Tuesday, February 16, 2010

E-book Evolution Continues

In further growing pain style news for New York publishing, more big publishers move toward the agency model for e-books - this is the sales shift I mentioned in previous posts, first adopted by Macmillan, in which publishers sell e-books to retailers at a 70-30 profit split (that's 70 percent for the retailers, 30 percent for the publishers), under the condition that the publisher sets the retail price at which the e-books are sold.

However, not all major publishers (and they're not naming names) are adopting the agency model. And the verdict still isn't in whether this shift (or lack of shift) is beneficial to the publishing industry in general.

And in who-else-is-tired-of-the-revolution-and-wants-some-laughs news, here are some funnies stolen from agent Kristin Nelson's blog:

Church Bulletin Bloopers - the following announcements have appeared in church bulletins and newsletters across the country. Mistakes, unfortunate wording and all.

The Fasting & Prayer Conference includes meals.
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The sermon this morning: 'Jesus Walks on the Water.' The sermon tonight: 'Searching for Jesus.'
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Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale. It's a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands.
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Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our community. Smile at someone who is hard to love. Say 'Hell' to someone who doesn't care much about you.
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Don't let worry kill you off - let the Church help.
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Miss Charlene Mason sang 'I will not pass this way again,' giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.
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For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs.
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Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the help they can get.
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Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days.
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A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow..
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At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be 'What Is Hell?' Come early and listen to our choir practice.
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Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.
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Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.
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Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person you want remembered..
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The church will host an evening of fine dining, super entertainment and gracious hostility.
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Potluck supper Sunday at 5:00 PM - prayer and medication to follow.
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The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind. They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon.
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This evening at 7 PM there will be a hymn singing in the park across from the Church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin.
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Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10 AM. All ladies are invited to lunch in the Fellowship Hall after the B. S. Is done.
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The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the Congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday.
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Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 PM. Please use the back door.
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The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare's Hamlet in the Church basement Friday at 7 PM. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.
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Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance..
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The Associate Minister unveiled the church's new campaign slogan last Sunday: 'I Upped My Pledge - Up Yours.


And here's a little something I ran across while out and about the other day - a bumper sticker, which I now want for my car:

I'VE FOUND JESUS!
He was behind the couch the whole time.

7 comments:

Sheila Deeth said...

I love these! THanks for the smiles.

Aaron Paul Lazar said...

Oh my gosh, I laughed myself silly reading these! I can just see those church ladies casting off clothing in the basement. Yikes!

Terry W. Ervin II said...

70% to the reatailer and 30% to the publisher? Doesn't sound like a great deal, unless the publisher is thinking about high prices being set. I am not sure that model will work out, as I am not sure the public will be willing to pay a premium for an electronic book.

Sure, except for the DRM where it's used, after the set-up, the ebook's sales are nearly all profit for the publisher (and even the reatailer). But the cut for the author?

I know a few authors whose agents are having intense contract negotiations with some major publishers on the terms for the authors with respect to ebook sales. Both sides are having difficulty coming to agreement. The terms proposed aren't really what is long term beneficial to the authors.

Publisher, retailers, agents and authors are all trying to stake their ground in the new ebook phaze of publishing it seems.

My publisher indicated to me in an email a few weeks ago that the publishing house now gets 70% from Kindle sales now, up substantially from what it was last year. The other main venue for my publisher is Smashwords, which is close to that as well.

Just a few thoughts upon reading your post.

s.w. vaughn said...

Glad you guys liked these!

Terry - exactly right. It's a worse deal for the publishers than they're getting now, but they're willing to take less of a profit on e-books in order to be able to set the price higher than the $9.99 that Amazon has pretty much standardized through the retail model.

Some publishers are afraid that lower priced e-books will cut into and possibly collapse the hardcover market, which is where most of their profit comes from. That's why Macmillan fought Amazon on the $9.99 price point, and why they instituted the agency model with Apple's new iPad device for e-books.

Authors aren't going to see much higher royalties on e-books from the big publishers - at least, not for a while. Maybe never, depending on how things shake out.

How is Smashwords working out for your publisher? I'm very curious about them.

Kim Smith said...

after reading the comments people are making about this increase in ebook costs, it seems apparent to me as a reader that publishers are trying to kill the ebook market with this decision. yes, they have decided that they will raise the cost of buying an ebook to a point where people will say heck no and go buy the print version... ahh... see? GENIUS!

Joylene said...

These are hilarious. Wish I could think of another one to add to them. Girdles and hostility was too funny. Thanks!

Terry W. Ervin II said...

SW Vaughn,

It depends on the title. A couple of the books Gryphonwood has published have done very well with Smashwords. Others, moderately well. Some of it is how the author markets and some of it is just what catches on.