Paperback pioneers

Commenting on the announcement of Lynda La Plante’s new company, my colleague Philip Jones noted in his recent FutureBook blog that “format shift doesn’t always work as you’d imagine.” How true, as we seem to discover afresh each day. Read more »

TOC 2012: the wrap

"Change forward fast (repeat)" was the slogan for O'Reilly's ToC in New York, following on Digital Book World three weeks earlier. The bustling meeting boasted the largest attendance yet, almost 1500 people (100 fewer than DBW): change is good for the conference business. Read more »


Lessons in non-fiction from TOC 2012

Michael Tamblyn set out Kobo’s experience of how non-fiction sells as e-books at Tools of Change 2012. It’s a backlist business to a far greater degree than fiction, both in Canada and the US. There are three big pricing spokes: the $21+ expensive STM title; the $9.99-$10.99-$11.99 bestselling frontlist or new release; and a lot of “little stuff” around $3.99. Read more »


Stats attack at Digital Book World 2012

Bowker’s Kelly Gallagher presented two sets. First the latest findings (up to November 2011) from the ongoing Book Industry Study Group research into consumer attitudes towards ebook reading: not exponential growth, but “incremental growth of 17%” from the previous year.  The conversion rate of heavy print to e-book buyers slowed in 2011. That pattern, with the requisite time lag, will in all likelihood be repeated in the U.K. Read more »

Optimism on the wane at Digital Book World as Amazon animus grows

The book business is “like the wild west. Everyone wants to be everything", Hyperion publisher Ellen Archer said to 1500-plus attending Digital Book World in New York on Tuesday.  Where is separation between author, publisher, agent, retailer these days? Read more »

Barnes & Noble takes the Nook out of its niche

It is all but certain that 2012 will be the year when Barnes & Noble’s Nook will come to the UK. An "international announcement" will be made within four months, promised chief executive William Lynch, at a press conference at the bookseller’s flagship Union Square store in New York on Monday. "We are scrutinizing international opportunities in a bigger way than we ever have," Lynch added. "We want to get it right." Read more »

Amazon wants a paperback partner, as Eisler reveals his deal

Thriller writer Barry Eisler, who turned his back on a two-book deal for half a million dollars from St Martin’s Press, has decided to accept six figures from Amazon and become one of its first frontlist authors.

Eisler made the announcement at Publishers Launch's Book Expo America conference. The Eisler development is really only a micro piece of the macro Amazon/Larry Kirshbaum tale that continues to dominate BEA alongside another major development—the bid from Liberty Media’s John Malone to buy B&N. Read more »


Troubling realities meet publishing's boundaries at TOC

In a case of dueling conferences, 1,400 people gathered in New York for O’Reilly’s Tools of Change this week, as opposed to the 1300 who had gathered at the same midtown site for Digital Book World three weeks earlier. Read more »


DBW 2011: The race to the end of the beginning

The metaphors, predictions and statistics came thick and fast at the second annual Digital Book World sponsored by F&W Media in New York. Read more »

We'll all lose money. And then we'll learn

Last week, Kindle content head David Naggar appeared on a panel alongside Macmillan chief executive John Sargent, Google's Roland Lange, and long-time Writers House agent Simon Lipskar, to discuss – what else? – "the future of the book."

The event was organized by William Morris-Endeavor agent Eric Simonoff for the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

"What happens when the physical bookstore experience disappears?" Simonoff enquired. Read more »

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