Monday News and Deals: Publishers Glum About Digital Future

Monday News and Deals: Publishers Glum About Digital Future

There are two big tech publishing conferences that take place in the spring.  One is Digital Book World and the second is Tools of Change. (The latter is one that I’ve gone to for 3 years).  Different companies collect data and present that data at these conferences.  One such survey conducted by Forrester Research Inc. says that publishers aren’t looking forward to the rise of digital because it doesn’t appear that digital format is bringing about more book purchases.  Indeed, with the adoption of tablets, reading may actually decline.  Anecdotally, when I first got my Kindle Fire, I spent about a week watching video and not reading.

* Readers will be better off, 61% in 2011, down from 74% in 2010
* More people will read books than did before, 60% in 2011, down from 66% in 2010
* Readers will read a greater number of books than before, 47% in 2011, down from 66% in 2010

When asked about their own companies, the pessimism became more pronounced: Only 28% of publishing executives think their company will be better off because of the transition to digital, down from 51% a year ago.

I’m not sure why readers aren’t better off.  I’d be interested in hearing how publishing executives think that readers will be worse off. I suspect it is because they believe that it will reduce the number of options that readers will have in stores? Or possibly reduce the variety or quality of book?

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The Guardian did a nice obituary for Penny Jordan.

Penny Halsall, who has died of cancer aged 65, was a prolific writer of women’s fiction, and one of Mills & Boon‘s most popular authors, under the pen name Penny Jordan. She wrote more than 200 books in a 30-year career and was phenomenally successful, with sales of 100m worldwide. Her work was translated into 25 languages.

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The Guardian also picks up on the flameouts between authors and reviewers arising out of negative reviews on Goodreads (and elsewhere).  I think this falls under the rubric of all publicity is good publicity at this point.

Whose book is it anyway? The hardest thing a writer has to learn is that once you publish a book, it’s no longer truly yours – even though it’s got your name on the front and it lives inside you. It belongs to the readers now. All you can do is steel yourself as you push it out into the world, stay gracious, and get busy with the next one.

And if you can’t stand the heat of the blogosphere – don’t Google yourself.

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The week discusses McDonald’s move toward offering books.  A book with every Happy Meal? I’m totally down with that.

“The latest big name in books isn’t Amazon — it’s McDonald’s,”says Lindsay Goldwert in the New York Daily News. For the next month, the fast-food giant is replacing the plastic toy in every British Happy Meal with a book. The giveaway books — six installments of Michael Morpurgo’s Mudpuddle Farms series — are a tie-in with Steven Spielberg’s new film adaptation of Morpurgo’s War Horse.

As an aside, Ned took the tot to see War Horse and she cried during the entire movie.  Two kids and a few horses are shot. It was pretty traumatic for her.  Getting back on topic, selling books in non traditional places is something about which I am a big fan.  I’m still waiting to see the Berkley Heat + Victoria Secret connection.

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I was somewhat surprised to see an advertorial for BlueInk Review, a company that will sell review services to self published authors. The company says that many of its reviewers also review for respected literary institutions.  I am wondering if the reviewers’ identities will be kept a secret like at Publishers Weekly and Kirkus?

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There don’t appear to be any great new deals.  The discounts I’ve seen are ones that I’ve posted about in the past so I’ll wait until Wednesday or Thursday and do a big post rounding up the sales. Dukes are still on sale!  You can click here to see past deal postings.