- Programmable Bluetooth Watch — OLED display, bluetooth, vibration, button, timers, and two-way Bluetooth. I’m enchanted by the possibilities of our environment talking to us through such a device. (via Tom Coates on Twitter)
- Flying Cars (XKCD) — a reminder to appreciate the future we live in, and not grizzle too hard that the ones we dreamt of in the 60s haven’t eventuated yet. (Part of my optimism riff)
- Presumed Guilty (James Boyle) — setting to rights a bizarre op-ed by Scott Turow (head of the Authors Guild) which sought to make Shakespeare sound like an argument for copyright law. The argument is so strange it is hard to know where to begin. The problem is not simply that Shakespeare flourished without copyright protection for his work. It is that he made liberal use of the work of others in his own plays in ways that would today almost certainly generate a lawsuit.
- Context First: A Unified Theory of Publishing (Vimeo) — Brian O’Leary’s talk at TOC. (via Liza Daly on Twitter)
Panelists at the inaugural NYC Publishing Innovators Meetup discuss changing publishers' roles.
The NYC Publishing Innovators Meetup group held its inaugural roundtable in its quarterly speaker series in July. Panelists, led by Kat Meyer as moderator, included: Ned Lomigora, co-founder of Zeeen.com; Diane Gedymin, executive editor at Turner Publishing; Peter Balis, director of online sales, John Wiley & Sons; Linda Holliday, CEO of Semi-Linear; Jesse Potash, founder, PubSlush, and; Michelle Toth, founder, 617Books. The thesis was: “What role can publishers play in supporting a direct relationship between readers and authors?” The discussion was energetic, but everyone agreed on one thing: the times, they are a-changin’.
Key points from the full discussion include:
- Where there’s a will, there’s a way — Utilizing technology, authors with the time and will to publish and market their books can bypass traditional publishers. Technology “is the great enabler and democratizer.” [Begins at the 13:20 mark.]
- Is it good? — Quality content matters; curation is a valuable role for professionals, from freelancers to traditional publishers, but a panelist postulates that an alternate path can be found in the tools available to authors who self-publish, including community. [Begins at 24:05.]
- Should publishers worry about losing big authors to self-publishing? — If traditional publishers are going to continue to add marketing value, they need to master the new technology toolset and grow it. Publishers lag behind other industry leaders as to what they do online. [Begins at 34:19.]
- The distance between readers and writers is shrinking — Whoever owns the sale owns the relationship with readers, and effective marketing is key to establishing that relationship. [Begins at 38:05.]
- What is distribution in today’s world? — A spirited discussion begins with the declaration that you can’t distribute a book “with the push of a button.” Publishers create books in multiple formats sent to multiple vendors for sale via multiple channels, with metadata included for discovery purposes. [Begins at 47:02.]
- Transparency in e-publishing — Peter Balis talks about the complex process of publishing in various formats, information that should be shared with aspiring authors who want to self-publish and self-distribute. [Begins at 56:00 with insightful follow-up comments starting at 1:05:40.]
- Our understanding of what a publisher is is changing — Jesse Potash addresses changing roles and perceptions, and how experts can potentially replace certain roles publishers currently fill. [Begins at 1:00:25.]
- Branding — A great discussion about the role branding is playing in today’s world starts with a question from the audience. [Begins at 1:25:21.]
Author Jeff Potter on the changing role of the author and how to market your own book.
"Cooking for Geeks" author Jeff Potter offers lessons learned while writing, marketing and selling his book. "The book is no longer the product," Potter says. "The product is now the conversations and community that grow around the book."
The free "Best of TOC 2012" collection charts the digital evolution of publishing.
"Best of TOC 2012" explores the ideas that are shaping the content world, including: the adaptation of publishing, digital's legal issues, new tech and tools, and thoughts from the edge of publishing.
Programmable Watch, Flying Cars, Shakespeare's Copywrongs, and Publishing Unified
Two recent ads contradict common attitudes and hint at something bigger.
Grand and bold declarations about the demise of online advertising — and the web itself — get all the attention. But two recent ads serve as countermeasures to the gloom: hackers are calibrating online advertising to serve their own specific needs.
Richard Nash outlines his gameplan for uniting audiences and content
Richard Nash is passionate about the web’s ability to connect audiences and authors with the topics that excite them. Connections can be fleeting and the revenue model is in flux, but there’s a lot of opportunity in this model. What Nash discusses in this short video interview could very well be a blueprint for future publishing businesses.
Traditionally, writers wrote, editors edited, publishers published, retailers sold, and reader read. But in the age of the Kindle, e-books, author web sites and comment boards, all the roles are becoming fuzzy. Richard Nash has started a company called Cursor, which is trying to pioneer the idea of social publishing, specifically to try and address some of the changes that technology is bringing to the industry. He’ll be speaking about Cursor at O’Reilly’s Tools of Change in Publishing conference later this month.
I was planning to do some crunching last night and early today, but between an unexpected flight delay coming back from New York, and the pleasant surprise of getting Slashdotted about Bookworm, the day is quickly slipping away. I'll give it a go over the weekend, but if anyone else is eager to play, here's a super-raw text dump (the…
Nick Bilton was a hit yesterday at the TOC Conference, and during his keynote he talked about what they’re working on with content at the NYT R&D Lab. Nick was kind enough to give a few of us a private tour earlier this week, and here’s some photos from the trip:…
One of my favorite books of 2007 was The Best of Technology Writing, edited by Steven Levy. We decided to try something similar for this year's TOC Conference, and over at the O'Reilly booth we have (hot off the Espresso Book Machine) the Best of TOC, a collection of writing from on publishing from around the Web: It includes writing…