The Dictionary Market: Getting Your Words' Worth
"The dictionary business," Morse says with a sigh,"has always been really competitive. [Merriam-Webster has] been up against the biggest multinational dictionaries in the world. We're [used] to being in a competitive environment."
On Oct. 16, 2012, language fanatics everywhere will be celebrating a milestone in the history of the dictionary: the 254th birthday of Noah Webster, who in 1828 famously published "An American Dictionary of the English Language," the first dictionary to ever bear the Merriam-Webster name. We wonder what Mr. Webster would think of the dictionary landscape today, which includes digital delivery, community-created online dictionaries (and even a crowdsourcing initiative from the U.K.'s Collins). In honor of Mr. Webster's birthday, Book Business is taking a look at how two key players in the market today are dealing with the industry's ongoing advances into the digital age.
Dan Eldridge is a journalist and guidebook author based in Philadelphia's historic Old City district, where he and his partner own and operate Kaya Aerial Yoga, the city's only aerial yoga studio. A longtime cultural reporter, Eldridge also writes about small business and entrepreneurship, travel, and the publishing industry. Follow him on Twitter at @YoungPioneers.