Tuesday Midday Links: Is Apple headed for a showdown with Amazon?
Sony has been promoting its iPhone App for some time but it has never made it to the app store. The New York Times now reports on why. Apple told Sony that it cannot sell content within its apps or allow customers to access content purchased outside the Apple App Store. Currently reading apps like Amazon and BN allow you to purchase content either through the Safari App on the mobile device or through a website on a laptop or desktop. The content is then downloaded into the App.
What it sounds like Apple wants is for all the content to be downloaded via its own servers. Thus, if Amazon wanted to deliver a book to the Kindle App, it would have to do so by uploading the book to the Apple server farm and then Apple servers would deliver the book to the Kindle App. Apple would somehow restrict all in app downloads to content stored solely on its server farms. Update: Since I wrote this another statement from Apple has come out to indicate that they won’t restrict out of app purchases so long as the App offers in app purchasing. What this means is that the Kindle App will have to offer in app purchases as well as offering the ability to purchase via the mobile Safari site like it currently does. The benefit to Apple is that they get a 30% cut of each purchase.
One way for Amazon to get around this would be to offer a web based reading experience (which I currently dislike because of speed and access issues) much like Google Books is touting.
Given that Apple wants 30% and, under Agency pricing, publishers want 70% that would allow no margin for these booksellers like BN or Amazon to sell digital books to be read on the Apple devices. There have been reports that more people use the Kindle App on the iThings than the iBookstore.
Apple’s share of the mobile market is quite large and restricting all purchases made on the mobile devices to be funneled through Apple might make the FTC stand up and take notice.
Overdrive says that romance books are the key to ebook retailer success.
One thing has been clear from the very start of our digital distribution network: Romance sells.
Titles from three Romance publishers-‘Harlequin, Kensington, and Dorchester-‘can make up more than 25 percent of total eBook sales on sites that don't specialize in the subject. That doesn't even include romance titles from other major publishers like HarperCollins, Penguin, and Random House.
I expect this to mean that more books that aren’t romance are going to be showing up in the romance section of ebookstores because that is where the readers are looking. Which means, of course, we will have to sort through more dross to find out exactly what we want (hea, for example).
You probably have heard about the situation in Egypt by now. Egyptian government has tried to cut off the internet and communication access of all Egyptian citizens. One author, Olivia Gates, lives in Egypt (note to self, must read her Sheik books) and her book, To Tempt a Sheik, is being released. Because Gates is cut off from the rest of the world, however, she cannot do any promotion for her book herself. (Also she is living in an area that is undergoing enormous civil unrest).
To Tempt a Sheikh by Olivia Gates
He rescued hostage Talia Burke from his royal family’s rival tribe and swept her into his strong embrace. But Prince Harres Aal Shalaan soon discovered there was more to the brave beauty than he knew. Talia held information vital to protecting his beloved kingdom-and she had every reason not to trust him.
Marooned together at a desert oasis, Talia couldn’t resist Harres. Yet even as his sizzling seduction entranced her, his loyalty to his family and country would always make them enemies. Falling for the sheikh would be her heart’s greatest mistake-but she feared it was already too late-.In stores February 1!
Last September, Books-a-Million quietly made a big move into the used books business with 2nd & Charles, a 40,000-square-foot test store located just outside the company’s hometown of Birmingham, Ala., stocked almost exclusively with used merchandise (including CDs, DVDs, video games, and vinyl, as well as books). Though the corporate office remains quiet on the store and its success (BAM merchandising group president Terry Finley declined to comment “for competitive reasons”), December saw the retailer open a second test store in Augusta, Ga., and word on the sales floor is that the retailer plans to open three more 2nd & Charles stores in locations yet to be determined.
When I got out of law school, my mentor gave me a book called Writing for Non Lawyers. He told me that every story has to be tailored to fit the audience. What I would write for a judge may be different than what I would write for a jury (that I would deliver, obviously, orally). Always be aware, I was cautioned, who the audience is. The audience that I am writing for here at Dear Author is a reader, first and foremost. When I write for work, it’s for an entirely different audience. When authors are writing a book, perhaps their audience is just themselves. But when they write a blog post, a facebook entry, or a tweet, the audience is the readership, both buying and non buying.