Welcome to the 66th episode of the Mediatwits podcast, with Mark Glaser and Rafat Ali as co-hosts.

Sadly, this marks the last episode with Rafat Ali as co-host and our last episode of the year.

In the new year, Mediatwits will be revamped as more of a weekly roundtable discussion moderated by Mark Glaser.

But our last show is a fascinating one, an in-depth discussion on the state of the book publishing business, the future of print books and how e-books might evolve.

Our guests are O’Reilly’s Joe Wikert, Movable Type Management’s Jason Allen Ashlock and BiblioCrunch CEO Miral Sattar. How can traditional book publishers and literary agents survive in a digital future, and will print books become endangered?


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Intro and outro music by 3 Feet Up; mid-podcast music by Autumn Eyes via Mevio’s Music Alley.

Guest Bios

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Joe Wikert

Joe Wikert is General Manager, Publisher, & Chair of the Tools of Change (TOC) conference at O’Reilly Media. Prior to joining O’Reilly he was Vice President and Executive Publisher at John Wiley & Sons in their Professional & Trade division.

Jason Allen Ashlock is a co-founder of Movable Type Management, a literary production company that fosters storytelling across platforms, devices, territories, and generations.

Miral Sattar is founder and CEO of BiblioCrunch, a platform that matches authors and publishers with quality, award-winning professionals to get new books and apps to market. She has worked in the media industry for 11 years, most recently at TIME where she launched digital initiatives.

Highlights from the Show


0:30: Rafat signing off as co-host, but will be back when possible

2:00: Update on Rafat’s startup, Skift, serving the travel world

3:30: Rafat’s and Mark’s e-book habits vs. print

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Jason Allen Ashlock

5:20: Rafat’s Museum of Lost & Broken Kindles

Roundtable: Beyond the Book 2012

7:00: Special guests Joe Wikert, Jason Allen Ashlock, Miral Sattar

9:20: Wikert: O’Reilly uses DRM-free e-books, builds community

10:20: What is role of publisher with rise of self-publishing?

12:10: Ashlock: Literary agents will continue what they’re doing, but need to become “radical mediators”

15:20: Sattar: Our BiblioCrunch service helps guide authors with a concierge service

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Miral Sattar

17:30: Wikert: Publishers will need to have more brand recognition

20:10: Ashlock: Print was the default mode, but now digital is the democratic space

22:10: What is the future for the e-book format? Will more multimedia come?

23:20: Wikert: HTML5 will win the day

25:10: Sattar: Cookbooks are perfect for including video with e-books or any how-to books

26:30: Ashlock: Children’s books and cookbooks both require more interactivity, even in print

27:10: Great events coming up: Digital Book World; Tools of Change; Book Squared; Indie Recon

More Reading

Sorry, but e-readers aren’t dying at PaidContent

Ebook sales projection, 2012, second update at Rocket Bomber

Ebook lending vs. ownership at TOC blog

Why Self-Publishers Should Care That Penguin Bought Author Solutions at MediaShift

Amazon: Kindle E-Books Sales Overtake Print at Guardian

Literary Agent Jason Ashlock: Big Book Publishers Not Innovating Fast Enough at MediaShift

New York Times launches ebook programs with Byliner and Vook at PaidContent

Digital Book World conference

Tools of Change for Publishing conference

Author Revolution Day conference

Indie ReCon online conference


Be sure to vote in our weekly poll, this time your preference of print or e-books:

Mark Glaser is executive editor of MediaShift and Idea Lab. He also writes the bi-weekly OPA Intelligence Report email newsletter for the Online Publishers Association. He lives in San Francisco with his son Julian and fiancee Renee. You can follow him on Twitter @mediatwit. and Circle him on Google+