Mediatwits #66: Special Roundtable on Future of Print Books and E-Books

    by Mark Glaser
    December 14, 2012
    So many e-reader devices, and yet the printed book wins out. (Image by "Marisa McClellan":http://www.flickr.com/people/marusula/ via Flickr)

    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.

    I don't think what literary agents do is really relevant anymore, at least in the form we've come to define them." -Jason Allen Ashlock


    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

    i-9f53b01d92f65768be1568f94d90d7e1-joe wikert.jpg
    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

    i-c8690bea36e247d2f57d436b1a7538c8-Jason Ashlock headshot.jpg
    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

    i-5908847a4a8f6d10543e4799685ec293-MiralSattar headshot.jpg
    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+

    Tagged: bibliocrunch book publishers e-books literary agents movable type management o'reilly print books tools of change

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