Archive | October, 2011

BookMachine Weekly BookWrap: publishing stories from around the web

This week We’re in the midst of a restructuring of the publishing universe (don’t panic).

Books are like the news — it’s better when they are social, and UK publishers seem to agree as they Ink Retail Deal with Social Reading Site.

Following the release of his Biography, we now know What Steve Jobs Thought About Digital Books, and How Apple won the ebook pricing war by strong-arming Amazon.

It would seem that E-Book Publishers Must Provide Flexible Access to Avoid ‘Media Hell’, wise words for Kobo as they look to become a publisher.

There’s much reading for writers on this week’s web, starting with 7 Dirty Little Book Publishing Secrets that Every Writer Needs to Know.

Are Fiction Writers Screwed? Are Cheap E-book Prices Devaluing Authors’ Work? Hmm, depressing.

But, hang on, here’s How a Novelist Bypassed His Publisher and Raised $11,000 on Kickstarter. And could serialization be making A Timely Return for the Digital Age?

BookMachine Publishing Now event is happening soon, is basically Terminator 2

Publishing Now


A ruthless corporation which seemingly controls everything. The rise of the machines. The rebellion. Yes, it’s an exciting time for publishing, especially if your benchmark for excitement is Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Logically, then, it doesn’t seem like too much of a stretch to suggest that BookMachine’s forthcoming conference Publishing Now 2011: The Golden Age Of Innovation will be more thrilling than James Cameron’s entire filmography combined. At the very least, it’ll definitely be better than Avatar, which was rubbish. You can quote me on that.

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BookMachine Weekly BookWrap: publishing stories from around the web

Where Will Digitization Take Us? We Don’t Know for Sure, But We’re Heading There Fast. It’s certainly been a huge week for Kobo as the surprise new Vox takes on Kindle Fire with sub-$200 tag and their new deals propel them into the top tier of global ebook competitors. This despite claims that Tablet Publishing is Failing.

In other news, Future  Publishing racks up more than 2m Apple Newsstand downloads in 4 days, it’s the e-Book Cover Design Awards, September 2011, and Really, New York Times??

Here’s What to Do if Your Ereader Is Lost or Stolen, and if you find it again you can try Reading a Book Versus a Screen: Different Reading Devices, Different Modes of Reading?
And finally, just in case you haven’t heard, Julian Barnes triumphs at last.


Amazon tires of toying with book shops and libraries, takes on entire publishing industry instead

Having already kneecapped bookshops the world over and walked away with a smirk on its face, oblivious to their cries for help as it gets into its car with tinted windows and waits, ever so patiently, for libraries to step out of their houses, just so it can get the perfect shot, Amazon has realised that the real problem lies with the supply side of things: as long as people who aren’t Amazon are publishing books, people who also aren’t Amazon can potentially make money, or at least stand in the way of Amazon making money, by selling those books. Continue Reading →

8 questions for Chris Meade [interview]

Chris Meade

Chris Meade, Director if:book

Chris Meade is quite the guru when it comes to Creative Writing and New Media. He has now run two major UK literature organisations, the Poetry Society and Booktrust; devised innovative creative reading and writing projects; developed ‘imagination services’ to schools and the community; and in 2007 set up if:book uk  a charity exploring the future of the book in the digital age. We thought we’d interrupt his busy lifestyle to ask a few questions… Continue Reading →

WH Smith begins selling e-readers, asks ‘what’s an e-reader?’

You know the Kindle has become truly ubiquitous when even WH Smith has to acknowledge it in some manner. Startled out of its cosy seat in front of the fire with a nice hot chocolate and a copy of Louie Spence’s autobiography lying face down on its lap, and just as it was dozing off too, the venerable high street newsagent, stationer, James Corden-enabler (Cordenabler?) and yes, alright, technically bookshop, has begun selling e-books and compatible readers in partnership with Canadian e-reader manufacturers Kobo. Continue Reading →

BookMachine Weekly BookWrap: publishing stories from around the web

This week has seen plenty publishing happenings at the Frankfurt Book Fair, as Children’s Publishing Goes Digital, there’s Epstein on the future of the publishing industry, and Mrs Book, can I introduce you to Mr Games?  You can read lots more from some familiar faces over at the blog.

