What Publishing Needs to Learn from Newer Industries

What Publishing Needs to Learn from Newer IndustriesThe publishing industry is more than 400 years old. To put that timeframe into context, in the UK, when the first printing press was developed, in 1634, Charles I was king shortly before being overthrown. Much has happened since then, and there is much to be proud of in what this key industry has achieved over that time.

Over just the last decade, there has been an unmistakeable growth of other creative sectors, such as gaming, which is a mere 40 years old. While there is no doubt the gaming industry can learn from publishing’s history, it would be hard to argue that there isn’t presently more to learn for publishing from this dynamic, slick and rapidly growing sector.

And furthermore, there are the not-quite-as-spritely but newer advertising and design industries, as well as the older-but-now-hugely-evolved sectors of arts and music that also have much to offer.

Much more.

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Who Uses the Keywords in Metadata? (DBW)
“We often hear that keywords are important to help readers find and discover books,” writes Chris Sim in a blog post for Digital Book World. “But what does that mean, and do keywords actually make a difference? In this post, we look at how keywords are used to search book websites (in particular, online booksellers), and their adoption by publishers. For this investigation, I had help from Pat Payton (Bowker) and Catherine Toolan (Firebrand). We set out to answer the following questions.”

Barnes & Noble Earnings Gain On Lower Ebook Losses (Pub Lunch)
Barnes & Noble reported results for the fiscal third quarter ending January 30—including the big holiday period when the company makes most of its money for the year. Sales of $1.414 billion were down $26 million (or 1.8 percent), “due to lower online sales and store closures” on the retail side, plus the unstoppable decline of Nook.

‘End of the Beginning for Ebooks’ Says Kobo’s Tamblyn (Bookseller)
Kobo CEO Michael Tamblyn says the industry is reaching the “end of the beginning for ebooks.” Speaking at the IPG Spring Conference March 2nd Tamblyn highlighted the “steady state” of digital sales in the publishing industry, with ebook sales now “cruising nicely” between 20 percent and 30 percent of all book sales, he said. This has meant Kobo has been able to “take a bit of a breath” and consider its position as a digital retailer that “thinks about the reader and what they want,” Tamblyn added.

9 Free Tools That Can Help Build Buzz for a Book (BookBub)
Everybody knows buzz is an important part of book marketing. It can help catch book reviewers’ and bloggers’ attention, which can in turn drive sales. But how do you create buzz? How do you get people talking about a book? Obviously, one way is to get Beyoncé or Taylor Swift to post your book on Instagram. But if that’s not in the cards, there are are several tools available that can help. Some of these tools can help get a book exposure to relevant new readers, while others encourage existing loyal fans to spread the word. We’ve included only free tools so they’re accessible to anyone, and some ideas on how to use them.

Why You Should Join All Social Media Networks (Jane Friedman)
I think it’s fair to say that most of us are not looking to add more social media activity to our lives. In fact, we prefer to trim online activity or drop entire networks if possible. So the advice I’m about to offer may feel objectionable and time-wasting at first, but if you stay with me until the end, you may find wisdom in what I’m advocating. I recommend that as soon as you find out about a new social media service, join it.

A UK Independent Publisher at DBW (Pub Perspectives)
Nosy Crow’s Business Development Manager and Commissioning Editor Tom Bonnick will represent the Independent Publishers Guild under its fellowship program at #DBW16, March 7 to 9 in New York City. We’re pleased that we’ll have several pieces from Bonnick during his trip. And as he starts out, Bonnick introduces some details of Nosy Crow’s position in the business to us, with experimentation on his mind.

Lever Press Makes Academic Publishing Free (DBW)
The Oberlin Group, a consortium of university libraries across the United States, has started a new project called Lever Press, which allows academic authors to publish on an open access digital platform. Production costs will be taken care of by supporting academic institutions, and readers will access content for free. The organization hopes to acquire, develop and produce 60 new titles on arts, humanities and social science topics by the end of 2020.

Libraries Are Vital to Freedom of Speech (Bookseller)
Rachael Jolley, editor of global freedom of expression magazine Index on Censorship has spoken out about the growing importance of public libraries for freedom of expression saying “at the heart of any library is the idea of a freedom to think and discover.” Speaking at the Library and Democracy conference for the Swedish Library Association this week, Jolley argued that “libraries and those who support them have often been defenders of the right to knowledge” highlighting that throughout history, freedom of speech, thought and debate have been used by the “less powerful to challenge the powerful.”

Toby Faber at IPG’s Annual Spring Conference (Pub Perspectives)
“How do you remain entrepreneurial when you have a business that has lasted for 90 years and you don’t want it flushed down the toilet?” Toby Faber on perseverance in independent publishing.

The London Book Fair Announces Market Focus 2017: Poland (DBW)
The London Book Fair, its UK partners the British Council and the Publishers Association; and the Polish Book Institute have announced Poland as the Market Focus for London Book Fair 2017.


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