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Back at the beginning of the month, Emily at Red House Books declared that July is NetGalley month and we couldn’t be happier! After all, what are the summer months for if not escaping the heat with a good book (and some serious air conditioning)? Emily set a challenge to read as many NetGalley books as possible throughout the month . . . what a great excuse to plow through the digital TBR pile!

Now that it’s nearly August, Emily will be hosting a Twitter chat to wrap up NetGalley month. Follow @WilowRedHouse and @NetGalley, and use #NetGalleyMonth to chat with Emily, Lindsey Rudnickas of NetGalley, and other declared NetGalley month readers! Here are all the details:

Date: Friday July 29th

Time: 5:00pm EST

Where: Twitter, #NetGalleyMonth

I also want to thank Emily and all the other bloggers and tweeters out there who declared themselves and have been spending July with their noses buried in their e-readers. Check out this massive list of declared NetGalley Month readers. . . if you’re not on this list, check out Emily’s post to find out how to DECLARE YOURSELF!

 

Books, Movies, Reviews, Oh My!

Among Stories

Bookworm1858

Baffled Books

The ELIFYLOP

Mom Reads My Books

Musings From A to Z

Starry Sky Books

Miss Remmers’ Review

Classic Vasilly

The Novel Nymph

Words That Fly

The O.W.L.

Oh My Books

Smart Girls Read

Deea’s Journal

Ex Libris

Writing Crazy Me

A Journey In Reading

Book Savvy Babe

The Book Monsters

Javaintheam

Wicked Awesome Books

A Book and a Latte

Fade Into Fantasy

Urban Girl Reader

My Disorganized Ramblings

Librarian Mouse

Kimberfus

Vy’s Blog

Fridge of Books

The Paperback Princess

The Firefly Book Loft

Kaitlyn in Bookland

Bea’s Book Nook

Book Retreat

Amethyst Daydreams

Imaginary Reads

Imaginary Reads

Rachel Reader

Tink’s Place

Sapphired Dragon

Lisa’s World of Books

Overflowing Shelf

bookchilla

GothamGal

Hott Books

teeny104

Karen’s Book Reviews

Basia’s Bookshelf

The Cozy Reader

See Scoot Read

@ShutUpImReading

@Cubicleblindnes

@StuckInBooks

@BeckysWLblog

@whatchYAreading

Rachel L: via Facebook

 

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With all the focus on shiny (or, to be more accurate – black and white) devices this week, it’s easy to be distracted from the bigger picture goals for publishers: such as getting to know readers and what they really think about e-reading. In our small attempt to retrain the focus on what really matters, today’s #FollowReader will be all about – the reader! We have the great fortune to be joined by Kelly Gallagher of Bowker (@DiscoverBowker) who will preview some of the latest findings from the Book Industry Study Group’s ongoing consumer study, Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading and offer some insight about what’s going on beyond the hype of press releases and talk shows.

So, join us today at 4pm EDT for some fascinating conversation about book consumers’ actual interests in and preferences for digital content, and the factors that influence reading habits and purchasing decisions.

Kelly Gallagher of Bowker

About Kelly Gallagher
Kelly Gallagher is the Vice President of Publishing Services at RR Bowker. In this role he manages the implementation of a host of Bowker business intelligence and supply chain products including exclusive sales data reporting tools and EDI ordering for the Canadian, Higher Education, and US Christian markets. This business unit also manages a consumer research panel surveying over 36,000 consumers on media behaviors and purchase trends. Prior to joining Bowker, Kelly served as the Vice President of Business Development at the Christian Publishers Association for six years. In this role he managed the development and implementation of industry initiatives including research, technology and supply chain management. Kelly also serves the book publishing industry as the Research Chair for the Book Industry Study Group.

Helpful Hints for the #FTR uninitiated – To join the #followreader conversation today, here’s what to do:

  1. Just before 4pm ET today, log in to Twitter or whatever interface you prefer. (We recommend Tweetchat, which refreshes quickly and automatically loads your hashtag when you are in the discussion.)
  2. To follow the discussion, run a search for #followreader
  3. I’ll start by asking a few questions, before opening up the discussion to the group.
  4. To post a comment to the discussion, make sure that the hashtag #followreader is in each tweet you write.

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While the paper versus plastic battle continues to wage between purists from both sides, a newer, and more complex “discussion” seems to be rearing its hydra-like head lately: What is the right way to read e? This question/argument has also been phrased as, “what is the right way to “publish” (design, format, distribute) e-content?

