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How Authors Should Use Facebook

“Whether indie or traditionally published, most authors today can agree on one thing,” Teymour Shahabi writes in a blog post for DBW: “social media has helped redefine the way books are promoted and discovered.” But with a multitude of platforms and a maze of conflicting advice available online, what are the best social media...

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How an Author Should Manage Social Media Marketing

All most authors want to do is write their book. Rarely do they want to actually market it, let alone use social media to do so. One of the key reasons for this, according to Chris Syme in her latest DBW blog post, is that “social media marketing can be a big time suck...

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Introducing DBW Spotlight

Digital Book World is proud to announce the launch of DBW Spotlight—a new way for you to dive deeper into the issues that are important to your business. Starting in September, our editors will devote each month to putting the spotlight on a topic essential to successful digital publishing. Over the course of the...

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Chinese Market to Push Publishing Growth

China has been dominating the headlines in recent days, first by showcasing its global sporting profile through the World Athletic Championships, and second, by illustrating its importance to the global economy with a stock market fall that sent shockwaves through international markets. According to DBW blogger Tom Chalmers, “there is no doubt that over...

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How Publishers Can Have Better Websites

“When you compare the online traffic of a news website against that of a publisher’s website, who do you think gets the most visitors?” DBW blogger Rob Eagar asks. “To almost no one’s surprise, it’s not even close: the news sites get much more traffic.” Both groups, though, create massive amounts of content that...

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Authors United Asks DoJ to Investigate Amazon

Authors United has made a formal request to the Department of Justice (DoJ) that it investigate Amazon for monopolistic practices and anti-competitive behavior. The group has been pushing this case for some time, along with a number of other groups representing authors and publishers, arguing that Amazon controls a giant share of the ebook...

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Companies Look to Transform Reading in the Classroom

“Companies that aspire to transform old-fashioned reading into an interactive media experience are on the rise, and they are increasingly looking to schools as a promising market,” writes Ainsley O’Connell in Fast Company. One of the companies pursuing this burgeoning market is Booktrack, “which sells digital books that pair text with music and ambient...

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Authors’ Social Media Marketing Must Be Sustainable

As an author, “if you have an aversion to social media, it probably stems from an aversion to marketing in general,” writes Chris Syme in a blog post for DBW. Marketing research, though, tells us social media plays a key role in buying decisions, with 71 percent of consumers saying they’re likely to make...

Publishers and the Fear of Data

“Change leads to anxiety, and there has been a lot of change in publishing in recent years,” writes Jellybooks Founder Andrew Rhomberg in his latest blog post for DBW. “There is one trend, though, that is striking more fears in publishers’ minds than any other. And that is the fear of data.” Rhomberg writes...

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Jeff Bezos: ‘I Don’t Recognize This Amazon’

In the aftermath of the New York Times’s expose of Amazon’s white-collar working conditions, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos sent a memo to Amazon employees acknowledging that the “anecdotes” in the article displayed “shockingly callous management practices.” Yet while Bezos doesn’t refute any specifics in the Times report, he says that its overall portrait of...

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Inside Amazon’s ‘Bruising Workplace’

“At Amazon, workers are encouraged to tear apart one another’s ideas in meetings, toil long and late (emails arrive past midnight, followed by text messages asking why they were not answered), and held to standards that the company boasts are ‘unreasonably high.’” That was from the New York Times’s lengthy piece on Amazon’s neverending...

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More People Are Reading on Their Phones

The Wall Street Journal has a piece out on the growing trend of people reading on their phones. In a Nielsen survey of 2,000 people from late last year, about 54 percent of ebook buyers said they also read on their smartphones “at least some of the time.” That figure is up from 24...

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Publishers Need to Manage Expectations

When managing a publishing business, or any business for that matter, there’s always a lot that can go wrong. There are two “looming dangers,” Emma Barnes writes in her latest DBW post: the fact that staff, suppliers and customers can often let you down, and that the money you spend on any infrastructural changes...

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Why Publishers Are Wrong About Social Media

In his latest blog post for DBW, Rob Eagar writes that he sees “too many publishers placing too much importance and assigning dubious grades to authors based on the strength or weakness of their social media following.” According to Eagar, there is little correlation between the amount of social media followers an author has...

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How Ebooks Are Changing the Way We Read

“With the coming of ebooks,” writes Paul Mason in The Guardian, “the world of the physical book, read so many times that your imagination can ‘inhabit’ individual pages, is dying.” One of the key ways that ebooks have shifted our reading habits is that they have helped to shorten our attention spans. Moreover, for...

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Where Does Book Publishing Go from Here?

“This is not a zero-sum game and it isn’t simple,” writes Mike Shatzkin. “It’s Rubik’s Cube complicated.” In Shatzkin’s latest deep dive, he analyzes a slew of factors that are propelling the publishing industry into rapid change, including the return to agency pricing, declining ebook sales, the rise of subscription services, and, perhaps biggest...

