Mike Shatzkin writes about the changing environment for publishers in Publishers' Weekly. There are some familiar themes ...

Network concentration (Amazon) and diffusion (recommendation and referral from social sites, widgets, ...) ...

Print book review media and subscription book clubs are fewer in number and, most critically, bricks-and-mortar retail shelf space for books is being reduced. At the same time, new channels to promote and sell are opening up. Consumers started telling each other about books with Amazon customer reviews a decade ago; now they're doing the same at BN.com and through general-interest gathering points like MySpace, Facebook and Twitter, and at a plethora of sites like LibraryThing, Shelfari and GoodReads dedicated to book conversation. Bits and pieces of books are used for Web marketing or sold in installments, placed in e-mails or RSS feeds, or even combined with material from other sources and fed back to the consumer as a unique book printed on demand.
While sales of books through bricks-and-mortar locations are stagnant, sales through online channels, which today principally means Amazon, are growing. A goodly portion of those sales are driven by "referrals" from specialized Web sites continually sprouting throughout the Internet as well as referrals driven by those publisher widgets commonly found on social networking sites. And this is all just the beginning. [What the Hell Is XML? - 12/15/2008 - Publishers Weekly]

Network reputation management ...

The reduction of general book review media, print and broadcast, and the reduction in bricks-and-mortar bookstores are already forcing publishers to learn new ways to market and sell their titles. The shift from traditional to digital marketing is already changing publishers' mindset when books are acquired. ("Does this author have a Web site?") [What the Hell Is XML? - 12/15/2008 - Publishers Weekly]

The focus of the article is the use of XML to support new business practices in a network environment ...

In our new universe, the content encased in a well-formed XML file is the sun. The book, an output of a well-formed XML file, is only one of an increasing number of revenue opportunities and marketing opportunities revolving around it. It requires more discipline and attention to the rules to create a well-formed XML file than it did to create a book. But when you're done, the end result is more useful: content can be rendered many different ways and cleaved and recombined inexpensively, unlocking sales that are almost impossible to capture cost-effectively if you start with a "book." [What the Hell Is XML? - 12/15/2008 - Publishers Weekly]

Via PersonaNonData.

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