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“Why print?” was the topic of the first of the Small Publishing Network’s roadshow events, held at Berkelouw Books, Paddington, in Sydney last night. As someone with extensive experience in print and digital production, and as a new publisher starting out in the digital age, I was invited to participate on the panel. The other panellists were Sophia Whitfield of children’s book publisher New Frontiers and Alice Grundy of Seizure magazine and book publisher Giramondo. The following are my own thoughts on the topic, prepared in advance of the event and augmented in the light of some of the issues raised.

There are four very good reasons for continuing to produce books in print in the digital age: production quality; the supply chain; perceptions; and accessibility. Read the rest of this entry »

Ebooks are no longer the novelty they were only 2-3 years ago, but the publishing industry is still experiencing massive disruption from the effects of the digital revolution. Recently considering three different aspects of today’s publishing landscape, I came to one conclusion: the role of the editor is paramount and likely to increase in importance. Read the rest of this entry »

Attending major industry events is always a big deal for us Aussies, as they are so rarely held in our hemisphere. With so many event sessions available online, either after the event or sometimes concurrently, you really have to ask whether it’s worth not just the cost but the travel time getting there and back. It’s a question I’ve been asking myself since returning from O’Reilly’s Tools of Change for Publishing 2012 conference in New York a month ago.

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Dymocks’ author-driven publishing platform, D Publishing Network, launched on Wednesday night. It’s been months of hard work (and the reason my blog posts have been few and far between of late) but incredibly rewarding at the same time to have been involved in what has, essentially, been a massive IT project.

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The process of proofing a book for publication has become much easier for print books and much harder for ebooks.

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This article provides a brief guide to ebook conversion, covering what it involves and how to select a conversion service, with an emphasis on maintaining quality.

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Books as apps are receiving a lot of attention. But what is a book app? And is it a good idea? This article explains the differences between books produced as apps and books produced as digital files, and outlines the key considerations in deciding whether to go down the book as app path.

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Today’s devices – computers, mobiles, tablets and TV – demand new skills and new ways of thinking from software developers and designers. Some of these principles also apply to book publishers.

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Assuming a publisher has a book in the necessary digital format(s) and possesses all the necessary legal rights to sell the ebook in any territory, the publisher must still have the means to deliver the ebook to readers. This article explains some of the business challenges that publishers face in ebook distribution. (Part 4 of Ebook (un)availability. A version of this article was also published in the IBPA Independent for April 2011.)

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For a publisher wanting to produce a book for e-readers, the production challenges are considerably more complex than for print. A familiar landscape easily navigated by experienced staff has become an unstable terrain guarded by new gatekeepers, and nobody has a reliable map. (Part 2 of Ebook (un)availability.)

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