Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue

01/18/2014

Despite Gadgets, Content (Letters and words) is Still King – And Content Creators are Kingmakers!


Publishing Guru Bo Sacks

The latest bunch of hot, new, tech gadgets has just marched forth from CES (The International CES is a global consumer electronics and consumer technology trade show that takes place every January in Las Vegas, Nevada) — and some will affect publishing even further, just as 3D covers, shopping inside the pages of a digital issue, stand alone apps, etc., have in the recent present and past.

But, regardless of the bells and whistles of the new tech, they are just bows tied around what is being presented: CONTENT. And, if the letters and words do not engage, entertain, educate or offer some other value/interest, the newness and fascination of the bells and whistles will diminish fast.

Hence, content is STILL the bottom line — No matter which tech embroidered platform spouts it forth.

Today, publishers are presented with so many opportunities and innovations they often get overwhelmed and don’t know what to prioritize first. Readers, on the other hand, get so much free info and data offered that they get ‘information overload’.

Many feel that publishing’s main problem revolves around the fracas between digital and print.

However, one expert (who I will present tonight) believes ‘the real problem is diversity and fragmentation of our readership‘.

So, what does this mean?

Tonight’s source article from  of ClickZ is an interview with publishing industry guruBo Sacks. The interview delves into this concept of readership fragmentation due to new tech and what it means to publishers today:

Publishing Industry Guru Bo Sacks Shares Tips for 2014 Success

Hot off the heels of innovations and connected devices galore at CES, publishers have a world of opportunity in front of them. There’s so much opportunity it can often get difficult to decide what to prioritize first. For some insights and advice on 2014, we go straight to the ultimate expert in publisher success and sustainability: Bo Sacks.

JM: With so many innovations launching, (including the rise of content marketing), do publishers really need to think differently about the way they do business? Or, is all of this just noise?

Bo: The concept that “isn’t it really all the same as it ever was” is at the heart of the problem for all publishers. Many perceive that the whole problem just revolves around the battle between paper vs. digital substrates. That concept has distracted most professionals and isn’t at the core of the issue.

The real problem is diversity and fragmentation of our readership. And there are two factors going on here.

  1. Ease: There is just too much easy access to the a world of information. We all hold robust communication devices in our hands formally known as smartphones. These communicators empower anyone one to access information either on the fly on in the comfort of their own home. These instant portable electronic librarians offer the reading public limitless reading opportunities where none existed before. So we are reading more now than ever before, but not on traditional substrates.
  2. Mass: Publishers were once the best businesses at identifying groups and niches and selling them words and related materials based on their specific interest. What technology has done is to separate and disperse our old niches into sub-set camps of platform devotees. Where once Meredith had all of America’s housewives locked up in reading a single printed magazines like Better Homes and Gardens, now even the niche of housewife’s is broken into smaller subsets, as iPad reader, Kobo Reader, Kindle reader, and paper reader. This has broken the former single straight line to the reader into readers with multiple personalities, different needs and assorted commercial desires.

Article continues here — And you know you want to complete this publishing insight 🙂

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10/06/2013

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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03/24/2013

The Publishing Industry Will Never Be The Same – What Say We Make It Better! – Or Seeking Literature’s True Business


Make Publishing Better Than It Ever Was

Excellent idea! And one also fostered by +Jon Evans — an author (whose novels have been praised by The Times, The Economist and Washington Post), journalist, software engineer and TechCrunch weekly columnist — whom I recently discovered and, must say, admire. I admire his wit and intelligence — and especially for introducing me to +Richard Nash — another deeply accomplished,  independent publishing entrepreneur, VP of Community and Content of Small Demons, founder of Cursor, and Publisher of Red Lemonade plus much more.

Jon’s outlook as excerpted: “For the last five years, in the face of this spreading transformation, the publishing industry has been caught in a tawdry and depressing spiral of denial and decay, constantly attempting to reject new media, new technologies, and new business models until they can fight back no more…That’s why Nash’s essay is such a breath of revolutionary air. The publishing industry will never be the same, but why can’t it be better? Why can’t a whole new model of publishing be created, rather than this false dichotomy between “published” and “self-published”?”

