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December 17, 2001

Further e-publishing dust bitten
Posted by Teresa at 12:00 PM *

When Scraps DeSelby phoned to tell me that two planes had flown into the WTC, I was in the middle of composing an elaborate weblog entry about the rise and collapse of the e-publishing speculative bubble. Maybe I’ll go back to it someday. In the meantime, the latest e-publisher to bite the dust is MightyWords Inc., a former subsidiary of Fatbrain.

I forget now whether it was a Fatbrain or MightyWords employee who wrote to me in the middle of the boom to say she’d been hired as an editor, and could I tell her what I know? (I never responded.) And Fatbrain did publish Gene Steinberg’s Attack of the Rockoids, a thoroughly bad book that provided rec.arts.sf.composition with many hours of fun.

On the other hand, MightyWords’ founder and CEO has been as refreshingly candid about the reasons for their failure as any e-publisher to date:

“There just weren’t enough sales,” company founder and chief executive Chris MacAskill said on Wednesday. “It’s taking a long time for the consumer to adapt.”
“I thought electronic publishing was going to be big,” Mr MacAskill said. “What a rude awakening I got.”
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