In Defense of Books

Despite what many pundits are saying today, reading is not dead. Nor are books. Certainly, big changes are underway, especially in the way books are delivered to readers. But reading itself is not dead. It is not going away. At least, not any time soon.

The O’Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing Conference

I have spent the last three days at the O’Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing Conference in New York. This conference is designed to address the issues related to publishing and technology. This was my second year to attend. Five of my colleagues from Thomas Nelson accompanied me. As was the case last year, my head is exploding. The presentations were excellent. They covered all the current issues and gave us a glimpse of the future.

Top Ten U.S. Book Publishers for 2009

It’s been almost two years since I posted the list of Top Ten U.S. Book Publishers. While the data these lists are based on are not perfect, we do believe they represent the best data currently available. These lists are based on revenues for the twelve months ending December 31, 2009. We created these lists from a proprietary database we have assembled at Thomas Nelson. It is based on various point-of-sale systems from multiple sales channels.

Options in the Price War Over Books

Obviously, they are doing this to drive traffic to their stores, hoping that consumers will buy enough other items to offset their loss on these titles. book-price-wars-and-publishers-alternatives.jpg In my opinion, this strategy will prove catastrophic for publishers, authors, booksellers, mass retailers, and ultimately consumers. … Therefore, I think Amazon needs to either raise the price of eBooks to more closely mirror the hardcover or trade paper prices, or we as publishers should delay the release of eBooks and think of them more as a digital mass market product.

The Importance of Listening to Consumers

Thirty years ago, when I first got into the book publishing business, it was an elitist occupation. Publishers met in smoke-filled board rooms and made decisions about what the reading public would read. It never occurred to them to ask the readers themselves.

Remember the People from Whom You Have Come

Thomas Nelson company has a long and fascinating history. The story begins in Scotland with the birth of Thomas Neilson [sic] in 1780. Though his parents were farmers, he developed an interest in printing, the most high-tech industry of the 18th century. As a result, his parents sent him to London to become an apprentice in a print shop on Paternoster Row, which was kind of the Silicon Valley of the Day.

The New Amazon Kindle 2 Unboxed

Yesterday, I received my copy of the Amazon Kindle 2. Gail and I are on vacation, so I had them send it to me here. I figured this would be good time to get acquainted with the new device, before I head back to the hustle and bustle of work. In this video I unbox it and give you my first impressions.

This Publisher Evidently Didn’t Get the Memo

I think in large part you get what you expect. If you buy into the assumptions that we are in a recession, consumers aren’t buying, retail traffic is off, and books aren’t selling, then guess what? That is probably what you will experience. Call me a incorrigible optimist, but I am not buying it. I believe in growth, and I am planning for it.

Choosing Which Books to Publish

Competitive advantage can also include an author’s media platform or some other built-in audience, the topic’s relevance to current events, a unique perspective that isn’t well-represented in the marketplace, or any number of things that give the book a natural advantage over similar books. … Competitive advantage can also include an author’s media platform or some other built-in audience, the topic’s relevance to current events, a unique perspective that isn’t well-represented in the marketplace, or any number of things that give the book a natural advantage over similar books.