A Policeman's Lot Is Not A Happy One

[Lady Justice via Wikipedia, under CC Attribution-Share Alike Licence 3.0 Unported, see here for author etc.]

I've been a bit quiet recently, at least in these pages, because I've been working on actual books rather than thinking about publishing, but I have to put my head above the battlements to query some of Richard Mollet's polemic from Jan 3. Read more »

The Community's the Thing

The greatest threat to the continuing survival of the publishing industry is… the publishing industry.

Most incumbents in the industry misunderstand the origin and nature of piracy, how it develops, how it is fostered, and how it thrives. If they did, they’d drop DRM and be scrambling around to transform the industry practices that threaten publishing’s very survival.

They don’t understand that piracy is a function of community, not technology. Read more »


Piracy and the three preconditions

Once again a blog on this topic, because this is an issue that many are increasingly concerned about: piracy. Now that e-books (worldwide) occupy an increasing share of the total book sales, the urgency to put the piracy issue on the table grows. Logical. But do come with the right arguments then. Read more »


Piracy: Not Gone, Just Metastasizing

Those of you with long memories (i.e. capable of reaching back to 2009 - that's a long time in the e-world) may recall that I made a fuss on Sky News about the looming threat of book piracy.  This was in response to a panellist on Litopia After Dark who drew our attention to the easy availability of many top-ten titles on the fledgling Scribd. Read more »


‘In the future everything will be free’

The digitization of all media means that more and more organizations are coping with difficult times. Including the book world. The book world is just experiencing the transformation from analogue to digital, where the music and the film industry have for years. From record stores to video rental services, from big record labels to film studios, they have all had to change their businesses in some form to stay alive, if they were able to. And now it is our turn. Read more »

When your target audience becomes your problem

‘How do you know you are doing something wrong? When 35-year-old women are a problem for your industry.’ This statement was made following the results of the Digital Entertainment Survey, conducted by Entertainment Media Research on behalf of a media law firm, and inspired a lot of media to write about it. Read more »

Join the Revolution or Watch and Wait?

I have to admit I was perplexed by John Blake’s comments on the Bookseller blog on 3 May.  Having noted the rapid success of Crissy Rock’s autobiography from morning personal appearance on a TV programme to afternoon number two position in the Amazon Kindle Top Ten, he then asserts that serious readers are more likely to want a hardback over a wait for months for an ebook.  He believes publishers would do well to publi Read more »

A price worth paying

Many of the stories about e-books posted either here on Futurebook or on the Bookseller website quickly attract comments from a zealous group of people who believe passionately that publishers are sticking their heads in the sand when it comes to e-books (and drm) and that anything and anyone that stands in the way of piracy will be forced to walk the plank of history. Read more »


All the e-books you can eat?

As I write this, I am listening to the newest album from The Gorillaz, which was released a mere couple of weeks ago – and I didn't pay a penny for it. Well, technically I paid something for it, because I'm listening to it on Spotify, the advertising- and subscription-funded music service launched by clever Swedish geeks in 2008. Under their model, I pay £4.99 per month, in return for which I could in theory listen to 744 hours of non-stop music a month, untroubled by pesky adverts. Read more »

Futurebook 09/10 - what's another year?

On the eve of the second Futurebook conference, a comparison with its predecessor shows how rapidly the industry is developing... Read more »

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