Round up #101: Pay-what-you-want, E-ngland
The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.
London swings like the digital do
Customers at Amazon.co.uk now buy e-books more than they do p-books (paperbooks).
While that in itself is remarkable after only about two years…for every 100 print books, they sell 114 e-books. That includes p-books where there is no e-book edition…and does not include freebies.
However, there are a lot of other interesting things in the press release.
“With Kindle, readers read more. In the UK, we have seen that Kindle readers buy 4x the number of books they did prior to owning a Kindle. And, Kindle owners continue to buy physical books as well.”
Read that one again…Kindle readers buy four times the number of books they did prior to owning a Kindle!
That’s why there is enough room for everybody in the market right now…indies and tradpubs (traditional publishers).
They also talk a lot about indies in the release.
E L James (Fifty Shades of Grey), a former indie, has sold more than two million “copies” just at Amazon.co.uk…and has now sold more books there than J.K. Rowling!
That’s right…Harry Potter isn’t as popular as…you know what, I’ll let you fill in that pun.
England has, of course, a very rich and strong traditional publishing history…interesting to see that they are embracing independent publishing so strongly.
The Customer Pricing Model
We’ve heard a lot about publishers setting consumer prices (okay, “a lot” doesn’t quite capture it)…what about letting customers set the prices?
That’s right…you can go to Snug Nugget and pay what you want for their e-book bundles.
I’m sure some of you (a few of you? maybe just me?) immediately think of Alfalfa letting audiences “pay as you exit” when the Little Rascals put on a performance of Romeo and Juliet, and what a disaster that was? No? Okay, then.
I think the reason why this can work is that the website is donating about 15% of whatever you pay to charity…specifically,
which helps bring books and literacy in sub-Saharan Africa.
Sure, some people may massively underpay…but others will deliberately overpay as a way of making a donation.
I don’t think this will become widespread, but it’s interesting to see.
I read about it first in this
Don’t judge a cover by its e-book
NPR has an interesting piece with Chip Kidd, a leading contemporary book cover artist:
You can listen to it, or you can read it.
I’m not a very visual person, but this is a fascinating perspective from someone who is supremely qualified to comment.
One interesting point: Kidd refers to hardbacks as a “luxury item”, and I agree with the artist there…that goes back to my suggestion of us seeing the
Said I’d like to know where…you got the motion
Hues Corporation? No?
Just checking in on the DoJ (Department of Justice) action against the original five Agency Model publishers and Apple. This
talks about the DoJ filing a motion to have the agreement they’ve reached with HarperCollilns, Hachette, and Simon & Schuster approved. This is just one more step along the way, but we are getting closer to retailers setting customer prices on e-books again, at least from these publishers.
also hosted by PW, makes it clear what the publishers agree to do to avoid fighting in court.
Once it’s all settled, does it means New York Times bestseller hardback fiction equivalents drop right away to $9.99 at Amazon?
I’m not sure that’s the case. Clearly, people are willing to pay $12.99. The e-book market is now much more established.
I do think we can see price wars between Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
I think we’ll see a lot more books get put on sale…former Agency Model titles being the Kindle Daily Deal, for example.
An across the board drop to $9.99 on those NYT titles? I’m not convinced…the market has shown a willingness to pay more.
Go Kobo Go
If you are using Kobo on your non-Fire Android device, they’ve recently greatly updated the app.
According to this
by Edgar Alvarez, the app has added languages and a two-page view for tablets. It’s also more integrated with Facebook (they say they are “…the only official eReading partner of Facebook”), and they are pushing Kobo Pulse. I do think Amazon would benefit from getting something more social going with the Kindle store.
The app is available from Google Play…which basically means we don’t have it for the Fire.
What do you think? Does selling more make Fifty Shades more culturally significant than Harry Potter? What is the future for tradpubs? Does the format of e-books for online shopping mean that intricate book covers are going to be marginalized? Do you use Kobo?
Feel free to let me and my readers know…
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.