Tools done changing?

No doubt the big news this week for the digerati, the surprise decision by Tim O'Reilly to 'shutter' the Tools of Change conference and cull the community. Read more »

“TOC was a great ride…”

With those words Tim O’Reilly CEO of O'Reilly Media brought the curtain down on seven years of Tools of Change with the shock announcement of the end of both the TOC conferences and the TOC blog. Read more »

Augmenting the cloud

I finally did it; wrote a book. Better yet I got it published. After 44 years, 9 months and 28 days on this planet I achieved pretty much the only goal I can ever remember having had. If you believe the growing number of 5-star reviews on Amazon it’s pretty good too (although admittedly one of those is by my mother). But these days it’s not enough just to be a good writer with the drive to make your dream happen. As I tell my multimedia journalism students all the time, you have to be able to sell yourself too.  Read more »

Self-Publishing vs Traditional Publishing – Time For the Truth

The self-publishing industry has boomed over the last year—or maybe more accurately has been accepted. And no-one on Twitter and with an interest in the book industry can have missed the deluge of articles hailing the sector—with an added kick at the apparently dead dog of traditional publishing for good measure. Read more »

Burning the Page - an instant review

I'll be honest, when I saw tweets yesterday mentioning a book from 'Kindle insider' Jason Merkoski I was rather excited. The initial interview on the New York Times' blog offered plenty of tantalising quotes. Read more »

A classless community

For a long time I've wondered why trade publishers don't open up their lists to would-be self-published writers, bringing more of them into the publishing fold, and working with them to build writing careers.

The economics would have to be different of course, no publisher can invest in hundreds of new titles simply because they happen to have been written, but they could at least cut deals that offered writers some of the services of a publishing house, including digital publication, with the publisher gaining an incubator of new talent as a result. Read more »

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Future of Foyles: Shelving the Bookstore?

I recently had the pleasure of attending Foyles’ ‘bookshop of the future’ workshop. The iconic Charing Cross bookstore is about to relocate and, in so doing, create a new bookstore designed for success in the modern book-selling landscape. The workshop served to gather insight from a cross-section of the industry, to help them achieve this ambitious goal in what they hoped would be potentially disruptive ways.

What an advertising agency would do with Oliver Twist

I’m going to call you Mr Dickens. I’m going to call your book/product Oliver Twist. For the purposes of debate you’re a brand new author with a brand new book. No one, in short, has ever heard of you. You arrive, in the shiny Soho offices of an advertising agency, with a heavy heart. Having looked at your Amazon KDP report last night you have realised that, despite being published for two whole months now, you have only sold two copies. You bought one and you’re fairly certain your doting Aunt Agnes in Market Harborough bought the other. Read more »

If you're in marketing, kill yourself now

There have been a couple of articles over the last few days voicing a proposition that seaped out of the Book 2 Camp ‘unconference’ (don’t get me started)  that discoverability isn’t a problem for readers, it’s a problem for publishers.

Well D’uh. Quelle surprise mes amis. What you gonna do for your next trick? Knock up a few hundred words on the pope being a catholic? (he is still a catholic right?) Read more »

App review: Discworld: The Ankh-Morpork Map

The last time I wrote something for Futurebook it was to discuss the Stephen Fry app, which wasn’t really a success for me. I did however end up greatly enjoy the audiobook read by Stephen Fry himself. The novel format (I’d include narrative non-fiction like biographies) is a format that we are used to. Even though the style changes and a few clever writers can stretch the beginning, middle and end formula, but mostly it remains unchanged.  Read more »