Last year Skyhorse Publishing acquired Sports Publishing, and starting this year they will be “releasing instant books about the winning teams of major sporting events—albeit with a twist.” Skyhorse will update relevant backlist titles. For example, because of the Green Bay Packers win on Superbowl Sunday, Skyhorse reissued Tales from the Green Bay Packers SidelineTales from the Green Bay Packers Sideline by Chuck Carlson. The book was last updated in 2006, and now it will include a chapter about the 2011 Superbowl. 25,000 hardcovers shipped on Thursday, though interestingly, it will take three months for the ebook to come out.
This type of book publishing completely changes the book industry’s publishing schedule. Instead of having to plan months in advance to get out a timely book, it can be done almost instantly. The traditional ways of publishing a book would not allow this kind of timing with major events such as the Superbowl. But how long can this go on before they run out of backlist titles?
There is a whole new type of marketing, and it is known as “freemium.” Kate Rados, of F+W Media launched “a successful three-day free e-book campaign for Eric Lamet’s Holocaust memoir A Child al Confino (Adams Media) late last month to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day.” On January 27, the e-book was free on the Kindle, Nook, Apple iBookstore, and Google, and within 24 hours it became the #1 free e-book bestseller on Amazon, where it stayed for a few days. Print sales of the book also increased, and F+W is now “considering both e-book freemiums and lower price-point discounting” for future marketing promotions.
And here is another game changer. Who knew that free could actually lead to more sales? More and more people are experimenting with these freemiums, and it’s proving to be a success. So not only are the forms of books changing, but so are marketing plans.
HarperCollins’s spring audio list contains two books published on CD and the rest as digital downloads. This has sparked a debate among publishers and literary agents. CDs, though in decline, are still profitable. HarperCollins has changed its recent contracts to give themselves the digital rights to audio, which some agents are less than pleased about, since they could sell the audio rights to a smaller publisher for another profit. Still, in the near future, audio versions could be sold as a bundle with e-books, or used to create enhanced e-books, which will give e-books the edge compared to their print counterparts. Still, where do we draw the digital line? Will everything soon be considered digital? And what does that mean for authors, in terms of their rights?