This is part two of a six-part series.
Good cover design is the single most obvious way of making sure your book stands out on the shelf and looks professional.
Do Your Research
Look at your competition, both in hard copy and online. What looks professional and what looks bad? Why? Make your own list of some pitfalls to avoid and features that you like.
Think About the Ebook Version
It’s important to remember that something that works well in hard copy might not look so good as a thumbnail. A great design, though, should work in both formats.
A detailed background and delicate colors can get swallowed up at thumbnail size. That doesn’t mean you can’t use them at all, but you need to make sure that the overall design still works on a small scale.
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Ebook Metadata: Everything You Need to Know (DBW)
Over the past few years maintaining our IT systems here at Vearsa, I’ve seen a few different approaches to ebook metadata. Here’s a brief introduction to metadata, an explanation of why it’s so important (and I’ll never tire of talking about how important it is!), and the best ways in which publishers should manage their metadata.
Company Snapshots: Ontotext (DBW)
In “Company Snapshots,” we pose a series of questions to leading providers of digital products and services and let them speak for themselves about what their company does, how they benefit publishers, and what they believe the biggest trends in the industry are. In today’s entry, we have Ontotext.
Print Books, E-tailers Gained in Popularity in 2015 (PW)
Consumers made a few notable shifts in their book-buying habits in 2015, according to a new report, “Year in Books Review, 2015,” due out soon from Nielsen. The most pronounced change was in format preference. Unit sales of print books rose 2.8 percent in 2015 over 2014, according to figures from BookScan, while unit sales of traditionally published ebooks fell 13 percent. The ebook figures are from PubTrack Digital, which tracks point-of-sale data from houses that Nielsen estimates account for 85 percent of unit sales of traditionally published ebooks. (Nielsen owns both BookScan and PubTrack Digital.)
5 Ways That Authors Can Use Facebook Advertising (Creative Penn)
But after years of resisting, I have now come around to the fact that Facebook is the most powerful advertising platform around because of its laser-targeting abilities and the fact that most readers are more likely to be on Facebook than Twitter.
How to Sell Your Book to Bookstores (IngramSpark)
Much as writing books is a passion and business for authors, selling books is a passion and the only business for independent booksellers. And while independent bookstores are known for being wonderful community gathering places with staff that genuinely care about the book industry, that doesn’t mean they can do it all for the love. They still need to sell books. Everyone has to make a living in this business, and this is what the independent booksellers need your book to be in order for both you and them to succeed in selling it.
The Death of Out-of-Print Titles Is Near (Book Business)
You’ve been hearing it a lot lately: Print-on-demand is changing publishing. Advances in technologies have brought reduced turnaround times, lower costs, higher quality, and less risk. As a result, businesses focused on print-on-demand are emerging, including independent, on-demand-focused publishers that serve both traditional book models and a changing vanity publishing marketplace. One group that’s often left out of discussions around the changing marketplace: established publishers.
We’re Buying Paperbacks, Audiobooks and Coloring Books — but Not Ebooks (NY Times)
After years of seemingly unstoppable growth, ebook sales have started to slip, while paper has improbably bounced back. Digital book sales fell nearly 10 percent in 2015 from the previous year. Paperback sales grew by a healthy 16 percent, according to the Association of American Publishers, which tracks sales from more than 1,200 publishers.
PRH’s Dan Franklin on ‘Strata’ of Innovation (Pub Perspectives)
“Ebooks are essentially websites in wrappers. So what happens if you take the wrappers off?” One answer: Strata’s layered world.
Mergers, Acquisitions & Connections in Indie Book World (BookWorks)
On May 10, the R.R. Bowker Company, the main source in the United States for ISBN numbers and other services, said it plans to ally with two other publishing-related companies, FastPencil and Infinity Publishing, to offer a suite of services to help authors “write, edit, collaborate, format & publish your book.” It also indicated “distribution partners” would include Barnes & Noble, Amazon and others. Bowker said “this solution makes it easier to go from concept to manuscript to market.”
Conference Collisions: Publishing’s Spring and Autumn (Pub Perspectives)
Nobody’s wrong, there’s no blame here, and no easy answers, either. But world publishing has a calendar-stuffing problem and we’re giddy on jet fuel: we can do better.
Will Algorithms Always Be Trumped by the Personal Touch? (Bookseller)
Back in the early days, Amazon recommendations were decided by human beings. The company went on a hiring spree, bringing in editors to manage the site. Typically these were not the kind of West Coast engineers that typified the company; rather they were Manhattanites, steeped in the world of books and culture. Well-read, opinionated, they would read hundreds of books and write individual reviews. They were the gatekeepers that managed what was already (and self-consciously) the world’s biggest bookstore.
SELF-e Helps Launch Indie Author Day (DBW)
SELF-e, a joint venture between BiblioLabs and Library Journal, announced the launch of the first annual Indie Author Day, which will be on October 8, 2016. Events will occur locally at libraries across North America, and there will also be a global digital gathering.
Inkshares and Nerdist Announce Video Game Theme for New Contest (DBW)
Inkshares announced that Nerdist’s next theme in its publishing contest series will be video games. This follows the conclusion of Geek & Sundry’s debut contest, in which Tal M. Klein’s debut The Punch Escrow took the top prize in the “hard science fiction” genre.