“Subcompact Publishing” — Go Read It

“The publishing ecosystem is now primed for complete disruption.”

That’s the most important sentence in “Subcompact Publishing” by Craig Mod, but I urge you to read the entire article if you are at all interested in publishing and its future.

I’ve been a subscriber to Marco Arment’s The Magazine since it first dropped a month or so ago. And while not every article has been to my tastes, it’s still worth the subscription fee. Hell, just being able to watch the still-gestating future of publishing live is worth it.

Mod’s piece does an excellent job of distilling lessons and warnings about the future of publishing into a single (long, I admit) article. Some of what he says has been bandied about for years, but now we have an actual, living example of what digital can be — beyond simply “Take that stuff on paper and make it pixels. And animate something, while you’re at it.”

I would love to execute an Arment-like structure for fiction. Something you download once as a “container” type of app, then subscribe to get chapters of a novel or a series of short stories. I would do that in a heartbeat. Sadly, I lack programming skills. (If any iOS developers out there would like to jump in on this, let me know!)

If you have an iPhone, an iPad, or an iPod touch, I urge you to download The Magazine (iTunes link). You get a free trial, so there’s no risk. If you work in publishing, I’m begging you to download it. Try it out. Is it perfect? Oh, hells, no! But it’s an important evolutionary punctuation mark, a huge step in a new and — I believe — correct direction.

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