Author Archives: Joe Wikert

Joe Wikert

About Joe Wikert

Joe Wikert is Publishing President at Our Sunday Visitor. Before joining OSV, he was Director of Strategy and Business Development at Olive Software. Prior to Olive Software, he was General Manager, Publisher, & Chair of the Tools of Change (TOC) conference at O'Reilly Media, Inc., where he managed each of the editorial groups as well as the Microsoft Press team and the retail sales organization. Before joining O'Reilly, Joe was Vice President and Executive Publisher at John Wiley & Sons, Inc. in their P/T division.

google, apple, amazon, digital, content, ebooks

Here’s Another Way Digital Could Complement Print

As I’ve said before, the publishing industry needs to get beyond the current “print or digital” mindset and instead explore ways for one to complement the other. Plenty of industry stats show that most readers are comfortable with either format and that many prefer the convenience of switching between the two (e.g., reading the...

content, publishers, marketing, discovery, books

‘The Content Trap’ Is the Must-Read Book of the Year

A recent trip to a local brick-and-mortar bookstore helped me realize that even the best algorithms and email campaigns can’t replace in-person product discovery. On this trip, I noticed a book called The Content Trap sitting face-out on the shelf and couldn’t resist picking it up. Great title. Intriguing outline. Normally I’d make a...

amazon, rapids, ebook, app, reading

Amazon Rapids and the Dumbing-Down of Reading

At first I thought it was a “Saturday Night Live” parody about ebooks for kids. We’re so addicted to info-snacking, seemingly less able to (and interested in) focus on long-form reading, so let’s create a new platform that helps foster even shorter attention spans for our kids. Amazon Rapids is nothing more than a series of...

google, google play, ebooks, data, amazon, kindle, apple, ibooks

Google Experiments and Fails with Book Discovery

Even though you probably never stray from Amazon’s Kindle reader app, I’d like to encourage you to expand your horizons. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on Apple iBooks and Google Play, for example, to explore other platforms and keep Amazon honest. After all, Amazon’s need to innovate diminishes if ebook platform...

social media, authors, marketing, books, sales, twitter, facebook

2016 Trend Report: What Publishers Need to Know

The Future Today Institute has created a terrific, free report summarizing key technology trends and what they mean for tomorrow. I’ve embedded the report below so you can quickly flip through it. I read the whole report and highlighted the most noteworthy elements for publishers below. That leads me (once again) to the topic...

authors, website, blog, social media, marketing, pr

How Are You Connecting with Your Customers?

From a publisher’s point of view, the people who actually buy and read books are still mostly nameless and faceless individuals. This, despite the fact that there are plenty of opportunities for publishers to establish a direct relationship with consumers. I’m not necessarily talking about selling direct; I’m referring instead to the opportunity to...

indie authors, ebooks, bookstores

Why Shop at a Brick-and-Mortar Bookstore?

Do you still shop at your local bookstore? I typically go once, maybe twice a year, and the last time for me was December 2015. This weekend, though, I made a rare summer visit to my local Barnes & Noble in search of books for my almost six-month-old grandson, Jasper. No matter how good...

big data, machine learning, chatbots, Digital Book World

What Can Publishers Learn from Pokemon Go?

Long considered nothing more than a gimmicky fad, it turns out that augmented reality (AR) is actually alive and well. At least that’s the case when it’s associated with a brand as large as Pokemon. By now you’ve undoubtedly heard all the Pokemon Go stories, and maybe you’ve even dodged a player or two,...

short form content, content, amazon, kindle, audible

The Short-Form Content Resurgence

I remember the first time I heard the phrase “info snacking,” back in 2007. It was when the Kindle launched and Jeff Bezos said his newfangled device would slow the info snacking trend and enable deeper engagement with content. The Kindle platform certainly launched the ebook revolution, but it’s interesting that it didn’t halt...

audiobooks, amazon, audible, channels, podcasts

Amazon Extends Its Dominance with Audible Channels

Even though they’re gaining momentum, I’ve never been a big fan of audiobooks. Amazon, of course, owns the market with both Audible and Brilliance. Although it didn’t receive a lot of fanfare last week, Audible introduced one of the most interesting and long overdue services that I’ve seen in a long time. I’m talking...

What Book Publishers Can Learn from the Podcast Model

What Book Publishers Can Learn from the Podcast Model

Did 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? If so, here’s a short article that might help you re-think your stance. If you’re still not convinced, have a look at the infographic in...

