March 29th, 2020
For my new column in Publishers Weekly I’ve tried to reimagine metadata as a game. Not quite a board game; maybe a parlor game. When it comes to book publishing, metadata is a game of chance. We don’t know which BISAC categories work best for any particular title, which keywords outperform, or how to write…
March 23rd, 2020
There’s a lot of coverage of the challenges facing book retail right now because of the coronavirus. The situation is shocking and sad. But it feels careless to forget that even if every bookstore in the world shut down for the next 12 months, people would still have over ten million different ebooks available for…
August 19th, 2019
Last week the U.S. Census Bureau reported that U.S. bookstore sales dropped 5.1% in the first six months of 2019. I filed the report away — as I always do with industry sales reports — with the thought “up a little here, down a little there….” While a 5% shift is, by most measures, more than…
May 15th, 2019
Everybody knows Kickstarter. Not everyone knows that Kickstarter is a major player in publishing, both for book-like objects and for journalism.
April 2nd, 2019
In this third post of a three-part series (part 1 is here), I’ll focus directly on the book publishing industry and how the next recession could be felt. I hope that an analysis of the impact of past recessions might arm us for the next.