Tuesday, June 12, 2012

In the Digital Publishing industry, not all publishers are equal

In my entrepreneurship class last term, I delivered a small lecture topic on self-publishing as a small business model.  Along with Kickstarter and some other domains, digital publishing (be it apps or books) is an area I find very exciting. Small businesses (literally single-individual shops) can pop up, reach a market and achieve profitability in ways we never dreamed of a decade ago.

So, I found today's Digitopoly post an interesting read.  There are some interesting (and legal) things afoot in price-fixing and price-setting in digital publications.  In particular, DoJ is currently investigating allegations of price fixing by Apple.  In that story, Amazon is largely the good guy, trying to create an innovative new market platform.

The Digitopoly article references, this post by Andrew Hyde, which breaks down his experiences with the publishers distribution/royalty costs for publication.  Apparently, while Amazon has been the most friendly distribution house for digital readership, it's not necessarily the best outlet for authors.

Bear in mind, the Andrew Hyde link is focused entirely on costs.  It costs him more, as an author, to reach Amazon customers.  BUT, Amazon is the overwhelming distribution channel choice for his readers.  So, it costs him more... but he sells more.  Remember, business models are a trade off between margin and volume.  As I see it, if you want margin - avoid Amazon... but if you want volume, Amazon is far and away the superior choice (using his sample of one, of course).

What do you think?

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