Today, the Chronicle of Higher Education has an article by Jennifer Howard about how university presses are forced to tread carefully with Amazon. While Amazon boosts sales, it is also extremely difficult for small university presses to negotiate “over e-pricing and other issues.” As the largest seller of books, it is not surprising that Amazon accounts for approximately a third of most university press sales. Additionally, Amazon makes it easy for scholars to get books especially difficult to quickly get even from university libraries. More than one scholar has ordered a book from Amazon instead of waiting for an interlibrary loan. Still, university presses are intimidated and somewhat overwhelmed when they negotiate contracts with the massive online retailer. Presses are expected to agree to discounts, pay money to Amazon to get their books promoted, and accede to e-book prices that work for Amazon. University presses have little choice deal with Amazon very carefully. Unlike Hachette Book Group, university presses are incapable of challenging Amazon the same way. [caption id="attachment_1745" align="alignnone" width="259"] Will this destroy book publishers?[/caption] This dovetails nicely with this post at that the Misfortune of Knowing that asks whether Amazon is a monopoly. Hachette Book Group is currently negotiating with Amazon over discounts demanded by the retailer to sell their e-books. Publishers have thrown around terms like monopoly and monopsony when describing Amazon. A.M.B. argues that in the Hachette case, Amazon appears to be neither a monopoly or a monopsony (a buyer that is powerful enough “force suppliers to start discounting against another.”) In many ways, university presses face the same pressures as Hachette, but they have fewer options. Ultimately, Hachette will probably be forced to agree to Amazon’s demands because there are fewer and fewer alternatives to Amazon everyday. [caption id="attachment_1853" align="alignnone" width="300"] Remember what these little guys did to the record business?[/caption] One of the most interesting aspects of the growing rift between publishers and Amazon is it highlights how publishers essentially ceded control of the publishing business to Amazon and Apple. Publishers no longer control the technology of books because they never created a Kindle or successful e-reader of their own. It was the booksellers (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple) that created e-readers instead publishers. Instead of selling hardware (books), publishers are now in the software business (e-books). When they lost control of the hardware that books are read, they lost the ability to control their own fates. In many ways, the publishers dilemma is identical to the predicament faced by the music business. Unfortunately, publishers are probably facing a similar future to the record companies unless they take control of their businesses.
Tags » Academic Publishing
The Arnold Relman Challenge: US HealthCare Costs vs US HealthCare Outcomes
Reviewer and Curator: Larry H. Bernstein, MD, FCAP and
Curator: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN… 3,166 more words
In the ubiquitous, and increasingly annoying, coverage of the Amazon–Hachette dispute, it’s common for those who side with Hachette to assert that Amazon is a “monopoly” without really understanding what that word means.* One example is Steve Wasserman’s… 539 more words
Last month I posted a piece here in the Kitchen titled “How Important Are Library Sales to the University Press? One Case Study.” That posting reported on a study that I did in collaboration with Dean Blobaum of the University of Chicago Press (UCP): using sales data from UCP’s 2012 imprints and library holdings data as recorded in WorldCat, we tried to get a sense of what proportion of those sales were represented by library purchases. 1,464 more words
Last month, Rick Anderson at the scholarly kitchen asked what percentage of university presses book sales were to libraries. This month he has turned the question around and asked what percentage of books circulated by libraries were published by university presses. Anderson has some interesting findings about the importance of university press books to libraries.
Joseph Esposito at the scholarly kitchen argues that if academic publishers want to sell more digital books to consumers they need to rethink not only their digital sales approach, but their entire business model. Esposito recommends that university presses should adopt a vertical enterprise model that focus on very specific scholarly fields. Instead of publishing books in 15 fields, a press should only publish books in one or two specialities. He believes that this would allow publishers to become experts and dominate specific fields. While focusing on a specific field may permit a press to dominate that area, there is a danger that presses would gravitate towards fields where the largest number of books were sold. It would be shame if every press decided to publish only books on Civil War History because there is a large consumer market for those titles. Additionally, entire scholarly fields could lose their publishers because their sales were perceived to be to small. Additionally, once an author was rejected by the one press in their field they might be out of luck. Finally, by focusing on one field your entire business model could destroyed if your chosen speciality falls out of favor in the academic community or book readers. Dominating a field that does not sell many books is dangerous. While Esposito's suggestion is intriguing, it is inherently a high risk, high reward proposition.
Diagnostic Approach to Neurodegenerative Disorders: Biomarkers Overview
Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN
ANNOUNCEMENT by Cambridge Healthtech Institute
Lisa Scimemi, MBE, MSM
Insight Pharma Reports… 610 more words
London Info International, 24-25 November 2014, The Royal Horticultural Halls, London, UK @LondonInfoInter
Our Aims: To connect Science, Technology and Medical Publishers, Content Managers and Buyers from Industry, Academia and the Public Sector: IT Professionals, Information Consultants, Big Data Specialists, Pharma, Hospitals, R&D and Subscription Agents – providers and users of online resources and information tools. 101 more words