What’s New

Is that a Memex in your Pocket?

These days, with the ubiquity of mobile devices, it seems like we are living inside a kind of Memex. First envisioned by technology pioneer Vannevar Bush after World War II, a Memex is “a device in which an individual stores all his books, records, and communications and which is mechanized so that it may be

Corporate Content Grab: The Elsevier Edition

Just weeks after Amazon’s highly controversial acquisition of GoodReads, major scientific publisher Elsevier has pulled a similar content grab by purchasing Mendeley, a cloud-based social media platform featuring open source content provided by academics. A detailed summary of the argument against Elsevier’s recent acquisition can be found at The Cost of Knowledge, but essentially, academics

Foreign Rights Not Foreign Anymore

And the walls come tumbling down! As reported this week in Publishers Weekly, the Supreme Court handed copyright holders and publishers a global market haircut by limiting control over intellectual property to the first sale only. Turns out, an entrepreneurial student CAN import cheap textbooks from overseas and undercut the publisher’s sales of that same

‘Breakout Books’ Category in Apple iBookstore Shines the Spotlight on Independents

Earlier this month the Apple iBookstore launched Breakout Books, a new category of the online store which features self- and independently-published books. Although the iBookstore has always accepted self-published titles, Breakout Books highlights the increasing market share of the independent author and gives added support in terms of marketing and promotion. To give an idea of

Canary in the Coal Mine?

Faced with Amazonian Losses, Indie Publisher Sells Books out of Car Trunk An independent small publisher called recently, seeking to maintain control of, and expand market reach for his successful books on organic farming. His leading title, in its 9th edition, has sold over 18,000 copies. He wants to control business model, pricing, content, and

Steven Tyler Act: A Nettle in the Nest of our Recorded Lives?

Now that every client has become a server, every reader a potential publisher, and everyday people like tuna fishermen have become reality TV stars, it’s reassuring to see some privacy pushback. Not everyone wants to be a superstar 24X7. Recently, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler convinced the Hawaiian legislature to pass a law protecting celebrities from paparazzi in Hawaii:

Status Matters: After 30+ Years as a Woman-Owned Business, OBS Is Now Certified as a Woman-Owned Business

Back in 1996, the Weld-Cellucci Administration in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts signed Executive Order 390 – The Affirmative Market Program in Public Contracting. The idea behind this order was to ensure a commitment to incorporate minority and woman-owned businesses into the public sector marketplace. Now, over 15 years later, OBS is proud to announce our

University Presses To Go Open Access?

Last week we attended the MLA annual convention in Boston and ran into some industry friends from the “old” days of e-publishing, primarily from the university press community. Most reported a steady erosion of paper sales at their various institutions, particularly among the niche of scholarly monographs, which used to be a steady mainstay and reliable source