Book Buying By The Numbers

What’s black and white and read all over? A survey of consumer book-buying habit just out from the Nielsen Market Research. This week, the book world began poring over the findings, covering everything from shares of print and digital sales, to preferences for digital platforms. The two most intriguing findings confirm suspicions that the drive […]

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IBPA Pub-U Is On A Mission

Once upon a time, authors and publishers, along with readers and booksellers, knew their separate places in the book world and they stuck to them.  The distribution of power was uneven, maybe even unfair, but the pecking order seemed to make sense. Once upon a time is no longer in the book world, for better […]

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Salinger And the Public Domain

The legal definition of “public domain” is property that is available or accessible to the public, such as a National Park. In copyright, “P.D.” refers to inventions, writings, recordings or photographs not protected by intellectual property law. Often enough, the public domain can often seem to lie just beyond the horizon – like a mirage in […]

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The Shape Of User Demand

Along what once was called the information superhighway, platforms and technologies are the vehicles and the roads. These together require smooth-running traffic patterns. Just as railroads run alongside rivers, and thoroughfares line up with but never cross airport runways, the complexities of the Web must be managed carefully. At the recent NFAIS 2015 Conference, panels […]

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Book Business On A Trampoline

The business of books has more ups and downs than a kangaroo on a trampoline. This week, the Association of American Publishers StatShot program released final numbers for reported sales in 2014; Barnes & Noble also reported its third quarter earnings. The figures will not have investors or publishers calling out for champagne. “Total revenue […]

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Publishers Forum “Reconstructing Publishing”

For reasons both challenging and exciting, the digital transformation of the book industry has closed the spaces separating competitors and colleagues across the spectrum of media. Indeed, the annual Publishers Forum bears a name that somewhat obscures its ambitions. Attendees traveling to Berlin on April 27 and 28 will hail from dozens of publishing houses […]

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The Biggest of the Small in Publishing

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” For book publishing, those lines ring true in any era, but especially our own. Books today compete against a wide spectrum of entertainment, and the time we have to devote to reading is under more pressure than ever. Yet in the face of […]

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Conversion Architectures

In books and other media, authors and publishers traditionally have products to market and sell, whether in digital or physical formats. But an emerging business view holds that opportunity lies beyond the products. In this approach, the audience is where the money lies. Already, subscription services for books – such as Scribd and Oyster – […]

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The Party King of Librarianship Hits the Campaign Trail

Even as librarians rewrite the definition of what makes for a library in the 21st century, they are also redrafting their job descriptions. Along with the academic degrees and professional training, librarians in 2015 should know how to party—at least if they choose to follow the example of New Jersey City University librarian J.P. Porcaro, […]

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Jeffrey Schnapp

Cold Storage

In ancient Sumer, more than 4,500 years ago, the first libraries were archives of clay tablets etched with cuneiform script.  In our own time, a library may contain not only printed books and journals, but also audio and visual recordings in analog and digital form.  Yet the purpose remains little changed over the millennia – […]

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