GW Cohort 9 Publishing eNewsletter

MPS in Publishing's eNewsletter for Fundamentals of E-Publishing PSPB6251


Cohort 9 Newsletter, Issue 2, September 16

“Hybrid Author Hugh Howey on Self vs. Traditional Publishing”

This article from Publishing Perspectives brings us an interview with “hybrid” author Hugh Howey, an entrepreneur who has found success in both self-publishing and traditional publishing.  Howey brings a unique perspective: an author who wants to cultivate long-lasting relationships with both his readers and with traditional publishing houses.  He doesn’t see e-books as competition for print; rather, he thinks e-books should be an add-on for print books, which he says would boost sales for print books.  He has many other revolutionary ideas about publishing and what the industry does and doesn’t do for consumers.  Howey’s perspective is somewhat idealistic but he has some really refreshing ideas that the up-and-coming publishers in our class can appreciate.

View the original article here.

“Changes Coming Slowly to Penguin Random House”

This article from Publishers Weekly gives an update on the recent merger of Penguin and Random House, now referred to as PRH.  As imagined, the changes have happened very gradually, with only a few changes being made since the July 1 merger.  For the most part, employees have the same titles and same job functions, and much of the selling and acquisitions is still done separately.  One of the next major hurdles for the company–employee healthcare–will be addressed by the start of 2014.  I find this article interesting because it gives us an honest portrait of the difficulty of merging two large, successful companies, and I am anxious to see how successful PRH will be.

View the original article here.

“The Rising Value of Land in Book Titles”

Alex Williams discusses the idea that there are “fashion trends” in book titles, whether the trend refers to a specific word in a title, such as “nation,” or the structure of a title, such as a string of words like “Eat, Pray, Love.”  The article mentions that while publishers desire to create original titles, a book’s title is incredibly important to how well the book will sell.  If a book has a “trendy” title, it might sell better than the same book with a different title.  Some retailers will even choose not to sell a book if its title is not commercially appealing enough.  This article is a reminder that each component of a book must work together effectively to create a successful project.  While the content of the book is important, even the best work will fail without the right marketing, price, design, and even title to go along with it.

View the original article here.

“Lynn University Adds iPads, Eliminates Freshmen Textbooks”

Lynn University, a small private university in Florida, has purchased iPads loaded with educational materials and apps for its freshman class this year instead of traditional print textbooks.  The main benefit of the iPads is the money they are saving.  While students paid an estimated $1,100 per year for print textbooks, the iPads cost $329 each.  Students also enjoy the interactive quality of the online textbooks.  On the downside, electronic textbooks are still not affordable enough to completely tip the market in their favor.  While e-textbooks are cheaper than brand new print textbooks, it can often be more affordable for a student to rent a textbook or buy one second-hand than to buy an electronic textbook.  Purchasing iPads for each student might be feasible at a small school like Lynn, but larger schools are unlikely to follow suit soon.  Students will most likely continue to utilize rentable textbooks until electronic textbooks are made more affordable or the benefits that come solely with the electronic versions outweigh the added cost.

View the original article here.

“Tyndale House, NavPress Form Publishing Alliance”

This article is published in Publishers Weekly by Lynn Garrett.  He talks about the merger between publishing companies Tyndale House and NavPress.  There are benefits and drawbacks in business mergers.  NavPress will continue to have its own identity and control of its authors’ contracts, but some employees will be let go during the next couple of months.  The article goes on to talk about all the changes that will take place.  This article shows what happens when two companies merge, which is quite beneficial for those of us who want to pursue careers in the world of publishing.

View the original article here.

“Finding Excellence in Educational Digital Publishing”

This article is published in Digital Book World by Deanna Utroske. Digital media and its impact on education are addressed in this article.  This is a question-and-answer segment with Ira Wolfman, president and chief consultant at POE Communications: Educational Content Development and Print-to-Digital Transformation.  Wolfman talks about the transformation of education with the digital age of publishing.  Digital publication forms of education, like McGraw Hill’s Networks: A Social Studies Learning System, engage students more and get them more excited to learn.  Instead of textbooks, companies like McGraw Hill have published online learning systems for today’s students.  Wolfman goes on to say that “a break-through for 3-D learning looks very promising right now, but when it will actually happen is uncertain.”  Wolfman’s insight into the world of educational media is both enlightening and informative for up-and-coming publishers.

View the original article here.


By Sarah Echard, Kaitlyn Evensen, and Chloe Fisher


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Bundling E-Books and Print Versions

“Why are we still not bundling e-books?”

In this article Alex Crowley wonders why bundling e-books with their print counterparts has not become common practice among book sellers.  He mentions that it has been done successfully by Angry Robot, but none of the big publishers have followed suit, other than an initial attempt by Barnes and Noble in 2010.  Crowley concludes the article by asking what many people seem to be wondering as well.  What exactly are the reasons keeping large retailers from bundling?

Joy Hawley published a response on Publishing Perspectives that delves farther into the potential future of bundling e-books and print versions.

“Ghost in the Machine: Does Print + E-Book Publishing Have a Future?

Hawley begins by discussing the pros and cons of bundling.  The benefits are the convenience of being able to purchase an e-book and a print book at the same time as well as the added value that comes with adding an e-book to a print book.  The potential negative would be that bundling would be seen as a “deal” and therefore would mean selling the e-book at a discount.

Hawley, like Crowley, also discusses that some have already found success with bundling.  Some presses are already selling e-book/print bundles with great response, but are choosing to sell bundles directly to readers instead of through retailers.  Other companies using forms of bundling are BitLit, University of Kentucky Press, and some German publishers.

The article ends with an expressed desire to see bundling used more widely in the future to “give readers the best of both worlds”

I personally would also like to see e-books bundled with print copies of books in the future.  I love the convenience of e-readers, but I still love my print books too.  I would agree with Hawley that it would be nice to have the best of both worlds, without having to choose between print and e-book versions, or even to pay full price for both.  I can certainly see the dilemma for how to make bundling a viable option, however.  Codes for the e-books printed inside of the print versions would be too easy to steal, and taking pictures with purchased print books to claim the e-book version (as is being used by some of the smaller presses) is not feasible on the large scale.  Hopefully as the e-book market continues to grow however, bundling will lie in its future.


Kaitlyn Evensen