Amazon announced they will hold an event this Wednesday (May 6th:10 a.m.) in New York. Most are expecting the unveiling of a large-format e-reader geared towards newspaper subscriptions. Which would be a smart move for Amazon, as many newspapers aren’t happy with the Kindle and its inability to serve up newspaper styles content and ads as the industry needs. That’s a fact that has many of the major newspaper chains partnering with other e-reader device manufacturers to develop their own e-ink devices.
A trend that Amazon would no doubt like to curb with its potential to cut into it’s growing revenue stream of (on avergae) $14 a month per newspaper subscription.
I just read about the LA Times dropping their dedicated books coverage and eliminating staff. Not 10 minutes later I read about The Birmingham News and its plans to trim staff (which is a much nicer buyout deal than handing out pink slips).
I understand the competition and strain that newspapers are under. Plus, your larger news organizations are not the most nimble when it comes to redirecting content and adopting “new media” techniques. But they have to learn, and quick. Trained professional journalists are too valuable. I read a ton of blogs and websites. Most of them are good. But I still depend on the professional filters that journalists provide. There is too much noise and it’s nice to know that some folks are out there sorting through it for us.
At a minimum, I think every new organization that lets a reporter go should host them a blog for as long as they want to write. That seems fair to me! Think of all the extra traffic they’d get from content that they don’t have to pay for (except for the $5 in annual hosting fees).Plus, it would be a good way for them to get their feet wet in the digital age. I just don’t want all these skilled book reviewers and news hounds to go away. If they are over 50 and still doing their jobs it’s because they love and are good at it.
Why would you throw that away? New media or traditional print?
So that’s my contribution to the world this week. Give everyone a blog. Everything should be much better now.
Bham Terminal founder Andre Natta has a swank write-up in one of Birmingham’s local papers (the pics aren’t bad either). Congrats to Christina Crowe on the well-written peek into what makes Andre tick. He deserves to be in the spotlight, after all this time of trying to cast the spotlight on others around town.
Also, take note of the mention of a Wordcamp in Birmingham this September!!! It’s going to be a blast!
Wow, if there is any truth to this tid-bit Amazon is getting good at throwing their weight around. On the heels, of the P.O.D. smack-down, publishers in the U.K. now fear an Amazonian backlash over pricing structures.
Basically, the gist is Amazon prices all they offer at a big discount. Some publishers, in order to lure a few customers are offering deeper discounts on their own websites, undercutting Amazon. Evidently, this has upset the Amazon gods and they are sniffing around looking for a fix. Due to some legal-ese in the U.K. contracts, some fear
Amazon may retaliate by regarding a publisher’s online price as the recommended retail price and applying its trading terms to that.
So, if you publish a book and mark it $10, Amazon’s price is $8 at 20% off. Then, you, as the publisher and owner of the book, offer it at $7, on your own site. Amazon says “your offer of $7 is the ‘real market’ value since that’s what you, as the publisher, are offering” so we’ll now sell your book for $5.60 per our 20% off agreement”.
You know, I can appreciate the chance of lower book prices as much as the next starving book hoarder… but there is just something about a retailer having the clout to tell publishers and content developers what they can and cannot do with their products, that gets my all kinds of ticked off. I hope it never happens.