What follows is a (partial) transcript of the Publishing’s Next Edition panel at the Circus, moderated by Dan Costa, executive editor of PCMag.com, featuring Anil Dash of Six Apart, Eileen Gittins, founder of Blurb, and Rob Samuels, director of mobile product development for NYTimes.com.
EG: What is the audience for a 1000 page book? Should that go into print? Kindle? Why isn’t that book serialized?
AD: The barrier shouldn’t be whether someone who’s never heard of that topic decides if there’s a market for it. Being a creator can be enough to get someone to respond to it. If you’re willing to invest in something you probably have enough passion to make that a success.
DC: What is the technology that makes print-on-demand possible?
EG: FakeSteveJobs turned his blog into a book overnight. We have created “slurpers” that slurp content from blogs. Questions: Can we make money on each book and will I go to jail? (Copyright is complicated–Blurb doesn’t police content.)
DC: What advice would you give to my daughter who is about to graduate and is going into the media business?
EG: Marry well. (laughter) No longer is the day where you’ll walk into the NYTimes and work your way up? Build your brand. Everybody who works at Blurb is an entrepreneur because we’re not expecting lifetime servitude.
RS: Become acquainted with the current device trends. Find out how your experience is relevant to social networking. Learn about the technology that may be outside your comfort zone as an aspiring journalist.
AD: only the old people are worried about technology. the thing you have in spades in 22 is an irrational passion for things that seem like the most important thing in the world. find these things you’re that passionate about. give voice to them however you can. If you have this thing you love beyond all reason and you don’t expect to have any money and you’re willing to work cheap because you’re just starting out….you’ll be fine.