Flashlight: Strobing the Book World #9

Still busy and thinking through my ‘authors’ post, but there’s a good deal going on that warrants comment albeit by necessity too briefly.

First up, I think this potential alliance between Barnes and Noble and Waterstones to internationalise the Nook is very exciting. Amazon will be tough to beat and Kobo have done some smart work as the insurgent start-up but to make this market work and continue the innovation there’s got to be more players in the game. Elsewhere you can see Eoin Purcell’s take on Barnes and Noble’s corporate culture here (with the NYT article he references here). The American Editor blog volunteers an idea about franchising the B&N brand (and idea I’d be very wary of, brand dilution alert). I suspect B&N (with added Waterstones?) vs Amazon will be a major theme for 2012. Update: even more on B&N. (HT Graham Beattie.)

The ebook reader advance looks to have moved forward substantially again over the Christmas period though perhaps not quite as quickly as was imagined before Christmas. Mike Shatzkin looks at some of the initial data. PW looks at the adoption of ereaders here and the rapid advance of the Kindle Fire here. Six million units sold in the final quarter of 2011. As I said, tough to beat.

Finally, I retweeted this over the holidays, but reading it again there’s much food for thought in an article by Stephen Page on the Guardian that looks at the history of publishing and segues that into a view of the future for 2012. Two money quotes:

There’s a riot of cross-dressing going on; a scramble as roles are redefined by usefulness, not legacy.


The demonstrable creation of value and the fair sharing of it. Publishers exist to create value and audience for writers, and this needs to be at the centre of all publishing endeavours.

Which will lead me on nicely to a future post.


Analogue, digital and Franzen

I’m tremendously charmed by this grass roots Little Free Libraries innovation and if nothing else it makes you realise that the digital age can go hand in hand with a much more analogue brand of creativity.

Unless of course, you are Jonathan Franzen. Franzen’s views on the pernicious threat to democracy that is digital reading here, takedown by Andrew Sullivan here.

(Little Free Libraries HT Library Stuff)


Apologies all. Off to a busy start to the year and been tricky to find some good posting time. Also a huge amount of New Year thoughts, resolutions and plans in my mind that need chewing on. But normal service to be shortly resumed. I think I have a little something about authors up my sleeve to kick off with.

Bear with me, back shortly. In the meantime, over to Kitty, Daisy and Lewis. Michelle and I are off to see them next week:

Happy New Year

Am slowly (first physically then I’m sure at some point mentally) returning to work. Much good relaxing, reading  and thinking done over the holidays, and I managed to do it fairly off grid too, which was rather nice for a change. Still good to be back to the joys of the internet, and just to ease us back into blogging, check out this little video:

Lots of interesting developments appearing post-Christmas so much to talk about.