In the second installment of his new column, The Optimized Publisher, Murray Izenwasser discusses an important SEO issue for publishers: the disconnect between the number of pages crawled by Google for a website (and displayed in the SERPs) and the number of pages indexed (or the total number of site pages for that specific website).
“The ratio for crawl vs. index should always be as close to 1:1 as possible,” Izenwasser explains. “The better the ratio, the better the search ranking. The worse the ratio becomes, the more chances there are of duplicate pages and, well, the more room for improvement there will be.”
Of the 12 publishers involved in the study, only two received a grade of C, and only one received B—a clear sign that publishers have much work to do in this area.
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5 Things We Learned from Oyster’s Demise (Joe Wikert)
In the aftermath of Oyster’s plans to “sunset” its service, Joe Wikert discusses the fallout. “I’ve been an Oyster subscriber since early 2014 and have been quite pleased with the service,” Wikert writes. “As both an Oyster customer and a member of the publishing industry community, I offer these five lessons from the Oyster experience.”
Is This the Triumph of Print? (Porter Anderson)
Porter Anderson discusses several analyses of the current ebook market. “This story is no surprise, it’s been a long time coming,” Anderson writes of Oyster. “I just hope publishers don’t short-sightedly see this as an easy ‘told you so’ moment, simply because one service—with some fundamental issues—has closed. It’s time for the publishers to look at this as a lesson learned and then make educated decisions on who to back from now on to grow their business. It’s not the time to regress.”
Margaret Atwood, Digital Deep-Diver (New York Times)
Like a mad scientist from one of her futuristic novels, Margaret Atwood is an avid tinkerer who seems willing to experiment with almost any digital technology. She has posted her writing on the free fiction site Wattpad, including some poetry and a zombie novel that she co-wrote. She has published fiction on Twitter, where she has more than 885,000 followers. And her new book, The Heart Goes Last, grew out of her obsession with new forms of digital narrative. The project began three years ago as an online serial for the ebook publisher Byliner, and morphed into a novel.
A Manifesto for Authors’ Marketplace Success (Futurebook)
In this new era of publishing, a writer, arguably, has more chance of becoming a successful author than at any other time in the last fifty years. That is why, in early 2015, it was disappointing to hear reports of authors becoming disillusioned and turning their backs on their writing careers. From 2010 to 2013, independent authors enjoyed a boom time as millions of readers migrated to ebooks, driving unprecedented growth in digital publishing. Many people have referred to this period as a gold rush. Then came 2014.
Why Are Book Blurbs Still Around? (NPR)
Whatever the old adage might warn, there is a bit of merit to judging a book by its cover—if only in one respect. Consider the blurb, one of the most pervasive, longest-running—and, at times, controversial—tools in the publishing industry. For such a curious word, the term “blurb” has amassed a number of meanings in the decades since it worked its way into our vocabulary, but lately it has referred to just one thing: a bylined endorsement from a fellow writer—or celebrity—that sings the praises of a book’s author right on the cover of their book.
Pronoun Launches Free Ebook Distribution Service (Pub Lunch)
The relaunch of a pivoted Vook/Booklr/Byliner under the new name Pronoun.com that was announced in May is now live, at least for “early access” authors. The company’s author terms are posted; they require exclusive distribution to Amazon, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Google Play as a group while authors work with them, but promise to pay through all receipts, with no conversion, posting or distribution fees—plus one free ISBN.
The Great Unbundling of Marketing Is Here (VentureBeat)
Marketing has a problem nowadays: it’s too confusing. Too many technology solutions for too many acquisition channels generating too many data points, with every one of them changing faster than ever, and by the time you learn what’s new, the rules have changed again. It’s just too many moving parts, yet marketing is more important than it’s ever been.
Harlequin Launches Wine Label, Sells on Amazon (Publishing Perspectives)
Harlequin, one of the leading publishers of romance novels, has announced the launch of Vintages by Harlequin, a new line of three wine varietals, using vintage Harlequin branding. The three varietals are a chardonnay, a cabernet sauvignon and “a juicy and complex red wine blend.” The wines are available exclusively at Amazon for U.S. customers only.