The Book Unbound

Disruption and Disintermediation in the Digital Age

An AHRC Digital Transformations

Research Development Project


Project Partners

University of Stirling

PI: Professor Claire Squires

Co-Is: Dr Paula Morris

& Dr Padmini Ray Murray

Project Assistants: Helen Lewis-McPhee,

Louisa Preston & Aileen-Elizabeth Taylor

External Partners

Scott Russell Publishing Services

Electric Bookshop

@stirpublishing @clairesquires @praymurray

The Book Unbound focused on how publishing is reacting to the advent of digital technologies , and on the constantly changing relationships in the book trade as it moves from print and paper to digital ink and screen.

Seismic shifts are resulting in emergent business models that challenge the prevailing hierarchies of cultural gatekeeping , as well as developing new modes of authorship , and reshaping perceptions of the book as cultural artifact .

The traditional publishing value chain traces the trajectory of intellectual property from author to reader, where publishing activities such as editorial, marketing and design are all performed by the publisher. Now, this process is being disrupted and disintermediated at every stage .

Traditional to Digital Communications Circuit

We explored the impact of the digital age on publishing through two modes of enquiry, both of which fed into a series of infographics depicting changing models of publishing:

Case studies of And Other Stories,

Blasted Heath, Canongate TV, Faber

Factory and Guardian Books, focusing on business models created in response to technological change.

Experimental enquiry via the research, development and making of a digital publication ( Borderlines ) for the iPad, using Adobe Digital

Publishing Suite.



Electric Bookshop showcase

Publishing Scotland conference 2013

The Bookseller

‘Forward Thinking: Indies

Tackle Digital Straight On’

Book 2.0

‘The Digital Publishing

Communications Circuit’

Borderlines the app

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