books on the radio

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

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!

Impact of Piracy and P2P on Book Sales: Frankfurt

Impact Of Piracy And Free ( T O C F F)

View more presentations from bfoleary.
Brian O’Leary of Magellan Media has updated the data for his Impact of P2P and Free Distribution on Book Sales.  He presented this update at the 2009 Frankfurt Book Fair.
Brian’s research and methods have been very influential on my own work.

Bookcamp Vancouver 2009: Book Publishing Throwdown


Friday October 16th, 2009 was a good day for book publishing in Vancouver.

I’m still fairly exhausted from the whole thing.  I’ll be writing a piece on the event in the next week or so once my senses return to normal and the blood returns to my feet.

But I will take this opportunity to thank everyone who came and participated in the event.  The volunteers and fellow organizers did an amazing job of executing a near flawless day and one that we should all be proud of.

I’m not even talking about the lunch!  Big props to Out to Lunch Catering for making us look good.

And yes, the words ‘Next Year‘ have already been uttered.

Forget Frankfurt! Bookcamp Vancouver 2009 is Here!


BOOKCAMP VANCOUVER 2009: FRIDAY OCTOBER 16: SFU HARBOUR CENTRE Exploring New Ideas in Books, Publishing and the Future of Reading

It’s curious.  Thousands of publishing professionals from all over the world funnel into the Bavarian outpost of Frankfurt at this time every year for the largest book fair and rights festival in the world.

Fortunes rise and fall on decisions made there.  Expectations run high.  Coffee is consumed at an alarming rate, as is Russian vodka.  The very next Harry Potter or Da Vinci Code could be right under one’s proverbial nose.

Conferences are attended, powerpoint presentations proffer poignant percentages and that person over there flitting from table to table scribbling furiously in her notepad just might be Michiko Kakutani.

But… there’s something happening in Canada’s western hinterlands, some sort of modern mutation on an age-old theme.  Fresh ideas are being hatched, new voices are given the opportunity to speak and the wisdom of the crowd is tapped.

Bookcamp Vancouver 2009 Unconference!

It all happens on the rain slicked streets of Vancouver on Friday October 16th at the SFU Harbour Centre.  See you there!

Joseph Planta Interviews Sean Cranbury:

Picture 18

I spoke to Joe Planta last week as part of his excellent series of podcasts for  It was an great opportunity for me to speak about the various projects that I am involved in these days – namely Books on the Radio, Bookcamp Vancouver 2009 and the Vancouver Biennale.

Many thanks to Joe for doing such an excellent job and for being a kindred spirit in the podcasting game.

A quick look at his website shows Joe to be someone with a huge range of interests and a lot of dedication.  I look forward to watching his site continue to grow and maybe even contributing something to it in the future.

To listen to my interview with Joe please click this link.


The Commentary began in June 1999 as an e-mail newsletter of editorial comment.  Online since September 2003, THECOMMENTARY.CA featured other contributors as well commenting on a wide variety of subjects.

In August 2004, Joseph Planta premiered feature audio interviews with unique and diverse guests from renowned bestselling and prize winning authors, Canadian newsmakers and political figures, internationally known print and broadcast journalists, prominent academics and public intellectuals, as well as noted artists and personalities.

For over 350 interviews and five years now, the Planta: On the Line interview program continues as a forum for engaging, informative conversations on current affairs and a wide variety of subjects.


Excerpted Thoughts for a Sunday Morning

The italicized text below is a response that I wrote to a question that my friend Janet asked me via Facebook this morning.  I post it here because I think that it’s a fairly succinct expression of some of the ideas that I’ve been thinking about recently.

IMG_1396That’s a good question, Janet.  It seems impossible for me to imagine that the move to digital could be stopped or thwarted or derailed… but one of the things that I said many times when talking at SFU is ‘keep an open mind and be prepared to adapt’ so one has to be ready for whatever.

The technology is just so much more sophisticated, democratic and ubiquitous now than say it was at the end of the 90’s when the first digital readers appeared like clunky plastic mastodons on the digital landscape.

Look at the utility and ubiquitousness of the mobile phone.  In south east Asia, China, Japan, Korea.  Those are the places that we should be looking to for cues on what’s possible and how to disseminate content, who the audience is and how they access that content in the first place.

You think that people in publishing are scared of digital now?  Wait until they realize that the price of their electronic content is going to be around 99 cents and some times much less than that.  $9.99 is a dream come true for digital content costing but once Amazon’s death grip on the market is broken and a true ecology of online retailers and content providers starts to allow the consumer to decide price and once publisher’s get savvy enough to start repackaging content in meaningful ways for the new consumer then maybe the industry will cease to have this fear based sense of entitlement – which will kill whoever doesn’t snap out of it – and will realize that they’re actually a service provider to the customer.

Adaptation, improvisation, experimentation: those are the tools that need to be applied to the problem of digital change in book publishing.

Here’s my final heretical thought: serial downloads of content on a micropayment plan.  The next Dickens will arrive in digital installments paid for by subscription and unencumbered by DRM to your cell phone a couple times a week.  It’ll cost you next to nothing but the sheer number of readers will be staggering.  The real money is made by various digital extensions and mutations of the content – by allowing the readership to manipulate and remix the content among other things – and the physical edition that is printed at the end.  Remainders will become non existent because the publisher’s knowledge of their customers combined with better printing technologies – POD will become the engine that drives physical books into unexplored markets worldwide – will allow them to print an almost exact number of books to satisfy the market.

The book is not going away, writers and creators using language are not going away.  If anything the book is going to achieve a more exalted place in the minds of the public.

But the current landscape of book publishers are not entitled to be there without breaking a sweat.  If there’s a lot of dawdling then their competition will blow past them at the speed of light.

BookCamp Vancouver 2009 Unconference: SOLD OUT, Waiting List Available
July 15, 2009, 9:55 PM
Filed under: BookCamp Vancouver 2009, Industry Change | Tags:

Thanks to a sudden leak to twitter the BookCamp Vancouver 2009 Unconference registration was opened for a week and is now SOLD OUT.  A waiting list has been posted for those of you who want to attend.  We are expecting to have a limited number of spaces available so please sign up soon if you want to attend!

Thanks!  Wow.  Sold out in one week…. for a weird thing about books?  Are you nuts?

Participation is crucial and your ideas and experiences are vital to making this a success.  Looking forward to seeing you there and exploring the future of books, publishing and reading.


Forget Frankfurt!

BookCamp Vancouver is a user-generated un_conference that brings print publishers, educators, community builders and the tech community together – for free! BookCamp Vancouver is an opportunity to explore the present and future of books and book-like technologies. It’s open to anyone interested in the publishing industry and the potential dynamics of the reader/creator/publisher relationship.

Join us for a day of sharing new ideas, radical notions and engaging conversation! We’ll consider the future of the Book as an object; examine its ongoing role as a delivery mechanism for stories, information and entertainment; and examine how publishers can leverage themselves for success in the digital age.

Participants and self-selected guests will choose the agenda for the day, forming breakup groups to discuss and potentially create future book technologies, workflows, and grand schemes. Lend your passion and expertise to Bookcamp Vancouver by volunteering to facilitate a session.

Our plan is for this to be a day of talking and doing – of rolling up the proverbial shirt sleeves and tinkering with the publishing mechanism. We’re inviting authors, typographers, designers, printers, technologists, booksellers, literary agents, publishers and geeks of every stripe to come along and consider if and how technology can transform and perhaps improve on The Book.

Lots more information about BookCamp Vancouver can be found at and Once you’re registered, go and check it out!