Great piece on scarcity, abundance, content and strategy, or at least the thinking necessary to get there!
The asymmetry of choice in the age of scarcity allowed providers to define the available choices. Now, consumers choose from a myriad of sources and versions. Any asymmetry they may experience in the future could be the asymmetry-of-choice — controls they impose for their own convenience, not for the convenience of producers. This creates uncertain demand for providers, and the move toward a more efficiently utilized information environment will have huge effects on all our familiar aggregations, packages, and delays.
The Asymmetry of Waste in the Age of Abundance — A Reversal of Scarcity’s Balance « The Scholarly Kitchen.
Oh for sure he’s pitching a rocket into a pile of mess and it’s gonna offend folks, but there’s lots here that publishers should think about!
(Writer pauses, then turns around)
Writer: Look, it’s true that I do need a good editor.
Editor: See! I told you!
(Writer hands Editor his business card)
Writer: When your company goes bankrupt, and you’re unemployed, I want you to look me up. Send me a letter. One page, double spaced. List your qualifications for editing my book, and your rates. Also include a SASE. If you don’t hear from me in six months, no need for you to follow up–it means I’m not interested…
via A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing: The Acquisitions Editor.
Shaw & the boxer to boil it down, worth reading!
He was introduced to the bard by a fellow marine en route to France with the American Expeditionary Force; by the time he fought for the heavyweight championship he had plowed his way through the collected works of Shakespeare, and could recite Hamlet in its entirety. Invited to Yale to lecture on Shakespeare, he did so creditably, and without notes.
Tunney’s intellectual bent was not universally admired. Will Rogers (no relation to Roy), wrote in his folksy newspaper column, “Let’s have prizefighters with harder wallops and less Shakespeare”, and Paul Gallico, the Columbia-educated sports editor of the New York Daily News�, made light of Tunney’s chances in his 1926 challenge to Jack Dempsey, opining: “I think Tunney has hurt his own game with his cultural nonsense.
via Unlikely tale of the playwright and the pugilist – The Irish Times – Thu, Sep 23, 2010.
Great, off the cuff thoughts from Philip Jones about Agency Pricing in the UK!
5 The agency model is a short term device. No-one I’ve spoken to believes it can last long term; though Evans did indicate that agency terms were used in other sectors, for instance fashion, as well as the app store. I checked the fashion angle with Draper’s deputy editor just now and she said this was “not strictly true”. An r.r.p. is set by fashion houses, which retailers would be wise to stick to if they still want to continue to receive the goods, but there is no legal contract to enforce it. Probably because it would be illegal to have one.
via Ten things about the agency model in the UK | FutureBook.
The Bookseller has a very nice feature on Estate Publishing on the back of the news about HarperCollins acquiring the worldwide rights to Agahta Christie’s work. Best thing in the magazine this week if you ask me (with the possible exception of an editorial by James Bridle).
He says dealing with the estates requires patience and tenacity: it took seven years of discussions with the Tolkien estate before it agreed for HC to release e-books. His first meeting with the Tolkien estate in 1995 involved him having seven publishing ideas in a row shot down. It was, he says, “the most humiliating morning”.
“You sometimes sit and think ‘have I gone native? Am I asking sufficiently challenging questions?'” he says. “You need to make sure you are not assuming too much. I’m fairly confident I’ve got the right perspective. You keeping chipping away.”
via Brains and brawn | theBookseller.com.
Estate publishing, like Classics and (although no-one else seems to think it) mid-list publishing can and should be territory for experimentation, innovation and great publishing.
Penguin’s Classics for instance have shown recently what just the application of some great design and clever curation can do for a list that isn’t even owned exclusively by one publisher.