Mike Shatzkin is regularly quoted by industry media and leading news outlets in coverage of publishing industry developments. He has been featured and cited by The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, Deadline Hollywood, The Economist, and others.
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On this page are links to articles and interviews featuring Mike Shatzkin and his parents, Leonard and Eleanor. Links to some publications require paid subscriptions to view the content.
By Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg | February 5, 2013
“What it looks like is that Apple is respecting the power of the self-published author,” said Mike Shatzkin, chief executive of the Idea Logical Co., publishing consultants. “This could be Apple wanting to do a good enough job for self-published authors that they won’t go Amazon-only for their titles.”
By Leslie Kaufman | January 3, 2013
Retail sales from the company’s bookstores and its Web site, BN.com, decreased 10.9 percent from the comparable nine-week holiday period a year earlier, to $1.2 billion, the company reported. More worrisome for the long-term future of the company, sales in the Nook unit that includes e-readers, tablets, digital content and accessories decreased 12.6 percent over the same period, to $311 million.
“They are not selling the devices, they are not selling books and traffic is down,” said Mike Shatzkin, the founder and chief executive of Idea Logical, a consultant to publishers. “I’m looking for an optimistic sign and not seeing one. It is concerning.”
Radio interview with NPR Staff | December 27, 2012
Already, there’s a lot of debate about what that kind of consolidation will mean for the industry. Shatzkin tells NPR’s Audie Cornish that the size of the merged company will give it the clout — and the backlist — to create book sales anywhere it wants to. Even the corner drugstore might have a real bookstore — filled, of course, exclusively with Penguin and Random House titles, not just a rack of pulp paperbacks.
“Another way they might create additional distribution is through a subscription, e-book subscription service,” he says. “Before Random and Penguin merged, no single publisher would have had enough of the most commercial titles to make something like that work. They might. So they may be able to create distribution channels that are extra, compared to what we have now, and proprietary, in that other publishers won’t be able to get at them.”
By Amy Chozick | October 28, 2012
Analysts have said consolidation of the “big six” publishing houses is inevitable given the headwinds the industry faces as consumers turn to e-books and as brick-and-mortar stores continue to close. They likened it to the consolidation of record labels when the music industry evolved to deal with the challenge from iTunes and the downloading of songs.
“Publishers now face a single dominant book retailer, Barnes & Noble, and a single dominant online retailer, Amazon,” said Mike Shatzkin, the founder and chief executive of the Idea Logical Company, a consultant to publishers.
By Amy Chozick and Eric Pfanner | October 25, 2012
“A combined Random House and Penguin would be a supplier so large it would be very difficult for any anyone to dictate terms to,” said Mike Shatzkin, the founder and chief executive of the Idea Logical Company, a consultant to publishers. He added: “You’re allowed to collude if you’re combined.”
By Julie Bosman | September 6, 2012
Publishers and authors direly predicted that in the long run, the settlement could allow the e-book marketplace to return to its state several years ago, when Amazon had close to 90 percent of the market and other retailers struggled to get a foothold.
“I think that everybody competing with Amazon in the e-book market had better fasten their seat belts,” Mike Shatzkin, the founder and chief executive of the Idea Logical Company, a consultant to publishers, said in an interview. “I would expect Amazon to be leading the charge to cut prices on the most high-profile e-books as soon as the decision allows them to do so. As soon as that starts to happen, all the books that are competing with them will have to reconsider their prices.”
By Paul Sonne and Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg | July 19, 2012
The acquisition illustrates the newfound acceptance for self-publishers in a book world where they were once viewed largely as interlopers. It is also one more example of how low-cost digital distribution has disrupted the role of traditional publishers in determining how books are discovered by consumers.
The deal “constitutes tacit recognition that the legacy publishing model is severely challenged and may not work sometime in the foreseeable future,” said Mike Shatzkin, chief executive of Idea Logical Co., a New York-based publishing consultancy.
