The Future of Publishing, According to Richard Nash

Today in my Interactive Media class, we had guest speaker Richard Nash. Nash, former publisher at Soft Skull, is now launching a start-up company, Cursor, which is a social approach to publishing.

Anyway, he was a very interesting speaker, so I’d like to share some of his thoughtful quotes.

“Of all the media, games and books have the most in common with one another because of the time spent engaging in them”

“The revolution currently transforming publishing is really desktop publishing”

“We’re really in the middle of a 2.0 revolution that has it’s 3.0 revolution yet to come”

“Not only can social media be used to sell books, but books can naturally be plugged into social media”

“There’s not one original thing that I’m suggesting. But the reality is no one is doing it (systematically)”

“What we want to own are the readers, but only if the readers are willing to be owned, because we’re giving them a sense of belongingness, challenging them in interesting ways”

“We’re not in a transition from one state of the industry to another state of the industry that is stable. Effectively the media business is shifting to a state of permanent self re-invention.”

“We [the publishing industry] are not going to find an answer, and that will be the answer for the next 15-20 years.”

Regarding the sort of post-partum depression writers feel after being published: “Being published is not the thing. Being read and loved and understood and engaged with was the real thing. Having your book published by a big publisher was a means to an end only.”

And lastly, my favorite, because I am a writer and so far all I’ve heard is about how lonely a professional writing life is: “Writers aren’t particularly asocial. And there is nothing in history that suggests writers could have been asocial.”


2 Replies to “The Future of Publishing, According to Richard Nash”

  1. I am so happy to read this. This is the kind of manual that needs to be given and not the random misinformation that is at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this best doc.

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