In May 2009, I sent an email to a friend. I’d been posting book recommendations on my website for the last couple years, but what did he think of the idea of doing it as a monthly email instead? It was a bad idea, he said–because people wouldn’t be able to share the blog posts anymore. People are protective of their emails, so who would want to sign up for that?
I considered his advice and decide to ignore it. In the five years since, that list, known as the Reading List Email, has grown from 50 friends to roughly 35,000 people with a 50% open rate (which is crazy compared to most lists). It has readers from all over the world, ranging from high school students to Fortune 500 CEOs, NFL coaches, bestselling authors, publishers and entrepreneurs. I’ve sent close to 100 emails to a “total” audience of 400,000+ over the years and sold a few hundred thousand dollars worth of books for retailers over the years.
Every blogger, writer and reporter has a
love/hate relationship with their content management system. If your professional life belongs to WordPress, for example, the woes of formatting overkill and half a dozen SEO fields have no doubt caused you to look up to the sky and ask: why isn’t there a better way?
Vox Media, the network of mostly profitable news sites that includes The Verge, SB Nation, Curbed and Vox, has its own coveted in-house system called Chorus. In a recent post about the future of blogging, Vox Media Editorial VP Lockhart Steele hinted that Vox could be preparing to open Chorus up to the rest of the publishing world:
In 2013, I bumped into mega best-selling author Tim Ferriss at a hotel in Amsterdam. I’ve known Tim — who sometimes writes for Betabeat sister site New York Observer, as well as being an occasional subject 0f their fascination — and worked with on several occasions. We were both speaking at the same conference. But I was there for another reason: a few days later I would be heading to Rome to put the final touches on my book about stoicism, The Obstacle Is The Way.
I showed Tim the book, as a friend. He read it that night and approached me the next day: He was starting an audiobook publishing venture and would I want to be one of the first authors to participate. Of course, my answer was YES, YES, YES.
It’s long been a thorn in the side of ereader owners, but major publishers–one eye fixed firmly on the fate of the recording industry–have insisted that ebooks come fully loaded with digital rights management technology. But that’s starting to crack. Today Macmillan subsidiary Tom Doherty Associates (home to beloved scifi imprint Tor Books, as well as Forge, Orb and others) announced its entire ebook catalog will be DRM-free by July 2012.
In a statement at the company blog, president and publisher Tom Doherty tipped his hat explicitly to future-enthused fans and authors:
Departures, Digital Publishing
There has been a lot of sturm and drang in New York about transitioning the magazine business to the iPad. Bloomberg jumped into the game today with the release of Business Week for the iPad, and it seems to have solved some of the key problems that held back other titles.
For one thing, Bloomberg Read More
Garry Tan, the co-founder of Tumblr’s trash-talking competitor Posterous, has jumped ship.
Posterous, a blogging platform similar to Tumblr, has
ajeffries [at] observer.com | @adrjeffries Read More
After being attached to media parent Time Warner for nine years, is the company that introduced millions of Americans to the Internet still a technology company?
AOL is now funding seven hundred Patch.com local news sites in nineteen states and the District of Columbia, Read More