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Old 03-16-2017, 12:21 AM   #16
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And they were paying by the word for those first rights. After that the author didn't receive more but with a book you get quarterly payments for your work.
Paperback originals were mostly focused on long-form so short story writers lost a lot of markets when the pulps went away. Also, some authors double-dipped--pulps and books--so the move to paperback originals wasn't a net win for everybody.

Disruptions bring both winners and losers, as we're seeing with ebooks, which is why the entrench players resist them.
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Old 03-16-2017, 06:32 AM   #17
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Paperback originals were mostly focused on long-form so short story writers lost a lot of markets when the pulps went away. Also, some authors double-dipped--pulps and books--so the move to paperback originals wasn't a net win for everybody.

Disruptions bring both winners and losers, as we're seeing with ebooks, which is why the entrench players resist them.
Point taken, especially with ebooks now. I mean from what I understand with traditional publishing the author got a certain amount of the $ for their work but it was limited by how widely published the work could be in paper (with translations as well) but if you look at markets like Amazon you get a higher percentage of the $ and a lot more people can get a given book a lot faster than any paper book could be distributed since it isn't necessary to print the books out on paper or transport them etc. Paper is limited by the speed of the vehicle transporting the books but ebooks are only limited by the speed at which information can be transmitted over a modem connection.
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Old 03-16-2017, 07:34 AM   #18
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Point taken, especially with ebooks now. I mean from what I understand with traditional publishing the author got a certain amount of the $ for their work but it was limited by how widely published the work could be in paper (with translations as well) but if you look at markets like Amazon you get a higher percentage of the $ and a lot more people can get a given book a lot faster than any paper book could be distributed since it isn't necessary to print the books out on paper or transport them etc. Paper is limited by the speed of the vehicle transporting the books but ebooks are only limited by the speed at which information can be transmitted over a modem connection.
Agreed.
Ebooks are a major disruption in distribution efficiency.
In that respect, the move from pulps to paperback was a step backwards because pulps were distributed via newspaper and magazine channels that were much faster than book channels. That remains true today. And it is an under-appreciated advantage of digital: the time to bring a title to market is much shorter. A tradpub book typically takes about two years to reach the market after acceptance whereas small digital publishers can bring the title to market within weeks or even days. (Pulps worked on a 60-90 day cycle much like comics do today.)

Another under-appreciated advantage (for readers and authors, anyway) is the freedom from the page count restrictions of pbooks. Short stories can come to market individually, long narratives don't need to be restructured and either padded or broken up into series to reach market. A 30k word novella and a 200k word mega novel are both equally easy to distribute. Over time I think this will be defining even in markets that today are hostile to digital.

Ebooks are impacting the entire supply chain in different ways for each segment. And it is revitalizing/boosting a lot of niches ranging from short fiction to entire genres and subgenres some of which have minimal market access via print.

Last edited by fjtorres; 03-16-2017 at 07:37 AM.
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Old 03-16-2017, 09:01 AM   #19
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Agreed.
Ebooks are a major disruption in distribution efficiency.
In that respect, the move from pulps to paperback was a step backwards because pulps were distributed via newspaper and magazine channels that were much faster than book channels. That remains true today. And it is an under-appreciated advantage of digital: the time to bring a title to market is much shorter. A tradpub book typically takes about two years to reach the market after acceptance whereas small digital publishers can bring the title to market within weeks or even days. (Pulps worked on a 60-90 day cycle much like comics do today.)

Another under-appreciated advantage (for readers and authors, anyway) is the freedom from the page count restrictions of pbooks. Short stories can come to market individually, long narratives don't need to be restructured and either padded or broken up into series to reach market. A 30k word novella and a 200k word mega novel are both equally easy to distribute. Over time I think this will be defining even in markets that today are hostile to digital.

Ebooks are impacting the entire supply chain in different ways for each segment. And it is revitalizing/boosting a lot of niches ranging from short fiction to entire genres and subgenres some of which have minimal market access via print.
Plus there is the weight issue. A 200k paper book might weigh let's say 8 ounces (half a pound) or more, while a short story (being in a magazine) would weigh a lot less, but when they are both in eformat they weigh the same. They may take up different amounts of space on the hard drive of the reader(i.e kb or MB) but their weight is the same (the weight of the ereader device). Some of those issues might also factor in to why ereadrers aren't as popular in Japan as here in the U.S. Japan is a highly traditional society from what I understand and they probably resist change in some ways more than we do here in the west. So going from paper to ebooks might not appeal as much to them as well

Last edited by crich70; 03-16-2017 at 09:03 AM.
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Old 03-17-2017, 04:09 AM   #20
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Re the weight issue, I can second that! Taking sufficient reading material to cover a 2 week beach holiday when you can read 2-3 mass market paperbacks a day was always a struggle for me. Once I got a Palm m500 along with a set of SD cards, lugging a decent selection became easy (although the cradle & charger weighed easily as much as a paperback), and I still keep a dedicated ereader for that reason (and the weight of the ereader and charger is less than the Palm kit).
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Old 03-17-2017, 06:19 AM   #21
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Good point about graphic novels. I've tried them on Kindle and it just doesn't work IMO.
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Old 03-19-2017, 07:06 PM   #22
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I'm still betting on the cultural differences myself.
The role of pulps and paperback originals seems to be filled to a large extent by manga.
Which, "curiously enough" is going digital with a vengeanfe, ereaders or not:

http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news...crease/.113129

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Sales of print manga volumes amounted to 194.7 billion yen (about US$1.71 billion) in 2016, a 7.4% decrease from the previous year, while sales of manga magazines amounted to 101.6 billion yen (about US$892 million), a 12.9% decrease from the previous year. The combined 296.3 billion yen (about US$2.60 billion) total of print sales of manga from both compiled book volumes and magazines saw a 9.3% decrease from last year. This the 15th year in a row to mark a decline in sales for manga’s print market. The print-only market is now about half of what it was in the mid-1990s.

However, sales of digital manga volumes amounted to 146 billion yen (about US$1.28 billion), a 27.1% increase from the previous year, while sales of digital manga magazines amounted to 3.1 billion yen (about US$27.24 million), a 55% increase from the previous year. The combined 149.1 billion yen (about US$1.31 billion) total of digital sales of manga from both compiled book volumes and magazines saw a 27.5% increase from last year.
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Old 03-19-2017, 09:35 PM   #23
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Good point about graphic novels. I've tried them on Kindle and it just doesn't work IMO.
I bought an eight inch Onyx Boox I86 HDML for manga. For black and white manga its adequate.
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Old 03-20-2017, 01:00 AM   #24
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I feel that Japanese are very traditional people who like hold books in their hands. Contrary to what foreigners might think, Japanese are very stubborn about new technologies. Not to mention the lack of ebooks available. I tried to find epubs for books I want to read (Battle Royale, Higashino Keigo, Akutagawa Ryunosuke and some light novels) and I can't find single one epub!!

This seems to be similar to the situation of digital music in Japan. I wonder if it's because of the Japanese industries' irrational fear of piracy... AFAIK Japanese aren't really that keen on pirating, but the anti-piracy effort is quite aggressive there
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Old 03-20-2017, 07:13 AM   #25
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I feel that Japanese are very traditional people who like hold books in their hands. Contrary to what foreigners might think, Japanese are very stubborn about new technologies. Not to mention the lack of ebooks available. I tried to find epubs for books I want to read (Battle Royale, Higashino Keigo, Akutagawa Ryunosuke and some light novels) and I can't find single one epub!!
Higashino Keigo and Akutagawa are available on Kobo in Japan. Where were you searching for them?
https://www.kobo.com/jp/en/search?Query=higashino+keigo
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Old 03-20-2017, 01:44 PM   #26
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Higashino Keigo and Akutagawa are available on Kobo in Japan. Where were you searching for them?
https://www.kobo.com/jp/en/search?Query=higashino+keigo
I was searching on Amazon JP. I forgot Kobo is owned by a Japanese company

I want to read them in Japanese. There are only 6 books by Higashino on the Japanese store and they are not what I am looking for. There is indeed a compilation of Akutagawa's works on Kobo store though so I'm taking my words back.
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Old 03-20-2017, 03:10 PM   #27
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I feel that Japanese are very traditional people who like hold books in their hands. Contrary to what foreigners might think, Japanese are very stubborn about new technologies. Not to mention the lack of ebooks available.
I dunno about this. The last time I was there it seemed like everybody was reading web serials on their phone.
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Old 03-20-2017, 09:12 PM   #28
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I dunno about this. The last time I was there it seemed like everybody was reading web serials on their phone.
Online novels by indie writers is an entirely different genre, imo. Japanese still insist on buying tree books for published novels, CDs for music and sending faxes in formal correspondence.

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Old 03-21-2017, 06:23 AM   #29
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I was searching on Amazon JP. I forgot Kobo is owned by a Japanese company

I want to read them in Japanese. There are only 6 books by Higashino on the Japanese store and they are not what I am looking for. There is indeed a compilation of Akutagawa's works on Kobo store though so I'm taking my words back.
True, there are Higashino's books in Chinese, but not in Japanese, maybe only one. You could try Murakami though, he is available.
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Old 03-24-2017, 09:13 AM   #30
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I think they missed a significant technological factor. Japan was crazy for advanced (a.k.a. smart) cellular phones. I will bet many Japanese chose to read content on their phones rather than buy a dedicated e-reader.
I don't think very many Japanese read books on a cell phone. The publishing industry is different in Japan than in the USA and is very vibrant; that is, there are many more bookstores, both new and used, and it is much easier to buy a book or find one you want. I don't think many Japanese buy books online either, they probably would rather go to a bookstore and browse. I would bet that the average Japanese reads a lot more than the average American too. Different culture.
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