The Top Ten Blogs on the future of books, media and publishing

Eoin Purcell
    1/ Publishing 2.0
    Scott Karp really does think and it shows. His posts are clear, concise, well written and interesting. If he is driven more perhaps from the revenue perspective his commentary only benefits from this.

    2/ if:book
    The Institute of the Future of the Book’s blog. The Ronseal of Book blogs [It does what it says on the tin], this site is really a hub for changes and possibilities on text and its future. Well thought out, at the forefront of change and tools for change this blog is for theory and application what Scott Karp is for the economics and revenues.

    3/ Buzzmachine
    Jeff Jarvis is the real deal. In a phrase he likes to use himself, he “gets it!” Never afraid to try (witness his own video reports) always encouraging and enthusiastic his blog is one of the most important in point possible directions for the news media (especially the changes necessary for print media).

    4/ Open Access News
    I don’t think you can discuss the changes in media and print without considering Open Access and its potential. If you care about these topics then you need to read Open Access News written by Peter Suber.

    5/ Booktwo
    Though not new, Booktwo is new to me. That aside it is an essential link to the changing technology and media environment. Somehow James manages to get his hands on great links and info before anyone else. And he works at one of my favourite publishers Snowbooks.

    6/ Medialoper
    Medialoper is one of a pair of blogs (booksquare being the other) that I love and read daily. It is not simply the links and nods to others in the area of change that Medialoper provides freely, Medialoper as a blog takes a much more considered perspective and avoids the breathlessness that can at times enter the discussion about the future. I like that.

    7/ Plagiarism today
    Jonathan Bailey has built an impressive body of material regarding copyright/plagiarism and the abuse of content on the web. In so many ways his site allows the reader and the less well informed to not only keep up to date with developments in protecting content from scrapping etc. but also the theory and debate that underpin modern copyright.

    8/ Personanondata
    If you want to know more about the possible tie-ups between the powers in publishing, the potential for data in the digital future or the likely trajectory of digital text in the education market, Michael Cairns’ blog is the spot for it. Relatively new on the scene it is one of the best in terms of analysing and discussing change both real and possible. His knowledge of the US market is hugely useful in making sense of company announcements and strategic decisions.

    9/ PaidContent
    Who doesn’t like PaidContent, a blog that has industry access, runs meet ups and generally functions like an institution much older than it actually is. Not only is PaidContent a blog about the changing nature and economics of Content it is itself a paragon example of that change.

    10/ Invisible Inkling
    Ryan Sholin started this blog as a student of journalism and has developed it since. His posts are insightful and useful for those wondering what the people entering careers in the media are thinking.

Lists are fun
See 11-20 Here

I Am Moving On

Eoin Purcell

Times They Are A Changin’
Following some thinking, a great deal of planning, not to mention a small amount of stress and second guessing, I have decided to move on from Nonsuch Ireland. I have very much enjoyed my time there and the work has been exciting and challenging not to mention fun!

With team changes, departures and new arrivals I have worked directly with six* talented and capable individuals in the Irish office, all of whom have an enormous amount to offer publishing or any trade they choose to pursue. What is more, as a team, they have really built Nonsuch Ireland into an impressive and growing history publisher. There is still considerable growth ahead for Nonsuch and I wish everyone at Nonsuch the very best of luck. I know they will do great.

So where to?
Well its actually a pretty big shift for me. I am moving to the Real Capital of Ireland, Cork [wikipedia] AKA “The People Republic of Cork”. I will be joining Mercier Press in April as Commissioning Editor.

Mercier was established in 1944 so I am moving from one of Ireland’s youngest Publishers to one of her oldest and most established publishers.

It will mean a shift in a lot of factors, from lifestyle and personal to professional and perspective. Overall it is just about the most amazing move for me as you will see if you look over the company’s rich and varied list (here). I am excited by the prospect and the opportunity not just to work for such a great company but to grow with the job and to drive such a diverse list.

But first some downtime
I have been smart this time though and set aside some time for decompression. It will allow me to build my energy, catch up with my reading, find a new place to live and perhaps even get that trip to Westport to this place if I have my way.

Felling Pretty Good

*[Not forgetting the four excellent support staff from Irish Corporate Outsourcing who have worked with Nonsuch providing external services since 2004 or the people at our sister companies in the UK and elsewhere.]

Starbucks and star sales!

Eoin Purcell

Are we all missing the point?
Galleycat points to an exceptionally interesting post from Editor Jason Pinter[Page has gone awol]. Starbucks have been successfully selling vast quantities of their book choice: Ishmael Beah’s A LONG WAY GONE.

Jason makes what I think is the key point towards the end:

Of course Barnes & Noble sells thousands of books in their stores, while right now Starbucks is only selling one. At the same time, though, it’s very curious to see that Beah seems to be outpacing an author with a bestselling Oprah pedigree, primarily due to the efforts of one store. And that store being considerably more famous for their double venti half calf mocha lattechinos than their success pushing literature.

Obviously there’s a major difference between offering one book for sale and offering thousands. Not everyone who walks into a B&N has to buy THE DOUBLE BIND. You have a huge amount of options. At Starbucks, if you’re going to buy a book, you’re going to buy A LONG WAY GONE. So the answer is, of course, that Starbucks is not as influential on a larger scale than B&N. But it does make you think..

It does make you think. Here are a few things I wondered:

    1) What the hell are publishers getting wrong that they need to sell books from coffee-shops?
    2) What are booksellers doing wrong if they can lose that kind of trade to coffee-shops (especially if they already have coffee-shops internally)?
    3) Who are all these book buyers in Starbucks?
    4) Is the Starbucks Book of the month slot for sale?
    5) Why are we wondering and worrying about digital when don’t seem to know anything about who buys books right now?

Overall it just makes you wonder if anyone in the industry knows anything? Except for maybe Starbucks!

Waking to the smell of coffee?

Kagan on Herodotus: Atlantic gains another subscriber

Eoin Purcell

Atlantic Monthly, Borders & Ancient History
Atlantic Monthly is a magazine to which I generally become addicted when I buy a copy. Living in Ireland as I do this has not been very frequently. One product of the arrival of Borders in Ireland however has been their penchant for importing US magazines. I spent an hour and a half in their new Blanchardstown store (the aerial view) on Valentine’s Night (A very understanding and generous girlfriend) and bought the new Atlantic. This morning I decided to pony up the cash and get a yearly subscription. The magazine will now arrive monthly by post and for that I am very grateful.

This all relates to the blog because a truly excellent artilce in the magazine this month by Robert D. Kaplan on Herodotus and his relevance to current times, A Historian For Our Time. It is a wonderful piece and well worth the entire price of the magazine this month. I thought people might be interested to know that you can download a copy of Herodotus’ Histories (with copious notes apparently) or you can look over the list of freely readable titles and find something more to your taste. If course you can download the e-text from Gutenberg too!

Interestingly you can also grab a copy of Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War. And of course e-text here.

Enjoying a little more time!