Expert Publishing Blog

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...

Books That Don’t Start Strong Will Lose the Reader

Start Strong or Lose Your Readers

In the first post in this series, I introduced the notion of the “Internet of Bookish Things” to describe how (e)books were now nodes on the Internet that could record how books are being read. And in last week’s post, “Reading Fast and Slow – Observing Book Readers in Their Natural Habitat,” I began...

How to Pick the Best Ebook Format

How to Find the Best Ebook Format

As a book designer, I understand the desire to mirror a book’s print design with its ebook counterpart. But as an ebook reader and developer, I know that print publications are different enough from their digital versions that one design does not always fit both purposes. In this and following posts, I’ll discuss how...

A Look at How Three Publishers Are Doing It

Three Brilliant Publishers Doing Things Differently

The publishing industry has encountered plenty of change in the past decade, most acutely due to the consumers’ mass adoption of digital content, which has been widely reported. Accordingly, the old stalwarts have been forced to adapt in a competitive environment, and this has opened up opportunities for smaller, more agile publishing groups to...

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...

The (Real) Future of Publishing

The (Real) Future of Publishing

My seven-year-old is a voracious reader. Long gone are the days when I had to read something to him or hope that he missed the inappropriate language spray-painted on a street sign. Now I’m in the process of teaching him that not everything he reads is true or completely accurate. And the same can...

Why It’s Time to Focus on IP Rights

Why All Publisher Assets Begin with Intellectual Property

Copyright, intellectual property (IP) and licensing might not sound like the most colorful of subject matters, but that should certainly not deter from their importance, especially within the publishing industry. Some may consider these areas of the market as being less flexible or less prone to change than others, but in light of recent...

All About the Internet of Bookish Things

The Internet of Bookish Things

The Internet of Things, or IoT for short, is one of those buzzwords that is making the rounds in Silicon Valley. Earlier this month, many of the electronic gadgets on display at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas were connected cars, autonomous drones, Internet-connected thermostats (Nest) and others. Sensors and Internet connectivity are...

Independent Publishers in a Modern World

Final Thoughts: Independent Publishers in a Modern, Optimized World

When we presented our analysis of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) factors amongst independent book publishers more than 16 weeks ago, we began a journey that I hoped would be eye-opening to the participants and Digital Book World readers alike. What we’ve learned on our way has certainly been enlightening—a chance to view achievements, challenges and...

The Optimized Publisher: HTTPS

The Optimized Publisher: HTTPS

For the final factor of our multi-step evaluation of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) factors, we will be turning to security. In May of 2015, The Washington Post provided a timeline of the history of Internet security, ranging from Cold War communication strategies of the 1960s to hacking car navigation and other vehicle systems in...

How Publishers Are Squandering Their Data

Who Has the Balance of Power over Data?

Who has access to the data that can best predict how readers will spend their money? Who has data on how people read books—how far they get, how many they buy, how often they buy, whether their purchases cluster around certain dates? Who has the permission to contact readers by post, email or text—to...

The Growth and Effectiveness of Interactive Ebooks for Learning

The Growth and Effectiveness of Interactive Ebooks for Learning

Technology continues to revolutionize the way we go about our daily lives, and every generation benefits from enhanced learning experiences in their youth and beyond. Chalkboards have become smartboards, homework is accessible through online portals, and tablets have become a legitimate tool for education in the classroom. Furthermore, home learning has been significantly changed...

The Optimized Publisher: XML Sitemaps

The Optimized Publisher: XML Sitemaps

I would like to turn your attention to the Doodle Track Car, an award-winning toy that allows kids to draw a line (or print out their own racetrack) for a little racecar to obediently follow. Without the line, the car is lost. With the line, the toy will go anywhere you draw it to...

What Goes into a Successful Marketing Plan?

What Are the Ingredients of a Successful Marketing Plan?

Today’s readers and book buyers are savvy. Ads are not enough to get a potential customer’s attention, and being bombarded daily with emails, texts, posts, tweets, shares, images and videos makes it incredibly easy, and more likely, for people to ignore ads. In fact, people are going out of their way to avoid ads,...

10 Industry Predictions for 2016

10 Industry Predictions for 2016

When trends become clear—from self-publishing to writer events to the boutique model of the industry to the re-growth of print sales and large publisher consolidation—I regularly point out in the office that I predicted them two or three years ago. Given that I’m generally met with bemused looks, I thought I would make an...

