How interesting. I see this move as another step to publishers more aggressively creating, managing and controlling the full production lifecycle for ebooks. I’ve predicted that Amazon will release an iBooks Author-style platform in the future and this looks like Kobo’s doing the same thing.
A fascinating story of the development of the Internet Archive and its goal to be the world’s largest library.
Non-publishing companies are looking to enter the educational publishing space and why not? It’s a massive industry bereft of innovation controlled by a small number of very large companies.
Google to buy Frommer’s travel guides
If I were making travel products, my blood would be running cold at this point.
In the past having someone offer a free version of your product meant little. So what if there was a crap version on offer that no one really wanted? Now, companies like Google are offering first-rate free versions of existing products as a loss-leader for their other, core, businesses.
Which is terrifying because very few people can out-spend, or out-technology Google.
For the US only - Amazon offers students the chance to rent textbooks for 30% of the retail price.
It looks like a bit of a dying market though as technology (doesn’t it always) changes the landscape entirely.
A soon to be announced private-public partnership with Amazon and the US government. The pilot programme will see $2.3m spent in the first year with a possible $16.5m spent over five years.
Very interesting to see what will be announced and actually done.
Bought by Richard Schlagman in 1990 from receivership, Phaedon’s now back on the block.
The business seems to be back on track and doing well but that should always be taken with a grain of salt, particularly when the seller is able to fatten the goose for sale.
Most interesting - to me at any rate - is that the sale is due, among other reasons, to the owner wanting someone else to “lead its transition from a largely print business to the digital era”.
Phaedon have beautiful and complex books which don’t fit well into the ePub-based offerings of Amazon. Which leaves Apple’s iBooks and apps platforms, as well as the web. And that poses an interesting question for a prospective buyer: do you buy Phaedon for the books business or for the content?
Sainsbury’s is buying HMV’s share in the social book site Anobii for £1. This brings their total share of the business to 65% or so.
It seems that the site is a loss-maker for the beleaguered HMV, who were keen to offload it.
The numbers here are strange and lead me to wonder about either HMV’s ability to monetise their assets or Sainsbury’s sense in buying it. Oh, I imagine the DoJ will have a field-day with this news as well.
McGraw-Hill Education has finally appointed a new president and CEO. Lloyd Waterhouse was previously of Harcourt Education but, more interestingly, was 26 years at IBM as GM of ebusiness services.
Which, as the FT puts it, means “two of the four biggest educational publishers now have chief executives with an extensive background in technology. The selections signal the growing importance of digital in the education publishing business.”
I can easily foresee a future where all publishers are led by experienced ecommerce businesspeople, replacing the traditional channel sales background so many have now.
Barnes & Noble objects to the DoJ’s proposed settlement in the ebook case saying that the Department “reject its traditional role of ending alleged collusion and to become instead a regulator of a nascent technology industry that it little understands”.