In an age of ebooks, do we need the bookstore?

November 21, 2011

See below for full author details.

As book sales plummet and famed shops close, brave entrepreneurs are trying to reinvent the model. Is it too late? (more…)

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What Can the Music Business Teach the Book Business?

In a word: Plenty.

I’ve got an overview of the music business on this site, but it touches only briefly on the vast overlap in the modern evolution of the music business and the book business. It’s a subject that could easily fill a book, but I’ve rarely seen it more than briefly mentioned. I’ve seen comparisons between music and the games industry. But not books. (more…)

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Books are Optimized for No Participation

November 16, 2011

Over at PressThink Jay Rosen observed that professional journalism has been optimized for low participation. He explains that “until a few years ago, the ‘job’ of the user was simply to receive the news and maybe send a letter to the editor.” This was a logical outcome of the available technology. “Journalists built their practices on top of a one-way, one-to-many, broadcasting system,” he noted. (more…)

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The Laws of the Future of Publishing: 2

November 9, 2011

2. Technology will never be the obstacle.

Wow. The new Lytro camera. It allows the user to chose after-the-fact what part of the picture they want the focus fixed on.

And I was certain that image focus would always be a challenge.

But one of the laws I’ve learned is that just when you think it can’t be done, you find out that not only can it be done but it’s probably been working (at least in the labs) for most of the last decade. Technology doesn’t just advance these days. It races. (more…)

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What Makes an e-Book Cover Unique?

I’ve seen two principal schools of thought surrounding covers for e-books.

Theory One: Book covers don’t really matter much any more.

Theory Two: Covers for e-books still matter a lot. They matter in a different way, and we’re not quite sure what makes it different, but they certainly do matter. (more…)