E-commerce

The Phone, Mightier than the Sword

As things speed up to such an extent that there remains no time any more to muse, ponder, discuss, cogitate, and write things down, the old adage that the pen is mightier than the sword appears to be morphing into “the phone is mightier than the sword.” Witness the recent rise of live streaming as

Foreign Rights: “Sub” Rights No More

Back in the Paleolithic Age of Paper, information moved slowly. Slow like the Glyptodon. Books took nine months to gestate from manuscript to print. For content to reach readers beyond the market of origin, the Sub Rights Director at Publisher #1 (the primary publisher) would sell foreign rights (one of multiple “sub” rights, including serial rights, TV

Blockchain in Publishing: The Simultaneity of Becoming

When a publication gets empowered by blockchain technology, one can truly say that a reader never steps into the same book twice. Blockchain enables internet-published content to emulate life itself — both the perceived (the content), and the perceivers (publishers and readers) — in a recorded environment that captures and publishes a constant state of content

Bezos Started Amazon Based on Math Error

Before Amazon, there was the Online BookStore (OBS), now Open Book Systems (OBS). We maintained a list of all the publishers who had online presences; it took up about half a computer screen in 1994. Before starting the Online BookStore, our company packaged books for publishers, one of which was John Quarterman’s The Matrix (Digital Press,

What’s Old is New: Excerpts from Meme Machinery 101

Meme Machinery 101: The Evolution of a University Press Marketplace” by Laura Fillmore President, Open Book Systems (OBS) Presented to AAUP Annual Meeting at Snowbird May 24, 1996 Excerpted from http://archives.obs-us.com/obs/english/papers/mememach.htm Copyright © 1996 by Laura Fillmore; written permission required to reprint. Coming back to the Wasatch mountains at Snowbird is a welcome pilgrimage for

Agile Hands in the Machine

As we trek along in the Human Machine Interface (HMI) – driving, texting, reading, recording – we inform our electronic environment, enabling it to grow smarter as it records our thought paths and virtual lives. We allow this thinking machine to sort, separate, sequence, map, aggregate, and otherwise contextualize our digital footprints with billions of others’

“Online Publishing: Threat or Menace?” Redux

OBS founder and president Laura Fillmore recently revisited and updated this article she wrote over 20 years ago for The Journal of Electronic Publishing, and she would like to thank Editor Maria Bonn at the University of Illinois for the invitation to do so. The internet has introduced so many radical changes in our publishing

All Eyes on London in April

Looking forward to the London Book Fair in two weeks, and especially the Research and Scholarly Forum. In our 30+ years of e-publishing experience, it seems like the real innovations come out of the STM space. That may be because scientists seek to discover or uncover the truth as they publish. Scientists tend to stretch

Followup: Used Digital Marketplace 1, Publishers 0

Tom Kabinet, the controversial online marketplace for used ebooks, has won the first (albeit small) battle in what promises to be a long war regarding the resale of digital files. Tom Kabinet received its first legal notice from the Dutch Trade Publishers Association just 8 days after the site went live; now, only one month