Richard’s outlook as excerpted: “You begin to realize that the business of literature is the business of making culture, not just the business of manufacturing bound books. This, in turn, means that the increased difficulty of selling bound books in a traditional manner (and the lower price point in selling digital books) is not going to be a significant challenge over the long run, except to free the business of literature from the limitations imposed when one is producing things rather than ideas and stories.

A business born out of the invention of mechanical reproduction transforms and transcends the very circumstances of its inception, and again has the potential to continue to transform and transcend itself—to disrupt industries like education, to drive the movie industry, to empower the gaming industry. Book culture is in far less peril than many choose to assume, for the notion of an imperiled book culture assumes that book culture is a beast far more refined, rarified, and fragile than it actually is. By defining books as against technology, we deny our true selves, we deny the power of the book. Let’s restore to publishing its true reputation—not as a hedge against the future, not as a bulwark against radical change, not as a citadel amidst the barbarians, but rather as the future at hand, as the radical agent of change, as the barbarian. The business of literature is blowing shit up.”

“The business of literature is blowing shit up.” — I like this thesis and it bears repeating.

I know the theme of my post tonight will make some of my past commenters happy 🙂

Let’s explore this issue more (and be introduced to numerous cool links as a byproduct) in this dissecting TechCrunch article by Jon Evans:

 

“The Business Of Literature Is Blowing Shit Up”

If you love books–heck, if you even like ‘em–run, don’t walk, and read this magnificent, magisterial essay by Richard Nash on their past, present and future. It’s long. Don’t be frightened. But even if the Internet has shredded your attention span, at least scroll down to its epic final paragraph. Go on. I’ll wait.

It’s been a rotten decade for book publishers, newspapers, and anyone else clinging to that 15th century technology called the printing press. Marc Andreessen has advised the mighty New York Times to “burn the boats” and shut down their presses. His partner Ben Horowitz claimed last year that “babies born today will probably never read anything in print.”

Meanwhile, Borders is deadthe tablet is killing the e-reader, and Barnes & Noble’s Nook has gone from investor darling to dead-weight albatross. The “Big Six” publishers may seem to be surviving nicely, but check out this graph:

Read and learn more

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02/04/2013

Publishing/Writing With A Super Human Brain


 

Super Human Brain ?

Super Human Brain ?

Tonight’s post is delving into a little “other life stuff” — remotely related to damn near everything — and, therefore, to publishing/writing 🙂

Did you realize that the human brain is made up of 100 billion neurons connected by 100,000 billion synapses ?

Wowwee ! We are literally walking around with priceless computers sitting on top of  our shoulders — AND, according to research that will be revealed below, the Human Brain Project will need computers 1000 times more powerful than any existing computers to simulate one human brain ! I’m visualizing future Homo Sapiens just thinking of writing and plots and they will form words/content in some future platform (self-correcting, of course) and will also display scenes from your thought-plot in holograms for you to visualize !!!

Oh, damn, what am I thinking (or dreaming) about ? I better wake up soon! Hmm, could this be a nightmare in disguise ?

Amanda Wills , reporting in Mashable, presents more details that include videos — ENJOY:

Supercomputer Will Simulate the Human Brain

Even in the 21st century, there are still a lot of unsolved mysteries when it comes to the human brain. It is a complicated machine that neuroscientists continually try to understand.

A new scientific endeavor hopes to unravel some of these mysteries by creating a highly detailed simulation of the human brain. Essentially, researchers will use a supercomputer to build a working replica of our minds.With $1.6 billion in funding and more than 200 researchers, the Human Brain Project is the largest, most ambitious cooperative experiment of its kind. Serious hardware is necessary for a project of this kind — to pack the simulation into a single computer would require a system 1,000 times more powerful than today’s supercomputers.

The project will officially begin later this year. It will take Europe 10 years to map all of the 100 billion neurons connected by 100,000 billion synapses that make up a human brain.

Read and view more

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12/04/2012

“This is Fuckarama Calling Literary Award – Come Back”


 

E.L. James: Author of Fifty Shades of Grey

E.L. James: Author of Fifty Shades of Grey

“Author EL James has been named the publishing industry’s most influential figure of 2012 for making ‘erotic fiction hot’.” – Natasha Wynarczyk.

