googlead166c37c697d4d3.html Glenn Ashton Author Blog: Authors, make use of infinite shelf space of ebooks with the new Perseus deal

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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Authors, make use of infinite shelf space of ebooks with the new Perseus deal

Julie Bosman in the New York Times coined a lovely phrase which every writer of eBooks should memorize and trot out whenever they talk to others about the merits of eBooks.

She talks about "the infinite shelf space of the ebook world."   

That's a great way to frame one of the many advantages of ebooks. With traditional paper based publishing, an author gets a limited time and a limited shelf space, and holds his or her breath, hoping that during that finite, publisher- and bookstore-allotted lifespan, The Book will suddenly appeal to tens of thousands of readers, so that the guillotine of return-to-sender does not descend on their progeny.

She also mentions other advantages of ebooks in the article, including the ability of published authors whose books are out of print and who have had the publishing rights returned to  them, to give their books the Lazarus Treatment by republishing them as an ebook.

She describes a new distribution and marketing service launched by the Perseus Books Group that allows authors to self-publish their own ebooks. The author gets a higher share of the revenues (70%) than many other ebook publishers offer, but the catch is that Perseus will only offer the service to authors who have an agent that has signed an agreement with Perseus:

He emphasized that while Argo Navis provided distribution and marketing services, the author remained the publisher. While authors get a much higher share of the revenue under this arrangement, they’ll receive fewer of the services, and financial support, provided by publishers under more conventional contracts.

In an effort to solve the problem of how to help readers discover e-books without print counterparts on tables in bookstores, Argo Navis will provide basic marketing services, like placing product pages on retailer Web sites. It will also make more extensive marketing services available for a fee.

E-books will be distributed to retailers including Amazon, BN.com, Google, Kobo, Sony and Apple.

Jack W. Perry, a publishing consultant, said that the service could appeal to authors who wanted their e-books published with wide distribution.

“A lot of times when people go in and work with e-books, they have to do a lot themselves,” he said. “Perseus is trying to take on a lot of that.”

She also touches on a new service launched by Bloomsbury, a British publisher, to publish digital only books:

The Bloomsbury Reader range incorporates an expansive and growing selection of titles in ebook (and print on demand) for the first time: many titles, previously unavailable in print for some years, are now being made available to a new generation of readers through this digital initiative. New works by leading contemporary writers will also receive digital publication through Bloomsbury Reader.

The Bloomsbury Reader range incorporates every genre; its selection including romance, crime, children’s stories, science-fiction, politics, travel writing, biographies, prose and poetry...

The list includes a selection of authors and estates represented by The Rights House and other literary agencies. The digital imprint will be run out of London and New York, and will publish books currently unavailable in print where all English-language rights have already reverted to the author or the author’s Estate and where there is no edition currently in print.

Bloomsbury Reader actively welcomes approaches from other Estates keen to see an author’s work returned to circulation.

Two new possibilities for the exploding world of ebook writers!

The ebook universe is unfolding as it should.

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