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19 posts from October 2012

Publishing's "open" future

If I had to summarize the future of publishing in just one word, I’d say “open.” We’re living in a very closed publishing world today. Retailers use tools like digital rights management (DRM) to lock content, and DRM also tends to lock customers into a platform. Content itself is still largely developed in a closed model, with authors writing on their word processor of choice and editors typically not seeing the content until it’s almost complete. Then we have all the platforms that are closed from one another; have you ever tried reading a mobi file from Amazon in an EPUB reader, for example?

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Three questions for…Jason Illian of BookShout

1. What is BookShout and what makes it unique?

BookShout is a unique type of ereader that allows for sharing and discoverability. In other words, the “social” tools are built into the ereader so that users can either actively or passively share the books with which they are most passionate, increasing unit sales and notoriety. Not only can readers share notes and thoughts to other BookShout users, but they can also share them out to Facebook and Twitter.

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Gamechangers: Two important announcements at TOC Frankfurt

It’s after midnight here in Frankfurt but I’ve got to give a quick shout-out to two of the most innovative announcements at today’s TOC Frankfurt. First up, txtr and their Beagle device. Watching txtr CEO Christophe Maire introduce the Beagle today reminded me of a post I wrote more than two years ago where I suggested that Amazon should offer an extremely inexpensive Kindle with no wifi or 3G and just have it connect to your cellphone to purchase content.

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Page count, pricing, and value propositions

I was going to buy Chris Anderson’s new book but this review stopped me in my tracks:

Reads like a poorly written magazine article that has been unfortunately dragged out into a full-length book.

I’ve read far too many 300-page books that could have been summarized in 5-10 pages as a magazine article. Why do we insist on puffing up articles until they’re the length of a book? One reason is because we’re used to creating a spine presence on a physical bookshelf. That’s less of an issue these days, especially as ebooks become more popular. Another reason is that we haven’t figured out how to sell the value proposition that “shorter saves time so it’s OK to charge more for it.”

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