ENTRIES TAGGED "publishing experiment"

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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Publishing News: Trailblazing experiments in publishing

Experiments in serial writing, crowdsourcing and subscriptions. Also, the Internet's effect on copy culture and a bookmarklet for smart tweets.

Here are a few stories from the publishing space that caught my attention recently.

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Publishing News: Judge rules fair use in Authors Guild v. HathiTrust

Summary judgement in favor of HathiTrust, Arment's magazine experiment, and 10 steps to a publishing reformation.

Here are a few stories from the publishing space that caught my attention this week.

HathiTrust book scanning ruled fair use

Last week, Google reached a settlement agreement with McGraw-Hill, Pearson Education, Penguin, John Wiley & Sons, and Simon & Schuster over its book-scanning project. The Authors Guild was none too happy about the settlement, as it may not bode well for its pending lawsuit against Google. This week, as the Authors Guild called upon the DOJ to review whether or not the terms of the settlement, which were not disclosed, violate Federal antitrust law, the group suffered yet another setback: Judge Harold Baer ruled in favor of the HathiTrust Digital Library in Authors Guild v. HathiTrust, ruling that the libraries that gave books to Google to scan are protected under the principle of fair use.

Mathew Ingram at GigaOm argued this week that the authors are standing on the wrong side of the book-scanning issue. He points out that Judge Baer’s decision was a summary judgement, meaning that the judge felt the arguments for fair use were strong enough to make a trial unnecessary. Ars Technica’s Timothy B. Lee takes a nice look at the factors the court considers in fair use cases and which held the most weight in Judge Baer’s decision.

Law professor James Grimmelmann noted that this ruling together with last week’s settlement might be “a moment for a reevaluation of the Authors Guild’s suit against Google.” Ingram and Lee both point out that Google’s fair use argument might not be as strong as HathiTrust’s, but Lee stresses the nuance of the decision may be a positive sign for Google:

“The libraries’ fair use argument is somewhat stronger than Google’s because they are non-profit organizations with fundamentally educational missions. But significantly, Judge Baer did not rely heavily on this fact in siding with the libraries. Instead, he focused on the transformative nature of the libraries’ use. And since Google is making virtually the same use of its own scanned copies of the books, it’s a safe bet that there are some happy lawyers in Mountain View this evening.”

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Serializing CSS: The Definitive Guide

A new approach to publishing for a classic title.

By Eric Meyer, Author and Simon St.Laurent, Editor

O’Reilly is taking a new approach to publishing one of its classics, CSS: The Definitive Guide. The Fourth Edition will arrive in bookstores sometime soon, but long before then you’ll be able to buy sections of the book on more tightly-focused topics. The first three just came out:

We expect that this will work better for readers, the author, and the publisher, but the reasons are all different even though they interlock.

For readers

Some readers tell us (O’Reilly) that they want the latest and greatest and don’t worry as much about quality. Some readers tell us that they want every “i” dotted and every “t” crossed. Serialization lets us achieve both of those goals. The content comes out much faster, but it’s already been copyedited, reviewed, and illustrated. There may be updates to come if the content changes or errata (inevitably) turns up, but O’Reilly has polished each piece before its release. It may not yet be perfect, but it should be comparable to our usual finished books.

CSS: The Definitive Guide is large and getting larger as CSS grows. The writing process will take a long time, and in the traditional model content written at the beginning might wait a year or more to see customers. This new approach gets content out, and makes it much easier to fix things when content goes out of date.

With serialization, readers get much faster access to the most recent information, and customers who buy the ebooks will also get updates if the pieces they buy change. They can also buy the pieces secure in the knowledge that if they want to buy the whole thing later, O’Reilly will make sure they don’t lose their early investment: we’ll make sure that the price paid for the pieces becomes a discount on the larger work for readers who want the whole thing eventually.

You can also pick which pieces you want. Some people want huge definitive books. Others want just the pieces that fit their particular focus. If you only need three pieces of CSS: The Definitive Guide, you’l be able to buy just those three pieces. Read more…

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