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Length and spine width in a digital-first world

I’m still working through this extremely long exchange between Nicholas Carr and Clay Shirky about containers and contents but one point keeps jumping out at me: We have got to get away from thinking every “book” has to be at least a couple of hundred pages long.

The Carr/Shirky discussion pulls in the oft-used music analogy. And yes, the shift to digital music meant we no longer had to buy the entire album. We are now free to buy only the tracks we really like. Many look to extrapolate that into books and claim consumers are dying to buy individual chapters. That may be true for a few genres but there’s a much more important lesson here.



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