Friday, May 29, 2009

Automating sales orders

Did I fail to mention that we released DashBook 3.0? I tend to get much more excited about "the next thing," so after the beta, I'm ready to move on. More information about the changes for DashBook v3 are available here.

So that DashBook can calculate royalties or licensing fees, it needs to have events or transactions that cause the calculation. We made the brilliant decision to group these events together in what we call an "order." Amazing, right?

Well, many publishers are not very focused on the individual orders; they just want their royalties calculated. They may not be interested in knowing about orders to know who receives a shipment. They may have no desire for DashBook to handle inventory changes, especially if they are using electronic books (ebooks) or a print on demand (POD) printer.

Well, our upcoming update to DashBook not only handles this issue for publishers not focused on orders, but also helps to automate a time consuming and potentially error prone process. DashBook version 3.1 will add the ability to import the order information directly from the electronic reports that publishers receive from their distributors!

With a simple click - boom! a new order is created, containing all of the products sold and returned, according to the distributor's sales report. Our initial work includes the most popular book distributors used by publishers not handling inventory. Print on demand is led by Lightning Source, and ebooks are spread across Fictionwise, Amazon, and MobiPocket. We also received a sample from All Romance Ebooks (I understand Romance is a pretty big category for ebooks), so we've included them as well.

Please go to our website, to read more and request a beta to try this new feature yourself. Our new import is customizable, so you can add your own distributor's report for importing. If you do, please send the map file to us so that we can provide it to others. Or, contact us to create a map or import from your source.

Thanks for helping us make DashBook even more powerful!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Bigger and cheaper Kindle?

There is not much doubt that a larger Kindle will be announced this Wednesday ( By this news alone, one might assume that this device will cost more than the current Kindle 2, which already receives quite a bit of backlash from having a high price.

However, Amazon knows that their price is considered a purchasing barrier. Although I think they've already done a superb job of pricing given that each Kindle includes (currently) unlimited internet access forever, a lower price will surely help sell more.

How can Amazon lower the Kindle's price?
1) Advertising - a larger screen gives more space for ads in addition to content.
2) Subscriptions - Why hasn't a book-of-the-month club offered a subsidized Kindle?

With the New York Times as a partner of this newer Kindle, they have the opportunity to do both, just like they've always done with their print edition.

Personally, I am very comfortable with the size of the current Kindle 2, but wish all my books were e-books on it so that I have access to them at all times (note that I carry an iPhone at all times).

Another rumor is that Kindle will receive support from textbook publishers. If all textbooks needed by students were on this one device, that would make cross campus treks a lot easier!