Here's an interesting article about HarperCollins president & CEO, Jane Friedman, and her thoughts on the future of the business. Here's what I thought was the most interesting excerpt:
Today she says, "We are back where we belong. Publishing is not only best sellers -- in fact, best sellers may be the least fiscally responsible way to go. So we...[spend] a great deal of our time on the backlist. Obviously we have lots of best sellers...but the mix is what is very important, and the backlist is a significant part of it.
I was also a bit disappointed that the Book Business magazine site didn't include the sidebar piece that appeared in the print version. It's about Brian Murray, group president for HarperCollins Publishers and it featured brief summaries of many of the initiatives currently underway at HarperCollins. For example, here's what he had to say about widgets:
The widgets are kind of a relatively new term, and you see lots of widgets cropping up on the Internet for different uses. ... We wanted a widget so that it would be so easy for people to cut, copy and paste their favorite HarperCollins book onto their computer desktops or their MySpace pages. If you click on the widget, it launches the Browse Inside reader and you can sample the book.
Despite the fact that HarperCollins doesn't have a technology publishing arm they've been one of the pioneers in the use of widgets for their products. I admire what they've done so far and hope they'll continue to experiment even more in the future.