books on the radio


Discovering the City of New Alderaan with Brian Joseph Davis

Brian Joseph Davis' new book.

After a 2 month hiatus Books on the Radio is back!

Today’s show focuses on Ronald Reagan, My Father, the new book of stories from Brian Joseph Davis.  It’s a MisFit Edition from the good people at ECW Press.

Brian and some friends recorded many of the stories from this book in dramatic and hilarious form.

In this episode we make it thru 3 stories and a song by the Fiery Furnaces.

All in anticipation of the Joyland Vancouver Summit that happens on Sunday April 11th at 7pm at the W2 Culture and Media House.

It’s gonna be a throw down.

In the meantime, check out the podcast of the show (Live on CJSF 90.1 FM at 1pm PT today and every Wednesday) and buy a copy of Brian’s book.  It’s awesome.

See you on the 11th!

(Posted after the break is my written preamble to this episode with attendant linkage.)

Continue reading



This Just in: Home Taping is Killing Music
March 31, 2010, 11:54 AM
Filed under: Copyright, DRM, Imagination | Tags: , ,

Via Mark Bertils & Benjamin Laird.



ReThink / ReImagine / ReBuild: Crushing It at #BNC10 and Beyond

Craig Riggs & Dan Wagstaff Crush It at BookNet Canada Tech Forum 2010.

It was a brisk day at the MaRS Building in downtown Toronto last week as a couple hundred publishing denizens gathered for the BookNet Canada Tech Forum 2010.

The title for this year’s discussion was ‘Calculated Risk: Adventures in Book Publishing‘.

Alana Wilcox.

The day focused on four interconnected themes: Ambition, Trailblazing, Energy, Learning as You Go.

The conference organizers did an excellent job of creating a clean, professional and energetic atmosphere that was highlighted by Sachiko Murakami’s  introduction to Deanna McFadden toward the end of the day. (Good times, Sachiko, good times!)

The speakers mostly rose to the occasion and delivered passionate, thoughtful presentations that balanced insight and information in equal measures.

Sarah LaBrie, Clare Hitchens and Sachiko Murakami have written more specifically detailed accounts of the speakers than I will get into here.  Please go to their sites for their excellent analysis of the presentations.

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My Two Take-Aways

1) Nothing replaces human contact and collaboration.

You’ve got to make the time to get out and meet the people that you work with in the industry.  You have to spend time with them, talk to them, share stories and ideas.

There is no substitute for that experience and as someone who lives in Vancouver and spends a lot of time communicating digitally with people all over North America and elsewhere it was hugely gratifying to meet my online colleagues in person.

2) It’s about open source leadership and community building.

If you’re looking for the cookie cutter formula on how to proceed in book publishing in the digital age then you’ve come to the wrong place.

The opportunities – the verticles – available to content creators, publishers and the audience are past the point of calculation.  

As digital distribution eclipses standard supply chain and territorial restrictions and simultaneously generates new expectations from a worldwide audience where does one turn to for surefire solutions?

As the industry is beset by the sudden – and profitable – appearance of new players and new ideas in the publishing ecosystem how does a traditional publisher adapt?

When content creators have the tools to create and disseminate their work in high quality editions to a cultivated community of passionate followers in several formats for relatively little capital investment, what does that auger for the future of the modern business model?

As the concept of piracy becomes the new supply chain where does that leave the notion of copyright, territorial rights and control? What are the new revenue streams?

How does a publisher with hundreds of titles competing in the market that is divided into increasingly specific self-organized communities – whose constituents spend zero time pouring over the book review section of the Globe and Mail or concerning themselves with flashy banner ads on publisher targeted websites – make any impact on those communities?

What does leadership look like in this environment?

If – as Richard Nash noted in his presentation – content has become infinite and our focus on supply will change to management of demand, how does an organization make the transition?

How does one create, build and manage communities in this environment.  Can a standard top-down management structure succeed here?

I submit that in these circumstances leadership then becomes about empowerment, trust, collaboration and a willingness to explore.

Empower the people in the organization to step outside the box and experiment with authors and audience.  Trust them to make the right decisions and encourage them to be brave enough to make mistakes.  Have the courage to learn honestly from your mistakes and then go make some more.

Treat the people in your organization as trusted collaborators.  Be open to the ideas and instincts of the people who grew up never knowing a time before the internet.

The same goes for the authors and communities.  Empower them, trust them with your ideas and brands and collaborate with them to make books that truly serve the contemporary vision.

Breakdown any process that is inhibiting these relationships from flowering.

Lead by recognizing the moment that is at hand.

Trust, openness, collaboration, community, exploration.

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Thoughts on #BNC11 as a leadership model for the book publishing industry

If we are encouraging the book publishing industry to be adventurous and to embrace the four themes of Ambition, Trailblazing, Energy and Learning As You Go would it be crazy to suggest that the conference itself live these values and act as a qualified example?

If we are encouraging publishers to rethink their business models, to abandon traditional top-down mentalities and to take a more broadminded view of the relationship between publisher, content creator and audience, would it make sense that the conference itself abandon the standard ‘one to many’ model and encourage a more participatory, collaborative approach?

I’m not advocating for the controlled chaos of the BookCamp formula here and I don’t have any examples at hand for what a ‘more participatory, collaborative approach’ might mean right at the moment but I think that it certainly deserves to be investigated.

If we can engage the leaders of the industry to explore collaboration, to discuss the granularity of the digital possibilities with their colleagues and to facilitate experiential opportunities for engaging these ideas then maybe we demonstrate what adaptation looks like in real time and push the industry forward as a result.

Can the traditional conference formula be augmented to allow for these kinds of exchanges?

Don’t get me wrong, #BNC10 was a success and I learned a lot, but as we move forward I think that there’s opportunity for the idea of what BNC means in the future to change and to reflect the themes that it is built around.

