Getting to Know What Readers Go After

shutterstock_231569926While “understanding searchers’ intentions and aligning marketing content with their queries” is fairly common outside the book world, according to marketing expert Peter McCarthy, it’s not yet a major part of publishers’ search engine optimization (SEO) practices.

But identifying readers’ interests is in some ways easier than many might believe.

That research starts with a simple Google search—the same way customers themselves search for books similar to the ones they already like.

As authors and publishers build out their own websites, a landing page that’s optimized based on common searches can help drive discovery and grow audiences beyond the readers who already know what they’re looking for.

Much more.

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High Marks for Amazon’s Purdue Location (Purdue Exponent)
Amazon’s new order delivery center at Purdue University is reportedly helping students save about 30% on their textbook purchases. The university is planning to open a second Amazon-run location on campus this summer.

Amazon and Alibaba’s Odd China Partnership (Forbes)
Amazon opened an online store for Chinese shoppers through the Alibaba-owned T-Mall last week. One Amazon watcher sees that as the “bricks and mortar retailing equivalent of Target announcing they will be opening stores within stores inside Wal-Mart.”

Investors Optimistic for Barnes & Noble (Forbes)
The bookseller will report its third quarter results tomorrow, and expectations on Wall Street are reportedly favorable; many analysts anticipate profits rise $0.86 from the same period last year, to hit $1.19 a share. Barnes & Noble recently announced it will spin off its college books division as an independent education company later this year.

Publishing Start-up Tries Crowdfunding… (iDigitalTimes)
Inkshares aims to get in on the growing field of start-ups enlisting readers’ enthusiasm, wallets or both in order to publish content for which there’s a built-in readership as soon as a title comes out.
Related: More Crowdsourcing Coming

…Wait, Make That Two (TechCrunch)
Publishizer’s version of the crowdfunding approach to ebooks aims to bridge the gap between indie authors and publishers by helping the latter find promising titles to scoop up.

Low Prices Help Ebook Imprint Hit Milestone (PW)
William Morrow’s digital-first mystery imprint Witness Impulse has seen U.S. sales surpass 1 million units since launching in April 2013, a milestone the publisher partly attributes to its ebooks’ competitively low prices.

Amazon Brings Mobile Games to iOS (The Verge)
Since buying Twitch, the live-streaming video platform for gamers last year, Amazon has bulked up on its games offering, several titles of which it now plans to make available on Apple devices.

Beijing Subway Offers Commuters Free Ebooks (Fast.Co)
A new collaboration between the National Library of China and Beijing’s transit authorities bring a catalog of 70,000 free ebooks to passengers who scan QR codes available inside subway cars.

Women Writers Finding Wider Opportunities in Self-Publishing (Guardian)
A recent study finds works by female authors accounting for more than two-thirds of the top-ranking titles on several leading self-publishing platforms. Two caveats, though: the study doesn’t include Kindle titles; and while women’s success in the indie world is surely something to applaud in its own right, it’s likely the case that many head there after being turned away by traditional publishers, where the researchers say male authors still tend to have disproportionate advantages.
Related: A Demographic Snapshot of the Author Landscape


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