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Top Author Shifts E-Book Rights to Amazon.com
NYTimes.com ^ | 12/14/2009 | BRAD STONE and MOTOKO RICH

Posted on 12/16/2009 6:28:30 AM PST by SonOfDarkSkies

Ever since electronic books emerged as a major growth market, New York’s largest publishing houses have worried that big-name authors might sign deals directly with e-book retailers or other new ventures, bypassing traditional publishers entirely.

Now, one well-known author is doing just that.

Stephen R. Covey, one of the most successful business authors of the last two decades, has moved e-book rights for two of his best-selling books from his print publisher, Simon & Schuster, a division of the CBS Corporation, to a digital publisher that will sell the e-books to Amazon.com for one year.

...

The move promises to raise the already high anxiety level among publishers about the economics of digital publishing and could offer authors a way to earn more profits from their works than they do under the traditional system.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: books; ebooks; nonfiction; publishing

1 posted on 12/16/2009 6:28:32 AM PST by SonOfDarkSkies
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To: SonOfDarkSkies

The publisher handles the final editing and layout, the printing and the advertising and distribution. The final editing and layout is now relatively cheap as it can be done by an editor with an off the shelf PC for a few thousand dollars of pay. The advertising and distribution can be handled by the stores themselves, especially for electronic versions which don’t need trucks to haul them around. That leaves printing which isn’t needed for ebooks. So, just what value does the publisher add as a middleman?


2 posted on 12/16/2009 6:45:56 AM PST by KarlInOhio (Gore is the fifth horseman of the apocalypse. He rides an icy horse bringing cold wherever he goes.)
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To: KarlInOhio

I’d hoped the eReader boom would open up more books and formats, not cause exclusivity contracts with authors. No sane author would restrict the sale of his/her dead tree novels to one bookstore chain!

If you could buy a book direct from an independent author via ePub or PDR, at a cheaper price, I’d jump at it. Support the author directly, encourage them, and give them a better idea of what market they’re reaching for.


3 posted on 12/16/2009 6:51:08 AM PST by Kieri (The Conservatrarian)
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To: Kieri
Maybe Amazon gave Steven Covey a deal he just couldn't refuse??

You know, to create buzz at this time of the year about their kindle.

4 posted on 12/16/2009 7:01:04 AM PST by hennie pennie
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To: KarlInOhio
Yep!

There is going to be a rapid-fire revolution in that industry and it will be fun to watch the self-anointed keepers of the gate take a fall.

It will also be interesting to see how this revolution affects the ease with which new authors gain market access.

5 posted on 12/16/2009 7:05:57 AM PST by SonOfDarkSkies (The Mahdi turned out to be a Marxist! Who knew?)
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To: hennie pennie

Could be...but Amazon’s “retraction” of Animal Farm was a deal killer for me. I was looking for an eReader as a Christmas gift and crossed off the Kindle pretty quick.


6 posted on 12/16/2009 7:06:01 AM PST by Kieri (The Conservatrarian)
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To: hennie pennie
"There are no accidents."
7 posted on 12/16/2009 7:06:49 AM PST by norraad ("What light!">Blues Brothers)
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To: Kieri
We're going to purchase a Barnes and Noble ereader next year, it's called a Nook.

Amazon tries to be all things to all people - but they didn't figure how many people want an ereader which can download all that FREE out-of-copyright material digitized over at http://books.google.com - that's why we are interested in the Nook, it can download all that stuff for FREE.

But I hope the Nook is at least half as good as the critics claim it to be, seems it's hard to trust anything or anyone nowadays.

8 posted on 12/16/2009 7:12:24 AM PST by hennie pennie
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To: hennie pennie

I’ve got a Kindle and think it’s great. In one package, with its case, it’s no larger than an ordinary hard back novel and is a piece of cake to get on and off airplanes. Not only that, but I’ve got about 20 books on it right now and don’t need to buy extra book cases. It’s a great solution for the problem of being driven out of the house by the History Book Club, Book of the Month Club, etc.