By David Lieberman | June 1, 2012
The thinking is that it’s relatively easy for studios to turn publishing into a useful sideline in the e-book era. At the most basic level, they can sell scripts from films or TV shows the way Warner Bros will with its just-launched “Inside the Script” publishing initiative. It will begin by selling e-books of scripts for Casablanca, Ben-Hur, An American In Paris, and North By Northwest. But there’s no need to stop there. “Why shouldn’t every Seinfeld episode be an e-book?” asks Mike Shatzkin, CEO of The Idea Logical Company, a publishing consulting firm. The next step is to follow in the footsteps of NBC Publishing, the operation NBC News announced in January to create print and e-books based on news stories and just about anything that comes from NBCUniversal.
By Thomas Catan, Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg and Chad Brey | April 11, 2012
In 2009, before the new pricing, Amazon was estimated to have around 90% of the e-book market. Its share has now slipped to around 60%, according to Mike Shatzkin, chief executive of the Idea Logical Co., a New York-based publishing consultancy. He estimated that Barnes & Noble has between 25% and 30%, and Apple has much of the remainder.
By Julie Bosman & Edward Wyatt | March 8, 2012
If [the agency model] were to disappear, it would be a boon to Amazon, said Mike Shatzkin, chief executive of the Idea Logical Company, which advises book publishers on digital change, adding that it would be “essentially bad news for just about everybody else in the book business.” …
“Ultimately, that would mean that the price of books is going to come down and the amount of money that authors can earn is going to come down,” Mr. Shatzkin said.
By Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg | September 12, 2011
Publishers argue it’s impossible to break out a profit per title that includes a percentage of all their costs because all books have unique one-time costs which are broken out over an unknown number of copies. It’s also hard to apply corporate overhead costs against the sales of individual titles. Assigning a fixed overhead percentage is an accountant’s convenience, not a fact, says Mike Shatzkin, chief executive of the Idea Logical Co., a New York-based publishing consultancy….
But “over time there’s bound to be pricing pressure because there will be more and more self publishing efforts at lower efforts offering a wider range of choices at lower prices,” says Mr. Shatzkin.
What Amazon is Up To (On the Media)
Radio Interview with Brooke Gladstone | August 19, 2011
This week, Amazon Publishing announced its first marquee hire, bestselling self-help guru Timothy Ferris. Amazon’s foray into publishing actual books has unnerved some in the publishing industry, who fear that the company’s size (it has more money than all the major publishing houses combined) could lead to a vertical monopoly over the book world. Publishing industry watcher Mike Shatzkin talks to Brooke about the publishing landscape Amazon is entering and how the company may reshape it.
Is Apple playing fair with e-book prices? (Marketplace Tech Report)
Podcast interview and article by John Moe | August 11, 2011
Mike Shatzkin is founder and CEO of the publishing consulting firm Idea Logical. He believes the shift to the the agency model came about honestly and that it is fairer to retailers. “This creates consistent price across all retailers and eliminates the ability of one deep pocketed retailer to drive everybody else out of the market.”
Shatzkin on New Business Models for Agents (AARdvark)
By Simon Lipskar | August 4, 2011
Whatever one’s thoughts on the issues he’s discussing, Mike Shatzkin’s latest piece is required reading for agents.
Harry Potter and the Interactive Digital Environment (New York Observer)
By Emily Witt | August 2, 2011
“An e-book would pretty clearly constitute competition for a print book,” said Mr. Shatzkin. While a legal precedent has yet to be established on the matter, one argument for why Ms. Rowling gave her publishers a cut of royalties might be that the noncompete cause would constitute legal grounds for her publishers to sue her. “There would have been the possibility of a nasty dispute if she had not done something that cut them in,” he said. Furthermore, he added, Ms. Rowling might want to write another print book (despite some hints to the contrary) and she would likely want to link any future projects with past ones by maintaining her relationship with her publishers.
EveryThink: What do you think, Mike Shatzkin? (Buchmesse Blog)
Frankfurt Academy/Book Fair Blog | July 27, 2011
Between Frankfurt 2011 and Frankfurt 2012, we’d expect to see significant growth of the e-book market outside the US, which was the earliest adopter, and the UK, which has been following on hard in the past year. Two specific developments we’d expect to see are local deals for global devices — the Nook, the Kobo reader, and the Google reader — and a sharp increase in e-book export sales for the publishers in the US and the UK. Is that how it looks to you, Mike Shatzkin? Or what other developments would you expect in the year to come?
By Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg | July 26, 2011
Another publishing executive suggested some consumers will now be more likely to buy their e-books at Apple’s iBookstore. “The iBookstore app will be the only reading app where you can shop within the app and purchase books, which is the point,” said Mike Shatzkin, chief executive of Idea Logical Co., publishing consultants. He also predicted that some book publishers that weren’t selling via the iBookstore would now reconsider that decision.
Amazon’s Next Play: Kirshbaum’s Comeback at Amazon Publishing (New York Observer)
By Emily Witt | May 31, 2011
But with the hiring of Mr. Kirshbaum, it’s clear that Amazon will now be competing directly with the traditional houses. Amazon has already outbid its competitors in a number of high-profile auctions, although at least one writer was put off by an exclusivity clause written into Amazon’s writers’ contracts that stipulates their books will be available only in electronic form for the Kindle, which already has 67 percent of the e-reader market share. “This is a time when these customers are up for grabs,” said Mr. Shatzkin. “Amazon has been very conscious of that. They try very hard, if they sell you your device, to keep the business.” For instance, any Amazon-published books would be locked out of the Nook, Barnes & Noble’s e-reader, which has more than 20 percent of the market share and is Kindle’s only real competitor. In other words, if your favorite authors sign with Amazon, the only way you can read their books is on a Kindle.
By Claire Cain Miller & Julie Bosman | May 19, 2011
“They’re taking print sales away from others while their own devices are taking print sales away from them,” said Mike Shatzkin, chief executive of the Idea Logical Company, which advises book publishers on digital change. “That’s the real import of those numbers. It’s one more nail in the coffin of brick and mortar stores.”
Radio interview with Lynn Neary | February 17, 2011
Mike Shatzkin, CEO of the Idea Logical Company is a consultant to publishers. He sees the Borders re-organization as a necessary correction. He says there are too many book stores and too much shelf space and not enough sales to support them. Shatzkin says Borders’ management hasn’t met the challenges of a changing business.
By Bob Minzesheimer | February 10, 2011
In contrast to Hermans’ optimism, Mike Shatzkin, a publishing consultant, sees physical bookstores going the way of record shops and video rental stores. He predicts that shelf space devoted to print books in physical stores will decline by 50% during the next five years and 90% during the next decade.
By Claire Cain Miller | February 1, 2011
Amazon makes Kindle reading apps for the iPad and iPhone, and those apps now send readers to a Web browser window to make book purchases from Amazon, dodging the Apple fee. Sony said on Monday that Apple had rejected its reading app, which worked the same way.
The move is surprising because Apple has benefited from the wealth of content available for its devices, said Mike Shatzkin, chief executive of the Idea Logical Company, a consultant to book publishers.
“Most of the people reading on the iPad are buying their books from these other people, and that’s a great thing for Apple,” Mr. Shatzkin said. “It’s selling tons of devices for Apple and tons of content for everybody else.”
By Julie Bosman | December 6, 2010
Some industry specialists said they were waiting to see if Google — which has far more experience in search than in sales — could create a site that is as simple to use for e-commerce as Amazon.com, and whether large numbers of consumers would shift their buying loyalties from well-known national book chains to Google or local bookstores.
“Everything depends on execution,” said Mike Shatzkin, founder and chief executive of the Idea Logical Company, which advises book publishers on digital change. “They don’t have a lot of experience in retail or merchandising.”
Of Two Minds About Books (NYT)
By Matt Richtel & Claire Cain Miller | September 1, 2010
Sony, which introduced a new line of e-readers Wednesday, said they were smaller and lighter than before, with clearer text and touch screens, all to make them feel more like printed books. “Consistently the No. 1 thing we heard was it needs to feel like a book, so you just forget that you have a device in your hand,” said Steve Haber, president of Sony’s digital reading division.
This straddle-the-line marketing underscores a deeper tension: the desire to keep the print business alive so as not to alienate a core market, while establishing a base for a future that publishers see as increasingly digital, said James L. McQuivey, an e-reader industry analyst with Forrester.
“There is much more emotional attachment to the paper book than there is to the CD or the DVD,” said Mike Shatzkin, founder and chief executive of the Idea Logical Company, which advises book publishers on digital change. “It is not logical — it’s visceral.”
