Publishers Navigate The 'Open Road' Of E-Books

When the popular World War II novel From Here to Eternity was first released in 1951, the subject of homosexuality in the military was taboo. The new version of the book, which comes out Tuesday, restores passages that were censored in the '50s. And it's being released neither in hardcover nor in paperback, but as an e-book by Open Road Media — a company that is banking its future on digital publishing.

Open Road Media was co-founded by Jane Friedman, who had a long and illustrious career in what is now commonly referred to as the "traditional" publishing industry. Once the CEO of Harper Collins, one of the "big six" publishing companies, Friedman says she never looks back.

"I am very happy not to be sitting as the CEO of Harper Collins," she says, "because as the CEO of a legacy publishing company, you are the CEO of basically two companies: one is physical and one is digital."

And that, says Open Road vice president Brendan Cahill, means that even as you need to compete digitally, you are burdened by the costs associated with an old way of doing business. "You have to have major warehouses, you have to have a fleet of salespeople, you have to have — if you are a big six publisher — a midtown Manhattan office building that has a lot of overheads that are involved." CLICK HERE to Read and Listen to the Full Story

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