Publishing

News about publishers and publishing

Fall from Grace (well sorta) for Milo Yiannopouloss

From Mediaite, news that Simon & Schuster has cancelled publication of Milo Yiannopouloss book (after creating hell for all their other authors). He has also left the extreme right-leaning Breitbart News.

Here's another piece from the Washington Post. And Ryan Lizza's piece from the New Yorker.

Why I still won’t review for or publish with Elsevier–and think you shouldn’t either

Contrary to what a couple of people I talked to at the time intimated might happen, my scientific world didn’t immediately collapse. The only real consequences I’ve experienced as a result of avoiding Elsevier are that (a) on perhaps two or three occasions, I’ve had to think a little bit longer about where to send a particular manuscript, and (b) I’ve had a few dozen conversations (all perfectly civil) about Elsevier and/or academic publishing norms that I otherwise probably wouldn’t have had. Other than that, there’s been essentially no impact on my professional life. I don’t feel that my unwillingness to publish in NeuroImage, Neuron, or Journal of Research in Personality has hurt my productivity or reputation in any meaningful way. And I continue to stand by my position that it’s a mistake for scientists to do business with a publishing company that actively lobbies against the scientific community’s best interests.
From Why I still won’t review for or publish with Elsevier–and think you shouldn’t either – [citation needed]

The woman who is trying to create a Netflix for books for India

Chiki Sarkar hates being called a disruptor but that's exactly what she's doing to the opaque, incestuous world of Indian publishing. Along with Durga Raghunath, who brings the digital smarts, Sarkar has co-founded Juggernaut, a digital publishing house. She spoke to Neelam Raaj on why she wants to use tech to give dead-tree books a new lease of life
From The woman who is trying to create a Netflix for books - Times of India
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The collective insanity of the publishing industry

Here’s how short-sighted this idea is.  The Big 5 raised their ebook prices, created an artificial resurgence in print sales of their books, and thought they proved print-is-not-dead.  (They actually proved the consumer will buy the cheaper option, but okay.)  One might even think they stuck it to Amazon, somehow, by doing this.

The only problem is this: the largest seller of print books right now happens to be Amazon.  Guess who saw an uptick in print sales in 2015?

From The collective insanity of the publishing industry - Gene Doucette

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Sci-Hub as necessary, effective civil disobedience

Besides saving lives by making 48 million research papers accessible to patients and doctors, Sci-Hub to me signifies that the scientific community (well, admittedly, a tiny proportion of it), is starting to lose its patience and becomes ready for more revolutionary reform options. A signal that the community starts to feel that it is running out of options for evolutionary change. To me, Sci-Hub signals that publisher behavior, collectively, over the last two decades has been such a gigantic affront to scholars that civil disobedience is a justifiable escalation. Personally, I would tend to hope that Sci-Hub (and potentially following, increasingly radical measures) would signal that time has run out and that the scientific community is now ready to shift gears and embark on a more effective strategy for infrastructure reform.
Although I realize that it’s probably wishful thinking.

From bjoern.brembs.blog » Sci-Hub as necessary, effective civil disobedience

New book about New York City special libraries released

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Terry Ballard has written the book "50 Specialty libraries of New York City: From botany to magic," published by Chandos Elsevier.

Three Ways Publishers and Libraries Can Work Better Together

Librarians: Stop the Book Shaming

Today, librarians who are passionate about books are increasingly like the smokers you see outside office buildings: apart, a little embarrassed, and slightly defensive. It’s hardly a surprise. Book collections? A vestige of our past, like the appendix. At conference after conference, keynote speakers argue that public libraries should be community centers, agents of innovation, knowledge creators, and makerspaces. It’s a trend made worse when LIS faculty (who really should know better) lead the charge.

From Three Ways Publishers and Libraries Can Work Better Together

E-Book Sales Are Falling? Maybe?

You look suspicious. How strange. It’s almost as if you think that because those numbers come from the Association of American Publishers, they might indicate something rather different from the death of the e-book; they might be a signifier of the rise of smaller publishers not tracked by the AAP, and/or, the growth of online reading via eg Wattpad or Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited. Author Earnings argues that what we’re really seeing is that AAP publishers “have seen their collective share of the US ebook market collapse.” Mathew Ingram in Fortune adds, rhetorically, “Isn’t a drop in sales just a natural outcome of the publishers’ move to keep e-book prices high?”

From Book It, Baby | TechCrunch

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Is History Written About Men, by Men?

"In recent years, as academic history has taken a turn toward the cultural and social, producing more and more works about women, minorities, and everyday life, the kinds of history books you see on the New Releases table at a Barnes & Noble have begun to feel like throwbacks." http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/history/2016/01/popular_history_why_are_so_many_history_books_about_men_by_men.html

American Libraries Edits Upset Authors

We probably do not need to spell out why we are disappointed by this but, just for the record, we have two major problems:

These were not superficial changes and the editors at American Libraries should have spoken to us before publishing them.
More substantially, we feel it is grossly inappropriate for a magazine that is supposed to represent libraries and librarians to insinuate a vendor’s perspective directly into an article without the authors’ knowledge or permission. This is especially true when the vendor has a very obvious financial motive for being part of the conversation.
Let us state for the record that we did not speak to anyone at Gale/Cengage about this article, we had no role in developing or carrying out the survey, we did not see those quotes prior to publication and would not have included them in our article if we had.

Importantly, our problem is not with Gale/Cengage but with the way American Libraries is handling their relationship with them in the context of the article we wrote.

From Um … about that American Libraries article we wrote | Stewart Varner

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Faber boss says future of book publishing is mobile

The chief executive of publisher Faber & Faber has challenged the book publishing industry to respond to the rapid increase in smartphone use, particularly by young readers.