Truth is (Kat’s truth, anyways), just as in the paper v. plastic kerfuffle, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the “best ebook reading experience” debate. Some folks roll like Dragnet: they want “just the text, ma’am.” Give them a scrollable, legible font, in a clean and easy-to-use format, and they’re in ebook nirvana.

Some people want bells and whistles and interactive experiences.  For these folks, incorporating gaming, and videos and social sharing into the e-reading experience goes without saying. You can have it all, so why wouldn’t you?

And, then there are a growing number of hep cats that want to replicate the booky-book experience digitally. Their holy ereading grail is a digital book read that immerses them in the psychological/emotional equivalent of a physical book read.

Of course, sometimes some of these people swap allegiances – the straight text Dragnet types will get suckered in by the offer of a free enhanced book app; or the have-it-all bells and whistles ereading folks will find themselves enjoying the relative calm of a no-distractions read — demonstrating once again, that the future of reading isn’t just about digital, and the future of digital isn’t just about one kind of digital. We are vast. We contain bookish multitudes.

All of this being a long way round to the introduction of tomorrow’s #FollowReader discussion topic: What does ereading done right mean to you (or, as a publisher, what does epublishing right mean to you)? Are you a fan of one particluar style of ebook? Are you promiscuous when it comes to your ereading habits? Would you rather gouge out your eyes than trade your Kindle in for an iPad?  Well, we want to know!

@EdNawotka

By we, I mean me and our special super wonderful guest for the hour, Publishing Perspective‘s Ed Nawotka, and all the other friendly folks who participate in #FollowReader.

So, join us on Twitter tomorrow (THURSDAY JULY 1) at 4pm EDT sharp for an online talk about what it means to read e.

Almost All About Ed

Ed Nawotka is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives, an online magazine for the international publishing industry that has been called “the BBC of the book world.”

Prior to launching Publishing Perspectives, he worked as book columnist for Bloomberg News and daily news editor of Publishers Weekly.

He has also served as the literary director of the Texas Book Festival, a judge for various book awards, and has worked as a foreign correspondent, a bookseller, literary magazine editor and advertising copywriter.

As a journalist he has reported from more than 30 countries. He continues to be a widely published freelance writer, with his work regularly appearing in publications across the United States, as well as overseas.

Ed’s reviews, essays and reporting have appeared in The New Yorker, The International Herald Tribune, The Guardian, Travel + Leisure, Los Angeles Times, Budget Travel, New Statesman, USA Today, and People, among others.

He has appeared as a guest on various television and radio programs, including those on NPR, PRI, BBC, and C-SPAN, and has lectured at numerous universities and institutions.

You can find him on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Or write to him directly.

Helpful Hints for the #FTR uninitiated – To join the #followreader conversation on Thursday, here’s what to do:

  1. Just before 4pm ET today, log in to Twitter or whatever interface you prefer. (We recommend Tweetchat, which refreshes quickly and automatically loads your hashtag when you are in the discussion.)
  2. To follow the discussion, run a search for #followreader
  3. I’ll start by asking a few questions, before opening up the discussion to the group.
  4. To post a comment to the discussion, make sure that the hashtag #followreader is in each tweet you write.

Looking forward to chatting with you!

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BookSwim.com's Nick Ruffilo (@bookswim)

We bookish folks currently live in a funny and expanding universe. Funny and expanding because much of it, for many of us largely takes place virtually. Well, #followreader is one prime example. And, chatting about books and publishing outside of #followreader with fellow Twitter bookish tweeps is another. As are: all the groups and fan sites and friends of a bookish feather we hang out with on Facebook. Did I forget to mention book blogs? Perish the thought! Bookish blogs are a big virtual stop for many of us.

Added to this is the increasingly (again, for many – not all – of us), digital nature of reading itself. Ebooks and ibooks and book apps and whatever will electronic reading gizmo or format will come out in the seconds it takes me to finish typing this sentence — many things about the lit life have gone virtual.

So, it’s pretty fabulous to consider the flip side of all this online activity — it can lead to some wonderful real world interactions with real world books. Consider if you will: I’m in Cambridge a few weeks ago. I casually tweet about being in Cambridge. Not moments later, my Twitter buddy @ConMartin (whom I have never met in real life), direct messages me back, and asks if I’d like to meet for coffee. REALLY meet. For REAL coffee. Well, how cool is that? Long story short, we did meet (real coffee was nixed in favor of real frosty adult beverages). And Constance gave me one of the best tours of Harvard Yard and Harvard BOOKSTORE (definitely worth a visit) that anyone could ever hope for.

