Digital Publishing

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I'm a digitally-savvy consumer. Increasingly, so are my parents, most of my friends, and almost all of my younger relatives, peers, and co-workers. Yet, despite our differences in age, education, and technology know-how, we all share a common trait. We're continuously victimized by less-than-optimal digital experiences -- especially when it comes to ebooks.

Posted Jan 05, 2012

If there is one thing that continues to perplex the publishing industry, it's ebook pricing. How do you structure your pricing in a way that is fair to both the reader and the author and still make enough money to continue publishing operations? Many larger publishers want to keep the ebook price structure high, especially at the beginning, to keep from cannibalizing more profitable hardcover sales.

Posted Dec 29, 2011

For MLBAM, being in charge of MLB.com and the league's 30 team sites means managing a lot of digital content. Whether it is baseball season or the off season, MLB fans are always hungry for everything from statistics to video highlights, and it is MLBAM's job to keep them satiated with fresh content. When MLBAM realized that it was wasting too much time with traditional methods of logging and publishing all the different kinds of baseball related information, Rob Boysko, manager of multimedia publishing at MLB, started looking for a solution to simplify the process and cut down on content headaches.

Posted Dec 28, 2011

A few days before the wedding, I found myself sitting with my laptop searching YouTube for makeup tips. In a matter of seconds, I'd found exactly what I was looking for. I discovered a channel called The MakeUpChair With Sineady Cady (she has a really lovely accent, and the videos are worth watching just to hear her). Sineady is a young makeup artist living in Ireland, who uses a blog and her YouTube channel to promote her brand and find new clients. Her email address is posted right there on the channel, so if you're looking for someone to do your makeup for a special day, you can shoot her a message.

Posted Dec 27, 2011

Book publishers are an endangered species. That's right. The producers of textbooks, romance novels, and cookbooks aren't long for this world. Their likely extinction is both predictable and preventable. Even if they put up a good fight, it's unlikely they'll survive in their current form for one reason: They are slow to evolve.Case in point: Two years ago, while book publishers were busy conducting business as usual, an outsider invaded the industry and reshaped it in the publishers' image. The invading force was Apple, a fierce predator with a history of conducting well-orchestrated, highly publicized takeovers. And take over it did.

Posted Dec 22, 2011

Condé Nast and Random House, Inc. have partnered to bring 75 Random House digital cookbooks to Condé Nast's cooking site, Epicurious. In the future, Epicurious reportedly plans to team up with other publishers to expand its offering. The digital cookbooks range in price from $10.99 to $24.99.

Posted Dec 20, 2011

It's been a busy year for U.K. media. It started off with the pomp and ceremony of the Royal Wedding, moved to the embarrassing unravelling of News Corp. over a phone-hacking scandal, and ended with the devastating riots, which started in North London and then inspired copycat lawlessness in cities across the country for a few alarming days in August. When you look at it all written out like that, it's a wonder we survived at all!

Posted Dec 20, 2011

During interviews with a publisher client recently, one of the managers likened his organization's approach to digital product development as a goat rodeo, as in, "Our managers are crazy. After each one of them provides input to our project, it's a goat rodeo." The colorful reference is to a chaotic situation, typically in a corporate or bureaucratic setting, according to Wikipedia. A goat rodeo involves several people who have different agendas and perceptions of what's going on around them, and reconciling those views is difficult. Despite energy and effort, it's impossible to bring any sense of order to the situation.

Posted Dec 20, 2011

Ahead of the release of the Harry Potter ebooks and digital audiobooks, J. K. Rowling's Pottermore.com is running a survey on e-reading habits. Pottermore was originally scheduled to open shop in October, but due to concerns about heavy traffic, the launch was pushed back to sometime in the first half of 2012.

Posted Dec 19, 2011

No longer is it just editors and agents on the subways and buses with their submission pile on Sony e-readers; it's actual, real, live, nonindustry people who just love to read. Harris Interactive, Inc. polled more than 2,000 people in July of this year and found that roughly 15% of those polled already owned an e-reader, and 15% of those who did not own an e-reader were likely to buy one in the next 6 months.

Posted Dec 15, 2011

ebrary announced the results of its Download Survey for which it asked more than 1,000 participating librarians about mobile and offline access to ebooks. Patrons value the portability of ebooks, which led 92% of respondents to say that providing offline access to ebooks was at least as important as providing online access to them, if not more so.

