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  #31  
Old 04-23-2009, 01:17 PM
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I really appreciate the heads up on this article, even though it makes me worry now about the prospects for the novel I just completed (shameless self-promotion already starting).

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  #32  
Old 04-26-2009, 09:16 AM
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The goverment needs to stop wiping their backside with our $20 bills, that would save paper too Thanks for the link, only read half of it but ill get back to it later
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Old 04-26-2009, 11:44 AM
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Interesting article, but take heart - the publishing industry isn't dying, it just needs to weather the current economic storm -- and change their current business model to something a little more 21st century. Everyone's hurting across the board in almost every industry. I've worked in the newspaper biz for 14 years now and it's been in slow decline for a while, but i never thought I'd see the day when large newspapers like the Boston Globe and the Seattle P.I. go under (well, they went online-only, which is basically the same thing, since nobody in the publishing business can figure out how to make money with internet publication). At the same time, the company I work for is FINALLY kicking around the idea of taking online subscriptions for news copy & video, something I've been begging my bosses to do since 2001.

As an illustration, here's the problem the publishing industry is facing with online media these days:

Suppose you owned a bakery and opened up a shop on Main Street in Anytown. There are other bakers on the same street, but you are confident that your cupcakes are just as good as theirs, if not better, and after a few months you're doing brisk business.

To compete, the other bakers on Main Street decide to stand outside on the sidewalk and give away free samples of their cupcakes just to draw passers-by into their shops and buy more cupcakes. Most passers-by simply eat the cupcakes and move on, while one or two may enter the shop to browse at the cakes inside.

That's when you begin to see that yes, this seems to be working, and the bakers giving away the freebie cupcakes are getting the attention of your regular customers, even though it's on a small scale. Nevertheless, you're a good business-person, so you bake up a bunch of free cupcakes and get out there on the street to compete with the others. The difference is that you see right away that you can't simply give the cupcakes away and still stay in business, so you ask a neighboring business (let's say, a music store) to place a sticker on the cupcake. The music store pays you 2 cents a cupcake in the hope that passers-by will see it as they're consuming your free cupcake.

As time goes on, the other bakers catch on to this idea and they put stickers on their cupcakes as well. Before you know it, a person can't walk down the street without seeing tons of free cupcakes with stickers all over them. You notice that the people taking the free cupcakes are simply picking off the stickers without reading them and eating the cupcake. People are no longer entering your shop because they can gather enough free cupcakes by just walking down the street and picking all the stickers off. You stand there and watch helplessly as your neighboring music shop owner comes out and tells you that no one is responding to his stickers that he's placed on your cupcake because A., there are too many stickers, and B., the people aren't reading them anyway.

Not long after this, you can't afford to pay your help inside your bakery and have to let people go. The demand for free cupcakes is high, so you're in there trying to bake all of them yourself. This is the same thing happening with all the other bakers on Main Street. The cupcakes, as a result, are made sloppily, with flavorless icing and are rather dry inside. Other bakers begin to complain that they're about to lose their bakeries because they can no longer afford to run them. You know the same thing is about to happen to you, too. This is when you begin to consider giving up on your dream of owning a successful bakery and decide on a boring yet semi-stable career of selling life insurance instead.

Moral to the story: Why pay for something when everyone's giving it away for free?

How can we fix all of this?

EVERYONE HAS TO STOP GIVING AWAY FREE CUPCAKES --- And they ALL have to cease doing it at the same time. It's that simple.

{Translation: Stop the madness - giving away written material and intellectual property for free is insanity. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting a different result. Hopefully the media giants & book publishers will figure this out before it's too late.)

J
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  #34  
Old 04-26-2009, 05:04 PM
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A good article. Everything is connected so, less money in, less money out. My "fake" job as I like to call it is in the hotel industry and we've taken a major hit lately, I might get laid off soon, who knows, it's everywhere. But back to the books, as a self published author I can say I went the non traditional route not for reasons of economy but others and I'm glad I did, regardless of how difficult book promotion can be. I think the big publishing house are also suffering not just from the economy but from the do-it-yourself mentality that is catching hold. Just like readers now have a million different ways of finding books, our options as writers have greatly increased in how to reach those readers. We don't necessarily need Random House or Harper Collins to see our works in print.

