Radius Book Group | Managing Editor/Production Manager
Location: New York, NY
Experience: 3+ years
Publishing Perspectives posted an article discussing the decline in publishing industry startups, the ins-and-outs of working in a book business, and what it takes to succeed in a field that’s constantly changing.
In the article, leading executives of three-year-old startup Shelfie shared their personal experiences navigating the creation, growth, and success of their company. Shelfie, which is an app that is designed to catalogue personal book collections and curate recommendations based on this data, is one of the few startups that have survived the small industry boom that was heralded in by the promise of oppurtunities provided by ebooks and digital book age. Other successful startups Shelfie mentions include Scribd, Wattpad, and Booktrack.
The Shelfie executives discussed that, though there is a learning curve to understanding the book publishing industry, that there are still possibilities to find a business niche if you support your idea and can tap into a market that generates more than $100 billion dollars on books.
Self-publishing versus traditional publishing. Publishers versus Amazon. Has the beginning of the end of print books arrived? Are publishers a pointless middleman or do they still serve a purpose?
The world of publishing is experiencing some turbulence, and with that, a lot of uncertainty and questions that can’t be answered as well as most of us want. We have people who staunchly defend the publishers, and those who believe that it’s time for them to realize the pit they’re in. But I think it’s safe to say that many of us are in the middle, watching and waiting to see where the digital innovations and reader needs carry the industry.
Yet out of the uncertainty and upheaval comes discussion, which is healthy for the industry because everyone has their own experience to contribute.
This week’s LotW features Publishing Perspectives, a website that is described as “an online magazine of international book publishing news and opinion” (Source). The website is categorized into several different topics, such as self-publishing and children’s, and includes a blog for the most recent publishing news updates and a discussion segment that is designed to encourage “provocative questions and food for thought on the current state of publishing to our readers” (Source). Readers are encouraged to post their own opinions, to lend their voices to the discussion.
Anyone can subscribe to their daily newsletter for free.
Publishing Perspectives is an online journal that provides its readers with international publishing news and opinions. Due to its expansive nature, it has been termed “the BBC of the book world.” Each of the journal’s various tabs touch upon a singular aspect of international publishing, such as piracy obstacles in West Africa, the launch of Amazon’s French Kindle Store, and the schedule of events for the upcoming Frankfurt Book Fair. The articles enlighten readers and provide them with a broader sense of the worldwide industry. This is certainly helpful in terms of marketing because it allows publishers to learn about other countries without leaving the comfort of their offices.