"Rather than concentrating on total audience, we should concentrate on the net future value of each reader. Where does that value reside? That question raises a fundamental strategic—and religious—issue: We in news and media keep saying that our content has value. Well, yes; no one will disagree. But we need to ask whether the greater value resides in the content or in the relationships and data it can spawn. Yes, the content has value, but how best do we extract that value?"
THE NEW MIDLIST: SELF-PUBLISHED E-BOOK AUTHORS WHO EARN A LIVING
"To illustrate the dramatic rise in sales for these e-book mid-listers, let’s look at some real data that I’m intimately familiar with: Michael J. Sullivan. He is my husband and has five of six books of the Riyria Revelations published through my small press, Ridan Publishing. The release dates of them were: The Crown Conspiracy (Oct 2008), Avempartha (April 2009), Nyphron Rising (October 2009), The Emerald Storm (April 2010), and the forthcoming Wintertide (October 2010). In nine months, from January to September 2010, his income averaged just over $1,500 a month or around $10,700 in total (Amazon US Kindle sales only). Certainly not a wage we could live off of. After the tipping point occurred he earned more than $102,000 in just five months."
WHAT'S SELLING IN EBOOKS IS LINEAR BOOKS
"Interesting thoughts from Dominique Raccah, at Sourcebooks publishing, on what makes a successful eBook. In the current market, with the current technology, she says it’s mostly fiction, and some narrataive non-fiction: «What’s selling in ebooks? It’s primarily narrative … Stories seem to be at the heart of eBooks right now. Even the successful non-fiction eBooks we’re seeing skew to narrative – memoirs and biography and history. They’re all stories – and they’re all linear reading experiences.»"
Seeing the pictures | @ericrumsey via @draccah
WHAT IS DISTANT READING?
"We need distant reading, Moretti argues, because its opposite, close reading, can’t uncover the true scope and nature of literature. Let’s say you pick up a copy of “Jude the Obscure,” become obsessed with Victorian fiction and somehow manage to make your way through all 200-odd books generally considered part of that canon. Moretti would say: So what? As many as 60,000 other novels were published in 19th-century England — to mention nothing of other times and places. You might know your George Eliot from your George Meredith, but you won’t have learned anything meaningful about literature, because your sample size is absurdly small. Since no feasible amount of reading can fix that, what’s called for is a change not in scale but in strategy. To understand literature, Moretti argues, we must stop reading books."
The New York Times
WHAT IF A VIDEO GAME WAS POETRY?
"In a world of multi-gigabyte iPhones and video games so technologically advanced they can be confused with blockbuster movies, science fiction or real life, Ian Bogost has created a wisp of counterbalance. The video game developer and Georgia Tech professor has made A Slow Year, a quartet of games sold as poetry, each game based on one of the fours seasons, each one a tiny kilobyte in size and designed for the old Atari 2600, a video game console that was nearing its twilight a quarter of a century ago."
SCI-FI WRITERS PREDICT THE FUTURE OF GAMING
"Scientist and novelist Alastair Reynolds (renown for signing a £1 million deal with book publishers Gollancz) talks about the rise of augmented reality – “[the trend] will continue until we reach the seamless integration of the real world and the augmented world, and the technology will be increasingly less clunky,” he tells them, although adding a caveat to the article that «one of the problems with predicting the future is you tend to overestimate change on a short-term timescale. I remember reading an article from 2000 speculating on what the average home PC of the year 2010 would be like and it was wildly inaccurate. ten years is not that long in terms of some sort of development timescale.»"
WE ARE ALL POSTMODERNISTS NOW
"That 85% of ebooks are now purchased through Kindle at least covers the former – for now. But what of the latter: format? Some commentators – very few, but some – have argued that there's no impending death of the book at all, and the question of hardware’s moot. As Dan Franklin’s maintained on this blog – James Bridle with his Open Bookmarks, too – reading won't go away. Only the experience of reading will change. So how does that impact on me, an author?"
The Future Books | @samatlounge