A licensing model for fan fiction

Fan fiction is an eternally popular genre by which a reader writes their own stories featuring the characters, plots and settings of their favourite books. In almost all cases, these stories are written and published without the consent of the author. The unhappy outcome is so often that the fan writer is infringing the copyright of their beloved author and the author (or their publisher) face the prospect of resolving the issue by suing their own readers. Read more »

Publishing's messy re-mix

Publishing is a messy business. Many of its practices and some of its thinking pre-date digital. Some of it pre-dates computers. Its digital journey will not be linear, and even if it emerges fully-formed from this electronic swamp, chances are that it will still be a messy business. Read more »

The e-book in front is a book

Last week in The Bookseller we looked at the paperback market, and how the format might change now that e-books take up a large chunk of sales that would otherwise have been captured by the print book. But the corollary to this is how the e-book will change, as the digital format matures. Read more »

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Changing the DNA of the reader

Are readers fixed in how they read? One of the frustrations around the digital transition is that despite all of the under-the-hood changes to publishing, this digital re-wiring has stopped at the reader. Readers, by and large, read now how they did before e-books ever existed. Read more »

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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 »

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