“Perhaps in the 21st century the zero-law of publishing will be understand mobile. Because without expert understanding of it, we may not be able to create the new audiences,” said Stephen Page, speaking at the FutureBook publishing industry conference in London.

From Faber boss says future of book publishing is mobile | Technology | The Guardian

Class of 2016: Works Entering The Public Domain

Pictured above is our top pick of those whose works will, on 1st January 2016, be entering the public domain in many countries around the world. Of the eleven featured, five will be entering the public domain in countries with a ‘life plus 70 years’ copyright term (e.g. most European Union members, Brazil, Israel, Nigeria, Russia, Turkey, etc.) and six in countries with a ‘life plus 50 years’ copyright term (e.g. Canada, New Zealand, and many countries in Asia and Africa) — those that died in the year 1945 and 1965 respectively. As always it’s a sundry and diverse rabble who’ve assembled for our graduation photo – including two of the 20th century’s most important political leaders, one of Modernism’s greatest poets, two very influential but very different musicians, and one of the most revered architects of recent times.

Below is a little bit more about each of their lives (with each name linking through to their respective Wikipedia pages, from which each text has been based).

From Class of 2016 | The Public Domain Review

Betting Big on Literary Newcomers - WSJ

It’s increasingly a winner-take-all economy, publishing executives say.

As a result, publishers are competing for debut literary talent with the same kind of frenzied auction bidding once reserved for promising debut thrillers or romance novels. “If they feel they have the next Norman Mailer on their hands, they’re going have to pay for that shot,” literary agent Luke Janklow said. “It’s usually the result of a little bit of crowd hysteria in the submission.”

From Betting Big on Literary Newcomers - WSJ

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Elsevier stopped me doing my research

Full disclosure, I downloaded approximately 30GB of data from Sciencedirect in approximately 10 days. This boils down to a server load of 35KB/s, 0.0021GB/min, 0.125GB/h, 3GB/day.

Approximately two weeks after I started downloading psychology research papers, Elsevier notified my university that this was a violation of the access contract, that this could be considered stealing of content, and that they wanted it to stop. My librarian explicitly instructed me to stop downloading (which I did immediately), otherwise Elsevier would cut all access to Sciencedirect for my university.

From Chris H.J. Hartgerink's Notebook

Elsevier leads the business the internet could not kill

“Elsevier is not a stodgy, stuck-in-the-mud publisher,” she says. “ They are out there experimenting because they have the resources to do that.”
In the 20 years since Forbes predicted Elsevier’s downfall, the publisher’s revenues and profits have quadrupled. Academics might not like it, but the 135-year old publisher shows no signs of going away.

From Elsevier leads the business the internet could not kill - FT.com

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Advertising and All That Icky Stuff: Designing Digital Reading Experiences for the Real World

I started my quest to write an article about creating the best digital reading experience by seeking out designers at publishing-tech companies and getting their thoughts on the subject. One of the first designers I spoke to was Zane Riley, one of the first product designers at Brit + co. After I introduced my passionate spiel about reading and technology, he dropped a truth bomb on me: The publishing-tech world is a tricky world to design for, he said, because these products don’t inherently profit from what makes them useful, such as a seamless reading experience or beautiful, clean UI.

From Advertising and All That Icky Stuff: Designing Digital Reading Experiences for the Real World — Thoughts on Media — Medium

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On The Dark Matter Of The Publishing Industry

The problem with their legacy universe is that you just can’t *control* digital things the way you can paper things, and that’s the real reason the traditional publishing industry is cutting off its nose to spite its face when it comes to ebooks. It’s precisely what DRM represents: an absurd and pathetic attempt to recreate in the digital realm a command-and-control system that profits off the characteristics of *paper.*

To be clear, what I’m saying is that traditional publishers actually make their money not from the traits of novels, or biographies, or any other kind of *text:* they make their money from bundles of paper that can essentially be seized or held up at the border, or be pulped, or burned, or just deteriorate in ways a digital file can’t.

From On The Dark Matter Of The Publishing Industry | TechCrunch

How an industry of ‘Amazon entrepreneurs’ pulled off the Internet’s craftiest catfishing scheme

“I feel like exposing this scam might even hurt my own sales,” he said.

Experts are more optimistic: Jane Friedman, a professor of digital publishing at the University of Virginia, describes catfish as an ongoing but “not that significant” threat. (“It increases the noise for everyone, sure,” she wrote by e-mail, “but for any author building a long-term career, it’s not hard to distinguish yourself from low-quality opportunists.”) Amazon, meanwhile, promises that it is weeding out deceptive accounts and their products.

From How an industry of ‘Amazon entrepreneurs’ pulled off the Internet’s craftiest catfishing scheme - The Washington Post

The scientists encouraging online piracy with a secret codeword

"Basically you tweet out a link to the paper that you need, with the hashtag and then your email address," she told BBC Trending radio. "And someone will respond to your email and send it to you." Who might that "someone" be? Kuszewski says scientists who have access to journals, through subscriptions or the institutions they work at, look out for the tag so they can help out colleagues in need.

From The scientists encouraging online piracy with a secret codeword - BBC News

Wikipedia is significantly amplifying the impact of Open Access publications.

When you edit Wikipedia to include a claim, you are required to substantiate that edit by referencing a reliable source. According to a recent study, the single biggest predictor of a journal’s appearance in Wikipedia is its impact factor. One of the exciting findings, writes Eamon Duede, is that it appears Wikipedia editors are putting a premium on open access content. When given a choice between journals of similar impact factors, editors are significantly more likely to select the “open access” option.

From Impact of Social Sciences – Wikipedia is significantly amplifying the impact of Open Access publications.

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