What Publishers Need to Know About Code Validation

Code ValidationMillennials of the world might cite the most important event of 1994 as the birth of pop star Justin Bieber (I did say “might,” ok?). But webmasters and coders might view 1994’s highlights a bit differently: that year was the origin of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3c), the organization that dictates the Web standards for creating elements in the online environment that coders still use today. In my opinion, one of these has a slight edge in importance. You can probably figure out which.

What you see in your browser when you view this post is the end result of thousands of lines of HTML code and cascading style sheets (CSS) that inform what gets displayed on the Digital Book World (DBW) website. Without proper coding to standards set by W3c, your pages might show up as blank or possibly the dreaded and much lampooned 404 error.

Much has been debated about the importance (or lack thereof) of valid coding when it comes to SEO. However, I hope to show you that clean website code can 1) be an SEO factor worth reviewing, 2) influence click through rates (CTR) and 3) prevent users from bouncing away from your webpages.

Much more.

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Not a Manifesto: On ‘a Complicated Relationship’ (Futurebook)
It’s hard to argue a sector characterized by over-supply, consolidation, redundancies and falling margins is not exhibiting the classic symptoms of industry decline. However, with the significant exception of Amazon’s use of technology to dominate a market, few of these problems can be pinned on technological change specifically, nor did they all start with Amazon. At the same time, digital doesn’t seem to have provided significant opportunities for growth.

Amazon Brings New Features to Fire Tablets (DBW)
Amazon announced that starting December 2nd, and over the next couple of weeks, Amazon’s Fire HD 10, Fire HD 8, and Fire tablets will receive a free, over-the-air software update that will add several new Fire OS 5 “Bellini” features, including the ability to read comfortably at night with “Blue Shade,” “Activity Center” for parents with kids, and a kid-friendly web browser.

Ebook Market Share in Germany Shows Slow Growth (Pub Perspectives)
Every three months, the German Publishers and Booksellers Association, in cooperation with GfK Entertainment, releases a Ebook Quarterly Report and sheds a light on the state of the German ebook market. The numbers are representative projections from a study by the GfK (Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung) in which 25,000 people are polled, representing the German residential population over 10 years of age.

SpotlightAmazon Had 36% of Black Friday Sales (TechCrunch)
Slice Intelligence, which gathers e-commerce data from receipts linked to its Slice package tracking app, says that Amazon dominated online Black Friday sales, accounting for 35.7 percent in e-commerce spending on November 27th. A distant second, Best Buy brought in 8.23 percent of total online revenue, followed by Macy’s at 3.38 percent, Walmart at 3.35 percent and Nordstrom at 3.11 percent.

Running out of Room (Length Vs. Density) (Seth Godin)
A reporter recently hacked an interview he did with me, turning 17 emailed sentences into two and changing both the message and the way it was delivered. That used to make sense, when papers involved column inches, but it was for an online article. Why make things shorter than necessary if you’re not paying for paper? Why make make a podcast or a talk 18 minutes long… the Internet isn’t going to run out of reels of tape. As we’ve moved from books to posts to tweets to thumbs up, we keep making messages shorter. In a world with infinite choice, where there’s always something better and more urgent a click away, it’s tempting to go for shorter.

Amazon Working on Augmented Reality for the Living Room (Bloomberg)
Amazon is trying to lower the cost of augmented reality to bring a technology normally associated with futuristic military training and video-game conventions to living rooms. The Seattle-based company on Tuesday received two patents that outline a set of technologies that would project a digital world into someone’s room and let them navigate it by moving their bodies, or using some form of camera or headset to interact with it using virtual reality.

NetGalley Adds Excerpt Support Via Dial-a-Book (DBW)
NetGalley announced that shareable excerpts are now available on book pages in NetGalley when they are included in the Dial-a-Book excerpt database. Dial-a-Book, part of Firebrand Technologies, is a free service for publishers which creates, aggregates and distributes first chapter excerpts to industry partners.

AUTHORS Announces YA Fiction Competition (DBW)
AUTHORS, Inc., creator of AUTHORS.me, an online platform for queries, manuscript submissions and acquisitions discovery empowering writers, agents, and publishers, announced its Young Adult Fiction Competition, YA! 2015. The competition will award three prizes that include cash, full manuscript editing services, professional book coaching, and annual subscription to AUTHORS Discovery service. The competition opens November 23rd and ends December 31st, 2015.

Sword & Laser to Launch “Sequel” to First Publishing Contest (DBW)
Inkshares, a start-up crowdfunded book publisher, announced that after running an initial publishing contest in the spring of 2015 with Sword and Laser—an award-winning science fiction and fantasy-themed book club, video show, and podcast—they will be running a “sequel” contest with Sword & Laser to find even more books to publish.


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