@conmartin + @katmeyer meet IRL

In addition, we have a really great conversation, and I learn more about Constance’s own love of books — real booky books– and “in real life” book clubs. I, on the other hand, was able to impart to her some of the reasons I’m crazy about e-reading opportunities and online reading communities.

This is but one example of a bonding with virtual book buddy in the physical plane — another being, just last night I got to meet @susanmpls for the first time in real life for a real dinner at a real restaurant. (more accurately: a really fattening and delicious dinner at a really fabulous Italian restaurant). We talked a lot. A LOT. Almost entirely about books and publishing, but also about chocolate, and family, and – come to think of it, it was mostly about books and publishing.

Begs the question, if virtual relationships can manifest in the real world, what of the connection between physical books and ebooks? I’m not one of those alarmists (I use the term with a tiny grain of salt – please do not take offense all you alarmists, you) who worry that the paper book will be obliterated from the planet. I think paper and plastic will co-exist nicely for as long as we flesh and blood readers remain more real than virtual. But, I have also been running into a lot of cool things happening with booky books lately that make me more and more excited about the book as a real life object. One is visual search, which is a technology that allows the physical to be married to the virtual via smart phones ( QR codes for example, only, visual search ot less bar code-y and a lot more seamlessly integrated into your day to day life).

I’m working on a post over at my day job (Tools of Change) that will offer a glimpse into just how cool this technology is, and how rapidly it’s evolving. So, go over there and check it out tomorrow. (Fingers crossed it will be up tomorrow — I swear, Jamey!).

I’ve also run into some booky-bookish touchstones lately that while are not in the least bit high-tech, do a fabulous job of blurring the lines of what a book is and what the physical book as object means to us as flesh and blood readers. Another story for you: Last month I’m frantically running around BookExpo America, and I have the good fortune of meeting up with the calm, cool and collected Nick Ruffilo of BookSwim.com. We catch up (in real life, for a change) — Nick telling me some of the very interesting things that BookSwim has in store in the near future, and before parting ways, we decide to do the proper IRL thing and exchange real papery business cards. In my usual uncool, uncalm, uncollected manner, I fumble through the black hole that is my purse, looking for one undamaged and mostly legible business card. Nick, on the other hand, reaches calmly into his messenger bag and pulls out an old, leather-bound book:

Nick's book

How odd, you might think – as did I.

But, Nick is full of surprises. Turns out his book is no mere book. His book hides many secrets.

Nick's business card holder

Yeah – that’s cool. As a hobby, and side-gig, Nick takes old, damaged books and converts them into really cool bookish artifacts-with-a-purpose.

It’s interesting how the virtual and the real worlds of books and the bookish tend to collide. Interesting in a good way, I think.

p.s. – Check out Nick’s etsy store. He creates his secret compartment books on request. I might have gone and gotten one. And I might love it to death and highly recommend getting one yourself, if you’re so inclined.

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We interrupt this public service blog for an announcement from our sponsor, NetGalley…

When I recently announced that NetGalley had reached the milestone of 5,000 registered members, I promised more info about our community of professional readers – who they are, how they read, etc. The data below was drawn from internal statistics on our site as well as a recent online survey answered by over 655 NetGalley members.

Who they are

As you might expect, the biggest community using NetGalley is reviewers – including bloggers and print reviewers – making up about 50% of total registered members. The remaining 50% is a mix of librarians, booksellers, educators, and media.

How they read

Though nostalgia for printed books and galleys remains high on blogs, twitter discussions and in other venues, our members are inclined to read digitally if it means faster access to new titles. A whopping 71% see “quick access to new galleys” as the biggest draw to digital galleys. And well over three-quarters of the respondents will read either print or digital galleys, with only 12% responding “I will only read print galleys.”

Also mirroring wider trends in reading devices, just over 60% read galleys by downloading them to their computer. As for dedicated reading devices, Amazon’s Kindle was the winner at 16%. The Sony Reader was next in line at 12%, with Barnes & Noble’s new Nook at only 5%.

