Archive for the ‘publishing’ Category

From obscurity to life – Google sheds light on obscure books

So much for the sceptics. Here’s the reality. Google draws attention and buyers to obscure books – The Boston Globe

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Will digital save print?

You would think that digital has started to slowly strangle print. But, digital could well be its saviour. This article explains why this might be the case.

QR codes and 2D Data Matrix come to the rescue of print | |

Dan Brown’s latest ebook outsells the print version

Here’s an interesting article. Dan Brown, the author of The Da Vinci Code, has released his latest book and it is selling ‘like hot cakes’. But, the interesting fact is that the ebook version designed to be read on Amazon’s Kindle device is outselling the printed version.

This might be just one of the moments in time when all of the hype about the book and the Amazon device turn into reality. The twist in the tale is that the book is also set to become the most discounted book in history too.

Kindle edition outselling print version on |

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Paying for content online moves closer with Google FastFlip

16/09/2009 1 comment

Everyday there are steps made towards people paying for content online which they might have expected to get for free in the past. This is a good thing so that we keep the ability to read well researched articles and information.

The Daily Telegraph is also moving towards paid-for online content through its ‘e-paper‘ program.

Google launches Fast Flip news website – Telegraph

Microsoft calls Google monopolistic

Kettle calling the pot black?

Kettle calling the pot black?

When Microsoft comes out with a statement that Google is being monopolistic with its digital book initiative, you know that something big is afoot. Microsoft has been in the courts for many years battling against law suits to limit its power in the world of operating systems and web browsers. But more recently, Google has started to become a threat that Microsoft has taken seriously and this would appear to be sour grapes from them towards the search giant.

Publishers are up in arms at the prospect of Google scanning books to them searchable, available and commercial again. It would appear that the amount that Google has to pay publishers for the rights to some of those books is quite small in relation to the number of titles available.

On the other hand, the publishers may well be getting an income from books which were deemed uncommercial before Google became interested in them. Either way, this has to be a good thing for making books more widely available according to how customers want to buy and read them.

Microsoft brands Google settlement ‘wrong’ |

Categories: business, publishing

Is XML heaven or hell?

09/09/2009 1 comment
XML - Heaven or Hell?

XML - Heaven or Hell?

Last week was eye-opening in several ways. I attended two conferences in London. The second one I attended was about online PR and reputation management. If you ever wonder or care about what people are saying about you, your company, your brand or your products, and how that affects the future of them all, then the lessons from this seminar are something about which you should learn.

On Wednesday, I went to the ‘StartWithXML‘ conference which might sound like a tedious affair but it was quite the contrary. This three letter acronym (XML) signifies how the publishing industry is changing from a printed world which has, to a large degree, an attitude of “We publish and sell books” to a digital publishing world whose attitude is “We are distributors of information”.

To quickly explain the benefits of XML, if a publisher starts the book publishing process when they receive a manuscript from an author in Microsoft Word or as an XML document, the ability for the publisher to efficiently turn that into not just a printed book but other products like an eBook, or an online reference tool (if it is guide, for example), is greatly increased. Not only that, the publisher can make the book searchable so that potential customers can find it and read about it in more detail before they buy it.

The benefits of starting the publishing process with a book in XML format are not only good for the publisher, they are good for the customers and the authors. Customers will buy more products and authors will get more royalties.

Most of the large publishing houses are fully aware of the benefits of XML to their businesses. They are in the process of getting their production teams skilled in XML and digital publishing. But it’s the smaller publishers that really need XML. By starting their publishing process with their manuscripts in XML, they can become extremely efficient and competitive in a crowded market.

For example, Snowbooks is a “feisty” publisher made up of three people. They produce all of their books using XML which are held on a database. Each book has all of the information about the title held in XML as well as the book in digital format so that, literally, at the click of a button, they can produce 48-page catalogues about their lists, feed their web site and make versions of each book in different formats. Anyone who has ever tried to put together a catalogue in a conventional way will know that it can take weeks and weeks to do this.

So, if you are in publishing and in production and you don’t know about XML, then you might be thinking it sounds like hell. But, if you do know about XML and its benefits then you could be about to secure your job. You role may well move from the production team into the IT team but, as they say, “if you don’t like change, then see how you feel about irrelevance”.

For more details from the StartwithXML conference, you can see the slide decks used by the speakers here.

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The Eleven Axioms of 21st Century Publishing

Publishers are changing to become 21st Century information distributors

Publishers are changing to become 21st Century information distributors

This is an interesting post by Kate Eltham about how publishers might need to evolve their ways of thinking about their industry in 21st Century. For example, publishers will need to think of themselves as “information engines, not producers of objects“.

Kate also links to another interesting blog called ‘Book Oven’ from which the axioms derive.

The Eleven Axioms of 21st Century Publishing – Electric Alphabet