Trial and marginalisation

The Apple e-book price fixing case is a curious side-show for an industry that is already looking beyond the first generation e-book marketplace. The picture emerging from the Manhattan courtroom though is not one of publishers actively colluding, but one of senior executives rail-roaded into accepting deals that they themselves now admit were probably not in their own best interests. If there was chatter between them (and there was), it seems to have come from a collective sense of nervousness, rather an effort to negotiate together. Read more »

Book industry: stop moaning and be creative | @tom_chalmers

There was much applauding following the Booksellers’ Association’s call for the government to support bookshops against the looming giant of Amazon, which followed the French Government’s announced financial support of its bookshops.   Read more »

In response to Agent Orange

I am not so much a dyed in the wool as a tattooed in the lambshank self-publisher. I have turned down publishers for my last two books and will continue to do so (albeit appreciatively) as long as they are daft enough to come looking. So when several people on Facebook directed me to Agent Orange’s post, I was all set to join the cheerleading. Read more »

From format war to sustainability fight

History is repeating itself. The developments we currently see with e-books, are in fact not new. In the early eighties there was a battle between the image carriers Betamax, VHS and Video 2000. VHS won, reportedly because the porn industry embraced this format, even though Betamax had a much better quality. Not long after that, there was a similar battle in the computer world: between the CD-ROM and CD-i. The CD-i lost the battle, because it was too expensive (both the player and the discs), but also because there was a lot more content available on CD-ROM’s. Read more »

Ten challenges to innovation in publishing

Ahead of last year’s FutureBook Innovation Workshop, we published our ‘ten challenges to innovation in publishing’.  Nearly one year on, what are the new challenges to publishers when it comes to digital innovation? At the FutureBook Innovation Workshop in Association with The Literary Platform speakers will be demonstrating how they are currently dealing with some of these challenges – but here are some outline thoughts ahead of the event.  Read more »

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 »