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“Content is Free… but curation is sacred”

One of the ideas going through my head for the past few months can be summed up in the following line

“Content is Free… but curation is sacred”

The phrase (see below for its origins) first came to mind during the Google [un-] settlement with US publishers, and since then I’ve become more and more interested in [...]

Published: January 26, 2009. Read more →

eBook Haters – The New Luddites?

I was in Waterstones’ flagship London Piccadilly store yesterday, and decided to take a look at their in-store presentation of the Sony Reader. (And before you accuse me of being a hater, I am a fan of electronic books, despite some people’s interpretation of previous posts.)
The good news is that I was told that Waterstones [...]

Published: September 25, 2008. Read more →

Open Seas; High Waves – The Perfect Storm?

It’s an exciting day – the release of the Sony Reader sees the first concerted, anticipated, co-ordinated foray into selling electronic books in the UK. Publishers have been rushing to negotiate deals with agents (and retailers) and prepare launch lists of titles. Digitisation has been advancing at pace. Great news!
However, I am concerned that two [...]

Published: September 4, 2008. Read more →

The Sony / Waterstones digital book future (from a retailer’s perspective)

Just back from holiday, I saw this phenomenally committed and integrated campaign from Waterstones for the launch of the game-changing Sony Reader (available on pre-order from the stationery department of their website):

Published: August 16, 2008. Read more →

Packing it in.

I’m packing for holiday, off for two weeks, debating my reading plans, and how ambitious they are.
So far, I’ve packed:

Personal Days by Ed Park, Jonathan Cape
Rogue Male, Geoffrey Household, Penguin, very secondhand
Americana, Don DeLillo (Vintage) – have given up on this one before, despite being a big DD and advertising fan.

I kind of think [...]

Published: July 30, 2008. Read more →

Mad Men: Books as psychological (product) placement

Sunday saw the opening of the second season of Mad Men; the drama set in a Madison Avenue ad agency in the early 1960s.
Mad Men is brilliant for all sorts of reasons, but one thing it does very well is show the cracks emerging in a society as it shifts from life as it always [...]

Published: July 29, 2008. Read more →

Two good podcasts on “publishing 2.0″

I’ve bemoaned (to readers in RSS) the generally dire quality of this year’s BEA BookExpoCasts.
However yesterday I listened to two of their most recent postings, both of a digital bent.
The first was hosted by Mike Shatzkin and is called “Teaching some old publishing dogs new tricks” and features some “learnings” from third-party tech vendors, on [...]

Published: July 17, 2008. Read more →

Stanza for iTouch / iPhone

I updated the software on my iPod Touch over the weekend (and *man* it took a long time). But this morning, after a newsflash from TeleRead, I downloaded and installed the (free) Stanza iPod application from the iTunes store, which is exactly why I ran the upgrade.
Crucially – see below – Stanza (which also has [...]

Published: July 14, 2008. Read more →


Things are accelerating around us, and standing still at the same time.
For all the talk of digital innovation, new strategies, experimentation, skunkworks and failing cheaply, the picture in the UK publishing industry still feels like one that is failing to get anywhere new very quickly. It’s not hard to feel that the innovations that [...]

Published: July 10, 2008. Read more →

“The iPod Moment for Books”: How Serious is the UK Publishing Industry?

Amid all the chat about Kindles, Iliads, SonyReaders and ebooks generally revivifying a “flat” books market, there is the latent hope/fear that Apple’s next iPhone (to be announced next Monday, keep up) will also have ebook capability.
Such a sexy, “converged” device would surely corral latent consumer desire to read books on a screen rather [...]

Published: June 6, 2008. Read more →