Publishers’ Websites Have Mediocre Page Load Speeds

Page Load Speeds“Shave your body hair. Wear form-fitting suits and caps. Improve your balance and form. No, these are not the latest fashion trends (unless you are a swimmer),” Murray Izenwasser writes in his column, The Optimized Publisher, for Digital Book World. “These are tips from USA Swimming for reducing friction and improving speed. In competition, these tips—when combined with training and ability—can mean the difference between getting one second (or one millisecond) closer to crossing the finish line.

“The same could be said for improving your website’s page load and page crawl speed (minus the shaving, of course),” Izenwasser continues. “There are many factors that I have discussed to improve Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and depending on which SEO guru you listen to, page speed could be one of the top-five factors or just one of the more than 200 possible factors for improving SEO. (I believe it is one of the more important factors).

“Still, it is one of the many ways to boost website optimization for search engines and site traffic, preventing your website from drowning in a sea of competitors.”

Much more.

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The Tech Companies Shaping the World the Book Business Must Live in (Mike Shatzkin)
Realities change. Ever since Amazon arrived in the “book business” 20 years ago, each year the “book business” has become less and less of a stand-alone industry. Of course, the only part that ever really was a stand-alone was the trade business, where the entire ecosystem: authors and their agents, publishers, booksellers, and even—for the most part—the printers lived in a world of mutual dependency but pretty much standing apart from what went on in the rest of the world.

Why Independent Publishers Are Essential (Pub Perspectives)
Where is publishers’ commitment to discovering new and good literature? We can find a few exceptions among some imprints of big and mid-size groups, but this task has been carried out, de facto, by independent publishers with a strong literary vocation. Indies are the ones who actually look for new, foreign authors, invest in unknown talents and bring about cutting-edge esthetic ideas. Their hard work and passionate literary militancy, that has not been studied as much as it deserves, make this possible.

What Is a Publisher Now? (Pub Technology)
In this latest What Is A Publisher Now? interview, we’re joined by Hélène Dennery, Pearson’s Managing Director for Western Europe and one of the continent’s most senior education publishers. Dennery’s interview follows her appearance on Publishing Technology’s What Is A Publisher Now? panel event at Frankfurt Book Fair, where we brought together a group of leading education publishers to ponder what publishing for students in schools, colleges and universities will look like in the future. In the following interview, Dennery reveals some fascinating insights into how Pearson’s business is changing from one focused on products, to one that is focused on services, and selling those services in territories.

Mark Zuckerberg’s Bold Plan for the Future of Facebook (Fast Company)
The Facebook of today—and tomorrow—is far more expansive than it was just a few years ago. It’s easy to forget that when the company filed to go public on February 1st, 2012, it was just a single website and an app that the experts weren’t sure could ever be profitable. Now, “a billion and a half people use the main, core Facebook service, and that’s growing. But 900 million people use WhatsApp, and that’s an important part of the whole ecosystem now,” Zuckerberg says. “Four hundred million people use Instagram, 700 million people use Messen­ger, and 700 million people use Groups. Increasingly, we’re just going to go more and more in this direction.”

10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Book Publicist (BookBub)
Hiring a book publicist can be a worthwhile expenditure if you need help building your book’s platform, or if you’d like to supplement your existing marketing efforts or those of your publisher’s publicity team. While you might be able to do marketing for yourself, hiring help will give you more time to write new books and focus on the most high-impact marketing activities. Hiring a publicist isn’t for everyone—if you have a marketing background, have time to dedicate toward promotions, or if you lack the budget, you may not want to consider hiring a publicist yet. But if you do decide to hire one, you should ask the right questions to make sure they’re a good fit for you and your book’s genre. Here are a few key questions you should ask when interviewing a potential book publicist.

New Report Shows How Amazon Is Different Around the World (Fast Company)
A new study shines a light on how Amazon positions itself differently in different countries. According to Forrester Research, which just released a report on Amazon’s Global Appeal, the e-commerce giant’s customer service techniques have gained praise worldwide, but the Amazon shopping experience can vary wildly depending on the country you’re in.

The iPad Pro: The Start of Something New (Re/code)
The beginning of my experience with the iPad Pro started with thinking that I would use it with the intent that it could replace my laptop. In fact, I was going to write this article with that in mind. I realized quickly that the iPad Pro could easily replace my laptop for more than 90 percent of the things I need on a day-to-day basis. The only thing my laptop still does more efficiently than the iPad Pro is work on spreadsheets, which may also be the most boring part of what I do. It also happens to be something very few people do regularly and for long periods of time. In so many ways, all the things we consider as “productivity” are perfectly doable on the iPad Pro.

Risk-Taking in a Creative Space (Bookseller)
The cultural sector’s approach to digital technology has changed dramatically in the past few years. Where once arts organizations lagged behind on basics, such as the use of social media, now online distribution and marketing is deemed almost as important as the artistic content they produce. But while companies large and small have reacted to the irrepressible sweep of the digital revolution, the challenge remains: how to fully utilize the ever-expanding potential of digital media and online tools to deliver new forms of artistic experience and—crucially—generate new revenue streams.


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