Tuesday News: The Seven-Figure Advance, Apple settlement approved, report on UK digital lending, and Romance cover re-enactments
The Rise of the Seven-Figure Advance – This is a pretty interesting trend, because it seems to point to both the importance of the so-called “big books” for traditional publishing, and the competition for those books, which suggests that publishers are not finding a lot of material they feel is worth the large front-end payout. In some ways this seems to be a continuation of the business model that has historically driven traditional publishing. Some industry folks quoted in the story seem to suggest that publishers are acquiring fewer books, while others see editors going after more and new material. In other words, the usual inconclusiveness about the state of traditional publishing.
George Gibson, an industry veteran who is now publishing director at Bloomsbury USA, warned against reading too much into the latest round of big deals, noting that they happen “fairly regularly during the year.” Nonetheless, Gibson acknowledged that the business has changed. For the Big Five, especially, the highly sought-after projects have become essential. “The game plan to make your budget, or exceed it, relies on having bestsellers. That’s always been the case, but it’s the case now more so than ever.” Because both midlist and backlist titles aren’t selling as well as they once did, Gibson explained, the big books, “are more important.” –Publishers Weekly
Settlement in Apple Case Over E-Books Is Approved – Another hurdle toward settlement in the Apple case has been cleared, now that Judge Cote has approved the deal. There is speculation that pretty much everyone involved in this action — in all of its incarnations — are exhausted and just want the whole labyrinthine mess to be over.
In the hearing on Friday, Judge Denise L. Cote of Federal District Court in Manhattan approved an unusual settlement reached this summer in which Apple agreed to pay $400 million to consumers in cash and e-book credits, and $50 million to lawyers.
Those figures could still change, however, if an appeals court overturns a 2013 verdict in the case, in which Apple was found to have conspired with five major publishers to fix the price of e-books. The court, which will hear Apple’s challenge on Dec. 15, is not expected to change its previous ruling. –New York Times
An Incomplete Report on a Flawed Pilot Program Suggests that Library eBook Loans Don’t Drive Sales – The UK Publishers Association recently released their report on a six month pilot program in UK libraries, concluding that, among other things, digital lending is on the rise, digital borrowing is not undermining physical borrowing, and digital lending does not appear to be leading to digital purchasing. Nate Hoffelder has taken the report to task for a number of insufficiencies, including incomplete analysis of the borrowing-to-lending correlation:
There are some interesting conclusions here, but did you catch what was missing from the publicly available information?
For one thing, a list of titles included in the pilot, and a list of the stores which were available via the libraries’ websites. There was also no mention on the possible effect that the library ebook loans may have had on sales in ebookstores.
While I do agree that measuring the impact of library ebook loans is important, you can’t do that without at least trying to survey the entire ebook market. That was not discussed in the status report, and thus the report is incomplete. –The Digital Reader
10 Unretouched Romance Novel Covers Reenacted by Real People – Someone submitted this through the DA submission form, and OMG I don’t know whether to be delighted or stupefied. Maybe both. All I can say is that these models are brave. –Cosmopolitan
” Because both midlist and backlist titles aren’t selling as well as they once did”.
Can they not follow the basic math that shows lower prices lead to increased volume of sales and increased profits? I know their high e-book prices have driven me away from authors that use to be auto buys. I am retired and only have so much to spend to support my 3 book a week habit.
@Mo: Maybe if these books had some of those restaged covers, they’d sell better. Or maybe not…
Love the restaged covers and forgot (even though I have them all somewhere) how many Johanna Lindsey covers Fabio did.
Lol…Dan as Fabio. Also…the Ugg boots! Thanks, needed the laugh this morning.
I hadn’t realized how many guys on romance covers were using women to cover their naughty bits. Seriously guys, if you plan to run around nude, at least keep your pants or shirt handy, or maybe a towel. It looks less awkward.
I think I preferred Jim Hines’ version of number five.
“Because both midlist and backlist titles aren’t selling as well as they once did…”
From what I understand (I’ve been following publishing news via Dear Author and the like), bookstores etc. aren’t offering midlist and backlist titles… heck, publishers aren’t offering midlist and backlist titles. I ask: IS IT ANY WONDER THAT THEY AREN’T SELLING?
I was puzzled by the Digital Reader story because I heard just this morning (third-hand, so take with a boulder of salt) that S & S had informed Overdrive (the primary portal that US libraries use to circulate e-books) *exactly the opposite* — that they were convinced that library circulation was good for stimulating sales, EVEN THOUGH (emph mine) mandatory “buy” links on the library catalog did not directly result in many purchases.
Therefore S&S was no longer requiring libraries to include such links (many libraries are forbidden to include them by policy or by law), since the increased exposure through library collections far outweighed any potential loss through borrowing.
Like I said, third-hand, but it made more sense to ME.
Kept a straight face looking at the cover re-enactments, until THE SHADOW AND THE STAR. The heroine is obviously cracking up from the soaking-wet smooch, and I couldn’t help but join her.
I LOVED the cover reenactments! (Although both versions of Enchant the Heavens were highly disturbing–is he giving her a massage or breaking her neck?) You know, I never liked the Fabio covers back in the day, but now I’m quite nostalgic for them. :-) Thanks for sharing.