Tag: digital

As I’ve said before, the publishing industry needs to get beyond the current “print or digital” mindset and instead explore ways for one to complement the other. Plenty of industry stats show that most readers are comfortable with either format and many prefer the convenience of switching between the two (e.g., reading the news digital but mostly sticking with print books).

After several years of going exclusively digital with books I have to admit I’ve been reading a few more print books lately as well. Sometimes it’s because the book was given to me and other times I simply opted for the format that was right in front of me at the store.

What I’m finding though is that the reading experience would be better if we could narrow the gap between print and digital. Here’s a great example: As I continue reading The Content Trap I’m highlighting more and more passages. When I do that with an ebook I can quickly search and retrieve those highlights using my phone, my iPad or whatever device is handy. With print books, those highlights and notes are only accessible if the physical book is nearby.

I’d love to see someone develop a service where I can take pictures of the print pages with my yellow highlights and allow me to upload them to a cloud service where they’ll be converted to a digital format. Since I’ve now got a nice library of both Kindle and Google Play ebooks, it would be even better if I could add those print highlights to my existing bookshelves.

Oddly enough though, the Kindle platform doesn’t even allow me to do a full text search across my entire ebook library. The magnifying glass tool in the Kindle app merely searches titles and author names, not the book contents. Imagine how nice it would be if you could search the contents of your entire ebook library and, that same search could also include the highlights from the print books you’ve read?

There would obviously have to be limits to the amount of highlighted or excerpted content you could convert with this type of service. Google, Amazon and Apple are uniquely positioned to offer that print-highlight-to-digital conversion since they already have all the content in their content management systems. As you upload those pictures of print pages with highlights they could quickly identify the source title, automatically adding the cover and metadata to the converted results. A social element could be integrated, enabling you to share some number of highlights with your friends and followers, powering better digital discovery of print content.

How cool would that be? Your print reading experience could finally entire the digital and social worlds.

Greedy publishers could quickly kill this concept, insisting on some sort of monthly fee or other upcharge for their content to be part of this solution. They’d probably argue that if a reader wants to create digital highlights they should buy the ebook as well as the print book. Good luck with that approach.

I hope one or more of the major e-reading platforms offers this type of service soon. I’d lobby pretty hard to get the entire OSV library included in it, free for users, resulting in better discovery and incremental sales from reader friends and followers.

Joe Wikert is director of strategy and business development at Olive Software. This post was originally published on his blog, Joe Wikert’s Digital Content Strategies, where he writes opinion pieces on the rich content future of publishing.

ali muirden audio books
Ali Muirden divides her time between running her own digital publishing company, Creative Content and working on a freelance and consultancy basis for her publishing clients, specialising in audio producing/directing, publishing and also casting audio book projects on their behalf. She is a multi Audie Award winning and Grammy nominated audio book producer and director. Here BookMachine’s Laura Summers interviews her.

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skills for publishing

This is a guest post from Tom Chalmers, Managing Director at IPR License, on rights and licensing in 2016.

The advent of any New Year tends to generate numerous calls to action from many sectors within the business world, so why should the publishing industry be any different?

2015 was, by and large, a positive year which saw some significant growth across many areas of the market. Looking forward, some of these sectors will be coming under increased pressure and the impact of such will provide plenty of interest within the industry and beyond.

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FutureBook 2015: Our best posts on mobile reading

It’s the FutureBook Conference 2015 today. This afternoon, Anna Rafferty chaired the discussion ‘On the move: how mobile changes everything’. The panel was comprised of Maureen Scott (Ether Books), Anna Jean Hughes (The Pigeonhole), George Burgess (Gojimo) and James Luscombe (Pan Macmillan).

To join in on the action, we’ve collected together some of our best posts on mobile reading:

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On Tuesday night London Book Fair held their Tech Tuesday event during Academic Book Week. With the overarching question: ‘Academic book discovery; will the role of the publisher enhance discoverability in the future?’ The panel was comprised of Tom Hatton, founder of RefME; Simon Kerridge, Director of Research Services at University of Kent; Martha Sedgwick, Executive Director of Product Innovation at SAGE, and Simon Tanner, Digital Humanities academic at Kings College London.

The panel discussion was guided by 4 key questions. Here are our 14 top things that we learnt from the night.

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This is a guest post by Nick Robinson. Nick has worked in ELT publishing since 2004 and in 2012 he founded the world’s first ELT author representation agency. He is the Co-founder of the IATEFL Materials Writing Special Interest Group (MaWSIG) and ELTjam.

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Editor and Publicist

This is a Guest Post by Sam Eades. Sam spent eight years as a publicist working for Transworld, Headline and Pan Macmillan on authors including Neil Gaiman, Judy Blume, Jessie Burton and Hercule Poirot (David Suchet). She is now Senior Commissioning Editor & Associate Publicist at Orion Fiction. Here she discusses the current health of book tours and the new and exciting ideas being implemented to keep author events successful.

