The book in transformation. @draccah 'I am what used be called a book publisher.'
1. Data on where the market is. Consumer. Sales. Ecosystem.
2. Working models of transformation.
1. Data: 66% Woman. ~44 years. Fiction.
Full of good data,but I can't but help thinking that if you don't know this, you shouldn't be here. No point in typing it all up.
Ooh, good one: Amazon top 85 titles: 66% Traditional publishers. 18% Self-pub. 16% Non-traditional. (The trend over time should be more interesting, though.)
Ah, price spread: The overwhelming majority of the revenue is in the Traditional Publisher quadrant.
Models of transformation.
Variations in inventory risk: New authors, new titles from existing authors, backlist. She then has three tactics for availability: Frontlist. Established backlist. POD + Short turn.
Zero inventory model, saves money (duh).
Workflow. Workflow. Workflow. Two slides with @draccah and it's probably exactly the thing most publishers are incapable of improving.
Agile workflow and development. Books developed in front of you. (Sounds a bit like some of the experiments Oreilly has been doing).
Never been more opportunity in book publishing than today. You gotta talk to the readers. (Another item most publishers will never do.)
Community of users. Community network publishing model. (Again. This isn't a process specific to ebooks. Steve Jackson Games and Oreilly have been doing this for years. If you weren't doing this before, you never will.)
(Most of the innovations and transformations she talks about aren't enabled by ebooks, but by a digital workflow. These are ten year old ideas.)
Verticals and platforms are key to providing more value.
Important new functionality.
Spend less on inventory. Invest more in workflow. Explore and create verticals and platforms. Are you ready for apps and ebooks.
2012 will be important.
Nice Miguel de Unamuno quote at the end.
Next is a boohoo story. Bleak House. I think this is Evan Schittman.
Sob sob. We have too many costs. Can't save enough money. Authors ask for too much. Pressure on ebooks to lower price and a 20% VAT.
Not an enhanced ebooks fan. So, can't raise prices.
What about lower costs?
No. He says there's no scope there.
Ebooks make them less money due to various factors. His message is that publishing needs print to survive. (More whine, whine, whine, everything's bad about ebooks.) Different cash flow situation. Pressure on advances. Fewer authors.
This sounds a bit like airy fairy clapclapclap so that tinkerbell can live.
The difference books and reading. Talks a lot about permanence and display. (OTOH, online display, social etc. is more important than living room display, IMO).
Convenience is the primary feature of ebooks. (He pronounces objects in the snooty French way.)
Books can support higher prices. Books can support retail, can be merchandised.
Ebooks render the retail market moot. (This guy has obviously never worked in the sales market of a software co.).
Enhanced hardcover, aka books with benefits. A print purchase with ebook. (Not a bad idea. Marvel is doing this. No reason book publishers couldn't). All terms based on the hardcover. (I don't want hardcover. My mother doesn't want hardcover. My cousins don't want hardcover. He wants me to buy hardcover but we don't wanna.)
The benefits. Loads. Bundling isn't a bad idea as long as it isn't the only option. (It's hard to interpret this talk as anything other than 'I don't wanna learn new skills.' Besides, merchandising isn't a marketing model, it's a business model. These people need 'Online marketing 101').
Everybody wins with enhanced hardcover (Not if the consumer actually prefers ebooks and ignores the hardcover options).
Stephen Page from Faber and Faber.
Publishing not Publishers.
How can we create the most value? Positive about the possibilities for writers and readers.
The bit between the reader and the writer is publishing.
What is it to publish? Not interested in publishers, but in publishing.
Imagine. Doesn't think the future will be defined by existing costs (Bravo!)
Wants publishers to think copyright in an imaginative way. Need to be creative about products. The Thick of It app (was just watching that show again this weekend.)
The linearity of publisher workflows are not conducive to creativity.
(So far, I've enjoyed @draccah's bit the most. Evan's the least. Stephen Page's somewhere in the middle.)
Head of digital behaves like a producer. Publishers basically need imagination (he makes it sound like publishing is run by robots.)
Broadcast. Third screen bladiblah. Traditional structures in publishing is again the bugbear. 'Our baton-passing linear publishing model does not work.'
Communicate. Essentially says that publishers are crap at it. (Publishers really aren't coming out of this as rosy and useful.)
Partner with people, writers, agents. Give them information. Authors like Amazon because it gives them information.
Be Social. 'Not social networks.' Physical community matters. Lots of hobnobbing. He's in favour of hobnobbing. Publishers should remain communities of writers. Keep it intimate, close, fertile and creative. Blur the line between writer and publisher and call it publishing.
Libraries are a way of being social. (What do his friends at Penguin think about this. :-P)
Digital gives analog colour and definition.
Partner. Access to markets had become easier. Services to publishers is publishing.
Partnership is a talent. There needs to be a sense of generosity for a partnership to work. Partnership can give global access without adding to costs.
Create value. We bought a book is a banned phrase. 'We licensed a copyright.' (He's clearly thinking about stories as broad properties to be exploited across multiple media.)
Copyright is a changing thing.
Invest. Only publishing companies invest in reading. (Really?)
Huge investment required to change existing businesses and ebooks don't provide the cash revenue to finance that change. (That's why in other industries the method is, old companies go broke, new companies take their place.)
Re-skill the workforce. Transform the people we have rather than fire existing staff and replace them with new.
Enjoy. We have to enjoy this. (Okay. Amen to that.) Fun times. Thrilling times. Tired of bah-humbugging. If you're not going to enjoy this, move into another business. (Cool.)