Tag Archives: digital

DBW11:

So after missing last year’s DBW (Digital Book World) I was able to attend this years. I didn’t make it to all the sessions, ended up in a lot of meetings and connecting with people from twitter, linkedin and other places that I have had conversations about publishing. Overall it was great, I was able to meet many in the publishing industry I either talk with on a regular basis via social media or follow via their blog, websites, tweets or some other way.  I was really impressed by the attitude of those there, it was energetic, fast paced and people were quite positive in regards to the state of publishing and it’s future. I think this is great, it’s exactly what is needed, passionate people involved in what they love.

Obviously not everything is rainbows and sunshine in the industry nor was it at the conference. It wasn’t the conference itself I had issues with it was the texas two steps some of these heads of publishing did around questions. Specifically about eBooks and libraries, the messages were great spins on basically them saying we have no clue but we aren’t going to ask you or anyone with knowledge about how to implement it in the best way.  Now I understand, you are the head of a publisher, your expected to know everything, but you know what, you don’t and you never will. You need to realize that there are people smarter then you out there that know what they are talking about. You want to work with eBooks and libraries? You want to understand how best to get your content in front of those eyes at public libraries, k12 schools and the list goes on? Simple, hire me… No seriously, get a hold of me and I help you implement, my fees are reasonable. 🙂 Now normally I don’t pimp myself out this way but I’ve sat and watched, listened and commented many times on eBooks and libraries, I even have a group on linkedin – eBooks in Libraries devoted to digital and libraries. Why, because I still believe they hold a place in the digital world and I’ve seen what many libraries throughout the U.S. spend on eBooks, it’s crazy. You know why, because patrons want them.  I understand it’s about profit, ROI, where to take a chance, all of that, but pushing it further and further out will only do one thing.. backfire on you and lose sales, no ROI and the list goes on.

Now that I got that out of my system, I feel much better. I’m a passionate person by nature and even more so when it comes to literature, publishing, eBooks and education.  I’ve worked with all of these areas well over a 15 years, which is saying something since I consider myself still pretty you, mid 30’s. I met many other people passionate at DBW, I mean, why not, that’s the point of the conference in my opinion, bringing together passionate people that want to change the course of the industry. Lead it, develop it and being on the edge of thinking within the industry… that excites the hell out of me honestly. The people I met, such as Guy LeCharles Gonzalez, Laura Dawson (although only briefly, my fault), Scott Walker, Babette Ross, Dan Wallek (lerner publishing), Liza Daly, Susan Neuhaus, Tina Henderson, Joshua Tallent, Colleen Cunningham, Andy Weissberg and the list goes on. These are people who want to understand better, form relationships and most of all, they want to do it right. They don’t cut corners and they are some of the most passionate people who are vocal about things. They get involved and they help others, which isn’t something you see in many industries, usually everyone is trying to take everyone else down, I think were all above that and realize that we can’t do it alone and we need each other, helps drive us all to do better and innovate.

Now this list isn’t extensive, I could go on and on and there are so many more I would have loved to connect with, need a day just for that. At the end though I was more excited and felt like I wasn’t the only one out there with these crazy ideas that publishing will still survive and that it isn’t dead.. some parts maybe, but I believe those needed to be changed years ago and were just now admitting it. 2011 is a year that I think will really reflect and affect the publishing industry like no other, because people aren’t sitting back and letting publishing decide the course, were pushing the course and guiding the industry and in some respects that hasn’t been done in many many years. There are innovators out there that are not happy with the status quo, I’m one of them, I don’t like stagnant and I don’t like no or having things put in a box, it shouldn’t be done any more in publishing. You need to be diverse, flexible and a hell of a risk taker; think that’s why I started another company and have a business partner and looking to challenge what is perceived as the way to do things. I think that is why many people have done the same way, they aren’t seeing it done some where else and figure if it needs to be done, then we do it ourselves. We build the stage and become our own starts so to speak,  write our own stories, be our characters…. have I thrown in enough cliches yet for your liking?

