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Old 04-13-2010, 06:27 PM   #1
DMcCunney
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Random House combines Ballantine, Bantam, and Dell imprints

Publishing continues to consolidate:

http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat...nit_158310.asp
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Old 04-13-2010, 06:35 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMcCunney View Post
Publishing continues to consolidate:

http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat...nit_158310.asp
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Just what we need! More consolidation! (Not)
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Old 04-13-2010, 06:50 PM   #3
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Just what we need! More consolidation! (Not)
Color me cynical about it. The ostensible reasons are the usual corporate blather about alignment and focus, and streamlining the operation to take better advantage of opportunities. There may even be such motivations in the minds of those responsible.

But I tend to see much of stuff like this as disguised cost cutting, and wonder how many folks will become redundant as the consolidation proceeds. (I know a few folks over there.)
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Old 04-13-2010, 07:14 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMcCunney View Post
Color me cynical about it. The ostensible reasons are the usual corporate blather about alignment and focus, and streamlining the operation to take better advantage of opportunities. There may even be such motivations in the minds of those responsible.

But I tend to see much of stuff like this as disguised cost cutting, and wonder how many folks will become redundant as the consolidation proceeds. (I know a few folks over there.)
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Dennis
That was my first thought reading the original post: it's an excuse to downsize the staff.
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Old 04-13-2010, 07:49 PM   #5
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I don't think your view is cynical. I think it's realistic.
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Old 04-16-2010, 01:20 AM   #6
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on the other hand, random house may be trying to be sure that people who care realize all their books are theirs. a handy thing for those of us who don't memorize every label but don't want to buy agency model books.
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Old 04-16-2010, 02:35 AM   #7
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on the other hand, random house may be trying to be sure that people who care realize all their books are theirs. a handy thing for those of us who don't memorize every label but don't want to buy agency model books.
Uh...somehow I don't think a major corporate consolidation has occurred because they think some ebook readers are going to make their buying choices based on the agency model or lack thereof.
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Old 04-16-2010, 11:45 AM   #8
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on the other hand, random house may be trying to be sure that people who care realize all their books are theirs. a handy thing for those of us who don't memorize every label but don't want to buy agency model books.
I highly doubt it. This reorganization covers pbooks as well as ebooks, and affects everything they do.

I doubt most buyers are even aware of the new agency pricing model. I also doubt most buyers are more than marginally aware of imprints and publishers. Ask them what they read and they'll cite titles and authors. Ask them who published the books and they might have to pull them off the shelf and look.

We'll see how the agency pricing model plays out. But the original fight between Amazon and Macmillan, Simon and Schuster, and Hachette, and the impetus to agency pricing, was about protecting the hardcover best sellers. These are the crown jewels of publishing. They generate the most revenue and the highest profits.

Amazon was simultaneously releasing Kindle editions at the $9.99 rate with hardcover releases at $25 - $30. The Kindle editions were cuttting into hardcover sales. There are enough folks with Kindles, or with devices like the iPhone running the Kindle reader app, that HC sales were being lost.

The publishers wanted to assert control over pricing and protect their revenue stream. Aside from agency pricing, expect to see a delay between the release of the hardcover edition and the release of the ebook for the same reason there is a year's delay between the release of the hardcover and the mass market paperback.

Publishing is struggling. There are still too many books chasing too few readers, and ebooks simply add to the chaos. From the publisher's viewpoint, this isn't about greed, it's about survival.
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Old 04-16-2010, 11:59 AM   #9
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Oh, yay. More consolidation, less choice, and less ability to boycott the ones you hate. Ugh. What's even worse is if you don't keep up with this stuff, you could boycott one part of the company, and unknowingly support another instead of boycotting the entire company.
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Old 04-16-2010, 04:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Publishing is struggling. There are still too many books chasing too few readers, and ebooks simply add to the chaos. From the publisher's viewpoint, this isn't about greed, it's about survival.
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This is something too few people realize. Publishers are seen as fat and greedy, when in fact margins on most books are thin or nonexistent. Publishing isn't all blockbusters. But without the blockbusters generating revenue, a lot of other books would never get published.
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Old 04-16-2010, 05:53 PM   #11
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Ask them who published the books and they might have to pull them off the shelf and look.
Right. Which is why the agency cartel's actions will reflect on all books sales...
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Old 04-16-2010, 09:22 PM   #12
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What I love about 2010 is that finally there's some healthy competition to the big publishers. Every day, more readers are shifting from print to digital. Many indie publishers and indie authors are now able to find readers online -- in the Kindle store, in iBookstore, in the Sony store, etc. A few years ago, the big publishers controlled EVERYTHING. Things are being shaken up now. Steven wrote, "More consolidation, less choice, and less ability to boycott the ones you hate." But I think we have MORE choice than ever this year, and we'll see more choices as time goes by. Three years ago, just thinking about the state of publishing (and the world of literature) depressed me. But this year I'm exciting about where things are going.
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Old 04-17-2010, 02:58 AM   #13
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What I love about 2010 is that finally there's some healthy competition to the big publishers. Every day, more readers are shifting from print to digital. Many indie publishers and indie authors are now able to find readers online -- in the Kindle store, in iBookstore, in the Sony store, etc. (snip)
I absolutely agree with you! In fact, this has been an unexpected gift I've discovered, after getting my Kindle DX. I've read more books by indie authors -- and enjoyed them -- than I ever did when I was shopping purely in the big-box stores, or even ordering from Amazon.ca. Having an ereader has opened a whole new world of reading to me. And I'm 67 and have been reading for over 60 years....

Lesley (another Canadian)
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Old 04-17-2010, 09:32 AM   #14
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Slightly OT to the original post, but now I know why the backlist list titles of a couple of my favorite authors (Amanda Quick & Kay Hooper), who were originally to be released as ebooks this week were pushed back to November. Blasted reorganization of the company. I was so looking forward to AQ's titles to be released (only 5 left) but at least now I have more time to set aside the money to purchase since I've been busy buying stuff for my other hobby of knitting.
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Old 04-17-2010, 09:36 AM   #15
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Quote:
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Color me cynical about it. The ostensible reasons are the usual corporate blather about alignment and focus, and streamlining the operation to take better advantage of opportunities. There may even be such motivations in the minds of those responsible.

But I tend to see much of stuff like this as disguised cost cutting, and wonder how many folks will become redundant as the consolidation proceeds. (I know a few folks over there.)
______
Dennis

Going down the same path as music did and they still won't acknowledge it.
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