Discoverability Online: Helping Readers Find Your Titles (Roundtable 4/7/11)

Print Friendly

The DBW Roundtable is a live, interactive webcast featuring some of the most outspoken industry professionals gathering to discuss and debate the hottest publishing issues of the moment.

In this recurring bi-weekly 1-hour WEBcast, the Roundtable offers insight into the greater book publishing ecosystem with actionable case studies from practitioners in publishing.

Among the questions we examined:

With shrinking shelf area and the continued rise of online bookselling, both print and in e, how do publishers ensure that readers find their books? Is there a legitimate replacement for lost co-op in bookstores? In the ebook space, how can publishers address recent trends that show greater concentration in ebook sales around big bestsellers? What are the key pieces of metadata that every book must include to be discovered?

Register Now!



  • Matt Mullin, Community Relations Manager, Digital Book World

Join the Roundtable for provocative discussions that will set the tone for what promises to be another exciting year in the publishing industry!


This episode of The Roundtable was webcast live on Thursday, April 7th @ 1pm ET / 10am PT.


Do ebook consumers love bestsellers, or does it just look that way?

Mike Shatzkin, Idea Logical Company

In theory, the more books are sold online the more sales should move to the long tail. Online bookstores have the advantage of “unlimited shelf space”…But it doesn’t seem to be working out that way. While overall ebook sales in the US are still calculated in the 8-10% range of publishers’ revenues, so we’d reckon perhaps 10-12% of unit sales (ebooks generally, though not always, yield slightly less revenue per copy than print) or maybe even 15% for a publisher still drawing big print sales on books not available as or suitable for ebooks for whatever reason, we’re hearing frequent reports of big books selling 50% or more of their units as ebooks, particularly in the early weeks of their life. So it would appear that ebook sales are even more concentrated across a smaller title band than print.

As E-book Sales Explode, Consumption Patterns Change
Cyndy Aleo, Business Week

Readers tend toward a favorite author, category, personal recommendations, or flap text. Thirty percent of books are still discovered in the brick-and-mortar bookstore, but many are then purchased in e-book format. The discovery model for publishers on e-readers is shifting; people buy a narrower set of books, because they have no idea what’s out there. They need a new way to discover books, but brick-and-mortar stores are still the best advertising.

A Self-Publisher’s Guide to Metadata for Books
Carla King, MediaShift

Metadata used to be a wallflower, hiding out at the library with the Dewey Decimal system. Now it’s at every party, flitting about gathering and sorting books on mobile devices, e-readers, and websites. Metadata is a core component of digital information and news; so good book metadata is good book marketing. It’s an essential tool for all self-publishers.

Freemium Boosts e-Book Sales for F+W
Judith Rosen, Publishers Weekly

On January 27 F+W launched its first major freemium campaign across four e-book platforms: the Kindle, the Nook, Apple iBookstore, and Google. Within 24 hours, A Child al Confino had not only moved into the #1 position on Amazon’s free e-book bestseller list, but it stayed there for several days. “Traditionally in marketing, it peaks,” says Rados. “The fact that it held the position is exciting and encouraging.”

Best Practices For Amazon Ebook Sales
Carolyn McCray, Digital Book World

Rather than thinking of it as a webpage, I recommend that you think of your book’s page as a ¼ page ad in a glossy magazine. You want to build excitement, hype, and the urge to buy rather than dutifully explaining your product.

Related Posts:

One thought on “Discoverability Online: Helping Readers Find Your Titles (Roundtable 4/7/11)

  1. Pingback: The Self Publishing Compendium | Syd Gill

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>