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Futurebook: How the book industry needs to embrace free and find new ways to make money

By on December 8, 2011

I gave a 10 minute blip-talk at Futurebook, the Bookseller’s conference on the future of books, on Monday.

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It’s all about how to embrace the power of free, while also using the Internet to build long-term, profitable relationships with your biggest fans.

I think it went well. The conference was an odd mix of change-deniers (think the music industry in 1999) and people who really get that the Internet is shaking up publishing, and that 2012 is going to be the year that the digital tsunami really hits.

You can view the presentation below.

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: thecurveonline.com
  • http://www.facebook.com/spoonthumb James Andrew Coote

    Mostly thinking about fiction as opposed to non-fiction here, but;

    I can self-publish on any website now. However, aside from adverts on my website or between the pages of my eBook, how as a content creator am I going to get paid? What can I give the 0.5% of fans who are willing to spend big?

    Unlike a music album, where a physical CD bought in the shops costs about the same as a physical book in the shops, I can’t split a book and sell just chapter 7 the way I can split up an album and sell just track 7

    Unlike a game, there are no consumables (like in-game currency or in-game items)

    Like a game, a book is a highly engineered product, but unlike games, there is no separation between the mechanics (the style and skill of the prose), the
    storyline and the imagined universe the book is set in (what in a game would be the art
    assets). You can’t simply change the characters’ names and set the whole thing in space instead of underwater or the wild-west.

    Also, unlike games (or even music), it does not take a whole team of specalists to create a book. In fact, the very suggestion that a work of fiction might be written by a team, with a character-development specialist, a scene-setter, and a dialogue writer all acting together, rather than by a single author, is a completely alien concept to most people

    The only other thing I can think of is some sort of harry-potter style product franchising (a movie, a game, mugs, toys, branded lunchboxes and pencil-cases etc).

    Also I may not need a publisher to distribute, but I’m still going to need to market my book

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