Wednesday Midday Links: BN Is All About the EBook
This was initially entitled Tuesday’s Midday Links but alas things went astray so I apologize in advance for this post’s length. I know it’s harder to consume the longer it is.
Buried in a blog post by the Editors at the New York Times about the search for a new editor for The New York Times Magazine was the note that NYT would be debuting an ebook bestseller list: “Among the things in the works, a best-seller list for e-books.”
Interesting, isn’t it? What could be on that list? Well, for starters maybe some self published books. Amazon rolled out its new royalty scheme which pays 70% royalties to books sold through its digital self publishing platform. There are some catches. The 70% applies only to books sold in the US (otherwise the royalty is 35%) and if Amazon catches you selling your book lower somewhere else, you are knocked down to the 35% of the lower selling price. Author Moira Rogers has more on this at her blog.
In other Amazon news, the Android App has been released and Kindles will be sold in select airports.
Nate the Great really likes the look of the Blio App. I’ve seen Blio in person and it looks like it is directed more toward non fiction, how-to, textbooks, and children’s illustrated books than long form narrative. However, Blio uses ADE encryption and thus that will be one more App on which you can read ADE books (think Harlequin books in ePub) on your iThings.
Barnes and Noble executives sallied forth to talk to the press to explain why BN will continue to show financial losses. BN plans to expend more money on the digital side of things as well as trying to push educational toys, games and electronic products (Leapfrog perhaps?) and textbooks. William Lynch, CEO, stated “in just a brief 12 months since we launched the Barnes and Noble ebookstore, our share of the digital market already exceeds our share of the retail book market.”
This is in line with what I was talking about on Sunday in that physical retailers are going to be pushing more of their money into digital book selling which will reduce the space that was given over to selling paper books. With an increased focus on selling electronics, games and other devices that are not books, more and more books will be sold online, not just in the digital format.
One analysts predicts that BN will begin closing stores, the more successful their digital book business is.
Of note to us romance readers, (paid link) Riggio said that they have “only a two percent share” of the market for printed romance, but they “project that we already have over 18 percent” of the romance ebook market.”
The Internet Archive is combining forces with libraries to scan in copies of books that the libraries own and then lend that book digitally. The libraries (and IA) argue that this is permissible under Fair Use as it would allow the lending of the book to only one person at a time in either print or digital form. This is a take off of the time shifting decision by the Supreme Court in which the court held that consumers could tape record shows to be viewed later. I’m not certain where this court would come down on the issue of format shifting.
Fictionwise has ended its Micropay program and it is forcing customers to use whatever Micropay that is left in their account whenever they are checking out. I think this signals the end of Fictionwise. I’d recommend downloading all your purchases soon.
Copia, a new entrant into the ebook market, announced pricing for its ebook readers. Guess what? They are no longer eink but LCD instead. I have to say the Copia devices look fairly hideous. Is design no longer important to anyone but Apple? Publishers’ Weekly has the new pricing and details. It doesn’t show on the Copia site. Copia says it is still selling eink devices. Via Teleread.