However yesterday I listened to two of their most recent postings, both of a digital bent.
The first was hosted by Mike Shatzkin and is called “Teaching some old publishing dogs new tricks” and features some “learnings” from third-party tech vendors, on what their take on publishing is. (Download MP3)
If you’re pushed for time, skip straight to Caroline Vanderlip (CEO of SharedBook) at 24:30. She’s great, very smart, and gives some great information about the process of selling and making personalised books, both to consumers and to publishers. And also about adjusting to the, um, slow rate of publishers getting their head around your brilliant idea.
One statistic sticks out (and in my throat, given apt’s attempts in the past to convince publishers to engage with customisation – on which more later):
- The Pokey Little Puppy personalised childrens’ edition (personalised means the inclusion of a single, personalised, printed-on-demand dedication page), published by Random House US, sells for $25.
- The trade edition (exactly the same, less the dedication) sells for $8.99
- The customised edition outsells the trade edition 4:1
- So that’s four times the volume, (almost) three times the price. And direct to consumer.
I could see a future for that kind of model. Anyone?
The second is a bit of a love-fest, and is chaired remarkably stiffly by Jeff “Print Is Dead” Gomez (he just sounds like he’s reading everything out). But it features Derek Powazek (who knows a lot about community sites), the VP of Shelfari, and man of the moment, Scott Sigler.
If you’re really pushed for time, it’s kind of all about using free to build value, and audience, and how to look after your community once you have them there. Nothing that should surprise anyone who reads blogs about the future of publishing.
There are also some postulations on what publishing needs to do to haul itself out of “Publishing 1.0″ and into “Publishing 2.0″ right at the end. (Download MP3)
More recent posts:
Coversourcing: All about our crowdsourced book jacket for Jeff Howe’s new book
The iPod moment for Books: How UK readers can’t actually buy eBooks
Stanza for iPhone: How UK publishers can’t actually sell eBooks