EBOOKS: THE GIANT DISRUPTION
"This leads to this thought about the coming ebook disruption: We’ve seen nothing yet. Eighteen months ago, I was asked to run an ebooks roundtable for the Forum d’Avignon (an ultra-elitist cultural gathering judiciously set in the Palais des Papes). Preparing for the event, I visited most of the French publishers and came to realize how blind they were to the looming earthquake. They viewed their ability to line-up great authors as a seawall against the digital tsunami. In their minds, they might, at some point, have to make a deal with Amazon or Apple in order to channel digital distribution of their oeuvres to geeks like me. But the bulk of their production would sagely remain stacked on bookstores shelves. Too many publishing industry professionals still hope for a soft transition.
ON PUBLISHING AND ITS MANY FACES
"I know it's super boring to say: e-publishing doesn't change the fact that writing is hard work, editing is hard work, finding and legitimately paying for GOOD art and cover design is hard, copyediting is hard, marketing is hard, and it all costs money and takes a huge amount of time. I want to be a writer, not a small press--and that's been said before oh so many times, including by Our Host, but it's true. I barely have time as it is to keep writing books while handling the business of writing. I have no interest in taking on 6 other jobs. Yes, quicky formatting and slapping a stock image/stealing something from Google Images and hoping for the best on a book and uploading it to Amazon does not take very much work. But those methods do not fill me with assurance that the work itself has been crafted with skill, patience, or deep knowledge and feeling. There is a reason for the traditional publishing process." Charlie's Diary
DIGITAL READING: USER EXPERIENCE IS THE NEW FOCUS OF NEW MEDIA
"Yes, it requires us to think about our books in a different way from their presentation in print. For example, figuring out what readers want to see first, second, or third; alerting them to where they can find the material they want; doing what we can to either choose reading platforms or create digital files that offer a more intuitive, (not necessarily print-analogous) reading experience. There are far more possibilities than we have yet considered. Most publishers have now dealt more or less effectively with backlist title conversion. The next step is to think creatively about new titles (either digital-first or simultaneous print-digital), new platforms and the possibilities contained in the new standards. Learning and applying UX design is the way to improve the publishing product." Digital Book World | @bklynanne
2012: BEST OF TIMES FOR WRITERS, OR THE WORST?
"I’m not so sure it’s the best of times for these writers. It could be coming into the worst of times. As popular fiction moves to ebooks, publishers try to find an economic model that will survive digitization, and marketing becomes a necessity for the average author, what are non-technical writers to do?" The Book Designer | @jfbookman
HOW BOTS SEIZED CONTROL OF MY PRICING STRATEGY
"The punchline is that Amazon itself is a bot that does price-matching. Soon after the marketplace bot's race to the bottom, it decided to put my book on sale! 28% off. I can't wait to find out what that does to my margin. (Update: nothing, it turns out. Amazon is eating the entire discount. This is a pleasant surprise.) My reaction to this algorithmic whipsawing has settled down to a kind of helpless bemusement. I mean, the plot of my book is about how understanding computers is the first step to taking control of your life in the 21st century. Now I don't know what to believe." Carlos Bueno