Posted Dec 14, 2011

The Authors Guild filed a motion for class certification in its first step on a new path of litigation after the rejection of the proposed Google Books Settlement, according to paidContent. A procedural step in any class-action lawsuit, the class certification ensures the lawsuit is brought on the behalf of all U.S. authors whose copyrighted work Google has scanned.

Posted Dec 14, 2011

Help+Manual 6, an authoring tool from EC Software GmbH, adds new output formats, including manuals that can be directly exported to and viewed on the Apple iPad and iPhone. Version 6 has an updated user interface, editing capabilities, and WebHelp 2.0.

Posted Dec 13, 2011

According to the Wordpress.com blog, the popular blogging and website building tool is partnering with Federated Media to offer the opportunity to advertise to its bloggers. According to the post: "We've resisted advertising so far because most of it we had seen wasn't terribly tasteful, and it seemed like Google's AdSense was the state-of-the-art, which was sad. You pour a lot of time and effort into your blog and you deserve better than AdSense."

Posted Dec 13, 2011

When I think of digital publishing over the next year and beyond, I see three trends dominating the landscape: mobility, ubiquity, and touchability. User-generated content (UGC), social sharing, and social advertising are replacing the old-world concepts of traditional advertising. Your technology (today or tomorrow) should be able to support this paradigm shift.

Posted Dec 13, 2011

TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc. has partnered with Spain's national daily newspaper El País, part of Ediciones El País, SL, to produce a Spanish-language local edition, El Huffington Post. The deal closed last Thursday. The Spanish edition will be based out of El País' offices.

Posted Dec 12, 2011

Vogue has announced Vogue Archive, powered globally by WGSN. The archive, digitized in full color, includes all pages of every issue of American Vogue from 1892 to the present, including covers and advertisements.

Posted Dec 09, 2011

Amazon announced new publishing options for independent authors through an initiative called KDP Select. KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) is Amazon's self-publishing service for authors and publishers; with KDP Select, KDP authors that choose to make their books exclusive to the Kindle Store for at least 90 days are eligible to earn a share of a $6 million annual fund.

Posted Dec 08, 2011

Allen Press, Inc. launched a digital publishing platform called BrightCopy, which allows publishers to preserve the aesthetic of their print publications while optimizing pages for online reading. Using an HTML5 mobile-optimized platform, BrightCopy enables publishers to deliver in multiple formats.

Posted Dec 08, 2011

This spring, some research had me making a series of calls to a range of people in the book publishing business, including authors, agents, publishers, and consultants. The topic-in broad terms-was about the shift to digital. How did these publishing leaders see the shift occurring today? How was it going so far, and-more importantly-what might the publishing landscape look like in 3 or 5 years?

Posted Dec 05, 2011

Content management and advertising solutions provider Atex partnered with Zissor, a company that supplies end-to-end digitization solutions, to offer media companies the opportunity to monetize more content. Atex will now offer archive digitization solutions using Zissor's industrial conversion technology.

Posted Dec 01, 2011

Amazon announced the opening of the Italian Kindle Store and the Spanish Kindle Store at Amazon.it and Amazon.es, respectively. The Italian Kindle Store offers more than 16,000 Italian-language ebooks, while the Spanish Kindle Store boasts 22,000 ebooks in Spanish; both offer access to a total of more than 900,000 titles in all languages.

Posted Dec 01, 2011

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, and it seems many shoppers decided to forego the stampedes and fistfights associated with Black Friday and shop from their office chairs on Monday instead. IBM is reporting that it may well have been the strongest Cyber Monday yet with online sales up over last year by 33%, and order value up 2.6%. Another big change: more and more people are doing their shopping via a mobile device such as a smart phone or tablet. Almost 11% of traffic to online retailers was from mobile users. Sales via mobile devices were up as well, from 2.3% last year to 6.6% this year.

Posted Dec 01, 2011

About.com announced it would provide content from its Twitter feed, homepage, and select content categories over Flipboard, the social magazine app designed specifically for iPad. Flipboard aggregates content from social networks and other publishers. The magazine-style interface will deliver hundreds of lifestyle articles to readers.

Posted Nov 30, 2011

iMedia Revenue Ltd. developed a publishing platform that gives newsrooms tools to publish content simultaneously across multiple channels such as mobile, email, web, and print. The SaaS solution offers pre-press layout integration with Quark and InDesign in an effort to automate each step of the publishing process.

Posted Nov 30, 2011

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