But, step one "just write an awesome book." Woot.
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  #35  
Old 10-14-2009, 11:44 AM
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Default Good Article

Excellent article...Scarey but excellent.
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  #36  
Old 10-19-2009, 02:02 PM
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i agree with lin, at least i think i do if i understand what she's getting at.

i don't think e-books are the immediate future but i think all things considered, cost, environment etc they will eventually become the norm. yes it's sad, i like physical books too but in the end it's the same thing, and maybe with fewer costs publishing companies will take more of a chance on new authors because the costs are so much lower and the risk smaller. i don't know if we're all going to be reading off our laptops though, nobody likes that and technology will have to meet our needs, not just for the fiction readers but educational books etc the kindle et al is probably the first wave of a bigger move towards e-books in general. it's not a great gadget now but it's probably like comparing walkmen to ipods.
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  #37  
Old 10-19-2009, 03:11 PM
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Eventually ebooks will take over, but it might not be all bad. I remember when mp3's came in, and i SWORE i would NEVER fall into that trap, I loved my CD's... but then you realise you can put all your CD's on that one little mp3... people said the same before about vinyl.... But then again books have always been books... I hate reading off a laptop, but have never read off an ebook, but i hope they are easy to read...
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  #38  
Old 11-23-2009, 09:55 AM
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I can say I've never read an ebook, it is just something about a book, tangeable in your hands. Half the fun is going into a bookstore and looking for something...

Anyway great article, slightly scary too at the state of the publishers!
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  #39  
Old 11-24-2009, 04:02 PM
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I have read that article before. Very good!
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  #40  
Old 12-14-2009, 09:08 PM
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Lin has given a wonderful account, but what I feel he is thinking it into a bigger perspective.
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  #41  
Old 07-14-2010, 12:36 PM
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Default Book Publisher R.I.P.

Interesting article. Makes one think about the future of publishing as we know it.
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  #42  
Old 07-14-2010, 01:54 PM
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Although I doubt traditional publishing will fall by the wayside, the ebook and their ilk, deliver a low cost immediacy that accomodates writer and reader alike. A shared choice of enjoying the written word in it's various forms turns a meal into a feast we can all partake of.
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  #43  
Old 07-16-2010, 04:11 AM
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Interesting article, thanks for sharing it. Now I'm depressed, haha.

Also thanks to Mike C for your comments about reading the same type of article for 25 years. Made me feel a little better about the future of my novel.
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  #44  
Old 07-24-2010, 01:05 AM
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Sounds like people just need fresh ideas.
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  #45  
Old 07-24-2010, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Winterbite View Post
Shakespearean fast food, eh? I can dig that.

"To deep-fry or not to deep-fry--that is the question! For whether it is better to suffer the knives and scalpels of the triple-bypass surgeons..."
Haha, that is awesome.
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  #46  
Old 07-26-2010, 01:37 PM
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Fellow writers, the very convenience of the i-Pad and the Kindle means they are going to take over from the book. And along with the words will come pictures and videos - incorporated in the words. And of course the obligatory links to web sites.

And remember book shelves look untidy in minimalistic apartments.

My wife still uses a fountain pen - but her reports she does on a lap top.
I sit sending this on a lap top watching TV. It is a brave new world.

The only question must be how do we writers get invited to join it?

Oh - I forgot - The Greens hate paper making factories - so do tree lovers.
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  #47  
Old 07-31-2010, 07:16 PM
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Statistically I think the hard copy is doomed to the electronic age, but fear not. In a recent poll among young people 70% stated that they preferred reading from a traditional book than from a virtual reader.

M
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  #48  
Old 07-31-2010, 07:17 PM
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So that's a 30% loss of preference in only about five years.
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  #49  
Old 07-31-2010, 07:23 PM
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Looks like we have 10.2 years to get the rag out.
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  #50  
Old 08-01-2010, 08:20 AM
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LOL

Only the foolish publishing houses are going bust. I am a publisher and Im not going bust, OK im not making any money but am in no way going bust.

