Mixed metaphors

The publishing industry is struggling to find the metaphors that describe the transformation that is taking over the sector. This is one conclusion from Digital Minds, the annual digital conference that acts as the Sunday-prelude to the London Book Fair. 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 »

What would you do if you won Waterstones in a raffle?


This is an old, old publishing parlour game and one that certainly hasn't got any easier in the last five years.

However,this weeks report by Bowker is the best bit of news the chain will have had for a while. 45% of undecided purchases, i.e. where the buyer did not know what they wanted to read, were made as a result of bookshops.  Read more »


Thriving in the present, looking to the future

In the dystopian series Black Mirror (Channel 4), Charlie Brooker’s skill is to anticipate a technological future that seems at once terrifyingly feasible and fantastical. For those who haven’t been watching, in one episode it imagines a woman bringing her deceased partner back to life by piecing his character together via his social media updates, or a cold interactive world where the only reality is a TV talent show and the outside world is never seen.
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A mixed economy

The growth in the e-book market is not linear, but that does not mean that its impact won't be. Data released by Bowker/BML ahead of it Books and the Consumer Conference (20th March) suggests that while consumers enjoy a mix of e-book and print book purchasing, their choices may mean they have less chance to enjoy this diversity in the future. Read more »

Off the Page and in the centre

London is brimming with creative digital talent that sits on the doorsteps of the country's publishing powerhouses... but many rarely meet to talk business, let alone work together. That’s why we’re starting “Off the Page”, a new event series that brings together the publishing, arts and creative technology sectors to look at ways that they can learn from each other. 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.

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 »