Julieta Lionetti has more than 20 years experience in the book industry. An international trade publisher until 2007, she has embraced the digital (r)evolution from its inception. On Wednesday she’ll be speaking at BookMachine Barcelona “On How Freakin’ Techies Taught Me To Love Literature Again”. Fabrizio Luccitti interviews Julieta for BookMachine.
Having seemingly realised that the market for this kind of thing isn’t going away any time soon, Pan Macmilan Australia’s digital imprint, Momentum, has launched another new imprint, Momentum Moonlight, dedicated to publishing romance, erotica and new adult titles (the new adult titles presumably falling on the grown-up Twilight, less-chaste epic romance end of the spectrum than the post-adolescence Hunger Games, where there’s no time for love what with all the dystopianism). Around the imprint, it also aims to build up an online community of romance readers, centred around a blog to which community members can contribute. Continue Reading →
Arantxa Mellado is our top speaker at BookMachine Barcelona on 3rd July. Amongst other things she is CEO of the Spanish Digital Link and Director of Actualidad Editorial.
Arantxa will be talking about globalisation, and how she thinks that this is the best way to succeed in business in the digital age. We wanted to find out more, ahead of the event.
Ahead of Oxford’s next BookMachine event on Thursday 27 June, guest speaker Tim Oliver has kindly answered some questions about all things digital!
Tim is Head of the Digital Publishing Unit for Macmillan Education. Over 10 years’ experience in digital project management, extensive involvement with learning management systems and previous roles in trade, academic, NGO publishing and startups in the first dotcom era have imbued him with a passion for traditional, new and emerging publishing media.
I do love a good first. The first t-shirt day of the summer; the first beer on a night out; the first time you wear a new hoodie. Last week saw the announcement of the first digital-only literary list in the UK, Blackfriars from Little, Brown. The list promises to curate 9 to 12 titles a year from new or established authors, and is launching in June. Now there’s a first to get out of bed for. Continue Reading →
Last week saw the launch of Bookish in the US – a new, and frankly bloody stunning book discovery/online retailer (or as I call them, a ‘social retailer’). They’ve got a brilliant pitch, a stunning site, and features the rest of us have been discussing for a while that we thought may never come to fruition. Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. The golden egg, the holy grail, of online book discovery. An algorithm that recommends you books. Not ‘readers also bought’. Not ‘you might also like’. Something that says ‘what’s a book you have read and loved lately?’ and then picks you a bunch more based on what I can only assume is metadata more detailed than a fractal zoom on a mandelbrot set.
I hope you all brought spare underwear. Continue Reading →
Michael Bhaskar is Digital Publishing Director at Profile Books. He has worked at Pan Macmillan, a literary agency and an economics research firm and is author of a forthcoming book about publishing. He can be found on Twitter as @ajaxlogos. He’s one of our top speakers at BookMachine Unplugged, so we thought we’d find out a little bit more:
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Robert Weisser has been in the publishing business since 1976. He’s witnessed huge changes in the industry, from the first DTP computers to where we are today. He’s also based in New York – so we caught up with him before the first NYC BookMachine event on 12/12/12. Continue Reading →
Increasingly, Publishers and content creators are getting their material onto mobile devices. It makes perfect sense to be doing so, putting learning tools directly into the hands of learners, but it’s not as easy as just creating a great product. I met up with Caroline Moore, Director and Co-Founder of LearnAhead to find out more about mobile language learning and how their company is on a mission to get better language acquisition apps into the market.
Last week saw the declaration by Amazon that the dissolution of agency pricing in the US was a “big win for customer“ and that they look forward to lowering prices on more ebooks in the future. It’s slightly surreal for me to read that lower ebook prices is something anyone would ‘look forward’ to, given how much effort publishers are making (not across the board, but certainly in some places) to ensure the price of ebooks stays at a level that encourages a sense of worth for the format. Testament to Amazon’s place in the market, however, the news was not received badly. Continue Reading →
Here’s how to alienate a large portion of possible content sources in one go: compare your product to their greatest fear. Perhaps Oyster didn’t call themselves the ‘Spotify for books’ in their pitch to publishers – I wasn’t at Frankfurt – but it’s certainly how they’ve been branded in the aftermath. And it doesn’t, as far as I can see, do them any favours. Continue Reading →
A few weeks ago Eric Huang kindly answered some questions about his role at Penguin and how they are working and collaborating with new companies to strengthen their offer as a publisher.
