Monday, August 31, 2009

Sony Ebooks and Macs

Sony has recently released software that is said to the eReader compatible with Macs. Maybe I can use my Sony eReader for more than reading manuscripts (though it gets heavy use for that) via Calibre but the news on the web isn't good. Adobe Digital Editions doesn't recognize the eReader which means you can't buy any books from any store but Sony's.

And since it is only available for products identified and sold in United States, or Canada I'm not sure how useful it will be to me. But I've downloaded it and I'll see what happens.

Local (Gertrude St) boy does good

Congratulations to Andrew McConnell on being named Chef of the Year and for Cutler & Co being named Best New Restaurant.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Graphic novels

I'm intrigued by librarians fascination with graphic novels. There's something happen in libraries that isn't happening in book shops. Booksellers I'm talking to say their graphic novels sections are growing - slowly - and I suspect many of the customers buying graphic novels from booksellers are school and public librarians. Clearly kids are borrowing graphic novels from the library or reading them there, but they're not buying them in bookshops. The books kids are buying are old-fashioned long form narratives. A conundrum.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Age Book of the Year

It's really nice to Sleepers Publishing up there, shortlisted and then winning. And of course: congratulations to Steven Amsterdam

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sunday, August 23, 2009

booming paper street directory sales

It was interesting to read in this mornings paper that the sales of the bound-printed-0n-paper street directories are booming, as are the sales of GPSs. People are using the different forms for different things. The screens are too small on a GPS to give a meaningful context, so drivers use a directory for planning a trip. The paper edition is still an essential inhabitant of every car.

If I'm typical then: I use my iPhone for directions but when I want a context I go the directory. I use the directory a lot less but my car wouldn't be complete without one.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

books for girls

It was interesting talking to a student at an all girls school (year 10) who commented that all but one of the books they had read for class in the three years of senior school had had a boy protagonist.

Monday, August 10, 2009

independent vs big business models

Jess, our production co-ordinator, is doing the RMIT course and we've been talking about the differences, in terms of business models, of the large and the not-so large. There seems to be a general assumption that there is one publishing model - a one size fits all. But the more we explore the less true that's seen to be. It's a fascinating exploration.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

The Publishing Landscape

I was thinking about where we place the black dog list, what are some of things that drive the list, and where publishing in this country is going in general. As a publisher we want our books not only to entertain but inform. We want the reader to finish a book thinking something new, to be surprised, to have their world view shifted - at least a little.

The Twilight and Harry Potter series entertain, and they've led thousands of children to reading, which is a great thing. But I don't think they inform. They reinforce preconceptions rather than alter them. They entertain by not challenging the reader. We want to do something different at black dog. Carole Wilkinson's Dragonkeeper informs the reader of what it is to be like to be nameless and illiterate, without an obvious talent, yet find the strength within herself; Sue Lawson's After (August) will alter a reader's view of being cool. Karen Tayleur's Hostage (October) will illuminate the reader's view on deceit.

The landscape of publishing is changing - the licks are getting bigger. The mid-list is disappearing. The demand on marketing budgets is increasing. The short-term is strengthening over the long term. The independent booksellers are under pressure. Does that leave us with a less diverse, less interesting publishing and literary landscape?

Are we less willing (as retailers and consumers) to support ambitious writing?