Stephen Baker

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Queen of the Night

May 26, 2010General

We're having our first family wedding in July, and my wife is wondering what sort of dress the groom's mother should wear. I told her it should be something dark and vaguely menancing. Why? Maybe because the groom wears black and represents the business side of the ceremony. In any case, I suggested that she check out some YouTube videos of Mozart's Queen of the Night Aria from The Magic Flute.

I'm heading into New York in a couple of hours to speak on a panel at Book Expo America. The theme: Are eBooks Good for Authors? I could mail in my short answer--I don't know. But I suspect they'd like a bit more detail. Here are a few of the questions we'll be wrestling with:

* Agency vs. wholesale model ebooks as they relate to authors
* The ebook vs. physical book "tipping point" (i.e. what does it mean for authors when 25% of books are sold electronically? what about at 50%?)
* The marketing of books in a digital environment (i.e. what does it mean that books are going to be sold without the benefit of physical merchandising?)
* Will authors still view traditional publishers as their primary partners in an increasingly digital world? (i.e. do midlist authors have a future at trade publishers? do brandname authors? do debut authors? What do publishers need to do to convince authors that they remain the best possible partners in a digital business?)

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