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Bringing Book Publishing Up to Speed

peter-osnos-headshot.jpgWe wish we’d been able to get up to Boston University for Wednesday’s mini-conference on “the nonfiction book as the last best home for journalism,” but a write-up from the Nieman Journalism Lab gives us much to think about, as PublicAffairs founder Peter Osnos expressed his belief that, in the paraphrase of Zach Seward, “the settlement announced on Tuesday between Google and a group of book authors and publishers” will lead to “wider distribution of more books and increased revenue for the book industry” and could provide a model for newspapers to save themselves as well.

And that was before his panel even started. Once he was up on the dais, he declared, “We are going to take every book and make it available in every way that technology permits: ebooks, audio books, large print, by chapters. There’s nothing that stops us technologically from making books available in every way that is now possible.” (Longtime GalleyCat readers may recall: He’s felt this way for a long time.) And when his co-panelists suggested that book publishers couldn’t just start rushing timely books to the market on a regular basis, Osnos pushed back: “I don’t accept that as a model because if you have subjects that are topical, you need to be able to move quickly.”

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