9 posted on 12/16/2009 7:12:54 AM PST by libstripper
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To: hennie pennie
but they didn't figure how many people want an ereader which can download all that FREE out-of-copyright material digitized over at http://books.google.com - that's why we are interested in the Nook

I'm waiting until next year, too. There will be more competition, lower prices, and the readers that support the public domain/free formats will get my money.

10 posted on 12/16/2009 7:14:09 AM PST by paulycy (Demand Constitutionality.)
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To: libstripper; All

One has to wonder if books will eventually be available on sites like a (fictitious at this point) “youbook.com” wherein one might download the first chapter for free and pay only for downloads of additional chapters.


11 posted on 12/16/2009 7:19:49 AM PST by SonOfDarkSkies (The Mahdi turned out to be a Marxist! Who knew?)
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To: hennie pennie

I considered the Nook but 1) am looking for a Christmas gift, 2) the software on the Nook is very laggy, and 3) B&N has been sued by the company they first contracted with to develop an e-reader and stands a good chance of winning in court. THAT will create a mess.

I bought the Sony Touch Reader. It can handle the most formats (my husband reads really obscure stuff), takes two types of memory cards, and there’s a huge amount of material it’ll read. The Daily Edition would’ve been nice but it was even pricier than the Reader.


12 posted on 12/16/2009 7:20:15 AM PST by Kieri (The Conservatrarian)
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To: libstripper; SunkenCiv; Nachum
I think I read that the Nook is a bit smaller than the kindle, but I don't personally know -- however, wouldn't it be wonderful to never have to move boxes & boxes & boxes of books ever again?

Would that be fantastic, or what!?

13 posted on 12/16/2009 7:21:45 AM PST by hennie pennie
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To: Kieri
Thanks for the tip!

If you have time, can you tell me what is "The Daily Edition"?

14 posted on 12/16/2009 7:23:34 AM PST by hennie pennie
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To: libstripper
I have a question for you: once you "purchase" a Kindle download, can it be saved to your computer for for future re-reading if you have the inclination? Or does it download only to the Kindle and can't be moved except deleted to create space for new reading?

I have just over 3000 (3011, if I remember correctly) hardback books and at least 500 paperbacks and have run out of room in my house to expand my bookshelves. Yet there are always new books coming out that I would like to have.

I do a good amount of re-reading of books (particularly fiction/science fiction novels or short story collections) and have a large number of military history books for research purposes. So there's a great amount of re-accessing the same books over and over again and I don't want to "buy" a book that I can't save for later usage.

15 posted on 12/16/2009 7:24:53 AM PST by BlueLancer (I'm getting a fine tootsy-frootsying right here...)
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To: hennie pennie
Amazon sells a Kindle? I had not noticed

/sarc

16 posted on 12/16/2009 7:25:59 AM PST by stainlessbanner
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To: stainlessbanner

rofl... LOL @ stainlessbanner !!!


17 posted on 12/16/2009 7:31:40 AM PST by hennie pennie
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To: BlueLancer
I have a question for you: once you "purchase" a Kindle download, can it be saved to your computer for for future re-reading if you have the inclination? Or does it download only to the Kindle and can't be moved except deleted to create space for new reading?

I have just over 3000 (3011, if I remember correctly) hardback books and at least 500 paperbacks and have run out of room in my house to expand my bookshelves. Yet there are always new books coming out that I would like to have.

I do a good amount of re-reading of books (particularly fiction/science fiction novels or short story collections) and have a large number of military history books for research purposes. So there's a great amount of re-accessing the same books over and over again and I don't want to "buy" a book that I can't save for later usage.

