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Digital technology has broken down many barriers for new authors trying to break into the book publishing business. Ebooks and online publishing tools offer relatively easy and inexpensive ways to self-publish, and the internet provides a virtual platform from which to potentially grab the attention of a worldwide audience, including those seemingly elusive book editors and literary agents.

Posted Oct 08, 2012

Author J.K. Rowling knows how to cast a spell on readers with her enthralling stories. But she and her publisher probably wish they had a magic wand that could undo the troublesome technical defect in the faulty first run of the ebook version of her new novel, The Casual Vacancy.

Posted Oct 05, 2012

Founded by Christian Puricelli, former CEO of Onrest Web Services, and Filmon Ghirmai, MyNews.is began a quest to transform how people discover and read news articles. MyNews.is is a personalized discovery magazine, that let's people discover news that is of interest to them. Users choose their categories and sources that interest them and then rate these sources. MyNews.is then selects news stories that may interest the user.

Posted Sep 17, 2012

With more and more information going online, AMR has not had as much of a need to stockpile physical copies of sports publications, such as team yearbooks, as it had in the past. "We have gone more to online yearbooks and media guides, where before we used to print all those out, but print has kind of gone away a little bit," says W. Brandon Kolditz, assistant media relations director/publications coordinator for Memphis AMR. As a result, the department wanted to find a way to save money on printing costs while still having enough printed team yearbooks on hand for anyone wanting one.

Posted Sep 12, 2012

Amazon.com announced the launch of Kindle Serials, stories that are published in episodes. When users buy a Kindle Serial they will immediately receive all existing episodes, followed by future episodes as they are published. When new episodes arrive, they are simply added to the end of your existing book, keeping your place and retaining your highlights and notes. Readers can also join the conversation on Amazon discussion boards as the stories unfold -- allowing the authors to learn from readers in real-time and perhaps influence a story's path.

Posted Sep 07, 2012

Word up to would-be writers, novelists, self-help scribes and long-form authors everywhere: Get ready to turn the page and make the jump from print to pixels. Because if you haven't transitioned to electronic publishing yet, you'll need to get up to speed fast and not only learn what it takes to make an ebook, but also how and where best to sell it.

Posted Jul 11, 2012

Mag+ has announced the launch of its latest digital publishing platform, Mag+ 3.5. With this version, the company says it will be much easier for publishers to develop digital content intended for a range of mobile devices without the need for device-specific iterations. Publishers will be able to transfer creations from one device to another in a new InDesign template and the content will be reconfigured to fit the new device.

Posted Jul 05, 2012

In the digital world, the idea of engagement has a very different meaning. Marketing is no longer a one-way street. Rather, marketers have learned to leverage social media to build two-way conversations in pursuit of that magic word: engagement. Scrolling marquees decorated with hashtags and @ symbols stream across our television screens, encouraging viewers to engage, luring us with the promise of sharing our shout-outs with the world. In the social networking age, companies continuously ask themselves: How do we reach these communities? How do we engage? How do we create valuable conversations?

Posted Jul 04, 2012

Predictive information management software company Recommind announced a new module for Decisiv Search called Content Delivery for SharePoint (CDS). The company says CDS will allow for indexing and displaying content of any kind, from any location within SharePoint 2010.

Posted Jun 20, 2012

BEA is great for a lot of things-finding out what new books are coming soon, reconnecting with old colleagues and friends, and maybe even snagging a bound galley or two. But what's also very cool is getting to see and find out more about the people and companies who work in different aspects of publishing, particularly the emerging technology fields. For a content creation person such as myself, it's fascinating to learn more about content delivery and the mechanics that go into it.

Posted Jun 14, 2012

Data Conversion Laboratory has announced a new online publishing portal which the company says will re-energize previously dormant content into highly accurate digital knowledge that can be searched, reorganized, ported to ebooks, and published into most formats.

Posted May 29, 2012

News in the publishing world this past month has been dominated by the Department of Justice's antitrust suit against several of the biggest US publishers. Authors, agents, and booksellers are sounding off on what they consider to be the severely misguided efforts on the part of the government. The Association of Authors' Representatives board voted unanimously to oppose the suit and settlement and has sent a letter to all members urging them to voice their disapproval as well. Simon Lipskar, an agent with Writers House, has sent his own letter to the justice presiding over the case. (Mr. Lipskar's full letter is available.) He meticulously documents that agency pricing has not harmed consumers and has, in fact, been to their benefit.

