Here’s a radical idea: sell the all-in-one edition where my print purchase also includes the ebook and audio formats. We’re seeing the beginnings of this with alternate format add-ons, like Amazon’s Audible narration and Kindle MatchBook; the former brings audio to the ebook and the latter provides a discounted Kindle edition if you’ve already bought the print version. Let’s make things simpler, though, and stop hoping consumers will discover these tiny add-on links on the Amazon product page. Publishers should sell the all-in-one edition directly, and perhaps exclusively, giving consumers a compelling reason to buy direct.
The untapped mobile opportunity goes beyond books. In fact, I think there’s an even bigger mobile opportunity for short-form content. For example, why don’t newspapers and magazines offer audio editions? They seem to think the “digital” version of their content is limited to website articles and print replica editions. Yes, some of the replica edition platforms offer text-to-speech, but not a complete, mobile audio experience.
Periodical publishers should ask themselves this question: what would Steve Jobs do?
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Self-Publishing Preview: 2016 (PW)
In 2015, self-publishing saw a number of high-profile success stories. Jamie McGuire’s Beautiful Redemption became the first novel by an indie author to find shelf space at Walmart, and Andy Weir’s The Martian, originally self-published, was released as a major motion picture starring Matt Damon. Paul Kingsnorth’s The Wake received major traditional media coverage and was reviewed in the New York Times (albeit after it was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2014 and picked up by Graywolf Press), and such writers as Vi Keeland, Penelope Ward, Deborah Bladon, and Tijan saw their indie books reach the New York Times digital bestseller list. Crowdfunding also continued to be a popular platform, with dozens of publishing projects successfully funded on Kickstarter, covering everything from teaching programming to kids to a Lil Bub picture book.
Five Marketing Models for Self-Publishing Success (PW)
There’s no shortage of marketing and publicity services that promise to help self-published authors secure media attention and book reviews and increase sales. For the unschooled, however, it’s hard to know whom to hire, how much to invest, and what type of marketing and publicity will make a difference.
Kindle Unlimited for December 2015 (Chris McMullen)
First, let’s look at the Kindle Unlimited payments for December, 2015. Then we’ll look at trends for the past six months. What did Kindle Unlimited pay for pages read in December of 2015? Kindle Unlimited paid $0.00461 per KENP page read in the United States in December, 2015. That’s a 6.3-percent drop compared to $0.00492 per page in November. The KDP Select Global Fund was $13.5M for December, 2015. That’s a 6.3-percent increase.
The Next Big Step for Ebooks in Libraries (PW)
For the first time in the ebook market’s short history, there are no major disruptions on the horizon. There is no game-changing device looming, like the iPad; no fundamental changes in the retail market, like the 2010 shift to the agency model; no negotiations with Amazon, at least for now; no court-imposed sanctions. And with no thumb on the scale, that means publishers are poised to get the clearest picture yet of consumer habits, their true demand for ebooks (as well as for print), what prices work and don’t work, and the viability of new channels, such as subscription access and direct sales.
At ALA’s Midwinter Meeting (Porter Anderson)
“2016 can be a game-changing year for libraries, and the timing seems right to communicate with you about where we are as a business and where we’re headed as a company in supporting the emergence of the library as a mainstream media discovery and distribution platform…The business is working, but not in the way we expected. The harsh reality is that a better mousetrap does not always win the day.” That’s BiblioBoard founder and Chief Business Officer Mitchell Davis in a frank and highly informative letter sent to the company’s publisher-partners, just as the ALA meeting convened in Boston.
6 Ways a Publisher Can Kill Your Success (HuffPo)
It’s important to recognize that in today’s publishing climate, authors have several different options at their disposal to share their story. And for those who choose to go down the self-publishing path, it’s important to understand that when you choose to self-publish, you retain all control over the book (creative, digital and international), whether or not you choose to use an ISBN from a self-publishing house. It’s also important to note that some publishers have created self-publishing systems which can hamper indie authors’ efforts to sell their books.
Don’t Feel Guilty About Buying Used Books (Salon)
The issue of used bookstores isn’t as black and white as paid vs. unpaid. First of all, those buying books in a used bookstore may not be able to afford a new copy. They also may not know that new copy exists because they’ve never heard of a given author before. Used bookstores can afford to be more varied in what they stock, thereby giving customers plenty of options, while shelf space is in higher demand in new bookstores.
Ad Age’s Media Predictions for 2016 (Ad Age)
The media industry has a love-ignore relationship with digital traffic: publishers love to promote their numbers when they’re growing; they tend to forget about them when they don’t present a good narrative for the company’s path forward.
Amazon Subsidiary Gains Approval to Ship Ocean Freight (NY Times)
Drones might get all the attention, but Amazon’s interest in more traditional methods of moving things around is not slowing down. The retailer’s China subsidiary has received United States approval to ship ocean freight for other companies. That could make it cheaper and easier for sellers on Amazon to move goods from Chinese factories to Amazon’s American warehouses.