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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.
 

The Futurists

Publishing Pioneers
“Instagram of Books” Helps Readers Find What Their Friends & Idols Are Reading
Jul 2, 2015

Mike Eidlin, co-founder of social book discovery platform bookmarq, believes the one thing keeping casual readers from becoming avid readers...



The Learning Curve

Ellen Harvey
Penguin Random House Revamps Its Author Portal
Jul 1, 2015

I have always maintained that authors are the most valuable assets that publishers have. Without talented authors and the valuable...



Joe Wikert's Digital Content Strategies

Joe Wikert
Automation May Be Road Forward for Enriched Ebooks
Jun 29, 2015

You've probably heard me say that we live in a print-under-glass world, one where we're consuming dumb content on smart...



Brian Jud's Beyond the Bookstore

Brian Jud
How to Reinvent Your Publishing Company for Sustained Growth
Jun 26, 2015

One difficulty that inhibits the growth of book publishing companies is that they think of themselves as book publishing companies,...



Leading Thoughts

Forward-Thinking Industry Professionals
Publishers Can Reap Big Rewards from Developing Strong Author Brands
Jun 23, 2015

When I talk to my friends who are agents and publishers, they tell me that digital marketing is one of...



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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