Saturday, June 7, 2014

The Business of Books

Don't know if you follow the publishing industry, but if you do, then you know all about the current feud between Amazon and Hachette publishing. To make a long story short, Amazon wants to make certain books loss-leaders by cutting the retail price below wholesale costs thereby attracting customers to those books and then sell them other books at a slightly higher cost to make up the difference. The catch is -- they don't want to cut their profits, they want the publisher and authors to take the loss in revenue.

Hachette Publishing stood up to Amazon, so Amazon decided to retaliate by making it difficult for customers to buy books published by Hachette. Some of the tactics they've imployed include not allowing pre-orders on Hatchett Publishing titles and purposely delaying shipments for weeks at a time, encouraging customers to buy used copies from other locations (thereby insuring that the publisher, and more importantly the author, from receiving any compensation for their work). These tactics affect authors like J.K. Rowling and Stephen Colbert. So, Colbert being Colbert, he uses a segment of his show to let his feelings be known on this topic, while giving his viewers a bit of education on the matter as well.

If you have a few minutes, watch both of the below links, follow their advice, and you'll be helping out a new debut novelist as well.

Colbert's Thoughts on Amazon

Amazon vs Hachette --- Author Sherman Alexie offers up more information

Join the fight against Amazon and their attempt to deprive authors their just compensation for writing the stories we all enjoy.


Like Netflix, Hulu, or other streaming services? Enjoy checking out books from your local library? Wouldn't it be cool if you could combine the two?

Well, according to the Wall Street Journal, publisher Simon & Schuster and E-Book services Oyster and Scribd have made a deal where, like other streaming video services, readers can pay a monthly fee and have e-reader access to thousands of S&S titles in "Netflix-like" style.

I haven't heard what the cost is yet, but many suspect it'll be somewhere in the $10 per month range, and this will allow you access to as many books as you can read with no limit on the number of books per month.

Of course, this move is being closely watched by other publishers, since the success or failure of this new business model could radically change the book publishing industry once again.

So that's the publishing business news of the moment.

Until Next Time...
Profitably Yours,

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