“Metadata is a term publishers love or hate but can’t avoid,” writes digital content technology expert David Wilcockson. While crafting rich, descriptive metadata can be a challenge, it’s a critical tool for driving discovery.
But it can also be much more than that.
“When publishers ask themselves what technical metadata essentials” with which to distribute their titles, Wilcockson explains, “the question they’re really asking is how they want to sell them.”
As metadata becomes more precise and sophisticated, publishers are gaining ever more potentially lucrative opportunities to experiment, including selling ‘chunks’ of content independently of the ebooks in which they originate.
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Publishers See Success with Serialization (News.com.au)
An Australian publisher tests a model that allows readers to buy ebooks in low-priced installments, released incrementally over several weeks until the full title is available all at once, finding the approach is popular among readers.
Rethinking Mobile E-Commerce for Publishers (IPA)
All Brain founder Marcello Vena sees the rise in smartphone penetration worldwide reshaping the e-commerce landscape for digital publishers. Vena recently discussed some of these changes with mobile expert Thad McIlroy as they relate to Android and Apple operating systems. Here, he offers a broader forecast of the device market and explains what he sees as the “myth” of the long tail in trade ebooks.
Related: Mobile Strategies for Ebook Publishers
Barnes & Noble Split Reflects Shifting College Market (MarketWatch)
In one view, Barnes & Noble’s decision to spin off its college division last week is at least as much a response to straitened conditions for textbook publishers and campus retailers as it is a product of Nook’s potentially diminishing prospects of finding a buyer.
Baker & Taylor Sharpens Focus (PW)
After selling off two of its businesses, the distributor doubles down on its traditional customer bases, public and K-12 school libraries. Baker & Taylor says it sees the potential for growth in those areas as substantial enough to warrant putting more of its resources toward them.
Tolino Grows in German Ebook Market (Pub Perspectives)
The slowdown in ebooks seen in the U.S. and UK is being mirrored in Germany, where they account for less than a tenth of the book market. But Tolino, the digital publisher and retailer consortium, is growing steadily, with about 15-20% of Germany’s ebook market—albeit still far behind Amazon.
Pearson Rounds Corner on Restructuring (Pub Lunch)
Pearson says sales for the year are down 4%, but CEO John Fallon says in a statement that the company has completed an “intense two year restructuring and reinvestment programme and performed well competitively despite some challenging market conditions.”
Hybrid Author Weighs Publishing Choices (Smashwords)
Author Jamie McGuire has published her work independently as well as with a traditional publisher. After finding success both ways, she returned to self-publishing for her newest title. Why? “The deciding factor,” McGuire says, “was realizing that I had signed foreign book deals for five to seven years on average, and my domestic deals were indefinite.”
Related: Publishers, What Are Your Authors Worth? | Authors’ Business Decisions by the Numbers
Amazon Rival Revs up (Mashable)
Jet, the e-commerce start-up founded by Amazon veteran Marc Lore, says it’s seen 352,000 advance users sign up for its “Insiders” program before launching publicly. It’s probably too early to tell how, or even whether, those figures bode for the company’s future at this point, though.
More Prime Growth Divination (Business Insider)
If sizing up Amazon Prime and forecasting its growth has become something of a cottage industry, its practitioners could be forgiven on the basis that it’s such a wildly popular service on which many of Amazon’s fortunes rest. The latest researchers to weigh in say that at this rate, half of Americans will be Prime subscribers by 2020.