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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?


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.

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?


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.

I am not a fan of most reality shows.

I do not watch the “Real Housewives of Anything.”

I do not watch SURVIVOR – except the first season back in the 1990s.

I do not watch JERSEY SHORE or any of the drinking idiot shows.


But I do watch:


Not sure why these shows appeal to me. But one thing I am sure of – Americans have so much shit.

How did we become a nation of junk collectors?

Oh well…

Widely reported over the past few days that the Dept of Justice has filed collusion between Apple and the ‘Agency 5′ to fix the price of eBooks.

Agency 5 = Penguin; Simon & Schuster; Hachette; HarperCollins: Macmillan.

Big 6 = Add Random House.

Many feel Amazon is the big winner here because they will be able to price eBooks as they want. Amazon has been very vocal that they want lower prices. This suit gives them that ability. Three publishers have already settled.

Why was Random House excluded? When Apple introduced the iPad; Random House was not in the iBookstore. They continued to sell at Wholesale. They also charged a premium for their eBooks (was it at the same price at the hardcover?) and Amazon took the loss. Millions of copies of Steig Larssen made RH millions. It was smart of them to hold out. Notice how Scholastic has sold millions of HUNGER GAMES without Agency and Apple?

A year later, Random House went Agency. They now have control over the prices on their books. They have some amazing content too. Plus, RH is the biggest of the ‘misnamed Big 6.’ RH rolled with the iPad 2.

Now the DOJ is not only costing mindshare and attorneys for the Agency 5, but those publishers have lost Agency. They need to re-adapt. But RH can keep Agency. So, does that give them a competitive advantage over the others? Those publishers dearly want to hold onto it. Two are willing to fight – Macmillan and Penguin. But if this is over control over pricing… then RH is in a good place while this gets sorted out.

Amazon won.

Random House won.

At least today, publishing is a roller coaster, tomorrow there may be different winners.

Publishing used to be so mellow… The world has changed.

As many expected, the US Department of Justice filed suit against Apple, Macmillan, Penguin, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster & Hachette. The latter three have decided to settle the case but not admit collusion. Apple, Macmillan and Penguin have said they did nothing wrong and will fight it.

I applaud Macmillan and Penguin for fighting for what they believe.

The stakes are high. The direction of the publishing industry is changing again. It moves a lot these days.

Whether guilty or not, defending a lawsuit is expensive and time-consuming. It is too and that it has become this. But for Harper, S&S and Hachette, the cost of fighting outweighed the cost of settling. So they took the least-expenisve way out.

Macmillan will fight the battle.

They were the leaders on battling Amazon on agency. So much, Amazon yanked their BUY buttons during the feud.

They are the leaders again.

Of the Big 6, Macmillan is by far the smallest in billing. But it leading, they are number one.

What happens to all the non-corporate publishers and their deals?

I love Pandora internet radio.

I listen to it on many devices. I have it on my MacBook Air; Samsung Galaxy; iPad and iPhone.

I have 10 or so channels for each. Most of them are close in style to one another.

I don’t have them all synched together. Is that even possible?

I also find the iPad App not as helpful for the song lyrics don’t come up.

The Galaxy isn’t good because I like to buy a lot of the songs I hear and that doesn’t have my iTunes Cloud. I can buy on iPhone, iPad or MacBook Air and the songs go to all devices. Yes, the cloud is impressive.

I don’t pay for premium. Maybe I will one day but the commercials are fine. I do but a lot of songs through Pandora to iTunes. I hope Pandora gets a cut of that action. I would guess they get some type of affiliate fee? No?

Pandora is great for any occasion. Need background music? Classical? Christmas?

I see that some cars now come with Pandora streaming through them. That is cool too.

I just bought an entire George Harrison LIve from Japan with Clapton and others as guests. Love it.

“While My Guitar Gently Sleeps”…