Wednesday, May 25, 2011

ebook market is very US-centric

One thing that has come through loudly and clearly to me while being in New York for BEA (I am Australian) is that the ebook market looks very different when you are standing on US soil. The ebook market is very US centric at the moment, and maybe will always be so. To give an example of the difference in the ebook markets, we have no Nook, we have no Barnes and Noble. That makes a difference as the Nook is 27% or so (the figures are rubbery) of the market here. Another example? The Blio is only available to those with a US credit card! Another? I wanted to look at an innovative Random House picture book this morning but when I went to do so, I was told that it was not available on the Australian iTunes Store, whence the link eventually routed me to. The internet is global but the markets are not necessarily so - or not yet. (That said: the ebook options offered from the Googles and the Amazons opens up opportunity for those of us living offshore - whether we are publishers or authors. Through POD we can sell stock in the US, without having to have inventory here, if we wish to. Promoting a book so it will actually sell here is a totally different question, though.)

Monday, May 23, 2011

IDPF Conference at BEA 2011

There were lots of impressive speeches, even if some were somewhat technical. (my head is whirling with ARIA roles). The one that grabbed my fantasy the most was from Barnes and Noble's Theresa Horner. She showed how B&N are integrating e and bricks-and-mortar and the Nook to drive sales. To give two examples: take your Nook into the bookstore and offers will appear on your screen, and, with some limitations, you can start reading any ebook available for the Nook. The website and the ereader is being use to drive custom into the store and towards p-books and the bricks-and-mortar shops are being used to drive ebook sales. Nice integration.
And then I got back to my hotel room and read in this morning's paper that noted contrarian investor John Malone's Liberty Media has made a bid for all shares not held by B&N chairman Leonard Riggio. Janney Capital Markets analyst David Strasser is reported to say that B&N is the undisputed No. 2 player in the e-book industry with some 28% or so share of the market. (We are not seeing that in Oz as B&N ain't there.) With Amazon saying it has some 70% of the ebook market it doesn't leave much for Kobo — and it will be interesting to see what happens to Google and Apple's shares.