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I needed advice before I tried to write a novel. The usual axiom — write what you know — wasn't helpful. I spend my days driving my older children to school and changing my younger one's diaper — not exactly best-seller material.
So I turned to experts. Three books gave me invaluable writing advice. One, by a best-selling writer; one, by a top New York agent; and one, by a guy who struggled for years to learn how to write a book and wanted to make it easier for the rest of us.
Here's Michael Tamblyn, the CEO of BookNet Canada, presenting six technology initiatives that could radically alter the course of publishing for the better. It's a refreshing presentation, focused on selling more paper books using better technology that improves workflow and marketing, while acknowledging that there's lots of room for improvement in ebook readers as well.
From the Chronicle of Higher Education comes an article about possible price freezing for libraries.
"LET'S MAKE A DEAL (MAYBE): The publishers' hall at the recent Association of College and Research Libraries conference, held in Seattle in mid-March, was a study in give-and-take: how much publishers such as Elsevier and Oxford University Press will give in this lousy economy, and how much budget-strapped librarians can take."
The Crumpled Press is a small press that was born out of the minds and hands of some University of Chicago alumni. This article in the University's magazine talks about the press, their book binding parties, and how it is possible for a small publisher to thrive. As co-founder Alexander Bick says in the article, " 'The standard line is that digitization kills books,' says Bick. 'I think it's more accurate to say there's a symbiosis...our success contradicts the idea that bookmaking no longer makes sense.' "
For anyone who has dreamed of creating his own glossy color magazine dedicated to a hobby like photography or travel, the high cost and hassle of printing has loomed as a big barrier. Traditional printing companies charge thousands of dollars upfront to fire up a press and produce a few hundred copies of a bound magazine.
With a new Web service called MagCloud, Hewlett-Packard hopes to make it easier and cheaper to crank out a magazine than running photocopies at the local copy shop.
Charging 20 cents a page, paid only when a customer orders a copy, H.P. dreams of turning MagCloud into vanity publishing’s equivalent of YouTube. The company, a leading maker of computers and printers, envisions people using their PCs to develop quick magazines commemorating their daughter’s volleyball season or chronicling the intricacies of the Arizona cactus business.
As the metabolism of the culture has sped up in the digital age, pockets of the publishing industry are prodding themselves out of their Paleolithic ways and joining the rush, with more books on current events coming out faster than ever before reports Motoko Rich in today's New York Times.
For generations the publishing industry has worked on a fairly standard schedule, taking nine months to a year after an author delivered a manuscript to put finished books in stores. Now, enabled in part by e-book technology and fueled by a convergence of spectacularly dramatic news events, publishers are hitting the fast-forward button.
There's a proud White House tradition of cashing in — er, signing lucrative book deals — on the way out the door. That includes not only Presidents but also first ladies, secretaries of state, speechwriters and so on, all the way down to the White House chefs. But the common wisdom in Manhattan publishing circles was that George W. Bush would have to cool his heels for a while before he penned his memoir. The thinking: Bush's low approval ratings might render any presidential tell-all a toxic asset for his publisher.
But Thursday, Crown, an imprint of Random House, announced that the former President has signed on to write a book, to be published in fall 2010, tentatively titled Decision Points. According to the publishing house, "the book will not be a conventional memoir, but instead will focus exclusively on approximate a dozen of the most interesting and important decisions in the former President's personal and political life" — including his decision to quit drinking, his reaction to 9/11, his response to Hurricane Katrina; and how he found faith.
Full article at Time.com
Inside Higer Ed The University of Michigan Press is announcing today that it will shift its scholarly publishing from being primarily a traditional print operation to one that is primarily digital.
Within two years, press officials expect well over 50 of the 60-plus monographs that the press publishes each year -- currently in book form -- to be released only in digital editions. Readers will still be able to use print-on-demand systems to produce versions that can be held in their hands, but the press will consider the digital monograph the norm. Many university presses are experimenting with digital publishing, but the Michigan announcement may be the most dramatic to date by a major university press.
Literary bloggers have been debating the SXSW Festival's "New Think for Old Publishers" panel all day. As the short video (by Books and Authors) illustrates, the one-hour discussion exposed a tumultuous, ongoing debate the future of publishing.