I’m really excited about the prospects for a flood of new books that will be released just before the holidays.
The holiday season is typically a time where many people give gifts of “coffee-table” pictorial books, purchased at highly discounted prices. Two of the most anticipated include Bruce Springsteen concerts from 1980-2012, and a six-volume edition about Hugh Hefner’s Playboy, including famous articles and centerfolds. We will always see this type of book featured at that time of year.
But, in an article in Monday’s Wall Street Journal, we learn that great new fiction and non-fiction works will also be available. This is great news at a time when sales of books are down. Both the online and brick-and-mortar stores should gain valuable revenue and profits from the collection coming out.
You can read the full article here:
In Of Two Minds About Books, Matt Richtel and Claire Cain Miller of the NY Times weigh in on the changing book landscape. (It is one of the “most e-mailed” articles at the moment). The question of the day: physical books, or e-books? There are now enough couples who read both types that they are now choosing sides.
The article begins this way:
Auriane and Sebastien de Halleux are at sharp odds over “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” but not about the plot. The problem is that she prefers the book version, while he reads it on his iPad. And in this literary dispute, the couple says, it’s ne’er the twain shall meet.
Already, publishers are moving toward “if you buy the physical book, you get the e-book free” packaging:
A few publishers and bookstores are testing the bundling of print books with e-books at a discount. Barnes & Noble started offering bundles in June at about 50 stores and plans to expand the program in the fall, said Mary Ellen Keating, a Barnes & Noble spokeswoman.
Thomas Nelson, a publisher of religious books, offers free e-books with a print book for some titles. It is particularly good for readers who want to share books with family or friends who read in different formats, said Tod Shuttleworth, senior vice president and group publisher at Thomas Nelson. The bundles have sold well, and Thomas Nelson is considering adding more for the holiday shopping season.
As I have said often, I think the day of the e-book as dominant is right around the corner. It seems and feels inevitable. There are too many articles describing the problem, and hinting at the ultimate outcome.
And this has nothing to do with my preference. I like the smell of musty pages, and the sound of pages turning.
I have written before about the danger to the “traditional book” (you know — the kind you hold in your hand, the kind with a cover, and pages, and the smell of books if they are old enough) posed by the arrival of the Kindle and its rivals. The worry is spreading far and wide.
Here are the words of the head of a major French publishing group:
His complaint is primarily the fixed price of $9.99. Out-of-copyright books have no author to pay, and the current hard covers are $9.99, which means:
“On the one hand, you have millions of books for free where there is no longer an author to pay and, on the other hand, there are very recent books, bestsellers at $9.99, which means that all the rest will have to be sold at between zero and $9.99,” Mr Nourry said.
I don’t know the ultimate outcome of this battle. It is still very early. But one look at sales figures for Kindle versions of best-sellers and you learn that the market share is rising faster than most imagined it would. And it is still in its infancy. As I have said, just wait until Apple comes out with a reader, as is rumored.
And– market share, price point — these do not touch on another key feature, the sheer convenience of the product. You can literally carry an entire library in your hand.
Let’s keep checking back in on over time. It is going to be an interesting ride.