Why Publishing Should Look More Like Podcasting

publishing, publishers, podcasts, content, books, subscriptionDid you make the same mistake I did and assume that podcasts are yesterday’s platform—that interest in them has plateaued (at best) and they’re not worth thinking about today?

What seemed like a fad that’s dying off is actually showing nice growth. And I’m contributing to that growth, as I now listen to a variety of podcasts during my daily work commute. As I leverage this medium, I’m realizing it offers some very important lessons for book publishers:

Simple, easy subscriptions – When I discover a new podcast I’m interested in, I literally click once to subscribe, and the content stream comes to me. What could be easier? More important, what’s the analogy in the book publishing world? How do I “subscribe” to an author, series or topic? We all have our favorite authors.

Much more.

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AAP: Ebooks Decline, Audio Grows and Publishers’ Sales Drop (DBW)
The Association of American Publishers (AAP) released its new newest numbers yesterday, which compare January 2016 to January 2015. Ebook sales took a big hit, according to the AAP’s numbers, dropping 24.9 percent to $99.9 million. Hardcover books didn’t do much better, falling 18.7 percent to $151.3 million.

HMH and Google Launch VR Field Trips Program (DBW)
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt announced that, in partnership with Google, it is launching the first-ever curriculum-based virtual reality field trips. HMH Field Trips for Google Expeditions have been developed to integrate with the HMH curriculum. Relevant programs will contain free teacher guides for HMH customers, including student activities and lesson plans, which will enable educators to integrate the VR trips seamlessly into their classrooms.

Reading for Those with No Time to Read (Pub Perspectives)
All the key information of the original title but without all the pages: a startup aimed at commuters offers ‘bite-size mobile learning’ in nonfiction.

Two Industry Veterans Go Indie (Pub Perspectives)
Ashton Applewhite and Bob Stein list 37 vendors and counting, in producing Applewhite’s “This Chair Rocks.” That’s how you roll, they say, when you take the indie route—and mean to get it right.

4 Players in the Book Business with the Power to Rewrite Some Rules (BookMachine)
The news came recently that ReaderLink has purchased Anderson News. Those two companies have been the leading suppliers of books to the mass merchandisers: primarily Wal-mart, Target, and Sam’s Club. There are other players selling books in the space, including Ingram, Baker & Taylor, and smaller distributors like the less-well-known American West. But most of the books going to most of the mass merchant accounts have gotten there through what will now be one company supplying them: ReaderLink.

How to Write 50,000 Words in a Month (Creative Penn)
NaNoWriMo changed my writing life in 2009 when I wrote the first few thousand words of what eventually became Stone of Fire. Writing a speedy first draft without self-censoring is still what I aim for with my books, and in today’s show I discuss how it can be done with Grant Faulkner.

Amazon Unveils Online Education Service for Teachers (NY Times)
On Monday morning, Amazon said that it would introduce an online marketplace with tens of thousands of free lesson plans, worksheets and other instructional materials for teachers in late August or early September.

Overdrive’s Platform Sees ‘Record Number’ of Students (DBW)
Overdrive announced that “a record number” of K-12 students are reading digital books on the provider’s platform. In the last school year, approximately 6 million students had access to Overdrive’s collection of ebooks and audiobooks, and the number of digital books borrowed through the platform increased nearly 60 percent.

Publishing Ireland Pledges Support for UK Publishing Industry (Bookseller)
The board of Publishing Ireland has called for the European book trade to “reaffirm its commitment” to its UK trading relationships.

Academics ‘Gravely Concerned’ by Brexit (Bookseller)
Universities and academic institutions have expressed their worries about the UK leaving the European Union, following the vote for Brexit last week. In an open letter to the Independent, 103 vice-chancellors of universities said they were “gravely concerned about the impact of a UK exit from the EU on our universities and students.”


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