BEA 2011: E-book Future, Google, and Facts May 25, 2011
Google, everyone's favorite 800-lb. gorilla, held a panel discussion on Tuesday and a presentation on Wednesday to parse the significance of the e-book explosion and to explain Google Books’ position in it.
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On Tuesday, before a standing-room-only crowd, Google Books’ director of strategic partnerships, Tom Turvey, moderated a panel on the present and future of e-books, quizzing four publishing execs on the impact and importance of the format: Andrew Savikas, O’Reilly Media’s v-p of digital initiatives; Evan Schnittman, Bloomsbury’s managing director of group sales and marketing; Amanda Close, v-p of digital sales and business development at Random House; and David Steinberger, CEO of Perseus.
The conversation began with the question of discovery: by far, the most common way for readers to find out about new books and authors is by browsing in a physical store. What e-book sellers have now, said Perseus’s Steinberger, is a system that’s “good for hunters, but not as good for gatherers”: it’s easy to find a book if you know what you’re looking for, but the virtual world offers nothing for the casual browser comparable to the bricks-and-mortar experience. Still, Steinberger and others see a “big lift” in midlist e-books “not easily found in the physical world” because of their limited appeal: e-book copies of PublicAffairs’s lauded but niche-y history title Dancing in the Glory of Monsters account for 62% of its total sales. This same phenomenon applies to backlist titles no longer in print, giving the long tail a “disproportionate lift.”
Read the complete article HERE.
It is notable that:
"No figures were given regarding sales at the 250 independent bricks-and-mortar stores that opted into the Google eBooks program through the ABA’s IndieCommerce Web system."
The Poisoned Pen being one of those 250, I'd be interested in those figures. Our business model was just not compatible with what IndieCommerce Web system was offering. Fortunately, technology is moving at a fast enough pace, we think there will be a model that will allow us to sell e-books effectively in the next 6 months. Stay tuned...