Monday, January 08, 2007

Monday Round-up: Deals News,, E-Books

There were reports on Friday that some or all of Reed Elsevier was in play. The stock price moved a little on the London exchange. With so much private equity money looking for a place to go it is not surprising that Reed is mentioned in the same category as Thomson Learning, Wolters Kluwer Education (who made it official today that the unit is for sale) and VNU. The reports indicated that perhaps there may be some type of asset swap in the works between Wolters Kluwer and RE. The stock was back down today but the market was off as well.

Reuters reports on the LA Times predictions for 2007 and focuses on the prediction that Murdoch will buy the WSJ - which was one of my predictions for 2007. (Check out the brown nosing comment). In the interests of full disclosure, I must state that I started my media career selling one of the Murdoch families first newspapers The Herald in Melbourne Australia. It was an afternoon paper and this was my first real job at 14 and I retain some unresolved issues with said Digger. In the middle of my first year he raised the newspaper price from eight cents to ten cents which severly cut into my take home tips: 2 cents extra on almost every newspaper can add up!

Teleread is a blog new to me and it was this article with the provocative title of Do The Big Publishers Really Want E-Books to Succeed which got my attention. The site appears to be dedicated to promoting all things e-Book and I plan to continue to visit the site. (Coincidentally, here is a letter to the editor of Computerworld regarding the same subject).

I have spoken about a few times and here is a CNET article (reported in The New York Times) about the company and its benefits. The depiction as described mimics my experience. In summary, using means you don't have to do this:

She spent $14,000 of her own money and went $60,000 in debt, had to do her own distribution, and still stores boxes of Drama in the Desert: The Sights and Sounds of Burning Man in her friend's basement.
But you have more flexibility to do this:

Today, she could create the book herself online, order as few as one copy of the 144-page hardbound book for $39.95 or get a volume discount, and sell her book for whatever price she wants without having to do any shipping or handling, all through

Also, you can create new versions of your existing titles - adding pages, more images, etc. and you don't have to start over. The company continues to add functionality and as these come available you can apply them to the titles you have already produced to do something different or more advanced. And, you never have to worry about obsolete copies because you can order one at a time.

The Belfast Herald is not a paper I read every day but this article (which maybe a reprint) popped up in my news feed today about Hot Reads for 2007. Why The Bookseller thinks Classic Literature will be hot in 2007 is hard for me to fathom and I must have missed the explosion in paranormal romance novels (presumably novels) here in the US last year which they think is going to flow over to Europe. On another note, you do have to wonder where Pete Doherty is going to get the time to write his memoirs what with being in and out of jail.

If any one can explain this story to me from Detroit I would be eternally grateful. Apparently, one Roger Dale Anklam of Cadillac, MI. has been charged with "two counts of uttering and publishing." I wasn't aware it was possible. Go figure.

If you have ever wondered how the BBC news reporters pronouce all those funny names like Ahmadinejhad then worry no more. The BBC is publishing their secret guide to pronunciation. Perhaps it will be the sleeper hit of the season something like Eats, Shoots and Leaves. It is a running joke in our family that no one in the United States can pronounce our family name and while this won't help us perhaps those "news" readers over at Fox News could learn from it.

Eoin Purcell has some additional comments related to my Publisher Futurist post from last week.


    Eoin Purcell said...

    Now that is class!
    What a truly old fashioned concept!
    Had to check wikipedia (more of the concepts you mentioned yesterday) to see what it was all about.

    Kent Larsen said...

    I've been using POD for a few years now, and's prices seem quite expensive, even for the vanity "publishers" that cater to the general public. From what I can see, the prices on the industry leaders, who cater more to established publishers than to the public, are about half what is quoting. Even so, to make money selling the 144-page book mentioned in your post through traditional bookstores at standard discounts, you would have to charge $60 to $80 a copy -- a very hard sell compared to traditionally printed books.

    I'm afraid widespread use of color in POD is still awaiting improvements that will yield better prices.