Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Latest Industry News

Look at the power of books! The Hunger Games opened to the third best ever weekend (never mind it was released during the off-season)-$155 million. So far, the movie based on the book by Suzanne Collins has grossed $248.5 million in the U.S. alone. Scholastic Books has printed another 12.5 million units in 2012 alone!

Now look at how to screw your fanbase: Pottermore is STILL in Beta. Come on, Sony! Not even Bill Gates has screwed up a launch this bad. On the plus side, the Harry Potter series is FINALLY available as e-books at the reasonable price of $7.99. On the minus side, it's a pain in the arse to get one loaded on your e-reader.

AAP announced net sales were up for January, print book sales are still diving and e-books made another significant jump. The only problem is that AAP CAN'T account for the indie e-books. If they could, the e-book sales jump would be a lot bigger than the 50% they reported.

Bertelsmann, the German privately-owned corporation that owns Random House, announced its earnings for 2011. It wasn't the earnings that caught people's eyes, but the CEO's statement that they were "...accelerating the transformation to digital of our core businesses." It'll be interesting to see if there will be a shake-up at RH for execs who didn't jump on the e-book train fast enough. [Edit to add: Here's the link to Richard Alan Dickson's analysis on DWS's blog.]

In an interesting twist to the DOJ investigation (but not so surprising if you've been reading my blog), Mark Coker told the DOJ that book prices on Smashwords have fallen. Which IS true because indies (which is what Smashwords deals almost exclusively with) can undercut the bigger houses on price thanks to lower overhead. Y'all know my stand--Agency is the best thing that ever happened to indies!

Speaking of the DOJ, I'm really wondering if their case against Apple and five of the largest publishers is that solid. Because if it was, they would be filing their case against the alleged co-conspirators, NOT TRYNG IT IN THE COURT OF PUBLIC OPINION VIA THE WALL STREET JOURNAL!!

And while we're on the subject of newspapers, why is the NYT freaking out over kids self-publishing? Why does Tom Robbins feel threatened? Seriously, who the hell cares if a fourteen-year-old wrote and published his book? Can't you people pick on someone your own size?

No wonder the publishing industry is so screwed up.


  1. Seriously. It's the only industry that survives - and has thrived for years - on consistently underselling its own product.

  2. Re: Bertelsmann and Random House, did you see Rick Dickson's analysis? Dean put it up as a guest post.


    Rick's swum with the big fish in finance, so this is a very relevant commentary. I'm glad I don't work for RH right now, and it's likely to spread to the other big publishers owned by conglomerates.


  3. @Victoria - I don't think the underselling can last much longer.

  4. @Angie - I didn't see it until this morning. I'm behind on my Dean and Kris reading. Bad Suzan. I added the link to Rick's analysis. He's definitely spot on.