Multi-touch E-books vs Apps

Have you heard the noise about iBooks Author (iBA) recently? Apple are keen for publishers to use this to create beautiful multi-touch books within the iBookstore. Simply (or not so simply) add widgets and your book can include slideshows, videos and dynamic 3-D animation. Read more »

All disruptive innovation starts somewhere

As has been increasingly discussed by digital creatives in the last year or so, and was publicly articulated recently by Nick Harkaway on this site, the paucity of genuine innovation within the publishing industry suggests that really disruptive innovation in the field will come from elsewhere.

I agree. Marshall McLuhan's reference to the fate of carriage makers in the age of the automobile now risks becoming a truism.

However, I am interested in making opportunities happen. Even if we have to give them a nudge every now and again. Read more »

Content is not a commodity

"Content is a commodity" has been a continual refrain in the debates over digital product and the future of the publishing industry. We're continually told that our stock-in trade is vanishing from beneath us and so we need to change radically, to become different sorts of companies. The problem is, this is just not true - content is not and never will become a commodity, at least not in the sense that the detractors mean it. Read more »

24 hours of #AuthorDay

Inspired by a tweet from Waterstones University of Birmingham asking about authors on Twitter, I decided to tweet a few of my favourites. In my opinion, authors are some of the best Twitter users. Giving, what can be a fairly solitary pursuit, an instant connection with fans, bookshops, librarians and publishing folk and a great way of conducting research for their books. Read more »

Women in digital publishing

Last Wednesday I spoke at an event called Women in Publishing, an organisation whose purpose is to ‘promote the status of women working in publishing and related trades by helping them to develop their careers’. Read more »

Innovation from Outside the Publishing Industry – The Underground Bookclub

 This month has seen the launch of an app which is entrpreneural in nature and innovative in concept. Read more »

Fallen agents - how everything just changed

The Department of Justice's lawsuit against Apple and five of America's biggest publishers begins like a John Grisham novel, talking of Apple's "aikido move", violations of anti-trust law, and tens of millions of dollars having been overspent on e-books. But in reality the document is a 49-page slasher-novel that leaves no-one in the industry unscathed. Read more »

B&N's UK Nook and other diggeri-pokery

It seems now not to be a matter of if, or even when, but how the Nook will arrive in the UK. Many publishers we've spoken to over the past week suggest that a London Book Fair announcement is coming from the giant US bookseller Barnes & Noble. This makes sense. B&N needs a stage and LBF has always provided a publicity platform for such launches: think Google many years ago. Read more »