Yes indeedy, an unknown talented writer wrote an  independently published erotic e-book, it went viral and she got a great book deal and probably some fantastic future film contract offers — AND, she has just received Publisher’s Weekly prize for publishing person of the year! 

Good for her 🙂

But, this award has upset a lot of folks, it seems — because of unseemly content ?

After many personal worldly travels, I’ve come to the belief that America has always been eons behind in adult sexual knowledge and sophistication — childlike, really (but that’s another story).  

But, whether the literary blue bloods (?) disagreed with the award due to my discussion above or some other literary hype or smoke and mirrors — I personally think the award is warranted due to a fact nailed in the second to the last paragraph in the following article by Natasha Wynarczyk for Marie Claire (of course it has to do with staggering money return and exploding print sales in book stores):

EL James wins publishing industry prize for making ‘erotic fiction hot’

Fifty Shades of Grey author EL James has been named the publishing industry’s most influential figure of 2012 for making ‘erotic fiction hot’.

The British novelist won the American-based Publishers Weekly prize for publishing person of the year, but it turns out many people in the sector were displeased with the result.

The New York Daily News went as far as to say ‘civilisation ends’, while the LA Times said: ‘James wrote fan fiction, she got it independently published by a micro e-press, it went viral, she got a book deal, she started collecting serious paychecks.

‘All that is great news for an individual author, but it hardly justifies making that individual the Publishing Person of the Year… It’s really impossible to say that James has done much more than get very, very lucky, although PW tries to make that case. Someone who stumbles across a jackpot is certainly fortunate, but should they be anointed with an industry’s laurels? Maybe someday, PW will find a person in publishing who is doing something, rather than having something done to them, and name the individual Publishing Person of the Year.’

Even the site’s commentators were very unimpressed, with one person saying: ‘I want to die. Or kill. Or just eat some cake until this literary pain goes away’.

Another wrote: ‘Seriously? Is this the best you guys can do? Hilary Mantel becomes the first woman to win the Booker Prize twice and you pick EL James? Lay off the eggnog and rethink your decision.’

However Publishers Weekly defended the decision by citing the staggering 35m sales of the erotic novel in the US alone and noting James’s influence.

Read and learn more

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08/06/2012

Agile Publishing Concept Emphasizes Process Over Perfection


Agile Publishing – Direct from writer to reader

There are pros and cons to the “agile” publishing concept. And there are a lot of discussion and opinions floating around RE streamlining for fast feedback . But, I feel this is a process in evolution and will morph out of major drawbacks. 

The major pro is speed/fast results — elimination of the multi-layered bureaucracy between writer and reader. The major con is possibly lower quality lit.

 Gabe Habash gives insight and a good definition of ‘agile’ publishing in this piece for Publishers Weekly:

Is Publishing Ready for Agile? 

“Agile” is becoming more of a buzzword in publishing circles as companies look to harness the new possibilities digital is providing, but many are still unsure whether the agile model is right, and others still aren’t sure exactly what “agile” means for publishing. To tackle these concerns and more, BISG hosted a webcast with featured speaker Kristen McLean, the founder and CEO of Bookigee. (John’s Note: BISG = Book Industry Study Group)

So—what exactly is “agile” publishing? “It’s a philosophy that is grounded in the customer, getting a lot of good feedback, and not necessarily assuming you know the answer without communication,” said McLean. “It’s for learners, not knowers.”
 
McLean laid out the key concepts of agile: quick cycles (as quick as a week), self-organizing working groups (as opposed to traditional hierarchical working interactions), and iteration (agile publishers assume that there are going to be changes along the way), among many other key principles. One of the more radical differences between agile and traditional publishing, McLean noted, is that it emphasizes process over perfection. “It’s more important to get it out than to get it perfect, because when you get it out you can test it.” This focus on process (which leads neatly into agile’s tenet of customer feedback and interaction) is difficult for publishers to accept. “We don’t like typos; we don’t like half-finished books,” McLean said.
 
But early evidence, McLean reported, is showing that agile creates a much higher sense of job satisfaction. This is due in part because of the emphasis on transparency and accountability with agile’s self-organizing working groups—the structure naturally highlights those who are pulling their weight, and those who aren’t.
 
