Creating reader community with open APIs

The connections between readers and potential readers matter most

I spoke at the “Frankfurt Digital Night” at this year’s Frankfurt Book fair, making essentially three points (see slides embedded below): first, publishing requires – and has always required – a commitment to creating and courting communities of readers. Second, there are new digital tools emerging for creating and courting these communities. Third, in this context, openness in terms of APIs is becoming a feature.

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Will retailers start playing Big Brother with our content?

New services will test the boundaries between retailers and publishers

One summer morning in 2009 countless Kindle customers awoke to discover that Amazon had remotely deleted a couple of George Orwell books from their devices. There was much debate about whether this step should have been taken and Amazon eventually noted that “we are changing our systems so that in the future we will not remove books from customers’ devices in these circumstances.”

That’s a smart adjustment, but how much control should an ebook retailer have over the content it distributes? Should the retailer be allowed to alter any of the content?

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