Amazon allows you to archive any number of ebooks with them and to download those books any time you want to, all at no extra charge beyond the original price of the Kindle. Thus, the archive allows you to have far more ebooks than the Kindle can hold on is own. You can also download directly from Amazon to your computer, bypassing the Kindle, a service that also comes at no extra charge. In loooking at the instructions for my Kindle, I've not seen anything that shows it's possible to download books directly from the Kindle to my computer.

You've asked a very good question; hence, I've posted your question and my answer for all and urge many more FReepers too join the conversation.

18 posted on 12/16/2009 7:38:05 AM PST by libstripper
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To: hennie pennie

RIGHT ON!! Just why I bought my Kindle.


19 posted on 12/16/2009 7:39:48 AM PST by libstripper
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To: BlueLancer
Got my wife one for an early Christmas present. My understanding is the book stays on their server. So, you can move books off the Kindle, but bring them back at any time (given the room you have on the Kindle). One other thing the Kindle does is allow for more than one Kindle to be linked to an account. You buy the book once, and, IIRC, up to five Kindles can read that book on the same account. Cool if you have a group of readers who wants to get together to create one account. Then they can all share the books.

I do wish there were more available content. It may come down to buying another type of e-reader to get more options. But it is still better than buying all the books and having to store them.

20 posted on 12/16/2009 7:45:19 AM PST by IYAS9YAS (The townhalls were going great until the oPods showed up.)
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To: libstripper
"You can also download directly from Amazon to your computer, bypassing the Kindle, a service that also comes at no extra charge. In loooking at the instructions for my Kindle, I've not seen anything that shows it's possible to download books directly from the Kindle to my computer."

So, if you download the kindle-ebook from Amazon to your computer, how does it get from the computer to the actual Kindle? Is that a simple upload from the computer to the Kindle or does it work via a memory card? Then, when you've maxed out the Kindle, is there a delete function to create more room, or do you simply remove the memory card and delete it from there?

As you can see, I have no knowledge or experience with any kind of ebook reader. I know that I could (and probably should) go online to do my own research, but, with the number of FReepers out there who appear to have these (in one brand or another), I'm hoping that enough out there will share their specific guidance and opinions with me.

Thanks to all who do ...

21 posted on 12/16/2009 7:50:32 AM PST by BlueLancer (I'm getting a fine tootsy-frootsying right here...)
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To: Kieri
"I’d hoped the eReader boom would open up more books and formats, not cause exclusivity contracts with authors."

I've finally found the perfect e-reader....the ASUS EEE-PC T91MT tablet netbook. When folded into "tablet" orientation, it is the exact same size as a "trade paperback". Running Window 7, I've got FBreader, Kindle for PC, Microsoft Reader, Mobipocket all installed. With Adobe and Windows Notepad, I can read pretty much anything I can get in an electronic format.

Any author who doesn't have a website and a contract requirement that "e-rights" revert back to him/her if his book goes "out of print" is nuts.

22 posted on 12/16/2009 8:03:49 AM PST by Wonder Warthog
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To: hennie pennie

See post 22.


23 posted on 12/16/2009 8:04:57 AM PST by Wonder Warthog
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To: BlueLancer; All
So, if you download the kindle-ebook from Amazon to your computer, how does it get from the computer to the actual Kindle? Is that a simple upload from the computer to the Kindle or does it work via a memory card? Then, when you've maxed out the Kindle, is there a delete function to create more room, or do you simply remove the memory card and delete it from there?

As you can see, I have no knowledge or experience with any kind of ebook reader. I know that I could (and probably should) go online to do my own research, but, with the number of FReepers out there who appear to have these (in one brand or another), I'm hoping that enough out there will share their specific guidance and opinions with me.

If you download an ebook to your computer from Amazon, you can then download it from your computer to your Kindle. The Kindle II, which I have, has a 1,000 book internal memory, but neither uses nor accepts memory cards. You can delete ebooks from your Kindle any time you want to, not just wehen the memory's maxed out. Once an ebook is deleted, it automatically returns to your archive at Amazon, from which it can be recovered at any time without any additional charge. Thus, you don't lose any of the books you've bought and can literally have a truck load of them sitting, available, at Amazon, in addition the the 1,000 you have on your Kindle.

