Fifty Shades of Innovation

Fifty Shades of Innovation

Publishers need to stop flirting with innovation and tie the knot if they’re to avoid inevitable demise.  So says Elvin Turner, an innovation consultant to brands in disruptive industries.

“No-one has a clue what to do,” a global publishing CEO recently told me during a conference break.  “We’re permanently waiting for someone else to make the first move in case we get it wrong.” Read more »

Launching open value-added bundles in Italy (pbook+ebook)

Italian RCS Libri publishing group has just launched “110 Libri+” (literally 110 Books+), the first mass-market publishing initiative in Italy to offer value-added p+e bundles in the main online bookstores. Read more »

Of Mills and Penguins

The Readmill-Penguin deal is being touted as all sorts of things - I was asked recently to comment on the possibility that it was the first blow in Random House-Penguin’s insurgency against Amazon. (And it would be an insurgency, which actually says a lot about where we stand.) I felt uncomfortable reading the Guardian piece, not because it’s not what I said - it is, if not absolutely verbatim - but because I came across unclearly. Read more »

Why Netflix for eBooks won’t work. Today.


It seems that not a week goes by recently when we hear about a company that is “Netflix for eBooks” or “Spotify for publishing”. While I think that the industry desperately needs innovation and fresh thinking, I have my doubts about this type of model ported from other media areas. It may very well be where the industry ends up in time, but I think for the next 2-3 years these start-ups will find it tough.

So here are some questions that we should maybe consider when discussing Spotflix for books; Read more »

Love print

We all love books, right? I mean, isn't that why many of us work in publishing? But print is passé and the future belongs to digital, they say. To ebooks, apps, the web. Content is king and form be damned.

The problem is, I'm not so sure that I agree. Read more »

FutureBook Innovation Awards - open for entry

Excited to announce that the FutureBook Innovation awards are now open. Launched 3 years ago, the awards were the first of their kind to recognise publishing innovation. 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 »

REACTive Publishing: innovation at the Hub

As our industry becomes increasingly hybrid – ever more digital, yet still significantly paper-based – the necessity to innovate is a growing problem for publishers. With revenues squeezed by falling prices and decreasing margins, innovation becomes more vital than ever: if we are to survive, publishers need to find new methods of working, new types of product, and new ways of reaching our audiences. Read more »

Getting students to jump on the e-train

One of the advantages of switching from general trade publishing to SMT is that I get to see a whole new side of the publishing world. One of the areas that has caught my specific interest is students. This is, I feel, one of the more interesting groups for publishers to target: they are young, tech savvy, not rich yet and very engaged online. Read more »

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