Best of TOC, 3rd Edition

Book description

2012 was quite a year for change in the publishing industry.Throughout the year we used the TOC community site ( provide insightful analysis of the latest industry developments.And since ours is a community site, the articles we publish aren'tjust from the TOC team; we also feature perspectives from many of thetop innovators and publishing experts.

It wasn't easy, but we hand-picked the most noteworthy articles from2012 for inclusion in this Best of TOC collection. We think you'llagree that the more than 60 pieces featured here represent some of themost thought-provoking dialog from the past year. We've arranged thearticles by category, so whether you're most interested in marketing,revenue models, production or innovation in general you'll findsomething to get your creative juices flowing.

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Table of contents

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Innovation
    1. How Agile Methodologies Can Help Publishers
      1. What is an agile methodology?
      2. How do agile methodologies apply to publishing?
    2. Taking a Page Out of ESPN’s Playbook
      1. Pay for one, access all
      2. Building talent franchises
      3. Memorable quotes
    3. Perceptive Media: Undoing the Limitations of Traditional Media
      1. How does Perceptive Media work, and are there privacy concerns?
      2. What driving factors are pointing to the success of this kind of storytelling platform?
      3. In the early days, Perceptive Media is being applied to broadcast technology. What potential applications for Perceptive Media do you envision in the publishing industry?
    4. Kindle Fire vs iPad: “Good Enough” Will Not Disrupt
      1. How disruptive is the Kindle Fire to the low-end tablet market?
      2. Is Amazon a threat to Apple?
      3. What role do you see Apple playing in the future of publishing — and what current trends do you identify as driving factors?
    5. Don’t Build Social — Thoughts on Reinventing the Wheel
      1. Services, APIs, and the Complex Web
      2. Publishing focus and third-party opportunity
    6. Startups and Publishers: It Ain’t Easy
      1. If you sell a product publishers don’t want, who is to “blame”?
      2. Solutions to solve future problems
      3. Where to next?
      4. The risk of ceding the future to other players
      5. In the end, readers will drive the change
    7. It’s Time for a Publishing Incubator
      1. Roadblocks
      2. People have been thinking about this for awhile
      3. The publishing incubator
    8. The Slow Pace of eBook Innovation
    9. Putting a Value on Classic Content
    10. Reading Experience and Mobile Design
      1. Mobile design?
      2. Five convergence points for mobile design & reading system design
    11. Serial Fiction: Everything Old Is New Again
      1. Why should you be interested in serial fiction?
      2. Frequency, engagement, and experimentation
      3. It still comes down to great writing
  3. 3. Revenue Models
    1. Getting the Content Out There Isn’t Enough Anymore
      1. In what contexts does content aggregation create the most value?
      2. How about paywalls — is anyone doing this properly? What is the best way to make this model work?
      3. 24Symbols is based on a subscription model. Since your launch, have you had to change the model to make it work?
    2. Amazon, eBooks, and Advertising
    3. New Life for Used eBooks
    4. In-Book Purchases
    5. Why a Used eBook Ecosystem Makes Sense
  4. 4. Rich Content
    1. In the Case of Interactivity, We’re Still at the Phase of Irrational Enthusiasm
      1. Where do you draw the line between meaningful and gimmicky interactivity?
      2. Are there times when interactivity is detrimental and should be avoided?
      3. How have mobile platforms changed the publishing landscape?
      4. What kinds of tools do authors need to create interactive content, and what new skills might they need to develop?
      5. What are some guidelines authors should follow when considering interactive features for content?
      6. How should one decide between building an ebook and building an app? Is there a tipping point?
    2. Are eBooks Good Enough Already?
  5. 5. Data
    1. Transforming Data into Narrative Content
      1. What does Narrative Science do and how are you applying the technology to journalism?
      2. How does data affect the structure of a story?
      3. What kinds of stories lend themselves well to this type of system and why?
      4. What kinds of stories just won’t work — what are the boundaries or limitations?
      5. In what ways can publishers benefit from Narrative Science?
      6. In what other industries are you finding applications for Narrative Science?
    2. Book Marketing Is Broken. Big Data Can Fix It
      1. What are some key findings from the Bookseer beta?
      2. What kinds of data are most important for publishers to track?
      3. What does real-time data let publishers do?
      4. How would you describe the relationship between sales and social media?
