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Digital Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing

posted March 5, 2010

Posted by Mariko Fujinaka in Bookselling E-books books publishing technology trends

A Picture of a eBook
Image via Wikipedia

People seem to have very strong feelings about digital media. It seems every day I read articles embracing digital media and articles dismissing it. And even within the differing camps there is discord—Kindle vs. iPad vs. whatever the e-readers from Sony and Barnes & Noble are called. Putting aside the nuts and bolts of publishing costs, I just don’t understand what the big deal is. If you want to read books on paper, then read books on paper. If you want to read ebooks, go right ahead. Can’t we all just get along?

One thing on which we can probably all agree is that the traditional publishing model is outdated and needs to be modernized. So, whichever tribe you belong to, you might find some humor in this tongue-in-cheek article from The Atlantic.

Candyfreak Steve Almond Jumps into the Self-publishing Fray

posted February 1, 2010

Posted by Mariko Fujinaka in Bookselling books events publishing self-publishing trends

Steve Almond, author of Candyfreak and My Life in Heavy Metal, among others, has taken publishing matters into his own hands. Though Almond is still a hot commodity (his Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life will be availble April 13, 2010), he found that one of his book ideas was not generating much interest with publishers. His idea was a book that could be flipped over and read in two directions. One side would offer short stories, and the other side would contain essays about writing. The title? This Won’t Take But a Minute, Honey.

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Hope for Book Publishing

posted June 8, 2009

Posted by Mariko Fujinaka in publishing

Dave Eggers - National Book Critics Circle at ...
Image by Steve Rhodes via Flickr

Everyone these days seems to be talking about the death of book publishing. Everyone, that is, except McSweeney’s. Leave it to McSweeney’s to bring a little sunshine to the darkness. There seem to be quite a few haters out there, but hey, I like McSweeney’s; I love how innovative and creative they are, and you know, they seem to be having fun. There are some things on the McSweeney’s website that make me laugh out loud.

But I digress. Recently Dave Eggers of McSweeney’s said he would send a personal e-mail to anyone who was saddened by the sorry state of publishing (i.e., that print is dead) and needed cheering up. The Gawker published the e-mail, in which Eggers discusses the survivability of both newspaper and book publishing. Following are a few excerpts:

“We’re a hand-to-mouth operation to be sure, but we haven’t had to lay anyone off. To some extent, that’s because we’re small and independent and have always insisted on staying small and independent. We take on very little risk, and we grow very cautiously. It’s our humble opinion that the world will support many more publishers of our size and focus. If you can stay small, stay independent, readers will be loyal, and you’ll be able to get by publishing work of merit.”

“To survive, the newspaper, and the physical book, needs to set itself apart from the web. Physical forms of the written word need to offer a clear and different experience. And if they do, we believe, they will survive. Again, this is a time to roar back and assert and celebrate the beauty of the printed page. Give people something to fight for, and they will fight for it. Give something to pay for, and they’ll pay for it.”

Here at Thomas Riggs & Company we are venturing into this new and somewhat unfamiliar world of literary publishing, and I find it heartening and reassuring to read Eggers’ words. Give it up for the printed word!

Go Green with Your Business Cards

posted May 27, 2009

Posted by Mariko Fujinaka in uncategorized

I love the idea of business cards with multiple purposes. Business cards are a necessity for many, but they’ve always seemed rather wasteful to me. Even cards with great designs don’t do much other than take up space in a drawer.


I was thrilled, then, to see this business card-bookmark hybrid printed by Pinball Publishing. It’s so clever and utilitarian! This particular business card is for a clothing store, but a bookmark business card would be appropriate for a bookstore or publishing house, wouldn’t it?



The sky is the limit when it comes to creative business cards. Maybe a balloon isn’t incredibly practical, but it’s fun and memorable. The rubber band business card, though? Definitely practical and fun! You can find both of these images, as well as a number of other nicely designed business cards, at this site.

I’m sure there are many more interesting ideas out there. How about business cards that double as coasters? Cards with valuable instructions on them? Any ideas out there? Do you have a multipurpose business card?

The Power of Twitter

posted April 5, 2009

Posted by Mariko Fujinaka in technology

Many businesses are turning toward social networking websites such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter to increase visibility. I think it’s a great way to provide a public “face” and to open the doors to interactive communication. Our business, Thomas Riggs & Company, operates in a virtual office, and we are scattered across the globe. Since we all live in different cities, it’s good for us to find ways to feel more connected with others. Services such as Twitter will not only help us form a community but also introduce our company to the online world.

So we’re planning to use Twitter to make announcements about upcoming books and events and to get to know our Twitter friends better. It should be a lot of fun, so please join in and follow us at