Tech Desk

From the Tech Desk
From the Tech Desk
by Craig Manning / July 2016

Could James Patterson's BookShots Platform Be the Next Big Thing in eBook Publishing?

James Patterson is already a huge name in the publishing industry. Indeed, the guy has the Guinness World Record for most #1 New York Times bestsellers. Famous for his thrillers—particularly the Alex Cross series, …   read more

From the Tech Desk
From the Tech Desk
by Craig Manning / June 2016

Children's eBook subscription service leaves comparable business models in the dust

At the beginning of this year, From the Tech Desk made a few predictions about what 2016 would bring for the technology side of publishing. One of those predictions was that eBook subscription services would have a make …   read more

From the Tech Desk
From the Tech Desk
by Craig Manning / May 2016

What Happens When Artificial Intelligence Starts Writing Books?

'The tune had been haunting London for weeks past. It was one of countless similar songs published for the benefit of the proles by a sub-section of the Music Department. The words of these songs were composed without an …   read more

From the Tech Desk
From the Tech Desk
by Craig Manning / March 2016

Motion Books

Books with moving pictures and the possibility for reader interaction; books that seem to live and breathe as you read them; books that somehow straddle the line between the traditional reading experience and watching a …   read more

From the Tech Desk
From the Tech Desk
by Craig Manning / March 2016

Publishing Startup Applies the Structure of Hackathons to the Book Creation Process

Have you ever heard of a 'hackathon'? If not, the main reason is probably that this type of intensive event is usually sequestered to the tech industry and very rarely bleeds over into other fields—publishing inclu …   read more

From the Tech Desk
From the Tech Desk
by Craig Manning / February 2016

DBW Releases White Paper Examining Tech Advancements in Publishing

The monopolistic business strategies of Google and Amazon, and how they are decimating the publishing industry; tips to help mid-sized websites and independent publishers compete against far bigger companies; the growing …   read more

From the Tech Desk
From the Tech Desk
by Craig Manning / January 2016

Technology Trends to Watch for in the Publishing World in 2016

Here we are at the start of 2016, another year come and gone. What will the year bring for the publishing industry—particularly in regards to technology? Read on for From the Tech Desk's predictions on what sort of …   read more

From the Tech Desk
From the Tech Desk
by Craig Manning / September 2015

Bible Software Companies Partners with Christian Colleges to Deliver Electronic Alternatives to Pricy Textbooks

I've written numerous times in past tech desk columns about my frustrations with textbooks. Exorbitantly expensive, rapidly out of date, and only marginally useful for many subjects, academic textbooks are my least favor …   read more

From the Tech Desk
From the Tech Desk
by Craig Manning / August 2015

Nifty Service Allows Readers to Sample eBooks Before Buying Them

One of the privileges that we as readers have really lost in eBook age is the ability to pull a book off a shelf at a library or bookstore, read the back cover copy or book flap for a basic synopsis, and then dive right …   read more

From the Tech Desk
From the Tech Desk
by Craig Manning / July 2015

Vook Re-launches as Pronoun, Vows to Fix Publishing

Vook is one of the few self-publishing platforms that I have experience using first-hand. Two years ago, I helped my grandfather publish a memoir in digital and physical formats, and we went through Vook to get both the …   read more

From the Tech Desk
From the Tech Desk
by Craig Manning / June 2015

Do eBooks Cause Us to Read Less?

There are many ways in which technology has improved our lives over the past 10 years. From streamlining communication to making entertainment more conveniently accessible, the advents of social media, Apple's iDevice li …   read more

From the Tech Desk
From the Tech Desk
by Craig Manning / May 2015

Can Independent Publishers Make Use of the Apple Watch?