By Julie Bosman | August 11, 2010
Carolyn Reidy, the chief executive of Simon & Schuster, said in an interview that e-books currently made up about 8 percent of the company’s book revenue. She predicted that it could be as high as 40 percent within three to five years.
“E-books are moving faster and faster all of the time, which makes things look harder for bricks-and-mortar stores,” said Mike Shatzkin, founder and chief executive of the Idea Logical Company, which advises book publishers on digital change.
By Claire Cain Miller | July 19, 2010
Book lovers mourning the demise of hardcover books with their heft and their musty smell need a reality check, said Mike Shatzkin, founder and chief executive of the Idea Logical Company, which advises book publishers on digital change. “This was a day that was going to come, a day that had to come,” he said. He predicts that within a decade, fewer than 25 percent of all books sold will be print versions.
By Geoffrey A. Fowler & Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg| June 3, 2010
Fueling the shift is the growing popularity of electronic books, which few people were willing to read even three years ago. Apple Inc.’ s iPad and e-reading devices such as Amazon’s Kindle have made buying and reading digital books easy. U.S. book sales fell 1.8% last year to $23.9 billion, but e-book sales tripled to $313 million, according to the Association of American Publishers. E-book sales could reach as high as 20% to 25% of the total book market by 2012, according to Mike Shatzkin, a publishing consultant, up from an estimated 5% to 10% today.
By Julie Bosman | June 2, 2010
Mike Shatzkin, chief executive of Idea Logical, which helps publishers develop digital strategies, said he thought that Amazon was feeling vulnerable. “They’re trying to spread their wings and reach people they haven’t reached through Amazon,” Mr. Shatzkin said. “Once Kindle started, they pretty much were alone. And in the last three to six months, that’s changing.”
By Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg| May 21, 2010
“By the end of 2012, digital books will be 20% to 25% of unit sales, and that’s on the conservative side,” predicts Mike Shatzkin, chief executive of the Idea Logical Co., publishing consultants. “Add in another 25% of units sold online, and roughly half of all unit sales will be on the Internet.”
BISG Conference Message: Change or Die (Publishers Weekly)
May 07, 2010
The morning was officially kicked off by predictions by one of the conference organizers, Michael Shatzkin, that painted a frightening picture for traditional players in the book field. By the end of 2012, 25% of new narrative titles will be bought as e-books and with traditional bookstores predicted to close stores at a rapid rate, more books will be bought online than through brick-and-mortar stores, Shatzkin said.
Interview with the Audio Publishers Association | April 30, 2010
From time to time, the Audio Publishers Association hosts informative conference calls for the benefit of its members. April’s call was especially lively, featuring as it did Mike Shatzkin, long-time book industry insider, founder and CEO of consulting agency The Idea Logical Company, and outspoken prognosticator of the digital age.
By Motoko Rich & Brad Stone | March 17, 2010
But if Amazon tries to enforce its demands by removing “buy” buttons from some pages again, some believe it could harm its reputation in the eyes of customers and the publishing industry. “They cannot remove the ‘buy’ buttons from two major publishers’ lists without doing serious long-term damage to their own brand,” said Mike Shatzkin, chief executive of Idea Logical, a company that advises book publishers on e-books.
By Motoko Rich | February 28, 2010
“If you want bookstores to stay alive, then you want to slow down this movement to e-books,” said Mike Shatzkin, chief executive of the Idea Logical Company, a consultant to publishers. “The simplest way to slow down e-books is not to make them too cheap.”
BTB #153: From the Frontlines of the E-book Wars (Beyond the Book)
Podcast interview with Chris Kenneally (with full transcript) | February 10, 2010
Recorded live with a national online audience and caller participation, this special report covers breaking news from the front lines and battlefields of the e-book wars. Chris Kenneally interviewed the leading journalists and analysts who are covering this first break-out story of the year in publishing, including Andrew Albanese, features editor at Publishers Weekly; Sara Nelson, Books Editor, “O” Magazine; Brian O’Leary, Founder & Principal, Magellan Media Partners; Mike Shatzkin, Founder & CEO, The Idea Logical Company, Inc.
