OBS News

Trade Duty: Publishing What Ought to be Read

Many decision points contribute to a trade editor’s GO/NO GO final opinion. A bestseller will generate revenue to keep the doors open and the firm able to further its mission. A mid-list winner fills an ongoing content need and will keep selling and selling, slow and steady. In these POD days, when the words “out

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

Cyberspace Radio Talk from 1996

“The Connection” NPR Host Christopher Lydon, MIT Media Lab Music Professor Tod Machover, and Laura Fillmore, President of the Online BookStore (OBS) explore the future of arts on the net in this radio show — Karaoke books, interactive opera, hyper books and instruments. We began to travel down thought trails leading into the new frontier, a

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,

Freedom of the Press: The Front Line

OBS applauds Macmillan Publishers for actively defending our First Amendment rights in publishing Michael Woolf’s controversial book “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.” Rather than bowing to White House demands that Macmillan cease and desist from publishing the book, which offers insights into the current administration’s White House, Macmillan subsidiary Henry Holt and Co. pushed

John Ashbery: In Memoriam

Poet John Ashbery died this past Sunday, stilling a genius voice whose insight and humor truly broke through to the other side. My husband introduced me to him in the 1970s. We read Houseboat Days aloud and laughed together at “The Serious Doll.”  We were delighted when Ashbery accepted our invitation to come and give

Free Speech Matters

During these challenging times, some may find it tempting to try and purge the online environment of propaganda and hate speech — but we must not succumb to the siren song of censorship, whose blade, given time, cuts equally right, left, or center. Danger signs manifest themselves today — some gatekeepers of our internet infrastructure