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Of iPads, embargoes and the confrontation with reality

I’ve been settling into my new job, designing the next generation of Microsoft’s TechNet service, but have not turned away from the e-book market or its hijinks. Oh, what a week. Where to start and where will it end? First off, the Apple iPad. My thoughts: It was one of Steve Jobs’ worst presentations in […]

How to create new reading experiences profitably

Concluding my summary of my recent presentation to a publishing industry group, begun here and continued here, we turn to the question of what to do to revitalize the publishing opportunity. I wrote a lot about the idea of exploding the limitations of the book in the last installment. Getting beyond the covers. Turning from […]

Challenging publishers to change isn’t the safe path

Continuing my tale of the publishing industry presentation I made last month, begun here, let’s turn to the changes in the book and book supply chain that are necessary to resurrect publishing as a pivotal source of creative value in a time when gatekeepers are despised and largely redundant. The electronic publishing supply chain is […]

When customers love the product, but hate your mission, it’s time to change publishing

I recently had the pleasure of presenting a vision for the future of publishing to a group of publishing professionals in New York. Can’t say where it was, yet, but suffice to say it was worth saying and that the message was well received by the thoughtful, albeit skeptical, audience. Despite the increasingly rapid changes […]

Smashwords gets Kindle distribution deal

Smashwords, the e-book self-publisher services company, is for real. The company has won a series of distribution deals, including through Barnes & Noble, Sony and Shortcovers e-book stores. Today they added Kindle distribution, paying authors 42.5 percent of the sale list price of their Kindle books. As an author services play, Smashwords has sped to […]

Cheaper Kindles will seed more digital libraries

Amazon today lowered the price of its U.S. Kindle 2 to $259. It also announced an international version of the Kindle 2 for $279—globe-trotting customers are paying more for a more capable radio, but it’s still $20 less than Kindle 2 was yesterday. The price of e-reader hardware is definitely trending downward. If you imagine […]

Interesting free online conference on e-books

I’ve signed up to “attend” an interesting event, Digital Content Day @ Your Desk, a free virtual conference with what looks like a lively agenda. You can participate online on October 29, from 10:30 AM to roughly 5 PM Eastern by registering here. They are talking everything from DRM to social media.

A book evolution, not revolution

We often hear arguments that the age of the book has passed or that, with the advent of e-books, the book is doomed. It makes good copy, just as populist-sounding charges that publishing is “corrupt” does, but none of these arguments recognizes the human cultural tradition that we build on rather than destroy. Is it […]

The cold realism of a former publisher

Daniel Menaker, former Executive Editor-in-Chief of Random House and fiction editor of The New Yorker writes in the Barnes & Noble Review about the realities of publishing, including the dynamic and paradoxical pressures of choosing books that will produce a market success. A must read for BooksAhead readers, as it strips away the mythos of publishing […]

Reading Steve Jobs: Why 45 e-reader devices don’t make a market

As I develop the coverage here at BooksAhead, I have decided that trying to break news stories about e-reader devices doesn’t add a lot of value for the reader, especially when there are few differentiating features or functionality. Way back in the early 90s, when a new Ethernet interface card for the Mac—I was networking […]