Monographer reaches 100: blogging on publishing, the creative economy, and micro-enterprise

By Anthony Haynes

February 23, 2012


Category: reviews


So this is the 100th post. An opportunity to look back and review what has transpired since the first post way back on in July 2010. And to look ahead.

First, a few bare facts. The blog has stuck pretty much to its intended areas of focus, namely (1) publishing, (2) the creative economy, and (3) micro-enterprise.

The posts on publishing have, for the most part, comprised (a) theoretical posts, (b) descriptive posts – especially the (continuing) ‘What does a publisher do?’ series, and (c) reviews of books and online resources on publishing. Those on the creative economy have focused on creative heroes and models, creative clusters (especially Greater Cambridge), and design. An those on micro-enterprise have included posts on entrepreneurship and sustainability.

Generally the most popular parts of the blog have been:

Theoretical posts – for example, those on ‘disintermediation vs unbundling‘ and ‘unbundling and convergence‘ have tended to prove more popular than descriptive ones. 

The blog is probably less ‘frontlist’-driven (i.e. weighted towards recent posts) than many. I occasionally post on topical events – a Bloomsbury acquisition, for example, or the publication of the Portas report – but most posts are less time-specific. It seems that ‘backlist’ posts play a publisher education role.


Whither? I have three aims for the blog – roughly, one short-term, one medium-, and one long-term. The short-term aim is to develop and complete the ‘What does a publisher do?’ series. The posts still to come concern in the main two groups of stakeholders – suppliers and customers – and concern such activities as commissioning, procurement, marketing, sales, and distribution. They will focus more specifically on the book industry than the early posts in the series have done.

The medium-term aim is to focus more explicitly on the development of our own publishing programme, fulfilling the intention (announced in this blog’s initial post) of  ‘constructing a story – perhaps a little the way Michael Barnard did in Transparent Imprint, which tells the story of Macmillan’s New Writing imprint’.

And the long-term aim is to convey more forcefully the benefit of placing publishing within the context of the creative economy in general and of exploring parallels with other creative industries, notably design. Somehow I don’t think Monographer’s Blog has really brought that home yet.


What, though, would you suggest? What should be the aims of the next 100 posts?


5 Responses to “Monographer reaches 100: blogging on publishing, the creative economy, and micro-enterprise”

  1. Happy 100th postday! Possible themes for the next 100 (which you are probably going to cover anyway) include quality versus price as a marketing position, paid-for content and the ‘free content’ paradigm, readings/analyses of the decisions of bigger publishers, strategy in relation to technological change, theories of publishing – that kind of thing. Here’s looking forward to the double century …

    • Thank you. I fear I’m not competent to fulfil all of those. Not sure I’m best placed to do the analyses of large publishers. But am sure I’ll revisit questions of pricing and free (or ‘free’) content – thank you for the nudge!

  2. Yes, happy 100th post! And I loved reading the word whither : )

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