How Publishers Can Have Better Websites

825“When you compare the online traffic of a news website against that of a publisher’s website, who do you think gets the most visitors?” DBW blogger Rob Eagar asks.

“To almost no one’s surprise, it’s not even close: the news sites get much more traffic.”

Both groups, though, create massive amounts of content that people enjoy reading. So why is there such a large disparity between the two readerships?

“Put simply,” Eagar writes, “one group understands the power of content.”

Much more.


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Does Amazon Have a Cultural Monopoly? (New Yorker)
One writer analyzes the logic behind Authors United’s decision to ask the Department of Justice to investigate Amazon: “It is perhaps the writers’ lack of legal expertise that has given them the freedom to put forth what antitrust experts described to me as a highly unorthodox argument: that, even though Amazon’s activities tend to reduce book prices, which is considered good for consumers, they ultimately hurt consumers. The authors are, in essence, trying to make the case that Amazon is bad not only for writers, but also for people who buy stuff on the site—and they’re taking this approach for good reason.”

Balancing Traditional and Self-Publishing (Porter Anderson)
Porter Anderson looks at Germany’s self-publishing market, the third biggest in size and activity behind the US and UK, and discusses how self-publishing is becoming more accepted. “Writers are doing what works — at least giving themselves the option to experiment and to do what they think best,” Anderson writes. “Self-publishing is one way, not the only way. And it’s a route to publication, not a cause or a religion. Self-selling, after all, is the real challenge, not self-publishing.”

Bridging the Publisher-to-Reader Divide (Futurebook)
“Direct to consumer” is not about selling books through your website, Candide Kirk writes. “Rather, it is a philosophy that puts your consumer, the reader, first and foremost in each and every activity that the business undertakes.” In Kirk’s view, where the publishing industry goes next depends on publishers shifting their business away from B2B. “Whoever makes the most of the unparalleled direct access to the consumers that digital platforms provide will emerge as the next dominant player in this ever-changing ecosystem.”

The Need to Improve Content Sampling (Joe Wikert)
“The goal of the content sample is to acquire new customers, right?” Joe Wikert asks. “So why are publishers settling for sample content models that are outdated and largely ineffective?” Take ebooks, for instance: “What if you want to send your friend the great sample you just read? Even though publishers should fully embrace and encourage readers to pass samples around it’s next to impossible in today’s model.”

Why Self-Publish Now? (Times Higher Education)
One university lecturer describes why, after publishing five books through an academic press, he decided to self-publish his latest work. “The first and simplest answer is: because I want a lot of people to read it.”

Library of Congress Releases National Book Festival App (INFOdocket)
The National Book Festival takes place on September 5th, and both C-SPAN and PBS will provide live coverage on TV and online. Now, the Library of Congress has released an app that “contains the complete schedule of more than 175 author presentations, book-signings and dozens of special programs and activities.”

Kobo and ABA Partner to Encourage Local Ereading (DBW)
In a press release, Kobo announced that it has partnered with the American Booksellers Association (ABA) to launch the “eRead Local” program, designed to encourage customers to try ereading. The goal of the program is to enable readers to try reading digitally while supporting independent bookstores. According to the press release, “now through November 29, participating ABA members will receive $5 USD for each new Kobo customer acquired. What’s more, each new customer who creates a Kobo account through an affiliate ABA member will receive a $5 USD credit for use toward their first purchase of a Kobo eBook.”

Bookmate Expands Mobile Reading Service to Indonesia (DBW)
In a press release, social ebook reading service Bookmate announced that it has partnered with Indostat, “one of Indonesia’s largest telecommunication networks and service providers to launch a mass market mobile reading service under the Bookmate-Cipika Books brand.” Bookmate has signed deals with Indonesian publishers to add 4,000 titles in addition to its library of 250,000 English language titles.

Scholastic Provides Comprehensive Literacy Solutions for Schools (DBW)
In a press release, Scholastic announced that it has combined its teaching and learning programs “into a comprehensive literacy improvement program in four key areas: research-based programs including print and digital content for instructional reading and writing; expert-led consulting services and resources for professional learning; programs that engage families and the community; and independent reading support through classroom libraries and magazines, including digital learning supplements.”

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