Publishing: Adapt or Die

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Friday, April 20, 2012

On the Media's annual look at the publishing industry, including fears of Amazon becoming a monopoly and the little publishing house standing up to it, a Pulitzer snub for fiction, and the problem of knock-off books.

How Publishing and Reading Are Changing

Publishers are trying to adapt as the book industry changes dramatically, and they're doing so in the face of rapidly changing reading habits among consumers. Publishing industry analyst Mike Shatzkin talks to Brooke about how readers' behavior is changing, and about ways the publishing industry might survive in the coming years.

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No Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

This year, for the first time in 35 years, there was no Pulitzer Prize awarded for fiction.  Was it a bad year for novels, is the Pulitzer selection process broken or is it a dire sign of things to come for the fiction industry?  Author, Salon senior writer and past Pulitzer fiction judge Laura Miller explains to Bob which way to read the Pulitzer’s non-award.

 

Papa Razzi and the Photogs - I Like the Books of Jane Austen

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Is Amazon A New Monopoly?

Without the ability to work together, industry watchers say the 'Big 6' publishers won’t be able to stop Amazon from pricing books as the company sees fit. Brooks speaks with Barry C. Lynn, a senior fellow at the New America Foundation, who believes that the DOJ decision opens the door to an Amazonian monopoly in the book industry.

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Are Publishers Stuck In The Past?

The publishing industry is not the first to be shaken by a newly digital world. It’s also not the first to resist that change. Brooke speaks with Mathew Ingram, a senior writer at GigaOm, who thinks the publishers’ efforts to tame Amazon may delay a brighter future for the book industry.

 

John Williams - Hedwig's Theme

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The Story of Pottermore

Michael Shatzkin, publishing futurist, tells us the story of Pottermore, J.K. Rowling's one-woman attempt to challenge the mighty Amazon.

 

Harry and The Potters - This Book is So Awesome

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Taking On Amazon

Most big publishers fear running afoul of Amazon, but one very small publisher has proven to be fearless. Bob talks to Randall White, who recently pulled all of his company's books from Amazon's web site.

 

Quartetto d’Archi Dell’Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi - Paperback Writer

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The Problem of Knock-Off Books

Buying a cheap knock-off is not just a problem with watches and hand bags—if you go onto Amazon's website to buy the latest bestseller, you might accidentally end up with an imitation book. Bob speaks to Fortune senior editor Stephen Gandel, who looked into the knock offs on Amazon, and found a number of books that he says were clearly meant to confuse people by trading off of more popular titles.

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Do Book Copyrights Hide Them From View?

Copyright protections for books have had the effect of driving the vast majority of them from public view.  Meanwhile books in the public domain are surprisingly visible in places like Amazon.com.  So says law professor Paul Heald, who’s been testing this idea. He explains to Bob the negative effects of copyright extension and the not-so-threatening reality of the public domain.

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Life After Publishers

As a newly minted editorial assistant at Norton, writer Tom Bissell was able to resuscitate an out-of-print novel called Desperate Characters by Paula Fox. In Bissell's new book, Magic Hours, he wrote about how, paradoxically, that experience shook his faith in publishing. Brooke talks to writer Tom Bissell about whether we as readers will miss the publishing industry, imperfect as it is, if it disappears.

 

Julian Smith - I'm Reading A Book

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