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Apps for Digital Publishing: There are only 5 rules (Part 1)

Dean Johnson The app business can be as cut-throat as any other. When Brandwidth launched our first Guinness World Records app in April 2010, we were accused of jumping on the bandwagon as many other developers had either been creating apps for the iPhone or publicly immersed in the publishing world for years.

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Harry Potter and the publishers of fury

Steve Dinneen on how JK Rowling hopes to change the face of publishing by sidelining Amazon

JK Rowling has delivered a warning shot to the publishing industry that it must adapt to the rapidly-changing online world or risk becoming marginalised. The Harry Potter author revealed she will offer her record-breaking children’s books for download through her own website, circumventing the need to visit digital bookshops like those owned by the likes of Amazon and Apple.

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Finding work in Publishing

At the last BookMachine event we were pleased to meet Sam Coleman from Atwood Tate. He’s certainly a man in the know if you’re looking for a job, as he speaks to recruiters in the industry every day. Here he shares some tips for finding work.   Times have certainly changed since I started work as a Production Assistant for a distinguished publishing house only a decade ago. Now, rather than massaging strained biceps from carrying piles of carefully packaged proofs from desk to desk, we harp on about carpel tunnel syndrome and ponder deep thoughts about metadata. The era of Digital publishing is upon us and, like a towering Galactus it’s going nowhere.

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Can both educational and trade publishers successfully extend their business and act as educators?

Yesterday I attended the International Digital Publishing Conference and Forum at City University. It was a real treat to attend lectures by key players in publishing, and also to hear talks by inspirational MA students. The topic of the day was ‘The Global Market place’ but I couldn’t help focussing on the content of the first plenary which left me wondering – can educational and trade publishers successfully extend their business and act as educators?

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A plan to save the book perhaps?

Are we obsessed with going digital as a nation, as publishers or is it just me? Everyday I read the bookseller, follow my twitter feeds and browse eagerly, looking for further verification that the book has no future. As someone who sells books, this obsession was starting to worry me a bit. Should we all abandon our jobs in the book trade and get on the digital band wagon? I started to look at my friends working in digital media and think they are ‘lucky’ to be in-the-know and at the forefront of the revolution. And then it suddenly occurred to me that there are millions of us still working in the book trade, still sat in meetings discussing the cover, the page count and the trim size. So why is no one fighting for the life of the book and the jobs of authors, publishers and booksellers? (think civil rights movements!) Surely we can do more to keep the book alive. I spent a few hours wondering around F***** (could have been any of the large chains) the other day, browsing the shelves and dreaming of having enough time to read all the books on display. However, I did get the impression that there was a lot of ‘space’, that the shelves weren’t bustling with choice of content (as you might find online). And what about customer reviews? Amazon has proven that what really pushes a consumer to buy – is reading a non-branded customer review. Where are the in-store forums? Surely bookshops should be inviting people in for copious amounts of alcohol and a place to air their views – now that’s something that the Internet can’t offer! Despite the digital hype, publishers are still producing books. We are trying our hardest to keep hold of the versatile, tactile element of owning a book and the pride so many of us hold in the visual array of titles on our bookshelves. So before we all get pushed out of our day jobs, into the unknown; why don’t booksellers look at their shelves and use the Internet as a model of how to market our brands. We could use the offline advantage of being able to browse the shelves, talk about books we’ve read whilst having a drink. How where’s the harm in that?
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