Publishing is a complex ecosystem (something I wrote about nearly three years ago when I wrote about The Value Web that was emerging in trade publishing), one in which there is no ONE way to publish or be published. Here’s a very nice example of that reality in play:
Sandy Hall, a teen librarian from Hawthorne, New Jersey, posted A LITTLE SOMETHING DIFFERENT to the Swoon Reads site in November 2013. Within weeks, the manuscript was rated “Five Hearts” by the Swoon Reads Community and considered to be one of the most “Swoonworthy” on the site. This brought it to the attention of Jean Feiwel, Publisher of Swoon Reads, and the rest of the Swoon Reads Board. One e-mail and two phone calls later, Sandy Hall signed her first book deal for World rights.
via Macmillan To Publish First Novel From Swoon Reads, A Crowdsourced Romance Imprint And Online Community – Press Release – Digital Journal.
I’m intrigued by this. I’ll be very interested to see how Wattpad develops:
And one Union Square Ventures-backed, Toronto-based upstart, Wattpad, just raised a $17.3 million Series B.
USV joined this latest round, which was led by Khosla Ventures. Other participants include Yahoo cofounder Jerry Yang and Toronto’s Golden Venture Partners. The company will use the money for hiring, new features, and community growth.
Wattpad is both publishing platform and social network. It’s a kissing cousin to Amazon’s self-publishing platform, but the concept will feel most familiar to anyone who spent time on early platforms like fanfiction.net–complete with concerns about copyright, by the way, though the company has introduced piracy-fighting features. The modern twist: Over 70 percent of the site’s traffic comes from mobile devices.
via Digital Publishing Startup Wattpad Raises $17.3M Series B For Social Reading | Betabeat.
Rushing to finish things, but this is worth a read. If I was betting I’d wager on Byliner and Red Lemonade, in both cases because I think they use the web to best effect AND show signs of having thought through the implications of digital distribution on publishing and the industry around it. I could be wrong, but that’s my two cents as it were:
Depending on whom you ask, these are either the best or the worst of times for the written word. As with every other branch of traditional media, the Internet has pushed the publishing industry to a critical inflection point, something we’ve previously discussed. Disrupting the mainstream marketplaces for journalism, literature, and the fundamental conventions of reading and writing themselves, here are seven startups that promise to reshape the way we create and consume ideas.
via 7 Platforms Changing the Future of Publishing | Brain Pickings.
This WILL happen for books. IN fact in some ways it is already starting to happen. The key is forming communities of interested audiences. It’s nicely put by Eric though:
The reason this works anyway is that radio has large fixed costs and infinitesimal marginal costs. If the listenership doubles, the costs stay exactly the same. It’s not like book publishing, which spends a lot of money pumping paper through a complex supply chain.
A book can cost a lot to produce, too. An author might devote a whole year to the writing of a book. Let’s be generous and say the author deserves $200,000. There’s an editor, a graphic designer, maybe an illustrator who also work on the book. Add some management overhead, tax accountants, lawyers, and it’s easy to get over $300,000 in fixed costs, and we haven’t even started promoting, printing and shipping the book. Many books, of course are produced for much less money. Some authors don’t get paid a cent.
via Go To Hellman: The Public Broadcasting Model for eBooks.
David is so often on the money, and he nails it here, but crucially the first quote I’ve pulled is only part of the story:
In consumer publishing it is really hard to find examples of players once great in print who are now able to operate in network terms with a similar facility .
There’s much more more:
I also feel that the portfolio days of B2B have drawn to a close. Investing in disparate service elements in niche markets no longer adds sufficient value to be justified , and if the future really is around workflow emulation, as this column has been suggesting, then the niche positions do not cut it without a great deal more content and software.
via David Worlock | Developing digital strategies for the information marketplace | Supporting the migration of information providers and content players into the networked services world of the future..