How Books Are Changing

books, ebooks, e-readers, readers, readingWorking in this industry, I frequently think about the state of reading today. Given that many of us now read more on digital devices than we do with physical books, I find myself wondering how that shift has affected our reading habits. Do we skim more and retain less? Does it matter what type of device we’re reading on? Is reading, to some, merely an app, on par with Angry Birds?

To many people, it is. And this mindset can be consistent regardless of whether or not they read digitally. The act of reading for pleasure is often considered just another activity—and perhaps a boring one at that—up there with watching a TV show, listening to a podcast or sending endless texts.

It’s clear that reading does not hold the overall importance in today’s society that it did for previous generations. With so much more technology available, it’s understandable that many people—young people, especially—don’t find the act of reading to be all that exciting or compelling.

Much more.

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DBW Is Looking for Innovative Service Providers
Digital Book World has rolled out a new series called “Company Snapshots,” in which we we pose a series of questions to leading providers of digital products and services. And now we’d like to open the series up to all companies that are doing something worth covering. So if you head up a service provider that’s innovating in publishing right now, we want to hear from you. Just drop us a line and tell us why we should feature you in an upcoming snapshot.

4 Steps to Build a Strong Author Platform (IngramSpark)
For some writers, building a strong author platform comes naturally, but for others, this extroverted activity of networking takes a lot of work. Whether it feels comfortable or not, the reality is that an author’s work needs to reach the right community of readers to be successful. This means that one of the most important aspects of marketing your book is building relationships with people who will promote your work.

Why the (Amazon) Conversation Needs to Change (PW)
The nature of our conversation about Amazon needs to change. It needs to become less about individual bookstore transactions and more about facing a common threat to our community’s well being. I knew that. But when a crisis involving my bookstore developed, when the earth began to open under my feet, I understood it with conviction and experience. I’ll share what happened and then offer a thought on two elements involved that I think are worth noting.

Why Amazon Is Betting Big On India (Forbes)
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos recently announced an additional investment of $3 billion in India, taking its net investment to over $5 billion in the country. To put things in perspective, this is almost equal to the company’s global marketing costs in 2015, and is higher than its total capital expenditures last year ($4.5 billion).

What Makes a Bestseller? (BookMachine)
I recently gave a Tedx talk at Tedx Oxford on “What Makes a Bestseller?” I talked about the mysterious combination of factors that conspire to hit the zeitgeist and make books pop and hit the mainstream, but it did make me think about how literary agents are in danger of becoming risk averse. The funnel to publication seems to be getting ever narrower.

Business Musings: An Important Notice on the Non-Compete Clause (Kristine Rusch)
I wrote about the non-compete clause in mid-May. It’s a pernicious horrid little clause that has shown up all over contracts involving creative works—not just in traditional publishing deals here in the U.S., but works in translation, game rights, movie deals, and more.

‘Public-ation’: A Program in Canada Studies Its Impact (Pub Perspectives)
What does it mean to “go public”—”to publish” in the digital dynamic? A masters program at Canada’s Trent University is focused on that specific question, in all its breadth.

How Jeff Bezos Is Reinventing The Washington Post (Shorenstein Center)
A new paper by Dan Kennedy, Joan Shorenstein Fellow (spring 2016) and associate professor in the School of Journalism at Northeastern University, provides insight into The Washington Post’s digital strategy and business model following its acquisition by Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.

How Open Is Open Access? (Bookseller)
The grassroots or scholar-led Open Access movement rightly challenges the spiralling costs and price barriers put up by commercial journal publishers in particular, and the fact that they are draining library budgets while profiting from academic free labour (writing, reviewing). They are also turning, increasingly, to Open Access business models that charge those same authors, asking them to pay a substantial fee, to publish in journals they already subsidize.


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