An Update on America – An Independent Publisher Crossing The Pond

This article is written six weeks after launching our US Office [physical address and phone number] and website on a budget of around £150 a month. Having been involved in eCommerce since before the internet existed [remember EDI?] I’ve long been preaching to people about the importance of local content with websites, and we finally took our own medicine at the end of last year – and the results so far are very encouraging. Read more »

Future perfect?

To echo what many publishing executives have been saying to us since we returned to our desks last week, 2011 will be the year when digital finally takes a significant and measureable share of UK 'book' sales. Read more »

Questions for 2011, part deux: What price J K Rowling's digital rights?

Stratospheric. Rowling, the longtime e-book refusenik, indicated last year through the Christopher Little Agency (CLA) that the time is nigh for something to finally be done with the Harry Potter digital rights. Read more »


Goodbye, DRM?

At the risk of banging on: at the FutureBook conference last year, I asked the room if anyone believed DRM was effective in reducing piracy. One person was prepared to say they did, but I'm not sure they weren't kidding. Read more »


Questions for 2011, part 1: Will the agency model hold?

2011 opens with perhaps more uncertainty than most years for the trade. You all know the reasons why: a stuttering economy, a shaky high street, falling print sales and, germane to this site, difficulty in gauging which way the digital winds will blow. So, over the next few days, we will attempt to address some of the big questions facing the industry this year.     

First up: will the agency model hold? Read more »

Review: The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce iPhone app

Susie Dent, writer and broadcaster on language issues, and the Dictionary Corner adjudicator on C4's Countdown reviews the iPhone app for FutureBook:Those of us who deal in dictionary making are all-too-familiar with Samuel Johnson’s infamous description of a lexicographer as a ‘harmless drudge’. But there is another definition, written some 160 years later, which prompts a similar wry smile. Read more »

Was it an 'appy Christmas for publishers?

As promised before Christmas, today we launch our first ever survey of digital Christmas trading. With many publishers rushing out apps in time for Christmas Day, and the days thereafter, this year is probably the first to properly test the theory that first thing that happens after the unwrapping frenzy is that book buyers with new digital reading devices look for content.

I spoke to two digital directors before Christmas, and one was convinced that Christmas Day and Boxing Day would be key dates; while the second was convinced by the exact opposite. Read more »

On the road again (with a Clarkson app)

Open up the Jeremy Clarkson app and you're straight into his lair. The scrolling home screen is set up as his study, complete with leather chair, roaring fire and smoking ashtray. The graphics are sharp and you can tap through on any of the framed car portraits that adorn the walls, finding Clarkson's reviews, photos, videos and stats—as well as a "verdict", such as that on the Porsche 911 GT3 - "You don't need humour when you're this hardcore". Read more »


Appy days

Marcus Chown has kindly agreed to give an author's perspective on the development process of his new iPad app Solar System: It all began in a Soho restaurant in May. I remember it vividly because there had been a fire at BT's Paddington phone exchange -- some kind of national Internet hub -- and none of the chip-and-pin credit card machines in the restaurant were working. Henry Volans said: "Would you be interested in doing an iPad App based on one of your popular science books?" Read more »

Eyewitness report: DK Paris app

DK have just released the new Eyewitness Encyclopaedic Travel guide to Paris app, for the iPad. The app is geared towards researching your trip before you go away, to act as a travel aid while you are there, and to use as a reference after you have left. Read more »

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