When I heard that Kobo was gearing up to let authors upload books on preorder status, I didn’t know that Smashwords would soon be leading the charge on most of its premium channel distributors.
Yes, Mark Coker and company are now offering preorders, but in a public beta test. The big news is that you don’t have to be James Patterson’s staff of assistants or Hugh Howey to make your next book available for preordering. Continue reading “Smashwords Now Offers Preordering, But Is It for You?”
In the very short version of this story, Apple got together with big publishing and invented something called the agency pricing model.
This was their warm, fuzzy way of saying the publishers would set the retail prices.
Under the traditional pricing model, publishers charged booksellers something like half the cover price of a book, and allowed the booksellers to discount the books to whatever price they wanted. But Amazon took that even further and discounted the books to below wholesale price. Yes, Amazon was losing money on every eBook they sold.
Because the big publishers do not want eBooks eating into print book revenues, they do not want deep discounts on digital editions. The agency pricing model effectively eliminated any discounts on the cover price.
Despite the fact that Apple was the one nailed by the court, what really underlies this whole shameful episode is panic in the publishing industry. You see, Amazon continued to pay the full wholesale price for the books they bought from Random Penguin Solutions, et al. Every single one of the publishers would have made a higher per unit profit on books sold by Amazon than those sold under the agency pricing model. Obviously it isn’t just about the money. It is about survival. Continue reading “The Price-Fixing Debacle”
The Apple e-book price-fixing trial finally got underway in U.S. federal court in Manhattan last week. Five of the six original defendants – the Big Five publishers – agreed to settle with the government, leaving Apple as the sole defendant at trial.
I’m tempted to insert a pun here about the U.S. Justice Department making like William Tell and aiming the arrow of the law straight at Apple. But I’m restraining myself because this is serious business. Continue reading “Of Apple, E-books, and Game-changers”
A discussion started here Tuesday on K.S. Brooks’ post about common formatting mistakes in print books about whether a novel needs a table of contents. I like a healthy discussion, but I like facts better. So I did a web search to try to find out whether Amazon requires a ToC in every Kindle book.
The answer is no.* The KDP Publishing Guide mentions ToCs in two places. It says here that an active ToC is recommended, and here it says that an active ToC is “highly recommended.” In neither spot does it say that a ToC is required. Even Amazon’s official Kindle Publishing Guidelines pdf (which gets very granular – CSS, anyone?) uses the word “recommended,” not “required,” when talking about ToCs. Continue reading “Building an Active Table of Contents”