Is there such a thing as book or magazine publishing 2.0? Perhaps there is a need for it. A lot of smart people are trying – some smart ideas and some not so smart. Which is which? I guess only time will tell.

To begin with, things that have displayed some degree of success on the web are being applied to the traditional format: aggregation, verticals, user-generated content, social networks, popularity rankings…

Some are attempting to transcend the category itself by going digital-only. Books, newspapers, magazines that don’t have a print version and are designed for the computer careen or PDA/iPhone screen. Or perhaps e-book readers like the Kindle from Amazon…

There is also an attempt to leverage the peer-to-peer nature of the web by creating a shared pirate station for magazines where users share and download digital copies of the traditional magazine, either in entirety or by article.

It is clear that the book, newspaper and magazine publishing business as we know it is changing and will morph into something else. On the way it will learn, perhaps even imitate the web and all that is classified as 2.0.

I came across an interesting article in Business Week that said the book publishing business “could keep itself vital by taking a page from Web 2.0 technologies”
The author’s advice: five lessons that book publishers should take from the new Web.

  1. Make it social.
  2. Take book tours out of the stores.
  3. Create stars—don’t just exploit existing ones.
  4. Go electronic from the get-go.
  5. Make e-commerce even easier.

First published on August 22, 2008