ENTRIES TAGGED "future of publishing"

We need incognito book purchasing

There are valid reasons for wishing to purchase a book without being tracked

In the physical realm, purchasing a book without revealing one’s identity involves little effort beyond proceeding to a store one does not usually patronise and paying in cash. Unless one is seeking illegal volumes, which are unlikely to be obtained at neighbourhood booksellers’ anyway, these obvious techniques are nearly guaranteed to throw friends, banks, and marketers off the scent.

Alas, there is no such thing as an incognito shopping trip in the digital world. Not only are our transactions permanently etched into our credit card records, they are carefully logged and scrutinised by the stores themselves. Any purchase on Amazon, to name but one, forever hounds us in the form of recommendations, obvious or otherwise. Emails and pages are subtly optimised to highlight content related to our past acquisitions, whether in style, length, or subject matter. While we may be given opportunities to decline outright suggestions, there stops our control of the process — and we must provide a reason for declining, which further enriches our personal file.

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Change is the vehicle for publishing’s future, not the catalyst of its demise

Intel futurist Brian David Johnson on the future of publishing — and why there will be one.

At the recent TOC conference in New York, Intel futurist Brian David Johnson (@IntelFuturist) gave a keynote address about changing the future. It’s so simple, he said, but changing the future requires us only to “change the story that people tell themselves about the future that they will will live in.” He noted that as writers and publishers, we are not only in control of the narrative, but that we are masters of it, and it’s our job to continue reaching people and changing the narrative, regardless of changing devices or methods of delivery — it’s the story, the narrative, that matters. (You can watch Johnson’s keynote on YouTube.)

I had a chance to sit down with Johnson to talk about the future of publishing and fear of change. He said the beauty of it is that the publishing industry can change and adapt to continue to give readers and consumers what they want. Read more…

Publishing News: A used ebook market may hold more opportunity than risk

A brighter side to used ebook resale, the Google Reader dustup, and a look behind the Financial Times' digital success.

Opportunities in used ebook resale

With the recent patents filed by Apple and Amazon to create used digital resale platforms and digital resale company ReDigi’s ongoing court case that will weigh in on the legality of reselling used digital goods, many are concerned about how digital resale would affect revenues for publishers and authors. MediaShift’s Jenny Shank checked in on author concerns and talked with John Scalzi and Ayelet Waldman to get their thoughts — both writers expressed deep concerns that if allowed, digital resale would create insurmountable revenue issues for most writers.

“I think all the ways we chip away at the possibility of writers to earn a living ultimately makes it less likely that we’ll have a chance to read a wide variety of works,” Waldman told Shank. Read more…

Publishers, this is the time to be brave

John Ingram on the importance of taking risks in our environment in transition.

One of the major themes at the recent TOC conference in New York was addressing — and overcoming — the fear of change many in the industry are experiencing in today’s volatile publishing environment. I had an opportunity to sit down with John Ingram, CEO and chairman of Ingram Content Group Inc., to talk about those fears from a publisher’s perspective and how he and his company are approaching the changing landscape. Read more…

Self-publishers will be the publishers of the future

Tim O'Reilly on self-publishing and the cycles of democratization via technology.

Tim O’Reilly opened the TOC conference in New York a couple weeks ago with some words of optimism for the publishing industry, noting that copyright common sense is gaining momentum and that our fears of the future are abating. “The fear that everybody had that the new thing was going to be a bad thing is going away,” he said. (You can watch O’Reilly’s keynote on YouTube.)

I had the opportunity to sit down with O’Reilly to talk about the bright future of publishing — a future in which he said self-publishing is going to play a major role:

“There’s no question in my mind that self-publishing is the wave of the future, with one big caveat: self-publishers will become publishers. You know, everybody sees the beginnings of a new democratization via technology. People take advantage of it, they get good at what they do, then they start to extend their services to others.

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Publishers are entering a “soul-searching moment”

PBS MediaShift executive editor Mark Glaser on the game-changing nature of the self-publishing trend.

In a recent edition of the Mediatwits podcast, Mark Glaser, executive editor at PBS MediaShift, talked with Guy Kawasaki about self-publishing his latest book APE, how he, as an author, makes the decision between self- and traditional publishing, and where publishing is headed. I had an opportunity to sit down with Glaser at the recent TOC conference in New York to find out what he thinks of the self-publishing trend and whether or not he feels it’s an industry game changer.

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Publishing News: HTML5 will be the future of publishing

Content is best served in browsers, indie booksellers sue Amazon and Big Six, and ASU reimagines libraries as startup incubators.

MIT Technology Review publisher, UC Berkley students bet on HTML5

At a recent executive retreat, Beet.TV sat down with MIT Technology Review editor and publisher Jason Pontin, who said that HTML5 will be the future of publishing. In a video interview (embedded below), Pontin says the basic content publishers produce — text and video — “can be much more easily offered as scripts, as processes, inside an HTML5 wrapper inside a browser application … A publisher can do almost everything they want to do on the web for multiple platforms with the same code — why make your life harder?”

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Copying is a fact, not a problem

Cory Doctorow says the problem we really need to solve is how to make money when copying happens.

Piracy and DRM continue to be hot-button issues for authors and publishers, with heated arguments on both sides of the fence. I sat down with author Cory Doctorow at TOC NY 2013 to talk about the issues and how we as an industry will move beyond the conflict.

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Publishing News: Novel experiments in publishing

Authors experiment with publishing paths, readers discover books just fine, and publishers might be replaced by publishing teams.

Experiments in non-traditional publishing routes

Forbes’ Shel Israel wrote this week about how he and Robert Scoble came to the decision as to how publishing their upcoming book, Age of Context. Israel and Scoble considered three of the most common publishing paths — traditional publishing, self-publishing, and crowdsourcing — and, inspired by author Rick Smolan’s chosen publishing route, opted for none other than corporate sponsorship.

“To date, we have raised approximately $100,000,” Israel writes. “This is about three-times what we heard as a best offer from a traditional publisher.”

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Inkling takes the edge off publishing’s digital shift

Inkling's Matt MacInnis announces the public release of Inkling Habitat to work in concert with its Content Discovery Platform.

At an event at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City Monday night, Matt MacInnis, founder and CEO of Inkling, announced the public release of the company’s Inkling Habitat platform, a free, collaborative digital publishing environment. The cloud-based platform allows book editors, developers and designers to collaborate, integrate multimedia and enhanced content, publish to multiple platforms, and preview the content presentation across platforms.

The announcement is notable on a couple of fronts. On one end of the spectrum, you have publishers who for decades have defined content by containers. On the other, you have digital content, which works best when it remains fluid and agile. The space between these points is where you’ll find the disruption and stress the industry knows so well. It’s hard to transition from one product to another. It’s even harder to shift to an entirely new mindset.

A platform like Inkling’s keeps much of the technical and cognitive overhead behind the scenes, which lets publishers move down a path they know they have to take.

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