John Oakes sez, "Article in New York Business describing OR Books, a new sort of publishing house being started up by two longtime indy publishers. We plan to take existing tech and apply it to old-fashioned publishing values--and to commit to massive marketing for our authors, and to do so within a progressive framework, releasing fiction and nonfiction."
Believing that e-books and print-on-demand technology have reached a tipping point with the public, Messrs. Oakes and Robinson will launch OR Books this fall as a Web-only house selling straight to consumers. The plan is to operate at a drastically reduced cost--blowing up a model whose inefficiencies have helped make this past year so painful for publishers large and small. The Association of American Publishers reports that revenues from adult hardcovers fell 16% through April, while revenues from adult trade paperbacks plunged 26%, compared with the same period a year ago.
Some specialty publishers have built businesses around e-books, but OR would be the first general-interest press to try the model. The partners are betting that the new-media opportunities that all book people are rushing to exploit will let a startup thrive even in a dismal retail environment.
"The whole system of stuffing as many books as you can into stores, whether or not buyers want them--it's broken," says Mr. Oakes, who co-founded and ran the left-leaning Four Walls Eight Windows for 17 years. The press disappeared in an indie shakeout in 2007. A stint as executive editor at Atlas & Co. ended last fall when the small publisher ran into financing problems.
John published my first short story collection, as well as books by Octavia Butler, Abbie Hoffman, Kathe Koja, Rudy Rucker and many other writers whom I adore and admire. This sounds like a great, exciting project!
Betting on e-books
Back in August, I gave the closing keynote at the second Decentralized Web Summit, entitled "Big Tech's problem is Big, not Tech; the Internet Archive released video right afterwards, but now they've cleaned up the video and rereleased it for your viewing pleasure.
For more than two years, Radiolab has been running a brilliant side-podcast called More Perfect which involves deeply reported, engaging stories about Supreme Court decisions, skilfully mixing in audio from the trials, historic or new interviews with the people involved, and commentary from scholars and activists that serve to illuminate the incredible stories behind the […]
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iOS 12 is finally here, which means now is the best time for aspiring developers to throw their hats into the app development game. While app development can be tricky for some, you can take an intuitive, beginner-friendly approach to understanding app creation and Apple’s latest iOS platform with the iOS 12 & Xcode 10 Bootcamp, […]
It might still be September, but the holiday season will be here before you know it, which means now is the time to think about where you want to vacation to—and what to do once you get there. To this end, we’ve scoured the Web and tracked down a number of travel hacking ebooks, gadgets, […]
The human eye is a beautiful, incredible thing, but it’s far from perfect, especially when it comes to examining objects up close. Capable of magnifying objects up to 1,000 times, this portable microscope camera lets you see wonders hidden to your regular vision, and it’s on sale today for $38.99. Don’t let its compact size fool […]