What’s Happening in the Publishing World

Every week for my Interactive Media class, I post links to current articles about what’s going on in the publishing world. So here’s a list of what’s happening this week:

First, here is an argument against the agency model for e-books. Annette Green writes about how, through the agency model, publishers are basically screwing themselves. Print versions of books are often selling for less than e-book versions, and she thinks this undermines the whole digital publishing market.

E-Books and the Agency Argument

Next, the Amazon France CEO says that e-book prices should be at least 30-40% lower than print books. Apparently, there is a bill for publishers to fix e-book prices is now on its way through the French parliament, which means they will soon figure out who will set the book prices, and then publishers will ask that e-books be set at lower prices. Also, the CEO said the company does not plan on turning Kindle into a multimedia device; it will remain a reader, and soon will offer magazines and newspapers.

Amazon France CEO Warns Against High E-Book Prices

In the UK, a new survey shows that Amazon is the most popular e-book vendor. Also, things in general are looking up for e-books. 47% of respondents had bought an e-book this year, compared to 20% last year.

Survey Reveals Amazon as Most Popular E-Book Vendor

Speaking of the success of e-books, e-book sales in the US jumped 158% last month. 14 publishers that reported e-book sales said they hit $39.9 million last month.

E-Books Bright Spot in Bleak September

So now everyone is trying to figure out a way to make money with their e-books. PW hosted a panel with cookbook publishers, who are all trying to find a way to compete with all the recipes found on the Internet. They believe cookbooks will always be around, because they make great gifts, but they still don’t know how to make up the money lost to the Internet.

The Cookbook Shelf Moves Online

But what about poetry? Poetry is very hard to translate into e-book form, because there is no set code for stanzas, breaks, etc. And, if poems are not properly formatted, their meaning and flow completely changes–particularly if it’s meant to be a visual poem. Editors are trying to work on this now, but it’s going to be tricky.

Breaking the Poetry Code

In general publishers are paying authors less money (I’m talking about advanced payments for new or mid-listed authors). But Hollywood is going the opposite direction–even for previously unpublished authors. They’re “paying a lot more – and pushing the films through faster – in the hopes of capitalizing on the Next Big Thing.” Some recent examples include “I Am Number Four,” “Bitch is the New Black,” “Here Lies Bridget,” “Matched,” and “Green Lantern.”

Hollywood Throws Big Buckets at Untested Novelists

And lastly, going off the last link, here’s a list of

Big Payments for 5 Authors


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