NOTE: We conducted our survey before the iPad hit stores. In addition, the iPad currently does not support DRM-ed (protected) files – so the only galleys from NetGalley that can be read on that device are galleys that the publishers are offering as DRM-free (open) files. To date, the majority of galleys offered on NetGalley come with DRM; logically, since most publishers do not want pre-pub files distributed. More on this topic in a later post.

Why they like digital galleys

After quick access to new galleys, our members appreciate digital galleys for what they can provide that print galleys can’t: mainly,

  • Being able to “read on the go” (49%)
  • Searchability inside the galley (34%)
  • Full-color reading and images (25%)

In the age of immediacy, when news becomes old before it even makes it to print (thanks, Twitter!), being able to email a direct link to a digital galley is a pretty awesome tool in the publicist’s tool belt.

It also makes sense that the ease of skimming and searching digital galleys makes them attractive to professional readers who may not need to read the entire text – like TV/radio producers looking for experts and journalists writing off-the-book-page-features.

In addition, most professional readers don’t have early access to four-color pre-pub materials for illustrated and graphic-heavy books (like cookbooks, children’s titles, etc) – meaning that professional readers might not otherwise see these titles (or only see a few pages in BLADs) before they arrive in stores.

A Book Critic’s View

During a recent chat with book critic Bethanne Patrick (the host of WETA.org’s Book Studio, who we’ve interviewed in the past, known to her fellow tweeters as @TheBookMaven), I got a few more insights on the advantages of digital galleys. Bethanne said she loves how digital galleys allow her to preview a book, to see if she’d even want the printed galley. When bookshelf space is at a premium for reviewers, she appreciates getting an email from a publicist with a link to the digital galley that says “take a look and let me know if you want a printed galley.”

Bethanne also sees value in the one-stop-shopping aspect of NetGalley:

  • When she decides she wants a printed galley after viewing the digital version, she can just hit the EMAIL PUBLISHER button right in the title record in NetGalley.
  • She can also access the Digital Press Kit materials – where publishers can include the press release, tour schedule, author Q&A, audio/video clips, cover images, etc.
  • By sending her reviews to publishers via NetGalley, she hopes to appease publicists who still ask for tear-sheets of reviews.

Finally, Bethanne added that even when she had read an entire galley in printed form, she still liked to have a digital copy while writing her review. That way, she could quickly find a certain page or passage in a window alongside her review, without having to take off/put on her glasses while switching from the printed page to her computer screen. It’s the little things, right?

I’m excited that support of digital galleys is growing and—best of all—publishers and readers alike are finding new ways and reasons to appreciate the format.

As always, I’m open to any and all feedback – we love hearing from you!

All best,

Lindsey Rudnickas

your friendly Digital Concierge at NetGalley

Follow me on Twitter: @NetGalley

Become a fan of our Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/NetGalley

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Just because I am pretty sure no one else is talking about this (yes, this is me being funny) – you will definitely want to join us tomorrow (Friday) at 4pm ET for this week’s #FollowReader — where the topic will be e-tailer book pricing and other issues regarding that Amazon/MacMillan quagmire — all in relation to how these issues ultimately affect readers.

Kassia Krozser (@BookSquare)

We’ve gathered a pretty awesome panel of guests to talk about the issue of ebook pricing and you know, the theoretical pros and cons of a world where book selling is dominated by one super power. In fact, we have reps from: the reader’s perspective – Kassia Krozser (@booksquare); the author’s perspective – Tobias Buckell (@tobiasbuckell); and the indie r(e)tailer’s perspective – Lori James and Julie Cummings of  AllRomanceEbooks.com/OmniLit.com (@allromance). (full disclosure – AllRomance is a client of my company Next Chapter Communications).

In other words – this is going to be quite the twittersation.

Some questions we’ll be discussing:

  • What is the real issue behind the Amazon v. MacMillan showdown? Is it about ebook pricing? Is it about Amazon wanting to dominate the marketplace with Kindle? Is either player really thinking about the reader in this situation (as each has claimed more or less?)
  • What does agency model mean? What does it mean to READERS? What does it mean to AUTHORS? What does it mean to RETAILERS (indie/chain/big box/online behemoths)?
  • Are ebooks priced at $12.99 and up really too high? Not just from reader’s perspective, but in reality – does an ebook’s production and distribution costs merit that kind of pricing?
  • Does the agency model actually limit publisher’s ability to price ebooks higher?
  • Would a higher priced product be viable in the kind of retail channel contemplated in the agency model?
  • Will agency model ultimately result in different priced formats targeted at different audiences, with different participation models for authors?
  • What impact will the so-called agency model have on independent booksellers? What impact will it have on author royalties?
  • Should publishers just scrap e-tailer partnerships and sell direct to consumer? Why or why not?
  • When it comes to ebooks, do proprietary devices and formats work for, or against readers in the long run? Isn’t a store that sells all formats for all devices offering a better service for readers?
  • Where does DRM fit into all of this?

