November Highlights from Publishing Perspectives

In Guest Contributors by Hannah Johnson

publishing perspectives

It’s Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year, when retailers (traditionally) hope to reach profitability and consumers stretch their credit cards to the breaking point. So, whether you’re out standing in line to take advantage of an “door buster” deal or have opted to stay at home and wait for Cyber Monday instead, here is a list of highlights from the past month here on Publishing Perspectives to keep you entertained and informed:

From the digital publishing front:

Digital to Represent 20 to 28% of Publishing’s Profits, says Forum d’Avignon/Bain & Co. Report
Digitization in the publishing industry “could produce significant new value for the industry” but comes with a redistribution of value and profit, says a new study. Edward Nawotka reports.

ISBNs and E-books: The Ongoing Dilemma
There is no industry-wide consensus on whether or not to assign an ISBN to each different e-book format you publish. But what what actually constitutes a format, and what are the advantages of ISBNs for each? Erik Christopher reports on this pressing issue.

Open Road, Authography Offer Novel Solutions to Personalizing and Signing E-books
E-books currently lack one particular feature: the ability to be signed by an author. We look at two solutions, one from e-publisher Open Road Integrated Media, and another from Authography, a new e-signature app.

Why Publishers Need Agile Content: XML, Semantics and RDF
“Content published today that is not prepared as agile content is prone to substantial additional expenses to produce various output formats,” says Ingrid S. Goldstein.

E-book Bestseller Lists from New York Times Coming in 2011
In the works for two years, the Times e-book bestseller lists offer the US industry a way to compare format popularity.

International publishing announcements:

Amazon Launches Italian Site
Google Books auf Deutsch
Surprise! Hachette Livre Enlists Google to Scan/Sell 40-50,000 OOP Titles
Chinese Digital Content Retailer Apologizes for Selling Pirated E-books
In Spain, Two Special Alliances Form to Tackle E-Books Head On
Iraqi Books Hit the International Market for First Time Since the War
France’s Fnac Introduces FnacBook, E-Reader War Heats Up


Behold, It Lives! Frankentext! (Or How Textbook Publishing Got So Scary)
The textbook, the revered embodiment of knowledge for more than 150 years, had turned into Frankentext, The Monster: overstuffed, overpriced, and unloved. In honor of Halloween, Erik Frank, co-founder of Flat World Knowledge, explains why the textbook has turned into a hulking codex and what might be done to thwart the monster.

Publishers Training Abu Dhabi
Salwa Shakhshir reports from the second annual Publishers Training program organized by KITAB and The Center for Publishing at New York University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies in Abu Dhabi.


The Future of Rights: Standards and Shared Metadata
Emily Williams writes about the complicated digital rights landscape and what can be done to improve it.

Authors and writing:

Should I Tweet?
There is a “huge disconnect” between authors and publishers when it comes to marketing, argues Betsy Lerner. Educating authors about the publishing process should be a required step in any marketing plan.

Authors, Social Media and the Allure of Magical Thinking
“Any minute now I’m going to go viral and everybody’s going to buy my book!” Or not. Daniel Kalder writes about the fickle and unpredictable nature of social media outreach, and advises “Resist magical thinking.”

Are Writers Powerless to Make a Living in the Digital Age?
Jaron Lanier, author of You Are Not a Gadget and “father of virtual reality” is consumed with one question: whether writers can make a living in the Digital Age. Mike Springer talks to Lanier about business models, economics, and digital piracy.

About the Author

Hannah Johnson


Hannah Johnson is the publisher of international book industry magazine Publishing Perspectives, which provides daily information and news about book markets around the world. In addition to building partnerships with international cultural and trade organizations, she works with the Frankfurt Book Fair to organize and support a number of its overseas initiatives. Hannah has also worked as the managing editor for an online media company, The Hooch Life, focused on craft distillers and cocktail experts. Prior to that, she worked as a project manager for the Frankfurt Book Fair’s New York office, managing various business and marketing activities.