9 Comments

Summary:

PBS’s MediaShift is launching a line of ebooks, starting with titles on self-publishing and cord-cutting. Executive Mark Glaser says he plans to release 10 to 20 books this year, depending on how well the first titles do.

How-to-Self-Publish-Cover-PBS-logo-small

PBS’s digital media initiative MediaShift is launching a line of ebooks. The launch is part of a larger experiment with PBS, which is also planning to publish its own ebooks this year.

MediaShift’s first two titles are How to Self-Publish Your Book (80 pages, $3.99) and Your Guide to Cutting the Cord to Cable TV (50 pages, $2.99). (I have to point out here that GigaOM’s also got a cord-cutting ebook, written by our own Janko Roettgers.) The titles are available through Kindle and the iBookstore for now and will eventually be available through Nook; print-on-demand editions will also be released, priced at $4.99 to $6.99.

Mark Glaser, the executive editor of MediaShift, says he’s planning on releasing 10 to 20 ebooks this year, depending on how well the first titles sell. “This is a test for us and PBS,” he said, “so we will learn as we go and adjust prices, length, subject matter and more.”

  1. Reblogged this on Informed Ideas and commented:
    This intrigues me. I am a huge fan of PBS programming, which I think is among the best available. If they carry the same level of content excellence through to their ebooks, I suspect this will be a very rewarding experiment for them. The risk, of course, is if the quality of the ebooks is not up to the same standards of quality as their programming, in which case it could erode the trust and superior reputation PBS has worked so hard to build. I guess we’ll see as more ebooks are published.

    Share
  2. tomwhiteindc Monday, May 13, 2013

    I think getting into e-books is a great idea. I’m just not so sure the “How to on cord-cutting” is the best idea. A whole book? How about: 1) cancel cable; 2) buy a Roku box; 3) join Netflix, Hulu, etc.

    Share
    1. Mark Glaser Monday, May 13, 2013

      Cutting the cord sounds simple, but there are a lot of services to choose from. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, plus now Aereo, along with hardware like Roku, Boxee, Apple TV. It’s more complicated than it should be, plus this e-book looks not only at the various services but also there are some intelligent essays on the subject as well.

      Share
      1. tomwhiteindc Monday, May 13, 2013

        Well, after buying the book, it does indeed have a lot of good info, even for those who cut the cord a while ago. And the essays are great – who knew Romenesko had 3 large screen TVs in a 1 bedroom apartment?

        Share
        1. Mark Glaser Tuesday, May 14, 2013

          Glad you found it useful, Tom!

          Share
  3. Mark Glaser Monday, May 13, 2013

    Thanks for the post, Laura. Update: We now have the e-books available for Nook. Links are now up on our e-books page.

    Share
  4. It sounds like an interesting idea, especially if PBS can leverage its own programming and content resources (brands, personalities, etc.) PBS and GigaOm also hold a huge advantage over other ebook publishers in that they already have huge audiences that they can directly market to on the Web, via email, and in PBS’ case, its broadcasting partners.

    Ian Lamont
    Publisher, “In 30 Minutes” guides

    Share
  5. This kind of thing is happening all over. The University of Tennessee School of Journalism and Electronic Media is now publishing its own line of journalism texts for high school and collegiate journalism courses. (Disclosure: I’m author or co-author of several.) The books are available on the iPad (multimedia), in print and on the Kindle. The focus here is developing multimedia textbooks. We have just uploaded our 11th title.
    http://tnjnseries.com

    Share
  6. Will PBS be selling it’s eBooks to Libraries? Either through aggregators like ebrary & Ebsco, or, even, using a direct-to-Library model? With or without DRM?

    Share

Comments have been disabled for this post