The NY Times realized they were sitting on a mountain of valuable older content. Readers might discover it through search but why not curate and convert it into ebooks? That’s exactly what they’ve done with their TimesFiles initiative.
7 posts from December 2012
I recently got to take part in a Mediatwits podcast for the PBS franchise, MediaShift. Mark Glaser and Rafat Ali were the hosts and the panel consisted of Miral Sattar, Jason Allen Ashlock, and yours truly.
Have you heard of Spundge? I hadn’t till recently but I’m glad Kristen McLean, co-chair of our Author (R)evolution Day, called my attention to it. Kat Meyer and I got a demo of their platform last week and we were both very impressed. What makes Spundge so special?
I had to take my first-gen iPad out of mothballs for this one. I’m talking about the Next Issue service and app. Like most of you I’ve let my print magazine subscriptions lapse over the past several years. I spend less than $150/year on my remaining subscriptions and more than half of that is just for one, The Week, which is highly recommended, btw. So why would I sign up for an online magazine subscription program that will cost me $15/month, or $180/year? Because it’s terrific.
In an earlier article called Free and the medium vs. the message I excerpted liberally from a terrific short ebook by Joshua Gans called Information Wants to Be Shared. (Buy the ebook direct from HBR’s website, use the code ADINFO1 you’ll only pay 99 cents, btw.) I’d like to revisit and excerpt from that title one more time and focus on the subscription model Gans sees for the book industry.
None of the Big Six are all that interested in creating their own direct channel. They usually say “we already have retail partners…we don’t know how to sell direct and we don’t care to learn.” That’s all true but the real reason they won’t do it, and wouldn’t be successful if they did right now, is because none of them are household brand names.
Those were the three adjectives I used when Letizia Sechi asked me to describe the current state of the publishing industry. You can read the short interview here on the 40kBooks site.