We want to hear from you readers – what do you think about ebook pricing, paper book pricing, retailers both indie and not-so-indie? Let us know by joining in on this not-to-be-missed #FollowReader.

Tobias Buckell (@TobiasBuckell)

Hope to see you on Twitter tomorrow at 4pm ET!

Our Guests for #FollowReader, Friday February 5:

Kassia Krozser (@booksquare) has seen the future and it is good: more people are reading, writing, and publishing than ever before. Kassia consults with publishers about digital publishing opportunities at Oxford Media Works (OxfordMediaWorks.com), and writes about current digital publishing trends at booksquare.com.

Tobias S. Buckell (@tobiasbuckell) is a New York Times Bestselling Caribbean-born SF/F author who now lives in Ohio with his wife, twin daughters, and associated pets. He’s seen over 35 short stories in various magazines and anthologies, along with 4 novels and a short story collection. He keeps a website at www.TobiasBuckell.com.

Lori James of AllRomanceEbooks

Lori James(@allromance) is co-owner and Chief Operating Officer of All Romance eBooks, LLC. Julie Cummings is the company’s Manager of Marketing and Promotions. All Romance eBooks, founded in 2006, is privately held in partnership, and headquartered in Palm Harbor, Florida. The company owns All Romance (www.allromanceebooks.com), which specializes in the sale of romance eBooks and OmniLit (www.omnilit.com), which sells both fiction and non-fiction eBooks.

Note: Julie Cummings will be (wo)manning the keyboard and monitoring the chat while Lori James joins us virtually virtually via this thing called a “phone” (we are all about equal opportunity technology here at #FollowReader).

Julie Cummings (@allromance)

HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN #FOLLOWREADER:
The trouble begins at 4pm ET (or 1pm PST).To join the #followreader Twitter conversation today, here’s what to do:

  1. 10 minutes or so before 4pm ET, log in to Twitter or whatever interface you use (we recommend Tweetchat.com).
  2. To follow the discussion, run a search for #followreader.
  3. I’ll announce about 10 minutes ahead of time that we’re going to begin. And I’ll introduce the guests.
  4. I’ll start by posting a question.
  5. To post to the discussion, make sure that the hashtag #followreader is in each tweet.

NOTE: TweetChat.com refreshes quickly and automatically loads your hashtag when you are in the discussion.

Some Background links Re: Amazon/McMillan Showdown and Issues (Thank you @BJMuntain!):

@booksquare Amazon, Macmillan, Agency Models, and Quality (oh, my)!

@rilnj The Myths of Amazon/Macmillan http://bit.ly/aPpKUu by @Hornswoggler. <–Esp. #5

@charlesatan Amazon Capitulated My Ass http://bit.ly/8XTwFS

@victoriastrauss New blog post at Writer Beware about (what else?) the Macmillan-Amazon face-off http://tinyurl.com/y8oqmq6

@GrammarGirl This looks like an interesting piece on e-book and app pricing: http://j.mp/aWGVnP

@paulkbiba Legal analysis of Amazon/Macmillan http://is.gd/7rwVK

@scalzi One last Amazon/Macmillan post: All The Many Ways Amazon So Very Failed the Weekend http://bit.ly/bUN03H

@gkiely Publishing’s Weekend War: 48 Hours That Changed an Industry http://bit.ly/9s8xkn

@RachelleGardner I posted on the Publishing Smackdown today. Stop by and leave your thoughts! http://is.gd/7skPe

@ShelfAwareness Here’s our take on the Amazon/Macmillan scuffle http://bit.ly/cn79Ft (Very thorough overview)

“Amazon needs to stop meddling in ebook pricing & let free market do its thing.” @mollywood http://bit.ly/b6eHPS

@DigiBookWorld Macmillan won the battle over eBook pricing, but did Amazon win the PR war? http://bit.ly/9ULGIt

@DigiBookWorld Authors React to Amazon/Macmillan battle; @scottwesterfeld gets in the last word: http://bit.ly/9P8kLA

