The Ultimate SEO Guide for Book Publishers

seo, publishers, keywords, editorialSearch engines typically represent one of the largest—if not the largest—traffic sources for websites and online publishers, in particular. And publishing houses’ editorial teams hold the keys to this traffic, so it only makes sense to align their efforts with a content strategy that is backed by keyword and topic search volume data.

For some background, I was director of organic search (SEO) at F+W (Digital Book World’s parent company) from 2012 to 2013 after successfully using SEO to meet online revenue goals as an online product manager for a few years. During this time, I oversaw approximately 200 websites and saw an overall eight-percent growth (year-over-year) by the time I had left. Not an easy task for so many websites.

We battled Google’s many algorithm updates (especially during 2012) and had to recover many websites from Panda penalties. While this “defensive” approach (mostly using technical SEO) was important, one of my team’s top achievements was teaching editorial teams how to incorporate SEO into their efforts.

Much more.

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Company Snapshots: Intellogo (DBW)
Here at Intellogo, we do big data analysis on the content in books and reader behavior. We use machine learning, (a subset of artificial intelligence) to crack open books and understand their content: themes, writing styles, pacing, emotions, etc. We then use that data to better match books with readers.

Want to Work in 18 Miles of Books? First, the Quiz (NY Times)
As Jennifer Lobaugh arrived at the Strand Book Store to apply for a job this spring, she remembered feeling jittery. It wasn’t only because she badly wanted a job at the fabled bookstore in Greenwich Village, her first in New York City, but also because at the end of the application, there was a quiz — a book quiz.

Social and Beta Publishing (IngramSpark)
A great way to build your audience before your book is published is to start sharing stories and drafts of your book ahead of time. It’s really never too early to start. One year, three years, five years…it simply doesn’t matter.

Coloring Books Stay Hot (PW)
Adult coloring books may not be selling in the vast quantities they were at the end of 2015, but the books remained popular enough to lift print unit sales of adult nonfiction by 12 percent in the first half of 2016 over the first six months of 2015.

When a Bookstore Is Also a Safe Haven (PW)
This new world we find ourselves in isn’t a known world. Even after we hear who the bombers or shooters are and what may have motivated them, there is so much left unexplained, so much at once terrifying and puzzling. Where better to go for answers, or, if not answers, shared bewilderment, than to an independent bookstore?

Spain’s Publishers Take Stock of Their Industry’s Health (Pub Perspectives)
The Spanish book business took a hard hit in the 2008 financial crisis. Observers say they look to October’s book fair at Barcelona to boost a growing recovery.

US French Embassy Releases 2016 Translation Report (Pub Perspectives)
The US French Embassy’s books division reports that 32 French titles for kids are among a strong showing of translations in the United States in 2016.

Brexit: The Ripple Effect (Bookseller)
It has become clear that the outcome of the EU referendum was one that few people in publishing wanted. It’s also apparent that it wasn’t the outcome that most people in government wanted, either, nor what many of those campaigning for “Leave” expected.


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