Downright impressed with this: Feedbooks

Eoin Purcell

I was lead to this video & blog by the continuing debate I mentioned previously and which Mark Thwaite of the Book Depository (I love shopping there and intend to shop there more) continues on The Booksellers new blog section.

Now the system strikes me as like xFruits, a similar service that has launched to weak enough take off (perhaps it was a little ahead of its time/has a difficult time getting readership and thus publishers/has no revenue model attached). The site lists only 13620 xfruiters!

It may be an old idea executed well but it is very cool even so!

Which reminds me. You can find my own blog in a nice little PDF here.

Remembering the coolness of reading one’s own words on a nicely formatted pdf!

Keith Richards’s memoir, 7 million dollars and something much more important

Eoin Purcell

You can generally trust O’Reilly to get their priority right
And so it was today. When all anyone else seemed to want to talk about was this, they were considering the merits of CommentPress 1.0 [a new tool from The Institute for the Future of the Book] as:

a potentially significant evolution in blogging architecture

*For a better idea of what exactly CommentPress is read this little piece from the site:

CommentPress is an open source theme for the WordPress blogging engine that allows readers to comment paragraph by paragraph in the margins of a text. Annotate, gloss, workshop, debate: with CommentPress you can do all of these things on a finer-grained level, turning a document into a conversation. It can be applied to a fixed document (paper/essay/book etc.) or to a running blog.

Why do publishers care?
Good question. I suggest we care for the same reason we care about this two pieces of news: A clipping service from Exact Editions and a cheap e-reader.

We should care about the clipping service because someone is building tools to make our online content more useful and easier to utilise. CommentPress is another tool in a growing ecoshpere of tools and services that are making novel and new uses of content more likely. That makes our content more valuable. Seems pretty important to me.

And we should care about e-readers because we need a solid platform for that digital content to reside on. Sure we will get along fine as web-pages that reflow* according to the screen but people don’t always want to be tied to their laptop or PC when reading and that is where the e-reader will come in (if we are lucky).

So ignore the big money, big name news today and dig a little deeper. There is a lot to read about what really matters for this industry.

For more on this Booktwo points in a nice direction

You(book)tube obsession

Eoin Purcell

Unfortunate breakout of Youtube-itis!
Yes it is officially true, I am really enjoying Youtube. Its an odd thing this coming to realise how useful Youtube can be. I even found this brief report on the Google Unbound of a few months back:


Exact Editions: Interesting little series on open archives

Eoin Purcell

There are good reasons why some magazines should be completely Open Access — many scientific periodicals have moved to this model of distribution. They now have to pay their costs by levying a charge from the contributors or sponsors of the research reported. Also, Open Access makes complete sense for magazines which are essentially free in print; but we think it is unlikely that a consumer magazine which is completely Open Access will sell many personal subscriptions.

Seems to make sense to me
And so does the rest of it. You can read the above and its content here. The blog addresses the ideas that lie behind pretty much every news media’s archive policy in the five posts hitting on Moving Walls(A concept from Jstor), Conversion rates from free samples:

So what does this tell us? One lesson that we have taken from our monthly stats is that a significant increase in trial usage will boost subscriptions. It is actually a very obvious point, if a publisher promotes the archive of the magazine, and the quality of its back issues is more widely appreciated, more subscriptions will be sold.

Magazines are much like books in this respect. Just as Amazon’s Search Inside works — “Browsing pages sells more books”, so also with magazines. Browsing sells more subscriptions. If only dentists waiting rooms were points of sale, we would be leaving his surgery with a couple of subscriptions as well as our dental floss. Of course, on the web they can become that.

There is just so much packed into these posts. I like them because they are chatty and open, dealing with the issues and concerns of all publishers but specifically magazine publishers. And they are viewed if you like from the perspective of a relatively well placed observer whose interests are not opposed to publishers as the quote below makes clear:

Furthermore, the way our deal works with the publishers we absorb the distribution and maintenance costs of the digital edition. So it costs Exact Editions, not the publisher, a bit more to maintain an Open Archive. We think these costs are easily containable within the parameters of the small commission we obtain from selling additional digital subscriptions, so we encourage our publishing partners to offer Open Archives with a moving wall. The marginal costs of maintaining Open Access are marginal. So you dont need to feel sorry for us!

All in all a great sequence of posts with real information and insight behind them. And a very nice product too (See for example the sample edition of Prospect).

Reading more online?