Publishers Desperately Trying To Protect Print Sales, And Failing

It has been apparent for quite some time that large publishers had been desperately trying to slow the (inevitable) transition to e-books – much as they might deny it. Despite all the breathless talk of “transmedia” and “metadata” and the furious rate of backlist digitization, the overarching strategy was clear: protect print sales at all costs, and pray that e-books will plateau soon (and that international markets won’t take to them with quite the same relish). This is the only logical conclusion from tactics that include pricing e-books artificially high (even, allegedly, going as far as price-fixing, for which they are being investigated by the EU, the (US) Justice Department, and are the subject of a number of class action Read More…

Amazon Launches In Spain, Kindle Store By Year End

Amazon made the first move in its latest wave of international expansion by finally throwing open the doors of its long-mooted Spanish site Amazon.es. Amazon’s eighth store outside the US (following Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and China), will stock the usual assortment of books, games, DVDs, appliances, and electronics, but neither the Kindle nor e-books, for which Spanish customers will continue to be re-directed to Amazon.com. Respected Spanish daily El Pais has a source which claims that an official Kindle Store – selling both the device and e-books (including local-language books) – will be open before the year is out (link in Spanish).

John Locke Signs Print Distribution Deal With Simon & Schuster

John Locke – the first self-publisher to join the Kindle Million Club – has signed a print distribution deal with Simon & Schuster. Naturally, there has been some hysterical reaction either painting John Locke a “sell out”, or declaring that this deal is proof that self-publishing is a flash in the pan and that traditional publishing is where it’s at. Neither is close to being true. First of all, and most importantly, John Locke is not giving up any rights. He has not signed a “publishing” deal, but a distribution deal. He will remain the publisher of the print editions. Simon & Schuster will distribute them. And he retains complete control of the digital editions – no deal has been struck there. Read More…

John Locke Signs Print Distribution Deal With Simon & Schuster

John Locke – the first self-publisher to join the Kindle Million Club – has signed a print distribution deal with Simon & Schuster. Naturally, there has been some hysterical reaction either painting John Locke a “sell out”, or declaring that this deal is proof that self-publishing is a flash in the pan and that traditional publishing is where it’s at. Neither is close to being true. First of all, and most importantly, John Locke is not giving up any rights. He has not signed a “publishing” deal, but a distribution deal. He will remain the publisher of the print editions. Simon & Schuster will distribute them. And he retains complete control of the digital editions – no deal has been struck there. Read More…

Apple's Lawyers Get Busy

Apple became the world’s most valuable company for a brief period yesterday, overtaking Exxon whose value had dipped on the back of the depressed oil prices. Those two should continue to duke it out as Apple posts record results, and oil prices inevitably rise. However, Apple’s celebrations may have been short-lived as Amazon came up with a clever way to circumvent their rules on in-app purchases. Today, Amazon released the Kindle Cloud Reader. Essentially, this is a snazzy version of the Kindle reading app, but the key difference is that it’s browser-based. This means that iPad owners will be able to read books, and browse for new purchases, all in the same web-based program.

Apple’s Lawyers Get Busy

Apple became the world’s most valuable company for a brief period yesterday, overtaking Exxon whose value had dipped on the back of the depressed oil prices. Those two should continue to duke it out as Apple posts record results, and oil prices inevitably rise. However, Apple’s celebrations may have been short-lived as Amazon came up with a clever way to circumvent their rules on in-app purchases. Today, Amazon released the Kindle Cloud Reader. Essentially, this is a snazzy version of the Kindle reading app, but the key difference is that it’s browser-based. This means that iPad owners will be able to read books, and browse for new purchases, all in the same web-based program.