April 9th, 2010
The publishing industry is going through a change that many say is as dramatic as the invention of the printing press. Like with the music business, electronic distribution has changed the game. Traditional publishers are trying to hold onto the old ways and the results may not be what they expect.
This week, we look at the future of publishing from the perspective of the publishing, author, book seller and reader.
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Richard ran Soft Skull Press, now an imprint of Counterpoint, from 2001 to 2009. He is now consulting on how to reach readers and developing a start-up called Cursor, a portfolio of niche social publishing communities, one of which will be called Red Lemonade.
Richard’s consulting focus is largely of the strategic variety, helping authors or publishers supercharge the publishing of a given title, or group of titles. He has one of the clearest views of what’s ahead in the publishing industry.
Mark Corker, CEO Smashwords.com
Mark Coker founded Smashwords to change the way books are published, sampled, marketed and sold.
Mark is co-author along with his wife, Lesleyann, of Boob Tube, a novel that explores the behind-the-scenes world of daytime television soap operas. It was Mark’s frustration trying to get Boob Tube published that inspired him to start Smashwords. He believes Smashwords holds the promise to make publishing more enriching for authors, readers and publishers.
With Mark’s previous startup, BestCalls.com, which he launched in 1999, he helped level the playing field for small stock market investors, who at the time were denied access to the earnings conference calls of publicly traded companies. His work with BestCalls, as a champion for fair disclosure, was a catalyst for the SEC’s ground breaking Regulation FD. BestCalls was acquired in 2002 by Shareholder.com and is now owned and operated by the Nasdaq Stock Exchange.
In addition to Mark’s work with Smashwords, since 1993 he has owned Dovetail Public Relations, an award-winning Silicon Valley PR firm.
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