I was quite flattered to be asked to speak at my graduation, in company with my classmate Dehlia McCobb. I could go on for ages about what a great time the publishing program at PSU was and how much I learned there, but my speech summed it up pretty well. So here it is: So, […]

The Fallacy of “Nimbleness”

It seems like an accepted truism that small publishers are more nimble and quicker to adapt to change than large publishing houses, probably on the basis of all the layers of bureaucracy that a large publishing house has to claw through in order to change the status quo. When analyzing a publishing house in terms […]

A prediction

The future of publishing is a big thing to speculate about; there’s a lot of change happening in a lot of different directions. There are the purely technological changes, like new ebook readers coming out; the business changes, like corporations buying up each other; and there are the distribution changes, like distributors providing content for […]

On DRM and ebooks

One of the big topics at the TOC conference was Digital Rights Management (DRM) and how it should be applied to ebooks. DRM is technology that basically locks up a file to prevent unauthorized duplication. This sounds like it shouldn’t be a big deal in theory–after all, most people out there would agree that unauthorized […]

TOC day one: XML, XML, and some XML

Whew, it was quite a day–a good one, but a long one, and I have to admit to a certain amount of brain overload. Lots of fascinating details about XML and how to use it in publishing. The idea of using geospatial tagging in ebooks to produce books that can give different content is a […]

Questions about giving it all away for free

My friend Brian wrote up a pretty interesting post recently about how giving away your works for free can drive sales, and while I agree with that thesis for the most part, I do still have a doubt or two. Mostly, those doubts come from the fact that the people who you hear success stories […]


So, I’m pretty excited about next week; I get to run off to New York to go to O’Reilly Media‘s Tools of Change for Publishing conference, which will run from February 9-11. I’m footing the bill myself, which is somewhat painful, but fortunately I have a good friend with a spare bedroom in Brooklyn (as […]

Publishers on the web

I think the misguided focus of most publishers’ websites is due to people still, even 15 years after the rise of web commerce, not really understanding how to use the internet. It doesn’t fit neatly into the business models that people are used to, which means that the web becomes the problem of someone who’s […]

On Amazon

The growing dominance of Amazon in the bookselling and publishing world is bound to have an impact on the world of books, but that impact will be different for different sectors of the industry. Bookstores will be the hardest hit by the competition with the internet giant; Borders, Barnes and Noble, and Books a Million […]

A look at

While poking around O’Reilly’s TOC blog, I came across a review of a pretty interesting new site. Or service. Product, maybe? It’s called Shortcovers, and it’s from the people at Indigo Books and Music, a large Canadian retailer. Essentially, it’s an iPhone app (though one would assume that they will also be looking into making […]