Thoughts on Recent Publishing News

March 27, 2011

The New York Times announced their pricing model last week, to take place at month’s end. I have no issues with their minimum free content, 15.00 and 20.00 per four weeks (not monthly) subscriptions and am glad that they won’t be making an effort to prevent Twitter and Facebook from linking to their content.

Regarding the book publishing industry — Did we really expect that the major publishing houses would price their electronic books at a minimal discount from their paper counterparts? Other than major bestsellers, Kindle savings are minor. Let’s see if we have to pay sales taxes on digital downloads!

I’m as disappointed as I am glad that a federal judge denied Google’s plan to digitize every book ever published. There will be time to come up with a settlement. No one should be in a hurry to have Google become the world’s bookstore.. .


I Just Forgot What I Read…

July 11, 2010

Nicolas Carr’s book ‘The Shallows: What The Internet Is Doing To Our Brains’ makes the case for a web-induced culture of short attention span pod people. Carr’s theory is backed up from a variety of tests and studies, each of which appears to make the same conclusion – a correlation between the increase of internet usage, with a decline in the absorption of more sophisticated contemplation or thought. He makes a good case and I wanted this post to be longer, but my attention is being diverted to other distractions…

But seriously, David Brooks discusses the same topic in his current ‘New York Times’ editorial.

Gutenberg Is So Retro!

June 2, 2010

Great NYT Opinion piece comparing the virtues of good, old fashioned books to their colder, digital brethren.

The Publishing Tortoise and the Technology Hare

April 26, 2010

For a long time, I have been critical of the book publishing industry’s procrastination in accepting the web as a sales, marketing and distribution force. It was almost as if publishers believed that the internet was some fad that was going to go away and that people would always want to read their books printed on paper. In light of the financial losses that the music, newspaper and motion picture industries were dealing with due to digital conversion of content, the book publishers’ apprehension was somewhat understandable, yet also frustrating in that they seemed to be avoiding the obvious and needed to develop their own digital content strategy. Read the rest of this entry »

Apple and Google Fight It Out Over Mobile

March 14, 2010

A recent New York Times article relates the growing tensions between Apple and Google over future of mobile phones and operating systems. For Apple up to this point, it has been a profitable market with little competition. The iPhone has set the standard for smartphones and their app store is a wild success. Much as they have done with the music industry and their iTunes store, Apple would like a gated marketplace where apps for all OS’s can be sold. This would obviously increase profits of what has quickly become a very successful area of Apple’s business. Read the rest of this entry »

How Much Less Should E-Books Be Priced?

March 1, 2010

With the publishing companies alarmed that e-books are not being priced high enough, this New York Times piece sets it straight on costs and profits for paper and digital tomes.

Digital Content Pricing Issues

February 6, 2010

In the glare of last week’s iPad press circus, a case example of the conflict between old and new media content pricing, may have been lost in the glare.

The CEO of one of the world’s largest publishing companies, Macmillan, delivered an ultimatum to Amazon “We want the prices of our digital content to be increased, or else!  Read the rest of this entry »