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VIPublishing January 31, 2010

Posted by bobv451 in VIPub, writing.

Vertically Integrated Publishing (VIPub) is a term I concocted to describe what authors need to do to survive the rigors of e-publishing. We need to create the work, edit it, find ways of publishing it and then even more ways of advertising and selling it. That we would have control of the entire process is both a benefit and a huge weight crushing us down. Most of us would prefer to sit in a room lit only by the glow from out monitors and…write. Nothing else.

The world has changed. Publishing has changed. The recent furor over Amazon delisting Macmillan (for our purposes read: Tor Books) from their sales lists. As to why this happened is something we probably haven’t learned yet. Obvious reason is a spat between Macmillan and Amazon over pricing. Macmillan wants to pursue the impossible dream of charging the same for an ebook that they do for a hardcover. Or so close it doesn’t matter. Amazon wants to cap ebook prices at $9.99.

That’s the story so far. But there are rumblings it may go deeper. Amazon is punishing Macmillan for courting Apple to get into its iBook store and to sell for the iPad. Amazon obviously wants to quash competition for its Kindle reader. Good luck. A new revolution as profound as the Industrial Revolution is taking place all around us. The Digital Revolution makes everything available and one or two bottlenecks aren’t going to regulate the flow.

Macmillan ought to charge whatever it likes. If Amazon doesn’t agree, it shouldn’t have to. Amazon and Walmart got into a pissing match over who could peddle bestsellers the cheapest. The winner? The reader. But Amazon isn’t going to drive competition out of business, not when it is now selling 6 ebooks for very 10 print. Rumor has it Christmas sales of ebooks were greater than for print. It takes a lot of open a bookstore, have inventory and go through the idiot business model publishing has followed since the Depression.

Setting up an ebook store? Not so much. Mostly what is needed is to draw eyes to the store–from anywhere in the world. Foot traffic isn’t necessary. Cost of maintaining inventory isn’t there. What is? Content, content and content. The online store with the best content wins.

Check out Legends with content for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Right now we’re working on getting all our books into EPub format to broaden the number of readers you can use. Won’t be long.

VIPub. Live it, love it, enjoy it.



1. uninvoked - January 31, 2010

I won’t buy a reader because in my opinion, $10 is too high of a price when I can go to the bookstore and buy almost any book I want for that same amount. True I’m not into hardbacks, but when the average price of the book I buy is 7-8.99, why would I pay $300 and $10 per book on top of that?

2. bobv451 - January 31, 2010

If you own an iPhone, you can make phone calls and access the Internet, so the “cost” of this reader doesn’t enter into the picture–you’re using the iPhone primarily for other things. It is a bonus use as an ebook reader. The cost of the reader is going to come down drastically when more of the reading population sees this as a handy way to get books.

If you had a free ebook reader and could get the same books you pay $9 for now at only, say $5, would you download?

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