Apple's long-awaited smart watch is finally on the market—though you wouldn't know it by going into an Apple Store or trying to shop online. Sure, you can try on the flashy new device in one of Apple's retail estab …   read more

From the Tech Desk
From the Tech Desk
by Craig Manning / April 2015

Survey Shows that Millennials Would Rather Read Print Books

The term 'millennial' is often used in derogatory fashion, to describe a generation of tech-obsessed young people who aren't nearly as hardworking or innovative as the generations that came before them. More relevant to …   read more

From the Tech Desk: Trajectory
From the Tech Desk: Trajectory
by Craig Manning

The Next Generation of Book Recommendations

Readers will debate the pros and cons of print and digital books until the end of time. We've all heard the opposing arguments: print readers adore the experience of flipping a page, of holding something physical and sub …   read more

From the Tech Desk
From the Tech Desk
by Craig Manning

Independent Author Uses Coding Tool to Show Drafts and Creative Process Behind Novel

Why is writing a novel so difficult? It's a question many of us have undoubtedly asked ourselves over the years. After all, it seems like someone in the publishing world—someone who spends hours each week reading, …   read more

From the Tech Desk
From the Tech Desk
by Craig Manning / December 2015

Startup Aims to Build Comprehensive Registry of the Best Cookbooks

Have you ever wondered what the world's best cookbook looks like, or which books first inspired famous food critics, TV foodies, or restaurateurs? A new tech startup and app is striving to answer those questions.First un …   read more

From the Tech Desk
From the Tech Desk
by Craig Manning / November 2015

What the Google Books Ruling Means for Publishing

After more than 10 years of court battles and ambiguity, we finally have our answer. Google Books—and more specifically, the platform's ability to offer samples of scanned books for free online—is legal. The …   read more

From the Tech Desk
From the Tech Desk
by Craig Manning / October 2015

Using XML Technology to Help Organizations Become Publishers

Front Edge Publishing is an interesting company. Based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Front Edge is devoted not to publishing their own books, but to helping other organizations 'become publishers' themselves. 'We want to help …   read more

From the Tech Desk
From the Tech Desk
by Craig Manning

Amazon Opens up Kindle Direct Publishing for Children’s Book Authors

For several years now, Amazon has been making it easy for independent author to publish their books and reach broad worldwide audiences via Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). But while the KDP system has been perfect for au …   read more

From the Tech Desk
From the Tech Desk
by Craig Manning

New Study Shows That 90% of Libraries Lend eBooks

When most of us think of public libraries, the first thought to cross our minds would be something about the pristine silence of the places, or about the crisp smell of old books. We might even wistfully glance back at o …   read more

From the Tech Desk
From the Tech Desk
by Craig Manning

New Indiegogo Campaign Seeks to Find Balance Between Print Books and Modern Technology

If you've been trying hard to cling to print books, even as all of your friends and family members have been making the switch to tablets and e-readers, then there is an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign called Booke that …   read more

From the Tech Desk
From the Tech Desk
by Craig Manning

Vine Videos Inject “Choose Your Own Adventure” Concept with New Life

“Choose Your Own Adventure” books are a property of Bantam Books, Random House, and a company called Chooseco, but the concept those books began to establish in the late 70s has been co-opted by so many autho …   read more

From the Tech Desk
by Craig Manning

Does Book Banning Work in the Digital Age?

For decades, we've read and heard all about banned or “challenged” books, literary tomes that, for whatever reason, offended schools, towns, or governments enough to be eradicated from educational reading lis …   read more

From the Tech Desk
From the Tech Desk
by Craig Manning

Could digital book publishing learn a thing or two from the music industry?

Want to know where book publishing is headed? Just look at the music industry.There have always been parallels between the publishing and music industries, from the production and distribution models to the way earnings …   read more

From the Tech Desk
From the Tech Desk
by Craig Manning

Book App Company Aims for Even More Interactive Territory

In today's publishing world, nothing seems to divide prognosticators more than the book app. Some say that book apps aren't a viable publishing model, since they are expensive to produce and only serve a niche audience a …   read more

From the Tech Desk
From the Tech Desk
by Craig Manning

WiX Makes Building a Great Website Easy

Picture this scenario: you're an author with a complete polished manuscript and plenty of friends and family members encouraging you to publish it. You may have even reached out to Amazon, Apple, and Barnes & Noble t …   read more

From the Tech Desk
From the Tech Desk
by Craig Manning

Digital Watermarks: A Protector for Publishers, or a Dangerous Road to Take?

