AMAZON AND THE ENGAGEMENT ECONOMY
"If the new scarcity in the age of the Internet is engagement, then it makes sense that the companies who are desperately trying to gather information about you, hook you in, and make you dependent and/or loyal (you know who they are) are the ones who are doing precisely the sane thing in the new environment.
In other words, Amazon has figured this out already, and are succeeding because of it (or at least making very large bets on it). Amazon, I believe, does not care about the price of a book. They do not care, beyond finding the price that maximizes your engagement with them — it may be zero, or it may be that a recognizable pricepoint does a better job in certain circumstances."
Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing
GOING TO WHERE THE READERS ARE (HOW PUBLISHING IS A SERVICE INDUSTRY TOO)
"It is imperative for authors and publishers to go where the reader is whether that reader is a Kindle owner or a Sony owner or a Kobo owner or some other device owner not yet invented. The onus is not on the reader to leave her preferred device or way of reading behind in order to access a book. It is the publisher of the book, whether it be the author or some other entity, to go to the reader."
HOW AMAZON IS CHANGING THE RULES FOR BOOKS AND MOVIES
"Of course, creating a new set of rules poses a threat to the businesses that have thrived playing the old game. The ability to buy books online with just a click, as well as the cut-rate pricing pressure that online retailers such as Amazon offer, have undermined brick-and-mortar booksellers. TV and movie studios are trying to figure out how to make money when consumers can often swipe their programming for free or watch those shows on subscription services, such as Amazon Instant Video, and its rivals Netflix and Hulu.
«Amazon is not afraid to invest ahead of the curve," said Dan Geiman, an analyst at McAdams Wright Ragen in Seattle. "They have a huge group of customers who view them very favorably, and they can leverage that.»"
EBOOKS: WINNERS IN THE GENERATION GAME
The growth of e-reading among older age groups shouldn't come as too much of a surprise
"New technology, like pop music or radical politics, is something you're expected to lose touch with as you get older. This idea is encouraged by the young, who would rather their elders gracefully embraced luddism than try to befriend them on Facebook. What's refreshing about e-reading is that it's not just popular with traditional early adopters; their parents are getting in on the act too.
According to market researcher Bowker, while younger people's ebook consumption is plateauing, in older age groups it continues to grow: more than a quarter of 45- to 55-year-olds and a fifth of over-55s bought an ebook in the six months to March 2012, up from 17% and 15% last November. A OnePoll survey last year found the over-55s were more likely to own an e-reader than 18- to 24-year-olds."
THE FUTURE OF BOOK COVER IN THE DIGITAL AGE
"Ereaders are literally changing the way we read. But for all the efficiency and portability they offer, they lack the curious romance of reading a book in its hard, physical form—not least the charms that lie on the cover.
These days, Kindles start up on the first chapter of a book, so it's increasingly easy to only ever see the cover a handful of times as a small thumbnail image. But while many wallow in the fact such a shift is disastrous but inevitable, the likes of Craig Mod—formerly of Flipboard—are embracing the change. In fact, he's written a wonderful essay about the problem, and possible solutions, over on his blog."
ARE BOOKS BECOMING TOO LONG TO READ?
Are writers including every nugget of research done on Google, and are publishers churning out these humongous volumes in order to justify their existence and bulk up e-book prices?
"The trouble is that big books are barriers to the cultural conversation as much as they are the basis for it. Can you think of a recent book reviewed, regarded, and honored as a serious work of thoughtful intellect that doesn't run on and on and on? I came up with one: Stephen Greenblatt's nonfiction Pulitzer winner, The Swerve, which stands out in part by virtue of its succinctness, at 320 pages.
Every life is epic, every historical moment a saga, every narrative a cosmos, no serious book less than monumental, and my reading life is but a finite one. What happened to today’s media-saturated, neurologically attenuated attention span?"
The Daily Beast
HOW TO WRITE A BESTSELLER - ACCORDING TO THE FORMULA
Can you write a best-selling novel simply by following a formula?
So, what are some of those "content variables"? According to James Hall, the protagonists in the novels he dissected all possess a "high level of emotional intensity that results in gutsy and surprising deeds." They "act decisively" instead of "navel gazing." The plots of these novels waste no time setting up situations where readers are "drawn forward by the momentum of the unfolding story as one complication after another challenges the central character and the original dramatic question mutates into another question and another."
GENRE FICTION IS DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGY
How science fiction, fantasy, romance, mysteries and all the rest will take over the world
"I’m beginning to wonder if something like that is happening in contemporary fiction. We expect literary revolutions to come from above, from the literary end of the spectrum — the difficult, the avant-garde, the high-end, the densely written. But I don’t think that’s what’s going on. Instead we’re getting a revolution from below, coming up from the supermarket aisles. Genre fiction is the technology that will disrupt the literary novel as we know it.
I’m not saying that — if such a thing should happen — it would make the literary novel worthless. God no. One of the great things about the literary world is that it’s an expanding pie; it’s not either/or, it’s both/and. Literature is not bunk — as Raymond Chandler put it —and genre fiction is not a vice — as Edmund Wilson had it. They’re all just books, and good books are treasures beyond price, and vive la difference."