How Did Google Screw Up Book Discovery?

google, google play, ebooks, data, amazon, kindle, apple, ibooksEven though you probably never stray from Amazon’s Kindle reader app, I’d like to encourage you to expand your horizons. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on Apple iBooks and Google Play, for example, to explore other platforms and keep Amazon honest. After all, Amazon’s need to innovate diminishes if ebook platform competition dries up.

When Google recently announced plans to add a “Discover” feature to its ebook reader app, I was curious to learn more. Google is the king of search, so I was hoping they could use their brawn and data to create a major breakthrough on the book discovery front.

I assumed Google would look at my Play ebook library and base some assumptions on what I’ve bought and read over the years. I figured they’d let me recalibrate their assumptions to better suit my interests. (For example, they know I like hockey books, but my Google purchases haven’t focused on my favorite team, the Pittsburgh Penguins.) Lastly, since Google monitors my Gmail inbox and search requests, I also assumed they’d use that info to fine-tune their book recommendations in their new Discover service.

Much more.

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After ‘Tough’ Year, BISG Refocuses (PW)
Speaking at the Book Industry Study Group’s (BISG) annual meeting held September 30, in New York, newly appointed executive (as of Oct. 3) director Brian O’Leary previewed the organization’s forthcoming strategic plan. In a 15-minute talk, O’Leary, a longtime consultant and BISG board member, praised the plan he is now tasked with implementing as the group’s leader, and spoke confidently about BISG’s future.

What Info Do I Need to Have Ready When Contacting Reviewers? (The Verbs)
After spending all the time researching the right book bloggers to review your book, it’s time to reach out, make contact, and get those reviews. Like with every other task tied to book publishing, this step also isn’t a one-size-fits-all.

When the Writing Life Isn’t About Talent, Discipline, or Stubbornness (Jane Friedman)
The act of risking and enduring failure is celebrated at length these days. I don’t know if this is a new phenomenon, perhaps arising out of Silicon Valley startup culture, or if it’s an old philosophy that’s become newly relevant. Certainly humans have had to face their fears again and again, and fear of failure is one of the most significant.

10 Reasons Why Being an Editor Sucks (BookMachine)
I have some time on my hands because a couple of projects have gone sideways: they’re almost finished but for one reason or another the schedule has gone for a burton. So what’s a girl to do but put things into perspective?

New Executive Director Brings Breath of Fresh Air to PNBA (PW)
This year’s Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association (PNBA) fall trade show, held Sep. 29 – Oct. 2 at the Hotel Murano in Tacoma, Wash., opened with a Home Brewed Happy Hour. The event featured ten authors from the region and a selection of bitter IPA beers in celebration of Complete IPA by Joshua Bernstein, one of PNBA’s 2016 Holiday Books selections. The brews were bitter but the atmosphere was sweet as authors, booksellers and publishers mingled.

Does ‘Belgravia’ Spell ‘Success’ in Book Apps? (Pub Perspectives)
As innovative as publishers may want to be, how do we evaluate market response to “Julian Fellowes’s Belgravia” with so few apps as apt comparisons?

Writing a Series That Sells with David Wood (Creative Penn)
I first met David when he had just written his first novel, and now he runs a small press and has a whole universe of fiction. Here’s some of his lessons learned along the way.

A Worldwide Competition in ‘New Media Writing’ (Pub Perspectives)
The UK-based New Media Writing Competition opens its seventh year of international entries and access to the UK-based competition is worldwide, open to all.

Connecting the Community, Creating and Conveying Impact (Library Journal)
Libraries and LEGO have gone together for ages, but libraries made of LEGO bricks are much more rare. So when I received a box containing a little library constructed of LEGO bricks, it got my attention. That alone is a win for any marketing initiative—getting someone to tune in. Good marketing is hard to do, and harder for organizations such as libraries that do so much already with limited resources. When it’s done right, however, both the community and the library benefit.


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