Why It’s Time for Publishers to Think Outside the Market

publishers, books, ebooks, sales, retailersOver the last 12-18 months, after a challenging, industry-evolving 5-7 years, there is a growing sense of cautious positivity in many parts of the book world. Print book sales are rebounding (or at least not still sliding, depending on whom you listen to), and ebook sales are now on a more predictable, if slower, and more diverse trajectory.

Publishing being publishing, terms like “gentle” and “cautious” are applied to any emotive description, whether optimism or despair. But for those remaining, the sense of a new dawn for the industry is unmistakeable.

That said, new dawns shouldn’t be basked in for long, and this is the starting point publishing needs to work and grow from.

Note, this is a new start, not a return to how everything was before, which I don’t think I’d want even if it were possible. It is important we accept where we are: while the print market has stabilized, after nearly a decade of shrinking year on year, it is still smaller than it once was. Furthermore, while ebook sales are diversifying a little, no one else has come through yet to even barely rival the brilliant but uncompromising and supplier-challenging Amazon.

Much more.

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All in the Curation (Pub Perspectives)
Can the robust tradition of recommendation seen in book clubs be scaled up through digital? Nathan Hull and a Dutch company intend to find out by offering a “Choice.”

How Reader Analytics Are Influencing the Industry (BookMachine)
Reader analytics are garnering huge attention at the moment and there are at least four major talks at this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair discussing how and why publishers and authors can collect data on their readers. But with reader analytics taking the spotlight in publishing, the debate over the ethics of data harvesting and its uses has been brought to our doorstep.

Yes, Audiobooks Are Real Books (Overdrive)
Do audiobooks leave the brain distracted and disjointed or are they just another way to enjoy and absorb a story? Are they real reading, or cheating? Audiobooks are the fastest growing format in publishing. With the rise of podcasting and storytelling events, both highly respected mediums, why do audiobooks continue to suffer this stigma?

Sales of Print Books Slowed in Third Quarter (PW)
Unit sales of print books rose 3 percent in the third quarter, which ended Oct. 2, 2016, over the comparable period in 2015, at outlets that report to Nielsen BookScan. The increase was lower than the 6 percent gain posted by print sales in the first half of 2016 over the first six months of 2015 but nevertheless continued the trend of improving sales of print books.

Who Will Save Us from Our Screens? (PW)
Digital fatigue isn’t a new phenomenon; it’s simply our immune system responding to a decade of hyperconnectivity. And yet it doesn’t look like we’re at a place of total exhaustion. If anything, we seem to be growing increasingly addicted to our devices. I find myself checking my phone five times a day—or 20, or 30. Before bed I check one last time, and upon waking, I log in to see what messages I’ve missed.

Is Social Media Toxic to Writing? (PW)
This past January when my publisher gently suggested that I join Facebook or Twitter or Instagram in order to promote my debut novel, I thought it might be worthwhile to consider why I’ve resisted social media up to this point.

How to Make Your Authors & Books Stand Out with ISNI (Book Business)
In 2004, I struck out on my own as a consultant. I set up a website and email account that used my name in both. I set up a Google News alert so that I would get notifications when my company was mentioned on the web.

Local Author Groups: An Important Indie Resource (BookWorks)
Building an audience and marketing books in this digital age can mean communicating across the globe, but don’t neglect your home base. Local author groups can be your ticket to making that connection.

Book Descriptions That Sell (The Verbs)
Your book description is only as good as its opening line. Marketers for bestselling books employ a simple strategy to conquer short attention spans—a tactic every author can use.

Kindle Unlimited Vs. the Naysayers (Chris McMullen)
Back in January, Kindle Unlimited had taken a little dip (which happens every holiday season), and the naysayer propaganda was in full force. It’s now October. For the year 2016, Kindle Unlimited has beaten the propaganda.

Hachette to Bring in New Royalty Statement System in 2018 (Bookseller)
Hachette will be bringing in more regular, clearer and more detailed royalty statements for authors by the end of 2018, the company has said in a letter to its authors.


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