Caught My Eye 10/29/12

There are a few items that have “caught our eye” in the last couple of weeks that we wanted to share. Check them out. They are well worth the read!

  • Ignore the Doomsayers: The Book Industry Is Actually Adapting Well  This article in the Atlantic by journalist turned book editor/publisher Peter Osnos points to a publishing industry that is coping pretty well in a time of tectonic change.  He supports his claim by noting, among other things that from Jan. – June 2012 “the Association of American Publishers reported that trade sales increased 13.1 percent, to $2.33 billion.”  However, he goes on to say that “the most important indicator is the continuing boost in e-book sales, up 34.4 percent, to $621.3 million, which makes it competitive with the totals for hardcover print sales.”  Mr. Osnos asserts that “the pace of change is stunning” especially “when you consider that it was only with the appearance of Amazon’s first Kindle reader in 2007 that e-book sales took off.”
  • How magazines will be changed forever This post on the CNN website predicts that all magazines will go the way of Newsweek and become “purely electronic.”  The author, Craig Mod is writer, designer and publisher who notes that now “nearly 40% of tablet owners read digital newspapers or magazines.”  Mr. Mod writes this with some regret.  He says he is not nostalgic for print per say, but for the “boundaries” that it provides. “I miss the edges — physical and psychological. I miss the start of reading a print magazine, but mostly, I miss the finish… knowing I have gotten through it all.”
  • Ditch the Monograph This article in the Chronicle of Higher Education by Jennifer Howard highlights an idea for “revamping the academic-publishing system.” Called “right-sizing scholarship,”  it is the brainchild of Daniel Cohen, an associate professor of history at George Mason University.  It imagines a world where  a “Kindle Singles” model of short form ebooks replaces the current culture of lengthy scholarly monographs.  According to the article this brave new world could hold advantages for libraries too.  These short form ebooks “could be priced low enough to appeal to library budgets… wouldn’t devour precious shelf space… and suit libraries’ current desire to build up their e-book collections. And it might pull in new readers for serious scholarship…”
  • The Publishers Are Serious About Protecting Content.  It should come as no surprise that publishers will not readily give up control of scholarly content to the open access movement, at least not without a fight.  This post in the Textbook.guru relates the story of  Edublogs, a blog-publishing site that specializes in education-based blogs that was shutdown because of 279 words of copyrighted material.

 

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