Content and Digital Asset Management

O.E.D.’s New Chief Editor Speaks of Its Future
January 22, 2014

Change is afoot at the O.E.D. For the first time in 20 years, the venerable dictionary has a new chief editor, Michael Proffitt, who assumes the responsibility of retaining the vaunted traditions while ensuring relevance in an era of Googled definitions and text talk.

In his first interview since assuming the position in November, Mr. Proffitt - a neat 48-year-old in suit and tie who has defined, researched and managed for the O.E.D. since 1989 - was respectful of the old ways but equally ready to reconsider the dictionary

Penguin Imprint Launch of 365 a Missed Opportunity
January 20, 2014

New Year's Day saw the launch of 365, a collaboration between Scottish writer James Robertson and Hamish Hamilton, a Penguin imprint. It sounded promising: one 365-word story to be published online every day, with a print collection at the end of the year. I was disappointed to find out Robertson wrote them all last year. The best thing about digital publishing is its immediacy, so it would have been nice to publish the stories as soon as they were written. That way, 365 could have been a gripping

Is Your Content in All The High Visibility Areas?
January 20, 2014

What's your strategy to get your content discovered and read? Most publishers follow the "if you build it, they will come" philosophy. Many of those same publishers won't be around in a few years.

IPA Endorses Thema
January 17, 2014

International Publishers Association has officially announced its support of Thema, the new international subject code standard for books and ebooks.

What We Lose From Having Killed The Public Domain
January 16, 2014

The damage that our missing public domain does to culture, society, learning and knowledge is quite incredible. Two years ago, we had mentioned some research done by Professor Paul Heald, in which he noticed an incredible thing about new books available from Amazon, showing that plenty of recent new books were available, but they fade quickly... until you hit 1922 (the basic limit, before which nearly all works are in the public domain). And then there's a sudden jump in the works available.

Publish And Be Branded: The New Threat to Literature's Laboratory
January 13, 2014

Increasingly fixated on the stars of today, such as Hilary Mantel and JK Rowling, publishers are neglecting the experimenters who could save their industry tomorrow: the mid-list writers.

The tickets sold out months ago. Long before the admiring reviews of the stage adaptation of Hilary Mantel's novels Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies hit the press at the end of last week, theatre-goers were in no doubt they wanted to see six hours of blazing Tudor intrigue.


Measuring the Negative Impact of Digital Rights Management (DRM)
January 13, 2014

Still think DRM is good for IP owners? Have you bought into all the fear, uncertainty and doubt to believe DRM protects sales by keeping freeloaders away from your content?

If so, I've got a report you need to read. It's one that came out late last year but didn't get a lot of publicity.

Scientists Find Secret to Writing a Best-Selling Novel
January 10, 2014

Scientists have developed an algorithm which can analyse a book and predict with 84 per cent accuracy whether or not it will be a commercial success.

A technique called statistical stylometry, which mathematically examines the use of words and grammar, was found to be "surprisingly effective" in determining how popular a book would be.

How Hybrid Publishers Innovate To Succeed
January 9, 2014

The publishing industry has been challenged by the online sales success of Amazon, the rise of eBooks, print-on-demand and most recently by self-publishing. Though the overall unit sales and book revenues for traditional publishing held up in 2012, pricing wars have accelerated. The 2013 holiday season, for example, saw bestsellers like John Grisham's Sycamore Row discounted (in eBook form) all the way down to $3.29, as Porter Anderson notes in his story on eBook pricing.

I have written extensively on author and library reactions to this disruption, but the publishing industry itself is also morphing.