Blog Post

Digital Publishing Roundup: Digital Rules; No, It Doesn’t; Yes, It Does

Books will disappear. Print is where words go to die:Jeff Jarvis tossed a variation of this particular Molotov cocktail via his blog last month; now he brings the argument to The Guardian. The gist: the book as we know it is an outdated form of communication and needs to incorporate the internet to be all it can be although he does admit that not all books “would be enhanced by adding functionality.” He’d let fiction off the hook as “best delivered one-way and on portable paper.”
Digital Publishing Is Scrambling the Industry’s Rules: In a nice touch of serendipity, the NYT takes on digital publishing again today. Writers disagree about digital publishing’s role and value. Some like to experiment; others want print books to remain apart. And some of the reaction blurs into the negative response to Google’s book scanning — once a book is online, it can be distributed more easily whether or not the author wants it to be. By the same token, digitizing some books can create more profit for the author. The Jarvis take here.
‘B5’ script sales: Future of publishing?: J. Michael Straczynski wrote most of the scripts for cult sci-fi series Babylon 5. Now he’s self-publishing them as a series of print-on-demand books — and, based on sales of the first seven of 14 planned volumes, he estimates the total take will be about $1.5 million, not shabby even after takes its cut for handling the production and fulfillment. A couple of points: the author added value with additional material and he’s probably at the very high end of people who can make money this way. Still, interesting. He’s also a top-notch self-promoter; the site already has an “as seen in USAToday” promo.