The Day Digital Died

It was a seemingly innocuous situation… I was sitting in a room filled with publishing types: book publishers, librarians, agents, industry press, metadata specialists, and consultants of varying shapes and sizes. We were there in an advisory role to one of the digital publishing conferences. Read the rest of this entry »

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What’s Next in Digital Reading?

The history of digital reading in a fascinating one and I believe exploring its development arc helps predict the trends that may lie ahead. Thinking about what worked early on – meaning what was read in digital form – use cases where search, find, and quick read were the primary means of interacting with the content, such as encyclopedias and reference works, directories and other data driven compendia.

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I’m Coming Back!

Watch this space in early March for my return to blogging.

I am taking suggestions here for topics you want to see me cover. I will be checking the comments section daily and take on all serious ideas.

See you all soon!

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  • Author:
  • Published: Mar 30th, 2009
  • Category: Books
  • Comments: 62

Why Ebooks Must Fail

NB – I have noticed from the amazing amount of commentary this post generated over the last two weeks that there seems to be a misunderstanding of my intentions here. Granted, I chose a very inflammatory title, but this article, especially when taken in context with the follow up piece Discounts Must Align to Risks, is about supporting growth in the ebook market, not predicting its demise. Ebooks are the future and getting there as an industry will require some hard evaluation of how things work and a better understanding of publishing economics.

Evan

This piece is about consumer or “trade” publishing as we call it in the industry.  To begin, let’s review how a book becomes a book. A writer gets an agent who peddles a manuscript to an editor who buys the book. The Publisher then pays an advance against the future royalties. (N. B., trade books advances are often, if not nearly always, greater than the actual royalties earned.) The publisher edits, designs, produces, prints, binds, warehouses, and finally, distributes the book to resellers (retailers and wholesalers). Concurrently the publisher is out pre-selling in an attempt to get as many units shipped to resellers as possible.
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