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eBook Bundling & Supporting a Diverse Retailer Ecosystem ›

In a previous blog post about the action at BEA I remarked that, “The hall was alive with e-book and e-commerce solutions and propositions that are really beginning to make sense. The geeks now know enough about the actual business of books to go after some real problems and opportunities.”
It turns out that this was … Read More »

The Trouble with eBooks: A Recap ›

Most of the blog posts put up in this space over the last two months have circled around three very major issues in regard to eBooks. Here they are, together with an account of what if any progress has been made in resolving each of them.
eBook Distribution: What’s the Deal?:
“No one who is really privy … Read More »

The Oxymoronic Notion of Digital Content: Part II ›

In the previous post, it was argued that the cost of the content of eBooks cannot be reduced much because the making of it is deeply artisanal in nature. Since content is in no deep sense digital, producing it at a high level cannot be automated, which is where important cost savings could have been … Read More »

The Oxymoronic Notion of Digital Content ›

The current controversy about the state of the eBook industry has been unproductive for a number of reasons. Much of the information out there on the blogs is just wrong—which should not come as a surprise because the book business is complicated. What’s surprising is the sour tone of so many of the comments on … Read More »

Co-op, Advertising Allowances, Free Freight, and other Examples of Discount Creep ›

Co-op used to be a bookseller’s charge to a book publisher or distributor to purchase special treatment for a particular title. “Give me $3000 and I will put your title on the new and notable table in 300 stores.” This evolved into something entirely different: “Give us 4% of your last-year sales with us for … Read More »

At What Discount Should Publishers Sell EBooks to Resellers? ›

Discounts matter. Here is a little history to illustrate that point:
When the mall stores—B Dalton, Walden—arrived on the scene, followed closely in the 1970s by the big box stores—Barnes & Noble, Borders—the big publishers rolled right over to their demands for better discount and of course the independents had to follow.
For the most part these … Read More »