An article here about the issues authors have with publishers over what the book cover should be like.

Having sat on both sides of this debate – as an author and as someone who has worked with author’s on brining their books to publication, I feel the author should have their say and the publisher should listen – but the final say should go with the publisher as they have the experience of doing more book covers than the authors have (and te cover is one of the top items of advertising for any book, and needs to work on a physical object and as an Amazon thumbnail) – and crucially are not as close to the book as the author’s inevitably will be.

The same is also true of the editing process, but that may need to be another blog post!

Augmented reality

June 9, 2011

Augmented reality has a future, of that I am certain.

And, much as I love what these guys are doing, and this interesting write-up, I am not sure we are actually there yet.

In some ways it feels a bit like the start of something new (the first time I used email, it was on a university machine which ran on something I think was called Vax, which was not user-friendly and I was completely not taken by it) that in about six regenerations time will be something we  all want to use.

I may be wrong, but I think this stuff will not take off until the augmented reality is seen thru a pair of glasses, rather than having to hold you smart phone in front of your face all the time.

I expect all the processing will take place in your advanced PC /phone, just you will watch thru a pair of normal looking glasses. When it is as convenient to use as that, I think this stuff will take off in a big way.

Television Killed Advertising

February 24, 2011

Advertising guru Paul Ashby has written an interesting book about how the rise and rise of television has killed off the art of advertising. The book also explores the two-way forms of communication Paul advocated during his many years in the advertising industry.

You can get hold of a copy here.

The back page blurb says:

“Why does big business continue to rely on the 30-second advertising spot so much? In the 1950s and 60s when there were only a few channels they could be sure every ad would reach the biggest possible audience. Now with channel fragmentation, streamed content, DVD box sets and PVRs – is anyone still watching the ads? Television Killed Advertising is the first giant step in a thousand mile march, it tells us what is wrong with the current model of marketing whilst at the same time it defines a new more effective model of advertising which places the consumer at the heart of the communication process.”

About the Author

Paul Ashby pioneered interactive marketing communication 25 years ago. He has written and produced interactive events in Australia, Japan, Singapore, USA and the UK. He wrote and produced the world s first regularly scheduled interactive television show, Su opinion est muy importante (Your opinion is very important) broadcast on Channel 7, Manila, Philippines, sponsored by Proctor & Gamble. He is interested in reading, travel, photography, music (especially jazz) and movies. Currently residing in Somerset, England, having also lived and worked in Sydney, Australia, Los Angeles, USA and Johannesburg, South Africa. Would you like to discover the incredible results to be attained by using interactive communication? Paul is currently offering his techniques as a partner in Renaissance Marketing, based in the UK. To read more of Paul s thoughts on the advertising industry, check out his blog at: http://interactivetelevisionorinteractivetv.blogspot.com

Book trailers

January 11, 2011

What a genius idea – having a trailer for a book.

You could call them adverts, which is really what film trailers always have been. But since I always associate video adverts with TV, you can get away with the fluffy term.

Of course, with films you just cut a sequence of the best bits and get a voiceover artist. But with books you actually have to go through the creative process as you would do when making a soap power advert.

As you’d expect, some of the trailers are pretty good. Others, not so good.

If you see any good trailers let me know.

A local newspaper in England is doing something innovative in a bid to handle the digital future.

I have got upset before about Murdoch‘s pay wall issue, but the more I read about the future of newspapers / print media the more I don’t see a revenue stream aside from a pay wall.

Altho the Rotherham Advertiser does appear to still be allowing access to some content on its regular website.

But what I really like is the app will allow you to see where the story happened using GPS – if you look at the story I have linked to there is a map showing exactly where it happened (which is genius and reflects on the web interaction with physical space I have covered before)

The Rotherham paper is apparently independent – ie not owned by a huge media group – but how long before other papers (belonging to the bigger groups) start doing this?

 

Big Women – 4OD

November 23, 2010

4OD is probably one of my fav things in the entire world.

Everything Channel 4 (in the UK) has ever made is stored here and is accessible to stream to your PC.

Which is great, as the channel is owned by the government and therefore the citizens of the UK and we can watch what we have already paid for (and paid for again, as unlike the BBC, this channel sells advertising space as well) whenever we like.

As opposed to the BBC iPlayer system which only allows you to view things shown on one of its channels in the last week (or broadcast on its national radio networks). Which is fine for catch up, but not good for discovering hidden gems.

