Starting to Accept the Neighbours – @Tom_Chalmers

There was a lack of change in the air at this month’s London Book Fair, but for once this may not have been a bad thing. Settled is not the same as content but 2014 appeared to be the year too-often acrimonious parts found their place alongside each other. Read more »

Innovation is in the blood

If there was one dominant theme coming of out the London Book Fair last week it was of an industry taking a pause, drawing in a big deep breath and working out what comes next. At Digital Minds, the author Nick Harkaway said that publishers liked to reach a plateau and then wait for the next innovation to run them down. In my Leader column for The Bookseller last week, I took issue with this. Just because the activity isn’t visible, and the answers are not forthcoming, does not mean that publishing isn’t thinking about it. Read more »

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My Independent Bookshop: a new chapter in book recommendation

‘How many times in the last 10 years have you heard people moan that there is simply too much stuff around for them to read/listen to/watch?’ Read more »

The end of the beginning

After the excesses of the early years, did we all wake up in 2013 with a digital hangover? It can sometimes feel like it. Coming off the back of three years of treble-digit e-book growth, last year’s growth rate, of around 20%, was a detoxifier. In truth though, this party has barely even begun. As Amara’s Law argues, we tend to overestimate the impact of digital changes in the short term, but underestimate them in the long run. Read more »

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A vision of a hybrid bookstore

While reports of the death of the book seem to be greatly exaggerated - recent findings show that ebooks continue to do well in fiction and non-fiction categories, where a linear narrative prevails, other types of ebooks such as cookbooks, how to, and other non-fiction categories have yet to show real strength. This, despite the much touted possibilities of multimedia that will revolutionize the reading experience. Other reports indicate that younger readers still favor books, in part because they think ebooks ought to be free. Read more »

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Riding the Rift

Last week’s acquisition of virtual reality outfit Oculus by Facebook raises some interesting questions for the future of the book. Read more »

We need to talk about start-ups

Last week the reading platform Readmill announced that it was slipping into oblivion after failing to make a business case to funders for its continuation. Like too many publishing start-ups, Readmill floundered not because it wasn’t a good idea, well executed, but simply because it ran out of time. Read more »

Advocates of the book - stand up

The future is bright: the future is global. If the printing press enabled scalability - one book can reach many different readers - then digital means that the book is even more scalable in that demand can be satisfied straight away almost anywhere in the world. This is a tremendous opportunity for books and knowledge to spread in new ways, across new networks. A reader the other side of the world no longer has to wait for a book to be printed and distributed, or translated. They can download the book on first publication and have immediate access. Read more »

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The e-book journey into China

Two weeks ago I talked about how India and China represented new growth areas for digital publishers, and how ePubDirect was setting up distribution deals in China. Here are some further thoughts. Read more »

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From story to book and back again

1. THE BOOKLESS BOOK Read more »

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