Best news Ive heard all day - thanx OP.

regards
Jules
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  #51  
Old 08-01-2010, 02:18 PM
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Because of the way children interact with books, I just don't see physical books disappearing.
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Old 08-01-2010, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Rei View Post
Because of the way children interact with books, I just don't see physical books disappearing.

Really? I guess you have never watched a three year old use a computer.

But, like you, I hope the physical book remains the mainstay of printed preference for all.

By the way...does anyone know what happens to something you cut and paste and all of a sudden it disappears? I have shit of mine floating all over the cosmos. Can't find any of it. I need to talk with a three year old.
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  #53  
Old 08-03-2010, 12:38 AM
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"He said sales are definitely lower, and he thinks it might be a combination of the economy coupled with more distractions like cable television and the Internet."


Mmmhmmm. There's the bigger problem right there.
No matter how great your story, it can't compete with Facebook.

"A few decades ago, a ruler in Yemen ordered the northern gates of his city permanently barred, proclaiming 'Nothing but evil comes through here.'
I'm starting to feel the same way about my laptop. This so called boon to communication and productivity has become a distracting, privacy sapping, alienating, addictive time suck. The mantra for our time should be Tune Out, Turn Off, and Unplug!"

Geraldine Brooks.

A bit over-dramatic maybe, but she's on to something.
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  #54  
Old 08-03-2010, 06:47 AM
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Find out what she's on and score me some
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Old 08-03-2010, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Gaines View Post
Really? I guess you have never watched a three year old use a computer.

By the way...does anyone know what happens to something you cut and paste and all of a sudden it disappears? I have shit of mine floating all over the cosmos. Can't find any of it. I need to talk with a three year old.
Direct quote from my three year old when I told him my desk top was caput.

"Is your puter boken mummy? I can fix for you" Here's where he produces his Little Tykes hammer that makes all funny bonk and crash noises.

He can work the DVD player and the Wii, and I surrender them without arguement. But I'm defending my laptop from my destructive and grubby fingered offspring most vigilantly.
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  #56  
Old 08-03-2010, 07:26 AM
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This is why I have questioned the concept that kids books for iPad are such a red hot idea.
Let's give the kid an $800 gizmo to read picture stories on?
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  #57  
Old 08-03-2010, 07:34 AM
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It's nuts. My children are fairly well behaved, they been taught to look after their stuff. But even my six year old has accidents. She reads in bed at night andher books are often heard crashing to the floor.
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  #58  
Old 08-03-2010, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Gaines View Post
Really? I guess you have never watched a three year old use a computer.
I've seen both, and I know that the way very young children (including babies and those with developmental and fine motor challenges of any age) flip through pages cannot be done on an ebook reader and the pictures and font are much smaller. On a computer, you can make them big enough, but what about when you aren't in a place where you can use a computer, or the computers around don't have the books they want?

Children under three still toss things around and put things in their mouths, stuff that really cannot be done with a kindle or iphone. Kids can do whatever they want with a board book. I've used ipads and iphones. It takes time to get the hang of controlling it even when you have fully developed fine motor skills. It takes time to grow those skills. When I see kids at the library exploring their options, it's at the shelves, not the computer catalogue.

There are also the grubby fingers and accidents that Redlorry is talking about to take into consideration.

Besides, schools have enough problems getting computers for other uses than reading books. They'd never be able to get enough ebook readers for kids to be able to take the books home with them. If one book gets lost, that's a few dollars. If a kid takes home a kindl and that gets lost. Besides, other than a retailer giving free downloads every so often, how do you donate an ebook?
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  #59  
Old 08-08-2010, 11:00 AM
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I sincerley hope this isnt true. I am an avid reader who enjoys nothing more to curl up with a good book. I have a laptop, xbox and tv but it doesnt replace the novel.
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  #60  
Old 08-08-2010, 01:23 PM
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A novel is a novel, in whatever format.
An an ereader is as easy to "curl up with" (since everybody seems to read that way when they start talking about ebooks, kind of like they suddenly become besotted with the way books smell and the sound their spines make)
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