- A few days ago an analyst's report on Reed Elsevier points out, as I did, that Elsevier cannot generate organic growth from their existing market because their customers don't have the money.
- A fascinating blog interview between two self-publishing e-book authors reveals that the Kindle is providing them a profitable business model. John Locke then held the #1, #4 and #10 spots on the Amazon Top 100, with another 3 books in the top 40. Joe Konrath had the #35 spot. Of the top 100, 26 slots were held by independent authors. John and Joe had been charging $2.99 per download, of which Amazon gave them 70%. When they dropped the price to $0.99 per download of which Amazon only gives them 35%, not just their sales but also their income exploded. John is making $1800/day from $0.99 downloads. Kevin Kelly predicts that in 5 years, the average price of e-books will be $0.99. As he points out:
$1 is near to the royalty payment that an author will receive on, say, a paperback trade book. So in terms of sales, whether an author sells 1,000 copies themselves directly, or via a traditional publishing house, they will make the same amount of money.If publishers were doing all the things they used to do to promote books, maybe this would not be a problem. But they aren't. Tip of the hat to Slashdot.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Bleak Future of Publishing
In my JCDL2010 keynote last June I spoke about the bleak future for publishers in general, and academic journal publishers such as Elsevier in particular. As I expected, I was met with considerable skepticism. Two recent signs indicate that I was on the right track: