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Old 03-17-2020, 05:37 PM   #1
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The World of Books Braces for a Newly Ominous Future

The World of Books Braces for a Newly Ominous Future
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/16/b...e=articleShare
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Old 03-17-2020, 05:58 PM   #2
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So? That's what eBooks and audiobooks are for. You don't have to go to the store to buy them. You buy them online.
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Old 03-17-2020, 06:39 PM   #3
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I borrow books easily from my local library without leaving my home. Same with buying them, or borrowing them from KU.
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Old 03-17-2020, 06:47 PM   #4
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I suspect that the news of Macmillan Ends Library Embargo is probably less altruism on their part and more about getting what sales they can given the number of bookstores and libraries that are closing.
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Old 03-17-2020, 08:13 PM   #5
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I suspect that the news of Macmillan Ends Library Embargo is probably less altruism on their part and more about getting what sales they can given the number of bookstores and libraries that are closing.
Ya think?

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Old 03-17-2020, 09:25 PM   #6
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I suspect that the news of Macmillan Ends Library Embargo is probably less altruism on their part and more about getting what sales they can given the number of bookstores and libraries that are closing.
Without any doubt
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Old 03-18-2020, 06:31 AM   #7
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I suspect that the news of Macmillan Ends Library Embargo is probably less altruism on their part and more about getting what sales they can given the number of bookstores and libraries that are closing.
Has data been published on pbook sales of B&M vs pbook sales online?

If I was still buying pbooks at a B&M, I wouldn't have a problem switching to buying pbooks online.
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Old 03-18-2020, 08:06 AM   #8
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Has data been published on pbook sales of B&M vs pbook sales online?

If I was still buying pbooks at a B&M, I wouldn't have a problem switching to buying pbooks online.
Independents all together have been reported at less than 5% and B&N is down to 10% or less (stores and online).
Amazon alone accounts for 45-50%. A big chunk of the rest is Costco and Newstands, especially Hudson at airports. And in many places non-essential businesses are being shut down, even the low traffic ones.

Being willing to buy pbooks online won't get you much if Amazon isn't stocking them. Their announced position is thst as non-essential products ship tbey won't be replaced in the warehouses.
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Old 03-18-2020, 01:21 PM   #9
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The World of Books Braces for a Newly Ominous Future
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/16/b...e=articleShare
It's almost as though embracing ebooks a few years back rather than depricating them to prop up paper books would be paying dividends right now.
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Old 03-18-2020, 03:18 PM   #10
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Independents all together have been reported at less than 5% and B&N is down to 10% or less (stores and online).
Amazon alone accounts for 45-50%. A big chunk of the rest is Costco and Newstands, especially Hudson at airports. And in many places non-essential businesses are being shut down, even the low traffic ones.

Being willing to buy pbooks online won't get you much if Amazon isn't stocking them. Their announced position is thst as non-essential products ship tbey won't be replaced in the warehouses.
If Amazon isn't stocking them, I assume other online retailers will. From the article, there is a picture of the B&M of Strand; checking their website, they do online pbook sales. Although I do like Amazon, if I was buying pbooks and Amazon didn't stock them, I would try somewhere else.

Of course if the publishers aren't shipping, there will be a problem.
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Old 03-18-2020, 04:02 PM   #11
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Unfortunately it is not just DTB sellers impacted by the pandemic virus. The cancellation of major trade events, book fairs, author book tours, library events and library closures are going to impact the industry and their consumers. I buy books (ebooks) that I hear about from someone who saw an interview with the author on a tv show and they read it, or from a local newspaper article about local authors appearing at the library, or books that catch my eye on the various best seller lists and, on author interviews and book reviews in the newspapers to which I subscribe. I also buy or check out books based on library recommendations or buy books by library recommended authors. I don’t think there will be as much info available in the near future.

I think authors will find it harder to get exposure because of cancelled tours and this will impact their sales. If there are fewer stores buying books from publishers, publishers will pay authors less and publish fewer books. Yes, I know they can go indie but if all their readers are social distancing or sheltering in place they aren’t out socializing or networking to hear about new things. Younger people may not be as affected because of their affinity for social media but I’m not sure how many DTBs books they buy.

I think a lot of us agree that the ebook future we envisioned 20 years ago didn’t happen. In my experience those Gen Y and Gen Z readers who are so comfortable with social media prefer DTBs and are totally uninterested in Ereading. Maybe reading will just disappear and we will all be streaming videos or living the stories in virtual reality. Time to dust off my OculusGo and buy a newer appletv.
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Old 03-18-2020, 06:08 PM   #12
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If Amazon isn't stocking them, I assume other online retailers will. From the article, there is a picture of the B&M of Strand; checking their website, they do online pbook sales. Although I do like Amazon, if I was buying pbooks and Amazon didn't stock them, I would try somewhere else.

Of course if the publishers aren't shipping, there will be a problem.
Not a safe assumption. Amazon's footprint is much bigger than the 50% they sell themselves: A lot of onlne retailers selling from their own websites are actually merchants using Amazon services.

Most of the others are independent bookstores shipping from their (now closed) storefronts. Plus they don't ship all that much compared to even B&N, which is the only "big" online competitor to Amazon. Even HalfPrice and BAM pale before those two.

What the big publishers have been officially worried about with ebooks was Amazon controlling too much market share. Their "solution" was to marginalize ebooks in favor of print, counting on channel diversity though B&N, Ingram, Hudson, and the regional chains. Instead of trying for a broad and varied interoperable ebook marketplace. But all that diversity is B&M-driven and even combined is still a fraction of Amazon. For some publishers, Amazon is 70% or higher. (Ironically, Hachette has been cited even higher, 74%.)

As a result the big publishers now report ebooks sales of less than 25% and most closer to 20%. And now that 75% is shuttered or at risk.

Their best hope is that stymied pbook buyers move to ebooks instead of video streaming or gaming. Cause theaters are gone and broadcast and cable networks work on a delayed "film as you go" system that has shut down for at least a few weeks.

Libraries are budget limited so they won't be able to absorb much new volume.

This might result in higher sales at Apple and Google, which would be good long term, but if they go to Amazon...
Not sure how much higher Kindle can possibly go.

What isn't clear right now is Ingram.
They distribute books to everybody not named Amazon or B&N.
And if they shut down it might be Amazon or nothing.

The entire industry is still focused on personal interaction and B&M (and, grudgingly, Amazon) and both are subect to pandemic restrictions. And Amazon itself is struggling with the pandemic, adding 100,000 new employees and raising salaries to get them. Deploying those resources to low margin pbook is not the best behavior in times of crisis.

The post pandemic world is going to be very different even in the best of cases.
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Old 03-18-2020, 06:33 PM   #13
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I think a lot of us agree that the ebook future we envisioned 20 years ago didn’t happen.

.
The future that happened is very different, primarily in tbe fact that traditional publishers are not the only game in town. The digital world doesn't appear as big as many expected because the primary metric is still readers sales, in dollars. But it doesn't factor in rentals and the significantly lowered APub and Indie prices.

One of the consequences of the pandemic is that a lot of marginal bookstores are looking at a month or two, maybe more, with zero revenues, but not zero rent or utilities. Not all will survive to reopen.

Publishers themselves also face a big disruption from their slot-based pipelines. All the recent releases not being bought will either be returned for pulping to make room for the next wave of releases or the entire pipeline gets delayed by however long it takes to get back to something resembling normal.

At a minimum it is a revenue-free hiatus, at worst a total reshuffling of the entire print industry. Even ebook resisters will have to go digital.

Not the way the ebook evolution was supposed to go but then nobody expected a publisher conspiracy ten years ago.

Stuff happens.
All we can do is wait for the dust to settle.
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Old 03-18-2020, 06:37 PM   #14
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Not a safe assumption. Amazon's footprint is much bigger than the 50% they sell themselves: A lot of onlne retailers selling from their own websites are actually merchants using Amazon services.

...
I think you gave it a lot more thought than me. I was shooting from the hip.

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Old 03-18-2020, 06:39 PM   #15
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From Publishers Weekly:

https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/...us-crisis.html


Quote:

As it works to meet the surge in demand for "household staples, medical supplies, and other high demand products," Amazon has told other suppliers, including publishers, that their goods will receive a low priority until at least April 5, according to both a letter PW has obtained that was sent to independent publishers earlier today and an article Amazon posted on its Amazon Seller Central website.

In the letter, sent from Amazon Vendor Central to a wide range of its suppliers including most publishers, the online retailer said that due to a surge in online orders, it is “temporarily prioritizing household staples, medical supplies, and other high demand products” in order to restock those items. As a result, the letter said, from now through April 5, suppliers of products that are a lower priority should expect both reduced purchase orders and extended delivery windows for existing purchase orders.
Publishing Perspectives' take:

https://publishingperspectives.com/2...ch-18-covid19/

Quote:

Describing Amazon’s new move to channel its forces toward crisis response first, Rachelle Hampton writes at Slate, “As more cities resort to drastic shelter-in-place measures and photos of empty grocery store aisles circulate on the internet, the giant e-tailer has stepped in to fill the gaps, but even it’s straining under the weight of an unprepared country. Many listings for items like hand sanitizer and toilet paper showed that they were out of stock or that delivery would be delayed by several days.”

Last edited by fjtorres; 03-18-2020 at 06:43 PM.
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