Friday Linkdump: Publishing

11.06.09 | Comment?

For the whole time the Flametoad blog was on hiatus, I kept squirreling away links use as blog fodder. The theme for this week’s linkdump is publishing and e-books.

Profit & Loss – If you’ve ever wondered why books cost as much as they do, you’ll want to check out this post on Marion Gropen’s Publishing for Profit blog. Marion takes the reader step-by-step through all the factors that make up a non-fiction book’s cost. It’s an eye-opening exercise if you’re not already familiar with the business side of publishing.

International Rights – Publishing rights are traditionally sold on a country-by-country basis. This made sense 100 years ago for print books, but in today’s ebook market it just hurts the customer. In this case, the customer is a solider serving overseas who is being blocked from buying American books because his base’s IP address isn’t registering as in-country. It’s just another sign that it’s time to rethink how publishing works.

E-book DRM – Nobody likes it, but in an industry where profit is slim, the threat of loss through illegal duplication is terrifying. Booksquare tries to move the conversation forward with minimal drama.

Comparison Shopping – The price of e-books varies a lot more widely than one would expect. The MetaEbooks site lets you search for a book by title or author and find the cheapest price across several online retailers. You can even narrow your selection by ebook format.

Save your Money – A friend recently advised me to consider TVs to be just like computers. The technology is changing so rapidly that there will always be a better model on the market just a few months after you buy one, and for the same price. Should we now add ‘books’ to that category as well? The venerable Teleread.org has an essay titled “Why you probably should NOT buy an ereader this year”. I’m not sure I entirely agree, but read it for yourself.

Lessons from History – The excellent O’Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing companion website has a short post called Lessons from Digital Disruption in the Music Business. I’ll admit that I didn’t listen to the linked hour-long podcast, but the quote and other links were certainly good food for thought.

Books Aren’t Baked Beans – That’s the title of the first in an excellent series of articles by Martyn Daniels, republished by permission at Litopia.com. If you’re interested in publishing or even simply interested in a case study in how digital technology is disrupting an entire industry, I highly encourage you read the whole series.

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