Activist and #WCW Leena Norms Is Changing Book Publishing
August 19, 2016 at 10:31 am

In its early stages, this column devolved into all the reasons I wanted to befriend U.K. vlogger and publishing machine, Leena Norms. She’s passionate, unabashedly herself, the co-founder of the Banging Bookclub, a Harry Potter apologist, unafraid to speak her mind, and Instagrams as many book pictures as I do cat pictures. I rarely see myself,…

When Will YouTube Deal with Its Audiobook and Podcast Piracy Problem?
August 2, 2016 at 12:35 pm

It happened in a moment of weakness — even though I knew better — but late one night earlier this month, I read the Amazon reviews for my book. Alternatively inflating and torturing my ego, I went through negative and the positive reviews. Amid the praise (and intense dislike), I caught a strange comment: Someone…

The Future Of The Future Of Books
September 18, 2014

It's been over 15 years since the first dedicated e-readers were released, and over seven since the first Kindle. Today, about 15% of consumer spending on books is electronic and about 30% of books sold are e-books. The majority of book readers still only read in print, and only 6% of readers read e-books exclusively. It's clear that e-books are here to stay, but it's less clear that the complete dismantling of the publishing industry is around the corner.

The Great Audiobook Survey: The Results
August 25, 2014

In our latest reader poll, we asked all about your audiobook habits. 1059 Riot readers answered the call. Here's a look at the numbers. I've offered some commentary and interpretation. What do you make of the data?

OER and the Future of Publishing
August 12, 2014

Open Education Resources (OER) represents a tectonic shift in education materials. Try typing "mitosis" into Google. Almost every search result on the first few pages is for OER exploring the process of cell division. The same is true for nearly any other concept you type in: "subject-verb agreement," "Pythagorean theorem"--you name it. And what you can find today on the Internet is probably less than one tenth of one percent of the OER out there. Most is trapped on teachers' PCs.

Could free content at scale, distributed for free, break the textbook industry?

10 Things Publishers Have Been Doing (That We Should Celebrate)
July 16, 2014

Publishing is all too often, and all too easily, lambasted for all the things it does not do. But we should also acknowledge what has been happening. What publishers have been trying out and in what areas these initiatives have been working. 2014 has already been a sobering year for the business, with the loss of two redoutable indies (both scooped up by Hachette), and a continuing decline in sales of physical books (albeit at a slowing rate). But it has also been a year of innovation

UK Publishing Pros Ask: “Is Publishing Cool Any More?”
July 3, 2014

How can publishing compete with the allure of the tech companies? Do the tech companies scream "today" - even "tomorrow" - while publishing is still perceived as being stuck in "yesterday?" Does media portrayal of the publishing industry help or hinder? These were among issues raised at the London Book Fair's third 'Tech Tuesday" event last week, held in super cool Hoxton, a very funky area of east London, close to Old Street's "silicon roundabout" where so many app companies are based.

#Hashtag Book Titles Trend Is A Gimmick That Works – For Now
June 24, 2014

Can a book "go viral" in the same way a cat video on YouTube can? Unless it's Harry Potter or Fifty Shades of Grey, probably not. So rather than simply trying to reach mass audiences, some authors and publishers are trying to reach smart subsets of audiences with hashtagged book titles. It's a gimmick that works - for now.

Sophia Amoruso's #Girlboss hit the shelves in May, featuring the Nasty Gal CEO sporting plenty of cleavage in a black dress, fists defiantly planted on her hips. Another new release, Sarah Ockler's young adult novel #Scandal

Can a Comic Con Approach Work for the Book Industry?
May 28, 2014

Recently, I asked the publisher of a major imprint what he thought of BookCon. "What's BookCon?" he asked. BookCon, I reminded him, is the latest effort by Book Expo America, the country's largest publishing trade fair (which starts Wednesday), to open up on its last day to the public, or whatever portion of it wants to pay $30 to spend a Saturday collecting autographs at the Javits Center. Its organizers, New York Comic Con managers ReedPop, aim to do for books what the ever-expanding universe of Comic Cons do for Marvel

Simon & Schuster Launches Imprint Focused on Youtube Stars
May 23, 2014

In the latest mash-up of old and new media, a division of Simon & Schuster, the Atria Publishing Group, has teamed with Hollywood's United Talent Agency to create a new imprint to publish books by Internet entertainers. Five deals have already been made with YouTube stars like Shane Dawson and Justine Ezarik.

Keywords Press, as the new endeavor is called, aims to release six to 10 titles annually, both in print and digital formats, ranging from "serious to comedic, fiction to nonfiction, practical advice to personal memoir," said Judith Curr