Something I found, watched and enjoyed the other day was Big Women, a four-part series about a woman’s publishing house, set up to promote feminist issues in the 1970s.

Great drama, great cast (including Daniela Nardini – who originally came to my attention in the BBCs amazing This Life series, which I loved watching while living in London while at uni) and a great service from Channel 4.

I found it interesting as drama and as a historical piece about the publishing industry.

Imagine a world where you approach a landmark and its local webpage pops up in front of you (broadcast from its local server) explaining the history of the place, outlining key facts and generally being your local tourist guide.

There is also a visitors book page where you can read what others have said and leave your own message – either by voice or thru the kep pad of your mobile device (cell phone / laptop / iPad – like device).

Buildings will have their own local pages, telling you what their function is, what historic value they have, where the main entrance is, who built it, where the baby change facilities are, what phone number to use to call in.

You’ll also be able to join its Facebook page, subscribe to its Twitter feed. If you are in a shopping mall, the stores will be able to give you details about their special offers (altho you may have to opt in to these – kind of like leaving your Bluetooth on).

Bus stops will offer traffic info and current bus locations (via GPS) and ETAs in real-time.

If you want directions, you only need to know the postcode and arrows will point you in the right direction – like existing sat nav, but without the physical device in your car. It’ll be like in a video game when arrows in the sky point when you are going the wrong way. Instead of making devices, sat nav companies will just release apps (unless Google maps has already made them redundant by then).

This meshing of the web and the real is something I am looking forward to.

Recently, one of the key bits of tech to make this happen was shown off. There is no date for release yet – and no idea yet when the rest of the infrastructure will be in place to make it all work, but it isn’t that far away.

Asimo is 10 today

October 31, 2010

Today is the 10th birthday of the Asimo from Honda.

I wonder if anyone considered the coincidence of the date and Halloween and the possible negative marketing / branding which could accompany it? Particularly if they ever did malfunction. (Which I personally doubt they ever will, but since everyone who reads my blog who I speak with irl seems to think I’m on the wrong track about robots in every house, I thought I’d mention it.)

My only issue today is that the Asimo is now in its 10th year and still not available on the open market.

Bad Robot

September 27, 2010

I was speaking to a lady the other day (an acquaintance, I guess, if people still have such things in our world of six degrees of separation) who is losing her job because the organisation she worked for is closing down.

Since it became clear she would be out of work by the end of the year she started applying for jobs in similar organisations. Times are hard in that industry (and many others) and no one is hiring.

So she turned to one of the big supermarkets, the logic being working for one of them until the current recession is over is better than the dole. I couldn’t agree more.

This has not come to pass – from the discussion I had with her, I came away with the distinct impression the supermarket was not hiring till staff because they were expecting to increase the number of self-service tills.

As a child and teenager I was an avid reader of science fiction books (and of sci-fi comics and I’d watch movies and TV shows too) and one of those ever-present themes was about machines taking away jobs from people. This would lead to anti robot uprisings amongst civilian populations and would generally create a big mess.

Robots have been present on production lines for many years (I’m fairly certain I read in an Asimov story once about robots building robots that were better than humans could ever build), but this is the first time I have actually heard someone I know say they haven’t got employment because of the robots.

This is a worrying turn of events. Computers and robots are supposed to be machines – tools – to assist us. Not workplace rivals.

When you see the cute Asimo on the the Honda ads (great ads btw, made by Wieden + Kennedy) remember one day he may be stealing your job out from under you.

I foresee the Daily Mail stopping the immigration stories and running with the robot stories instead…

Sunday Times price increase

September 24, 2010

Not only is Rupert Murdoch trying to make us pay to read his online Sunday Times content (no link inserted to paid content!), he has also raised the price of the print version too.

I am no economist, but I am sure I heard once raising prices in a falling market doesn’t usually work.

Come on Rupert, let’s not have a repeat of myspace.

I do have an account with myspace, but having just popped across to have a look at it, I have noticed they have removed the last logged in info. From looking at my own site, I would guess I last logged in back in February. Which I suppose would look bad as it is September now.

What is worse for Rupert, while I am having trouble remembering when I last logged into his social network (and it didnt even occur to me to try and link this blog to the blog function in myspace, off to have a look if that is easy to achieve in a minute), is that  my Facebook page gets visited most days.

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