Independent Publishers in a Modern World

Independent Publishers in a Modern WorldWhen we presented our analysis of Search Engine Optimization factors amongst independent book publishers more than 16 weeks ago, we began a journey that I hoped would be eye-opening to the participants and Digital Book World readers alike. What we’ve learned on our way has certainly been enlightening—a chance to view achievements, challenges and opportunities for independent publishers in the online environment.

As I mentioned in the executive summary of this evaluation when we first started, we have presented what our participants are doing well and also where they may be lagging behind their close competitors and the big retail booksellers. Selling books online can be both formal and informal, organized and chaotic. Whatever opportunities are available to improve your sales and increase your customer base must be reviewed and applied where possible.

Optimization is one of those areas where quick fixes and long-term projects can compound to boost your online presence. How search engines like Google and Bing see your business online, and how they present search findings and attract new customers to your website, will be the key to your success in this modern publishing world.

Much more.

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F+W Names Tom Beusse New CEO (DBW)
F+W announced Tuesday the appointment of Tom Beusse as CEO, effective immediately. Beusse most recently served as founder and president of the USA Today Sports Media Group. In his three years in the position, Beusse built the company (which incorporated dozens of assets across Gannett’s many media properties) into one of the top sources of sports news and information in the country. Prior to his time at USA Today, Beusse served as president and CEO of Westwood One, a publicly-owned content syndication company focused on network and local radio.

How to Use Price Promotion for a New Book Release (BookBub)
When you release a new book, your existing book backlist can be a valuable promotional asset. Not only will existing fans gobble up your newest work, but discounting your own backlist book can help attract brand new readers and drive sales for a full-priced new book. In fact, 89 percent of BookBub partners who used a price promotion to market a new release sold more of their new book after the promotion of an older book, so this cross-promotion strategy could be highly lucrative.

More Nielsen Stats: Coloring Saved Sales (Pub Lunch)
Nielsen Bookscan released some additional 2015 statistics, confirming that “2015 was the year of adult coloring books.” Total unit books for 2015 as measured by the point-of-sale service grew 17.6 million units, or 2.8 percent. Also as previously noted, nearly all of the growth came from adult nonfiction, primarily backlist trade paperbacks. Now Bookscan has confirmed the next logical inference with their own tabulation: they estimate that sales of coloring books grew by 23 million units in 2015 (up from just 2 million units in 2014). That accounts for all of the year’s growth in units, and then some.

How to Turn Paper and Digital Text into an Ebook (WIRED)
Books aren’t dead. They’re just getting digitized, like everything else. While there’s a real charm to owning a stack of bound paper that you can fold the corners of, underline and read without staring at a screen, ebooks are far more convenient. Your backpack can hold maybe four or five books, but one e-reader or tablet can hold thousands of titles. Plus, e-readers allow you to search text, share the saucy bits and read at night without a light.

Amazon Reveals Details About Its Drone Delivery Program (Yahoo)
Amazon raised a lot of eyebrows last year when it announced that it was planning to start delivering packages by automated drones. How would that work? Would the skies become black with automated flying delivery vehicles? Would they collide with planes? How would they deal with apartment buildings? Recently, while researching a story about the legal status of drones for CBS Sunday Morning, I interviewed Paul Misener, Amazon’s vice president for global public policy.

Librarians in the Digital Age (American Libraries)
In response to a controversial January 10th opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal by librarian Steve Barker, librarians around the country wrote to the paper to set the record straight about their real roles in the age of Google. ALA President Sari Feldman and President-Elect Julie Todaro also wrote in, though only a small portion of their letter appeared in the roundup of responses. Here is the full text of Feldman and Todaro’s letter.

Bertelsmann Invests in India’s KartRocket (Bookseller)
Bertelsmann is “stepping up” its activities in the Indian e-commerce market, with an investment in New Delhi e-commerce service provider KartRocket. KartRocket said on January 18th that it had raised $6 million in investment from Bertelsmann India, among others. KartRocket helps SMEs by enabling merchants to go online under their own brand. It provides them with web and mobile-phone sites, payments and logistics capabilities and marketing and promotion tools, and intends to use the fresh capital to open up its range of services to private vendors.

How Publishers Are Navigating the Brave New World of Ad Blockers (Adweek)
Sourcepoint, a New York-based content compensation platform for publishers, recently released new data on the effects of ad blockers on its clients’ sites.

Newspaper Bosses ‘Paralyzed’ by Change (Poynter)
A stumbling newspaper industry has been clueless on paywalls and in how to produce content people will actually spend money to read, says Steve Brill. But why should one be surprised, he contends, given the frequent make-up of its executive class? To him, it’s often been a bunch of rich kids who inherited a paper from mom and dad and continued a tradition of local monopolies. They never had to really compete, aren’t big thinkers and were “paralyzed” when real change hit the industry.

5 Takeaways from the 2016 Pub Exec Trendspotting Survey (Pub Exec)
At the close of 2015, we surveyed the Publishing Executive audience to find out what technologies publishers plan to invest in and where they expect to see revenue growth in 2016. 133 Executives from consumer, B2B, association, city and regional, and custom publishing companies shared their insight.


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