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Go Read This | Blogging and Reaching Out « Tales from the Reading Room

All that Litlove writes is well thought through and exquisitely written, this is no different. The theme is important, thought-provoking and relevant to publishers of al kinds,

But I also feel that the vastness of the web is producing its own issues now. When there are millions of blogs that could possibly be read out there, the inevitable consequence is a dissolution into insularity. When I first started writing and reading blogs, I had the impression of a huge virtual city, teeming with life. Now, four years later and several thousand book blogs richer, it feels more like I live in a blog village that is part of a network of other villages – all of which I could visit if I could follow the right pathways, except of course no signposts exist. It’s hard to track down blogs I really appreciate. I can arduously work my way through the blogrolls of others, I can google for reviews of the kinds of books I like and hope that produces good results (not just a bunch of blogs that no longer update). But what attracts one blogger to another is profoundly subjective and often unquantifiable, a matter of style, a question of voice. There’s no other way of tracking blogs down than individually, by trial and error and hours of visiting.

via Blogging and Reaching Out « Tales from the Reading Room.

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Quick Link | Waging war on WordPress: Posterous prepares the switch | Media | guardian.co.uk

I’m not sold on Tumblr or Posterous. If they succeed good luck to them, bit I think in the long run, WordPress and Automattic have the edge!

What’s the attraction? A less bloated back end (there’s pills for that) without multiple features you never use. An end to the barrage of spam comments that plague WordPress – Posterous is free of those, for now. And a service designed to be so email-post friendly that you never even need to login at your desktop; I post everything to my trial Posterous blog from my phone. Photos, videos, text docs, even spreadsheets – if you can email it, you can blog it from your phone. I’m converted.

via Waging war on WordPress: Posterous prepares the switch | Media | guardian.co.uk.

Three Sites Worth Reading

This is a little off topic in many ways but also on topic.

There has been the slow emergence of professionally written blogs in Ireland, reinforcing my thinking about blogging as a tool for publishing as opposed to any kind of social change, political change or even a weapon for undermining mainstream media. It also echoes (finally) the trend in the US where both commercial mainstream news outlets and academics have take to the tools with gusto.

It’s not just that newspapers like The Irish Times and Irish Independent are making use of the tools but three group blogs written by academics are quickly establishing themselves (or have already established themselves) as must read sites.

They are:

    The Irish Economy (Economics)
    Ireland After NAMA (Geography & Social Sciences)
    &
    Pue’s Occurrences (History)

Some individuals also keep blogs, my personal favourite being Dr. Constantin Gurdgiev who calls it like it is with no pulled punches, not to everyone’s taste, but entertaining.

Working on the web,
Eoin

My 2009 Publishing Heroes

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Everyone is off writing prediction posts for 2010 (follow them on George’s wonderful tracker), I thought I might take a brief minute or two to consider the heroes of 2009. At least my heroes. I tried to keep it to a small list (5) and I chose them for personal reasons, they may grate with some (and yes I kinda broke my own limit with one of them).

Dominique Raccah – The Innovator
When I saw Dominique speak at TOC Frankfurt I was blown away. She was the breath of fresh air that I had been waiting for in the industry, she is passionate, articulate and insanely clever. She grasped the challenge of publishing in the present age brilliantly and has responded in kind. Her discussion of the publishing continuum has revolutionised my thinking on digital offerings and content and her passion for her company and its future is manifest and heartening. She is at the core of the discussion about how to respond to the challenge of digital content from the publishers perspective and I think she has the answers. She is a hero for 2010, and I suspect for many years to come too.

Mike Cane – The Writer’s Advocate and Alarm Bell
Cane provides solid analysis (caked as it can sometimes be in vitriolic hyperbole). His vision is not even remotely tainted by the fact that it comes solidly from a writers perspective, in fact in many ways that is his strength. Too much for some, he is never shy with his opinion but willing to respond when challenged and corrected.

