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Dazzled by Danny Boyle’s opening,

Reminded me how my favorite music is English rock bands, These bands who were influenced by the American bluesmen.

The blend makes for the greatest music ever.

  • Beatles
  • Stones
  • Pink Floyd
  • ELO
  • Dire Straits
  • Steely Dan (ok, not British)
  • Bowie
  • Green Day (of, also not British)

But these are my favorite bands / artists.

 

Cool.

LinkedIn and Twitter Divorce

07.16.2012, No Comments, Uncategorized, by .

A few weeks ago, Twitter announced that it was severing it’s arrangement with LinkedIn. The agreement had allowed Tweets to go direct from one’s Twitter page to ¬†one’s LinkedIn profile. It would appear in the timeline but also the latest Tweet would be a comment on the Profile page.

I am a fan of Twitter.

I am a fan of LinkedIn.

I effective used the link between them to efficiently get my message out. I liked that my Tweets were also feeding my LinkedIn page.

I actually get more comments from LinkedIn than Twitter. I have over 900 LinkedIn connections but only about 750 Twitter followers.

So what am I going to do?

I am going on LinkedIn a lot more. I will comment on business related items in the LinkedIn feed but also have asked it be sent to Twitter. Although Twitter stopped allowing their feeds to go to LinkedIn, LinkedIn is find with sending to Twitter. It is very easy to do.

I still go on Twitter and it will not be replaced. But I don’t originate all my Tweets from them any longer.

I had to adapt. I think Twitter is short-sighted. I am on their site less now and replacing it with LinkedIn.

Apat or die. Don’t pine for the way things were because that is not reality.

Amazon Phone

07.08.2012, No Comments, Uncategorized, by .

Reports have it that Amazon will introduce a smart-phone later this year.

Amazon? Phone?

At first, I wasn’t sure of the strategy. But the more I thought about it, the more sense it makes.

First off, phones are where the money, profits and sales reside.

  • Samsung reported record profits because of the 40-60% increase in phone sales.
  • Apple makes more from it’s iPhones than Microsoft does from all their items.

Go anywhere people have to wait (train station, airport, DMV, before a movie begins). What are they doing? Most people are looking at their phones. Reading something, absorbing information, punching out text messages.

What does your smart-phone do for you?

  • Map
  • Calendar
  • Camera
  • Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare,Instagram etc
  • Reading
  • Restaurant guide
  • Movie guide
  • Text messages
  • Shopping
  • Videos
  • Games
  • Clock (alarm too)
  • Calculator
  • Address Book
  • Music

So why wouldn’t Amazon want to enter this game?

It is expensive. It will be entering a hardware game against the best in the world.

But Amazon has more customer names and credit card numbers than anyone. Amazon has the trust of the consumer. Amazon has always been about being where the customer is… and on their smart-phones is where they reside. Amazon generally knows what they are doing and I am sure they will carve out their niche in this hyper-competitive market.

Oh yeah, I can also make phone calls with my phone.

3C of eBooks

06.29.2012, No Comments, Uncategorized, by .

We are in the digital age of publishing. The past four years have been a carnival ride. The very foundation of the publishing and book-selling industry have been shaken. The landscape has shifted and the industry will never be the same.

Four years ago, digital was less than 1% of sales. Today it is over 60% on many popular fiction titles.

Certain categories have been eliminated as eBooks – Travel, Languages, Dictionaries, Reference. Sure there are still some physical, but when is the last time yopu have bought a dictionary? People under the age of 10 probably don’t even know how to use a physical one? Why?

New companies enter and will lead.

Former leading companies will die and be absorbed.

What does it take to thrive?

3C:

  1. Content – traditional publishers have control over this today. But with new entrants from individuals to corporations creating divisions, this is being more and more a battle. Amazon, Apple and MS-BN are all trying to get exclusive content.
  2. Capital – Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Rakugan and Apple have deep pockets. You want to compete? Then this is your competition. The company will need a lot of $$$$$$$$. It is a money game and not all of them will survive or stay interested in eBooks.
  3. Customers – Own the customers. Market direct to them. Get to know what they want, when they want it. Sell them other things. Block others out. Publishers have conceded this to the retailers. But that is changing. D2C is deign discussed at every publisher. Digital delivery and internet selling is much less expensive than running stores.

MS-BN tablet

06.19.2012, No Comments, Uncategorized, by .

Microsoft announced a new tablet to arrive sometime this Fall or next year. There seems to be a lot of speculation as to what this will really mean for the eBook world. Will this be a competitor for the iPad? What is the role of Kindle Fire as competition?

