Let’s do the time warp again
Then Amazon switched to per-page payouts on KDP Select. Right?
And then Amazon changed it to different per-page rates for various territories.
And then Amazon opened a physical bookstore. Run for your life! (If the latest Shelf Awareness account of reactions to that bit of bricks and mortar is right, there’s still a hefty wave of consternation to crest among the booksellers, the surf is up, way up.)
And then Ingram bought Aer.io and did a deal with Diversion Books to get indie authors into its mighty distribution channels.
And BitLit’s Shelfie suddenly is bundling audiobooks as well as ebooks in a deal with Findaway. (Were you consulted? I wasn’t either.)
And one of my favorite authors came out of FutureBook 2015 saying that the whole day was focused on tech: she’d had no idea that the trade was doing so much, let alone talking so much, she said, about new innovations—from Judith Curr’s Crave app and self-publishing authors at that bastion of Big Five-ism Simon & Schuster to the “page-breaking” user-experience concepts of Peter Meyers and Georgina Moore’s excellent discussion on what happens when corporate marketing people take to the choppy waters of social media …. only to get funny looks from their bosses?
Meanwhile, we gathered trade authors, independent authors, and publishing people into a single room for Author Day, avoided serious injury, lit up the tweeterie with our #AuthorDay hashtag, and didn’t sing a single verse of Kumbaya. Here’s #FutureChat regular Carla Douglas of Ontario with her impressions of the event.
And the few points I’ve just listed (right?) are relatively late-year if not quite recent. What about earlier 2015? When London Book Fair returned to the Olympia or Frankfurt Book Fair exited Halle 8 or BookExpo America condensed its run by half a day?
My colleague Philip Jones at The Bookseller asks:
What has been the big story for the book business this year?
Never one to pass the buck, I’m turning to you.
What has been the biggest story for the book business this year?
That’s what we’ll talk about in #FutureChat.
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No really, what had the most impact, as you see it?
What I’m more aware of this year than in the past is how fragmented the industry can be in its views. This is not necessarily the negative it might seem at first. Everyone must focus on their own access point and needs in the business, that’s natural and healthy, as long as we remember to listen to—and respect—each other’s concerns. But what a vast range of viewpoints this is.
Granted, one player in the industry just sent me a note about “setting a new trend in literary hair.” And she wasn’t even talking about Sarah McIntyre’s fetching hats.
On a slightly more serious note, the ever-fashionable Jones answers the “big development” question this way:
The answer is obvious: the return of print. Whichever way you spin it, the surprise strength in physical sales feels both special and pivotal. Unraveling the story behind this is not simple and the lines of narratives are not linear, as the mooted closure of Penguin Random House’s Rugby distribution centre and the continuing decline in library numbers show. Nevertheless, the market growth that began falteringly has emerged as a major plot twist.
There’s more: Read on
By Porter Anderson Follow @Porter_Anderson
The Bookseller: Looking for trust: Author Day to FutureBpook 2015
Read the full post at: TheBookseller.com/FutureBook
Info on the conference. The FutureBook 2015