Espresso, anyone? I know I need a double this morning. In publishing industry news terms, however, espresso means the Espresso Book Machine (EBM), the nifty in-store machine that can whip you up a print-on-demand book while you wait. HarperCollins publishers—home of women’s fiction author Marisa De Los Santos (Falling Together) and romance icon Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Call Me Irresistible) among many, many others—recently announced a partnership with EBM developer On Demand Books, LLC to publish backlist books that may not be available in stores.
“Even as digital book sales grow, bookstores continue to be an important place for customers to shop for physical books. The goal of this initiative is to give the local bookseller the capability to provide customers with a greater selection of HarperCollins titles in a physical environment,” said Brian Murray, President and Chief Executive Officer of HarperCollins Publishers.
By contrast, TechCrunch’s John Biggs predicts there may not be a need for bookstores in the near future in his post, “The Future of Books: A Dystopian Timeline.” The impetus for Biggs’ predictions? The unveiling of Amazon’s new line up of e-readers, including the Kindle Fire tablet.
The Wall Street Journal offered up a finance-related analysis of the new Kindle launch. And tech gadget reviewer, John Gruber at Daring Fireball gives the new Kindles a glowing review as Amazon works its price points and retail advantages in its favor:
“The Kindles are to Amazon what the printed catalog was to Sears a century ago.”
So what does all this mean for the author? Well, as the prescient Bill Gates once wrote, content is king. (If you’re interested, I found that brief essay reprinted here.) Meanwhile, Shawn Coyne posts an analysis of a publisher’s Profit and Loss (P&L) calculations at the acquisition stage on Steven Pressfield’s blog, designed to educate all writers. Before your eyes start crossing at the number crunching (ye gods! spreadsheets!), take a look at the comments to the blog. Very positive, including this quote:
“The future is bright for the entrepreneurial author/writer. But the artist will have to learn how to put on a bunch of other hats in order to seize the reigns of her career.”
Have a great writing week!
Your Industry News Team,
Pat & Kecia