    3. Will Retailers Start Playing Big Brother with Our Content?
  6. 6. DRM & Lock-in
    1. It’s Time for a Unified eBook Format and the End of DRM
      1. Platform lock-in
      2. The myth of DRM
      3. Lessons from the music industry
    2. “Lightweight” DRM Isn’t the Answer
    3. Kindle Remorse: Will Consumers Ever Regret eBook Platform Lock-in?
    4. Neutralizing Amazon
    5. Kindle Serials Is the Next Brick in Amazon’s Walled Garden
  7. 7. Open
    1. Publishing’s “Open” Future
      1. Content access via APIs
      2. Evolution of DRM
      3. Apps, platforms, formats, and HTML5
      4. Let’s open this up together
    2. Free and the Medium vs. the Message
      1. Free as in freedom (and beer)
      2. Information and delivery
    3. Creating Reader Community with Open APIs
      1. Reading is more than a solitary activity
      2. The new era of data-driven publishing
      3. The consequences of walled gardens
    4. Buy Once, Sync Anywhere
      1. The problem — a fragmented content ecosystem
      2. The proposed solution — an API to share a user’s purchase information
      3. What would the access permission API look like?
      4. Concept basis of a specification
      5. A common data transfer medium
      6. The future
  8. 8. Marketing
    1. The Core of the Author Platform Is Unchanged — It’s the Tools that Are Rapidly Changing
      1. What is an “author platform” and how is it different today from, say, 10 years ago?
      2. What are some of the key ways authors can connect with readers?
      3. In marketing your book Cooking for Geeks, what were some of the most successful tactics you used?
      4. What advice would you offer to new authors just starting out?
    2. The Sorry State of eBook Samples, and Four Ways to Improve Them
    3. How Libraries Can Help Publishers with Discovery and Distribution
    4. How to De-Risk Book Publishing
    5. Selling Ourselves Short on Search and Discovery
    6. The 7 Key Features of an Online Community
      1. Book Communities
      2. The Fundamentals
      3. Conclusion
  9. 9. Direct Sales Channel
    1. Direct Sales Uncover Hidden Trends for Publishers
    2. Direct Channels and New Tools Bring Freedom and Flexibility
      1. Direct Channels
      2. Evolving Tools
    3. It’s the Brand, Stupid!
    4. NY Times eBook Initiative Could Be So Much More
  10. 10. Legal
    1. Fair Use: A Narrow, Subjective, Complicated Safe Haven for Free Speech
      1. How is “fair use” defined and what is its legal purpose?
      2. Does the breadth of the fair use guidelines cause confusion?
      3. What are some best practices people should follow to stay within the guidelines?
      4. What are the most common fair use abuses?
      5. What kinds of content aren’t protected by copyright or subject to fair use?
      6. How would someone know if something is in the public domain or not?
      7. What’s your take on Creative Commons licensing?
    2. eBook Lending vs Ownership
    3. A Screenshot, a Link, and a Heap of Praise Are Met with a Takedown Notice
  11. 11. Formats
    1. Portable Documents for the Open Web (Part 1)
      1. What’s up with HTML5 and EPUB 3? (and, is EPUB even important in an increasingly cloud-centric world?)
      2. The Enduring Need for Portable Documents
    2. Portable Documents for the Open Web (Part 2)
    3. Portable Documents for the Open Web (Part 3)
    4. Graceful eBook Degradation
    5. IOS 6, Android, HTML5: Which Publishing Platform Prevails?
    6. Responsive eBook Content
    7. HTML5, EPUB 3, and eBooks vs Web Apps
      1. Your mileage may vary, especially on the Nook
      2. Distinguishing apps from ebooks
    8. eBooks as Native Apps vs Web Apps
      1. Distinguishing ebooks from apps
      2. Closing the gap between HTML5 and EPUB 3 support
    9. Books as Apps Deserve Serious Consideration
  12. 12. Pricing
    1. Piracy, Pricing, and eBook Hoarding
    2. Page Count, Pricing, and Value Propositions
    3. The Future Is Bright for eBook Prices and Formats
      1. Pricing
      2. Formats
  13. 13. Production
    1. The New New Typography
      1. Browser as typesetting machine
      2. The power of CSS and JavaScript
      3. Ease and efficiencies
    2. BookJS Turns Your Browser into a Print Typesetting Engine
    3. Ebook Problem Areas that Need Standardisation
      1. Overrides
      2. Annotations
      3. Modularised EPUB
      4. Staying out of CSS
      5. Graceful degradation for Fixed Layout
      6. What else?
    4. InDesign vs CSS
    5. Math Typesetting
      1. What’s the hold up?
      2. So why is this really interesting to publishing?
    6. WYSIWYG vs WYSI
    7. A Kindle Developer’s 2013 Wishlist
      1. 1. Add support for embedded audio/video to Kindle Fire
      2. 2. Add KF8 support for MathML
      3. 3. Add a Monospace Default Font to Kindle Paperwhite
      4. 4. Add more granularity to @media query support
      5. 5. Add a “View Source” option to Kindle Previewer
  14. Copyright

Product information

  • Title: Best of TOC, 3rd Edition
  • Author(s): O'Reilly TOC Team
  • Release date: February 2013
  • Publisher(s): O'Reilly Media, Inc.
  • ISBN: 9781449364328