Day: July 7, 2006

Is it possible to love wordpress?

WordPress.com continues to serve up some awesome additions to their service. If you have not seen the changes to the Tags pages then please do check them out and the explanation which is here.

The related tags are serving up very interesting pieces and the whole section just feels easier to navigate. I have been consistently impressed by WordPress and now they have stepped up to the plate again.

I wish they were Book Publishers sometimes, with this level of innovation I doubt publishers would have to worry about Google Book Search or digitisation at all.

Bye Bye Ottakars

As Galley Cat on mediabistro and Publishing News report Ottakar’s will cease to exist as a brand following the HMV merger. All of the chains stores will be rebranded as Waterstones which I find a little disappointing.

Publishers should take note, as they no doubt already have, of the almost throwaway paragraph and quote in the Publishers Publishing News piece:

For publishers, a programme of terms harmonisation is about to begin and Johnson promises one Christmas campaign across the enlarged business this year. “On terms, yes, we do expect to get a saving out of it, but what’s more important is giving publishers a more potent route to market for their books. Every supplier has terms set up with Waterstone’s or Ottakar’s, or both – we want just one terms register, which is simpler for everyone, and the sooner the better.”

A narrowing of the market yet again and what is worse I have no faith that Waterstones will be invigorated by this purchase. I really do hope it works however and wish them the best.

Google Book Search and publishers – status

I simply cannot understand why publishers are not embracing Google Book Search (and other services of a similar type) more readily. I can see the problems and the realistic fears: creating a monopolistic source for finding books, placing another company between you and the customer, uncertainty of Google’s long term goals and copyright. But the benefits from a more active involvement are also manifest: exposure and profile, increased sales, sales from the back catalogue of ignored and out of print titles and generally benefits the publisher. Engagement could also have yielded inclusion in future plans and at least some forewarning of what Google had in mind.

In any case a number of articles and posts have come up that give a good idea of where things stand for now. The Guardian has an article here, Jeff Jarvis comments here and Richard Charkin comments here.