Booksellers should embrace showrooming

Showrooming has become the bane of every bookseller’s life, to the point where HarperCollins c.e.o. Victoria Barnsley recently suggested that bookshops could charge for entry to put showroomers off. 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 »

Off the Page: Narrative, the glue that binds

I gave a keynote at The Mobile Show in Dubai last May, where I emphasised the importance of an engaging narrative in almost everything we produce.

I made the point that narrative wasn’t the preserve of publishers, words had many routes to a page (be that paper or digital) and more options were opening up to connect authors, creatives and narrators of all shapes and sizes with their audience. Read more »

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.

The fight you will have to fight

As I wrote earlier, the book world is facing a series of unmatched challenges. Never before did we had to deal with so many changes in such a short time. And never before was the industry as we all knew it for so many decades, forced into a 180 degree turn in no time. Read more »

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 »

Vertical Publishing. Take it to the people.

The relationship between publishers and readers continues to evolve at a bewildering speed.

It could be argued that until very recently publishers had almost no relationship with their readers at all. The entire supply chain of the publishing industry was set up around a premise that essentially ignored the end user (the readers) and mistakenly identified the means of distribution (the booksellers) as their key relationship. Read more »