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About Brian

Brian Howard is Editor-In-Chief of Book Business magazine and Group Digital Editor for the Publishing Business Group, where he covers with great interest the evolution of the book publishing industry, paying special attention to the intersection of publishing and consumer technology. An award-winning journalist, he’s a former Editor in Chief of the Philadelphia City Paper and Grid and Cowbell magazines.

His writing has appeared in consumer outlets such as the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Magazine’s The Philly Post, Flying Kite, The Courier-Post, Magnet, and Orlando Weekly, and business publications including Target Marketing, Inside Direct Mail and Teleread.

After heading off to Penn State to pursue a chemical engineering degree, Brian transferred into the English department at La Salle University. Some 20 years ago he stumbled into the offices of the student newspaper, The Collegian. He has been on deadline ever since.

 

The Futurists

Publishing Pioneers
Publishers Boost Discoverability with BookBub
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Discoverability may seem like an overworked buzzword, but its importance to publishers has never been greater. As readers shift from...



The Learning Curve

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A Question of Price in the Amazon-Hachette Dispute
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Last Friday Michael Tamblyn, president and COO of ereading platform Kobo, took to Twitter with a 32-tweet manifesto on the...



Joe Wikert's Digital Content Strategies

Joe Wikert
The Marketing Tool Every Publisher Undervalues
Oct 20, 2014

Why are publishers so scared of free and sample content? Sure, most publishers offer at least one way to test...



Brian Jud's Beyond the Bookstore

Brian Jud
11 Ways to Maximize Your ROI – Return On Ideas
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There are two kinds of innovation. One is in value creation and the other is in value capture. Many businesses...



Hot Topic

Thinkers on the Leading Edge
Publishers Can Boost Discoverability with Newly Released Web Domains
Sep 12, 2014

A slew of new web domains are dramatically changing the face of the Internet by providing more tailored domains beyond...



Leading Thoughts

Forward-Thinking Industry Professionals
Why Book Publishers Should Pay Attention to the Developing World
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Book sales in the U.S. and Europe have been stagnant for years. While publishers design creative campaigns to turn Twitter...



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...



What would become of an independent Nook?

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While predicting doom for Nook, as our columnist Michael Weinstein put it, has become the favored pastime of the book and tech press of late, it’s hard not to read the news of B&N Chairman Leonard S. Riggio’s bid to purchase the chain’s retail stores and take them private—leaving the company’s foundering Nook division to fend for itself—as the beginning of the end for the little e-reader that could. (Or maybe it’s the end of the end for the little e-reader that couldn’t quite.)

It’s not without a little sadness that I’m pondering the end of the Nook, and not just because I own one. Nook always seemed to me to be the reader’s e-reader. The one that, from a product design standpoint, was just a little friendlier: easier to hold (with that elegantly beveled back), the first to glow for night reading, and more amenable to side-loading.

Sure, the UX leaves something to be desired, and yes, there’s a ton more content available for the Kindle. Still, I can’t help but recall when when Sega’s Dreamcast gave up the ghost—inventive, more innovative, but ultimately no match for the Playstation and Xbox behemoths.

With reports swirling that B&N plans to scale back on device manufacturing to focus on content, could this be Nook’s denouement? Or might untethering the Nook unit from the travails of the retail side be just what both sides need to best face the future?

What do you think?

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