In his latest blog post for DBW, Rob Eagar writes that he sees “too many publishers placing too much importance and assigning dubious grades to authors based on the strength or weakness of their social media following.”
According to Eagar, there is little correlation between the amount of social media followers an author has and the number of books he or she will sell.
Eagar says social media stats are “subjective and largely unrelated to the actual skillset needed to succeed.”
“Convincing someone to buy a book is a subjective process that will never change,” Eagar writes. “Yet we have access to so much objective data about what works and what doesn’t. The question is if we’re willing to acknowledge the objective data and ignore the subjective social media hype.”
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Amazon’s Logistics Plans Beginning ‘to Pay Off’ (Forbes)
Following Amazon’s surprise quarterly profit announcement last month and better-than-expected sales figures, international e-commerce delivery specialist ParcelHero says that the retail giant’s continued massive investment in its revolutionary logistics plans are beginning “to pay off” and that its investment shows no sign of stopping.
Amazon Brings Bookerly Font to Kindle (Engadget)
Amazon rolled out a major upgrade to its Kindle ereaders, delivering the more spacious Bookerly font as part of its latest software update. The font replaces Caecilia. In addition to the new font, the update also includes a redesigned Smart Lookup that makes it easier to access tools while reading, and it improves books’ layouts and typography, including justification, spacing, kerning and footnotes.
HMH Acquires Ebook Assets from MeeGenius (DBW)
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt announced that it has acquired select ebook and technology assets from MeeGenius, an ebook subscription service for children ages two through eight years old. MeeGenius is an app and subscription service that offers mobile access to hundreds of classic children’s stories, MeeGenius originals and content from authors around the world, enhanced with interactive digital features such as read-along word highlighting, audio playback and story narration.
How Will Books Be Written? (Futurebook)
Futurebook discusses the book Breaking the Page: Transforming Books and the Reading Experience, written by Peter Meyers, who refers to himself as a content strategist and reader advocate. In the book, Meyers asks, “How do all of these new digital possibilities change the art of writing?… What are the opportunities for authors and artists drawn to expressing themselves on screens?… What kinds of authors match up in juicy ways with pixels and digital media?”
The New Media and Our Attention (Medium)
“The currency of the media business is attention,” writes David Pakman, and over the past 10 years, social networks and smartphones have shifted our attention away from legacy media properties, newspapers and magazines, and onto consumer Internet platforms, like Facebook and YouTube. “This shift has been particularly dramatic among teens and millennials,” Pakman writes. “I believe the media habits of digital natives are predictive of what the future holds for most of us.”
A Guide to Self-Publishing and Book Distribution (BookBub)
BookBub put together an in-depth guide on a variety of self-publishing and distribution tools. According to the blog post: “The information in this post is based on a thorough review of the features and pricing each platform offers, dozens of online reviews and comparisons, and countless forum threads discussing the matter.”
WhatsApp and Content Distribution (Publishing Perspectives)
WhatsApp, the mobile messaging service that allows users to send messages without paying for SMS through their carriers and which was sold to Facebook in 2014 for $19 billion, has 800 monthly active users and 30 million daily messages. Publishing Perspectives wonders how the app might help publishers deliver content in an innovative way: “For publishers, WhatsApp could offer some interesting possibilities, particularly when it comes to providing teaser content, serials and digital short stories — all paired with ‘click to buy’ features.”