Friday, September 27, 2013

Jeff Bezos on Publishing, DRM, Transition to E-Books

Shelf Awareness

Perhaps because he owns a newspaper now, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos recently gave several interviews to the press, including USA Today and PC Mag. The focus was on Amazon's new tablets, but he also spoke about other matters. A few tidbits:

Concerning customers lending e-books to family and friends, publishers have "very legitimate concerns about how you would monitor that account-to-account sharing," Bezos said. While Amazon would like to enable sharing and lending, "We are agnostic to that. We do what the publisher wants. If the rights owner wants DRM, we do DRM. If the rights owner doesn't want DRM, we don't do DRM." He recommended Amazon customers open a joint account with people they want to share e-books, as he does with his wife and four children. Publishers are holding to their guns on the issue, he continued, saying, "You are welcome to go with our team and meet with the rights holders and see how much progress you make. I'm being delicate here." (PC Mag)

On print books: "The tail of these things tends to be very long lived; [the transition to e-books] will go on for a very long time. Our heaviest Kindle e-book buyers also buy lots of paper books, so they're buying both. For many people, it's not an either-or choice. If you go out into the future far enough, paper books will be luxury items, but that's quite a distance." (PC Mag)

Amazon Publishing is "seeing opportunities to invent with the author as the customer. Recently, Amazon Publishing started to pay authors monthly instead of twice a year. One of the things authors will tell you is they like better data on sales and (would like to be) paid more frequently." (USA Today)

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