Book and Reading News

A good discussion to drop in on…..

Thad McIlroy has an interesting discussion of The Wall Street Journal‘s article about the Sourcebooks decision to withhold an e-book edition of its big Fall book. He raises a couple questions based on statements in recent coverage of e-books, including whether people who buy e-books also buy and read paper books, as well as whether graphics-intensive books would be better in paper than on the Kindle.

I think the Journal’s reported “one to two percent” of book sales now being accounted for by electronic publishing is well above the real number. I’ve looked at a lot of publishers reports and the aggregate industry figures, and it appears that the correct range of e-book revenue as a percentage of total publishing revenue is between 1/10th of one percent and a half percent. As a share of units sold, e-books account for two to three times the revenue figures, because e-books are sold at a deep discount to paper editions.

Amazon’s numbers suggest that Kindle users frequently buy both the paper and e-book version of a title in order to read in different settings. Frequently does not mean the majority, but the statements by Jeff Bezos last fall and in January were unequivocal, Kindle sales have not cannibalized paper sales and the Kindle buyer buys more books than the ordinary Amazon book customer. There’s no evidence that Kindle readers don’t read paper books or vice versa and, the categorical statement that no Kindle buyer also buys paper books is clearly incorrect. I buy both, choosing formats for different kinds of uses.

Author & Publisher Strategies Book and Reading News

Sourcebooks tries DRM-free, multi-format romance

Sourcebooks, an independent publisher of trade print and e-books, has partnered with self-publishing services developer to offer DRM-free editions of 14 romance titles, Publishers Weekly reports. The company’s Casablanca romance imprint will release the titles in nine formats priced at $6.99. Readers will be able to access purchased e-book files on any compatible reader or application, allowing them to move e-books from one compatible device to another.

Sourcebooks offers Adobe eBook versions of its titles through its own site and is also launching titles, though not necessarily DRM-free, on

“There is discussion surrounding DRM, and while partnering with Smashwords does not mean we endorse DRM-free across the board, it does mean that we’re open to exploring different possibilities to better serve our customers,” said Sourcebooks CEO Dominique Raccah in a statement.

In other words, this really is an experiment that will shape Sourcebooks’ strategy. It’s a chance to vote for DRM-free books with your hard-earned cash.