Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue


A Dreadful Year for Publishers? NOT!

A funny thing happened on the way to the new publishing industry maturing and understanding — All the publishing doomsday forecasters and naysayers have been proven wrong due to unforeseen fallouts resulting from the onslaught of digital and tech changes redefining the old traditional publishing (TP) business models.

Damn, I like that sentence — It sort of says publishing is as complicated and unpredictable as Homo sapiens, themselves — And I DON’T mean ‘complicated’ in the confined, restricted, smoke & mirrors sense that TP defenders use to defend why the old TP model was so slow or inefficient (Pssst, actually it sucked to the Nth degree – especially for writers/authors).

But, I can understand why those who grew up in the TP system (actually the only viable system existing at the time), learned how to survive in it and made a living through it, would defend it to the death.

Hot excerpts from tonight’s researched source:

“A flood of self-published books washes ashore. Bestseller prices are down significantly. Bad grammar speeds through the ether at a faster pace than ever before.  This should be a dreadful year for publishers.  Only it’s not.”

“Self-publishing is a huge and disruptive force in the publishing industry, but contrary to popular belief, it’s largely benefiting publishers.”

Note from John: I don’t agree with the word ‘disruptive’ in describing self-publishing – I prefer the word ‘redefining’.

Why Did Self-Publishing Tip?

Fifty Shades lit a fire under everybody. No matter what you think of the book, the numbers were so phenomenal that it made everyone rethink things – Meg Kuhn, COO Kirkus Media”

“The question is: why has all of this chaos helped publishing instead of hurt it?

The short answer is that robust competition has done what it nearly always does – improve market efficiency.  Readers, authors and publishers all see benefits.  Here are the four surprising trends from the past year:”

To get the four surprising publishing trends continue to read the following Forbes article by David Vinjamuri:


Is Publishing Still Broken? The Surprising Year In Books


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The Next Generation Publishing Paradigm?

Looking for the new Publishing Paradigm

Are publishers ready for the new and coming digital publishing paradigm? Content creation, management and delivery will be changing even more rapidly in 2012 and there are certain signposts sprouting up that will help guide publishers, especially more unmovable traditional publishers, to better understanding and acceptance.

I don’t feel newer publishers will have as much difficulty with the transition into an expanded and freer publishing universe … simply because they have less baggage and therefore less to unlearn, so to speak 🙂

This from Brian Grey, CEO of Bleacher Report, in

How Publishers Can Ready Themselves For Digital Media’s Evolution

As the media industry rolls towards 2012, changes to the traditional publishing model will emerge faster than most people realize. Content consumption behaviors are already evolving and in this rapidly changing environment there exists opportunities for publishers to embrace the core tenets of a next generation publishing paradigm that promises to alter the way content is created, distributed and consumed.

And as with every disruptive transitional movement within a major industry, content publishers need to focus primarily on fundamental consumer desires that drive these shifts. Publishers need to truly understand that in the digital-age consumers seek specific elements that can help improve the overall content experience for users, including:

Instant Gratification – Readers crave information “right now”. They want real-time entertainment delivered to them on multiple screens, wherever they may be. People have increasingly become news junkies and we want as much content as we can get about the topics we care about.

Granular Coverage – Consumers are clamoring for content at a highly detailed level. They want access to analysis and opinion on a multitude of topics and storylines, and not just cursory recaps or summaries. There are hundreds of thousands of topics for which users seek a deep content experience that goes way beyond headlines and soundbites.

Comprehensive Experiences – In an ever proliferating digital content world, users seek a single, one-stop shop source that can curate all the content that they care about. No one publishing outlet can satisfy today’s content consumer. Increasingly people will ascribe value to publishers who both create deep, meaningful content while simultaneously pointing these same people to other great content aggregated from around the Web.

Read and learn more

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Book, Everybody Wants To Be Your Friend!

The book industry has taken many knocks over the past few years due to the introduction of “digital” dynamics. But, the industry is now poised to sell more books in the near future than it has over the past 200 years, again due to the same “digital” dynamics! At least, that’s what Bruce Upbin, a managing editor at Forbes, is intimating on their blog: Booked:

Two days ago I went to the O’Reilly Tools of Change Publishing conference at the Marriott in Times Square. It’s a well-attended conference, focused on e-books, e-book readers and embracing digital change. While the last decade has not been pretty to the book industry–it has not grown in revenue much in the last six years (neither has the U.S. economy)–everyone wants to know what’s next.

Twelve hundred people showed up at Tools of Change. Bookselling, after all, is going to change more in the next six years than in the previous 200. Many participants have gotten beat up by digital change, but at TOC 2010, everyone wants to be the book’s friend: the vendors, the consultants, the keynoter thought-leaders. David “Skip” Pritchard, the chief executive of Ingram Content Group, gave a talk about embracing change. His business serves up the software for e-books and electronic libaries. He also got so friendly he threw what looked like a travel coffee mug into the audience to punctuate one of his ideas. People seemed more alert after that happened.

The highlight of the day was Arianna Huffington’s keynoter, which went over embracing change and the Golden Age of Engagement. She ended with an invitation to the audience and all publishing industry people to come write for free on her book chat site. “Books don’t end,” she said. “Publication dates are meaningless.” “Start saying something about your book.” Right on, sister.

Well, we’re a friend, too. We’re a publisher ourselves! And we love books and conversations about big ideas and great stories. So, friends in the publishing industry, I heartily invite you to come blog for us, instead. We’ll match Arianna’s rates right here at Booked. You can have your own account and talk with your friends and the public about agenting, bookselling, book making, writing, criticizing, dreaming about fiction. We want your conversation. We’re your friend.

Contact me or editor Michael Noer.

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