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8 Bay Area Startups Disrupting the Worlds of Media and Publishing

Newspapers, magazines, books, radio, TV, and even web-based publishers have all suffered major setbacks in recent years, with massive layoffs in some sectors and stagnant growth, at best, in others.

Meanwhile, dozens of local startups are exploring creative ways to transform old media industries into data-driven mobile/social/local services that collectively represent the prospect of a much more diverse new media landscape in the years to come.

This post highlights eight of those disruptive companies, listed alphabetically, that we have been able to profile at 7x7.com during 2011. Half of them are focused in one way or another on challenging the traditional book publishing industry, as ebook sales continue to explode.

Smashwords CEO Talks Online Book Publishing, Present and Future

Smashwords: Ebooks from independent authors and publishers

Back in 2008, when Mark Coker launched Smashwords as a self-publishing platform for independent authors of ebooks, he knew that self-publishing  “was widely seen as the option as last resort for failed authors.”

That was then.

When I caught up with him by phone yesterday, Coker stated, “I think that self-publishing is actually becoming the option of first resort for authors now.”

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