Read and learn more 
 
Related article on agile publishing: Entering the Shift Age
 
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11/14/2011

Publishers Are Going To Loose Not Only Their Retailers But Their Authors In The Future


"Where have all the authors gone???

How you ask? Let’s get to it.

It’s no secret Amazon has been selling digital books at a loss to gain more sales for its Kindle family. The strategy is simple enough … they need product (books or written content) to sell on their hardware e-readers which is where they make their profit. And they will give the product away, if necessary, to provide the widest selection available on its Kindle r-readers. 

Amazon wants the biggest catalog available to choose from.  And for those who are premium members (own Kindles and not some other product with a Kindle app … plus belong to the $79/yr Amazon Prime service ) they are indeed offering books for free from their library. You can borrow one book free a month and keep it as long as you want. 

Virginia Postrel tells all about it in Bloomberg Businessweek:

Amazon E-Library Is Publishing’s Profit Model

Nov. 14 (Bloomberg) — Amazon.com Inc. is at it again. To the consternation of much of the book industry, the online giant is again offering digital titles for less than major publishers think books are worth. And this time, the price is zero.

If you own an Amazon Kindle, as opposed to just using the Kindle app on another device, and you also belong to the company’s $79-a-year Amazon Prime service, you can now “borrow” one digital book a month from the new Amazon Lending Library for free. You can keep the book as long as you want, but you can have only one at a time.

The new service worries Wall Street, too, because it increases Amazon’s out-of-pocket costs. The company is paying wholesale prices for some of the books in the lending library. For others, such as the titles from Lonely Planet travel guides, it is paying a flat fee for a group of books over a period of time. (It will report sales figures on individual titles back to those publishers.)

Beyond short-term earnings, however, the lending library is just the latest innovation to raise big questions about the whole publishing ecosystem. In an environment where books are increasingly digital, what’s the most effective way to create value for readers, for authors and for intermediaries? And — the biggest question — which intermediaries will survive the transition?

Big Six Balk

The lending library doesn’t include any books from the Big Six U.S. publishers — Random House, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Macmillan Publishers Ltd., Penguin Books Ltd. and Hachette — because Amazon can’t control what it charges for their digital books. They are undoubtedly relieved to be excluded. But the pricing control they value so highly reflects rigid arrangements they may come to regret.

Amazon used to pay publishers a wholesale price for e- books, just as it does for physical copies. It set whatever price it thought best for its overall business, even if that meant losing money on an individual title in order to boost traffic or sell more Kindles. It could adjust prices up or down to reflect new information or offer special promotions. Its standard price was $9.99, which was often less than it paid for each copy. Major publishers thought that was too low, but most couldn’t do anything about it.

Then came the iPad and the accompanying iBooks store. Apple Inc. struck a different deal with publishers, known in the business as the “agency model.” Publishers set the retail prices, with Apple taking a percentage for its services. The Big Six liked that deal and wanted it to be the industry standard.

Amazon resisted, going so far as to remove all the physical books from Macmillan off its site in hopes of forcing the company to continue the wholesale arrangement. But that sales strike alienated Amazon customers, who were angry when they went to the site and couldn’t buy the books they wanted. Amazon blinked.

As a result, most of the big-publisher titles in the Kindle store now sell for $12.99 to $14.99 each — a range Amazon called “needlessly high” when it capitulated.

I should say at this point that I am not an entirely disinterested observer. I’m an author, with two books available in digital form. And I agree with Amazon that, at $14.99, my 1998 book “The Future and Its Enemies” was priced needlessly high when its Kindle edition was released last spring. You have to either love me or your Kindle a lot to pay that much for a 13-year-old book you can get in paperback for $6. But, like Amazon, I have no say over how my e-book is priced.

Publishers, for the most part, don’t believe customers care much about the difference between Amazon’s old price and their new, higher ones. They’re skeptical that consumers respond to small price differences. A former publishing executive recently told me he simply didn’t believe that “if I really want a book for $9.95 I don’t also want it for $10.95 or $12.95.”

Look at Research

People in publishing say things like that all the time. While they admit that charging $100 for the typical hardback would be foolish, they don’t believe that changing the price of a book by a dollar or two will significantly change the number of copies sold.

