E-books: starting with a big bang

New media technology empowers writers to avail their work to billions of readers and tap new sources of income. Well… in theory anyhow. The truth is it’s difficult to reach readers and get an income. If you simply publish they will not come. For any chance of readers (and returns) you’ll have to do some […]

A contractual obligation

Looking from a tall city window I see the uniform shape of panes in the building opposite. Each gives me a little scene (of desks, chairs, shelving and cabinets) in a cookie-cutter tableau. I see a world of difference between these offices and my humble desk at home. It’s a distance from ‘business’ that is […]

Looking at literary culture

There’s a slight reflection on the bookstore window. In it I can see the streetscape – pedestrians, a café and a tree behind me. But I ignore the reflection and peer into the store. Hundreds of books sit on shelves and tables and in potential buyers’ hands. These books have made it. They’ve been written, […]

Oh the technology

I’m pining for an old phone with a handset – one that enables a suction-cupped ‘bug’ to be kissed to the receiver and has just one wire that goes to the recorder. My new-media set up of cords, adaptors, headphones, mobile phone and digital voice recorder is not working today. In fact it’s immersing us […]

Your work could be special at Penguin

‘This is possibly a golden age for a book publishing model,’ says Ben Ball, Director of Publishing, Penguin Group Australia. He’s referring to digital-only distribution of long form work. At Penguin they’re called Penguin Specials. As the website blurb says they’re e-books, ‘designed to fill a gap… to be read over a long commute or […]

A voice from the future

‘Cliff hanger’ and ‘conference’ are words that don’t often play in the same scenario. But when Malcolm Neil was cut off mid-presentation at last week’s Independent Publishers Conference these words came to mind. Neil is Director, Content Acquisition and Publisher Relations, APAC at Kobo Inc. Kobo provides e-reading services (including e-readers and e-books) to over […]

Blinkered by books

I like to think I have a broad outlook on the potential of writing and new media. But in speaking with John Weldon, writer, author (Spincycle), academic (Victoria University) and coordinator (Meanland), I realise there is something my research has failed to uncover. I am embarrassed by the oversight. But I’m taken by it too […]

Tablet effects: opportunities with Editia

In late 2009 Charlotte Harper became obsessed with Twitter. ‘I was just sitting on Twitter on my iPhone for hours on end,’ she says. 140-character quips, thoughts and headlines streamed down her screen. Then she noticed a hashtag #appletablet. ‘People [were] talking about how this apple device was coming, and [that] it was going to […]

Breaking into Random House

What is a book these days? In a bookshop they’re objects, ‘of a certain girth…[with] a spine of a certain depth,’ says Meredith Curnow, Publisher at Random House. E-books have no such limitations and this has opened opportunity for writers to publish small pieces with big houses. Curnow is the publisher of Storycuts, Random House’s […]

Creative Nonfiction is keeping it real

More and more, writers and publishers are being counseled to go digital: we must learn a broader set of skills (not just writing), we must be able to present to video, edit an audio file, and charm on social media. Serendipity has enabled me to develop most of these skills throughout my career (perhaps not […]