Publishing World Digest – Digital, Amazon Wars, & More
The publishing world is trickier and trickier to navigate. At Tracking Wonder, we’re dedicated to deciphering the latest trends and news and forging the best relationships to help you advance your books. Periodically, we will publish Publishing World Digests. – Jeffrey
Research assistance from TW Team research assistant Abbey Gallagher.
How Has Publishing Changed in the Digital Age for Book Authors?
Longtime author and commentator Alan Cheuse offers his reflections from Quora on the evolving world of publishing and how “the link between writer and reader has morphed into a rapidly changing field of play.” The link is not as direct as it was in the past as writers now must navigate social media to promote their books, using platforms like Twitter, Facebook and blogs, which they previously never had to use before. Promoting the book is becoming just as much work as writing it.
Giant Book Publishers Back Oyster, an Online Competitor to Amazon and Apple
Oyster, an online service for e-books, has stepped up its game and added an “e-bookstore,” in addition to their subscription services. Seth Fiegerman, Senior Business Reporter at Mashable, notes that while it is not expected that Oyster will replace or compete seriously with major companies like Amazon, the addition of the “e-book store” is good news for publishers, big and small, who now have other options to sell their books with other sites.
Amazon to Publishers: Set Your Own E-Book Prices! Amazon to Customers: Not Our Fault!
from Slate and Geek Wire
At the end of March, it was still unclear whether HarperCollins and Amazon would reach an agreement regarding e-book sales before their contract expired. Technology journalist Tricia Duryee had reported for Geek Wire that Simon & Schuster, Hachette and MacMillan have all signed contracts with Amazon under terms that state the publisher will set the price of consumer titles, but Amazon could offer “better terms” when publishers offer deals to their readers. HarperCollins, however, had not agreed until recently.
However, it looks like the two have finally reached an agreement, which Hachette, Simon & Schuster, and MacMillan have also agreed to. Alison Griswold, staff writer for Slate, writes that “The terms of all the contracts, per the New York Times, let the publishers decide their own e-book prices, but also gave them financial incentives to keep those prices low.” Despite finding this middle ground, Amazon now features the line, “This price was set by the publisher” added to the prices of e-books as an apology of sorts to its readers.