Exaggerations and Perversions (Valla Vakili, Small Demons)

Valla is the CEO and co-founder of Small Demons. Prior to Small Demons he held several positions at Yahoo!, most recently VP Product with the Entertainment Group. Valla is a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and on leave from doctoral studies at St. Antony’s College, Oxford. Small Demons connects all the details of books, identifying and cataloging all the people, places, and things in book to offer readers an unparalleled ability to go deeper into the stories they know and love.

Publishing. As I’ve come to know this space over the last couple of years, I’ve found two themes that dominate the discussion around change and “the future.” They are so dominant, they’re somewhat tyrannical. Since there are two of them, I like to think of them as the Twin Tyrants of Change.

They are, first, format, and second, reading. With format, it’s a variation of “print to digital,” “professionally published versus self-published,” “the end of the book and the death of publishing.” Sometimes it becomes “books as apps,” “enhanced books,” “chunked books,” or “never-ending and always updating books.”

Then there’s reading, with questions like, “What does reading look like in a digital world?” “Is it enough to ‘just read’ or does reading itself need to be more interactive?” “Do we have enough readers?” “Why don’t we have enough readers?” And of course, “Where do we get more readers?”

There are many dollars ...

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