May 5 2011
There is a lot of news today. First up Barnes and Noble is set to announce a new ebook reader during BEA which is in a couple of weeks. Amazon is releasing a new ebook reader this fall. The BN Nook 2, as Mike Cane believes it will be called, is likely to have a Mirasol type screen which is a color eInk screen. I saw a Mirasol screen a couple of years ago and it was beautiful. The Amazon ebook reader is likely to be a full fledged Android tablet.
Free ebooks this month:
- 5/1/2011 to 5/31/2011 Long Hard Ride Lorelei James
- 5/1/2011 to 5/14/2011 A Little Harmless Sex Melissa Schroeder
- 5/15/2011 to 5/28/2011 Fortune’s Deception Karen Erickson
- SEALed with a Kiss by Mary Daughtridge
- A Tailor-Made Bride by Kare Witemeyer
Amazon has launched a new publishing imprint featuring romances called Amazon Montlake. Connie Brockway is the debut author in that line. According to Ms. Brockway, this cover is just a placeholder. One hopes so because otherwise I have my doubts about the success of that line. More genre specific imprints are coming from Amazon. We wrote about Amazon as a publisher in 2009:
This was correctly read as Amazon’s foray into the marketplace as a publisher, not just a retailer. While this may have been a surprise to some, it seemed like the natural progression of Bezos’ moves in the last few years. We actually discussed this just last month wherein I suggested the next logical step for Bezos was to become a publisher.
AAR has an email from Brockway about why she’s made an about face from her recent announcement that she would self publish. There is no mention of whether she received an advance (and my guess is that she did not) but she will get a book in print and audio as well as on the Kindle platform. She will also receive editing support. Again, no details of the terms of the deal are released.
Revenue reports are coming in from all publishers:
The company’s total first-quarter revenue increased to $351.4 million from $335 million, and Torstar said sales from Harlequin, which publishes romance novels, more than offset declines in other divisions such as lower print advertising revenues.
“We got out of the gate faster than usual,” said S&S CEO Carolyn Reidy led by sales of e-books that doubled in the quarter and accounted for 17% of revenue with digital audio adding the other one percent (about $28 million). The steep increase in profits was attributed to lower shipping, production and returns costs as well as the “painful” belt-tightening that S&S has implemented over the last 18 months plus the higher sales, Reidy said.
However, “EBook sales momentum was considerable” in the first quarter of 2011, “up 88% compared to Q1 2010, accounting for approximately 22% of revenue in the United States.” Brisk sales in the U.S. for reading devices at the end of 2010 are a key factor in the explosive growth of digital reading in the first three months of this year. HBG has had 23 titles on the New York Times eBook bestseller list since the list’s debut on February 13, 2011.
Pearson (parent of Penguin):
Pearson PLC (PSON.LN) said Thursday that revenue rose 9% in the first quarter, bolstered by its extensive education and publishing operations, and reiterated that it expects sales, margin and earnings growth in 2011.
Pearson said the FT Group has made a “good start to the year”, and that Penguin “continues to benefit from consistently strong publishing and a leading position in digital reading, with ebook sales doubling in the first quarter” from a year earlier.