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In the run up to tonight’s event, Publishing: the next 5 years, BookMachine has been featuring a number of opinions about what might be next for the industry. This is a guest blog from Nicola Borasinski. Nicky is the Digital Development Assistant at Penguin Random House. She is a former MA student at Queen Mary University of London. During her MA she focused her research on the relationship children have with print and digital media and is currently working on digital products for amazing brands like Peppa Pig and Roald Dahl. 

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I’ve been a fan of unlimited e-reading services for at least a couple of years now. When Oyster Books went under I shifted to Kindle Unlimited. For short-form magazine content I use Texture, the offering formerly known as Next Issue.

Prices for these services are typically in the $10-15/month range and, for the most part, I think they’re worth it. Even though I refer to them as ‘unlimited’ one key shortcoming is what’s not available in the all-you-can-read platforms. You’ll rarely find the bestselling books in an unlimited reading service, for example. Just because the catalog offered contains hundreds of thousands of titles doesn’t mean you’re likely to find the next great read there.

Lately I’m realizing that I’m not getting much use out of my Texture subscription. The issue isn’t so much that it lacks titles. In fact, now that Texture includes access to almost 200 magazines it’s hard to find ones that aren’t included, and that’s the problem.

The value proposition for these unlimited services has always been based up on overwhelming you with content. What I really want them to offer now is a curated experience.

Texture knows that I enjoy reading BusinessWeek and Sports Illustrated, for example. Why not let me configure my Texture subscription to ensure I never miss articles about my favorite teams and industries/companies I want to follow? Then use that information to help me continue expanding my horizons, presenting me with content on adjacent businesses, for example.

Put all that material together in a custom magazine, made just for me every week (or whatever frequency I prefer). Let me vote up/down on articles so the system can better determine what I really like (e.g., certain writers, themes, styles, etc.) How about letting me share my custom magazines with other Texture subscribers, and vice versa?

Curation of unlimited book subscriptions is a bit trickier. But how about starting by sending excerpts from newly added titles I might enjoy, based on my reading habits to date? It often feels like I’m searching for that needle in a haystack when I try to figure out what book I should read next. There have got to be ways to simplify and help me narrow things down as well as ensure I don’t overlook an obvious winner.

I’m not looking for a million books or hundreds of magazines. I want what most interests me and I’d like to see the subscription services figure that out. Don’t make me just come to you and open your app. Communicate with me via email and/or text messages if I prefer. Surprise and delight me rather than simply expecting me to be wowed by the overwhelming amount of content offered.

Joe Wikert is director of strategy and business development at Olive Software. This post was originally published on his blog, ‘Joe Wikert’s Digital Content Strategies‘, where he writes opinion pieces on the rich content future of publishing.

In the first of an occasional series, 3D: Three Questions on Design, Toby Hopkins of Getty Images asks Martin Stockham, the man behind new electronic publishing house Monza Books about designing for digital. Monza’s first publications, The Racing Car: Ferrari 250 GTO by Doug Nye, newly updated with a foreword by Pink Floyd drummer and race car collector Nick Mason, and The Racing Car: Porsche 917 by Ray Hutton, just released, are both available from Monza’s site.

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Self-employed in publishing

Some weeks ago, I was explaining the returns system and how integral it had become to the industry to a friend.

“I get it,” he smiled, “publishing’s built on its broken bits.”

The comment was said without malice, but it gnawed at me. Is publishing really that ‘broken’? I don’t believe it for a minute, but is that naïve idealism, or do we have a real reason to hold out hope for the future?

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Nathan Connolly is the Publishing Director of Dead Ink Books. Dead Ink was founded in 2010, set up with funding from Arts Council England as a digital-only press. At a time when ebooks were really just starting to blow up, Dead Ink were experimenting with what a book could be. Dead Ink’s focus is now based on two strands: the first is to develop the careers of new literary authors and the second is to do that through experimentation with digital technology in publishing.  Here Stephanie Cox interviews him.

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This is a Guest Post by Laura Cremer, Digital Manager at Octopus Publishing Group. Laura has been shortlisted for the FutureBook ‘Digital Achiever of the Year’ Award 2015. Two of Octopus’s apps have also been shortlisted for FutureBook Awards. Here she gives us the lowdown on the reasons for their success.

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To celebrate 5 years of publishing events, BookMachine held a big birthday bash on Thursday night. Appropriately, the event was all about the next 5 years of publishing – what to expect and how we can approach it. The event was hosted by the wonderful Evie Prysor-Jones and George Walkley, Head of Digital for Hachette UK, was our speaker for the night. Taking inspiration from the infamous Donald Rumsfeld quote, George explored some of our industry’s known knowns, known unknowns and unknown unknowns, offering us a framework for navigating the next 5 years.

Here’s a collection of photos and tweets to sum up the night.

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