Will Hachette Be the Last Publisher Standing?

The Bookseller, the U.K.’s book publishing trade magazine, has these interesting figures showing the way the dramatic drop of 5.7 percent in overall sales in the country has allowed Hachette to increase its market share: Victoria Barnsley was speaking as figures from Nielsen BookScan, for the first 24 weeks of the year, revealed a fall in […]

Why China’s Students Excel and the U.S. Lags Far Behind

(MoneyWatch)  The natural reaction to China’s sudden and stunning emergence as the curve-setting leader in global education is to assume that the region’s scores were achieved through highly regimented drive through rote learning. In a country still dominated by its military and ruled by a closed party, that would seem logical. Naturally, that also fits all of our […]

Why Agents Will Morph Into Electronic Publishers

Once you remove the complexities of distribution from the book equation, an author has to ask herself what she gets from a publisher. After all, publicity is a function of the author’s own fame, talent, or personal story. And publishing is, at its very core, nothing more than publicity plus distribution. In the contemporary book […]

What’s Stopping Print Content on the iPad?

Venture Capitalist David Pakman, a partner at Venrock, doesn’t understand why legacy media isn’t rushing to get on the iPad. He points out that only six of the top 20 magazines have iPad apps and that most media outlets have been hanging back from embracing the new platform: I think the iPad is actually under-hyped as a device […]

What’s Amazon Playing At?

With Amazon’s share price still based upon an incredibly optimistic multiple of 50, even after the stock has pulled back $36 from a high of $150, we’re starting to see a backlash. Stock analysts are worried that increased competition in e-books from Apple and Barnes & Noble will lead to a compression in the multiple. Amazon has […]

The Son of Gutenberg

A year ago, Justin Halpern was an underemployed comedy writer who had to move back into his parents’ home in San Diego. Today, he’s got 1.4 million Twitter followers, the No. 1 book on the New York Times nonfiction best-seller list, and a CBS sitcom starring William Shatner. All it took was writing down quotes from his father […]

The Nook of Doom Gnaws at Barnes & Noble

When the Nook e-reader was announced, Barnes & Noble touted its strategy of using its network of stores to drive sales. At the time, we pointed out the flaw in that plan: the more successful B&N became at shifting sales to the electronic device, the more it would undermine the company’s margins. Unlike Amazon, which is built […]

The Nook of Doom

Barnes & Noble’s new e-reader could kill its business Amazon’s success with the Kindle is a virtuous cycle of cost reduction. As it converts customers from visiting the Web site to buy a book (and then waiting for the mail) to picking up the Kindle for both functions, Amazon gains margin at every turn. At […]

Sun Valley: Where Media Goes to Die

There’s no better gauge of the state of the media—however broadly you might choose to define that—than the lack of any sort of story line to set up the Allen & Co. Sun Valley Conference. Things are so bad that the Wrap’s Sharon Waxman had to resort to this kind of reporting to post anything about the […]

Suddenly Starting a Business Has Become Really Cheap

The first time Tony Conrad built a company, in 2005, he raised $3.5 million to create a “contextually relevant content engine” that would serve up content on websites in the way that Google serves up ads.  After three years of hard work, the investment proved worthwhile when Conrad sold Sphere to AOL for $35 million. […]