Square Pegs

Managing Digital Rights, Part 2

November 11th, 2009 · 17 Comments

So last week, I attempted to jumpstart a new kind of discussion about managing digital rights, and, happily, many people were more than happy to participate. This week, I’m going to try to summarize and respond to what they said. Here’s a sneak preview: publishers, you’re doing it wrong, but not for reasons you think! […]

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In Defense of Single Purpose Devices

October 6th, 2009 · 20 Comments

Once upon a time, I believed that nobody wanted a single purpose reading device. Why, I wondered, would anyone want something that did only one thing*, albeit very well? It made no sense to me. We had the technology and all that. (And this despite my lifelong love affair with the classic single purpose reader.) […]

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Thoughts on Print Fidelity and Accessibility

September 23rd, 2009 · 14 Comments

When I was a wee reader, my grandmother assured me that reading in poor light would destroy my eyes. Actually, heredity was the real culprit, and modern science would save me from the tyranny of eyeglasses*. I admit it: I was one of those kids who had to read, and that meant I had to […]

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Books at SXSW? You Can Make It Happen

August 18th, 2009 · 20 Comments

A few years ago, I wrote a post lamenting the lack of book people at the South by Southwest Interactive festival. Last year, as we know, a panel put together by a group of publishers missed its target, angering the audience. This year…wow, it’s a bookstravaganza. I am so pleased to see so many book […]

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Competing for Eyeballs: Reading in the 21st Century

August 11th, 2009 · 22 Comments

There is no doubt we live in a time of change. Last week, I wrote that it’s never good for an industry when its customer base changes faster than the business model. It’s even more dangerous when you assume your product is recession-proof, technology-proof, distraction-proof. I was reminded of this again when I read David […]

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Unintentional Pirates, or Listening to Readers

July 21st, 2009 · 8 Comments

One reason I focus on the world of digital publishing is because it’s the most exciting thing in the book world today. Oh sure, we might, collectively, raise an eyebrow or two at the humongous advances paid to authors like Yann Martel, especially given the current state of industry and the author’s own admission that […]

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Change: Are You Initiating or Avoiding?

July 6th, 2009 · 14 Comments

I have come to accept that our species is not fond of change. Some of us know it is inevitable and take the pain now rather than later, some simply refuse to change (I have seen this and it is awesome in its execution. Also, ultimately futile.), and some pretend to embrace change while carefully […]

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Pre-BEA Lazy Post: Round-Up Style

May 26th, 2009 · 2 Comments

As you all know, the entire United States publishing community is gearing up for BookExpo America 2009 (#BEA09). For a show that conventional wisdom pegged as leaner and smaller due to the economic downturn, there is a whole lotta buzz going on. So buzzy, in fact, that I’m packing my bags and heading to the […]

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Ebooks, Prices, Consumers, Choices. Again.

May 18th, 2009 · 28 Comments

Resolved: digital books will be a growing and important part of the reading mix of the future. Resolved: readers are not monolithic nor predictable and will expect digital books to be as flexible as they are. Resolved: digital versus print is not an either/or decision. Resolved: due to laws and insanity (not necessarily in that […]

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Google Book Search: What Is Plan B?

May 5th, 2009 · 11 Comments

Among the truths we hold to be self-evident, there is this: the Google Book Search is an ugly beastie. A subset of entities, blinded by the dollar signs in their eyes, claimed jurisdiction for all interested parties and negotiated a settlement that, I believe, fails to achieve the goals of the parties who created the […]

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