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How YouTube Can Help Self-Published Authors

New York writer Teymour Shahabi wanted to self-publish his novel. But how would he do so without the necessary push, judgment and intimidation that an editor from a traditional publisher might give him? As Shahabi writes, “Enter YouTube.” Shahabi, an admitted self-publishing novice, turned to the video-sharing platform and spoke into the camera about...

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The Life of an Ebook Developer

“Finding community as an ebook developer is a weird challenge,” writes Laura Brady, as “some of us work in complete isolation in our remote offices.” So where do these people go to commiserate with like-minded folks? To get help and to ask questions? To find that community? “Believe it or not, Twitter.” The social...

Why the Future Is Freelance

Smart outsourcing, according to John Bond, “helps bring about effective change as and when you need it, and it empowers your internal team.” Bond, the CEO of whitefox, a UK network of publishing freelancers, argues in this DBW post that when it comes to keeping everything in-house, “this particular ship has already sailed. The...

How Analytics Will Change Publishing

“There’s a brave new world in book publishing,” writes Jellybooks founder Andrew Rhomberg, “and it’s being shaped by and around audience insights.” In the inaugural post of his new column for Digital Book World, “Audience+Insight,” Rhomberg details why code is so critical to the publishing industry and merits careful consideration and unpacking. Technology, according...

How Authors Should Market Themselves Online

A website, according to industry guru Mike Shatzkin, is an “anchor”—”it is the only web presence the author knows s/he will always control.” Yes, authors must have a presence on other sites, including GoodReads, Library Thing, Amazon, Google+ and more traditional social media, but the personal site is the only “real estate an author...

New York to Partner with Amazon on Ebooks

New York City’s Department of Education (DOE) is set to approve a $34.5 million contract with Amazon to create an ebook marketplace for the city’s 1,800 public schools. Amazon will provide the school system with contracted content, such as widely used textbooks, as well as with non-contracted content, largely books and texts that individual...

Can Enhanced Ebooks Make a Comeback?

“Just as the print market has accommodated the ebook,” writes Philip Jones of Futurebook, “so the enhanced ebook might yet carve out a space outside of what may be a robust but largely established e-ink market.” Ebook sales among the big five publishers have increased 5.3 percent in the first six months of 2015,...

Don’t Outsource Your Publishing Business Away

When a task needs to be performed for your business, you have two options: you can either do the job in house or you can outsource it to another party. In the long run, writes Emma Barnes, founder and CEO of Bibliocloud, the better choice is option number one. Not only do you and...

Digital Downloads Fueling Strong Audio Sales

The Audio Publishers Association (APA) released the results of its annual sales survey, and based on data collected, the APA estimates that audiobook sales in 2014 totaled more than $1.47 billion, up 13.5 percent over the previous year. The APA credits industry growth to the increasing popularity of digital downloads as well as the...

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Amazon Doing More for Authors than Publishers Are

“Most of Amazon’s success is due to their own stellar performance: innovating, investing, executing, and having a vision of what could happen as they grew,” writes Mike Shatzkin. Moreover, most of what Amazon has done to boost its business has “benefited most publishers and helped them grow their sales and their profitability.” These two...

Is Peer-to-Peer Content Distribution on the Horizon?

What if you could instantly see a list of the popular ebooks being read around you, and if you were interested in one of them you could pull up a sample directly from someone else’s device onto yours? That’s just one of the questions Joe Wikert asks in his essay that considers the possibilities...

Booktrack Gets Another $5 Million to Add Soundtracks to Books

The New Zealand-based startup Booktrack, which creates soundtracks for e-books that sync with the reader’s pace, raised another $5 million, bringing its total funding to $10 million. Booktrack released its first tracks two years ago, and today has a library of 15,000 tracks available for its 2.5 million users. Book publishers are able to...

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Steering Discovery with Readers in the Driver’s Seat

By some accounts, the book discovery landscape is much more fragmented and reader-driven than it’s ever been. And by certain measures, it’s also more difficult for authors and publishers. “Millions of books are now published every year,” Goodreads co-founder and CEO Otis Chandler acknowledges. “Mass media, already the preserve of the rarified best-selling book...

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Mobile Putting New Focus on Customer Relationships

There’s reason to believe the major tech companies understand a lesson outside publishing that’s steadily reshaping the rules of the game within it. Google recently took steps to sharpen its e-commerce edge against Amazon among mobile users. Yet few observers believe Google wants to become an e-tailer itself. Rather, the race is for relationships...

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New Combinations for Digital Fiction

With ebook growth flattening out, publishers “can’t afford not to think more creatively about how they acquire new content,” one independent publisher argues. “Genre fiction in particular risks becoming a victim of its own success,” explains Samatha Streger, Director of Publishing at Full Fathom Five. Standing out in an “over-saturated” market is no longer...

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Screwdrivers, Hacksaws and Other Ebook Production Tools

Every ebook developer has a favorite set of tools, but according to one expert in the space, not every ebook developer remembers to ask why they use the ones they do. As Keith Snyder puts it, “On deadline, we choose the devil we know.” But one largely neglected software, in Snyder’s view, is a...