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September 2012
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19 posts from October 2012

The dangers of platform lock-in

One reason some consumers haven’t jumped on the ebook bandwagon is because they’re concerned the format they select might become obsolete in a few years. Others dismiss that as unfounded pessimism but I have an example of how it can happen, and not with some fly-by-night platform. This problem happened on Apple’s extremely popular iOS platform.

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Penguin Random House: Parsing the messages

Word clouds offer a different way of viewing a document. Sometimes they shed more light on what the author is really emphasizing. You’ve probably already read the merger messages sent by Random House’s Markus Dohle and Penguin’s John Makinson. I’m sure each of those letters were edited by quite a few people before they were sent. They’ve been scoured and polished till just the right message was communicated.

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Penguin Random House: How big is big enough?

Call me skeptical but I feel the merger between Penguin and Random House is less about creating “greater scale” and more about simple consolidation in a shrinking industry. Which organization is more likely to create the truly innovative, disruptive products of tomorrow’s publishing industry: a behemoth like Penguin Random House or some start-up working out of the proverbial garage? My money’s on the latter.

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Three questions for…Kevin Franco of Enthrill

1. Enthrill has a distribution program that puts ebooks into brick-and-mortar outlets. Doesn’t this seem counter-intuitive?

We’re in the business of selling books, brick & mortar stores are still the number one seller of books, so being there is completely intuitive.

No doubt, the easiest way to purchase an ebook is by using the ‘shop’ button on your ereading device. We’re not intending to change that at all. But the online model is flawed in some respects as it diminishes discoverability. Although being addressed through many metadata solutions, online discovery will never be as good as the tactile, visual discovery that physical retail stores can provide through merchandising and product placement in high traffic retail outlets.

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The complex world of copyright, licensing, and piracy

Our TOC theme this month is “legal” and I thought it would be interesting to have a conversation with Bill Rosenblatt covering a variety of topics in the legal realm. Bill is a recognized authority on intellectual property in the online world. He’s also an author of the Copyright and Technology blog as well as the founder of GiantSteps Media Technology Strategies.

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