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Posts tagged book publishing

A publisher unAmazons: The rights and wrongs
January 6, 2014 | 12:15 pm

Publishers Weekly just shared an article entitled "Life After Amazon," by Randall White, chairman, CEO, and president of Educational Development Corp. (EDC), on why he has elected to "to stop selling our Kane Miller and Usborne books on Amazon." His casus belli was that "I had long felt that the rapid growth of Amazon was bad news for the publishing industry. And I believed that Amazon was trying to gain control of publishing and other industries by making it impossible for other retailers to compete effectively." White's stated explanations mix, in my view, some very good and very indefensible points....

Book Patrol proclaims undeath of the book
December 24, 2013 | 7:36 pm

I'm not sure whether any of us pro-ebook pundits was actually expecting the death of the printed book, but it seems a lot of people thought we were. So much so that Book Patrol has decided it should proclaim that "The Worst is Over and The Book is not Dead." Rumors of the rumors of the death of the book were greatly exaggerated, maybe. I'm sure the book's relatives and family are breathing a sigh of relief outside the OR. So perhaps some people are jumping to correct a caricature impression here, but when it comes with such a funky infographic, who...

Literary sins you’ll love to commit, courtesy of Writer’s Digest
December 17, 2013 | 11:15 am

writer's digestPublishing Talk Daily, with its sometimes charmingly bizarre curatorial policy, has just picked up and headlined a piece from The Write Life dating back to August - but as it purports to be good writing advice and hasn't appeared on TeleRead yet, I thought I'd cover it. Entitled "The Worst Ways to Begin Your Novel: Advice from Literary Agents," the post describes some of the worst faux pas you can commit if you want the charmed circle of literary agents to mock and shun you. Which may not be a bad thing. Because many other great writers have done them...

A reply to Futurebook: Up with disruption!
December 14, 2013 | 6:25 pm

Over on Futurebook, Chris McCrudden has just published a piece entitled "Down with Disruption," taking issue with the applicability - and value - of the whole principle of digital disruption in publishing. Some of his insights make a lot of sense. Some I wouldn't touch with a barge pole. Read on below. Following the first Digital Publishing Xmas Fair, which apparently sought to bring digital startups and the publishing industry closer together, McCrudden took exception to the wholesale promotion of "disruptive technologies," arguing instead that publishing was being unbundled, with its various component disciplines being split off and transformed piecemeal. "The...

Decades late, the penny drops: IPA says publishing has an “image problem”
December 13, 2013 | 5:00 pm

As statements of the crashingly obvious go, the speech by Y.S. Chi, chairman of Elsevier and president of the International Publishers Association, to the UK Publishers Association’s International conference that publishers have an “image problem” takes some beating. As reported in The Bookseller, Chi said in his keynote that "We as an industry have an image problem . . . We are no longer the guardian of culture. we are now seen as greedy, as locking up knowledge." Well, I wonder where anyone got that impression? After all, the Apple price-fixing conspiracy would never have led anyone to think that. Or...

Quill & Quire survey shows publishing still a satisfying career – at least, in Canada
December 13, 2013 | 4:00 pm

Quill & Quire, "Canada's magazine of book news and reviews," recently released a survey of attitudes, standards, and salaries in the publishing profession. The results hardly paint a picture of an industry in decline. Of course, publishers could always be happier, and have some very specific discontents, but overall, they seem to be surviving digital disruption very well. Excerpts from the actual survey show salaries and compensation sort of holding ground in the profession. On average, around 56 percent of all employee types received bonuses in 2012, with the percentage in sales, marketing and publicity rather higher (though that may be...

Barbarians at the Bookstore Gate: Big bucks and big books (or boobs?)
December 12, 2013 | 6:28 pm

Next time, o lowly author, you're feeling underrewarded and underappreciated, just think how lucky you are to scrape acquaintance and kiss rings with the glamorous beautiful and bucks-bundling people of the swanky publishing industry. Instead of slumming it with the little nobodies, you too can touch, however briefly, the hems of the garments of HELLO! Magazine glitterati. Doesn't that make you feel better as you toil at your screen? And just to remind you, Publishers Lunch has run a laudatory headline declaring: "Judith Regan Returns to Publishing, Backed By Phaidon." Publishers Weekly also put up a notice stating: "Phaidon Taps Judith...

Ricoh IT Strategies survey shows print hanging in there
December 11, 2013 | 12:20 pm

Just in, a survey by Ricoh Americas Corporation conducted with the University of Colorado and entitled "The Evolution of the Book Industry: Implications for US Book Manufacturers and Printers” has found that print is likely to enjoy a very long and loyal legacy tail. "Nearly 70 percent of consumers feel it is unlikely that they will give up on printed books by 2016," states the survey. " Consumers have an emotional and visceral/sensory attachment to printed books, potentially elevating them to a luxury item." As for the process that derived this conclusion, "we interviewed a triumvirate of stakeholders in the book...

When publishers attack: Elsevier and the open access research dilemma
December 9, 2013 | 4:14 pm

It's no secret that academic publisher Reed Elsevier is facing financial and structural challenges from European Union and other regulatory challenges to its business model, from officials anxious to make sure that publicly-funded research gets to be public. But Elsevier's response to recent attempts within the academic community to assert open access has highlighted characteristic problems in its own reactions to this challenge - and similar behavior among academic and scholarly publishers elsewhere. And by the way: The tongue-in-cheek illustration that accompanies this post is just that - tongue in cheek. But only so far. It doesn't represent all publishers. But...

Mike Shatzkin shows publishing spiraling down the drain
November 19, 2013 | 3:08 pm

For anyone who has ever spent time in the accretion disc of  a black hole, the situation of the publishing industry will seem alarmingly familiar. At least according to Mike Shatzkin, whose analyses of the future evolution of publishing have appeared quite often in TeleRead in the past, and who just weighed in on Digital Book World, in an interview with DBW editorial director Jeremy Greenfield entitled "The Challenge and Opportunity of Self-Published Authors for Publishers," on the subject of where publishing is going and what that vast sucking sound is. Shatzkin feels that self-publishing is at a stage where it can...

BISG report: Ebook slowdown or not?
November 6, 2013 | 2:58 pm

The latest report on "Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading" from the Book Industry Study Group, Inc. (BISG), "the book industry's leading trade association for policy, standards, and research," declares that " e-book growth has slowed and currently comprises about 30% of books sold." Report Two in the series, "powered by Nielsen Book Research and now in its fourth and final year," the study claims to reveal "an emerging consensus around e-books and maturing consumption patterns, with important implications for trade publishers and content creators and distributors." Jo Henry, Director of Nielsen Book Research, claims in the BISG material that: "It is...

Guardian scapegoats ebooks for UK publisher massacre
November 5, 2013 | 2:54 pm

It's hard to improve on  Nate Hoffelder's indignation over on The Digital Reader at The Guardian's ludicrously alarmist piece, headlined "Ebooks and discounts drive 98 publishers out of business," but I'll at least second that emotion. First, to briefly go over the facts: The article claims that 98 UK publishers closed their doors in the 12-month period ending August 31st, 2013, a 42 percent increase. The statistics quoted in the article are drawn from a report by accounting firm Wilkins Kennedy, quoted initially in a piece by Sally Davies in the UK Financial Times, with a far less hysterical headline: "Number...

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