"digital publishing" entries

The future of classical music

Where is classical music publishing headed now that the great works are available for free online?

The job of a publisher is to identify and cultivate talent, underwrite the writing process, and distribute the result. The publishing industry has been wringing its hands about the future of the print book for some time, but that model is sound (in the abstract) regardless of whether a book is printed on paper or transmitted over the Internet to a paying reader.

But what if you’re a publisher of works that have been in the public domain for a long time? The talent has already been identified and the writing has already been done, so the only value to be added is in editing, printing and distributing. That pretty much describes the business of publishing classical music scores, and the amount of value that publishers add varies greatly — between Dover, which mostly produces cheaply-bound facsimiles of out-of-copyright editions, and the German publishers Barenreiter and Henle, which produce beautifully printed scholarly editions.

Regardless of quality, all of these publishers face disruption in the form of the International Music Score Library Project, which makes 67,927 works of public-domain classical music available, for free, as scanned scores from academic music libraries. Traditional publishers rely on sales of warhorses like Beethoven’s piano sonatas to fund their operations, and that’s precisely what’s most readily available at IMSLP. It’s as though Knopf needed to sell Great Expectations to supply Robert Caro’s typewriter ribbon.

In our latest podcast, Mike Loukides and I talk about classical publishing and changes in the ways we play music. You can subscribe to our podcast series on iTunes or SoundCloud.

EPUB 3: Building a standard on unstable ground

Matt Garrish on the work behind the EPUB 3 specification.

"What is EPUB 3?" author Matt Garrish explains how EPUB 3 is shaped by web standards and how it addresses accessibility. He also shares his thoughts on Amazon's KF8 and why EPUB will stay one step ahead of the competition.

Building books for platforms, from the ground up

Jon Feldman on "Speakeasy Cocktails" and a new approach to content development.

In this interview, Open Air Publishing's Jon Feldman says publishers aren't truly embracing digital and are simply pushing out flat electronic versions of print books. He talks about the development of "Speakeasy Cocktails" and how it embraces the rich ebook experience.

Failure is a digital prerequisite

Jesse Wiley on how a 200-year-old publisher is making its way in the digital world.

In this podcast, John Wiley & Sons' Jesse Wiley discusses the challenges a 200-year-old publisher faces in the digital age.

The agile upside of XML

Anna von Veh and Mike McNamara on the benefits of XML and the tech-driven future of publishing.

Frankfurt TOC presenters Anna von Veh, a consultant at Say Books, and Mike McNamara, managing director at Araman Consulting Ltd & Outsell-Gilbane UK Affiliate, discuss xml workflows, the (sorry) state of ebook design, and how books and the web will evolve.

The secret to digital publishing success? Don't start with the book

Lonely Planet's walking tour apps are a product of digital-only thinking.

Gus Balbontin, director of transformation at Lonely Planet, says the secret to success may lie in throwing tradition to the wind and creating digital content first.

HarperCollins' Avon Impulse: Digital trendsetter?

Though the Avon Impulse business model raises questions, Kassia Krozser says it might just work.

Avon Impulse, a new imprint of HarperCollins, is an all-digital and print-on-demand line that aims to produce one new title per week. Kassia Krozser says if HarperCollins play its cards right, Avon Impulse might be on to something.

What to expect in EPUB3

Bob Kasher on EPUB3's key areas: multimedia, language support, and accessibility.

Bob Kasher, business development manager for integrated solutions at Book Masters and a speaker at TOC 2011, dishes on EPUB3 and what publishers, developers, and consumers can expect from the new release.

The line between book and Internet will disappear

The inevitability of truly connected books and why publishers need APIs.

The timeline and output may be unknown, but the distinction between the Internet and books is arbitrary, and it is destined to disappear. Hugh McGuire examines the transition and takes a few guesses as to what lies ahead.