Perseus Books Group is the latest to claim a better mousetrap when it comes to digital publishing for indie publishers, according to the NYT: Constellation, slated to launch Thursday, includes partnerships with Google (NSDQ: GOOG) (Google Book Search), Sony (NYSE: SNE) (Sony Reader), Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (See Inside web feature), and Lightning Source (print on demand). Publishers will be able to upload one digital book file to the new service and opt for various services. Perseus, itself among the largest of the indies, sees this as a chance to get more books into digital print.
As Perseus CEO David Steinberger told the NYT, it's all about distribution: "Distribution means getting our publishers' books everywhere they need to go and everywhere they want to go. Digital is an essential part to that. We're just trying to streamline it." One of the issues he raised is the difficulty small publishers face when books suddenly are in demand.
Sidenote: That came up this past week when Epicenter Press faced sudden demand for its new and well-timed Sarah Palin bigraphy Sarah: How a Hockey Mom Turned Alaska's Political Establishment on Its Ear. They turned to Lightning Source for on-demand printing of a trade paperback version; within hours of getting the digital version, the new print run began. It's still listed as "temporarily out of stock" on Amazon, though, and there's no Kindle version yet.
By Staci D. Kramer