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Writers and Editors (RSS feed)

Book Publishing: After the blockbuster, the niche

Book Publishing 3.0, a video of Richard Eoin Nash's provocative half-hour talk on the future of book publishing. Nash's start-up, Cursor, is "a portfolio of niche social publishing communities, one of which will be called Red Lemonade." Combine Kinko's (which democratized copying) with Netflix ("if you liked this, you may also like that") takes you from "The 20th century was about sorting supply" to "the 21st century will be about sorting demand." Oprah's book club? "The end is connection." (You want to own the community, the "mind share.") Book publishing is now facing what writers face all the time, says the eminently quotable and quoted Nash: the blank page with the blinking cursor.

Not persuaded? How about this: "Are we distracting writers from the pure process of creativity and turning them into product shills?" he asks, and answers: "There is no writer happier than the writer who is not writing. Writers want to connect. They may be erratic about doing it, but engaging with the readers is what writers want."

Be prepared to take notes, because with Nash almost every sentence is quotable. Hear him on the O'Reilly TOC Conference: Surrounding the Audience: Cursor and the Social Publishing Community, or, Apres Le Blockbuster, Le Niche.
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