Tag Archives: publisher

Little, Brown’s new Logo

Little, Brown and Company have a new logo. They are ditching the 70-year-old etching of some Boston-based revolutionary war era memorial called the Bullfinch Monument, for an updated type-only design. Here’s a link to the short New York Observer article, which is worth the read because they take a couple of paragraphs to talk with the font designer who behind the new “L” and “B” letterforms.

If you dig vintage colophons and publisher marks, visit this site (via Penguin blog). Most seem to be scanned from pulp serial paperbacks and it’s pretty fun to look through. I do hope they’ll keep updating it.

The 5% Sweet Spot

Chris Anderson says his new book Free! Why $0.00 Is the Future of Business will be unleashed – free- upon the world on July 6th. As popular as his first book The Long Tail was, I’m sure I’m not the only anxious to read his latest thoughts.

In the interview he had with Guy Kawaski, Anderson does say that he expects the free version of his book to spur print sales. Something many in the industry are watching, I know. How does a publisher make money at giving their products away for free? While I’m sure the book will contain nothing as useful or solid as the formula filled The Art and Science of Book Publishing, Anderson says

“If you can convert 5 percent of users to paid, you can cover your costs. Anything above that, and it becomes extremely popular.”

I haven’t started crunching the numbers yet, but that seems to assume a very slim overhead. But it gives us a starting point. Something for the industry to aim for or pass. We’ll see. Five percent it is.

One of these days I am going to have to make it to SXSW…. but until then, thank the internet gods for blogs and twitter.

Amazon listening?

Last year Amazon spent a lot of time throwing its weight around, trying to squash and curtail the activities of smaller publishers and booksellers on its site. But just last week, they have shown that they are capable of listening and working with consumers… when they see a threat to there own product line anyway.

The new Kindle has a text-to-speech feature which allows a reader to become listener as an automaton voice recites the text, which didn’t seem like a big deal to me. But agents and lawyers saw it differently, claiming it infringes on their ability to sell rights to the book for the audio-book format. At first, Amazon said ‘no’. But evidently they have had a chnage of heart and will give publishers the chance to opt-in/out to this feature. Which is really how things should be done, across the board these days. It’s 2009 and there is no reason why a content owner shouldn’t be given a choice of how their content will be made available.

I’m not much of a fan of the K2. It seems to be the device they should have put out there as the first one. And maybe they agree? The rumor mill is already cranking out “Kindle 3 by the end of the year” stories and some look to have merit. Which if they are truw, will put the Kindle in a place to remain competitive.