"The world of digital publishing start-ups brings to mind blogging in its nascent stages. The guiding principle seems to be: if anyone can scribble on the Internet’s wall, anyone can become an author, and any text can become a book. Online, a book’s form warps into something more malleable, and fired-up digital publishers are trying to figure out how to turn that into a business—even if it means a proliferation of books that might as well have been blog posts.
'A book is a startup,' declared Peter Armstrong in a speech about his serialized book company, Leanpub. 'I said it in 2010, and I’ll say it again.' Armstrong had on Steve Jobs couture—a long-sleeved black shirt and blue jeans—as he addressed a packed audience in New York at the Tools of Change conference, three days of workshops about the future of books, specialized breakout sessions, and an e-reading exhibition called the 'Digital Petting Zoo.' […]
Armstrong suggests that a book and a start-up are each 'a risky, highly creative endeavor undertaken by a small team, with low probability of success.' In either case, he says, you can go into 'stealth mode'—which, he contends, will easily result in creating something that nobody wants. 'To say you’re going to go off in a room and write the perfect thing without getting feedback from anybody is—I don’t want to say "arrogant"—but I couldn’t do it.' Editors, he adds, 'function as a good proxy for readers'—but are not as effective as readers themselves.'"
— Betsy Morais, The New Yorker