A couple of recent articles got me thinking again about the current revolution in ebooks and related subjects.
First, the New York Times in The Bookstore’s Last Stand took a look at Barnes and Noble’s attempts to stay competitive in the current environment, focusing on B&N’s creation of the Nook and on its current CEO, William J. Lynch Jr., who joined the company three years ago after working at IAC/InterActiveCorp, the parent company of the Home Shopping Network. Lynch ran both hsn.com and gifts.com there. Surprisingly, Lynch, who considers himself a technology guy and even claims that Barnes and Noble is a “technology company” told the Times that “the idea that devices like the Nook, Kindle and Apple iPad will make bookstores obsolete is nonsense.”
Continue reading “ebooks and the self-publishing bubble”
Last week the Salt Lake Tribune reported that Deseret Book has produced its own eReader app to make its books available on Apple iPhones and iPads. Since its ebooks were already available on the Kindle, I’ve been thinking about why many publishers have decided to do this, and what it might mean for the future of publishing and for the LDS market.
Continue reading “Deseret Book creates an app–but why?”
Over the past few years I’ve come across statements that show a misunderstanding of the basic costs and economics that book publishers and producers face. For example, there are regular complaints about the cost of ebooks in comparison to print books, generally suggesting that publishers have priced ebooks unreasonably high. Other statements imply that traditional publishers keep 90% of the profits of book sales, while giving the author just a small part. Still others assume that since the cost of producing each additional ebook is nothing, that ebooks will soon overtake print book sales and publishers will disappear.
As I considered these claims, I realized that they are often based on little or no knowledge of publishing economics. So I thought it might be useful to give a basic overview of the costs and economics of book publishing–something that might help those considering publishing their own ebooks, and that might help consumers decide if prices really are too high and authors understand why publishers don’t give them more money. I’m sure for some readers this is obvious–if so, then you likely agree with me about many of the complaints about publishers aren’t justified, or you will be able to tell me why I’m wrong.
Continue reading “Publishing Economics I: The real costs come before you print”
You probably know Ben Crowder as the Editor-in-Chief of Mormon Artist magazine. But Ben is the kind of guy who always has several projects going on at one time, and I thought that one of them that he is actively working on right now — the Mormon Texts Project — would be of interest to AMV’s readers.
Could you briefly describe the Mormon Texts Project for our readers who may not have heard of it?
The goal of the Mormon Texts Project is to make out-of-copyright Mormon books available for free online, specifically in plain text through Project Gutenberg. (We chose Project Gutenberg because it’s been around for a long time and has a lot of reach.)
You are actively looking for volunteers to help with MTP. Do volunteers need to have major tech skills to help? What do they need to do/know/have?
Only basic tech skills are needed — the majority of the work our volunteers do consists of comparing a page of text to the corresponding page image, fixing formatting problems according to our MTP guidelines. An eye for detail helps, of course. Volunteers can do this on pretty much any kind of computer. (In the past we’ve emailed out the page images and page text, but we’re in the middle of switching to a web app.) Continue reading “Ben Crowder on the Mormon Texts Project”
What will the LDS market look like 20 years from now? Will there even be an LDS market? Will there still be LDS books, music, film and other cultural goods? If they exist, will they simply be sold as part of the national market in the U.S.? What about outside of the U.S.?
Continue reading “How Vulnerable is the LDS Market?”
This past week has been quite busy for news about the LDS market and the publishing industry. The following are noteworthy:
- Cedar Fort saw unexpected promotional success with Melissa Moore‘s book, Shattered Silence, which will be the subject of an Oprah episode that airs September 17th.
- Deseret Management announced that the websites of Deseret Book, KSL, the Deseret News, LDS Church News, and Mormon Times will now all be managed by a new division in the company, Deseret Digital.
- A 17-year-old American Fork teenager M’Lin Rowley, signed a 10-book deal with Deseret Book‘s Shadow Mountain imprint.
Continue reading “News & Comment: Cedar Fort Title Makes Oprah & Other News”
Zoe Murdock owns, with her husband, H.O.T. Press, which for years published tech manuals. When she decided to write fiction–the semi-autobiographical novel Torn by God: A Family’s Struggle with Polygamy–she just went ahead and published it herself. (personal website, twitter)
Moriah Jovan started B10 Mediaworx to publish her novel The Proviso. The novel is the first in a six-part series. The second volume, Stay, will be released around Thanksgiving. (blog, novels website, twitter)
Riley Noehren is the author of Gravity vs. the Girl. And, yes, she published it herself under the name Forty-Ninth Street Publishers. (blog, twitter)
Table of contents
On the seemingly larger number of LDS women than LDS men in indie publishing
The future roles of traditional/indie publishers and traditional/e distribution
How to get folks to your site
On editing for publication
On paying the bills
On selling out
What we can expect from them in the future
Back to work
Now let’s start by letting them introduce themselves: Continue reading “Those LDS Ladies of Indie Publishing”