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 »


Future unwritten

The future of publishing does not get any easier to predict, but that does not stop us trying. Current themes for 2014 include the arrival of subscriptions; a shift to tablets; and further experimentation, both in form and types of content. 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 professional world of publishing

We hear a lot on the trade side of publishing about how the internet is killing off the gatekeepers and allowing authors to (self) publish and find audiences of their own.

In his #PorterMeets interview on Twitter this week the author Hugh Howey suggested that indie authors were now the sixth-largest publishing group in the US—the newest member of the 'big six'.

Open access Read more »

Just because you can, doesn't mean you should

With the rise of digital, we are seeing a blurring of the boundaries: between the book and other media such as gaming; agents who have launched digital imprints; retailers as publishers; publishers as retailers; authors as publishers; readers as critics. Read more »

A bookseller's 5%

When the French government moved to restrict Amazon.fr from offering free postage to customers along with the maximum discount of 5% on book sales, something odd occurred: the phone at Shakespeare and Company, where I've been selling books now for five or so years, rang day and night for responses to the proposed law. We all looked around at ourselves coyly and asked what account we could possibly add to the debate.  Apparently, I came up with the following for the BBC: “It doesn't seem to be discriminatory. Amazon has certain ways of looking at the free market which is Read more »

The link

In AD 383, a twenty-nine-year-old professor of Latin rhetoric whom future centuries would know as Saint Augustine arrived in Rome from one of the empire's outposts in North Africa. He paid a visit to the city's bishop, the celebrated Ambrose. Ambrose (who, like Augustine, was later to be canonized) was an extremely popular speaker; his symbol in later Christian iconography was the beehive, emblematic of eloquence. Read more »

Lost and found: adventures in algorithms

There was a moment in the closing panel of the Society of Young Publisher's annual conference on Saturday when panellist Matthew Cashmore, Digital Director at Blackwell's, responded to a challenge from an audience member with "You don't know what we can do." Read more »

FutureBook 2013: as it happened

Last week more than 650 people from across the book business attended FutureBook 2013, The Bookseller's digital conference. It was our biggest yet, but also the most successful in spirit and mood, reflecting an industry that is, let's shout it out, having a good digital transition.