There is no doubt that Penguin is going through an interesting transition, attempting to re-define and break the mold, while bringing content to their audiences in new ways and with new people… Continue Reading →
HarperCollins’ sci-fi, horror and otherwise otherworldly imprint Harper Voyager has announced that, for the first time in over a decade, it will be accepting un-agented submissions from authors, with a view to building a backlog it can then publish as monthly e-books. For the fortnight spanning 1 October to 14 October, new writers can head to http://www.harpervoyagersubmissions.com/ and, having filled out the accompanying form and checked that they have complied with the publisher’s guidelines, submit their long-brewing masterpiece about the grim dystopian future where the hair cuts you!, or whatever. Continue Reading →
Last week saw the release of a new Kobo range, and (not to be outdone) the yearly release of the new Kindle line. Despite Bezos’ insistence that he doesn’t need his customers on the ‘upgrade treadmill’, Amazon released an upgrade to pretty much every single one of their devices, including two new Kindle Fire tablets and the predicted backlit eInk reader. So, as readers, what are we looking at for Christmas this year?
A recent report from the The Consortium for School Networking in America has highlighted that schools should be allowing their students to bring their own technology to the classroom, rather than just for use at break times. Whilst this is economically viable for schools it does pose a few problems, not only for the parents who will need to be buying this technology for their kids, but for educational Publishers. It essentially means that every title will need to work seamlessly across all devices. This is a big headache for educational publishers, who are creating digital components for their courses. Continue Reading →
or The Future of Storytelling Might Not Be So Fancy
Two weeks ago, a friend of mine, knowing my penchant for all things techy and mental, sent me links to two websites, both of which contain experimental digital fiction. One, a short fiction website called Dreaming Methods, uses clever coding to create an app-like experience in your browser. The second, Nawlz, is a more conventional interactive comic where the frames move and change depending on user interaction, thus giving the reader the illusion of control (it’s actually rather good).
Last week, after my observation that Waterstones is not in a better position to offer bundling now than it was last year, I had a brief debate on Twitter about pros and cons of bundling print and digital during which someone (oh so rightly) asked the question: ‘do customers even want an eBook version of the printed novel they just bought?’ This led to a couple of posts, and Sam Missingham brought out some numbers over on the Futurebook blog from a survey done with 4,000 customers 9 months ago. Here’s a summary:
This week on BookMachine, we kicked things off with the The ABC of Waterstones: A Bookseller’s ‘Promised Land’ and 5 questions for Carolyn Jess Cooke, then looked at This week in literary prizes and the news that Today in tyrants: Hussein daughter seeks publisher for father’s memoirs. And if all that wasn’t enough, we had 5 questions for Rebecca Swift of The Literary Consultancy.
Elsewhere on the web it was a mighty busy week too, especially if writing’s your thing: here are 10 Ridiculously Simple Tips for Writing a Book, and Getting your first book published: Lessons learned! Meanwhile this post has Six Tough Truths About Self-Publishing (That The Advocates Never Seem To Talk About), while there’s the argument that Discoverability and Marketing Are Publishing Company Differentiators. Here’s How to fight back against bogus Amazon/Kindle reviews, and what about some Self-Publishing Statistics – Who are the Top Earners?
On the tech front, some are asking Can We Please Move Past Apple’s Silly, Faux-Real UIs?, is it a symptom of Nostalgia and Finitude in Digital Media?
For designers there’s The Future of Book Cover Design in the Digital Age discussed and Publishing Perspectives asks: Does Digital Publishing Really Encourage More Reading?
It seems that If You Want to Succeed in Business, Read More Novels, even though Over half of surveyed e-reader owners use devices to conceal ‘shameful’ reading habits. And for all that reading over the weekend, you might need 17 Cozy Reading Nooks Design Ideas.
Everyone’s a critic
The web, and not least Amazon’s customer review functionality, has been blamed for the demise (or at least the endangered species status) of the professional literary critic. There’s not doubt that the amount of space in the national press given over to books is less than ever, and the number of literary editors has diminished too. Needless to say, the whole newspaper market is changing and shrinking, thanks to this Internet thingummy. So, Bookmachiners, I ask you – is this such a bad thing?
I have a weird dual perspective on this issue… Continue Reading →