Twelve Publishers Submit to SEO Analysis

ebook marketing book publishers SEO websites direct-to-consumerLike one of the main things it seeks to improve—discoverability—search engine optimization can be something of a moving target for publishers.

Still, marketing experts like Murray Izenwasser and Peter McCarthy have shown there are ways to solve key pieces of the SEO puzzle without much technical expertise, time or investment.

Now, Izenwasser puts that advice into practice as a dozen publishers offer up their own websites to serve as real-life case studies.

Together, Izenwasser says, they “offer a good cross-section of the industry, with different genres, sizes and geographies represented.” The fourteen criteria against which he’ll analyze each publisher’s site, while far from exhaustive, serve as a good litmus test for the SEO challenges publishers today face.

Much more.

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Kobo Launches In-Flight Ebook Platform (DBW)
Kobo introduces an e-reading platform for Southwest Airlines passengers featuring 140 free titles—most of them complete editions, though some are extended samples readers can later buy in full—in what one observer sees as part of a recent push by retailers to get ebooks in front of travelers, something publishers have increasingly been experimenting with for a little while longer.

Simon & Schuster Pilots Location-Based Ebook Program (PW)
Partnering with the mobile content delivery platform Foli, Simon & Schuster offers nineteen complete editions of its titles free to readers during a limited three-day period in more than fifty designated locations like hotels, airports and cultural attractions.

More Reports of Piracy on Google Play Books (IBTimes UK)
Following up earlier reports of ebook piracy on Google Play Books, International Business Times UK independently discovers what appears to be a considerable handful of pirated titles on the platform. While Google has reaffirmed its commitment to combatting ebook piracy, there’s evidence suggesting that illegal sellers are finding workarounds.

Authors Clamor for More Royalties, Transparency (The Bookseller)
Agents describe rising concerns among the authors they represent that the royalties publishers offer them aren’t keeping up with the shifting range of ways publishers monetize their work. In addition to simply wanting a greater share of the rewards, more authors are demanding a seat at the table in determining how publishers experiment with digital content.
Related: Bringing Authors Back to the Center in Multi-Channel Publishing

Virginia Tries Open-Source E-Textbooks (Ink, Bits & Pixels)
In a bold move designed to help students save money, the Virginia Community College system launches a statewide pilot program, funded by a $200,000 grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, to introduce open-source e-textbooks customized according to the participating schools’ curricula.

Top Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Shareholder Cashes out (Pub Lunch)
The publisher will buy back $300 million in stock held by John Paulson, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s largest shareholder, in an arrangement that will reportedly leave Paulson $425 million richer when all’s said and done.

McGraw-Hill Exec Heads to Phaidon (PW)
Philip Ruppel, former head of the professional division at McGraw-Hill Education, becomes chief operating officer at Phaidon, which touts Ruppel’s “proven track record of delivering growth through profitable innovation and enhanced digital offerings.”

ICYMI: Ebook Developers and Early Intervention (DBW)
Publishers can benefit by inviting ebook developers to weigh in at a much earlier stage in the publishing process than is typical. How come? Digital production expert Laura Brady puts it in starkly practical terms, explaining why it’s about lowering the costs and improving the quality of digital products.


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