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Associate/Digital Editor

The Learning Curve

By Ellen Harvey

About Ellen

Hired in August of 2013, Ellen Harvey is the one of the newest members of the Publishing Group. She provides original content and editing for Publishing Executive, Book Business, and the daily newsletter Publishing Business Today and is eager to track the latest trends of the transformed publishing industry.

Ellen previously worked as a web content writer and social media manager for a lead generation company based outside of Philadelphia, PA. She has a B.A. in English with a focus in creative writing and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in 2012.

 

The Futurists

Publishing Pioneers
You’ve Heard of the Netflix of Books. Here’s the Redbox of Books
Aug 21, 2014

iFlipd, the self-proclaimed "Redbox of Books," is experimenting with an ebook rental model that lowers costs for readers while making...



Joe Wikert's Digital Content Strategies

Joe Wikert
A Business Model I’m Sorry We’ll Never See
Aug 20, 2014

We're all intimately familiar with the cell phone business model. Buy the phone today at a reduced price that's subsidized...



Brian Jud's Beyond the Bookstore

Brian Jud
How to Entice People to Respond to Your Direct Mail Campaigns
Aug 11, 2014

Direct mail is a targeted marketing weapon that that can help you sell more books, test new titles, and generate...



Leading Thoughts

Forward-Thinking Industry Professionals
Why Book Publishers Should Pay Attention to the Developing World
Jul 30, 2014

Book sales in the U.S. and Europe have been stagnant for years. While publishers design creative campaigns to turn Twitter...



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...



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...



Will Book Publishers Make Good TV & Film Producers?

 

Amazon, aptly named The Everything Store by Bezos biographer Brad Stone, is ready to embark into original programing with two new series hitting the internet this November. Ever mindful of its customers, Amazon asked users to vote for their favorite shows from 14 pilots. The winners, Alpha House (a political comedy starring John Goodman, Amy Sedaris and Wanda Sykes) and Betas (a comedy tracking the exploits of a group of friends launching a startup) will air on November 15th and November 22nd, respectively, streaming on Amazon Instant Video, a feature available only to Amazon Prime users.

Three other pilot winners, all children's shows, are still in production. If these shows prove successful, it looks as though Amazon is poised to compete with Netflix in the original, online programming space.

Publishers have their minds on programming as well. This July, Random House announced the creation of its TV division, Random House Television, which will work to create programs based on its books. Likewise, Macmillan launched its own TV and film division, Macmillan Films, three years ago. Neither, though, has produced the breadth of content that Amazon is debuting this fall, and it raises doubts as to whether traditional publishers are ready to enter the world of film.

Amazon is quick to monetize its content, aided by its wide-reaching distribution system. No doubt its latest series will stream directly to Kindle Fire users, making the experience solely an Amazon-generated one. In this, Amazon has publishers beat.

But publishers are not without their assets.

Random House Television is working with FremantleMedia, a television production company owned by Random House's multimedia parent company, Bertelsmann. Alloy Entertainment, the book-packager that brought us Vampire Diaries and Gossip Girl (both the books and television series), has improved its production capabilities as well; Warner Bros. Television acquired the company last year.

It seems like these collaborations, though not yet widespread in the publishing industry, will continue. Publishers have the content Hollywood producers want-stories that already have loyal followers and people who will happily spread the word about a show. As a diehard Game of Thrones fan, I can't name the number of friends I've converted to the show and in turn influenced to buy the books.

Publishers that hope to compete with Amazon in the online television programing and film will likely hone in on what they already do well, which is create and curate great content. It is this skill that is attracting screenwriters to Macmillan with hopes of transforming their unnoticed screenplays into novels. Because film producers are more likely to buy stories that have an established fan base, screenwriters hope that success at Macmillan can translate into success in Hollywood. It is a long road to movie production, but testing out a story in the less expensive book platform seems an effective model. And as more and more blockbusters hail from the book world, perhaps it's time Hollywood producers took notice of what publishers have to offer. With flops like "Ironside" and "Betrayal," it seems they could use the help.

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