Why the Future Is Freelance

Smart outsourcing, according to John Bond, “helps bring about effective change as and when you need it, and it empowers your internal team.”

Bond, the CEO of whitefox, a UK network of publishing freelancers, argues in this DBW post that when it comes to keeping everything in-house, “this particular ship has already sailed. The generalists within publishing have been relying on the diaspora of specialist freelancers for a long time now, and I can’t see that changing.”

Bond’s post argues directly against Emma Barnes’s DBW post from last week on the merits of not outsourcing.

According to Bond, there are five critical reasons why it’s best for publishers to outsource smartly.

Much more.


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Barnes & Noble Completes Spinoff of B&N Education (PW)
Barnes & Noble has completed the separation of its retail operation from its college business, which began trading Monday as Barnes & Noble Education, Inc. on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The company’s leadership team joined with store managers to ring the opening bell at the NYSE Monday morning.

Apple and Amazon’s Complicated Relationship (Fortune)
Why would Amazon make its Kindle Reader available on Apple’s iPad, allowing users to access its library of exclusive digital books? And why would Apple ever allow a Kindle app in its App Store? Questions like these intrigued one Harvard Business School professor, who recently wrote a paper on the subject, “Frenemies in Platform Markets: The Case of Apple’s iPad vs. Amazon’s Kindle.”

Where Do Ebook Subscriptions Go from Here? (PW)
An executive at INscribe Digital, a publishing services company, discusses the future of ebook subscriptions and adapting to the new landscape. “Publishers, authors, and agents should be testing market alternatives to learn more about evolving consumer preferences for access to content versus ownership,” writes Anne Kubek. “By testing and learning, they can evolve with the services themselves.”

The Role of Content Curators (Joe Wikert)
Joe Wikert considers the importance of the curator in today’s saturated world of content. With so much of it available, “every year it becomes more difficult to keep up. Faced with this steady firehose stream of content, we can all use some help determining which elements are worth reading and which are a waste of time.” For Wikert, curators have become a critical service for consumers, but the key question remains to be answered: At some point, will a service offer an option to buy access to the curation of others, including all the content contained therein that it has no right to redistribute?

Indie Publishers and the Ebook Revolution (Futurebook)
Futurebook examines how small publishers have integrated ebooks into their businesses, declaring that “we have surprisingly little solid data on how smaller publishers are responding to, exploiting, and – occasionally – suffering from the ebook revolution.” When some small publishers were asked how they were doing, they said they “have little confidence that they’re following best practices in production, design, or marketing, partly a result of the dearth of reliable information.”

How Digital Comics Can Help Kids (CBC)
According to the Canadian Council on Learning, “comics can act as a gateway to more traditional novels for kids,” and they can also help kids develop visual literacy. To that end, digital devices, such as tablets, are rife with apps that allow children to become introduced to comics.

World’s First Braille Smartwatch Is Also an Ereader (Engadget)
On its surface, the new smartwatch Dot looks a lot like a Fitbit: it features a messaging system, navigation functions, Bluetooth 4.0, an alarm and, of course, a watch. Dot, though, is the world’s first braille smartwatch, and because of how it’s built, it actually functions as an ereader, as well. The watch’s face features a series of dull pins that rise and fall at customizable speeds, spelling out words in braille as the user places a finger on top. With this system, Dot allows users to read ebooks without spending thousands of dollars for a portable braille reader. The watch, according to Engadget, should hit the market for less than $300.

PRH Sells Bookworld to Booktopia (Bookseller)
Penguin Random House Australia sold its online book retailer Bookworld to Booktopia, bringing together Australia’s two largest online book retailers. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed. Booktopia expects to take operational control of Bookworld in mid-August.

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