Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Notes from Google's conference on book publishing

Caroline McCarthy has published some notes at C|Net on Thursday's Google-sponsored conference, Unbound: Advancing Book Publishing in a Digital World (New York, January 18, 2007):

To anyone who thinks digital content is a threat to the book-publishing market, Google wants to tell you two things: first, you're wrong; second, second, its Google Book Search product is the solution, not the problem.....

Tim O'Reilly, founder and CEO of technical manual publishing company O'Reilly Media, said: "We're in a period of tremendous change, and have to embrace that change. We as publishers have to become part of the new digital ecosystem that Google is working so hard to build." ...

In a speech describing his experience as a profitable author who has always distributed his books for free online under a Creative Commons licence, in addition to selling them in bookstores and online marketplaces, [Cory] Doctorow said: "No matter how you look at it, free e-books make commercial sense."

Fellow tech-savvy author and blogger Seth Godin, another speaker at the event, echoed Doctorow's opinion that making content available for free online and letting it spread virally is ultimately helpful to authors. "By putting something into the grapevine and having the word spread, people are going to respond and pay you with something really valuable: their attention," said Godin.