Monday, December 21, 2009

It’s the End of the World...I Mean Publishing as We Know It

I think it's safe to say this is the year that ebooks and ebook readers hit a monumental shift in the publishing world. Ebook readers have been around for years but haven’t enticed a large group of readers up until now. Kindle stirred the interest but the price still kept a good number of people away. But with the Nook and it’s lower price, Kindle was forced to drop it’s price.

Now, the sales on these two ebook readers are off the charts. I checked with my local Barnes and Noble and played with the Nook, very cool. The sales person bragged about hers. And told me if I ordered one today, it wouldn’t come in until January 15th.  A friend who works at B & N said they had no idea the Nook would take off like it has. The Sony reader is another popular reader and people are reading books on the iPhones too. Watch for technology to continue to develop new versions of these readers in the next few years. New multimedia devices are being developed. I have a feeling this is a trend that will only get more interesting and the devices more sophisticated. Take a look at this pretty amazing media device being developed:

When to sequence book releases in hard cover, paperback and ebooks:

Publishers are now having to consider these devices and ebooks in their marketing plan. In the past, hardcovers were released first, then the paperback version. With the expanding popularity of ebooks, traditional publisher are trying to decide when is the best time to work this new format into their release schedule.

On Publisher’s Lunch, Macmillan CEO John Sargent said his publishing house would handle bestsellers in a couple ways. Some bestsellers will have ebooks released at the same time as the hardcovers. These ebooks will be enhanced with additional content for a limited time (~three months or so). This enhanced material will include author interviews and readers’ guides. Those versions will be priced slightly higher than the hardcover price.

Simon & Schuster spokesman Adam Rothberg said that, “sequencing has been a common practice in other media for quite some time.” Their house’s current policy sequences the release of ebooks between the release of the hardcover and the paperback. But knowing those who use digital media tend to want instant gratification, publishers may have to adjust their policies and release ebooks sooner.

It'll be interesting to see what happens in the next year or two.


Autumn Jordon said...

2010 is certainly going to be a interesting year for the publishing world. I'm a author for The Wild Rose Press, which you know, Kathy. My first release, Obsessed By Wildfire, will be out on January 27, 2010 in e-format. I'm anixous to see how sales will go. I'm a tradional paper book in hand person, but just last night I downloaded a holiday book and read. If I took the jump to the e-side, I'm sure others will too.

Great topic of discussion.

Autumn Jordon

Bart said...

XCELENT blog setup Kathy. I think you are right, ebooks, and iphone like devices will revolutionize publishing. The SI reader looks like a bigger iphone. It could be good, it could be bad.

Consider this. If the format is open, i.e. anyone can make an ebook in a format compatible with a majority of the emerging readers, then anyone can be a publisher. Look at youtube for the template. Imagine books available for pennies on a youtube like forum. With digicams abounding, anyone can make pics and video to go along with their book.

The mind boggle at the possibilities for really bad writing!

Kathy Kulig said...

Hi Autumn, I'll be looking forward to your release. Love the title. Bart, You're always thinking LOL. I think things will continue to change when it comes to media devices and such.