Publishing: Adapt or Die

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Friday, November 23, 2012

An update of On the Media's annual look at the publishing industry that originally aired in April, 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. Brooke talks to journalist David Streitfeld and publishing industry analyst Mike Shatzkin about the changing reading landscape and the ongoing war for readers’ attention.

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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? 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


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. Brooke 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


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 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.


Steal My Book, Please

Russians have access to more than 100,000 pirated e-books and just 60,000 legitimate e-books. For some authors and publishers the theft is infuriating, but others take the view that it’s good to have your book out there in front of eyes no matter what the cost.  Bob speaks with Peter Mountford, author of A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism,’  who didn't just turn a blind eye to his book being pirated, but actually helped the process along.


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 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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