John Ingram, Ingram Industries; Evan Schnittman, Oxford University Press; Michael Tamblyn, Kobo; Roland Lange, Google
Kobo: started by pbook seller who felt was going to loose 5 to 10% of sales to ebooks. Idea was to “compete” with the book seller and keep ebook sales under the same roof. Will be working with publishers, OEM, retailers and carriers. Feel devices will get more and better and that you should be able to read the book on all of them. Book should follow you from device to device. 2m books in catalog and delivered books to 200 countries. Purchased books mirrored in the cloud so will follow from device to device. Will be on iTablet. DRM is tied to the user’s account. Price is the major discussion of ebooks right now. Publishers don’t usually ask what readers want and what readers are doing right now. People buy ebooks in the $6 to $11 price range. Current ebook consumer is price sensitive. Requires razor thin margins and lots of volume to make money. Average sale price is $8.76. With agency model publishers set prices and retailers not allowed to discount. Redistribute 9.99 to 13/15, but publishers make less money per book. Publishers are betting that consumers will follow. First time that industry has raised the price of an existing format, and while doing this will be limiting the tactics retailers can use to entice consumer. Based on assumption that consumers will pay more, but we’ve just never asked them to. Kobo’s focus groups show that consumers want instant and convenience, device portability and price came in number 5. But price was still in the mix. Concept of bundling: talking with some publishers but publishers seem frightened about anything that would “devalue” the pbook as an asset bundling runs into this. They have data that indicates that consumers would like this.
Google: Partner Program, 2m books from 30,000 publishers worldwide. Google books live on 70 domains. Google search includes results from Google Books, but doesn’t identify it as a book in the search. Can see 20% of the book and a link to the publisher’s website. Google Editions will sell books that can be accessed on any device. Launching Google Editions in June. GE will sync books between devices so when you end reading on one device the next device will open to the last page. Books stored in cloud and in browser’s cache in HTML5 with compression. Converting books for publishers to Epub at no charge. Can do direct sales from Google or through a retail partner who uses Google back end.
Ingram: refocused business on helping all forms on content reach its destination. Physical world still makes up the bulk of publishers’ business. Ship oto 71,000 centers and 4 million books in database, most in stock. Doing PoD for 12 years with 2 million ready to be printed. In January ingested 500,000 titles for PoD. For many publishers can reduce or eliminate need for warehouses. Print and ship in 12 to 24 hours. New PoD facility opening in France. New version of Coresource digital distribution software to be launched in Spring. Coresource content will be made available to Apple bookstore this Spring. You need to think about where you are adding value in your business because if you don’t you won’t be around.