The Book Superstore Model Has Failed
When publicly owned Barnes&Noble purchased the privately owned Barnes&Noble college bookstore operation last year, I commented to a friend that it looked like Riggio was cashing out. My friend responded that it made no difference since Riggio was just moving money from one pocket to another, but the college bookstore operation was family owned, while the Riggio family own less than a third of the public company shares. Now the board of Barnes&Noble is considering all options to increase share value, including selling the company.
Pity the poor paperback. The days of the traditional book in China are numbered, according to figures just released by the central government, as it seems that more and more people are now turning their attention to digital forms of publishing.
A year after EveryBlock was sold to MSNBC.com, the hyperolocal aggregator is beginning to focus on increasing the distribution of its feeds, which include the latest 911 dispatches, restaurant inspections, and local news pieces—all filtered by location.
Founder Adrian Holovaty tells us EveryBlock is launching an “intensely” customizable widget today, which third party sites will be able to embed in order to include the latest information about a specific location on their sites. Widgets have been a boon for some other hyperlocal aggregators, including Outside.in and Fwix, which have gotten several major publishers to adopt them.
The theme for TOC 2011 is: Publishing Without Boundaries—both literally and figuratively. Book publishing is crossing boundaries all over the place. Thanks to technology, the publishing marketplace is a truly global one. Content now has the ability to travel light, and at a moment's notice, finding its way across continents at the touch of a button. Books themselves are becoming borderless shape-shifters, jumping out of their covers, moving in and out of formats, and being annotated and chunked and enhanced. And, the borders of publishing as an industry have expanded well beyond the confines of "New York." Entrepreneurial start-ups and indie authors are more and more likely to be rubbing virtual elbows with the Big Six on the best-seller lists, while the book bloggers and tweets seem to have as much sway over reading choices as professional reviews.