Great article in Scholarly Kitchen today by Alix Vance of Architrave Consulting. Alix discusses the strategy of publishers selling direct to consumer markets, offering targeted, convenient, and seamless access. Here’s a snapshot from the article:
The longstanding business equation in B2B publishing has been:
Quality Content + Brand Recognition + Operational Efficiency + Institutional Usage = Market Share/Financial Success
Publishers have negotiated big deals, but have largely let consumers fend for themselves. This strategy will not fly in consumer markets, where visibility and demand are the primary drivers of revenue, and where methods for marketing to consumers have changed dramatically. The best approach for publishers wishing to enter the consumer marketplace is to take a step back, free themselves from preconceptions of what their business is about, and take a look at what is really working in the consumer Web. Only through entrepreneurial thinking will they have a shot at success in consumer content markets.
Interesting article in SSP”s Scholarly Kitchen by Joseph Espisito, “The POD Booby Trap and the Lure of Open Access Books.” Espisito discusses “the booby trap” of open access, stating, “The unfortunate, unstated premise of those who fall into the POD booby trap is that they really don’t and can’t believe in the emerging primacy of digital text. The trap is set for anyone who thinks that print is superior for enough readers to make print a long-term viable option. This is highly doubtful. E-books have already reached the tipping point. In just a couple months, Apple has sold millions of e-books from its online bookstore, millions that come on top of the tens of millions sold by Amazon for its Kindle and Stanza brands. And Google Editions haven’t even launched yet. No more make-believe. If we want the cultural advantages of broad dissemination of scholarly texts through open access, then let’s step up and pay for it. Authors, department heads, university provosts, granting agencies all of these have a stake, or claim to, in the distribution of academic material. Let the stakeholders fund the stake.”
Let the stakeholders fund the stake. This sounds exactly like a plan that Frances Pinter from Bloomsbury Academic is trying to promote. She spoke about it at the O’Reilly TOC conference and I had a follow up interview with her in March. She’ll be keynoting on this exact topic at The Charleston Conference in November.
Very interesting post in SSP’s Scholarly Kitchen from June 14th – “The Latest Library As Purchaser Crisis: Are We Fighting the Wrong Battle?” by Kent Anderson. Anderson discusses the site licensing issues between libraries and publishers, using examples from Nature, Elsevier, and Univ. of California system. He says, ” The fatal flaw of site licensing is that it pits traditional allies against each other, effectively putting libraries and publishers on opposing teams. This flaw points out how non-strategic site licensing has been for libraries and publishers.”
Here is a link to the University of California letter to faculty concerning this issue.
Site licensing appears to be the preferred business model for eBooks in academic libraries. Are we making a mistake?
Interesting article in the Scholarly Kitchen blog today, Blogging Software as A disruptive publishing tool, is there anything it can’t do? The author, Kent Anderson, discusses the popularity and success of blogs as a replacement for traditional news sources (ie Huffington Post and NYT) and possibly for books. He discusses LeanPub as an option for blogs to be published as books, specifically:
Another new venture, LeanPub, purports to use WordPress so that blog owners can publish their blogs as books, or write books using WordPress at LeanPub and then publish them. I’ve tried LeanPub. I uploaded the Scholarly Kitchen’s posts through mid-May 2010 into it. The resulting book . . . well, it doesn’t exist. I tried uploading the blog twice, and no dice. Nothing ever came out of their conversion engine. Nevertheless, the site seems to be about 80% right, and there’s no reason to think it won’t work at some point. (Remember, part of disruption is that things like this get dismissed too easily, and then incumbents forget they’re coming.)Kent Anderson under, The Scholarly Kitchen, May 2010
The entire article is worth a read.
I read a very interesting post in the Scholarly Kitchen blog about going mobile. Alix Vance wrote, “There is increasing evidence to suggest that mobile device use may outstrip personal computer use in the global community in the next 10 years and that the expansion of mobile content delivery tools may be at the center of a new generation of globalized business and education initiatives.” She provided examples of mobile initiatives from several scholarly publishers. You can find it at The Scholarly Kitchen.
While you’re there, enjoy the great entries for April Fool’s Day!
PSP’s Scholarly Kitchen blog posted the results of a study done by Al Greco, Professor of Marketing at Forham’s School of Business.
“According to Greco, book publishing (print and electronic) in the US is a $35 billion dollar industry. This year, he forecasts that ebooks will account for 5% of that revenue, or $1.76 billion. Of that $1.76 billion, trade books account for 8.6%, or $151 million; K-12 accounts for 8.1% ($143 million); higher education accounts for 6.9% ($122 million); and university presses account for 0.4% ($7.7 million). Professional and scholarly publishing titles represent 75.9% of the US ebook market, or $1.33 billion.” The full story can be read at Scholarly Kitchen.
Interesting post in the SSP’s blog – the Scholarly Kitchen, written by Joseph Esposito. Esposito discusses “library bypass,” which as he describes, is another way for publishers to reach paying customers. Esposito says that libraries have limited money and are partial in these times to open access materials, not another high priced package from a profitable publisher, so library bypass presents opportunities for publishers to sell to the end user. He questions why libraries aren’t getting into this practice and discusses some challenges. Dave Tykoson commented on the need for a “library pass-through” in his comment, one that offers alumni access to online resources for a small fee through the library.