Saturday, February 21, 2009

Taking Steps Into The Digital Future

Publishers Weekly did an article titled "Taking Steps Into The Digital Future" on Monday.

The article focuses on teenagers:
It's no secret that teens live online--Twittering, blogging, posting videos on YouTube and downloading from iTunes--or that most teens (80%, according to a national survey last fall) have cellphones. Together that adds up to a sizable potential market for mobile phone and Web-based e-books. Google and Amazon have no intention of ceding that business to developers of iPhone apps like Stanza. Earlier this month, they announced that they will provide e-content for mobile phones. Google will release 1.5 million public domain titles; Amazon will adapt books already in the Kindle format.
PW likened the "e-frontier" to "publishing's new Wild West," and I was pleased to see that comment followed by a quote from Penguin, my own publisher. Don Weisberg, head of the Penguin Young Readers Group said: “We're very gung-ho on e-books . . . We as publishers have to be ready for it all. However anybody wants to consume a book—on your computer, on an e-book reader or a printed book—we're going to be there.”

On Sunday, I made this suggestion:
What if New York created a virtual book club in which the readers and the writer read the book online together? I am a huge fan of Tom Friedman. I would pay a premium to read one of his books with him answering questions from readers as I read along.
Maja Thomas, SVP of Hachette Digital and Audio, talked about the attractions of reading as a social activity for teens: “There are good things to be said about the book as a solitary pleasure . . . But with an e-book you can highlight and share a line instantly--e-mail it, Twitter it. It becomes a communal activity.”

Thanks to Dear Author for the link to the article.

I'm taking Sunday off. I'll be back on Monday morning.

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