books on the radio


Sean Cranbury Talks Publishing 3.0 @ The Shebeen Club

Monday, January 18th, 2010. Sean Cranbury @ the Shebeen Club in Vancouver.

New Ideas, Opportunities, Communities: Living with Book Publishing 3.0

2009 was the year that Book Publishing came crashing into the present.

The digital revolution could no longer be kept at bay as this traditional industry was assailed on all sides.

The true revolutionaries didn’t loot and pillage, however – they leapt into action and quickly built opportunities for publishers, book professionals, writers and readers to come together and talk about these changes and to create the dialog around the changes to come.

Photo by Kris Krug.

The revolutionaries moved from a traditionally passive mode to one of activity and demonstration.

In this installment of the Shebeen Club, Sean Cranbury will discuss how the digital revolution has created opportunities for creative and passionate individuals to demonstrate their ideas, open up dialog and build new communities.

Vancouver has become a focal point for new ideas that are transforming the industry.  Bookcamp Vancouver demonstrated this nicely.

Sean will also discuss the increasing impact of social media technologies on book marketing, writer/reader relationship and its potential to turn publishing workflows upside down.

Join us for a lively Bookcamp-style discussion!

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Recommended Reading:

The Future of Publishing by Sean Cranbury & Hugh McGuire from Open Book: Toronto.

Shaping the Future of Publishing by Monique Trottier from BookNet Canada Blog.

eBooks Have Arrived by Hugh McGuire from BookNet Canada Blog.

The Unicorn Will Not Save Publishing by Kassia Kroszer from Booksquare.com.

Just When I Thought Publishing Couldn’t Get Any Worse by Richard Nash, Cursor.

The Emergent Landscape, or, the Continuous Permanent Reinvention of Publishing by Richard Nash, Cursor.

It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times… by Bob Miller, Harper Studio.

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Sean Cranbury is a Vancouver writer, editor, broadcaster and social media consultant.

He was an organizer of Bookcamp Vancouver 2009 and his radio show/blog, Books on the Radio, is broadcast on CJSF 90.1 FM.  He also writes for the Vancouver Biennale and the Canadian Interprofessional Health Collaborative.

Sean is co-creator of the ridiculously successful viral, community-based book recommendation site, the Advent Book Blog, and is also working on the real-time collaborative fiction experiment called Eyes of Vancouver.

Eyes of Vancouver aims to demonstrate a potential new workflow for publishers and independent or self-published authors that puts community-building first and physical publication last.

You can find Sean:

sean@booksontheradio.ca
@seancranbury
@eyesofvancouver



Cranbury v. McGuire: The Future of Publishing Interview

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Sometime around the middle of August I got an email from Amy Logan-Holmes at Open Book: Toronto asking whether I would be interested in participating in something called the 48 Hour Interview that would run in their Fall Issue.

She described it as an email exchange or co-interview between two people working within the books/publishing industry.  The participants are free to discuss whatever they like provided that the ‘interview’ occurs within 48 consecutive hours and, I suppose, is at least tangentially related to the business at hand.

So I’m thinking, “Ok, that sounds doable.  I wonder who she’s going to pair me up with?”

And, of course, it was Hugh McGuire, co-creator of Book Oven and Librivox.org.  Organizer of BookCamp Toronto and well-coiffed confidante of the Digital Literati.

No pressure, right?

None.

It was a great, if somewhat long, interview that really dug into some key issues facing the evolving – convulsing? – book publishing industry today.

The whole thing was edited and punched into shape by the very talented Clelia Scala.  Many thanks to Hugh and everyone at Open Book: Toronto.

For an example of something that I wrote for the interview that may or may not be interesting, please click the little red (more…) button below.

Continue reading



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.