Social Publishing

You’ll hear more about social pub­lish­ing from me in the future, but this is too fresh to hes­it­ate show­ing you. Richard Eoin Nash, former pub­lish­er of Soft Skull press, has been try­ing to rally interest for a social pub­lish­ing start-up called Curs­or.

In this inter­view, he defines “social pub­lish­ing”:

1) Define “social pub­lish­ing” in terms the aver­age book read­er would under­stand; no buzzwords, no “organic gurgle of cul­ture”. What is it, and what’s in it for the read­er?

For the read­er-as-read­er, what “social” means is that there’s going to be more inform­a­tion about books, more scope to inter­act with the books (your own com­ment­ing & annot­at­ing and read­ing oth­er­s’), more scope to inter­act with the author, more scope to inter­act with one anoth­er. (This lat­ter item, to get semi-techy for a sec, is some­thing that the broad hori­zont­al book social networks—Goodreads, Lib­ra­r­yThing, Shelfari—do well, though, so we’re likely to focus on using their APIs rather than ask­ing people to build their own book­shelves anew.)

“Social” is tak­ing the book and mak­ing it much easi­er to have a con­ver­sa­tion with the book and its writer, and have con­ver­sa­tions around the book and its writer.

Again, more on this later.