I recorded a piece about ebooks, digital change and self publishing for the media show last week. It’s right at the top of the show and I think it went pretty well:
There’s also a fascinating piece with the editor of the Irish Independent talking about the digital change going on at Independent (kicks off around 13.00 mins or so) and Brian Fallon from Distilled media talking about TheJournal.ie and the other brands in that group.
There’ll be a lot more of this, or at least you’d hope there will be, as publishers look to profit from their existing content in more ways. This is a pretty good example of what an established player can do with a bit of application and thought:
Ebury has launched a digital imprint, initially focusing on abridged versions of Eburys narrative non-fiction titles, called Lives Less Ordinary. Deputy publisher Andrew Goodfellow is behind the new range of digital shorts, which has begun by releasing 10 titles. The titles will be from 3,000 to 20,000 words, and will be priced under £1.99 on a sliding scale, according to length.The launch titles comprise How to Understand Paul Gascoigne by Danny Baker, How to Win the Worlds Greatest Road Race by Mark Cavendish, How to be an NYPD Drugs Cop by Edward Conlon, How to Hunt an LA Gangland Killer by Miles Corwin, How to Seduce Marilyn Monroe by Tony Curtis, How to Escape a Taliban Ambush by Paul Grahame and Damien Lewis, How to Become an Internet Billionaire by David Kirkpatrick, How to Survive on Tour With a Rock Band by Stuart Maconie, How to Live Forever by Sue Nelson and Richard Hollingham and How to be a Modern Man by Danny Wallace.
via Ebury reveals Less Ordinary digital list | The Bookseller.
Worth reading this, it pretty much hits all the thoughts I had on reading the McSweeney’s material!
Let’s be clear: I don’t think print will die.
But that’s no reason to concoct “research” about publishing that says “almost all of the news is good, and most of it is very good.”
That’s what McSweeney’s has done with their series on “The State of Publishing” or “Some Good News From the World of Books.”
via There Are No Rules – The Misleading “Research” By McSweeney’s.
Some great quotes, some interesting stats, though when I was finished I was left with three over-riding thoughts:
- Libraries are benefiting from the economic slowdown
- Audiences are fragmenting and the idea of touchstone works is being eroded
- Librarians think they might just replace publishers
Later in our phone conversation, Ms. Reardon did start to talk like the new guard at the gates. It was good to hear backbone in the library business—the same strength that I heard in the response of the librarian at New York Public Library. Speaking about the historic difference in how people use libraries, Ms. Reardon said, “The biggest shift for us is just how quickly information is at our fingertips. You used to go to the shelf, and you used to go to the Encyclopedia. So all of those reference materials, and all that stuff that used to be behind a librarians desk, all this very possessive nature that we had is gone now. What we [libraries] still own is that understanding in finding quality information, and that’s just our world, and we do it better than anybody.”
via Timothy McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: The State of Publishing..
Excellent post from Kassia on the future of bookstores. Much along the lines of what I believe about indies, though I might quibble at certain points:
What gives indies leverage? Customer service. Community. When it comes to a physical store, I go there because I want a certain level of interaction. I want human contact. I want tactile. I want readings. Events. Original content. Something unique that I can’t get anywhere else. I want to be seduced by a cover with a striking image, and, honestly, I think booksellers have a better idea of what attracts readers than publishers (especially those publishers who don’t leave New York very often). Extra points if there’s a clever shelf talker. I am a sucker for a good shelf talker.
When I shop digital, I want data. I want details about the book. I want ratings, reviews, suggestions. I want to interact with like-minded readers. I want to know what they bought. I want curation. Oh, I wouldn’t mind shelf talkers. A personal review from someone who loves a book is like potato chips for me. Sincerity, authenticity, passion, these are the enemies of my credit card.
via Bookstores Now, More than Ever | Booksquare.