How Well Are Publishers Connecting with Their Readers?

publishers, books, ebooks, readers, contentFrom a publisher’s point of view, the people who actually buy and read books are still mostly nameless and faceless individuals. This, despite the fact that there are plenty of opportunities for publishers to establish a direct relationship with consumers. I’m not necessarily talking about selling direct; I’m referring instead to the opportunity to build a relationship with the people who open their wallets every day for your products.

This isn’t something that’s limited exclusively to ebooks, by the way. In fact, the publisher-consumer relationship can be built via print books as well.

What’s the first thing consumers see when they open one of your books? Most of the time, it’s the book’s title page. What a waste. If you just bought a book and are about to start reading it, do you really need to be reminded of the title?

Much more.

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Ebook Pricing Resembles Three Dimensional Chess (Mike Shatzkin)
The current round of reporting from major publishers contains some danger signs. Their ebook sales are declining (in dollars and even more dramatically in units) in an ebook market that is probably not declining. The “good” news for the publishers is that print sales are pretty much holding their own, or even growing. And profits are being maintained, which is probably the most important metric in their board rooms. But the bad news is that total revenues are down.

A Peek Behind the Curtain (Hugh Howey)
What is happening here is not new, as much as publishers would like you (and themselves) to believe. For the past four to five years, publishers have found growth almost exclusively through acquisitions, mergers, layoffs, and the largesse of their primary retail account, Amazon. All of those forces have run out of room.

Barnes Away (Pub Lunch)
The financial weekly Barron’s has had a soft spot for Barnes & Noble’s stock for years, but unfortunately they have been pretty consistently — and significantly — wrong. Publishers are cranky about the company’s underperformance in the marketplace, as sales keep ebbing even as print book sales rise, and with the abrupt departure of cCEOeo Ronald Boire many people are expecting yet another disappointing set of results when the company reports fiscal first quarter earnings on Thursday morning.

Using Twitter to Make Powerful Connections as a Creative Professional (Jane Friedman)
Finding an audience for your books can seem like an insurmountable task when you enter the publishing space with no prior experience. Thankfully, Twitter can help you become not only an engaged member of the community but—in time—an influencer with a loyal audience.

BookShout and T-Mobile Partner to Distribute 237,000 Ebooks (DBW)
BookShout announced that it has distributed more than 237,000 ebooks as part of T-Mobile Tuesdays. The partnership, which occurred over two separate 24-hour blocks, resulted in customers reading more than 97,000,000 words read on the top day.

How Great Book Descriptions Sell More Books (BookWorks)
Since my primary focus is on Amazon, this article will tell you how to maximize your book description efforts specifically on that e-tailer, but you’ll likely find many of the ideas relate to other e-tailers as well.

Bookseller Launches Online Marketplace for Children’s Indie Authors (Bookseller)
Tamara Macfarlane of Tales on Moon Lane has launched a website selling children’s books from independent authors and publishers.

Publishers Association Issues Brexit Manifesto (PW)
The Publishers Association (PA), the main organization in the U.K. representing the interests of publishers, has called on the government to keep barriers to trade “to an absolute minimum” and to publish a clear plan to minimize business uncertainty as it negotiates to leave the European Union.

David Hockney to Give Keynote at FBF’s Opening News Conference (Pub Perspectives)
Praising the British artist’s “openness to new media and his application of digital techniques,” Frankfurt’s Juergen Boos announces Hockney’s keynote comments on October 18.

German Publisher dtv Launches New Service for Book Clubs (Pub Perspectives)
One of German publisher dtv’s latest initiatives is an information portal aimed at marketing their titles to the numerous book clubs around the country.

PA Lobbies Government over EU Trade Barriers and Copyright (Bookseller)
The Publishers Association has called on the government to keep European Union (EU) trade barriers to an “absolute minimum” and to encourage investment in the UK via stronger copyright rules during its Brexit negotiations.

Why Patreon Is the New Mecca for Crowdfunded Publishing (Futurebook)
But when myself and my friend, freelance author services provider Laura Jones, decided to create alternative independent publisher 404 Ink, we turned straight to Patreon.


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