Posted May 17, 2012

At the Software and Information Industry Association's Content VIA Platforms conference in San Francisco on May 10, the "Gang of Four" - Google, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook -were omnipresent, even if no one from those organizations was scheduled to speak. Publishers and technology providers used "VIA" to discuss the risks and opportunities in working with these companies, a sign of the importance the four platforms now play in meeting the evolving preferences of eContent consumers.

Posted May 11, 2012

Technology, it is said, has turned the world into a global village. In Africa, modern technology-especially mobile devices like e-readers-is changing almost every facet of human life more than on any other technology anywhere in the world. To many, the spread of the mobile web is Africa's version of the great industrial revolution that swept through Europe in the 19th Century and created opportunities and wealth to propel Europe into the success it is today. No other continent has fully embraced and tapped into the potential of information communication technology (ICT) like Africa has over the past decade or so.

Posted Apr 25, 2012

Many media prognosticators continue to spew a doom-and-gloom forecast for online newspapers, digital publishers and marketers, and electronic content providers. But Roger McNamee, managing director/founding partner of private equity firm Elevation Partners, foresees a more optimistic near-term future for these players-provided they get with the program, specifically HTML 5 and mobile apps.

Posted Apr 20, 2012

In an ideal world, all a publisher or media company would have to do to be successful is produce engaging content, and do it consistently. In reality, creating good content isn't enough anymore. As our lives become increasingly reliant on mobile technology, people expect fresh, compelling content, and they want to be able to access that content, anywhere, anytime, and on any device.The good news is that companies no longer need to be convinced about the importance of integrating mobile technologies, such as apps, into content delivery plans. "We're thankfully at a stage where we are no longer talking so much about experimentation," says Peggy Anne Salz, founder and chief analyst at MobileGroove. "We do not have the discussion point any longer of ‘Do I need to be mobile.' That discussion is gone. We are in a phase of execution."

Posted Apr 16, 2012

Last month I mentioned the rumors that the Department of Justice was preparing to file antitrust charges against Apple and five publishers regarding "agency pricing," wherein publishers set a specific price for an ebook and the retailer receives a certain percentage of that price. (Author royalties are paid on cover price in a similar manner.) Yesterday the hammer fell.

Posted Apr 12, 2012

Many content publishers and distributors need to change their multi-platform publishing strategies or risk losing their audience, according to a new survey conducted by the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA). SIIA surveyed 85 media companies, information services companies and publishers of various sizes. The results revealed two significant dichotomies related to multi-platform publishing plans: one between the companies' strategies and practice, and the other between the priorities of different levels of management.

Posted Apr 04, 2012

In a private deal, Godengo, Inc., a CMS provider for magazine publishers, acquired Texterity, Inc., a provider of digital magazines and mobile apps. Together, the companies have created a unified platform for leveraging digital, web, and mobile media.

Posted Apr 02, 2012

Brainshark, Inc. has developed the SlideShark for Box OneCloud app in cooperation with cloud storage and collaboration provider Box. Through the partnership, Box users can upload stored PowerPoint presentations from their Box account directly to the SlideShark iPad app.

Posted Mar 29, 2012

Two days after the Pottermore shop launched, Harry Potter ebooks and digital audiobooks will be available in libraries beginning March 29. The Harry Potter digital materials are distributed to libraries through OverDrive. The ebooks are available as EPUB and Kindle editions.

Posted Mar 29, 2012

Ex Libris Group released bX Hot Articles, part of the new bX usage-based suite of services. Hot Articles identifies the 10 articles that researchers have selected in recent weeks, as well as the 10 most popular articles overall. The service is free for noncommercial use.

Posted Mar 29, 2012

The next update to Microsoft's XBox Live service could feature Comcast's video-on-demand (VOD) service and HBO Go. The HBO Go app was originally slated to go live on April 1. Comcast's app will reportedly allow users to search its VOD service directly from the console.

Posted Mar 27, 2012

A student turns her tablet on to read three chapters assigned to her this week. As she reads, she comes across a topic that she would like to learn more about. She leaves her ebook, opens a web browser and runs a search. The ebook might be a great source of information on a single topic, but it fails as a research tool. Why?

Posted Mar 26, 2012

The ASA has been around for more than 100 years and publishes several different peer-reviewed journals as well as books, which means that its library is quite substantial. In order to give its members access to this plethora of information online, the library had been hosted by a third-party vendor. Unfortunately, this made it difficult to manage the content the way the ASA wanted within the vendor's capabilities while staying within the organization's budget. It needed a cost-effective way to house, manage, and control all of this content to fulfill the growing and evolving needs of its members, which included web and mobile access to information in the field.

Posted Mar 23, 2012

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