13 Responses to Five Things Book Publishers Still Need To Learn

  1. Jennifer says:

    **standing up and cheering for this post** Well said.

  2. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by mikecane: NEW POST: Five Things Book Publishers Still Need To Learn http://tinyurl.com/yglecwa @jafurtado @jane_l @glecharles @KatMeyer @russmarshalek…

  3. Emily W. says:

    You just proved your own point since Doubleday is part of RH and not even a standalone division anymore. Mostly agree but hold out more hope for bookstores, they play a more important role for readers than Blockbuster (*shudder*) ever played for movie buffs.

    • mikecane says:

      Publishing “consolidated” so much since the 1970s, I don’t know which is part of which any longer. And like most of the reading public, I do not care who they are.

  4. clive says:

    I think, as a publisher, I would welcome the opportunity to sell my books on iTunes. The rumor is Apple would take a 30% cut and I would keep the 70%. No credit card processing fees, no returns, no printing costs, and no sale of used books. This sounds like a good place to be.

    • Chris Bates says:

      Clive, why not think bigger and more direct? Sure, use iTunes but why not focus on direct sales to your readers?

      What worth is a retail site if no one knows who you are? Personally, I’d focus on the content and marketing. Then direct sell the reader. Bye bye distributor and retailer.

      Time for publishers to get serious and start hustling for direct sales.

  5. clive says:

    Chris Bates Said: “Time for publishers to get serious and start hustling for direct sales.”

    My reply, as a small independent publisher, is:

    I do not want to set up a server that would deal directly with the reader. I do not want to set up a merchant account to handle credit card payment. I do not want to deal with support should something go wrong with the download. I do not want to deal with file formats or DRM issues.

    Also I think that being associated with iTunes and Apple, Inc. would go a long way to establish trust in the reader. I would expect more traffic to my publications through iTunes than through my company web site. The 30% that Apple would charge me to not have to deal with all these aspects seems very reasonable.

    • mikecane says:

      It all depends on the size of the publisher. I can see not wanting to deal with the issues you’ve mentioned. Letting Apple handle that for 30% makes sense. Just don’t forget to market the hell out of it *outside* iTunes otherwise no one will hardly know it even exists.

  6. laura says:

    This is a great post. I’ve been mulling it over for a few days, but I’m still stuck on point 4 trying to figure out what you were trying to say. Tower Records and Blockbuster Video are (*were* is more appropriate?) to record labels and studios what bookstore are to publishers. Your point was that bookstores are going the way of these dying giants? Or was it something else?

    I think you might have part of the answer to the future of the bookstore in point 3 regarding attention. I was reminded of the discussion over one of your previous posts earlier last month (https://ebooktest.wordpress.com/2009/12/06/quote-of-the-day-kathy-sierra/).

    In fact, I’d go so far as to propose that perhaps video games aren’t the enemy, but perhaps part of the solution. I’ll be bold and say that future bookstores might *be* the videogame, the TV, or the cinema, just as easily as they might be the Internet or a dedicated bookseller.

    Of course, here I have in mind transmedia (but not just transmedia), and I think the future holds a way to make transmedia experiences more seamless. If I watch Time After Time, and want to learn about H.G. Wells or read his stories, why should I have to go to a bookstore or to Amazon to get them? Why can’t that be integrated into my experience of the movie? Let’s say I come out of the cinema after Watchmen, why do I have to go to a bookstore to buy the graphic novel? Why can’t I do it there? If not physically (I know, it’s a distribution problem) then why not on my digital reader? [I know, I’ve already read the novel before going to see Watchmen, but perhaps that wouldn’t be true of *every* film.]

    Now games are a little more problematic. If I am playing Assassin’s Creed, and I’d like to read related stories about the Crusades or if I’m playing Call of Duty, I might like stories about WWII missions. Why should I have to go to a bookstore to get them? Why should I have to go to amazon.com? Why shouldn’t I be able to do it *within the game* or at least within the game environment (i.e. on my game console or other playing device)?

    I’m not talking about product placements here, I’m talking about being able to explore related content (in whatever form) from whatever starting point I choose.

    The future bookstore isn’t a bookstore at all, it’s a media store, and it will *be* everywhere.

  7. Frederic Erk says:

    As a video game lead designer I wanted our game – a tank combat simulation – to educate the gamer. I mean, not only about tanks, but also about the battlefields and history. Not only did it provide a great motivation, but also a wealth of opportunities in terms of multimedia.

    I think that Strategic Simulations Inc was one of the very few companies which dedicated some budget to historical booklets.

    If you consider gaming communities like air combat, there is enormous documentation available online and in bookstores.

    Just to illustrate my personal situation, I have thousands of books dedicated to tank combat.

    I think that video games could be a fantastic way to draw people back to reading.

  8. Ron says:

    Just an observation – I’ve read more bestselling books since I discovered the Kindle app for my iTouch in the last few weeks than I ever would have w/o it – why? Because it is so easy & inexpensive to go out and get newly available books. This is the way of the future – publishing houses need to wake up, or they will be like another dinosaur moving towards extinction – the newspaper.

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