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Bill Bennett


Dymocks exits ebook publishing after 15 months

Dymocks New Zealand closed in 2012, now the company is retreating from ebooks

Australia’s BRW magazine reports Dymocks exits ebook publishing after 15 months. The company told BRW the program was a ‘innovative experiment’ but the challenges were too great.

Dymocks managing director Steve Cox told BRW:

“We learned a lot about that market and those customers but unfortunately the constraints of the platform and business model meant we couldn’t fulfil the vision”.

This story doesn’t make it clear if there’s something systematically wrong with ebook publishing or if the closure is part of Dymock’s winding-down. The company closed its New Zealand business in late 2012 and appears to be in retreat.

I’m interested to know if there’s a viable space in the ebook business for a quality operation sitting between the giant, global powerhouses and the niche publishers. What do you think?



5 thoughts on “Dymocks exits ebook publishing after 15 months

  1. I read this as ‘It was harder than we thought and we cbf. We’re too late.’.

  2. I agree with beaverusiv – it’s too hard, takes too long to establish things and the short-term returns aren’t worth the long-term effort. To be honest, I didn’t really know they were IN the ebook market. I really think 15 months is not long enough to show any sort of returns.

  3. I’m not sure eBook publishing is something that belongs with a book retailer. Its more something for innovative publishers and smart authors like Stephen King who offers fans exclusive eBooks that are not available anywhere in print.

    The real fatal flaw in eBooks to date is the greed of the publishers, who think that people will pay close to the retail price of a print book which of course has massive cost attached to it. The thing with the print book is that it is tangible.

    Book stores need to do much more to reinvent themselves. It is totally possible for a chain like Borders or Dymocks to remain current and viable, but they don’t seem to know how. The answers are obviously not going to come from within, because they are asking the wrong people. IMHO of course.

    1. Agree about the book store chains. It’s something the independent retailers can do well. There are opportunities to specialise and add value.

      And yes, Dymocks would probably have been better building a site to resell other publishers’ ebook offerings. Taking 10% of a large pile of money is a much better strategy of taking 100% (less author’s earnings) of bugger all.

      100% of bugger all is still bugger all.

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