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audiobooks, authors, books, indie authors

Why Indie Authors Must Start Producing Audiobooks

One of the first questions that indie authors and small- to mid-size publishers ask me about audiobook production is, “How much does it cost?” My answer is always, “It depends.” Producing an audiobook is like building a house: your choices dictate your final cost. Each recording is custom-made rather than mass-produced. When people contact...

seo, publishers, google, search, content

How Publishers Can Grow Traffic Through On-Page Optimization

If you’ve read my previous article on keyword research, you’re probably ready to put your optimization efforts into action. Quite possibly the most important part of SEO is content creation, and the optimization of that content. In this article, I’m going to offer some insider tips on how to optimize your content and prepare...

ebooks, pdf, ocr, scan, agents, authors, publishers

What Agents Need to Know About Their Authors’ Ebooks

Agents, here’s what you should know about ebooks made from PDFs: they’re not perfect. Knowing this will put you in a better position to protect your authors’ work. While an ebook made from a PDF is almost certainly better than one made from a scan (OCR), don’t fall into the trap of thinking that...

publishers, data, big data

What the Panama Papers Tell Publishers About Big Data

The release of the Panama Papers earlier this year unveiled a global conspiracy of tax evasion and money laundering by some of the world’s most powerful politicians, officials and businesses. Just a month ago, new revelations showed that corrupt officials across Africa have used shell companies to hide profits from the sale of natural...

marketing, books, authors

The Author’s Guide to Book Marketing

I’ve worked in the world of books for over a decade, mostly in marketing, from major houses like Wiley and FSG to Amazon to my current role at the start-up Inkshares, where I’m VP of Marketing & Operations. I’ve worked with hundreds of authors and have even been a part of getting a few...

audiobooks, print books

Why Audiobooks Are Better Than Print Books

I’m always surprised by the hesitancy with which some people approach audiobooks. Despite their ability to offer consumers a uniquely beneficial experience with the text, the format is frequently met with reservations. Last month, Daniel Berkowitz discussed some of those misgivings in his piece “Audiobooks Make Me Feel Like I’m Cheating” for this publication....

indie publishers

Welcome to the Golden Age of Indie Publishers

A number of years ago, I predicted the publishing and bookselling industries would follow a boutique model, with the large and small and little in between. Note: this also applies to other industries, in most part due to the digital age and today’s customer. Book sales would be split between higher priced print books,...

augmented reality, ar, publishers, customers, sales, ebooks, print, digital

What Publishers Can 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,...

video, publishers, virtual reality, vr, mobile, augmented reality, self-driving cars

What Digital Publishers Need to Know About Video

If one were to define “digital publishing” loosely, it would be an amalgam of interactive, engaging content—delivered straight to the end user through online platforms. What sets it apart from traditional publishing is its format, which is designed for ease of consumption and extending unparalleled accessibility. Digital publishing has provided a global platform for...

authors, facebook, marketing, books, sales

3 Facebook Changes Authors Need to Know About

The competition to be king of the social media hill is hotter than ever, and Facebook cannot coast just because it’s on top. Snapchat and Twitter are making changes regularly to try to woo users to their platforms. In order to stay on top, therefore, Facebook needs to constantly innovate. You can always expect...

marketing, authors, books, sales, social media

11 Ways Authors Can Overcome Marketing Dread

I was with a group of authors the other day when the conversation took a turn toward marketing. The group was unanimous in the declaration that they loved to write but loathed to market their work. Whether they were self-published or worked with a more traditional publishing house, whether they sold most of their...

machine learning, publishers, data, search

Why Publishers Will Need to Embrace Machine Learning

Over the past few weeks, Mike Shatzkin, Neil Balthaser and Ali Albazaz have debated whether machine learning systems will be able to predict a bestseller. It’s been an interesting exchange about the value provided by today’s publishing organizations and the future of predictive analysis. That said, the growing deployment of machine learning systems raises...

arcs, advance review copies, books, ebooks, authors, netgalley

What Authors Should Know About Advance Review Copies

One of the key elements of a professional marketing and publicity campaign is the advance review copy (ARC)—also known as a galley—usually produced and distributed three to six months before the final book goes on sale. ARCs get used for many purposes, but mainly: • To gather professional, industry reviews, from sources such as...

book cover, book design, designer, book jacket, books, publisher

How a Big Five Publisher Designs a Book Cover

It all starts with the pitch. I can actually find myself on the edge of my seat when our editors present each season’s new books. It’s the art department’s chance to vie for which titles speak to us the most—which books might work best with our particular styles and skillsets. After working at the...

bookstores, indie bookstores, curation, discovery, apps, recommendation

How Indie Bookstores Help Drive Book Discoverability

Every day, it seems, there are more and more ways to find that next great book to read. As book publishing has firmly planted itself in the digital realm, we now have websites and apps galore that feature recommendation engines, and even allow us to track what other people are reading and follow suit...

ebooks, indexing, production, e-book

How Indexing Could Evolve with Ebooks

Earlier this year 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...

ebooks, pdf, ocr, scan, agents, authors, publishers

4 Steps to Build a Strong Author Platform

For some writers, building a strong author platform comes naturally, but for others, this extroverted activity of networking takes a lot of work. Whether it feels comfortable or not, the reality is that an author’s work needs to reach the right community of readers to be successful. This means that one of the most...

machine learning, publishers, data, big data

How Machine Learning Can Help Predict a Bestseller

Last month, Mike Shatzkin wrote a blog post titled “Full text examination by computer is very unlikely to predict bestsellers,” in which he described how the claims of the creation of an algorithm that predicts bestsellers, as outlined in a new book The Bestseller Code: Anatomy of the Blockbuster Novel, are impossible. While I...

seo, publishers, keywords, editorial

The Ultimate SEO Guide for Book Publishers

Search engines typically represent one of the largest—if not the largest—traffic sources for websites and online publishers, in particular. And publishing houses’ editorial teams hold the keys to this traffic, so it only makes sense to align their efforts with a content strategy that is backed by keyword and topic search volume data. For...

ebooks, authors, sales, self-publishing, marketing

How Should Indie Authors Price Their Books?

Sometimes the simplest thing you can do to give your book a boost is play around with the pricing. It’s one thing to have a book, but it’s quite another to have one that actually sells. You have probably heard this from other indie authors, or even experienced it yourself. Your book gets added...

authors, books, ebooks, content, brand, author platform

What Authors Need to Know About Blog Tours

For every genre of ebook, there are hundreds of book bloggers—people who read books and post reviews on their sites. When ebook authors plan their book launches, many of them add blog tours to their marketing plans. A blog tour is series of pre-arranged blog posts, usually scheduled during the months just before and...

aap, books, book sales, audiobooks, ebooks

U.S. Publishing Earned $28 Billion in 2015

The Association of American Publishers (AAP) released data from its latest survey today, which found that the U.S. publishing industry generated $27.78 billion in net revenue in 2015. That amount was spread over 2.71 billion units, according to the AAP’s numbers. Both figures were essentially flat compared to 2014’s numbers, with a 0.6-percent decrease...

audiobooks, amazon, audible, channels, podcasts

Amazon Continues 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...

ebooks, publishers, books

Here’s 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...