Articles Tagged: publishing

Five Questions with Novelist Seth Harwood

Jack Wakes Up For novelist Seth Harwood the path from the Iowa Writers Workshop to the New York Times Book Review runs straight through the world of digital media.

While honing his writing skills in more traditional literary venues, Seth struggled to find success. It was only after he began serializing his novel as a podcast that Seth found an audience.

Seth is part of a new breed of authors who have embraced new media as a tool to reinvigorate the novel in an era when consumers are awash in a sea of digital entertainment options. Others, including Scott Sigler and J.C. Hutchins have taken a similar routes, proving that Seth’s podcasting success is no fluke.

Seth’s debut novel Jack Wakes Up is released today. Seth took time out from his book launch schedule to answer a few questions about Jack Wakes Up, podcasting, and the impact that new media has had on his approach to writing. (more…)

Traditional Publishers Crash (and Burn at) SXSW

I’ve seen a fair number of remarkable events at SXSW over the years, but I’ve never seen anything quite like what unfolded at the New Think for Old Publishers panel yesterday afternoon.

On paper, the panel must have seemed like a great idea. The publishing industry is in transition with the rise of digital reading and devices like the Kindle, iPhone, and applications like Stanza. SXSW has always been about convergence and the evolution of old media in the digital age. Why not bring a group of book publishers together to address the digerati at SXSW about the changing nature of their industry?

As the twitter stream reveals, the panel never quite lived up to its promise. Now that the dust has cleared, I feel compelled to describe what happened at the New Think panel. From a remote distance it wasn’t necessarily clear what prompted the audience uprising.

This wasn’t a case of digital natives waging a mindless war against old media. On the contrary, at the beginning of the session a show of hands revealed a high density of heavy readers in the audience. Throughout the session audience members demonstrated a profound love for books. Combine that with the fact that the panel featured the ever popular Clay Shirky, and the publishers started the session with what might best be described as a sympathetic audience.

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Live From TOC

We’re live from O’Reilly Media’s TOC conference in NYC this week. Lots of talk about some of our favorite subjects – Kindle, iPhone, Google Book Search, DRM, etc.

For full coverage follow @booksquare and @kirkbiglione on twitter.

Watch Publishing Transform at TOC 09

Not so long ago, conventional wisdom was that the publishing industry was somehow immune to many of the developments that have transformed every other form of media over the past few years. Book publishers held a deep and abiding faith in the power of the printed volume to withstand the insurgency of digital media.

That faith has fractured a bit over the past year as publishers have watched the surprising success of the Kindle and the emergence of the iPhone as a viable digital reading device.

Suddenly publishers are racing to come to terms with their digital future. In recent months we’ve seen publishers delivering iPhone apps, experiment with DRM-free content, and offering free downloads.

If any of this sounds familiar, it’s because we’ve seen this exact same transformation take place in nearly every other form of media. From past history we know that once the digital media ball starts rolling, the status quo can change very rapidly. It is, no doubt, an exciting time to watch the publishing industry, but a scary time to actually be part of that industry — unless, of course, you’re open to new business models and a complete reinvention of everything you do.

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How Not To Sell Books

So, yeah, it’s Monday morning and I’m checking headlines, and I see an interesting article from Publisher’s Weekly about the Penguin group: turns out they’re pushing the direct sales. Now, me being me, I’m immediately interested. This is the first time a major publishers has made direct-to-consumer sales — no local bookstores, no Amazon — a high-profile goal.

Or not.

Let me explain, first by quoting from the PW article:

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