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Face The Bafflement And Do It Anyway

Bafflement is the new norm

Six months into 2012 and the publishing world is a confused and scary place. Pottermore has just about disintermediated all of us, while the Seattle wildebeest has everyone from James Daunt to James Bond in its thrall.

Agents from the Justice League have publishing executives under surveillance, while Mssrs Barnes and Noble are still looking for their passports so they can travel outside their Nook.

Bafflement is the new norm. The book market is traveling fast, and no we cannot get off.

On The Naked Book this week we were joined by three wise heads making sense from the morass.

Blogger Eoin Purcell said the industry was being reshaped by these new players. We must adapt or die. The one thing NOT to do, advised Eoin, was to piss off your readers, as the agency model did.

That’s ok for Eoin, he is from Ireland. Where things are happening more slowly, allowing everyone to ‘watch and learn’ what is happening everywhere else. Cheating, surely?

In the UK, the lessons are already already clear for bookshops, said Philip Downer, former chief executive of Borders UK. The chains are in real trouble, the indies might survive as specialists.

Joining from Manhattan, a world at least six months ahead of the rest, was PaidContent’s Laura Owen. “I’m a little baffled by the Waterstones deal with Amazon,” she admitted.

Aren’t we all. As Downer conceded. “The challenge with all the topics this evening is that this is a world in flux.”

Sounds like a job for The Naked Book. Hosted by Philip Jones, and Catherine Neilan in the chat-room: answers on a postcard?

Why don’t you join us live for the next show? Click here to pop it in your diary!

Photo by Michael Bentley


Also in this series

Child’s Play

Selling ebooks to kiddies is anything but...

Tête à tête with Faber’s Stephen Page

The illuminati of the book business

There’s A Hole In My Sock Puppet

Sock puppets of the world look on

In The Land Of The E, The Glassy-Eyed Are King

Amazon is a huge shark, threatening everyone

The E-Book In The Library

It's the debate that is well overdue

The Great Amazon Debate

To boldly colonise the entire infrastructure of consumption

The Broadcast Takeover

The writer's platform has to grow in as many ways as possible
Benjamin Button?

Hang On A Minute That’s My Work You Are Talking About

When will the real world catch up with the internet ?

Something Innovative This Way Comes

Drinking is not mandatory. Ambition is.

The Porn Supremacy

Four pence in every pound spent on book last week went on 50SoG
Shiny, Happy, Publishing People

Shiny, Happy, Publishing People

There Are Happy Beautiful People Working In Publishing, Too

Bringing Up Baby

Launching a web-world is like giving birth

Digital Rights Moratorium (or How We Learned To Mom-Proof E-Books)

You cannot prove that the pirate is a bona fide customer