May 31 2013
“What Sargent did say about the pending DoJ suit is that Justice is “extraordinarily myopic. They carried the water for Amazon, when it had 92% of the market.” And, he said, they prevented others from coming into the market. “The senior guys, Eric Holder, are just incompetent,” he added, to resounding applause. As to the lasting effect of the DoJ case, Sargent said, “There’s no way to tell. I have a lot of hope. There are a lot of good signs about the movement to digital.” He’s been heartened that even with the increase in the number of screens, the growth of e-books is flat. “What is dangerous for us is cataclysmic change. You guys are superb at adapting. You need time to adjust. If it stays flat or declines slowly, we’re in good shape.”
I’m not sure you can call the DOJ incompetent when they got every publisher to settle and pay out multi million dollar settlements to reimburse customers for the collusive price fixing. I would love to be that incompentent as a lawyer. But here is John Sargent, CEO of Macmillan, saying these things as well as saying that ebook growth is flat. That’s the feeling others in the industry have as well – that ebooks are flattening out and will remain just a segment of the market.
Beyond those gains, though, the cheerier mood seems, as many industry members told PW from the show floor, due in large part to a sense that the digital business has leveled off. After years of concern—at times panic—that e-books would replace print books and, in turn, wipe out bricks-and-mortar bookstores altogether, there is a sense that print and digital can, and will, coexist. Or as Perseus Books Group’s CEO David Steinberger put it, for the first time in a few years “the future doesn’t feel like it’s changing that rapidly.” Publishers Weekly
I just learned that I can’t visit any Barnes and Noble store with the release of my upcoming novel Tamarack County, the thirteenth in the Cork O’Connor series. There’s a spat going on between my publisher, Simon and Schuster, and the bookstore chain. No Simon and Schuster author may visit any Barnes and Noble until further notice. It has something to do with money, but nobody seems to know exactly what. I heard that it is over co-op or money that publishers pay to the stores for in store promotion of their books. Kent’s Rants
A few tidbits from BEA:
- More western romances are coming down the pipe.
- People are worried about historicals.
- Kobo gifting function is coming back.
- Sarah Morgan is writing a full length for HQN and a Cosmo Hot Read. I’m excited about both.
- Katie McGarry’s third book featuring Isaiah and drag races is her best yet.
- Nalini Singh’s “Archangel’s Legion” is awesome. (and no I’ve not gotten ARCs of any of these books. It’s editors bragging to me and half of me wants to say “Shut Up!” because I’m getting too excited and the other half is like “tell me more.”)
- No one is quite sure how long New Adult is going last but it was a topic of many conversations.