Archive of: publishing
Bonnier demo Popular Science+, the first magazine to be built on their Mag+ platform.
As the publishing industry wobbles and Kindle sales jump, book romanticists cry themselves to sleep. But really, what are we shedding tears over?
We’re losing the throwaway paperback.
The airport paperback.
The beachside paperback.
We’re losing the dredge of the publishing world: disposable books. The book printed without consideration of form or sustainability or longevity. The book produced to be consumed once and then tossed. The book you bin when you’re moving and you need to clean out the closet.
These are the first books to go. And I say it again, good riddance.
From today (or actually from six months ago if you were sniffing around some of our new novels on the Penguin website) you can download the opening chapter (or chapters) of all Penguin’s new fiction for free. Yes, that’s right. FREE. For nothing. In pdf form – which you can print, email, view on your PC screen or a Blackberry, Palm or iPhone – these Tasters offer you the very beginnings of Penguin’s latest novels. You can get your mitts on some great stories without having to give a jumped-up calculator the keys to your bank account. It’s an entirely risk-free way to discover new authors, to read new stories (and to pass them on to your literate friends).
I’ve been quite effusive in my praise of Penguin before, but I think deservedly so. They seem to relish in experimenting with what it means to be a publisher in this day and age, and it’s a joy to watch them innovate.
Now this is a stroke of genius. Penguin are starting a new series of classic books, but with plain white covers, giving everyone the opportunity to create their own design.
According to consumer research conducted on what factors matter to people when they decide whether or not to pick up a book in a bookshop, the cover design comes out as most important. So this might be the stupidest thing we’ve ever done.
These “naked” covers will be made of art quality paper and shrink wrapped to stop them getting dirty before purchase, there is also an associated gallery for people to submit their creations.
The first six to be released are:
- Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
- Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
- Magic Tales by The Brothers Grimm
- The Waves by Virginia Woolf
- The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
- Emma by Jane Austen
I’ve always had a soft spot for Penguin, I feel they’ve been a genuine innovator in publishing ever since their inception in 1935 (the history of the company is a fascinating read), and this latest idea is right up there with their best.
By a complete coincidence I’m right in the middle of The True History Of The Elephant Man, their presence in my book collection is that pervasive.
Hat tip: BoingBoing