@atfmb: Amazon Concedes to Macmillan on E-Book pricing: http://tinyurl.com/yhz7d2n (NYTimes)

@ScottWesterfeld In which I weigh in (heavily) on the Amazon fracas: http://scottwesterfeld.com/blog/?p=2138

@MikeShatzkin The wild weekend of Amazon & Macmillan: Now I swear all this is true http://bit.ly/d2t9mr

@tobiasbuckell New blog post:: Together, lets break the Amazon monopoly on Kindles! http://bit.ly/bKsYUg

@charlesatan Smart post by Small beer press on Amazon http://smallbeerpress.com/?p=6915

@JoeFinder Check out this great blog post re the Amazon power play: http://mountaineermusings.com/

@Mitch_Hoffman A “passive aggressive” capitulation by Amazon, says the Washington Post. http://ow.ly/12nEh

@LAGilman My insta-reaction to Amazon’s response Warning: sort of cranky: http://suricattus.livejournal.com/1202577.html

@BradStone Amazon surrenders http://tinyurl.com/yd3hezf . “We will have to capitulate &accept Macmillan’s terms”

@PublishingGuru Is Amazon’s Kindle Killing Book Publishing? http://ow.ly/16sXSz

@GrammarGirl Excellent explanation of how Amazon currently gets pricing better than physical bookstores: http://j.mp/a9ZBnv

@GrammarGirl Another Macmillan author (@jay_lake) is articulately furious with Amazon http://bit.ly/dogHYG

@Hannasus Interesting article about the economics of book publishing: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13556_3-10250017-61.html

@EMEvans11 Amazon no longer carrying Macmillan titles? Andy Ross weighs in: http://bit.ly/93UkXg

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Update: To view the complete Twitter transcript from the January 22, 2010 #FollowReader TwitChat on Sustainability in Publishing, just click here.

While the focus of the book industry, the media, and the book blogosphere for practically the last year has been decidedly digital, there are some pretty important but overlooked issues that are well-deserving of some air time/print space/ web real estate. Perhaps one of the most important of these issues is the environmental impact of the book industry, and what some folks are doing to lessen that impact and make publishing more environmentally sustainable.

In an effort to help bring some awareness to the issue, #FollowReader today will be devoted to the challenges of publishing in an environmentally sustainable way. Here are just a few facts (courtesy of Green Press Initiative) for your consideration:

  • The U.S. book industry uses approximately 30 million trees every year. Many of these trees are from old growth and endangered forests.
  • The paper industry is the fourth largest industrial source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. Books and newspapers release greenhouse gases thought their lifecycles, with paper using almost half of all industrial wood harvested and contributing to almost 25% of landfill waste.
  • Globally, scientists estimate that deforestation is responsible for 25% of human caused greenhouse gases.
  • When trees are cut to make paper, they cease to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through photosynthesis. In addition, greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere when either unused plant material decays or is burned for energy at the mill.
  • As a result of these emissions and those associated with soil disturbances at the site of harvest, it can take up to 25 years for a newly planted forest to stop being a net emitter of greenhouse gases and hundreds of years before it stores the same amount of carbon as an undisturbed forest.

What’s more – publishing with recycled paper is not entirely eco-friendly in and of itself, and publishers (and readers) have to consider the long-term impact of using recycled paper in their printed books. Many recycled papers break down quickly and find their way to landfills sooner than higher quality papers. [Note from Kat: turns out I was not exactly right about this - different types of recycled paper have different durability. See my comment below].

Think ebooks are the eco-answer? Think again – the production of digital devices, batteries, and the energy required to power “the cloud” – those all have an impact on the environment.

So, what IS the answer, or ANSWERS? What can YOU, as a reader do to make a positive impact on sustainability in publishing?

Well, we’ll begin to explore those questions today on #FollowReader with some very knowledgeable guests:

Melissa Klug (@PermanentPaper)

Joining us from Glatfelter Paper, will be Melissa Klug (@permanentpaper), Glatfelter’s Director of Marketing, Printing & Carbonless Papers Division. Glatfelter has been involved in the manufacture of paper products for books since the late 19th century. Today, they work with most major publishers, including Random House, Simon & Schuster and Penguin, along with many other publishing companies, to supply paper for primarily hardcover trade books, but also many of the higher-end paperback book segments.

