Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Lily Dodge on the Pottermore-ification of online publishing:

My muggledom aside, I'm pretty excited about the launch and continued success of Pottermore, the interactive website that appears to combine social networking with ebooks. Access to the website allows users to talk to other Harry Potter fans, play games, and read the ebooks along with extra content added by Rowling herself to the multimedia presentation of the books. I was unsure about Pottermore when it launched, as I've seen a number of online communities like this burst big and then falter - but even after the final movie, the buzz hasn't faded, and it looks like Pottermore will become a major model for extensive multi-media content that can keep a fan base active and alive long after a series of books or movies is "over." There's a lot of talk about the way technology is going to change the world of publishing, but most of it focuses on how the digital landscape will transform things like payment models and publication, or the way a book enters the world for the first time. Pottermore offers a glimpse into what the internet and related media can do after the publication, after the profit.

Thad McIlroy on the recent filing for bankruptcy by eductational publisher Cengage:

Of greatest interest to players in the publishing industry is Exhibit A on Cengage’s Investor Relations/Announcements page, the oddly-named “Blowout Materials.pdf.” It’s a 76-slide presentation titled “Operating Plan.” The Executive Summary is unusually frank. It leads off with an admission that “the traditionally stable Higher Education publishing market…recently gone into decline.” Cengage, furthermore, “is underperforming the market primarily driven by its digital execution.” The “poor market conditions” will only slowly improve “as digital penetration increases” but this will result in only “modest industry growth going forward.” 

At Geist, two by Eve Corbel. First, Muses for Moderns. Also, on Dave Collier:

For anyone who has yet to encounter David Collier, the Canadian comics artist, Collier’s Popular Press: 30 Years on the Newsstand (Conundrum Press) is a great place to start. For anyone who is already a Collier fan, it’s a bonanza. The retrospective opens with comics from The Nerve, a monthly tabloid published in the 1980s, then ranges through the rest of Collier’s wonderfully miscellaneous oeuvre, from the major dailies to the obscure weeklies to the literary quarterlies.

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