Back in the UK, interesting moves are afoot as WH Smith launches ‘Kindle killer’, this of course being a deal with social reading leaders Kobo.

Amazon meanwhile have this to say to book publishers: “Welcome to the jungle, baby“. This as their new science fiction imprint launches — with Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear and Chris Roberson.

Dear Publishers: Please don’t pull a “Netflix” says Book Riot, and elsewhere there’s New Statistics and A Turning Point for the Publishing Industry to read all about.

And finally, there’s this fine Conversation Starter.






The Literature Prize Is Tired Of All These Readable Books

The reactionary hand-wringing greeting the news that this year’s Booker nominees have had a better sales boost post-nomination than any other shortlist in the prize’s history is unsurprising to anyone who regularly reads broadsheet literary columns, but credit the detractors thusly: they’re putting their prize money where their mouth is. Yesterday saw the announcement of a new, Booker-rivalling prize, simply called The Literature Prize. Continue Reading →

Ripe for the picking: Simon & Schuster to rush release Jobs bio

Amongst the flurry of tributes that followed the death of Apple godhead Steve Jobs last Wednesday, one emerged of more questionable taste than most (most, not all – although at least they took the time to acknowledge they ‘have a great respect for everything he did’). Less than two days after word of Jobs’ passing got out, Simon & Schuster announced it was bringing forward the publication date of Walter Isaacson’s official Jobs biography. Continue Reading →

Why Copy-Editing Skills is the ideal course for anyone looking to break into publishing…

When I left university I knew I wanted to work in publishing. I jumped straight in and got in touch with The Publishing Training Centre and luckily secured an internship. One attractive benefit of being an intern at The Publishing Training Centre is that you are allowed to attend a course of your choice. Having editorial work in mind, I chose Copy-Editing Skills, a three-day intensive course that covers everything you could possibly need to know about proofreading and copy-editing, which are two of the main duties of editorial assistants.

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BookMachine Weekly BookWrap: publishing stories from around the web

This week in The Higgledy-piggledy Publishing Biz, the UK has another ebook-pedalling juggernaut to join Apple and Amazon, as Google ebooks are now available in the UK.

And in the aftermath of last week’s slam-dunk announcements from Jeff Bezos,  Eoin Purcell explains Why The Kindle Fire Worries Me‘, and GigaOM asks ‘What happens to books when the Kindle is free?

Elsewhere, there are Lessons to Help Generate Book Buzz, and PUBSLUSH launches a Kickstarter platform for book publishing, using a similar crowd-funding model to Unbound.

In the wake of her controversial release, will there be a lucrative Amanda Knox book? Here’s what publishing insiders have to say.

And One More Thing. We’ve yet to see what the true impact of Steve Jobs’ tablet revolution will be on the book industry, but as a tribute to the Apple founder who passed away yesterday, here’s his speech at Stanford from back in 2005, in which he labels death as ‘life’s great change agent’.



“Stay Hungry. Stay foolish”.

#BMHour 2: The Legend of Curly’s Gold

Following the success of our inaugural #BMHour on Twitter a couple of weeks ago, we decided to do it again. And lo, like Icarus, our wings did melt, so near the sun did we fly. By which I mean not as many people logged onto Twitter around  6.30pm last night as did last time, which I’m sure is a fairly accurate translation from the original Greek. Anyway, there was still some degree of conversation, and this time the topic to kick it all off was ‘How can we add value to digital editions of books and still sell printed material?’ As before, a digest of the main talking points follows. Continue Reading →

Super Thursday 2011, or: Jamie Oliver is here to save the publishing industry (again)

The pre-Christmas sales season is officially (well, ‘officially’ – it’s not like anyone sought out a notary) underway after last week saw the annual arrival of Super Thursday: the day that has come to be known in publishing as the optimum time to launch whatever light entertainment pablum enough people might buy to palm off on that-weird-cousin-whose-tastes-nobody-in-the-family-is-really-sure-of-but-who-probably-has-a-television-and-is-probably-aware-of-and-interested-in-finding-out-more-about-the-people-on-it-however-specious to net it a place atop the Christmas bestseller list. Continue Reading →