DBW Insights: Jason Allen Ashlock

In this exclusive interview, Jason Allen Ashlock discusses the future of the book, the role of agents in fostering digital innovation, and how to realize new digital formats that compliment and improve the content and narrative.

From the interview:

[Movable Type Literary Group is] looking at a property the moment it comes in the door to us and asking what is this property going to be? Sometimes it wants to be born into a beautiful print book, but sometimes it wants to be something else. Sometimes it wants to be two things at once, and it wants to be a print book but it also wants to live digitally in some form. So we want to ask questions really early on. We want to think digitally first and we want to act digitally very early. That starts with looking at the content and saying, “If the content no longer has to be in one container, we can now be free to ask the content what do you want to be? How would you like to be born? How would you like to be consumed?” That question now gets to be answered in a variety of ways…

So it’s think digitally early and act digitally early…

Agencies, especially the smaller ones and the younger ones like my own, are able, I think, to be much more nimble with the kinds of partnerships we arrange, the kind of funding that we find, and the way that we play with our authors and their team of supporters to do something really unique and customized for that book. A print publisher right now is just not capable of doing that. It doesn’t make any sense. It’s a waste of energy for them most of the time. We’re not sure about the return on investment for a lot of them when they do it. So it’s up to the agent to be the outlier, the experimenter, the ones taking the lead on digital methodology.

A joint production of Digital Book World and Astral Road Brand Media: http://www.astralroad.com/. Founded by Rich Fahle, Astral Road Media is a full-service digital media agency, providing content strategy, design, video production, and other creative forms of social outreach for authors and content creators of all types.

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