By Motoko Rich & Brad Stone | January 31, 2010
Analysts say Amazon, which accounts for 15 to 20 percent of domestic book sales, probably realized it could not compete with Apple if it wasn’t offering the same range of content. “Amazon figured out pretty quickly that this was a battle they could not win,” said Mike Shatzkin, the chief of the Idea Logical Company, a consultant to publishers.
By Brad Stone & Motoko Rich | January 20, 2010
“The more companies that control consumer transactions, the more important the publishers’ role will be,” said Mike Shatzkin, chief executive of Idealog, which helps publishers develop digital strategies. “If Apple enters this market, and in three months Google follows, we may be looking at a completely different e-book world in the next year.”
BTB #146: At Digital Book World, A is for ‘Audience’ (Beyond the Book)
Podcast interview with Chris Kenneally (with full transcript) | January 17, 2010
Next week, the two-day Digital Book World conference gets underway in New York City at a moment when – for better or for worse – the digital tide may become a tsunami for the book publishing world. Ahead of the first-time conference, Chris Kenneally spoke with Conference Chair and industry pundit Mike Shatzkin, of the Idea Logical Company, and his DBW colleague Guy LeCharles Gonzalez for a special preview.
By Motoko Rich | January 14, 2010
“There’s a problem that Attributor is automatically suspect because they make a living helping publishers fight piracy,” said Mike Shatzkin, chief executive of Idea Logical Company, a book industry consultant, said many people who might illegally download an e-book would never have bought it in the first place.
By Brad Stone & Motoko Rich | December 14, 2009
Mike Shatzkin, the chief executive of Idea Logical, which advises publishers on digital strategy, said that publishers were trying to minimize Amazon’s outsize influence in the book business and preserve their own. “Publishers are trying to herd Amazon back into their corner and keep it there,” he said. “But I think that this is going to be a very difficult situation for the big publishers to control.”
By Geoffrey A. Fowler | October 9, 2009
Barnes & Noble Inc. plans to announce its own brand of digital-book reader that it could start selling as soon as next month, setting the stage for a holiday showdown with Amazon.com Inc. and Sony Corp. in the burgeoning market for electronic reading devices.
BTB #94: Publishing Has A Future? Yes!, Says ‘Round Table’ Panel (Beyond the Book)
Podcast interview with Chris Kenneally (with full transcript) | April 27, 2009
The audience were treated to crystal ball readings and insights on technology, marketing and business models from Paul Biba, Laura Dawson, Jeff Rivera, and Mike Shatzkin. Make no mistake: It is an earthquake you feel, but the re-shuffled landscape now emerging will uncover fertile ground.
By Joan Vos MacDonald | December 31, 1989
Eleanor and Len Shatzkin, who are both 70, have been supporters of Amnesty, but this is the first local group they have joined. In their travels for Mr. Shatzkin’s work as publishing consultant, they have noted firsthand the effectiveness of Amnesty International’s work in Hungary and Poland. … Mr. Shatzkin doesn’t find Arif’s case discouraging. “Just opening the newspaper these days is discouraging,” he said. “The fact that we are working to change things is encouraging. If you are new to human rights work you may expect quick results. If you’ve spent your life at it you learn to brace yourself for disappointment and delay. You know that changes come slowly.”… “In a world of immediate gratification,” Mrs. Shatzkin added, “this kind of work teaches another lesson.”
By Edwin McDowell | December 30, 1983
Leonard Shatzkin ruffled some feathers in the publishing industry last year with his book “In Cold Type: Overcoming the Book Crisis,” in which, among other suggestions, he recommended that publishers take over the responsibility of stocking bookstores rather than simply filling orders from booksellers. He is likely to ruffle even more feathers with his latest iconoclastic notion – namely, that it simply is not true that the majority of general-interest (“trade”) books lose money.
Books Of The Times (NYT)
By Herbert Mitgang | August 10, 1982
So a book that comes along called “In Cold Type: Overcoming the Book Crisis” is most welcome. Its author, Leonard Shatzkin, is worth listening to because he has been around with several major houses and is a specialist in marketing books. He is also on the side of the angels – readers and authors and publishers struggling to survive and all the little elfs who labor in the woodshops and bookstores to produce and sell books.