How Publishers Can Use Their Authors to Boost Sales

The Optimized Publisher: Author Amplification

“Call me Ishmael.” “It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.” “It was a dark and stormy night.” These are the opening lines that have turned writers into authors and kept many a reader glued to the books and statements made by their favorite wordsmiths (Well, maybe not that last...

Why Publishers Must Use Direct Sales

Why Publishers Must Use Direct Sales

If you were writing a business plan to set up a new consumer goods business, which of the following two strategies would make most sense? Strategy 1: Identify a market which, while mature, has publicly suffered of late, with a series of high-profile failures, and whose future is uncertain. Agree with these high-risk target...

A Brief History of Sales Channels

A Brief History of Sales Channels

One definition I‘ve seen and like of a “sales channel” is “a method of distribution used by a business to sell its product.” The digital age we are currently in has certainly spawned a multitude of new sales channels, yet they still fall into two basic categories, whether you’re doing B2B or B2C: direct...

How Publishers Can Strengthen Their Social Media Efforts

The Optimized Publisher: Social Integration

Have you ever read a book, heard a song or watched a film that was so amazing and inspiring that you just had to share it with everyone you know? Before social media, this involved a lot of lending and borrowing (I have lost so many “borrowed” books, CDs and DVDs this way). But...

The All-in-One Subscription Model

The All-in-One Subscription Model

Self-publishing is easier than it has ever been, but in the current marketplace earning money for the books you’ve written now comes with a whole new set of challenges. Most authors and publishers are finding it difficult to get their books to stand out in a market that’s only getting more and more saturated....

Why Publishers Need to Be Mobile-Friendly

Is Your Site Mobile-Friendly?

Can you imagine life without a smartphone or tablet? Before 1994, access to the Internet was limited to desktops and laptops, confining website commerce to the home and business. Believe it or not, the first micro/mobile browser made its debut that year. And 13 years later, how we all use the Internet changed immeasurably...

Is Amazon the Lion That Will Eat You?

Is Amazon the Lion That Will Eat You?

Recently, I’ve been talking to people in the book industry about a new program my company is launching that allows individuals and organizations to retail ebooks and audiobooks like the big three do: Amazon, Apple and Barnes & Noble. One of the most common questions I get asked, though, is, “How can anyone compete...

How to Format the Table of Contents in an Ebook

Best Practices for Ebook Front Matter: Table of Contents, Part 2

The front matter of a book communicates a lot of helpful and important information to readers. But publishers and authors often find themselves wondering how to handle that information in their ebook files. In the current installments of my column here on Digital Book World, I am delving into some best practices, ideas and...

Code Validation

The Optimized Publisher: Code Validation

Millennials of the world might cite the most important event of 1994 as the birth of pop star Justin Bieber (I did say “might,” ok?). But webmasters and coders might view 1994’s highlights a bit differently: that year was the origin of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3c), the organization that dictates the Web...

Print Primacy Vs. Digital Diversity?

Print Primacy Vs. Digital Diversity?

No matter what the trend in ebook sales, digital publishing continues to evolve. New resources have allowed for the development of products that complement and expand the publisher’s mission. Editors have had to give ground to producers and software developers, as new assessment modules, learning objects, multimedia tools and social medial platforms take hold....

How Publishers Must Use Images

The Optimized Publisher: Images

Let me drop some statistics on you: the Google domain was registered in September 1997, and today, the most popular search engine in the world indexes close to 50 billion webpages. Out of those webpages, Google has indexed more than 1 trillion page images for its Google Image Search (as of 2013). In case you...

The Digital Experience Platform for Publishers: Are You Experienced?

The Digital Experience Platform for Publishers: Are You Experienced?

• The iPhone App Store opened on July 10th, 2008. • The Amazon App store opened on March 22th, 2011. • Google Play launched on March 6th, 2012. In a relatively short time, publishers had new and powerful distribution channels to target in addition to the established channels: print, website and industry-specific online hosting platforms. When apps...

Why Authors and Publishers Should Embrace Automation

Why Authors and Publishers Should Embrace Automation

Publishing houses have long complained about feeling the squeeze as the industry evolves. This is the reason they cite for lower advances, slashed marketing budgets, taking on less manuscripts and an overall drought of available resources. The industry has changed, which is old news, but what hasn’t is the approach to the problem. We...