Lessons Learned While Publishing Guide to Digital Publishing Platforms as an eBook
September 25, 2014

The chance to publish the second edition of our Guide to Digital Publishing Platformswas a great opportunity to rethink many of the basic concepts of book publishing such as the role of the cover, and the need for using as many digital bookstores as possible. It is common wisdom that when publishing a book, the cover design is one of the most important elements that will influence a book's sales success. Much money is spent employing book design experts to make sure a book cover is attractive and lures the reader in.

How 'Google Science' Could Transform Academic Publishing
August 20, 2014

Google is allegedly working on a free, open access platform for the research, collaboration and publishing of peer-reviewed scientific journals.

At least, that is apparently what one individual wants us to believe. Wired.co.uk is in possession of a document, sent anonymously, detailing how "Google Science" would bring together existing services such as Google Docs, Google Plus, YouTube and more to create a platform that challenges the paid-for model of scientific publishing and provides academics with an opportunity to connect with each other more efficiently.

L.A. Times Book Prize Finalists
February 20, 2014

The finalists for the 34th annual L.A. Times Book Prizes were announced Wednesday morning: 50 books in 10 categories are in the running to win the L.A. Times Book Prizes, to be awarded in April. Two authors will receive special recognition: John Green with the Innovators Award and Susan Straight with the Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement.

Warby Parker Sponsors Atavist E-single, Offering Free Reads Online for a Month
September 16, 2013

Here's a cool twist in payment models for long-form content: Trendy online eyeglasses company Warby Parker is sponsoring an e-single at publishing startup The Atavist. Through the partnership, you can read Joshuah Bearman's "Coronado High" free on the web for a month. It's normally $2.99.

"We worked with Warby to build some really cool interactive sponsorship integration into the story design," Atavist cofounder and CEO Evan Ratliff told me. "It's a first. We're taking a piece of long-form content and letting an advertiser sponsor the ability for readers to get it for free."

Kobo's Aura HD the best e-reader on the market; but can it compete with the Kindle ecosystem?
May 7, 2013

Battling the e-reader juggernaut Amazon is tough. Just ask Barnes & Noble.

Yet, Kobo lives on — not just surviving, but thriving. The Japanese company’s success in the e-reader market can be pinned equally on its strong international presence and its willingness to create a product specifically tuned to the wants and needs of its most hardcore customers.

The Kobo Aura HD is a device for those hardcores: people who not only crave a better e-ink screen (really, who doesn’t?), but also those who pay closer attention to a device’s design.

Random House Dabbles in Interactive Fiction With Free-to-Play Game
April 16, 2013

Random House, the world’s biggest book publisher, is dipping its toes into the wild world of interactive fiction.

Black Crown, the first “free to play online narrative game” from the publisher, is open for registration now but won’t go fully online until May, according to Random House rep Dan Frankin.

The usage of the “free-to-play” descriptor seems improbably apt, since “players” will be able to unlock new pieces of story content using virtual currency which can be purchased using real-life monies.

Amazon Buys Goodreads. Take That, Bookish!
March 28, 2013

After two years of stops and starts, Bookish, the book discovery and e-commerce website co-owned by three of the world’s biggest publishers, finally opened for business in February. Seven weeks later, Amazon has acquired Goodreads, the leading book-centric social network.


Of course, with 16 million members, San Francisco-based Goodreads is a logical enough acquisition target for the e-tailer. (The sale price hasn’t been disclosed but seems likely to have been in the low eight digits; according to Crunchbase, Goodreads had raised a total of $2.75 million in funding.)

Books aren't dead yet
March 20, 2013

Without a doubt, book publishing is an industry in a state of flux, but even the nature of the flux is up for grabs. Take a recent example of the traditional tech-journalism take on the situation, an article by Evan Hughes for Wired magazine, titled “Book Publishers Scramble to Rewrite Their Future.” The facts in the story are indisputable, but the interpretation? Not so much.

The news peg is the success of a self-published series of post-apocalyptic science fiction novels, “Wool,” by Hugh Howie. Available as e-books and print books from Amazon…

Choose your own adventure: Authors turn to Kickstarter to fund their stories
February 18, 2013

Game designer Mike Selinker had a dream back in 1995—to bring his puzzle solving fantasy adventure, a book called The Maze of Games, to market.

No one he knew thought he could sell it, so Selinker put his manuscript in the proverbial drawer for eighteen years. Then he decided to try Kickstarter.

Four and half hours after his campaign launched, he met his campaign goal of $16,000, and to date has attracted 1,600 backers and raised more than $100,000.

The Digital Edge in Retail
November 26, 2012

Today is Cyber Monday, the day when experts suggest that more than a billion dollars will be spent online as people purchase gifts for the holiday season.  This fact coupled with an interesting but not particularly revealing article “Death by a Billion Clicks”  by Michael Copland on Best Buy in Wired Magazine raises the question:

What are the digital edges available to incumbent retailers?

A digital edge is the combination of digital technology with the physical world to create new sources of customer value and company revenue.