For me, bookstores (particularly second hand) are like sitting at the tree on Chirstmas morning… there is so much waiting to be unwrapped. I regularly lose myself for hours on end – cover gazing, page flipping, reading, contemplating and of course buying. For me, the experience of walking into a store and discovering a book will always be far more rewarding than the online experience, but so much of what I am seeking these days can only be found online. But all that may be changing…
Check out this article on The Northshire Bookstore in Vermont who have installed ‘a hulking jumble of machinery’ known as the Espresso Book Machine; an example of the print-on-demand technology able to serve up millions of titles to the eager customer.
Yep, it’s like a jukebox for books! And while I am not sure whether bookstores are the best place to have such machines, imagine the possibilities – Airports, Train Stations, Hotels… all those places where time just seems to drag and the books on offer in newsagents etc… just don’t cut it.
This machine certainly has potential. Imagine if there was one at your local shopping centre… it may actually make doing the groceries more bearable.
All this music talk has got me interested in how the literary establishment can learn from the music industry. We all remember the death of the music industry articles that were circulating at the start of this decade, how the industry was haemorrhaging with the invent of Napster and other download technology. Well the Jumping the Poetic Hurdle interviews I did recently tell a similar story… So, this Lost Shark has been doing some reading and thought these articles were well worth sharing. We may stand to learn alot from what the music industry has been through.
Can the publishing industry learn from the music industry?
Why Amazon Should Try a “Radiohead Experiment” on the Kindle
What If the Kindle Succeeds?
What the literary establishment must learn from Hip-Hop
A big thanks to Amanda Joy for putting me on to this article this evening. It is a really great read and provides excellent information to follow on from the Jumping the Poetic Hurdle interviews.
SELLING PAPER: Can publishing be profitable in the 21st Century? raises some very interesting points about free content, the difficulty in publishing for profit in both print and electronic media and the role of advertising.
The article concludes by examining the public radio model as a successful way of monetising content.
A thought provoking article and one that I hope you enjoy.
I was recently reading Electric Alphabet and came across an article that provides some great reading around the topic of publishing and distribution:
Do publisher’s still dream of electronic books? is a great interview with Soft Skull Press main man Richard Nash about what is happening on the digital publishing horizon and the cultural economy of books.
Today on Electric Alphabet, Kate has also raised the idea of a poetry publishing co-op. This is a great idea and a role that the newly formed SPUNC may fill with flying colours…