Squidoo.com founder Seth Godin pointed out at Digital Book World 2015 that while publishers think obsessively about readers, they rarely think of them as their readers.
Godin isn’t alone in envisioning 2015 as the year of the customer, when the need for publishers to better define and cultivate direct relationships with readers becomes mission-critical.
But while experiments in direct-to-consumer publishing are proliferating, many still see them as the preserve of the very biggest players in the industry.
The reality may be quite different, one expert argues. Not only is going direct an essential and increasingly achievable part of digital playbook for every publisher, but small and mid-size presses may actually have a leg up on their larger counterparts.
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New Metadata Resources for Book Publishers (DBW)
Digital Book World publishes a revised and expanded second edition of The Metadata Handbook, covering current best practices for keywords and subjects, the latest information on ONIX 3.0 and much more. Co-author Renée Register sits down with DBW for a free webcast today at 12pm EST drawing on the new material for a look at how to implement key metadata elements successfully. Sign up here.
Mobile Is a Foreign Country (Beyond the Book)
For most publishers, the fast-evolving mobile landscape still new terrain whose features they’re adapting to in fits and starts. Speaking on Copyright Clearance Center’s Beyond the Book podcast, analyst Thad McIlroy argues a piecemeal approach might not cut it. Publishers need to rethink their business from front to back. He’ll be talking again with Digital Book World in a free webcast later this month to explain how.
Related: Thad McIlroy’s Mobile Strategies for Digital Publishing Is Available Now
ProQuest Sharpens Focus on Library Ebooks (Good E Reader)
The new digital content platform geared to the library market shows ProQuest making a play for the space dominated by 3M and OverDrive. Its new ProQuest Ebook Central aims to offer a more user-friendly interface for both librarians and patrons than other systems currently on the market.
HP and OverDrive Partner on Education Platform (Ink, Bits & Pixels)
A recent deal brings OverDrive’s digital library app to HP’s Education Edition tablets and offers students more than 100 preloaded ebook and audiobook titles.
UK Start-up Tries Its Hand at Crowdsourcing (DBW)
The past six months have seen a number of new efforts at crowdsourcing book content, but the approach still hasn’t dramatically reshaped how most publishers do business. Founder of the newly launched start-up Readership Sam Rennie explains why crowdsourcing still holds ample promise.
Related: More Crowdsourcing to Come
Diversity Campaign Turns to Children’s Books (Flavorwire)
The We Need Diverse Books campaign that got underway in the run-up to BookCon 2014 turns its attention to children’s content, aiming to counter harmful representations (and introduce absent ones) where young readers are likeliest to encounter them for the first time.
Hollywood Beckons to Authors…and Means It (PW)
Some agents say they’re seeing rights sales pick up as more production companies seek fiction titles to turn into TV series, eroding the traditional boundary between screenwriters and novelists. It may not come as much surprise that the boost best-selling ebooks get from popular adaptations isn’t a one-way street.
Rowman & Littlefield Buys Cookbook Publisher (PW)
Rowman & Littlefield purchases the assets of independent publisher Gooseberry Patch, including its 200-title back-list of cookbooks, and folds it into Globe Pequot, which Rowman & Littlefield bought in May last year.