In the end publishing will still be here, being led by the innovators and those out of the box thinkers some call crazy, I call them my colleagues and some friends. Who wants to go rock publishing’s world?

 

 


Google Editions

So the web, twitter and it seemed like everyone in publishing and those not in it were talking a lot about Google Editions which is to come by end of year.  Google Editions has some nice features and offers. Offline reading, which should just be standard, accessible from anything with a browser, very smart and hosted in the cloud.  Now this is a very smart move, this helps take away the whole device issue and moves to what I have stated for the past couple years but others as well, that eBooks need to be device agnostic.  No matter what you are using you can get to the eBook from anywhere, google may very well achieve this.  Yet, there is one little hiccup, what about those people who want the actual eBook file, ePub, pdf or other format?  Hosted in the cloud means no file to worry about, but I see some areas where they may want to have access to the file itself.  Supposedly google will allow for an archival version to be downloaded and have to use for personal use, but let’s be real, will the rules be followed. I’ve also seen it may be only the PDF version and may have DRM on it, even if you choose no DRM to be applied. So the question here is what’s the deal, hopefully I’ll know more as I am actually asking them this question because it seems odd if you can have ePub but the archive version might be pdf, kind of defeats the purpose.

Google Editions also mentioned that format only matters in how they accept it and how they use on the backend but not for downloading. It’s weird.. send us ePub, but it won’t matter because you access online, ok… I guess.  By no means am I slamming google, they are trying to approach the problem that is plaguing everyone, device snowstorm, which to choose, which to develop for and how to go about it.  When you think about it, makes sense for google to work with ePub, it’s the defacto standard, people are designing for it, I know I am, so it’s a workflow ability where everything can flow easier.  I look forward to seeing what becomes of google editions but mostly, will it actually launch come the start of 2011?  Who knows, it could change again, maybe it’ll be like Microsoft’s courier and shutdown.  I do know that people want eBooks, they want them the way they want them and they want them as soon as possible. They don’t want to wait, they barely want to pay the prices on them, which are much lower than the current hardcovers, that’s another blog topic.

I see Google Editions doing well, initially it’ll do great, it makes sense, largest search and discoverability engine, whether you like them or not, you need to jump onto it if you are an author or smaller pub and want your eBooks seen.  It’ll be interesting to see how metadata plays out with it and how well it works for libraries? The ed market is watching this closely, they want to see what will their patrons/students be able to do with google editions, how will it affect eBook lending? If the archival version is the only version available to download and Google will be checking IP’s, which is how they will handle authentication apparently, so no passing your username and password to others, they’ll have to look at how they work with the ever-changing ed market. As libraries have stated loudly, the models out there are not ideal, so what will google’s be if any at all?  All we can do now is sit and wait, see what happens and how well the platform, which it still is, is implemented and used and what the naysayers and google fanatics have to say.

Erik


Book Business Magazine article

Some great information over at the Book Business Mag website. Book Publishing, Book Industry News, Content Delivery, Production Tips : Book Business. I get the printed mag as well as follow online. The issue is good, however, I found one piece really interesting.  It talks about eBooks and how publishers are approaching the emerging e and how that is affecting print.

There are some great questions asked; how much percentage wise accounts for your print vs eBook sales, etc.  What I thought was interesting is that one had a fear of the PDA approach. For those not knowing what this is; here’s a down and dirty. Patron Drive Acquisition puts the collection development and acquisition part of purchases into the patrons hands.  I think what scares pubs is will the big ticket items for them sell. Well, if you truly about giving your customers the content they want, how they want it, then this shouldn’t scare you. (this is exactly what many pubs say they are trying to accomplish) Continue reading


eBooks, eBooks, eBooks

More & more discussion is being had on twitter, websites, blogs, and pretty much any place talking about eBooks and ISBNs.  You know ISBNs, the numbers on the back of the book, now on the inside of an eBook in the front matter; or whatever you call the area you place it.  The biggest question comes as; How many isbns does a book need?  Good question, answer, who the hell knows anymore.  The problem or proverbial monkey wrench in the eBook and isbn discussion comes in the form of distributors. Continue reading


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