How Siri, Alexa and Other IPAs Will Revolutionize Publishing

How Siri, Alexa and Other IPAs Will Revolutionize Publishing

For the past several years, I’ve been writing about how containers, such as books, newspapers and magazines, are slowly fading away. They’ll certainly be around for many years, but their relevance will slip into the background as personalized, digital content streams become more important. The more I think about the future, the more I...

audiobooks, amazon, audible, channels, podcasts

How One Question Can Improve Creativity and Problem Solving

If you only listen to one podcast this week, make sure it’s the one linked to here. It’s one of the most inspiring and thought-provoking talks I’ve ever heard. The speaker is Bernard Roth, and the talk is from a series of entrepreneurial podcasts offered by Stanford. What makes this one so special? It...

e-reader, e-reading, ebooks

A Consumer Feature and Marketing Opportunity on E-Readers

We take it for granted that when we open our favorite ebook app it automatically jumps right to the last book we were reading. And while that’s handy, I’d like to see at least one other option when I open the app. How about a reader-customized landing page? This page should be fully configurable,...

seo, publishers, google, search, content

Here’s Where Innovative Publishers Need to Focus

There are a number of key attributes successful publishers will be known for in the future, and these core capabilities will be very different from the ones that have led to the modern empires of the Big Five. Some attributes will remain the same, of course. For example, it will always be crucial for...

Why Is Text-to-Speech Only an Afterthought?

Why Is Text to Speech Only an Afterthought?

I spend a lot of time commuting to and from work in my car, and I try to use the time wisely. I cycle through a playlist of podcasts every week, but I feel like I’m missing out on other types of content. Regardless of your daily commute, I’ll bet you’d feel the same...

ebooks, indexing, production, e-book

Here’s How Indexing Could Evolve with Ebooks

Last month I shared some thoughts about how indexes seem to be a thing of the past, at least when it comes to ebooks. I’ve given more consideration to the topic and would like to offer a possible vision for the future. Long ago I learned the value an exceptional indexer can bring to...

Another Way to Monetize Ebooks

Another Way to Monetize Ebooks

In today’s market there are typically two methods for ebook distribution: free and paid. I’ve said before that one day we’ll see an ad-subsidized model take hold. Purists generally reject that concept, saying they won’t let advertisements interfere with their reading experience. That’s fine. They can pay full price, but I’ll sometimes opt for the...

What’s the Missing Ingredient for Unlimited Reading Services?

What’s the Missing Ingredient for Unlimited Reading Services?

I’ve been a fan of unlimited e-reading services for at least a couple years now. When Oyster Books went under I shifted to Kindle Unlimited. For short-form magazine content I use Texture, the offering formerly known as Next Issue. Prices for these services are typically in the $10-15/month range and, for the most part,...

ebooks, sales, publisher

A New Take on Ebook Windowing

Ebook windowing is a technique designed to prevent ebooks from cannibalizing print book sales. The original thinking went something like this: release a new title in print format only, thereby preventing e-cannibalization. The result? Frustrated consumers. If you’re an ebook reader, there’s nothing worse than realizing a digital edition doesn’t exist for that new...

The Lost Art of Indexes in Ebooks

The Lost Art of Indexes in Ebooks

When was the last time you used an index in an ebook? Maybe the better question is this: Have you ever used an index in an ebook? One of the challenges here is that most ebooks don’t have indexes—the result of the misguided notion that text search is a better solution. Every so often...

Why I’m Not on the Amazon Echo Bandwagon… Yet

Why I’m Not on the Amazon Echo Bandwagon… Yet

I almost bought an Amazon Echo last November. It was on sale for $129 and I figured it was too good of a deal to pass up. Amazon promised two-day Prime delivery, but they got overwhelmed by all the orders and, like many others, they botched mine and said I might receive it by...

A Vision for Making Ebooks More Engaging

A Vision for Making Ebooks More Engaging

I’m convinced we’re still in the very early stages of ebook evolution. The current print-under-glass model works great for some books, but long-form digital content has so much more potential. The market will ultimately move beyond the only option readers have today of consuming dumb content on smart devices. Content enrichment is one way...

Ebook Sample Subscriptions and Automation

Ebook Sample Subscriptions and Automation

Each time I finish a book, I end up going through the same inefficient process: I head to Amazon and a couple other sites to look for other titles on similar topics that might interest me. I usually find several candidates, and then I go through the equally inefficient process of requesting samples of...

How “Send to Kindle” Can Help Neutralize Amazon

How “Send to Kindle” Can Help Neutralize Amazon

Publishers that sell ebooks direct to consumers typically do so in EPUB format. That’s because most publishers are still wedded to the false sense of security DRM provides, and EPUB offers a popular DRM solution. Contrast that with Amazon’s format, MOBI, in which Amazon is the only company that can apply and manage the...

What’s Your Mobile, Snackable Content Strategy?

What’s Your Mobile, Snackable Content Strategy?

Last week I highlighted some of the more interesting findings reported in a document Google published called Micro-Moments: Your Guide to Winning the Shift to Mobile. This week I want to focus on a couple other important points in that document, as well as provide an example of how publishers need to leverage the...