24 posted on 12/16/2009 8:05:55 AM PST by libstripper
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To: SonOfDarkSkies
"One has to wonder if books will eventually be available on sites like a (fictitious at this point) “youbook.com” wherein one might download the first chapter for free and pay only for downloads of additional chapters."

Baen Books (sci-fi publisher) already has the first few chapters of each book on its website for free. If you like'em, buy the book (either paper or e-book). And no DRM (digital rights management) bullbleep, either. Baen ebooks are avaialbe in many formats, including epub.

25 posted on 12/16/2009 8:08:26 AM PST by Wonder Warthog
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To: Wonder Warthog

Thanks for the ping, WW!!


26 posted on 12/16/2009 8:19:11 AM PST by hennie pennie
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To: Wonder Warthog

Very interesting! I’ll check them out!


27 posted on 12/16/2009 8:23:01 AM PST by SonOfDarkSkies (The Mahdi turned out to be a Marxist! Who knew?)
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To: hennie pennie

The “Daily Edition” is Sony’s newest eReader but it’s backordered until after Christmas; it’s also $399. Ouch.

The Daily version has wifi using the AT&T network (you don’t get charged wireless time, it’s included with the price of the reader). You can also subscribe to newspapers with it. The Reader Touch has to be synced with a computer.

There’s lots of options out there and more to come. I chose the Sony because you can read just about anything. It comes with an MP3 player so you can listen AND read, and takes SD cards.


28 posted on 12/16/2009 8:57:28 AM PST by Kieri (The Conservatrarian)
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To: hennie pennie

Read as many reviews as possible before you buy. All the readers seem to have their pros and cons. I would love to have an e-reader, but I don’t think they have worked out all the bugs yet.


29 posted on 12/16/2009 9:01:00 AM PST by Pining_4_TX
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To: Wonder Warthog
I've finally found the perfect e-reader....the ASUS EEE-PC T91MT tablet netbook. When folded into "tablet" orientation, it is the exact same size as a "trade paperback".

I thought about a netbook, but my husband wanted an eReader because he works on a laptop all day. The eInk is less of a strain on your eyes. Besides, reading in bed with a netbook isn't what he has in mind. ;-)

30 posted on 12/16/2009 9:11:12 AM PST by Kieri (The Conservatrarian)
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To: SonOfDarkSkies
I am using an iPod Touch as an e-reader. You can download the Kindle app for the Touch for free (just have to pay for books).

There is also an iPod Touch app called "Stanza" which lets you read books in some other formats, including the free out of copyright books on Project Guttenberg.

The iPod Touch may be too small for some, but it's OK and I like the ability to stick it in my pocket and also to be able to run third party apps on it, where the Kindle is more locked down.

I think the Kindle is a better device for pure reading, but I get by with the iPod Touch.

31 posted on 12/16/2009 10:02:41 AM PST by Mannaggia l'America
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To: hennie pennie

I don’t know. There is something very special about opening up the pages of a brand new book. Not to be disappointed with new and fantastic technologies, but words printed on a page just feel better to me. :)


32 posted on 12/16/2009 10:19:10 AM PST by Nachum (The complete Obama list at www.nachumlist.com)
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To: libstripper

Thank you very much ...


33 posted on 12/16/2009 10:57:14 AM PST by BlueLancer (I'm getting a fine tootsy-frootsying right here...)
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To: Mannaggia l'America
I download Kindle for PC's (for free) onto my laptop and desktop PC last week but haven't bought a book via download yet so can't attest to its ease of use.
34 posted on 12/16/2009 11:09:24 AM PST by SonOfDarkSkies (The Mahdi turned out to be a Marxist! Who knew?)
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To: hennie pennie; Swordmaker; martin_fierro

Thanks hp. There’s no upside to exclusivity, unless of course the Kindle app continues to work on the iPhone and the rumored Apple tablet computer coming in rumored to be coming in 2010.


