Publishing is Booming But it's Still Gloom on the High Street

The recent news that publishing is growing despite the introduction of digital seems to have lifted the spirits of many in the industry. Why is this such a shock? The only thing the introduction of digital has reinforced has been the fact that people love reading and are prepared to take on more convenient ways to do this via eBooks and online shopping. The cold chill that should be sweeping through James Daunt, Alexander Mamut and book shop owners everywhere is ‘if publishing is flourishing, why are bookshops struggling?’. 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 »

Kobo throws an aura over the London Book Fair

Kobo's big set-piece launch of its new upmarket device—the Kobo aura—held last night in London should be remembered as the moment the e-bookseller became a serious player in the e-book business. This statement might surprise some. Read more »

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.
  Read more »

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 »