What’s New

Protean Press

In September 2008, the OBS Protean Press imprint will release a new book, Joseph E. Garland’s Unknown Soldiers: Reliving World War II in Europe. Founded in 1990, Protean Press manifests OBS’s agile spirit and draws on our many years of publishing experience. The imprint brings trade fiction and nonfiction works — in paper and online —

One Man Still Stands

The following paper by Laura Fillmore was accepted for publication by Common Ground in March 2008 (she serves on their Board, and has presented at their Book Publishing Conference). The Chinese man stands alone in the road, apparently stopping a parade of approaching tanks. This photograph from Tiananmen Square’s spring of 1989, taken by AP photographer Jeff Widener,

“Gray Publishing” Disappears as Barriers to Entry Fall

A clear boundary used to exist between publishing houses and everyone else–government agencies, not-for-profits, schools, corporations, and membership organizations. These “gray publishers” produce books, booklets, pamphlets, three-ring binders of conference proceedings and the like, usually given away and not for sale in bookstores. Books published by traditional publishers like Simon & Schuster and Random House

“If I saw it in Wikipedia, it must be true!”

Illustrating the M. C. Escher–like nature of information authentication on the Net, here’s an e-mail we received from one of our authors, Professor Gregory J. E. Rawlins, whose latest book on technology is in progress and online: so i’m doing (yet another) rewrite of the book and i’m in the second chapter, part of which is on slavery.

Editorial Integrity and the Sponsorship Model

Some online publishers searching for alternative business models to the traditional one, where the readers pay for content, arrive at the sponsorship and advertising models, where private interests pay the publisher to make content available for free. This is in return for some benefit to the sponsor, which may involve a sponsor logo or pop-up

Kindle Value-Chain Change

Considering Amazon’s new “front door,” its e-reader Kindle, as a stocking stuffer, I think about the $400 price tag and ask “What is it?” and “Is it worth it?” and “Why does it matter?” In fact, it is not just another proprietary e-reader. And unlike the BlackBerry, it is not a handheld device trying to

Reading Dwindles as Kindle Kindles?

Just as Amazon is positioning its new $400 e-reader as a tempting stocking stuffer, news arrives about a drop in the U.S. literacy rate. The Boston Globe reports this morning that U.S. fourth graders are losing ground in literacy, for the first time lagging behind Russia, Hong Kong, and Singapore, according to an international study recently completed


This week’s Newsweek devoted its cover story to Kindle, a new product recently released from Amazon, a $400 e-reader to follow in the footsteps of similar devices such as Sony’s Reader Digital Book and the Rocketbook, promising clear readability thanks to sharp e-ink contrasts, interactive functionality similar to that found in the old Voyager Expanded Books, and,

The Value Question

A publisher recently sought out our advice about “the value question” of offshore production opportunities. He is being courted by a company offering online publishing services at significantly less than the going stateside rate. His local vendor has built up trust with his staff and familiarity with his publications; this value is easy to appreciate