the survey says that buying books was the number one temptation (75 per cent) Canadians could not resist during the recession last year, eschewing vacations, shopping sprees, going to the movies and dining out.

“Books provide affordable entertainment that everyone can enjoy guilt-free.”

The survey isn’t all about books. It’s about all temptations, including this statistic:

Fifty-one per cent of men are tempted most by sex while 46 per cent of women by food.

Happy Valentine’s Day Week! Enjoy all your temptations.

  3 Responses to “Industry News: 2/14/10”

  1. Great report! Very interesting about Bantam and Amazon. Where there is chaos, there is opportunity, right?

  2. Thanks, Edie for all your hard work!

  3. Me, too, Edie. It’s always interesting!

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