Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thursday banter - Digital Book World 2012

So today, I think I'm just going to do a book banter. The Digital Book World expo 2012 just ended. Digital Book World's Twitter description is: "Digital Book World focuses on publishing strategies, not tools; solutions, not theories; practicality, not punditry". The Twitter handle is: @DigiBookWorld, if you want to visit.

Very interesting concept, and there were a lot of really interesting discussion points raised. Some of the leaders of the book industry attended and gave a blow-by-blow on Twitter (and probably FaceBook, but I'm not over there.) Some of the tweets that grabbed me the most were:

1. It was announced that $70-120 MILLION dollars is being lost on ebook sales by publishers due to self-publishing. So...something you didn't used to even HAVE is now somehow being lost? Interesting. I wonder if it occurs to anyone in the publishing hierarchy that if more publishing deals were offered to aspiring authors, they might not feel the need to self-publish? Self-publishing is sort of a pain. It's not hard, per se, but if choice a) is to hand the book to someone and they hand you back a check for thousands of dollars, and then market it worldwide without the author's effort; versus choice b) where the author self-publishes and has to wade through the process, market it, and take in small checks over a longer time, which do you suppose they'd pick?

Along those same lines, bookstores and secondary markets aren't helping themselves, either. Midlist books are disappearing from shelves faster than you can say 'boo', with only NYT bestsellers appearing in their place. Yes, they're guaranteed sales to fans of THOSE AUTHORS, but midlist authors are the future bestseller, but if you don't shelve them, they will never reach that plateau.

2. 40 MILLION people already own an e-reader and 61 MILLION will have a tablet by the end of 2012. Hmmm... think maybe ebooks have some viability after all? With Amazon offering placement to self-pubs, publishers really need to revisit direct marketing to readers.

3. NBC broke the news that they are launching a publishing arm of the company, NBC Publishing. What will that mean? I can foresee a lot of television stars getting book deals, and TV tie-in novels getting a new home. Will they become a monopoly (and will other networks follow suit)? Only time will tell.

Have any of you been following the #dbw12 hashtag on Twitter? Or better, did you attend the con? Go visit and tell me what you found most interesting!

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