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.
Posts Tagged ‘digital publishing’
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.