You've probably heard me say that we live in a print-under-glass world, one where we're consuming dumb content on smart devices. It's true simply because, as Michael Bhaskar of Canelo Publishing stated it at BEA, "publishers treat ebooks as a secondary priority."
The Javits Center must have some sort of time warp technology. I recently attended the BEA event there and I kept asking myself the same question: Is this 2015 or 2005? The digital vibe was almost nowhere to be found in the expo hall. For example, publishers are still handing out stacks of print galleys and samples. Is that really more effective than digital copies? Wouldn't it be better to distribute e-versions and gather customer info along the way? All this talk of establishing direct relationships with readers and having access to the resulting data still seems to be the stuff of fiction.
Curation is a term that is thrown around a lot, observed Michael Bhaskar during the first session of the IDPF Digital Book Conference in New York. "Usually by hipsters who talk about curating the cat pictures on their Instagram page," he added. But curation for publishers means so much more. Bhaskar, who is releasing a new book entitled Curation: How the Power of Selection is Managing Overload, argued that curation is an unavoidable part of publishing's future because there are simply too many books. "One of the biggest problems we don't think about in publishing is abundance."
Two former executives at UK independent Quercus Publishing, Iain Millar and Nick Barreto, have partnered with Michael Bhaskar, currently digital publishing director at Profile Books and sometime digital publishing savant, to create Canelo, “a new digital publisher of engaging fiction and non-fiction released as ebooks, apps and on the web. Working closely with authors, readers, developers […]
Published in October of 2013, The Content Machine explores the publishing industry in crisis, disrupted by digital innovations, yet continuing to adapt. Written by Michael Bhaskar, digital publishing director at Profile Books, The Content Machine outlines a theory of publishing that allows publishers "to focus on their core competencies in difficult times while building a broader notion of what they are capable of
Last week when I attended the London Book Fair, I sought out sessions that spoke to the technological shifts affecting the industry. Some of best content came from The Digital Hub sessions at the Tech Theater. Ostensibly paid-to-play sessions, they were short but sweet bursts of knowledge that beat out some of the more trudging sessions elsewhere.