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Blogger Launches E-Book Venture February 8, 2012

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Journalism, News, Trends.
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Indie e-bookstores may be the next big thing. Lifehacker editor Jason Chen has left Gawker Media to launch an e-bookstore of his own, StoryBundle. He joins former Gawker editor Emily Gould and GigaOm’s Michael Wolf who launched their own e-book ventures in recent months.

Chen believes “making things easy to buy, easy to get and easy to consume will be the key to StoryBundle’s success. He will sell bundles of DRM-free e-books under a pay-what-you-want plan, with the average price of a bundle around $5 in most cases.

Chen is modeling StoryBundle after “Netflix (NSDQ: NFLX), Rdio, Steam and indie game bundles” — particularly Humble Bundle for games—that “deliver content without having a bunch of physical stores get in the way.” He is “publishing in all genres” and plans “themed bundles of different genres down the line.”

StoryBundle is most unorthodox in the way it charges for content and the way it pays authors. First of all, readers pay what they want for a bundle of e-books. Not only do they decide how much they want to pay, they decide which percentage of that payment they want to go actually go to the authors.

That payment is split among all the authors in the bundle. They designate the remaining percentage of their payment “to charity and to keep the site running.” Readers can choose to give 100 percent of their payment to the authors.


Publishing Digital Multimedia Scapes August 16, 2008

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Advertising, Convergence, Journalism, News, Trends.
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I was invited to speak, moderate and judge at the Asian Publishing Convention in Singapore this week. My presentations shared strategies for creating deep immersive multimedia packages and making the browsing experience more organic and contextual. My take – when the Web is no longer flat, journalists need to think about content in multi-dimensions.

Hello Web 3.0. With so much graphics, images, audio and video captured and created by producers and consumers, how can publishers, bloggers and advertisers exploit this media to explore new experiences or applications? How can we create a richer engagement with content?

The publisher must act as the integrator of multiple media types, multiple experts, and multiple industries to turn an idea into a product. Different technologies, standards, and business issues must be considered when extending electronic publishing into multimedia.

When convergence calls, the consumer is in control, shifting the unit of information consumption. When Napster came along a decade ago, the musical unit of consumption shifted from album to song. Today iPod and iTunes offer a whole new way of providing music.

With the invention of online media, the publishing industry has also seen its unit change —from overall publication to individual article. Readers seldom consume an entire newpaper or publication, instead picking and mixing a variety of articles from different sources.

Since the book evolved from a scroll to the page, no change in the practice of publishing texts has had such an impact on the way we perceive and use publications as electronic publishing. This paradigm shift changes the way text is perceived in time and space and the integration of text, video, and audio into a multimedia product is a logical step.

Yet it is not the technology that undergoes the biggest change, but the role of the publisher, who has to re-emerge as the agent of a new medium. Empowered by new tools and technologies, anyone can become a multimedia producer.

Most “me too” multimedia publications renege on the promise of an interactive and integrated experience in digital space. They are lots of fun to make fun of, but certainly not funny.

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