Publishers Fight Back: Can the Industry Defeat Piracy?

Digital Book World speakers share eBook strategies and models

Back in September, Macmillan CEO John Sargent reported that pirated versions of 90% of Macmillan’s frontlist titles could be found online, stirring much conversation about what, if anything, the book publishing industry can do about piracy.

Timing of eBook releases, pricing and digital rights management are all topics that will be discussed at Digital Book World. The new conference on publishing and digital change will take place January 26-27, 2010 at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers in New York City, and will offer consumer book publishers information and insights to enable them to craft strategies for adapting to, and embracing, digital change.

On the first day of Digital Book World, Brian Napack, President of Macmillan, will deliver a call to arms for publishers to fight what Macmillan sees as a mortal threat: piracy in the eBook space. In Digital Book Piracy: It’s Here. Let’s Deal with It, Napack will describe Macmillan’s view of what each publisher can do and what the industry should do to fight a problem, which, in his company’s view, could threaten the underpinnings of publishing as a commercial enterprise.

“There’s a big difference of opinion among digital thinkers about the impact of piracy and what can be done about it, but there’s not a lot of dispute in the big publishing houses that it is a threat to the core model of selling quality content,” says Mike Shatzkin, CEO of The Idea Logical Company and Digital Book World’s Conference Chair. “We’re delighted that Brian is willing to address this question head-on.”

“One of the new models being entertained by a number of fledgling enterprises and entrepreneurs is an ‘eBooks first’ strategy,” adds Shatzkin. “We recruited Raelene Gorlinsky to come talk about Ellora’s Cave, because they launched that strategy ten years ago and have been growing ever since.”

Gorlinsky, the Publisher at Ellora’s Cave, has plenty of experience in the eBook world. She will do a Q&A with Shatzkin on the second day of the conference reviewing the history of the “eBook first” company. During Ellora’s Cave: A Case History of a Different Publishing Model, Gorlinsky will describe Ellora’s Cave’s beginnings publishing PDFs for romance readers. She’ll share some of their very unusual practices such as delaying release of print editions to allow plenty of time for selling the eBook first; printing their books in their warehouse on demand; and paying royalty rates on a scale and frequency that would make conventional publishers squirm.

Join your peers at Digital Book World on January 26-27, 2010 at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers in New York City.

Register Today!

Register Today!


  1. francis p ng

    Reading a book via e-book sales wll catch up to a certain degree but will still not has convenient has a paperback book. It very convenient while reading at home or MacDonalds , in trains , bed or toilet , I bet more readers are reading , just I had mentioned.
    Reading a book via computer put a strain on your back bones.

    francis p. ng – Malaysia/Macau

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