Tim O Reilly

"In the space of one generation, [new] print books will be as rare as vinyl LPs. You'll still be able to find them in artsy hipster stores, but that's about it." - Jason Merkoski, author of Burning the Page: The eBook Revolution and the Future of Reading. Merkoski's opinion, which is not just melodramatic, but probably also wrong, nevertheless speaks to the future of the place where we buy our books. Many bookshops have gone the way of pharmacies, selling in categories far distant from their core products.

Yesterday I posted a blog discussing one point addressed during the CEO Roundtable at the Digital Book World Conference-namely, book discoverability. The larger discussion of that panel focused on the future of the ebook, for which the CEOs (Tim O'Reilly of O'Reilly Media, Dominique Raccah of Sourcebooks, Carolyn Reidy of Simon & Schuster, and David Nussbaum of F+W Media) seemed to have more questions than answers.

For a bunch of rapacious capitalists, the people who start technology companies are strikingly ambivalent about the concept of owning stuff. Silicon Valley would like to replace the practice of owning copies of, say, a song or a movie, with a world where everything's kept on servers that people pay to access. Next up: books.

As startups have started offering services inevitably referred to as literary Netflixes (NFLX) or Spotifys, the idea has been gaining momentum. Still, it's getting a mixed reaction at Digital Book World, a publishing industry conference about e-reading.

The future of book publishing is changing rapidly and now, more than ever, book publishers are asking, "What's next?" This question was top-of-mind in day two of the Digital Book World Conference and Expo. Yesterday's headline event, the CEO Roundtable, delved into this head on, discussing the future of the ebook. Book discovery is a huge part of that future, and the road forward, the panelists asserted, is not an easy one.

Last Thursday, Tim O’Reilly announced that the company named after him is shutting down its Tools of Change practice area and laying off Kat Meyer and Joe Wikert. In explaining this decision, O’Reilly offers background that ultimately reveals more than he may have intended. He starts with the thinking that kicked off the Tools of Change franchise in 2006: 

Publishing isn’t about putting ink on paper, and moving blocks of said paper through warehouses to readers. It’s about knowledge dissemination, learning, entertainment, codification of subject authority…

Earlier today, O’Reilly Media founder Tim O’Reilly announced in a blog post that after seven years of hosting the Tools of Change for Publishing conference, a digital publishing event attended annually by many of the biggest names and most important members of the industry, the conference is being officially retired. Also folding along with the [...]

The post BREAKING: O’Reilly Media Retiring the Tools of Change Conference and TOC Blog appeared first on TeleRead: News and views on e-books, libraries, publishing and related topics.

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