Blogs

Riffle Uses Chat Bots, Big Data & Human Recommendations to Drive Book Discovery

Bookish social network site Riffle is dedicated to helping readers find new books and discuss their favorite reads with like-minded users. Riffle CEO Neil Baptista says that Riffle is an inspiration platform that drives book discovery by connecting users with fellow readers, librarians, authors, and book deals. The site is free to join and offers…

What The Short-Form Content Resurgence Means for Book Publishers

I remember the first time I heard the phrase “info snacking” back in 2007. It was when the Kindle launched and Jeff Bezos said his newfangled device would slow the info snacking trend and enable deeper engagement with content. The Kindle platform certainly launched the ebook revolution but it’s interesting that it didn’t halt short-form…

In OER-Driven World Education Publishers Must Focus on Instructional Design

In an earlier blog post I made the statement that in the age of open education resources (OER), curation, not content, will be king. My thesis was that the sheer abundance of available content -- some produced by for-profit publishers and some from other sources -- reduces its value. The real providers of value, I…

Other Staff Bloggers
Sales, Marketing & Data Intel

Bookish social network site Riffle is dedicated to helping readers find new books and discuss their favorite reads with like-minded users. Riffle CEO Neil Baptista says that Riffle is an inspiration platform that drives book discovery by connecting users with fellow readers, librarians, authors, and book deals. The site is free to join and offers…

The big news about Barnes & Noble is that after twenty years of battling with Amazon they have finally made a competitive move that Amazon cannot match. Barnes & Noble, with 640 bookstores in 50 states, is giving self-published authors a chance to get access to their hallowed bookshelves. Meanwhile, Amazon runs one bookstore in Seattle (albeit with 3 more slated). Barnes & Noble…

While the technology industry is abuzz with new opportunities created by advances in artificial intelligence -- from intelligent web search to voice recognition -- book publishing has yet to feel the full impact of AI. Neil Balthaser intends to change that through his machine learning software Intellogo. Intellogo uses technology that can analyze and understand…

Ebooks & Digital Media

I remember the first time I heard the phrase “info snacking” back in 2007. It was when the Kindle launched and Jeff Bezos said his newfangled device would slow the info snacking trend and enable deeper engagement with content. The Kindle platform certainly launched the ebook revolution but it’s interesting that it didn’t halt short-form…

In an earlier blog post I made the statement that in the age of open education resources (OER), curation, not content, will be king. My thesis was that the sheer abundance of available content -- some produced by for-profit publishers and some from other sources -- reduces its value. The real providers of value, I…

U.K.-based Novellic is tackling the dual challenges of book discovery and connecting with like-minded individuals through its newly launched book club app. It's part meetup tool for users to organize book club meetings and book recommendation platform where different clubs can review and share their latest reads. The app launched on the UK App Store…

Business Strategy

My first career job out of college was working for a husband- and wife-owned press in Berkeley, California. Though both Berkeley and that press had a bit of a radical past, I wouldn’t realize until years later that the business dealings I was exposed to at that press would end up challenging people’s notions of…

How do you know if what you’ve created is worthwhile? In my experience, it has to pass the “good enough to steal test.” Business owners, authors, artists, and musicians don’t like to hear this, but it’s true. The fact is the majority of goods and services produced do not actually meet this benchmark of success.…

There are a number of key attributes successful publishers will be known for in the future. These core capabilities will be very different from the ones that have led to the modern empires of the Big Five. Some attributes will remain the same, of course. For example, it will always be crucial for publishers to…

Printing & Manufacturing

You’ve been hearing it a lot lately: Print-on-demand is changing publishing. Advances in technologies have brought reduced turnaround times, lower costs, higher quality, and less risk. As a result, businesses focused on print-on-demand are emerging, including independent, on-demand-focused publishers that serve both traditional book models and a changing vanity publishing marketplace. One group that’s often…

Books as a technology have been around for such a long time that it’s easy to forget that they were once major innovations themselves: Before the book there was the scroll, and the clay tablet before that, and it wasn’t until the end of the 16th century that modern indexes were invented, still largely the…

One of the most fascinating aspects of new technologies is how they open doors for new business models. And this is very true in the evolving world of book publishing. The book publishing model has many challenges, most notably how the established system of author advances, large superstore preorders, and returns limits what will be…

News

Scholarly publishing is a technology business. That’s been true for some time, of course. Yet the technology-driven approach to business is profoundly and fundamentally different from traditional publishing practices. How can scholarly publishers reconcile that dichotomy? How should a publisher utilize today’s technology in order to drive innovation? Those were the questions recently put to…

Remember the excitement surrounding the launch of Amazon’s Kindle eight years ago? It was a clunky device, even by 2007 standards, but it was revolutionary. One of the original Kindle’s breakthrough features was the ability to download books via cellular network. The e-Ink display and extremely long battery life also led to its popularity despite…

In a trendy coffee shop called Elixr, on a side street off of Philadelphia’s toney Rittenhouse Square, there is funky décor, loud music, strong coffee, and, by the door, a small vending machine. From this machine, for two dollars, one can purchase not cigarettes or candy or any of those other typically unhealthy vending machine wares, but, instead, a short story.