In backing down, I suspect Jobs saw the HTML5 on the wall and realized he was fighting a rare losing battle, playing hardball with major content producers whose early, enthusiastic and unabated promotion of the iPad — as inherently a consumption device as has ever been conceived — helped demonstrate its value to consumers. It was, theoretically, a mutually beneficial relationship until his reach finally exceeded his grasp.
Of course, last week’s much hyped and completely vague announcement of Bookish, a new joint venture between three of the “Big 6? – Hachette Book Group, Simon & Schuster, and Penguin Group — caught my attention, not for its unusual (but not unprecedented) collaborative angle, but for its disappointingly unimaginative and shortsighted value proposition.
Right now, the relative ease of digital publishing — not yet the equivalent of blogging, but getting closer every week — and the exceptional successes of a relative handful of authors masks the larger challenges ahead for authors and publishers alike, regardless of their business model: discoverability.
It doesn’t matter if you’re an aspiring writer, traditionally published or going the DIY route, marketing is every writer’s responsibility, and it takes the same level of commitment, dedication and self-discipline as sitting down and actually writing does.
10 questions writers should be asking as they look ahead to the future of publishing—and where they fit in.