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Book publisher gives up on print. A sign of things to come?

Posted: 08/11/10 07:48 AM

Dime stores disappeared a long time ago. Now it seems dime store novels may be going extinct as well. Talking about mass market paperback books, the kind you see at a drug store or Wal-Mart. Cheaply made, cheaply sold romance novels, sci-fi, westerns, true crime. Stuff that isn’t going to win the Pulitzer but will do just fine for a day at the beach.

Readers have been turning to larger trade paperbacks, hardcovers, or electronic books. This week mass market publisher Dorchester Publishing said they’re walking away from paper altogether and concentrating on e-books and print on demand.

Dorchester’s decision comes at a time when romance novels in electronic form are very popular but the way they’re printed is not.

We talk to Tim DeYoung, a senior vice president at Dorchester. We also hear from publishing industry veteran Joseph Esposito and Frank Lyman from Libre Digital, a company that helps publishers find electronic readerships.

Comments | Filed Under: books publishing

Now you can read Playboy at work*

 by John Moe // Posted: 07/21/10 05:14 PM

* No you can’t.

But that’s the idea, I guess, behind The Smoking Jacket, the new website from Playboy. It’s basically Playboy without the nudity so, they claim, you can read it while you’re bored at work. Honestly, you better stick with our blog instead.

I just looked at it. Don’t read it at work.

Comments | Filed Under: publishing

Coming soon: Magazine Motion Sickness

 By Jeff Horwich // Posted: 07/20/10 11:56 AM

While putting together today’s episode on whether the iPad can save magazines, I took in this nifty video of how Viv Magazine is turning their iPad edition into something like the newspapers they read in Harry Potter. Yes, it’s cool. But dang, that’s a lot of data to download just to read a magazine!

Comments | Filed Under: publishing ipad magazines hogwarts

The Golden Age of Magazines (might be right now)

 By Jeff Horwich // Posted: 07/20/10 06:00 AM

Everyone wants a piece of the iPad, but the magazine industry has responded with particular gusto. Maybe it’s that the iPad is about the size of a National Geographic. Maybe it’s that beautiful color graphics are a skill the magazine industry has honed for decades. Maybe it’s just the optimistic belief that this device, despite its parallel ability to play skee ball for hours on end, will somehow bring reading back.

Last month’s most feted and vetted iPad magazine release was Wired. This month it was Popular Mechanics. We talk with the deputy editor who led the team that designed the Popular Mechanics iPad app about how they’re changing the magazine experience, and why the iPad is the place to be. But Mashable CEO Pete Cashmore is skeptical the revolution has begun. And Condé Nast veteran Jacob Lewis (now with Figment.com) is still waiting for a new business model behind that magical screen.

(Guest host: Jeff Horwich)

Comments | Filed Under: ipad publishing

Amazon sells more invisible electric books than actual books

 by John Moe // Posted: 07/20/10 01:05 AM

Hard cover ones anyway. Yeah, this one shocked me. Of course, I just downloaded War & Peace for free from Amazon so I guess anything is possible in the modern world of both books and electric files that we call books even though they’re not.

I’m in Los Angeles at the moment, hanging out with the gang from Marketplace. A colleague here points out that it’s rare for Amazon to share any insight into Kindle sales figures and that they’re also about to report earnings so may be looking for a positive story.

Comments | Filed Under: publishing e-readers amazon

today's show

What will we do with all this "white space"?

09/26/10 11:15 AM

There’s a vote coming up this week in Washington that will have a big impact on how you use the internet, what’s available to you, how much faster you’ll be able to get things online. On Thursday, the FCC is expected to open up unused parts of the broadcast spectrum, a lot of people call it “white space”. This is space that was positioned to be something of a buffer between television stations but such padding is proving less essential since the conversion to digital TV.

On today’s show, we talk to Glenn Fleishman from Wi-Fi Networking News and The Economist about how the spectrum works and what kind of new space we’re talking about. We also check in with Tim Wu from Columbia Law School about the companies that will look to use the space and what it all might mean for you and me as internet consumers.

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