Environmental responsibility is a hallmark of Glatfelter, and all of their products are available with chain-of-custody forest certifications. Their paper mills utilize biomass from waste products of trees for system-wide energy as well. In addition to her marketing duties, Melissa is also responsible for Glatfelter’s Permanence Matters initiative, which is designed to educate and activate the literary community to actively and consciously choose higher-quality, long-lasting paper for books.

Melissa Brumer (@ooliganpress)

We are incredibly impressed by Portland State University’s student-run Ooligan Press, whose OpenBook Series is being produced as sustainably as possible – with a focus on paper and ink sources, design strategies, efficient and safe manufacturing methods, innovating printing technologies, support of local and regional companies, and corporate responsibility of their contractors. As such, we are delighted to have the pleasure of not one, not two, but THREE really smart Ooligan women joining us:

Melissa Brumer (@ooliganpress) and Janine Eckhart (@JanineEckhart), are founding managers of Ooligan Press’ Sustainable Publishing Initiative at Portland State University and co-authors of the book Rethinking Paper and Ink, an investigation of the sustainability in the publishing industry.

Also joining us from Ooligan – Natalie Guidry (@ooliganSPI) who manages Ooligan’s sustainability group this term and is currently managing the production of the second edition of the incredibly information-filled (and free as downloadable PDF!) book, Rethinking Paper and Ink.

(an aside: I think I really love the word Ooligan)

Kelly Spitzner (@green_press)

Joining us from Green Press Initiative will be Kelly Spitzner (@green_press), GPI’s Communications Coordinator. Kelly works to increase issue and program visibility in the mainstream/trade presses. She’s also working to increase accessibility and support to the industry and advocates through social media. Kelly got her start in the exciting world of publishing at a small company creating fresh resources for kids, teachers and families—positive hip hop anyone? And, she most recently worked on the 2008 Presidential Election, which brought her all over of the country, educating and organizing voters around environmental issues, among other things.

Green Press Initiative is committed to advancing sustainable patterns of production and consumption within the U.S. book and newspaper industries and within the paper industry at large. GPI also advances policy innovations related to paper and climate change and recycling and incubates pioneering new strategies for market transformation.

Green Press Initiative’s work has helped to bring about a six fold increase in recycled fiber use in the U.S. book industry—that’s a reduction of over 1.4 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions and nearly 3 million trees per year!

Nick Rufillo (@BookSwim)

And last, but certainly not least – we will be joined by Nick Ruffilo (@bookswim) from BookSwim.com – an online book rental company that rents books the way Netflix rents movies.

An internet Entrepreneur since the tender age of 14, Nick is currently BookSwim’s Chief Technical Officer and resident wunderkind. And, Nick is not JUST a techie – he has some literary blood in him as well: Nick is co-author and founder of the webcomic/comic book ‘Amazing Super Zeroes, and his favorite book is Jorges Borges’ Labyrinths.

Quite the lineup, eh? So – get your questions ready!

To start things out, I’ll be asking our panel a few questions of my own, including:

  • How do we define sustainable publishing?
  • What are the biggest polluters/environmental issues in publishing?
  • What publishers are doing a good job/making advances toward sustainable publishing practices?What other industry players are doing a good job (booksellers, printers, paper manufacturers, digital device makers, etc.?)
  • Is e- really more environmentally friendly than paper and ink?What are some of the biggest misconceptions about sustainability as it relates to the publishing industry? What are some of the environmental costs of digital publishing?
  • What can readers do to help shape the way the industry approaches sustainable practices?

Please make a point to follow our guests on Twitter:

Melissa Klug (@permanentpaper)
Melissa Brumer (@ooliganpress)
Janine Eckhart (@JanineEckhart)
Natalie Guidry (@ooliganSPI)
Kelly Spitzner (@green_press)
Nick Ruffilo (@bookswim)

The fun begins at 4pm ET (or 1pm PST).To join the #followreader Twitter conversation today, here’s what to do:

1. 10 minutes or so before 4pm ET, log in to Twitter or whatever interface you use (we recommend Tweetchat.com).

2. To follow the discussion, run a search for #followreader.

3. I’ll announce about 10 minutes ahead of time that we’re going to begin. And I’ll introduce the guests.

4. I’ll start by posting a question.

5. To post to the discussion, make sure that the hashtag #followreader is in each tweet.

NOTE: TweetChat.com refreshes quickly and automatically loads your hashtag when you are in the discussion.

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