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Old 04-24-2009, 10:35 AM   #1
Nate the great
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Only 53% of publishers have ebook plans

IBS Bookmaster surveyed 158 publishers at the London Book Fair. You can find the source here. The survey had 7 questions on ebooks. I'm not going to quote the last 3 becuase the poll respondents are asked to make guesses about the future.

Here is the data:
Quote:
Have you put arrangements in place to sell your book titles in digital form?
Yes – 53% / No – 43% / DK - 4%

If so, how:
40% Directly through your web site?
21% Via a digital library managed by a third party?
6% Other?
33% Don't Know

Have you made any plans to digitise your backlist titles?
Yes – 40% / No 45% / DK - 15%

Where do you store your digital content?
36% In your own digital repository?
28% In a third party digital store?
7% Via Google Book Search?
29% Don't Know
If you look at the data, you'll see that only 84 out 158 respondents have plans for ebooks. The number is disappointing, I agree. But there is a silver lining, and that is the 68 respondents who answered no. These are publishers whom we don't have to convince to drop DRM. With luck, we might get them to go directly into DRM free distribution.
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Old 04-24-2009, 10:41 AM   #2
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Where do you store your digital content?
36% In your own digital repository?
28% In a third party digital store?
7% Via Google Book Search?
29% Don't Know
That is a set of really sad numbers.
28% won't keep a digital copy of their books.
7% rely on Google to handle it.
29% have no idea.
They are the publishers. Why not keep copies of your content? Do they really want to relay on others to keep it so when they want it, they have to go to these third parties and ask for it back?

Hey Fictionwise, do we want our ePub edition back. What you deleted it because you don't sell ePub?
Well, we can give you an eReader edition instead.

Last edited by JSWolf; 04-24-2009 at 10:44 AM.
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Old 04-24-2009, 10:42 AM   #3
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I have zero faith in any of these publishers. It's creative commons and indie authors all the way for me, at least some individuals seem to get it.
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Old 04-24-2009, 10:44 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moejoe View Post
I have zero faith in any of these publishers. It's creative commons and indie authors all the way for me, at least some individuals seem to get it.
What I would really like to see is a list of these publishers and how they answered the survey.
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Old 04-24-2009, 10:45 AM   #5
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What I would really like to see is a list of these publishers and how they answered the survey.
Me too. I wonder how many of the "Big" names were those who "didn't know"?
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Old 04-24-2009, 10:48 AM   #6
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. . .They are the publishers. Why not keep copies of your content? Do they really want to relay on others to keep it so when they want it, they have to go to these third parties and ask for it back?. . .
I keep the edited files of all books I edit and the camera-ready digital files of all books I typeset, but few, if any, of my publisher clients keep copies of the files. I keep them just in case they are needed in the future for a new edition, and occasionally they are. But most of the time publishers prefer to start from scratch. I've not figured out why, but they do.

If they do not have digital copies to use as the basis for an updated version, why would they have digital copies to use for ebooks?

The industry practice has been for the compositor to maintain the files. I think this may be a holdover from the pre-PC days.
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Old 04-24-2009, 12:37 PM   #7
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What I would really like to see is a list of these publishers and how they answered the survey.
I have no idea who they were but I'm very confident I know how they answered.

By telegraph.
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Old 04-24-2009, 12:50 PM   #8
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I have no idea who they were but I'm very confident I know how they answered.

By telegraph.
Only the more modern ones. The rest used Pony Express.
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Old 04-24-2009, 01:56 PM   #9
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Maybe it has to do with it being a European event? Until the Kindle was released in the U.S. there weren't many publishers here doing the ebook thing with any regularly - perhaps when the Kindle (or something like it) is produced in Europe we'll see the publishers changing their story.

But heck if I know.
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Old 04-24-2009, 03:14 PM   #10
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Maybe it has to do with it being a European event? Until the Kindle was released in the U.S. there weren't many publishers here doing the ebook thing with any regularly - perhaps when the Kindle (or something like it) is produced in Europe we'll see the publishers changing their story.
It's a good point. Before Kindle's introduction, I would have expected American publishers to reply to these questions in about the same manner.

Keep in mind that saying you are "making arrangements for" this or "planning for" that, isn't in fact the same as actually doing anything. Overall, I can't say I'm enthused about the responses, either.

But will the newcomers pass on DRM? Depends on which publishers they look to for examples of successful business practices, which in turn depends on when they start looking (the longer they wait, the less appealing DRM will probably look as other companies abandon it).
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Old 04-24-2009, 05:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the great View Post
IBS Bookmaster surveyed 158 pulbishers at the London Book Fair.
Typo on the main page? Oh noes
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Old 04-24-2009, 05:32 PM   #12
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good to see how well some of these publishers know what's going on with their businesses

Quote:
Have you put arrangements in place to sell your book titles in digital form?
DK - 4%

If so, how:
33% Don't Know

Have you made any plans to digitise your backlist titles?
DK - 15%

Where do you store your digital content?
29% Don't Know
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Old 04-24-2009, 05:37 PM   #13
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That simply indicates that for most publishers ebooks are a small part of their business, and they've delegated the details to someone else.
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Old 04-24-2009, 05:45 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gideon View Post
perhaps when the Kindle (or something like it) is produced in Europe we'll see the publishers changing their story.
What about Sony PRS-505, Cybook, BeBook, iLiad, ... There are a lot of devices available in europe. Bookeen is a european company.

Sonys market launch of the PRS-505 was a big event here in germany but most of our publishing houses do actually *fear* the term "ebook".
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Old 04-25-2009, 01:00 AM   #15
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It is all very simple. Write to publishers that are not publishing in ebook form. Even when a publisher is publishing ebooks but does not have the book I want I still write. They are respectful emails but I do ask why they are not currently publishing mobipocket books. I tell them the type of reader I have and that I have gone 100% with ebooks and will not purchase a hard copy of any book. The publishers need to know there is a growing market. I wrote to a publisher that is actually doing a pretty good job but did not have a book I wanted as an ebook. They said I should check at the end of the month. I am sure I had nothing to do with this happening but it is extremely important for them to know they are appreciated. These companies need to hear the efforts and resources made available to sell ebooks is having an impact on their reputation and revenues.

By the way I always receive a very thoughtful reply. They are listening.
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