The Quartet – The Try-ers
They briefly excited the online e-vangelist echo chamber with their hopes and ambitions for a digital only press. They failed. Trying something big and scary and failing publicly can be disheartening, dispiriting and depressing. But the Quartet have dusted themselves off and moved on with a speed and alacrity that is impressive.

James Bridle – The Inventor
James continues to amaze with the work he produces and the ideas he brings to fruition. I heartily recommend following him if only for the sense of wonder you have when you read about his latest project or the awe you feel when looking at the pictures he produces of them.

Jose Afonso Furtado – The Source
A seeming unstinting dedication to reading and linking out to the best stories online in the media, publishing and book sphere, is Jose’ great strength. If you follow his twitter deed you will be connected and in the loop on just about all the trends you might need to monitor.

It’s not a long list, but I think it’s a good one!
Eoin

2009 Stats & Top Posts

WELCOME TO 2010

For all the stat nerds
Wordpress tells me that I had 39,468 views in 2009 a solid 20% increase on 2008.

The top three referrers to the site were:
1) Twitter
2) Nathan Bransford
3) Emerging Writer

The Top Three Posts were:
1) Publishers and the tangled Web: Guest Blog
2) 4 Reasons To Think That The Kindle International Was Released Early
3) How many books do you need to sell to be successful in Ireland?

Happy New Year!

YOU are a publisher

That’s right YOU.

It bears repeating because at times I fear people have missed the reality that If you have a Blogger or a WordPress.com blog, if you Tweet, Tumbl or Flikr YOU are a publisher.

That carries enormous implications as Guy Gonzales points out in a Tweeted response to me:
GuyleCharlesTweet

What you do about it is up to you, and it doesn’t guarantee success but it IS a fact.
That is why the tagline of this blog is:

It’s that simple — and that hard. And that inescapable.

It’s a line from a rather excellent article in Fast Company by Tom Peters. The article is called The Brand Called You and it’s about branding. It is deeply relevant to this discussion. You should read it.

Eoin
Publisher
Eoin Purcell’s Blog

Links of Interest (At Least to Me) 19/10/2009

The Frankfurt Cleared The Air Edition

Richard Eoin Nash’s post on the Frankfurt Book Fair blog is all kinds of excellent:

Not only, it turns out, are the readers of the world looking to buy our content if we can deliver it to them digitally, but the world’s leading hardware companies are looking to help us. Along with Sony, iRex, TXTR, and other dedicated reading device manufacturers exhibiting, presenting, and working the floor, two Apple executives were traversing the halls of the Fair to let publishers know all the opportunities that await them on that platform. (Let it be said: that platform, right now, is the iPhone. Not any other rumored device. Apple has not been in private discussions about a larger device and reports that they have are a hoax. But Apple does believe in the opportunity for the publishing industry’s content, contrary to the occasional snarky comment from Jobs.) Apple is working to improve the Books section of the App store to make it more browsable, and they are trying to help publishers find the right developers to work with.

You should take the time to read all the contributions from Richard and his fellow Book Fair Bloggers, they provide a nice slice of the fair.

Brian O’Leary has put the slides for his trouble causing presentation on piracy up on Slideshare, when you read through, you’ll find it hard to find the controversy and wonder just how tightly poised those knee-jerk reactions are.

The news of Google’s Google Editions, which first came to light back in June has been formed up by more recent news. Like this AP story:

Tom Turvey, head of Google Book Search’s publisher partnership program, said the price per book would be set by their publishers and would start with between 400,000 to 600,000 books in the first half of 2010.
“It will be a browser-based access,” Turvey said Thursday at the 61st Frankfurt Book Fair. “The way the e-book market will evolve is by accessing the book from anywhere, from an access point of view and also from a geographical point of view.”
The books bought from Google, and its partners, would be accessible on any gadget that has a Web browser, including smartphones, netbooks and personal computers and laptops. A book would be accessible offline after the first time it was accessed.

Of course as you would expect it is platform neutral (if web based/cloud based is neutral), omnipresent and smart. Anyone who thinks that devices are the future is living in the past.

There is a whole load of other stuff on the margins, but in terms of signal, I think this is it!
Eoin