Oct 13 2011
Thursday Midday Posts: DRM Efficacy Questioned by Game Theory, Amazon Launches New Imprint, Kobo + WH Smith
Amazon launched its science fiction, fantasy and horror line called 47North. It’s lined up some big names in scifi with the launched of 15 books “including ‘The Mongoliad: Book One,’ the first in the ambitious, five-book, collaborative Foreworld series led by Neal Stephenson and Greg Bear. All of these books will be available to English readers in Kindle, print and audio formats at www.amazon.com , as well as at national and independent booksellers. 47North will publish original and previously published works, as well as out-of-print books.”
There is no word on whom the acquiring editor is.
Kobo is making serious international moves. It has announced partnerships with FNAC, the number 1 book retailers in France, and with W.H. Smith. Through both partnerships, the book sellers will obtain access to Kobo’s digital catalog as well as its devices. This means books bought at WH Smith enjoy the same cloud storage and synchronization in Kobo’s App platforms and devices.
In addition to its global store, Kobo already offers stores in the US, Canada, Germany (localised), UK, Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong. The Kobo store offers a selection of over 2.5 million eBooks, newspapers and magazines with bestselling titles, the hottest new releases, thrillers, romance and over a million free books.
Kobo’s European stores offer customers a rich assortment of local content, merchandised to the tastes and preferences of readers across Europe, Kobo has partnered with European publishers to offer a wide range of titles. With this launch, FNAC will deliver a large content catalogue, making it the largest eBookstore in France – the new store will feature the latest releases and bestsellers from popular French authors.
and from the WH Smith site:
From 12th October 2011, all the eBooks you buy through WHSmith.co.uk will be provided by our partner, Kobo. These eBooks will all work with your eReader just like those you’ve previously bought from us.
Amanda Hocking’s Hollowland will be published as a graphic novel series.
In Hollowland, Nineteen-year-old Remy King is on a mission to get across the wasteland left of America, and nothing will stand in her way – not violent marauders, a spoiled rock star, or an army of flesh-eating zombies.
Charlaine Harris is collaborating an original graphic novel series for ACE, based on her Sookie Stackhouse series.
Cemetery Girl-a collaboration between Harris, author Christopher Golden, and illustrator Don Kramer-is a planned trilogy set to debut in 2013… Cemetery Girl will mark the first foray into original graphic novels for Harris, whose bestselling Sookie Stackhouse books are the basis for HBO’s hit series True Blood. Harris recently announced that the Sookie Stackhouse series will conclude with the publication of the thirteenth book in May 2013.
With elements of fantasy and paranormal mystery, Cemetery Girl will tell the story of a teenage girl with amnesia who has grown up living alone in a cemetery. As the series unfolds, the truth of who the girl is and how she came to be there will be gradually revealed both to the reader and to the character herself.
Three economists from Rice and Duke Universities have used game theory research to challenge the efficacy of DRM.
Via Ars Technica.
Thus, removing DRM represents a good deal for consumers in all segments of the market: “In particular, traditional consumers of CDs benefit from a lower price; consumers of legal downloads get higher utility with a DRM-free version even though the price of the legal version may increase; and, interestingly, consumers who obtain pirated versions benefit because it is easier to steal music when there is no DRM.”
“Attributing abnormally high piracy levels to DRM is consistent with the analysis in our paper,” the marketing experts conclude.
Ars breaks down the game theory hypothesis and it’s fairly interesting read.
According to Nielsen Book, print book sales declined 5.7% in the US.
For those looking to head to the bar and drown their sorrows, Nowell had at least some positive thoughts: no downturn lasts forever, “value” was going to be an increased priority for consumers, and the rapidly aging population should present publishers with opportunities to sell to “those book-loving baby boomers who finally have the time to read.” Let’s hope they don’t forget where they put their glasses.
I suspect the aging baby boomer population will flock toward digital because every book can be in large print with digital books.
James Patterson has one. So does James Frey. Dennis Lehane is the latest author to get his own imprint. HarperCollins has implemented “Dennis Lehane Books” which will “issue ‘a select’ number of literary fiction works each year that have ‘a dark urban edge.’”
I’m fascinated with the Indian market for books. I think that given its status as the largest English reading population, it’s influence on books could be enormous. According to this writer, the current state of Indian fiction represents something from the Helen Fielding imprint, if there was one.
To read much of the recent fiction, you would think that the whole population, all 1.2 billion of them, have nothing else to do but worry about arranged marriages, whether they could have a romance with the man their family had chosen for them, and whether it was possible to eat rice crispies without chili powder.
The author would like to write about grittier topics such as the impoverished and barely literate:
So here’s my main contention about the stories published about India in the last few years. Where are the stories of the under class? Why are all the novels focused on the well to do, or the middle class? Where are the tales of these working kids? The stories of servant boys, and domestic maids, the homeless children? In a country where so many serve as domestic help, where is the Indian version of The Help? In India, much more than anywhere else I have traveled to, the lives of the privileged and the underprivileged blend with and underline each other until it’s impossible to tell them apart. So why is it, that the fiction of today, the maid’s story is silenced, while the mistress’ tale gets all the attention? Is it our fault, as readers? That we are only able to crave the light, frothy tales of marriage and caste wars? In the thousands of books written by Indian authors that are getting published now, only the White Tiger reaches into the complexities of India. Why is that?
Sarah Wendell was on the Gayle King show Monday and Ms. King was apparently pretty dismissive of romance as a genre but Wendell held her own according to all reports. Ms. King thought only lonely women read romance and KMont responds that women can be lonely and have cats and still not be pathetic because they read romance. Everyone feels lonely and some lucky people also have cats.
From the inbox:
CALL FOR BOOKS FOR MILITARY IN AFGHANISTAN
Art Mills, award winner author of The Empty Lot Next Door, is stationed in Kabul, Afghanistan and requesting print books for himself and his fellow troop members. He tells me most of the books are old and worn-out, indicating people read them and hand them to others.
I sent him a box of 12 books and he wrote me:
I placed the books on a book shelf and people rushed right to them. It’s nice to know people back home still care after ten years. Thanks!!!!
Yes, we do care! Please donate a copy of your book (or ARC) so Art can put it on their barren shelves. If you send more than one copy it will be donated to another troop through Books for Soldiers.
And, it’s okay to enclose a letter of thanks, or if you have a child have her or him draw a picture or write a letter. It is a lonely world in Afghanistan and if we can bring a smile or tear to our soldiers it will be a reminder to them that we do care.
Please send your donation to:
Books for Soldiers
3267 Bee Cave Road, Ste 107-380
Austin, TX 78746
We use candy for packing so if you’d like to donate a bag of candy as well, that would be terrific. The candy should be something that is wrapped individually, e.g. tootsie rolls, mints. (Not chocolate – it melts while sitting on the tarmac.)
Thanks! I know your book will be well received!
PS – if you have any military/war themed books, either your own or those you have read, please send them as well. Surprisingly those themes are well received.