The economic research suggests the opposite. In a 2009 paper that looked at consumers using computer price-comparison systems, or shopbots, to buy physical books online, economists Erik Brynjolfsson, Astrid Andrea Dick and Michael D. Smith found that a 1 percent drop in price — a mere 25 cents on a $25 book — increased the number of units sold by 7 percent to 10 percent. Shopbot users tend to be more price-sensitive than most consumers, but that’s a huge difference.

Publishers resist such evidence. The standard response is that it’s hard to know anything about pricing because “every book is different.” Every title is a unique good, and every customer values each book a little differently. So you might as well trust your gut.

Read and learn more

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09/10/2011

Publishers’ Why’s and Wherefore’s When Migrating to Digital (are all the damn apostrophes correct?)


Karina Mikhil - Publishing Executive

Indeed, when the current publishing upheaval began (it seems  just a little while ago in the scheme of things) and the conqueror ‘Digital’ came swaggering into the publishing world, publishers were at first completely devastated; then were bombarded by all kinds of options and questions for their very survival!

You can just imagine publishers’ mental angst deciding “Should I get out of this rapidly changing fireball of an industry or should I admit that the old ways are going down the drain and commit to learning a whole new process … dealing, perhaps, with an entirely new and separate tech industry?”

Karina Mikhil , a publishing executive with a Master’s in Publishing from New York University, has some excellent questions and analyses that will help these publishing execs and their firms reach a viable decision.

From Karina Mikhil in Publishing Perspectives:

Migrating to Digital Publishing? The Six Key Questions to Ask

Here are the six “Ws” you need to ask yourself before transitioning from the old to the new: why, who, what, when, which, and where.
 

The publishing industry is not generally known for being agile or quick to change, yet it is facing one of its biggest times of change probably since the invention of the printing press. At the heart of this is the migration to digital.

Prior to this migration, a time-tested process and structure existed for getting books printed: from acquisition, copyediting and typesetting, to author reviews and proofreading, to print. Although hiccups occurred and no two companies had the exact same workflow, the foundations were the same and ensured quality products got released in expected time frames.

Whether publishers are dealing with online content or e-books, digital only or both print and digital, publishers are now faced with more questions than answers as to how to incorporate the new with the old. Below I provide a framework for those questions, using the traditional 6 Ws: why, who, what, when, which, and where.

Why?

Of the six questions, this is the easiest to answer. No publisher can afford to ignore the digital any longer: the tipping point has come and gone; more and more e-books and e-readers are being sold weekly; and authors will begin demanding this, if they haven’t already. And traditional publishers need to offer all things digital to compete with the emerging “digital publishers.”

Who?

Even prior to the migration to digital, publishers would do one of two things to keep costs down: outsource as much as possible, keeping headcount down, or the reverse, which is hire talent to keep all services and costs internal. With digital, publishers have to make this decision anew. Should they invest in new talent from other industries (e.g., technology) or in educating existing talent, those who are eager to learn and have a background in publishing? Or should they turn to one of the many conversion and content solutions providers that exist in the market?

What?

Read and learn more

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07/17/2011

Columbia Publishing Course Slow to Respond to Current Realities


I didn't know digital was the coming new wave

Who said the Ivy League colleges are the first with innovation and other learning prowess? A very debatable point, indeed (always has been since their birth, truth be known).

A case in point is illustrated in this article from the New York Times by Julie Bosman

E-Book Revolution Upends a Publishing Course

FOR decades, even after it was renamed and relocated from its original home at Radcliffe, the Columbia Publishing Course seemed unchanging, a genteel summer tradition in the book business, a white-glove six-week course in which ambitious college graduates were educated in the time-honored basics of book editing, sales, cover design and publicity. Not this summer.

With the e-book revolution upending the publishing business, Madeline McIntosh, the president of sales, operations and digital for Random House, stood at the lectern on the opening day in June, projecting a slide depicting the industry as a roller coaster, its occupants frozen in motion at the top of a steep loop.

“You might be wondering if this is the moment where we’re at,” Ms. McIntosh, a tall figure in a slim navy dress, said with a smile, as dozens of students with plastic name tags hanging around their necks watched raptly.

