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Posts Tagged ‘eBook Summit’

Will The Kindle Save Newspapers? Not Quite

eBookSummit100x100.gifYesterday, at mediabistro.com’s eBook Summit, we were eager to hear what Joshua Benton of the Nieman Journalism Lab had to say about e-readers and the future of newspapers.

Benton said he understood why those in the media held the Kindle, Amazon’s e-reader product, out as the possible savior of the industry — since Kindle users were willing to pay for newspaper subscriptions while online readers were not. But this theory fails because Kindle users represent such a small part of total number people who read the news. “It’s a way to get marginal income from a small percentage of people who are willing to pay for news,” he said.

Also, the Kindle itself is not a good tool for reading newspapers, and certainly not magazines. There are additional features e-readers would need in order to make good news reading devices, like a fast connection, alerts and multimedia capabilities. “E-readers will become a mainstream category when they become excellent web devices,” Benton said. However, when that happens, “the news business model for e-readers collapses.”

Guess as far as Benton is concerned, e-readers won’t be the savior of the print news industry that everyone is hoping they will be. Instead, newspapers and magazines will become smaller, more expensive and “more elite products,” and most people will still get their news for free from the Web.

And as we wrap up our coverage of the eBook Summit, check out some photos from the event yesterday and today.

Previously: BBC’s Katty Kay Weighs Writing, Blogging With Paying The Bills

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BBC’s Katty Kay Weighs Writing, Blogging With Paying The Bills

eBookSummit100x100.gifIf you ever wonder how authors and bloggers do it — that relentless, 24-hour-a-day publicity driving social media quest — you’re not alone. Katty Kay, a BBC journalist and author, is right there with you.

During an interview at mediabistro.com’s eBook Summit, Kay wondered aloud how self-promoting authors, bloggers and other freelance writers survive. Do they write while also having a full-time job to pay the bills? We’ve often wondered the same ourselves, but there seems to be no right answer. Even Kay acknowledged that she was able to write her book, Womenomics, in part because of her full time gig at the BBC.

But beyond an awareness of the challenges of the publishing and journalism world today, Kay did have some good advice for journalists: focus on your own brand through blogs and social networking. Gone is the conventional wisdom that journalists have to write a book in order to extend their credibility and notoriety. Now, it’s all about the blog.

“Journalists with a high profile in Washington have a blog that’s a high profile,” Kay said, citing George Stephanopolous, Jake Tapper and John Dickerson as good examples of this. She also said journalists are now using their blogs as a homebase while working for many different organizations or platforms. “The more places I have to get income from and to have a platform on, the safer life feels.”

VIDEO: Sister blog TVNewser talks with Kay at the eBook Summit about being a foreigner working on a U.S. news broadcast.

Earlier: eBook Summit: Digital Lessons For Journalists, News Organizations

eBook Summit: Digital Lessons For Journalists, News Organizations

eBookSummit100x100.gifIf the title “eBook Summit” conjures up a vision of publishing industry executives, agents and writers, well, you’re not that far off. But we were also not surprised to see that there is a lot that journalists and news organizations can take away from the panels at today’s mediabistro.com eBook Summit — and not just those journalists who have written books or hope to someday. In fact, we believe e-readers will have a huge impact on the print media world — not just the publishing world — in the New Year.

We sat in on a panel this morning that featured Jennifer Stenger, who oversees licensing and business development for mobile markets for the Associated Press. She spoke about the AP’s expansion into providing its content on mobile devices and e-readers. This is a shift for the AP, she said, because the organization has traditionally just provided news content to other news organizations who then repackage it and distribute it to readers or viewers. Now, the AP can tap these users directly, so it is learning what information people want and how they want to get it. “It gives us something we’ve never had before, which is a direct connection to users,” she said.

Also surprising to the AP, she said, was that readers were willing to pay for content on their e-readers. Where traditionally information on the Internet has been given away for free, making online readers less inclined to pay for it, e-reader users were willing to shill out to get information specially curated for them.

“It was kind of a surprise to us that they wanted to charge [for e-reader content], because news on the Web is free and no one wants to pay for the news anymore,” Stenger said. “And not only did they want to charge, they wanted to charge per category of news. We thought this would never work, no one would ever want to pay. But on the contrary, people are willing to pay for what they want, and most of what they are paying for is convenience.”

For more coverage of today’s conference, head over to our sister blogs, eBookNewser and GalleyCat.