Sunday, March 23, 2014

MediaWeek (V8, N12) Nielsen BookData?, Foriegn Language, eBook ILL, Netflix for Books + More

Check out these articles and more at Personanondata - The Magazine

Perhaps and old story... (Michael Kozlowski)
So it should now be obviously quite clear that some authors are buying their way onto the bestseller lists. Book sales are the main component, but Amazon is now employing other factors such as book reviews.  Todd Rutherford ran a website called that reviewed books for $99.99 a pop or arranged 20 reviews for $499 or 50 reviews for $999. He would post them on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other booke websites to help authors get noticed. It certainly helped indie darling John Locke, who ordered 300 reviews and went on to sell over one million ebooks on Amazon. Before this website was shut down, it was generating $28,000 a month from authors looking for a competitive advantage.
So how many books do you need to sell to get on Amazon’s bestseller list? Normally you need to get between 500 and 1,000 sales of your book within the first few days following its release to make it to the top 100. If you’re really ambitious and your aim is to hit the Top 5, you’re going to have to be a lot more aggressive in getting higher sales numbers. It seems that a title in Amazon’s top five averages 1,094 print copies sold across all channels, including other retailers, on a typical day. Amazon controls close to 70% of the US eBook market and 30% of selling physical books.

The (estimated) value of learning a language (Prospero):
But for the sake of provocation, Mr Dubner seems to have low-balled this. He should know the power of lifetime earnings and compound interest. First, instead of $30,000, assume a university graduate, who in America is likelier to use a foreign language than someone without university. The average starting salary is almost $45,000. Imagine that our graduate saves her “language bonus”. Compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe (a statement dubiously attributed to Einstein, but nonetheless worth committing to memory). Assuming just a 1% real salary increase per year and a 2% average real return over 40 years, a 2% language bonus turns into an extra $67,000 (at 2014 value) in your retirement account. Not bad for a few years of “où est la plume de ma tante?

PEW takes on The Future of the Internet (Pew):
This report is the latest research report in a sustained effort throughout 2014 by the Pew Research Center to mark the 25th anniversary of the creation of the World Wide Web by Sir Tim Berners-Lee. He wrote a paper on March 12, 1989 proposing an “information management” system that became the conceptual and architectural structure for the Web.  He eventually released the code for his system  — for free — to the world on Christmas Day in 1990. It became a milestone in easing the way for ordinary people to access documents and interact over the Internet — a system that linked computers and that had been around for years.
The Web became a major layer of the Internet. Indeed, for many, it became synonymous with the Internet, even though that is not technically the case. Its birthday offers an occasion to revisit the ways it has made the Internet a part of Americans’ social lives.
Our first report tied to the anniversary looked at the present and the past of the Internet, marking its strikingly fast adoption and assessing its impact on American users’ lives. This report is part of an effort by the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project in association with Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center to look at the future of the Internet, the Web, and other digital activities. This is the first of eight reports based on a canvassing of hundreds of experts about the future of such things as privacy, cybersecurity, the “Internet of things,” and net neutrality. In this case we asked experts to make their own predictions about the state of digital life by the year 2025. We will also explore some of the economic change driven by the spectacular progress that made digital tools faster and cheaper. And we will report on whether Americans feel the explosion of digital information coursing through their lives has helped them be better informed and make better decisions.

Eric Hellman on interlibrary loan.  He says the notion is silly.
For digital content, the buy vs. borrow equation shifts back a bit. In principal, there's no shipping cost and modern databases can retrieve a digital item in milliseconds. But if a library can do digital ILL, what is to prevent libraries from sharing a resource so widely that only one library in the world needs to buy the item?

Esposito: Everybody wants a Netflix for books ( or do they?):
So when people say they want a Netflix for books, which of these 3 services are they talking about? It’s my distinct impression that most people confuse Netflix #1 with Netflix #2, and they forget about the lag time for the DVDs. They want a comprehensive and fully up-to-date library for a low monthly price. This will hot happen for movies and video and it will not happen for books.
This does not mean that there will not be book aggregations. There already are. What it means is that aggregations are simply another distribution channel for content and have to be analyzed like any other. If an aggregation is comprehensive, it will cannibalize sales from other channels. Hence no aggregation can be comprehensive. If the aggregation releases titles too quickly, even if the aggregation is less than comprehensive, it could interfere with other channels, which interferes with the media strategy known as “windowing,” which releases properties along a planned-out timeline the better to maximize returns. An aggregation, in other words, is a limited collection of books placed on the market precisely when the value of those titles is not greater in other channels.
From the twitter this week:

Kevin Trudeau Sentenced to 10 Years Over Claims in Diet Book
Mike Oldfield: 'We wouldn't have had Tubular Bells without drugs'  
David Beckham Stars In Only Fools And Horses Sport Relief Special - 1080p:  
British Library Says It's Copyright Infringement To Take Photos Inside The Library; Demands Person Delete Tweet:  
How Harry Potter Bankrolled A Textbook Business | CFO  

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