Nevertheless, it was a great day and everyone at BNC deserves to huge thank you for making it so excellent.

I look forward to #BNC11.

Rampant twittering provides an opportunity for the entire publishing community.



Sociable! with Advent Book Blog & Open Book Toronto

Advent Book Blog & Open Book Toronto Present: Sociable!

The Advent Book Blog and Open Book Toronto Want You to Get Sociable! 

Get offline. Come be social. Then tell everyone on Twitter and Facebook where you are and how much fun you’re having! Twitter hashtag: #soc10

Sean Cranbury and Julie Wilson of The Advent Book Blog and Open Book Toronto cordially invite you to an event for social media geeks, publishing professionals, and anyone with a passion for books and readers.

Thursday, March 25, 2010
7:00 PM
The Pour House Irish Pub
182 Dupont Ave.
Toronto, ON
(Directions)

Leading up to the event, Julie Wilson of Book Madam & Associates will unveil the identity of the six inaugural Associates, many of whom will be at the event. Find them and say hello!

And be sure to get a piece of Sean Cranbury of Books on the Radio while he’s in town from Vancouver. He’s the big guy with the big voice and an bigger heart. Don’t miss him!

Many thanks to Amy Logan Holmes and Open Book Toronto for their generous support and donation of light nibblies. Nom!

Bring your insatiable thirst and enthusiasm! SOCIABLE!



The End of Publishing: A Very Clever Video by DK from the UK
March 15, 2010, 9:13 PM
Filed under: Industry Change | Tags: , ,


Books on the Radio: Ready to Set Sail on the Torrents
March 10, 2010, 6:30 AM
Filed under: Torrents | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Books on the Radio podcasts will soon be available on Pirate Bay, Isohunt & H33T.

We’re hoisting the sails and aiming for open seas.

Very soon all publicly broadcast episodes of Books on the Radio will be able to be found via torrent tracking sites such as Pirate Bay, Vancouver’s own Isohunt and H33T.

This is an experiment with possibility and an opportunity for me to better understand how these sites work and what communities live there.  I am interested to learn more about how people communicate with one another in these places.

Also, obviously I am interested in the supreme efficiency of the digital transfer of files around the world and the possibility of finding kindred souls who love books and love listening to people discuss them.

There’s a lot of opportunity here, a lot of potential to build bridges and find new markets.

I’ll send back news of strange foreign ports of call, abandoned treasure and monsters under the sea.

In the meantime, I’ll be in the crow’s nest scanning the horizon for signs of plunderable booty.



SFU Summer Publishing Workshops: Sign Up Now to Attend

Sign Up Now to Study Book Publishing in Vancouver, Summer 2010.

Summertime in Vancouver

+ studying book/magazine publishing at SFU

= some kind of perfect bliss.

It’s time for you to do some serious thinking about coming out to Vancouver to bask in the glory of one of the best book publishing programs in the world.  And to experience the radiant, sublime amazingness of this city at the height of summer.

Bleeding Edge Ideas Calmly Discussed.

SFU has unveiled their program for the 2010 Summer Publishing Workshops and it looks pretty serious.

Some of the best and most experienced people in the business combined with some of the brightest lights in new media will be on hand to give students an unforgettable learning experience.

Vancouver is home to some of the best doers and thinkers in the digital area.

People who not only actively engage the web, social media and the digital landscape but who are excellent communicators about that experience.

There’s no better example of this than Lisa Manfield and Rebecca Bollwit on Marketing Magazines Online.

Unless, of course, we’re talking about the Justice League of America style panel that’ll be leading students through the session called Digital Strategy: Editor’s Intensive featuring: John ‘Hawkman’ Maxwell, Joy ‘Invisible Plane’ Gugler, Boris ‘Aquaman’ Mann and Monique ‘Super Girl’ Trottier.

Just take a moment to think about those people.  Check out those links and look at the quality of work that they do.

What kind of ideas are they capable of unlocking in you?

And I haven’t even mentioned industry powerhouse thinkers like O’Reilly Media’s Andrew Savikas, Neelan Choksi of Lexcycle, Mark Coker from Smashwords, Chris Lanbonte, Ali Cairns and Jesse Finkelstein from D&M Publishers, Sarah ‘Smart Bitches‘ Wendell, Richard Nash, and Kobo’s Michael Tamblyn to name only a few.

Learn the Fundamentals from Industry Masters.

And there’s much knowledge and wisdom to be gleaned from the best minds in traditional publishing, too.

Take a look at this roll call of industry vets:

Tom Best from HB Fenn and Key Porter Books, Randy Chan, Brad Martin and Kristin Cochrane from Random House Canada, Simon and Schuster Canada’s Kevin Hanson, Donna Hayes from Harlequin Enterprises, the legendary David Kent from Harper Collins Canada, Brian Lam from Vancouver’s Arsenal Pulp Press and Kevin Williams from TalonBooks will all be on hand to give you the 411 on the real challenges and opportunities that the book publishing industry faces going forward.

Pretty frickin’ amazing.

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So here’s the deal: Think about it, then do something about it.

The best minds in traditional book and magazine publishing + guiding lights in new media + sunlight, Stanley Park, mountains and the Pacific Ocean.

The answer to the question is Yes.  As in “Yes, I’m going to do it,” and “Yes, I’m going to take advantage of this opportunity.”

Imagine what you’ll learn.  Imagine the new ideas, fresh perspectives and great people that you’ll meet.

And I’ll be there, too.  I’ll be reprising and updating the talk that I gave last year called Digital Rights Management vs the Inevitability of Free Content.

For more info on what courses are available, a full list of faculty and details on costing and accommodation please check the SFU Publishing Workshops website and/or send me an email.

Hope to see you there.