Back in September, it was revealed that HarperCollins had partnered with a company called Digimarc to implement watermarking technology on its eBooks. The tech, called “Guardian Watermarking for Publishing,” …   read more

From the Tech Desk
From the Tech Desk
by Craig Manning

The Publishing World Gets First Streaming Service

Back in April, I wrote about how the publishing world could stand to learn a few things from the music industry. In that particular article, I theorized that the rise of eBook subscription services like Scribd, Oyster, a …   read more

From the Tech Desk
From the Tech Desk
by Craig Manning

Best Mobile Apps for Book Fanatics

With the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus officially on the market, many mobile users are trying to figure out clever ways to get out of their current mobile contracts and get their hands on Apple's newest hardware. Because of this, …   read more

From the Tech Desk
From the Tech Desk
by Craig Manning

Unpacking Digital Book World’s “Ten Bold Predictions for eBooks in 2014”

Late last month, with the holiday season creeping in and “end of the year” lists flying from every corner of the entertainment industry, it was easy to feel saturated with the sheer volume of year-end coverag …   read more

From the Tech Desk
From the Tech Desk
by Craig Manning

Independent Author Plans 50-Volume Series with Stories Set in Each State

As recently as a few years ago, authors were largely bound by the limitations and start-up costs of book printing and distribution. Now, with eBook vendors dissolving those physical boundaries and social media outlets ma …   read more

From the Tech Desk
From the Tech Desk
by Craig Manning

KiteReaders Takes the Lead in Children’s Ebooks

In the first quarter of 2013, nearly 50 million tablets were sold worldwide, up dramatically from 20 million in the same timeframe for 2012. That kind of market growth is impossible to ignore and most factions of the pub …   read more

From the Tech Desk
From the Tech Desk
by Craig Manning

New editing tool helps writers save on publishing costs

It's a common frustration for writers: you finish your latest work, be it a multi-page article or a sprawling novel, and then you direct your mouse to that small “ABC” check mark up at the top of your screen, …   read more

From the Tech Desk
From the Tech Desk
by Craig Manning

Can blogs and social media feeds aimed at quick laughs translate to successful books?

In this day and age, it's not terribly rare for a blogger to have a following that rivals that of a published author in size and loyalty. The immediacy of the Internet, coupled with a blogger's ability to weigh in on a w …   read more

From the Tech Desk
From the Tech Desk
by Craig Manning

New book gives writers a comprehensive guide to creating a book app

Last month, our own Jillian Bergsma took a look at the rapidly evolving “app” phenomenon, remarking on the meteoric rise of the Apple app store — and other similar markets — over the past couple o …   read more

From the Tech Desk
From the Tech Desk
by Craig Manning

Partnership between two industry players spells big news for eBook world

Over the past few months, this column has repeatedly covered the topic of digitalization within the publishing industry. Tablet technology is getting better and better, sleeker and more affordable with every new innovati …   read more

From the Tech Desk
From the Tech Desk
by Craig Manning

eLearning Movement Gets Its Next Big Player

Over the past five years or so, modern education has been building towards a cusp of revolution and innovation. Just as book publishing and music distribution have both shifted from physical product to digital proliferat …   read more

From the Tech Desk
From the Tech Desk
by Craig Manning

New Twitter Tool Helps Authors to Engage in Conversations with Readers

Calling all Twitter-active authors and publishers: a new social media tool has recently been unveiled that can help you to engage with discussions about your books in efficient new ways. This past spring, the social …   read more

From the Tech Desk
From the Tech Desk
by Craig Manning

New Service Aims to Bring Authors and Readers Closer Together with Analytics Data

