Last night, in an event that slipped by relatively unnoticed compared to the usual media spotlight on Google happenings, Google Books Engineering Director Dan Clancy spoke at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif., of Google's vision for the future of bookselling.
When espresso was first popularized in America, in the 1950s, it had all the qualities of a fad—commanding a lot of attention, then quickly fading out. The drink roared back into popularity in the ’90s on the back of a killer app called Starbucks, proving itself indispensable among a digital generation partial to need-it-now energy solutions. Who today can imagine life without it?
“Today the book business stands at the edge of a vast transformation, one that promises much opportunity for innovation: much trial, much error, much improvement.” —Jason Epstein (“Book Business: Publishing Past, Present and Future,” Norton 2001) That was seven years ago, and today, innovation and experimentation—trial and error—is the theme of the Book Industry Study Group (BISG) report “From Experimentation to Innovation in the Digital Age.” The report contains the results of a survey on the industry’s attitudes and actions pertaining to experimentation (more on page 7). It also contains case studies—based on interviews conducted by Mike Shatzkin, founder/CEO of The Idea Logical Co.,
Special to BookTech by Danny O. Snow For centuries, publishers have wrestled with one simple but crucial question upon which their success often depends: How many copies should we print? On one hand, fundamental economics of printing encourage publishers to produce as many copies as possible to achieve better economies of scale and lower per-unit costs. Meanwhile, the cost of unsold copies can also erode profit margins. The sunny side of POD Print-on-demand (POD) increasingly offers today's publishers a good solution to this central dilemma. By allowing publishers to print exactly enough copies to meet market demands and no more, POD drastically reduces, or