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19 posts from October 2012

A novel approach to going DRM-free

I had a very enlightening conversation today with a small publisher who shall remain nameless for the time being. More on their secrecy in a moment… They’re thinking of going DRM-free but with a couple of twists.


The future is bright for ebook prices and formats

I typically get a sympathetic look when I tell people I work in the book publishing industry. They see what’s happened with newspapers, they realize many of their local bookstores have disappeared, and most of them have heard about the self-publishing revolution. The standard question I’m asked is, “wow, isn’t this a terrible time to be a book publisher?” My answer: “We’re in the midst of a reinvention of the industry, and I can’t think of a better time to be a book publisher!”

Sure, there’s plenty of volatility in our business but we have an opportunity to not only witness change, but embrace it, as well.


The horrors of renting vs. owning ebooks

Here’s a story that ought to raise your blood pressure. It brings to life the worst fears of anyone who’s amassed a large collection of ebooks.

Linn, an Amazon Kindle customer, suddenly discovered her entire collection has been wiped clean. When she inquires about the situation Amazon gives her vague answers like:

We have found your account is directly related to another which has been previously closed for abuse of our policies.


Three questions for…Christophe Maire of txtr

1. Ebook adoption in Europe is lagging what we’ve seen in the U.S. What do you feel should be done to increase demand in Europe: Better reading devices, lower prices, something else?

There is no doubt that the demand is here. European consumers are just as keen on ebooks as the rest of the world! The primary driver is the distribution of attractive devices and competitive services. We have not seen a consistent push, like for B&N’s Nook, in Europe yet – so there is a lot of room for growth and new players have a chance too (i.e. mobile operators, etc.).


Amazon’s Kindle Whispercast service

Earlier today Amazon announced an interesting and important enhancement to the Kindle platform. It’s called Kindle Whispercast and on the surface it might seem pretty ho-hum. But when you think about the long-term possibilities it’s clear Whispercast could help establish the Kindle platform as the content distribution pipeline for schools and businesses.

Consider the typical business, for example. Today they have content all over the board. Employee handbooks are in print or maybe Microsoft Word format. Sales and marketing docs are in a variety of formats including spreadsheets, slides, PDFs and more. Formats are one thing but distribution capabilities are another. Some docs are emailed, others are on servers awaiting download and still others are just hard-copies sitting on someone’s desk.