Getting There First - a sketch of the New Publishing making money

Let's make a wave...

I have been heard to say - loudly, in public places where there are publishers - that we in the book trade have to stop waiting for Google or Amazon or Apple to come along and do clever things and then hope that they will cut us in on the deal. We have to get out in front. 

I have also been heard to say, in general, that people who make sweeping policy statements but have no concrete suggestions are very, very annoying. So, on the understanding that I am engaging in blue-sky thinking here... Read more »

Battle of the reading devices at BEA

Following hot on the heels of Kobo's new device, word is already leaking about a new Barnes & Noble touch-screen e-ink e-reader to be released today as publishers and booksellers gather for a second day of Book Expo America. Read more »


Ken Auletta's "Googled"

If you work in the book trade and you have not yet read Googled, now is the time.

Auletta's book is readable and engaging, but that's not really the point. The point is that it provides an understanding of Google's ethos - both the soft, cuddly internal one with onsite massage and free food and buses, and the aggressive legal/technical drive to push boundaries and be as disruptive as possible. Read more »

Google again cuts publishers the pass

More than once I’ve called this one of the greatest challenges for publishers in coming years: the global and simultaneous availability of your titles. One of the biggest limitations in the modern book world is the way translation rights are (still) arranged. Was it not that big of a problem in the ‘old world’, with e-books and the internet (anyone can visit Amazon from anywhere) this is not quite the case. If a new book of your favourite author is being released, you want to read it. Read more »

Amazon wants to be seen as a proper publisher

Amazon's appointment of Larry Kirshbaum underwrites the view that the big publishers are being outmanoeuvred by the big internet companies and that publishers, with their 25% digital royalty tune, are singing their own e-ulogies. Read more »


Case study: ANovelExperiment by Tom Abba

A case study from Tom Abba, writer and academic: For a some time now I’ve been growing tired of hearing about ePub conversion and xml workflows. The ebook is an essential element of a publishing strategy, but it’s far from being the only part of it. Like a boring uncle at a wedding, it is dominating the whole conversation; we’ve stopped talking about content, and form, and writing, and new digital platforms have become the backdrop for marketing spend and window dressing, not experimentation or genuine innovation. Read more »

Publishing within a particle accelerator: the ePublishing Innovation Forum 2011

Last week's ePublishing Innovation Forum may have been aimed at the “information industry”, but the issues addressed often applied across the entire publishing sector. Read more »

The vital role libraries play in award winning books

The Norwood Author this week won the coveted Sherlock Holmes book of the year award and the author, Alistair Duncan, made a point of highlighting the vital role that the Local Studies unit of Croydon Library played in gathering the research for the book. If you look at the list of research bodies involved it is a who's who of Sherlockian societies and research institutes around the world, but it was the libraries staff that help Duncan unearth dozens of new facts on Arthur Conan Doyle's life. Read more »

Amazon Announces eBooks sales officially passing paperback sales

According to CIO today, Amazon have announced that since April, paid ebook sales have passed paperback sales. 105 ebooks for every 100 paperbacks sold.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said the e-book threshold arrived sooner than expected. "Customers are now choosing Kindle books more often than print books," he said. "We had high hopes that this would happen eventually, but we never imagined it would happen this quickly." Amazon has sold print books for 15 years and Kindle books for less than four. Read more »

Random's Sharpe e-book deal leaves agent out in the cold

When agents Sonia Land and Ed Victor announced that they would begin publishing select authors works digitally I wrote that I thought the narrative that agents would disintermediate publishers was somewhat overstated and that a reverse tale might equally become true. Read more »

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