A few months ago, B&N NOOK received a $600-million investment ($300-million now and a commitment of $60-million a year over the next five years). They need the investment to compete with Apple’s and Amazon’s deep pockets.

B&N announced that the NOOK device sales were down in Q4 2011. But their sales were up 34%. So this leads one to believe the device may not be as important.

But the eBook world continues to turn and rotate and move along.

Good stuff.

The Bopk Expo America (BEA) ended today in New York City. I have been going to the national book convention on and off for the past 20 years.

My first BEA was in New York CIty. I was an Assistant Buyer for Waldenbooks. It was called the ABA then. This was before it was sold.

I have attended conferences in Miami Beach; Anaheim; Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington DC and New York City. I never made it to Las Vegas or any of the other cities. I don’t think. For the past few years it has stayed in New York City.

All the other major book conventions are labeled by the cities they inhabit.

I am not suggeting a name change but it would make it consistent with it’s peers?

 

50 Shades

05.22.2012, No Comments, Uncategorized, by .

The 50 SHADES trilogy was a major self-published smash. The three books were originally written as fan fiction on a Twilight site. Then the author, E.L. James, changed the names and self-published the books via The Writer’s Coffee Shop.

The three books sold an impressive 250,000 digital downloads as self-published in less than a year. The physical book was a Print-On-Demand edition and retailed for $29.95. The eBooks were $6.99.

After this enormous success, Vintage (a division of Knopf, an imprint within Random House, a part of Bertlesmann) bought the right to the three titles.

They re-edited and created paperback editions of the three. The paperbacks were priced at $14.95 but many discounted to $9.95.

The re-edited eBooks were also released and were priced at $9.99.

In six weeks, the books have sold over 10-million copies.

This would not have been possible without the marketing, sales and distribution efforts of a major publisher (Vintage > Knopf > Random House > Bertlesmann).

But if not for self-publishing and eBooks, these books would have never been published or been available for sale.

A perfect combination of the new world of publishing and the old.

I have 714 Twitter followers.

It seems like I have been stuck at 714 (give or take a few but usually ending at 714).

For the most of the time< my numbers have grown. 200, then 300, then 500, then 600…

But have stalled at 714.

Babe Ruth stopped at 714 home runs.

Sgt. Jack Friday’s badge number in Dragnet was 714.

OK, the number is kinda cool.

So, hopefully my Twitter number goes up, but if it doesn’t, no biggie.

I’m with the Babe.

Apple iPhone

05.15.2012, No Comments, Uncategorized, by .

I have an Apple iPhone 4.

i had the iPhone 3.

I had the iPhone 3S.

I am a fan of the phone and use it all the time.

I love the data, the apps and the feel of the phone.

But why does it not make phone calls well? My service is horrible and in many parts of Manhattan, I can’t get a signal at all?

I may drop my iPhone and switch to a Samsung or some other smart phone.

So, Apple can make a great hand-held device, but they can not figure out how to get the old-school part of it right?

Technology?

The eBook world is being driven by major tech companies.

Amazon created the modern eBook universe four years ago with the introduction of the Kindle. They pushed and prodded publishers to supply files for sale. They pushed the prices down and were willing to take a loss on every sale to build the market. Today they dominate it with over 65% market share. Plus Amazon continues to drive the market.

Apple entered the eBook world 2 1/2 years ago with the iBookstore and the introduction of the iPad. They made a huge splash, created a new set of terms (agency selling with them taking 30% of each sale) and have solidified a place in selling eBooks. Apple has 10-12% of the market. The Agency plan is under attack from the DOJ. But regardless of the outcome, Apple will be fine. Apple is focused on Education anyway.

Google entered eBook selling a year ago. After a few mis-steps, they are still trying to decide on the right strategy. Google has less than 1% market-share, doesn’t have a dedicated device and doesn’t seem to spend that much time interacting with the eBook area.

B&N has surprisingly gained 23% of the market for eBooks. But they have lost millions of dollars. Amazon is selling eBooks below cost and can afford to lose one each sale. B&N was forced to match (lose money) or sell at a higher retail (lose customers). B&N nook could not afford to play this game much longer. B&N also had a poor integration of the College stores digital efforts and the Nook. The two are not even compatible! Apple has targeted education and is putting major support behind it. Again, B&N was getting squeezed.

But with Microsoft now a substantial player, the game has changed again. Will they make a difference? Will the MS-BN partnership create a string competitor to Apple and Amazon? Who knows? But what we do know, is without this influx of cash, B&N was not going to survive.

The eBook playing field was leveled a bit today.