35 posted on 12/16/2009 4:33:38 PM PST by SunkenCiv (My Sunday Feeling is that Nothing is easy. Goes for the rest of the week too.)
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To: SonOfDarkSkies

I thought I’d post this since it’s very relevant to the conversation:

“Ads Coming to e-Books?”
http://jkontherun.com/2009/12/16/ads-coming-to-e-books/?utm_source=gigaom&utm_medium=recent-posts

VERY very scary thought. I hope it’s never implemented!


36 posted on 12/16/2009 7:22:58 PM PST by Kieri (The Conservatrarian)
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To: Kieri
Just a point...but each time a market shifts, the various components of it and various players within it wrestle in a new competitive environment and the lowest price and best service usually become operative (the freer the market, the more accurate that statement).

For example, in an efficient market, if buyers hate advertisements, they will buy downloads that don't insert them at a greater rate than they they buy those that do. This will exert a downward price pressure on those who do insert adverts and will discourage their use.

That said, what the eBook market seems to promise is a freer market for books.

Indeed, one can envision ultimately a market in which authors bypasses all intermediaries and offer their books for download on their sites (or perhaps at sites that group authors by genre and present reader reviews).

37 posted on 12/17/2009 2:52:03 AM PST by SonOfDarkSkies (The Mahdi turned out to be a Marxist! Who knew?)
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To: Nachum
As long as there's a significant market of those who love hardcovers, there will most likely be a supplier.

That said, such will probably be a "print upon order" business instead of "print in advance of sale"...and the price will more directly reflect the real cost of printing, binding, and paper since the market/sale risk will be eliminated.

38 posted on 12/17/2009 2:57:56 AM PST by SonOfDarkSkies (The Mahdi turned out to be a Marxist! Who knew?)
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To: paulycy
Unless I get one for Christmas (a few hints dropped throughout the year) I also am waiting for next year. At this point I will probably wait and see if Barnes and Noble Nook goes down in price. I think that next year we will see deals everywhere.

I just wish they had the option of lighting up (for reading in dark places). I know that they do not because of the increased eye strain, but I would like that option. I love to read when my husband is driving, but if we are out and about after 5:00 pm in the winter, I am out of luck.

39 posted on 12/17/2009 3:03:49 AM PST by codercpc
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To: codercpc
I just wish they had the option of lighting up (for reading in dark places).

I might not end up buying one for this very reason. I generally read late at night and so that means lights out except for a reading light.

Originally I assumed that they were backlit but now I understand why they aren't. I don't read that much during the day, I'm too busy FReeping. ;0)So that's a big consideration - how do I light it at night and is it worth it?

40 posted on 12/17/2009 4:35:44 AM PST by paulycy (Demand Constitutionality.)
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To: hennie pennie
I use the free Kindle App on my iphone and downloaded dozens of free classic books like "the Rough Riders" by Teddy Roosevelt and "How I found Livingstone" by Henry Stanley.

Its great to have a couple of dozen classic books in your phone, totally free, of course you can buy the modern crap as well if you want but at least you don't have to shell out $300 for a reader.

41 posted on 12/17/2009 4:40:29 AM PST by Rome2000 (OBAMA IS A COMMUNIST CRYPTO-MUSLIM)
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To: paulycy

The Nook that I saw a presentation on at the Barnes and Noble store has a clip on light as an accessory. They say that by not lighting the background, it enhances the “experience” of reading (ie. closer to the real thing), but I would have liked the option.


42 posted on 12/17/2009 5:41:13 AM PST by codercpc
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To: codercpc
has a clip on light

That makes sense and I figured that someone would have thought of that. I just hadn't heard of it before. Encouraging.

43 posted on 12/17/2009 5:42:48 AM PST by paulycy (Demand Constitutionality.)
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