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About Michael

Michael Weinstein is a member of the Publishing Executive Hall of Fame and has 35 years experience in production, manufacturing, content management and change management.

He is currently Production Director for Teachers College Press. Previously, he was Vice President, Global Content and Media Production for Cengage Learning. Prior to that he was Vice President of Production and Manufacturing for Oxford University Press, Pearson/Prentice Hall, Worth Publishers and HarperCollins.

In those capacities, he has been a leader in managing process and content for delivery in as many ways possible.
 

Joe Wikert's Digital Content Strategies

Joe Wikert
Unlimited Subscriptions: Five Things You Need to Know
Jul 21, 2014

One of the worst kept secrets in recent history was finally unveiled last Friday when Amazon announced their Kindle Unlimited...



Brian Jud's Beyond the Bookstore

Brian Jud
Lessons from Amazon: Reevaluating Your Business Model
Jul 18, 2014

Your business model is the result of the decisions you have made to generate sales, earn revenue, and manage risks....



The Futurists

Publishing Pioneers
Print-on-Demand Service Memeoirs Brings Online Conversations to the Printed Page
Jul 17, 2014

Memeoirs is an on-demand publishing platform that pulls content from online social interactions. Below, founder Fred Rocha explains how Memeoirs...



The Learning Curve

Ellen Harvey
Are Publishers’ Losing Their Best Bargaining Chip Against Amazon?
Jul 16, 2014

I try not to be a proponent for or against Amazon. But I have to say, I was a bit...



Hot Topic

Thinkers on the Leading Edge
Note to Book Publishers: Turn the Page and Invest in Brand
May 22, 2014

Very few publishing brands, in fact, mean much to consumers because publishers traditionally promote their authors, not themselves, as brands. But that approach and...



Leading Thoughts

Forward-Thinking Industry Professionals
Changing the Publishing Business Model: Consider the Whole Value Chain, Not Just Unit Price
May 2, 2014

To keep up with the content explosion and consumer demand, publishers need to change their last-century business models. They must...



Literally Speaking

The Stories Behind the Stories We Publish

Lynn Rosen
A Vending Machine That Delivers Literature
Dec 26, 2013

In a trendy coffee shop called Elixr, on a side street off of Philadelphia’s toney Rittenhouse Square, there is funky...



Surviving Sandy With Both Print and Ebooks

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Let’s set the scene:

The date is 10/29/12, the time is 8:41 PM, the place is an apartment in the East Village in downtown Manhattan.

Outside, Hurricane Sandy has begun to do her worst—howling winds at 80 mph, slashing rain, trees and debris being tossed hither and yon.

Inside, the dog stretches out on the couch (of course), while I watch Inherit the Wind—Spencer Tracy (as Henry Drummond/Clarence Darrow) is just about to surprise Frederic March (as Matthew Harrison Brady/William Jennings Bryan) with the information that Drummond’s fancy suspenders were bought in Brady’s hometown in Nebraska…

Suddenly, there’s an explosion outside, loud enough to be heard over the hurricane, the power goes out, and we don’t get to see two great actors smile in triumph and harrumph in dismay. Frell!

You see, I live just five or six blocks away from the Con Edison transformer that (in unimagined circumstances) has been overwhelmed by the nearby East River, causing the explosion and helping send the lower half of Manhattan into darkness for almost a week… and taking cell phone connectivity away with it.

Of course, within a couple of days I would find out how incredibly fortunate I was to only lose electricity and cell service. The suffering and grief in the area has been massive, and continues as of this writing.

But now I had time to fill and battery strength to conserve in the iPhone, iPod, iPad and iMac (yes, I drank the iKoolAid).

“Hello, my name is Michael and I love to read.” Now you say, “Hello, Michael,” because I suspect we’re in the same support group. I revel in reading. I learned to love it as a child. I read all kinds of stuff. I read all the time. Like Oscar Madison in that episode of The Odd Couple, I must read before going to bed. I’ve been raising money for more than 20 years to aid those who want to learn how to read. But how to read in the dark without using up the iPad battery the first day?

I hit upon a strategy that worked beautifully, got me through the blackout, and also got me thinking about the biggest topic of discussion in our industry: print books versus ebooks.

My solution turned out to be very simple—during the day, when there was some natural light, I read a printed book; and at night I read an ebook on my iPad.

I needed both to get thru. And so do we. This is not an “either/or” situation that we’re in—and otherwise-smart people who try to present it that way put me off. But maybe that’s because I’m old and cranky.

Ebooks are our present and future. I’ve championed this for longer than I care to remember. And that future keeps evolving—as technology changes, as more people get comfortable with them, as more young people come along thinking that this is the obvious way to read some things.

But print is our past, present and future. The present has changed and continues to evolve, and the future, well…. Unlike The Doors’ lyric from "Roadhouse Blues," “the future’s uncertain and the end is always near,” I believe that the future is uncertain by definition, but the end is not near for print. Nor should it be.

They are different reading experiences, each offering their own values and pleasures. I say, why limit ourselves?

Oh, and keep reading.

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