I’ve been posting more about the newspaper business lately, maybe because it’s popping up more in a variety of stories or maybe because it seems like that industry is at a crossroads. Although I’ve been somewhat critical of the newspaper industry, I was happy to see this story on Bloggers Blog. Newspaper sites have been pretty protective of their traffic and reluctant to link out to other news sources. That’s apparently starting to change, according to this article in The New York Times.
This is a touchy subject in many areas of publishing. For example, I’ve had editors come to me and ask if it’s OK for an author to mention a competing book as a useful resource in one of our own books. My opinion has always been that we’re supposed to help our customers as much as possible, so yes, we should provide the information on the competing title. There are still quite a few people in this business who don’t agree with that point of view. If anything, the web has shown that you need to be more open and provide this sort of information, regardless of whether it results in a follow-up transaction for you or a competitor.