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Reading into the future

Hannah Black, of Diversion Books in New York, is the winner of The Bookseller’s latest Essay writing competition, now sponsored by the Frankfurt Book Fair. Black answered a call put out earlier this year to think about how the reader will interact with books in the future. It seemed to me then, as it does now, that for all the good work done in the innovation space by writers and publishers, it is the reader who will be key to driving demand for these types of products. Read more »

Amazon's dramatic shift

Amazon is seeking a ‘dramatic’ shift in terms, according to Hachette Livre chief executive Arnaud Nourry. The word slipped out during Nourry’s presentation at parent company Lagardere’s investor day, held on 28th May. Read more »

FutureBook Hack was a legal high for publishing

As I emerged blinking from into Torrington Street W.1 at 430pm from the UK's first ever #FutureBookHack I felt a kind of elation about the future of the publishing industry that I hadn't felt for some time.
 
I also felt exhausted -  32 hours earlier I had been helping my son Jack with stocking fridges with essential supplies, unloading a mountain of beanbags from a white van and plugging in seemingly hundreds of extension cables. Hackers apparently march on their stomachs, require soft padding for their posteriors and need to be constantly connected. Read more »

The sound of silence

The continuing negotiations between Amazon and Hachette show how much heat can be generated from so little information. The known facts are these: Amazon has downgraded some Hachette Book Group USA titles as the duo tussle over new terms agreements. The assumption is that Hachette’s revised agency contract, as dictated to by the Department of Justice, and put in place two years ago, is now up for re-negotiation. Read more »

Romantic intentions

In my head at least, book readers fall into two distinct groups. 

1) Those with a To Be Read pile

2) Everyone Else.

I’ll be honest, the first time I came across the letters TBR on my Twitter feed I had to Google it. People with a TBR pile are heavy book-buyers; they often work - or aspire to work - in the publishing industry. They take ‘shelfies’ and post them on Instagram, they catalogue and review their books online. 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 »

Match-making in a freelance world

In the crystal ball gazing that inevitably takes up many end of the year publishing round ups, I have yet to see any that have referenced the impact of the proposed merger between oDesk and ElanceRead more »

Taking Bets for 2014...

Six Book and Publishing Betting odds for 2014

I would take bets, but I’m not licensed, so it is just for fun

Kindle dominance – the end of the beginning? 

10 to 1 because this requires a lot of different people working for the same thing at the same time. Read more »

The creators of publishing

I want to start with a radical idea: the act of publishing has not changed at all since its inception, before the advent of the written word.

We are all aware of the origin of the modern verb “to publish” with it’s Latin root, publicāre, to make public. But, the word itself is not the act; attitudes toward activities shift over time and new words are invented to describe new realities. Read more »

Blink

Devices are now part of our our bookish culture. It is hard now to imagine in the creation of any new book a scenario where there isn't at least one conversation about what device a piece of content might best work on. However, for most publishers right now that conversation might start and end with the Kindle, or its nearest e-ink competitor. Read more »

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