ENTRIES TAGGED "revenue"

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.

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The book as a standard of quality

It's time for the industry to agree on maintaining certain standards

Publishers have long commandeered respect for the quality of their work. Traditional processes may be cumbersome, reliant as they are on an infinity of minute, specialised steps, but they have helped maintain consistently high standards, at ever-lower prices. Authors may sometimes hold fantastic positions, but publishers have largely upheld their part of the bargain: giving them a clear, intelligible voice.

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In-book Purchases

Expanding reach and creating new revenue streams

We’re all familiar with the in-app purchase model. It’s a way to convert a free app into a revenue stream. In the gaming world it’s an opportunity to sell more levels even if the base product wasn’t free. Each of the popular ereader apps allow you to purchase books within them, of course, but why does it end there? What if you could make additional purchases within that ebook?

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Google's Browser-Based Plan for Ebook Sales

BEA '09 may be remembered as the moment when Google formally entered the ebook market. From the New York Times: Mr. [Tom] Turvey [director of strategic partnerships at Google] said Google's program would allow consumers to read books on any device with Internet access, including mobile phones, rather than being limited to dedicated reading devices like the Amazon Kindle. "We…

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"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…

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"Amazon Tax" Moves Forward in New York

A judge has dismissed lawsuits from Amazon and Overstock.com challenging New York's "Amazon tax," which was enacted last year. From the Associated Press: The law applies to companies that don't have offices in New York, but have at least one person in the state who works as an online agent — someone who links to a Web site and receives…

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Book Publishing's Scale Issue

In a post looking at the future interplay of content, gatekeepers and consumers, David Nygren touches on a key issue for large book publishers: scale. Mega Publishing Conglomerates Go Bye-Bye: Or at least they will look very different than they do today. Their scale is not sustainable. The partial implosion we saw in the publishing industry last week was just…

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APIs, New "Transactions" and the Google Book Search Registry

At PersonaNonData, Michael Cairns discusses the Google Book Search registry, and muses whether it might support certain types of transactions through an API: How the registry may be formed is anyone's guess, but for sake of argument I envision a pyramidal structure. The identifier segment forms the pointy top layer, bibliographic data the second layer, content the third and the…

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Change Always Leaves Someone Behind

Seth Godin discusses the realities of digital change and free distribution in an interview with HarperStudio's The 26th Story: … the market and the internet don't care if you make money. That's important to say. You have no right to make money from every development in media, and the humility that comes from approaching the market that way matters. It's…

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Election Interest Signals Print's High-End Future

Following the sell-out of post-election newspapers, Ed Nawotka looks at the collectable future of print. From Beyond Hall 8: One immediate consequence of Obama's victory was the boost in sales for newspapers. So now we have confirmation that print is not dead — at least as far as collectors are concerned. This merely reinforces my belief that the long-term…

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