The Book Business continues to Evolve

The economics of the book business are changing so rapidly the publishing industry barely looks like it did just six months ago.

Divining the profitability of a book is a mysterious art. But basic book economics suggest an e-book is more profitable than a hardcover, even at substantially lower consumer prices, due mostly to the inventory and return costs associated with physical books.

READ MORE FROM WALL STREET JOURNAL BLOG

Soundtracks for e-books?

Music for e-books?

As ebook sales have skyrocketed in the past several years, publishers have searched for ways to improve on the digital editions of their books. In 2010 enhanced e-books with video and audio were all the rage, but sales for many enhanced e-books were dismal, and the books were often expensive to produce.

In the movie “Pride and Prejudice” the music jumps and swells at all the right moments, heightening the tension and romance of that classic Jane Austen novel.

Will it do the same in the e-book edition?

Booktrack, a start-up in New York, is planning to release e-books with soundtracks that play throughout the books, an experimental technology that its founders hope will change the way many novels are read.

[NY TIMES ARTICLE]

With Creativity Bookstore in L.A. is Bucking the Odds

The Last Bookstore

Located on the ground floor of the Spring Arts Tower downtown, the Last Bookstore is a mix of old and new. It has pillars stretching 25 feet up to a painted, vaulted ceiling; underfoot are intermittent mosaics, all part of the former Citizens National Bank, which opened in its grand location in 1915. The light fixtures are new, created from bicycle wheels by Brad Goldhorn, and high on the south wall flows a sculpture made of wire and old paperbacks created by Mike Piscitello, a student at SCI-Arc.

Tucked under wheel-equipped bookshelves is a new, low stage where bands perform regularly. One of the 15 people who works for Spencer books bands; theater events are also coming up and, Spencer hopes, films. “My dream was to create one giant space where everything I thought was cool would be in one place,” he says. “Hopefully, other people will come in and share it with me.”

[GREAT STORY FROM L.A. TIMES]

Apple and other Major Publishers Sued over Price Fixing

Apple and other publishers sued

Law firm Finkelstein Thompson LLP filed a class action complaint against Apple, Inc. and six major book publishers alleging a horizontal conspiracy to fix and increase the price of eBooks in the United States. These allegations, if proved, may entitle purchasers of eBooks to monetary damages. The publishers include Hachette Book Group, Inc., HarperCollins Publishers Inc., Macmillan Publishers, Inc., Penguin Group (USA), Inc., Random House, Inc., and Simon & Schuster, Inc. The action is currently pending before a New York State judge.

The complaint alleges that six of the defendants implemented price-fixing agreements contemporaneously with Apple’s introduction of the iPad in April, 2010. Defendants allegedly did so by coordinating the introduction of an “agency” model for eBooks sales, where the publishers are the direct sellers of the eBooks and dictate the price at which online retailers, such as Amazon.com, can sell the eBooks as agents for the publishers. The book publishers and Apple allegedly agreed among themselves to simultaneously raise the price of eBooks, often from $9.99 to $12.99 or higher.

If you are interested in discussing your rights, or have information relating to this investigation, please contact Finkelstein Thompson’s Washington, DC offices at   (877) 337-1050  or by email at contact@finkelsteinthompson.com

Study: E-book Sales Continue to Flourish

kobo ereader  E-book Sales continue to be rock solid according to BookStats, a collaboration between the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and the Book Industry Study Group (BISG). This first BookStats report covers the years 2008-10. Get the complete details here.

“The BookStats study indicates that the publishing industry is healthy and growing during a time of unprecedented change,” said Dominique Raccah, the founder and CEO of Illinois-based publisher Sourcebooks and the chair of the BookStats committee. “Publishers in every sector of our business have made significant investments in content and technology to better serve their audiences’ needs, and those efforts seem to correlate with the results we’re seeing.”

Related story: HarperCollins e-book sales now comprise 11% of its total revenue, the company has said following parent NewsCorp’s latest results. [MORE DETAILS HERE]

 

A Look at the Classroom of the Future

Surprise. Textbooks, notebooks, pencils and pens may soon be obsolete in most classrooms around the country.

Some schools are downloading all of their texts for each student into E – books and in Fairfax County, VA school leaders are opting for online Social Studies textbooks starting next year.

“More futuristically speaking my expectation is… [READ MORE]

Don’t Confuse Borders’ Bankruptcy with partner Kobo

kobo ereaderFrom a company statement: Kobo does not rely on Borders for content. Kobo owns the publishing agreements and has direct relationships with all major publishers, including Random House, Simon & Schuster (NYSE: CBS), HarperCollins, St. Martin’s Press and many more.

Kobo is solely responsible for payment to publishers for eBooks sold through the Kobo platform and publishers will continue to be paid on time as usual. [READ MORE FROM KOBO]

Columbia’s Publishing Course Impacted by E-books

college courseThe success of e-books is affecting all aspects of the publishing industry, recently leading to a change in the material discussed at Columbia’s Publishing Course, a annual six-week summer session to educate college graduates on book editing, sales, cover design and publicity. 

This year, the course focused on “The Digital Future” of publishing and the transition to e-books.  The course… [CLICK HERE]

Don’t Blame Borders’ Closing on e-books

Blame it on e-books?Borders been ailing for years-and shuttering stores along the way and its strategies for getting healthy usually seemed to make things worse. I mean it wasn’t until 2007 that it decided that it made sense to have its own Web site rather than to outsource online sales to archival Amazon.com.

While Borders was busy giving the Web and e-books short shrift , it was also doubling down on the notoriously tricky business of running brick-and-mortar superstores. Until late 2010, San Francisco had four Borders stores-three of which were within a mile and a half of each other. I’m no retailing genius, but I couldn’t figure out how… [READ THE PC WORLD STORY]