How Authors Should Use Facebook

“Whether indie or traditionally published, most authors today can agree on one thing,” Teymour Shahabi writes in a blog post for DBW: “social media has helped redefine the way books are promoted and discovered.”

But with a multitude of platforms and a maze of conflicting advice available online, what are the best social media practices for a fledgling author to take up?

What’s more, how should one even get started?

“In my experience,” Shahabi writes, “Facebook is not only the most obvious place to start, but also the best, as it lets you find and expand your audience, while allowing your readers to discover the complete person behind your published words.”

Much more.

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European Publishers Lobby Against Google (New York Times)
In private sessions this summer, giant publishers and media companies from Germany, France and elsewhere have met with European officials about proposals to regulate Europe’s digital economy. The discussions have covered a broad range of contentious issues. Central to almost all of them, though, has been limiting the reach of a single American company: Google.

Simon & Schuster Experiments with Kindle Unlimited (PubLunch)
Agency contracts have prevented Amazon from pulling books from the big five publishers into its Kindle Unlimited (KU) program, but, according to Publishers Lunch, “earlier in August, Simon & Schuster initiated the first known ‘big five’ KU experiment, albeit a very modest one,” adding two books to the program.

A Look at Ebooks in Schools (PW)
Publishers Weekly takes a deep dive into today’s education ebook market in America. Almost two-thirds of schools across the country currently offer ebooks, according to the 2014 School Library Journal “Survey of E-book Usage in Schools,” and “the portion of children who have read at least one e-book has increased steadily over the past five years, according to Scholastic’s 2015 ‘Kids and Family Reading Report.’”

Why Amazon’s Fire Phone Was a Flop (Wired)
With Amazon’s Fire phone being effectively shut down and earning the title of the company’s “most high-profile hardware flop,” Wired discusses why the phone was such a failure: “Simply put, Amazon produces hardware that’s designed to help Amazon sell things, often at the detriment of the overall user experience. And while all devices are ultimately a means to an end, the question is: whose?”

Findaway, TuneIn Partner for Audiobook Subscription Service (PW)
Digital content provider Findaway has signed on as the provider of audiobooks for the new subscription service of TuneIn, an app that streams radio stations and on-demand content. TuneIn Premium will give subscribers access to unlimited content, including more than 40,000 audiobooks powered by Findaway from publishers including Penguin Random House Audio, HarperCollins Publishers and Hachette Audio. TuneIn Premium is available in the U.S., Canada and the UK.

The Digital Market for Illustrated Books (Publishing Perspectives)
Digital illustrated books comprise less than five percent of business for most publishers. In general, publishers are currently investing fewer resources to the illustrated lifestyle categories, and at least some say that they’re possibly not as concerned with the design integrity of their ebooks.

Worldwide Smartphone Growth Expected to Slow (IDC)
According to a new mobile phone forecast from the International Data Corporation (IDC), smartphone shipments are expected to grow 10.4 percent in 2015 to 1.44 billion units. This is lower than IDC’s previous smartphone forecast of 11.3 percent year-over-year growth in 2015. IDC expects to see a noticeable slowdown in smartphone shipments in 2015 as China joins North America and Western Europe in a more mature growth pattern.

This Game Wants You to Judge a Book by Its Cover (Gizmodo)
A new site called encourages users to rate a book based purely on its cover. According to Gizmodo, “the site displays a book cover, which you then rate on a scale topping out at 5 stars. The twist is that after submitting your judgement, Judgey grabs the average Goodreads score and compares the two ratings. If you’ve not read the book—or you have an opinion that doesn’t align with the average—your score will likely be far off from Goodreads. If you have read it—or you’re just a good guesser—your rating might align better and the end note will be a little less snotty.”


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