So the summer session began with a focus on “The Digital Future.” Students were schooled in “Reinventing the Reading Experience: From Print to Digital” by Nicholas Callaway, the chairman of a company that produces book apps for children. Managers from Penguin Group USA explained how to master “e-marketing,” and a panel of digital experts talked about short-form electronic publishing — not quite a magazine article, not quite a book — which is so new, the genre doesn’t really have a name.

“You never know what’s going to happen,” Carolyn Pittis, the senior vice president of global author services at HarperCollins, told a packed room of students several days into the course. “So it’s very exciting for those of us who spent many years when a lot of things didn’t happen.”

As the students scribbled in notebooks and clicked on laptops, Ms. Pittis recounted some of the biggest developments in the industry so far in 2011. The proliferation of e-readers and the growing digital market share of Barnes & Noble. Amanda Hocking, a formerly self-published author, making a book deal with a traditional publisher. J. K. Rowling’s selling her own “Harry Potter” e-books online. Even the surprise success of “Go the — to Sleep,” a hilariously vulgar children’s book parody that rose to the top of best-seller lists after being widely pirated via e-mail for months.

In the past year, e-books have skyrocketed in popularity, especially in genre fiction like romance and thrillers. For some new releases, the first week has brought more sales of electronic copies than of print copies.

Read and learn more

09/17/2010

Some Icons in Transforming Publishing

Filed under: Digital publishing,eBooks,Jason Pinter,publishing game changers — gator1965 @ 7:14 pm

I just read about 12 game changers in publishing that gives some good backstory into the rapidly changing publishing industry and just had to pass it on.

This article by Jason Pinter in the Huffington Post :

So the Huffington Post recently published their list of 100 Game Changers, but to my chagrin, outside of a few reality show stars they didn’t list any authors–or editors or publishing visionaries. I’m hoping to remedy that. Below is my list of Game Changers in the world of publishing. Now, please keep in mind that this is a highly subjective list. There are certainly many more game changers in this industry, and I invite you to add your own game changers in the comments section. There are many brilliant publishing professionals or aspects of the industry that slipped my mind for whatever reason (cough, old age, cough, dementia). So this is about celebrating those who have changed the game, pushed it in a new direction, or added something new and different to the conversation. Again, these are far from the only ‘Game Changers’ in publishing–so hopefully commenters will add their picks to the discourse below.

Andrew Wylie
For years, the literary agent Wylie was known primarily for two things: his nickname (“The Jackal”) and his incredible list of iconic award-winning and bestselling authors including Dave Eggers, Elmore Leonard, Martin Amis and Salman Rushdie. This summer, however, Wylie made a different kind news by opening the doors of Odyssey Editions: an independent e-book venture that would publish many of esteemed clients’ backlist titles exclusively on the Kindle. The ensuing furor forced a dialogue about the future of digital rights in an ever-changing landscape. Random House countered by refusing to acquire any new books from Wylie–however a truce was reached in August as Wylie shuttered Odyssey. Still, the controversy over digital rights to works published long before mobile devices were ever conceived rages on–and no doubt more shops like Wylie’s will be coming in the near future.

Dawn Davis
Davis, who was recently promoted to Publisher of the HarperCollins Amistad imprint and Executive Editor at Ecco, has published an incredibly eclectic range of authors, including Pulitzer Prize-winner Edward P. Jones, The Pursuit of Happiness by Chris Gardner, controversial ‘Video Vixen’ Karrine Steffans, tennis champion Venus Williams, and media personality Steve Harvey (whose Think Like a Lady, Act Like a Man has spent over 60 weeks on bestseller lists).

J.A. Konrath/Seth Godin/Pete Hamill
In May, Konrath announced he would publish the seventh book in his Jack Daniels mystery series through Amazon Encore. In August, New York Times bestselling author and media guru Seth Godin announced he would no longer publish traditionally, selling his future books via his popular blog and website. In the same month, Little, Brown announced that bestselling author and journalistic icon Pete Hamill would release his next book, They Are Us, a tome about immigration, exclusively in digital. These three authors couldn’t write in more diverse areas, but they collectively represent a shift in the way publishing works: established authors forgoing print for digital. Whether the Konrath/Godin/Hamill model can work as successfully for other authors is to be determine (the first two have substantial direct-to-reader platforms, and Hamill has the backing of a major publishing house), no doubt there will be others following their model–and more traditional publishers experimenting with straight-to-digital books.

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