This is a round-up of sorts. Not all of these links have been bandied about in the book-o-sphere, and not all of them are even from this week, but they’re all interesting to me. And, I hope, of interest to other folks with a penchant for publishing and tech and related.
First up – a nice take from Kassia Krozser on news that is only a few days old, and is nowhere near being played out…The Wylie Affair. Yes, it appears an agent has gone and done a crazy out-there thing and licensed some digital rights. Okay, so the rights were exclusive to Amazon/Kindle, and the print publisher thereof seems to think that they own the rights to the rights in question, but the madness that has ensued has convinced me of one thing only: Andrew Wylie knows how to get media attention. All else, remains to be seen.
BookSquare’s Kassia Krozser makes more salient observations, and more elegantly. If only to to witness Kassia’s talent for taking a topic that has elsewhere devolved into pure snarky speculation, and present it with a cool calm collectiveness, you should go and read: Today in a Publishing War.
Next on the agenda, CNET’s David Carnoy gets a shout out for asking the media to take a closer look at the Kindle emperor’s new clothes in his post, “What Amazon Didn’t Say About e-books.” Along with some nice factoids and numbers, Carnoy offers those who might be a bit quick to gobble up a well-polished press release some good advice, “remember who’s trying to control the narrative here. Amazon has an agenda. It wants to sell e-books. And lots of them.”
Do not miss a gem of an article over at The Atlantic wherein Peter Osnos examines the ever-“about-to-debut” Google Editions. What Is Google Editions? asks Osnos. And while for many of us who follow such things, a more pressing question might be, “When is Google Editions?”– I have to give Osnos major props both for nicely breaking down the potential “what,” and for capturing my favorite quote of the year from the American Booksellers Association’s Len Vlahos: “Now you can buy e-books from someone you love.” (And Len, I hope now happens soon because I heart my indies!)
So here’s where I start coloring outside the “weekly roundup” lines even more. This next one is a bit of a nuisance as one must register to read it, but it’s well worth it (and really, as a techish pubby you ought already to be registered at the MobileRead Forums). In the latest addition to a discussion about Spanish ebookstore consortium Libranda, “Logesman” sheds some light on how Libranda does (or does not) work. If you have not been following the Libranda launch, this is a good place to get some background. Also, I truly dig the title of the post, so go and check out: “Libranda: the Spanish Armada, or how NOT to sell eBooks.”
My final offering also falls well outside the weekly publishing roundup lines (a. it’s not from this week; and b. it’s not about publishing, exactly), but I think I can make a case for you to read it anyway. It’s Digital Trends‘ profile of the music site Pandora.
“Pandora Breaks the Odds, Has Bright Future Ahead” might be a little on the puffy PR side, but there is much that authors, book sellers (online and off) and publishers can learn from the trials and errors of Pandora. Among what seems to be working: innovative ideas including sharing ad revenue directly with artists; offering exclusive content; and creating customized listening lists that continually improve based upon algorithms AND customer input. In fact, it looks like the user data being gathered by Pandora might prove to be more valuable to Pandora (and to the artists and ad companies with which Pandora works) then the ad or subscription revenue itself. My personal favorite takeaway: Pandora founder Tim Westergren’s traveling town hall meetings – in person events that are making Pandora not just a radio station, but an In Real Life community that Pandora users seem to love being a part of. Just some food for thought bookish friends…just some food for thought.