Amazon made a huge leap to the front of the iPhone line. Putting a Kindle reader on the iPhone for free through the App Store enables shopping at Amazon’s Kindle store and then a direct download into the iPhone (or into the Kindle, or both!) This means reasonably good book merchandising and one-click. The reader […]
The basic premise under which we’re operating here, I’ll summarize for those of you have never heard or read my work before, is that horizontal, format-specific media entities are oh, so 20th century, and won’t work very deep into the 21st. The reason for that is the web, which almost forces vertical organization. Horizontal presentations across subject matter — like CBS, Random House, or The New York Times — were the products of a capital-intensive, limited-distribution universe
Industry guru Mike Shatzkin foresees big gains in e-book sales, consolidation among literary agencies, a jump in customized book sales and much more…. You won’t catch me climbing out onto any billion-dollar limbs as I offer my forecast for book publishing in 2008, but some of the changes I envision do call for fundamental changes in how the business operates. There is an overarching theme to the changes already taking place. Consumer media in the 20th century tended to be horizontal and format-specific. The New York Times and Random House define “horizontal”: they publish across all interests and markets. The Internet will drive 21st-century publishing enterprises to be more like what professional publishing has always been: highly vertical and format-agnostic.
…even though we’ve seen our business get tougher in many ways, some of the predictions made at the turn of the century for big changes in this decade, such as disruptive ebook takeup, just haven’t come true. The book business has, arguably, been less affected than any of the other major media by digital change. Or maybe I shouldn’t say “arguably.” Maybe I should say “apparently.” And CERTAINLY I should say “so far.”
We’re going to discuss a subject this morning that was on hardly any radar screens a year ago; it would not have been a compelling subject for presentation at last year’s Making Information Pay. But today, Digital Asset Distribution is on a lot of minds. What happened?
After all, book content has been going out on the web for quite a while. My company did a digital marketing program for a book called “Longitude” in late 1995 which centered around offering a free chapter through relevant web sites. For several years, Amazon has had a program showing interior book pages, starting out as “Look Inside” and now “Search Inside the Book”. Lots of publishers participated, but didn’t instantly express a need to manage their own digital distribution