The digital revolution may have stoked the fires of accessibility for readers—as well as simplified the publication process for authors—but one of the problems with sending a book out into the great unknown i …   read more

From the Tech Desk
From the Tech Desk
by Craig Manning

New Publishing Software Puts Authors at the Forefront of Book Marketing

With press releases, web content development, and search engine optimization occupying the vast majority of weekly work hours for the average marketing department, it's all too common for book publishers to under-use arg …   read more

From the Tech Desk
From the Tech Desk
by Craig Manning

The Future of Internet Freedom

Last year, when SOPA (the Stop Online Piracy Act) was making its way through Congress, the Internet responded in force. As soon as the threat of the bill (and of the unconstitutional powers it would give the government) …   read more

From the Tech Desk
From the Tech Desk
by Craig Manning

How I Became a Kindle Addict

Last decade, the music world was changed forever when Apple introduced the iPod, rapidly phasing out the physical album and moving virtually all listeners over to the digital format. Undoubtedly, Amazon was hoping for a …   read more

From the Tech Desk
From the Tech Desk
by Jillian Bergsma

An Inside Look at the Print Book of the Future

What began as a series of lectures by publishing legend Jason Epstein in 1999 is now a technology that is taking the book industry by storm. Espresso Book Machine (EBM for short) is a digital-to-print technology that all …   read more

From the Tech Desk
From the Tech Desk
by Craig Manning

New app helps authors envision their book’s completion

In the realm of human accomplishments, writing a book is one of the most prevalent bucket list dreams. So many people, be they avid readers, retired folks with fascinating life stories, or film aficianados who just love …   read more

From the Tech Desk
From the Tech Desk
by Craig Manning

An Expert’s Guide to Social Media

“It's all about being social.”That's the advice Chris Bass, director of marketing services for Author Solutions Inc., former marketing director for publishing imprint Booktango and an all-around expert in the …   read more

From the Tech Desk
From the Tech Desk
by Craig Manning

How reKiosk.com is Revolutionizing the Do-It-Yourself Model

The idea of the online marketplace has been a popular one for years, ever since Amazon and eBay came into their own and became the go-to sources for new books and rare merchandise. Since then, digital entertainment outle …   read more

From the Tech Desk
From the Tech Desk
by Matthew Delman

Apple and Educational Publishing

One of the very first computers I can remember using was an Apple II in the computer lab of my elementary school in Central New York State. I've got fond memories of the programs on that computer, and to this day believe …   read more

From the Tech Desk
From the Tech Desk
by Matthew Delman

Penguin Group and the latest digital distribution silliness

Just before Thanksgiving in the U.S., Penguin Group made the “bold” move of removing all its eBooks from the OverDrive library lending system. The publishing house cited amorphous “security concerns&rdq …   read more

From the Tech Desk
by Matthew Delman

Is Booktrack’s idea of putting soundtracks on novels a good one?

Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett move closer together as the music swells. Soft strains of flutes and violins surround the scene as one of the most romantic moments in the whole of Pride & Prejudice is about to happen …   read more

From the Tech Desk
From the Tech Desk
by Matthew Delman

This Month: Is the Vook the future of reading?

“Print is dead” appears to be a common refrain these days. Publishers lament that no one reads any more, and many published books are aimed to hit the lowest common denominator with the idea to entrance non-r …   read more

From the Tech Desk
by Matthew Delman

This Month: The Worrisome Nature of Spam in the Kindle Store

The eBook revolution has made it possible for authors and publishers to easily get digital copies of new releases to the masses. As a result, sales of eBooks have skyrocketed 202.3% year-to-date between February 2010 and …   read more

From the Tech Desk
by Matthew Delman

BiblioCrunch makes eBooks easy for independent publishers

I recently became an independent publisher of Science Fiction, focusing mainly on Steampunk, and one of the first things I decided was to publish our releases in eBook form before moving into print-on-demand paperbacks. …   read more