Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue

02/26/2011

Booksellers Need to Become ‘Jack-of-All-Trades’ to Flourish


I just love that old term ‘jack-of-all-trades’…It sounds so self relient and totally competent! Outsourcing, a darling concept  in the corporate (and government world), is now OUT in the publishing and bookselling universe…at least the messy business side of that universe.

The new buzz word for a biz model being a more inclusively competent, ‘jack-of-all-trades’ type is to be ‘vertically’ organized as opposed to ‘horizontally’ (outsourcing of some functions) organized. 

As is expressed so succinctly by Michael Wolf in his Crush or Get Crushed: Why B&N Needs to Be a Publisher article on his great blog GigaOM :

Let’s face it, the total pie in books is going to shrink, and the long and unwieldy value-chain from writer to customer is going to collapse. Amazon knew this a long time ago, and that’s why they’ve been moving to disintermediate the publisher and the wholesaler in the e-book world by becoming, essentially, the entire value chain themselves.

One ingredient this new self-sufficient biz side of the publishing and bookselling universe will ALWAYS need, of course, are the writers (creators) of great content! Writers are the really one indispensable part of the equation and they too are now becoming their own publishers (mostly through online publishers/e-retailers like Amazon, etc)…but, watch out…one day we may be able to eliminate the likes of Amazon, too.   

This now from Michael Wolf on GigaOM: 

Talk about frustrating: This week Barnes & Noble announced topline growth year over year and its first profit in four quarters, and how was it rewarded for its hard work?

With a pounding by Wall Street.

The drubbing was due in part to the news the company was eliminating its dividend in order to invest more in its digital business, but there’s no doubt the recent Borders bankruptcy filing weighed on the minds of investors. After all, B&N is the Coke to Borders’ Pepsi, and it’s easy to assume what happens to one will eventually inflict the other.

But as this excellent answer on Quora by former Borders employee Mark Evans points out, Borders failed for numerous reasons, the most important of which was its outsourcing of online to Amazon. What B&N realized — and Borders didn’t — was you don’t become a true online retailer by outsourcing the business, especially to what may be your number one competitor.

Read and learn more

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07/09/2010

Publishing Business Not Dead Quite Yet?



The latest figures tumbling out of the trade magazines RE publishing shout the fact that there are numerous “new-kids-on-the-block”! This reflects the high impact of the e-media on traditional publishing (TP)…And is forcing TP companies to either bankrupt or adapt new business models.

Those TP companies that try to form new biz models with hidden agendas (that try to regain ill-gotten control of the past) will fail…Those that genuinely set new goals to work as team members with equal partners will survive…Simple as that!

Michael Wolff , the founder of newser.com, reports this on what the new numbers and rankings from the online trade magazine MediaPost (a newbie itself) mean (many feel these numbers are suspect):

What is there to conclude from the recent ranking of the top 100 publishers by the online trade magazine, MediaPost?

It’s a ranking that claims to figure in traffic, plus “prestige, share of voice, content quality, overall design and UX, innovation and, well, importance.” In other words, it’s as sketchy as any ranking. But it does illustrate the obvious, albeit hard to quantify, fact that the consumer publishing business—the business of gathering audiences by aggregating information and then selling those audiences to advertisers—has in a remarkably short period of time been turned on its ear.

While many traditional publishers still figure on the list, with the New York Times at number one, and the Wall Street Journal at number four—Google and Wikimedia are respectively at two and three—more than half of the list consists of publishers who didn’t exist 10 years ago, half again of which did not exist five years ago. Three-year-old Newser is on the list at 25; 88-year-old Time is on the list at 100.

Read more at http://alturl.com/bm2mi

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