future

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 »

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 »

What’s Love Got To Do With It? by @Tom_Chalmers

The book world is undoubtedly a passion industry – writers are usually driven by aspiration, publishers should be fuelled by creativity in producing the best books they possibly can, and a love of books must be fundamental to any bookseller. Read more »

From format war to sustainability fight

History is repeating itself. The developments we currently see with e-books, are in fact not new. In the early eighties there was a battle between the image carriers Betamax, VHS and Video 2000. VHS won, reportedly because the porn industry embraced this format, even though Betamax had a much better quality. Not long after that, there was a similar battle in the computer world: between the CD-ROM and CD-i. The CD-i lost the battle, because it was too expensive (both the player and the discs), but also because there was a lot more content available on CD-ROM’s. Read more »

Change

It's crisis. Yes, still. When it will end? Nobody knows. Although, according to Bernard Wientjes of the Dutch labour union VNO-NCW, the crisis will end on 1 January 2016. Right… From previous crises, or attenuated variants thereof, the book world experienced little to no problems. Books are traditionally sold mostly to people who have a bit more to spend. You can at least clearly state that the largest group of book buyers is not on the lower end of the income level. Read more »

Publishers: go hybrid!

People who know me, know that I like to draw comparisons with other industries to clarify where the book world is heading to. Usually, I do this with the music industry, simply because it has the most direct parallels, and at some other occasions the game industry and film world. The reason I do this, is not only because I’m convinced that they’ve already dealt with all the issues we are facing right now (meaning the digitization of our products and the introduction and implementation new business models), but also because I strongly believe in learning from other’s mistakes. Read more »

Future of Foyles: Shelving the Bookstore?

I recently had the pleasure of attending Foyles’ ‘bookshop of the future’ workshop. The iconic Charing Cross bookstore is about to relocate and, in so doing, create a new bookstore designed for success in the modern book-selling landscape. The workshop served to gather insight from a cross-section of the industry, to help them achieve this ambitious goal in what they hoped would be potentially disruptive ways.

The fight you will have to fight

As I wrote earlier, the book world is facing a series of unmatched challenges. Never before did we had to deal with so many changes in such a short time. And never before was the industry as we all knew it for so many decades, forced into a 180 degree turn in no time. Read more »

Survival of the entrepreneur

We would all not survive the year 2012. But, since you're reading this, the opposite is true. Of course, The Mayan calendar with its predictions inflated to mythical proportions, was pure nonsense. That I use this moment however to prelude my plea, is because I did expect last year to be the beginning of the end for the book as we knew it. That was however not quite the case. It has no doubt that our industry suffered a severe blow by the bankruptcy of one of the big Dutch distributors: Libridis. One that has had (or will have) a huge impact on some of the Dutch publishers. Read more »

Hybridically Digital. Digitally Hybridic.

I attended the Tools of Change conference in New York, recently.

In lieu of an overview of the conference - which was both varied and same-y, and interesting and dull - I wanted to highlight a single presentation that struck a chord with me. Read more »

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