ENTRIES TAGGED "digital"

Digital publishing and the loss of intimacy

The cognitive overhead involved in reading a book has increased tremendously

Reading used to be an intimate experience. Even Amazon, the pioneer in digital publishing, branded its Kindle with a child reading alone under a tree. Books were specially designed to disappear into the background as much as possible, helped by a laundry list of conventions as to language, punctuation, format, and structure, thus allowing readers to direct all their attention and cognitive powers to the text at hand.

The first digital platforms made a decent job of emulating the traditional experience. Certainly, the overhead of managing an Amazon account is something readers could do without, but allowances had to be made. Black text on a white screen was still the reference, and great pains were taken to ease users into this new experience: options were few, and the physicality of the book was heavily reflected in the shape and size of the device.

Read more…

Comments: 15 |

Applying “Great by Choice” to publishing

First to market with the riskiest digital offering shouldn’t necessarily be the goal

I don’t think it’s news that most publishers are struggling with the same changes that accosted the music industry a few years ago. Shrinking demand for traditional products coupled with very specific needs for digital content. Challenging times are testing most sectors of the economy and companies of every type are looking for new models of operation. Why then are some companies thriving? That’s the subject of a book I read recently called Great by Choice, by Jim Collins and Morten Hansen. The subtitle, I think, is even more provocative: Uncertainty, Chaos and Luck—Why Some Thrive Despite Them All.

Read more…

Comment |

Speaking as a publishing recruiter and author

The best talent isn't always in the most obvious places

Mining dollars from the digital age. It’s what every publisher is concerned with lately. In my day job as recruiter, as I like to say, I’ve clinically observed publishers struggling with the new realities. By night, as I assume my guise as publisher and author, I join in the industry’s goal to utilize the latest e-tools to sell content.

Read more…

Comment: 1 |
Now available: "Breaking the Page" preview edition

Now available: "Breaking the Page" preview edition

The big question: How do we make digital books as satisfying as their print predecessors?

The three chapters in the free preview edition of "Breaking the Page: Transforming Books and the Reading Experience" focus on browsing, searching, and navigating.

Comment: 1 |
Reports of marginalia's demise have been exaggerated

Reports of marginalia's demise have been exaggerated

Digital didn't kill marginalia. In fact, digital could turn it into a revenue source.

As The New York Times bemoans the death of marginalia, forward thinking members of the publishing community have visions of a new digital revenue stream.

Comment: 1 |

The chaos and the opportunity in Arab publishing

Egyptian publishing is far more chaotic than its Western counterparts. ISBNs are used fleetingly and book rights are a moving target. But that same chaos also breeds opportunity, particularly in the mobile and digital publishing spaces. Ramy Habeeb, director and co-founder of Kotobarabia, sat down with us at TOC 2010 to discuss the current state of Arab publishing as well…

Comment: 1 |

Amazon's Physical vs. Digital Dissonance

In March of 2008, I wrote about the frustrating experience of trying to get this blog added to Kindle. Fourteen months later, apparently that “rather large ingestion queue” is still full, because the blog never showed up, and I never heard another peep about it. (There is now a self-publishing feature for blogs, but as with their self-publishing book feature (known as DTP), the standard terms of service you must accept to participate aren’t something many commercial publishers will be willing or eager to swallow.)

Comments: 4 |

Good Company Culture Comes in Small Packages

Small publishers' culture of experimentation-by-necessity gives them a leg up on the large publishing "dinosaurs."

Comments: 8 |

"None of this is good or bad; it just is"

Lev Grossman takes a pragmatic look at the changing state of authors, readers, and the definition of publishing: Self-publishing has gone from being the last resort of the desperate and talentless to something more like out-of-town tryouts for theater or the farm system in baseball. It's the last ripple of the Web 2.0 vibe finally washing up on publishing's…

Comments: 3 |

iPhone App Outperforms Most Print (Computer) Books This Holiday Season

Conventional wisdom suggests that when choosing pilot projects, you pick ones with a high likelihood of success. It's hard to argue that iPhone: The Missing Manual was a reasonable choice for testing the iPhone App waters. But while we knew it would do well, we've been quite pleased with just how well: If the iPhone App by itself had been…

Comments: 20 |