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Digital publishing

The advent of digital publishing has revolutionized the industry; find out what's changing and why – whether that's amongst industry insiders, writers or readers – by taking a look through our blogs on the subject.

Writing opportunity: Bloomsbury Spark

Bloomsbury Spark

Are you an aspiring author? Do you have a young adult or new adult manuscript polished and ready to go? Well Bloomsbury Spark is ready to accept your submissions!

Bloomsbury Spark is a global, digital imprint from Bloomsbury Publishing for teen, YA, and new adult readers featuring new and established authors. This new venture from Bloomsbury is currently acquiring teen, young adult, and new adult fiction across all genres, including but not limited to romance, paranormal, contemporary, dystopian, science fiction, mystery, thriller, historical fiction, and more—from writers all over the world. Unlike a traditional trade list, Bloomsbury Spark eBooks are published exclusively in digital format first, and sold side-by-side with Bloomsbury print and digital books!

If you’re an author, Bloomsbury Spark is a hands-on, full-service publishing house, not only interested in publishing your book, but also crafting your career.

Bloomsbury Spark is a one-stop shop for getting your book …

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Blue Pencil #17

Ben Macintyre, writing in The Times, noted that publishers are using digital feedback they receive, courtesy of Kindle and Kobo, to ‘road-test’ new works. The thing about e-readers is that although they let you read in privacy, they record what you’re reading and can measure your responses: they chart when you slow down or read faster; they know when you get bogged down or give up on a book.

Although it sounds good, I am somewhat doubtful that publishers are actually finding time to analyse the data. But this does raise an interesting point. The publishing industry is almost alone in its tendency to ignore some obvious marketing processes other industries abide by. The film business uses focus groups, as does the music business. SlicethePie is just one company that entices music fans to rate tracks on line, paying them between two and ten cents for a written review. It might strike you as odd that publishers do not use focus groups to pre-test forthcoming books. Instead, a …

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The Orange Prize and the Kindle

The Tiger's Wife Congratulations to Téa Obreht for winning the Orange Prize 2011 with her debut novel, The Tiger's Wife.  The youngest prize winner, she is just 26, and English is her second language, so an amazing achievement.  The Orange Prize is awarded to celebrate the best in women's writing for that year.

Do you notice the gender of the author when you pick up a book?  How does that change what you're expecting from the author?

I always find the Orange shortlist interesting, and I tend to buy the winner to see what the judges liked.  This year things were a little different.  I was on twitter when it was announced, and I instantly bought it on my Kindle.  60 seconds to get the latest prize winner, hot off the - well I guess not the press.

I've had the Kindle for nearly two months now, and I am becoming an addict.  It is a very different reading experience to reading a book, there are advantages and disadvantages.  The most obvious advantage is …
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Digital Publishing: An Unusual Advance

This isn't a blog about whether it's wise to be romantically entangled with a writer, that's a discussion for another time!  It's about a new publishing venture  that actually builds on a much older model.

Unbound is a new site that asks for readers to commit to an author's book - before it's written.  As you'll see from the site, authors are trying out new ideas, and taking on sponsorship from readers, who can sign up to support the author at staggered levels. A £10 stake gets you an e-copy of the book, whereas £250 will get you lunch with the author, signed hardback first editions, tickets to the launch, and goodie bags.

This harks back to a time when books were published by private subscription, with the readers joining a list and paying before the book was published, which was very popular in the seventeenth century.  The first illustrated edition of Milton's Paradise Lost was published by subscription, with the support of more than 500 prominent individuals.

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A Kindle Tower

Blog Cressida DowningFurther to my Kindle post, is the future of books purely electronic?  As I've got more into the Kindle, I've discovered a number of people who are doing a Kindle challenge - aiming not to buy any paper books for a year, or getting rid of most of their paper copies.

I can see the merit in it - not least because we are currently without bookshelves, and we have a series of teetering towers of books decorating most of our living room and kitchen.  My version of a teetering tower is nothing compared to this artist's.  Marta Minujin has created a 25 metre high Tower of Babel in Buenos Aires as an art sculpture, complete with music.

The books range from Japanese picture books to Argentinean cowboy poems.  At the end of the display, literature lovers will be allowed to choose one book each, and the rest will become part of a Library of Babel.  The nicest part of this beautiful idea is that the books are appreciated as objects, but also for …
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