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Good News: Reading Is Here To Stay

As long as there are readers, writers will have work to do

“Reading is here to stay,” wrote Robert M. Sacks in the November/December 2012 issue of Publishing Executive magazine. His astute observation caught my attention, captivating my thoughts, both then and even more so today.

Discussions and speculation about the rapid evolution in the book publishing industry threaten to overwhelm us; considerations abound:

  • Options such as traditional publishing, self-publishing, and assisted publishing
  • More options in the form of indie presses, outsourcing, and support services
  • Help from consultants, coaches, and editors
  • Requirements for the platform, promotion, and marketing
  • Social media to blog, tweet, and message
  • Communication through e-newsletters, RSS feeds, and subscriptions
  • Technologies of e-books, e-readers, and e-publishing
  • Changes via consolidation, closures, and layoffs
  • Audiobooks, foreign rights, translations, screenplays, and movie deals

My brain’s about to explode with all these developments, options, and choices. Readers will always need authors to write things for them to read. Click To Tweet

Yet one thing remains: reading is here to stay. And with the future of reading secure, the future of authors and publishers is promising – for all of us willing to change, adapt, and dream.

Tomorrow will be interesting, exciting, and exhilarating, because reading is here to stay, and those readers will need authors to write content for them to read.

Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.

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How Fast Should You Move To HTML5?

If you have a website, and who doesn’t nowadays, you fit in one of three categories:

      1) You use a hosted service that does all the behind-the-scenes technical stuff for you.
      2) You pay someone else to take care of it.
      3) You or an in-house team handles it.

You may also know that HTML5 is the new thing for websites. If you’re in the first two categories, that’s really all you need to know. If you’re in the third category you should track this carefully.

Web browsers handle HTML5 with varying degrees of effectiveness. Therefore, just because a new feature is part of HTML5, it’s unwise to use it before the browsers can actually handle it.

To find what each browser offers, check out html5test.com. It tells which HTML5 features work for your browser and provides a compliance score, based on a 500-point scale. The results are eye opening:

      Chrome 22 leads the pack with 437 points
      Safari 6: 376 points
      Firefox 15: 346 points
      Internet Explorer v9: 138 points

Older versions have lower scores and therefore lower levels of HTML5 compatibility.

The key point is, don’t implement a new HTML5 feature until all the major browsers support it and most users have switched to that version.

Why is an HTML5 post on a blog about publishing? Quite simply because “publishers are becoming developers.” And that’s another thing for us to contemplate.

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AIM is Dead: Considerations of a Product Life Cycle

The headline on Gizmodo reads, “AIM Is (Unofficially) Dead.”

This doesn’t surprise me. I’ve not heard anyone talking about AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) for years, and it’s been even longer since I used it. (Which isn’t surprising given that I never liked AIM in the first place.)

The technology of publishing used to be simple: a printing press. Now we have a plethora of publishing technologies, first to aid in the production of the printed page, but more recently — and importantly — to facilitate digital publishing, in all manner of manifestations online as well as mobile.

Just as AIM had its life cycle — birth, growing up, peaking, maturing, and now fading — so too will each of publishing’s technologies do the same. What is important today will someday become a non-issue. And if we blink or are not willing to change, we could easily miss the transition from one technology to the next — and we would do so at our own peril.

I assume that it was Twitter that caused AIM’s demise. That raises the question of how much life does Twitter have left — and what will be its cause of death?