Another take on what Russ Marshalek, Ami Greko, Ryan Chapman and myself had to say at the Twitter conference…
One of my two speeches at Book Expo America, characterized by one Twitterer as being like Tom Cruise in Magnolia. (Compliment? Not sure…) My most quoted sentence, at least on Twitter, from this seven minutes is “Twitter will not save publishing.”
And, yes, believe me, I know there should be essays galore here, they really are coming, I’ve had all kinds of other writing projects going on with more vigorous deadlines. But that’s what RSS feeds are for, right, laggards like me?
I’m so very mindful of how remiss I’ve been in blogging–I’m generating lots of material that will wend its way onto this site over the month of June. Basically, for little spasms of thought, see my Twitter feed. And for what will functionally be essays, for the most part, see here, as frequently as I can bang them out.
The delay inheres in my efforts to try to figure out an entire cosmology for an economic ecosystem for writer-reader interactions–the chiefest complexity being that readers write/writers read. I can’t pretend that what I start posting next month will be the answer, or even an answer, but I want it to have some level of internal coherence.
Moreover, because I’ve two presentations at Book Expo America at the end of the week, I’ve focused this month of May on figuring out how to squeeze this research into a one-hour presentation, and a seven minute presentation (both replete with PowerPoint slides, a first for me, and the former in cahoots with my research partner, Dedi Felman…) So, for those of you attending (and I do urge you to go to BEA if you’re in this business–the trade show is the analog analogue, as it were, to the gorgeous social media network on which we’re all wee little nodes, and its anticipated demise is partly the result of our industry’s own benightedness about whom we should be reaching and how…), here’s my two dog & ponies…
The Concierge and the Bouncer: The End of the Supply Chain and the Beginning of the True Book Culture
2:30PM – 3:30PM (Thursday, May 28, 2009)
Knowing what we now know, about media and content in the digital networked age, and recognizing we may not yet know that much, let”s now ask ourselves: what might the ideal publishing company look like? Had we it to do over again, how would we build a system for connecting writers and readers? Richard Nash gave up his job in order to start to answer those questions and here offers his thoughts so far…
Panelist: Dedi Felman – (formerly) Sr. Editor, Simon & Schuster
Presenter: Richard Nash – (formerly) Publisher, Soft Skull Press
7x20x21 at BEA
Publishing’s most innovate thinkers talk about what inspires them
4:30PM – 5:45PM (Friday, May 29, 2009)
Join us for a most unusual panel: 7 speakers * Each with 7 minutes to talk about anything they like * Accompanied by 20 PowerPoint slides * That move forward automatically every 21 seconds * A unique event designed to inspire conversation, creativity, and passion for the future of publishing. It was born in the UK, where the most recent event at the London Book Fair was presented to a standing-room-only crowd.
Debbie Stier, Harper Studio; Pablo Defendini, Tor.com; Jeff Yamaguchi, Doubleday/Knopf; Matt Supko, ABA/Indiebound; Chris Jackson, Spiegel and Grau; Richard Nash, ex-Soft Skull; Lauren Cerand, independent public relations representative
And for y’all who can’t go, I will post as much stuff as the organizers happen to record, as well as the sequence of essays I’m writing for this blog that underlie these presentations…
This is a short one, I might have even left it as a tweet, were it not for the pseudo-series I got going here. The upshot is that Jay Rosen, whose field this really is, has provided a superb summary of post-Shirkian thinking, emphasis on the more front-facing stuff. I do still need to do one last post on Shirkian thought in relation to books, which I’m likely to combine with one on the Steven Johnson SXSWi speech. (And just so’s you all know, I am, in the background, working on a by-my-standards-at-least epic series on supply, demand, and pricing since 1950. I shirk not…)
Over the weekend, I’m responding to Shirky’s superb disquisition on the fate of newspapers. As much for myself, really, given that the interwebs are already not short of commentary on the subject, and to do a little close reading to draw the lessons for publishing.
When reality is labeled unthinkable, it creates a kind of sickness in an industry. Leadership becomes faith-based, while employees who have the temerity to suggest that what seems to be happening is in fact happening are herded into Innovation Departments, where they can be ignored en masse. This shunting aside of the realists in favor of the fabulists has different effects on different industries at different times. One of the effects on the newspapers is that many of its most passionate defenders are unable, even now, to plan for a world in which the industry they knew is visibly going away.
In book publishing, the Innovation Department is called Online Marketing.