The Business of Publishing

Amazon, Macmillan, Agency Models, and Quality (Oh My)

January 31st, 2010 · 27 Comments

Be careful what you ask for, because you just might get it. Consumer expectations will rise if prices do Over the weekend, we rode a rollercoaster as Macmillan laid out its demands for ebook pricing to Amazon, and Amazon responded by pulling (nearly) all Macmillan titles from its store. Late Sunday, Amazon announced they would […]

File Under: Non-Traditional Publishing

What Are Enhanced Ebooks?

January 19th, 2010 · 61 Comments

Short answer: nobody knows. Longer answer: the magic elixir publishers are injecting into ebooks in hopes they will entice people to pay higher prices. As you might guess, I am a bit of an “enhancement” skeptic. I have a few reasons. First, they feel like an attempt to skip the walking phase. Right now ebooks […]

File Under: Non-Traditional Publishing

Tools of Change, or The Future of Publishing Isn’t What You Think It Is

January 11th, 2010 · 6 Comments

Today is the final day for early registration for the Tools of Change for Publishing conference, to be held in New York, February 22 – 24, 2010. Recently, there have been a lot of conferences dedicated to the magical world of digital publishing, but this is the only conference focused on looking forward. It may […]

File Under: The Future of Publishing

William Styron and Droit de Seigneur

January 4th, 2010 · 22 Comments

Over the New Year holiday, Jonathan Galassi, president of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, published an Op-Ed piece in the New York Times titled “There’s More to Publishing Than Meets the Screen”. I think he started with the intent of justifying the cost of ebooks — something publishing has handled abysmally — but he took a […]

File Under: The Future of Publishing

The Unicorn Will Not Save Publishing

December 14th, 2009 · 33 Comments

For your reading enjoyment, I have compiled a list of about a dozen things that will not save publishing. I have also created a brief list of things that will save publishing. As always, neither list is comprehensive, and I reserve the right to add items if I think of something while I’m in the […]

File Under: The Future of Publishing

A Long, Detailed Look at Distribution Windows

December 8th, 2009 · 13 Comments

Has there ever been an industry more unwilling to make its customers happy than publishing? Simon & Schuster and Hachette have (independently) decided they’re going to hold back the ebook releases of some titles. Not all of course. Most likely just the ones they paid far too much for anyway. They’re taking a stand by […]

File Under: The Future of Publishing

Responding to Nat Sobel, Cranky-Style

December 8th, 2009 · 34 Comments

Dear Mr. Sobel, While I do not know you, I am impressed by your resume and the portrait of you with what appears to be a brown tabby. I generally cut cat lovers more slack — and brown tabby owners…they get a free pass, as a rule — but I cannot do so in this […]

File Under: The Future of Publishing

Digital Rights Management — A Wrinkle or An Opportunity

November 16th, 2009 · 19 Comments

For the past few weeks, we’ve been talking about Digital Rights Management (“DRM”), and the diversity of comments have been fascinating. I still do not believe DRM prevents or slows piracy*. Add to this fact that public perception of DRM, honed by years of abuse by the music industry, is negative…or rather, though most people […]

File Under: The Future of Publishing

A (Probably Naive) Attempt to Move the DRM Conversation Forward

November 2nd, 2009 · 26 Comments

If there are two truths we hold to be self-evident, they are these: 1) DRM does nothing to stop piracy, and 2) DRM, as used by many publishers today, frustrates legitimate purchasers of books. This leads many to conclude that DRM does not work, and that DRM is evil. How do we get past “it’s […]

File Under: The Future of Publishing

The Week That Was

October 23rd, 2009 · 31 Comments

A lot happened in publishing this week — so much that just as I wrapped my head around one thing, something new popped up to either make me re-evaluate my previous thinking…or to send me down a different rabbit hole. Let’s just put it out there: once you’ve gone subterranean, things start to make a […]

File Under: The Business of Publishing