Category Archives: Articles by Richard

Occasional articles and commentary by our publisher on his personal view of the book business and related topics.

Upheavals in ebook retail

The past week has been an interesting one, with Apple losing a court battle in America over ebook price fixing, Barnes & Noble letting go its chief executive, and Barnes & Noble announcing (negative) changes to its ereader lineup. My take on all this follows.

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Mapping ebook sales

Our marketing whiz, Tyler, developed this map to show the countries in which ebooks published by Self-Counsel Press have sold (this map is updated as we reach more countries):


View Global eBook Sales in a larger map

Notes: You can click and drag the map to see more countries. You can also click on a blue pin to see the country name.

{rokintensedebate}

Ebook Formats

One of the more interesting challenges in producing ebooks is the file format question. On the surface, it looks pretty simple: two formats, EPUB and Amazon’s Mobi dominate. Both (loosely speaking) use HTML tags and CSS stylesheets to determine how text and graphics are displayed. So an ebook is a collection of webpage-like pages in a container. Or is it?

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Reading Devices Changing

As 2012 draws to a close, a trend we are watching is the changing universe of devices used to read ebooks. A year ago, monochrome “e-ink” reading devices (such as the original Kindle) dominated the market. That dominance has eroded through 2012, and by the time Christmas sales are tallied I expect we will see a new leader.

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Selling to the World

Back in August I said how pleased I was to report that we were starting to see sales of ebooks in countries outside Norrth America. The cost of shipping printed books has always been a major obstacle to sales outside North America, but ebooks change that.

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The Changing State of Retail

Looking at sales activity over the past half-year has reinforced my feeling that traditional book retailers are headed in a bad direction as they try to respond to the emergence of ebooks as a significant part of the business. Bad for them, and bad for us.

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Digital Rights Management, a Bad Idea

Digital Rights Management, better known by its abbreviation, DRM, is the collective name for tools designed to prevent unauthorized copying of digital items. It has existed almost as long as consumer software: I recall that some software for my Apple ][ in 1980 had “copy protection” on the floppy disk.

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