Tuesday News: HarperCollins to be spun off; Niche authors protest price limit; Netflix reveals ISP Speeds
Netflix ISP Speed Index | Compare global internet service provider speeds – Netflix has set up a website where it compares the transfer speeds of various ISP providers. Unsurprisingly, in the US Google Fiber is the fastest (also non existent for most of the country). Clearwear is the lowest. My guess is that ISPs aren’t going to like this. Netflix
Murdoch to spin off WSJ, rest of publishing unit – Rupert Murdoch, head of News Corp. will spin off the publishing arm including newspapers, magazines and HarperCollins into a new corporation to be called News Corp. The publishing business will be given $2.56 billion in cash and no debt, giving it the means to invest in digital operations and acquire businesses.
This separation is a little different than the direction that Hyperion and Amazon are going which is to acquire books tied in to various video media segments. Business on NBCNews.com
Speaking of HarperCollins, its last quarter 18% increase in sales was primarily due to the Thomas Nelson catalog per Publishers’ Weekly.
‘Niche authors hit’ by Amazon’s e-book royalty rates – This is kind of an ironic article. On the one hand you have people like Hugh Howey who believes that Amazon’s price floor is too restrictive. Amazon doesn’t allow you to give a book away for free as a self published author unless you participate in the KDP Select program which makes the book exclusive to Amazon for 3 months. Howey would have liked to have priced his book lower but was required to price his serial works at 99c each.
On the other hand, niche authors are stuck with the $9.99 ceiling. To the deputy chief executive of the Society of Authors, the inability to price higher is hurting them. Books priced outside the sweet zone between $2.99 and $9.99 are penalized by Amazon through a lower royalty rate.
Any book priced below $2.99 and above $9.99 receive only a 35% royalty rate versus a 70% royalty rate.
Kate Pool, deputy chief executive of the Society of Authors, commented: “Our concern is the increasing dominance that Amazon is having. It is starting to change the perception of books entirely and the danger is people will start to see them in terms of cheap items rather than the price reflecting the time and research that has gone in to it.”The Bookseller
It’s perfectly possible for a self-published author to have a book virtually permanently free on amazon without joining Select. I’d be surprised if Howie didn’t know that.
Anything that makes ISPs unhappy is generally a win for consumers and music to my ears.
Good for Netflix! There are many misleading claims about network speed in various companies’ advertisements, and it’s great for consumers to have access to actual data.
When it comes to telecom, Americans pay more and get less.
I’ve been able to keep one of my books free on Amazon but not because I initiated that change; my book was already free on iBooks and B&N (Nook) and Amazon chose to price match. The have let it stay free for months (I’m not complaining; the sequel is my best selling book), but other authors tell him Amazon ignores the fact that their book is free elsewhere and leaves it at its initial price.
I found that article to be a bit bizarre, actually. They were complaining that Amazon was hurting authors because they created a system that favors ebooks priced at $2.99 to $9.99. But in fact since the revenue from KDP books is split between the author and Amazon, it seems to me that Amazon came up with this system because they expect to make more money that way. In effect, they think they will do better on 30 percent of moderately priced ebooks than on 70 percent of more expensive ebooks because they expect they will sell a lot more books that way.
If these authors aren’t happy, they can always go to B&N Pub-it or Smashwords.
@Little Red: Same in Australia.