What James Brown did next

September 25, 2010

James Brown, the guy who launched Loaded (back when it was really, really good) has always been someone I have admired.

His latest project is Sabotage Times which I am thinking is pretty cool.

Contributors don’t get paid upfront for being featured on the site, but if they get sold on to other sites / publishers they do. A sort of shop window for the writers, where the open market judges what is worthy of being read rather than the publishers themselves.

He was interviewed a while back by Media Guardian about the site.

My favourite bit of the interview (not about the bird watching, so apologies to James himself) :

“He has no desire to go back to “dead tree” publishing. “With a high volume, high frequency publication you end up spending a lot of your time thinking about printers, distributors, what’s on the cover, and actually you don’t spend much time thinking about the journalism [he said].”

Which feeds right into my ongoing themes on this blog of where is book publishing going – and I refer to books, magazines and newspapers here.

The interview goes on to say:

“This is my office,” says Brown, holding up his iPhone. “The technology allows you not to invest in bricks and mortar any more. It’s a new type of business – a business of ideas and content, a business without a building.”

So anyone in the publishing industry hoping to hold on to their offices and staff by charging the same prices for digital downloads as real books, should take a look at the business model James Brown is using.

Having changed the face of magazines in the mid 90s, he may yet again be at the forefront of something else revolutionary.

2 Responses to “What James Brown did next”

  1. chapter18 Says:

    yeah, it’s now over to e-books delivered on ipad.



  2. Jon Says:

    I have been meaning to add my two pennies worth on this subject for a while but have always resisted.
    You talk a lot about revolution – yes digital media is the future – and im sure it will become main stream eventually but not as fast as the hype makes us believe. There are plenty of silent luddites out there who prefer paper media.
    I for one will always choose a paper format over a digital one. It now costs me £2.20! to get a Sunday Times, even though I can read it online for a quid (24 hours access to Timesonline)When I am in Europe I still prefer to pay 5 Euro for a slimmed down paper version rather than the cheaper full version online. However I admit when further afield I use the online version where papers are unavailable. I gain more pleasure from the paper format, its easy to read, at home or out and about in a bar/cafe. Its easier to browse and scan read. I read more of the content in paper form then on my laptop.
    And its the same with books, I have used a kindle, yet i have to say paper versions are better. The last couple of books have had maps/notes which I keep flicking back to while I read, Ive yet to see an e reader make this intuitively. Also I am currently studying for exams, and have digital copies of a number of text books, but the only ones I read are the ones that I have in paper editions.
    I could go on but I wont – ebooks and epapers have their use but are a long way from becoming main stream or the medium of choice of the general public.


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