When it comes to e-books, there are marketing and selling “game changers” around every bend. But two recent developments in e-book selling have caught our attention – the selling of e-books on a subscription based model (“eat as much as you can”), and the bundling of e-books with print books. The time for these kind of models to be implemented in bookselling is ripe. Of course these new platforms for e-bookselling will have an impact on the pricing and perceived value of e-books – and with recent price fixing and subsequent seemingly chaotic approach to e-book pricing, it’s time to reconsider what we thought we knew about e-book selling.
In your physical bookshop, customers will enter, move around and finally exit the premises in a manner that is largely dictated by your floor plan and accepted laws of physics. It would give you quite a shock if, one day, you were to witness a customer suddenly blinking into existence next to the gardening bookshelf at the back of your shop. Imagine if you tried to approach this ghostly shopper, only for her to simply vanish into thin air, then instantly reappear in a different part of the shop, before finally disappearing altogether, never to be seen or heard of again. You would probably be seriously questioning your grip on reality. This unlikely-sounding scenario happens all the time in the online version of your shop.
It is a bit of a conundrum that bookselling has never been more topical whilst at the same time the industry has never been faced with such huge threats to the status quo.
“It has become fashionable recently to take booksellers out of the bookselling equation, to argue that publishers need to treat consumers, not booksellers, as their customer,” says Philip Jones on the Bookseller.com.
But this kind of linear logic is not as straightforward as it sounds. Even online, despite a decade of talk, the consumer-facing trade publisher website remains all but illusory. The trade is too diverse for simple solutions.
The first week of September was once again marked with a flurry of reading promotion activities across South Africa. National Book Week was launched in Port Elizabeth on Monday, 2 September 2013. The launch was attended by some of the leading voices in the South African literary landscape.
Perhaps we should look to one of our BRICS partner-countries, Brazil, to get a glimpse of what the future of Educational bookselling in South Africa could hold in store. Nuvem de Livros, a subscription based digital library that started in September 2011, has recently boasted that they have 1 million users in Brazil and Argentina, making them the single largest e-book subscription service in the world, short only of the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library. The reason for their success? Students, according to Nate Hoffeider at Thedigitalreader.com. Nuvem de Livros was launched to offer students access to content that Brazil’s limited school libraries couldn’t provide. The goals were ambitious to start with – Terra Brasil reports that this platform has a goal of supporting the 15 million Brazilian students who only have a limited access to a library, as well as the 3 million college students taking distance-learning courses.
The South African Book Fair (previously known as Cape Town Book Fair) is back! The Fair will be held in Cape Town from 13 to 15 June 2014 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC).
A Durban-based independent publisher requires a Commercial Manager to oversee our list of trade titles. We are looking for a dynamic all-rounder whose primary responsibilities will be:
This is the trailer for Masterpiece an Italian TV Reality show on Rai 3. It is a new experiment to discover the Next Big Writer and boost reading in Italy. Apparently it has been discussed with much sarcasm in the European and American media. A guest contributer on Publishingperspectives gives a wonderful account of the first show. Read it here.
It sounds like something I’d love to watch. Imagine what a South African version could do for Literacy here.
London’s new Australia & New Zealand Festival of Literature & Arts had a glamorous, clever launch on Monday, reports Roger Tagholm on publishingperspectives. It takes place May 29-June 1, 2014.
“Argentina’s book business remains robust, having sold more than 50 million books in 2012, worth an estimated revenue of $535.7 million. According to the Cultural Information System of Argentina (SINCA), the country’s 2,256 bookstores are responsible for 80% of total book sales, with sales equally divided between hundreds of independent bookshops and a few large chains,” writes Ana Prieto on Publishing perspectives in the latest piece on the value of good bookstores and why they will survive despite the change surrounding them. Read it here.