Don’t Optimize Alone

book publishers web optimization SEO ebooks BiztegraOver a year ago, Jellybooks founder Andrew Rhomberg took the stage at Digital Book World 2014 to make the case for publishers partnering with start-ups and other service providers.

Nodding to the ratio between resources and ambitions, Rhomberg urged two things on publishers: “Don’t try to do everything in-house” and “Try a lot but spend a little.”

Both of those probably ring true for publishers doubling down on their websites, either for full-service direct-to-consumer ventures or just to increase the discoverability of their titles.

And in this case, help comes free.

Biztegra co-founder Murray Izenwasser offers to help optimize one publisher’s website–in exchange for the right to show others how it’s done.


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Kindle Unlimited Borrows Fall (Pub Lunch)
Authors who distribute their titles through the subscription platform received earned slightly more on average in February than they did the month before: $1.46 compared with January’s $1.38. That’s despite Amazon reducing the pool from which authors are paid (the first time it’s done so) by about $500,000–which means the total number of borrows dipped last month.

Literary Hub Aims to Avoid Fate of Bookish (WashPost)
Publishing veteran Morgan Entrekin, whose new site Literary Hub will launch next month, plans to succeed in doing what the publishers who spearheaded Bookish couldn’t. Rather than covering the full panoply of reading content, Literary Hub will focus exclusively on “literary” writing. The site won’t sell books or publish reviews but will offer samples from publishers in exchange for ad space.

Do Ebooks Doom ‘Serious’ Fiction? (Telegraph)
By some accounts, the success of ebooks in genre fiction is incentivizing publishers to look for hits in those quarters to the detriment of more “literary” works. But in another view, the one phenomenon hardly impacts the other, and a likelier culprit is the shrinking shelf space that digital discovery and discoverability methods haven’t quite made up for.
Related: New Ebook Discovery Methods Differ by Means

Google to Enforce Standards on Apps (Ink, Bits & Pixels)
The new review panel the Google Play store is instituting will help weed out sub-par apps before they go live. The experts tasked with the undertaking will also assign age-levels to Google Play apps. So far that same process isn’t planned to cover ebooks.

Two Chinese Ebook Heavyweights to Merge (SCMP)
In a deal announced yesterday, the Chinese ebook retailer Tencent Literature will merge operations with the online literature platform Shanda Cloudary. The combined company, called Yuewen Group, has plans to develop its own e-reading devices and leverage than 800 million users of parent company Tencent’s mobile and web services.

Tech Companies Set Sights on Satellites (Business Insider)
Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple are all reportedly in talks with telecommunications companies to improve their global reach by investing in satellite infrastructure.

Rakuten Adds Sales Tracking Tool in Japan (Ink, Bits & Pixels)
Kobo’s Japanese parent company rolls out a sales dashboard allowing publishers to monitor the performance of their titles in the retailer’s stores. The tool is still under development but shows Rakuten investing in helping publishing partners adjust their business strategies to Japan’s evolving book market.

Paula Hawkins Novel Is No. 1 for Seventh Week (DBW)
The Girl on the Train extends its run at the top of the Digital Book World Ebook Best-Seller List despite competition from other hit titles buoyed up by media tie-ins. The average price of a best-seller rises.


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