Expert Publishing Blog

machine learning, publishers, data, search

Loving the Alien: Machine Learning and Publishing

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 (Mike’s initial blog post is “Full text examination by computer is very unlikely to predict bestsellers”; Neil’s response is “Yes, Machine Learning Can Help Predict a Bestseller”; and Ali’s...

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

Curation, Bookstores and Open-mindedness

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 based...

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...

machine learning, publishers, data, big data

Yes, 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...

book publishing, publishers, editorial, managing editor, books

Agile Publishing: Creating Better Books Through Transparency

Trade book publishing is not a complicated process. Publishers acquire the rights to publish new titles primarily through relationships with agents. Once the agreement has been signed, the process from manuscript to shipping is fairly predictable and more or less linear: Acquisition => Manuscript => Editing => Prepress => Production => Marketing => Sales...

seo, publishers, keywords, editorial

The Importance of SEO Training for Editorial Teams

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...

self-publishing, authors, marketing, books, ebooks

4 Tips for a Successful Ebook Blog Tour

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...

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...

marketing, books, book marketing, publicity, authors

What Is Book Marketing Anyway?

Having run publishing businesses for 11 years, you would assume that I would know the answer to that seemingly basic question. But, speaking honestly, I’m not sure that I do. And I’m not sure that many other publishers do, either. This isn’t a criticism of publishers’ marketing campaigns—there are clearly some very successful ones—but...

audiobooks, books, content, iphone

Audiobooks Make Me Feel Like I’m Cheating

Let’s get this out of the way: I love audiobooks. Since reluctantly trying them earlier this year, I have found I cannot get enough of them. I listen to them all the time. They have become part of my daily routine. But as I listen to more and more audiobooks—sometimes as many as two...

authors, self-publishing, books, ebooks, editing, covers, proofreading

3 Keys to Self-Publishing from a Space Shuttle Engineer

The journey to writing and launching that first book is one of the most challenging things anyone can do in their professional career. You’re constantly out of your comfort zone, having to learn a myriad of new things, and must wear every hat in the business realm. It’s no wonder that as many as...

self-publishing, author, indie author, indie publishing, publishers

How to Prepare for Self-Publishing: Marketing

This is part six of a six-part series. You’ve written your book, had it edited, sorted out the formatting and typesetting and done everything you can to make sure it’s as good as it possibly can be. Your cover design makes your book stand out to potential readers and you’ve polished the blurb until...

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...

ocr, optical character recognition, ebook, author, publisher, book

What Authors Should Know About OCR

If you published a book before 2008, its ebook edition was probably created using optical character recognition (OCR). And if your ebook was created using OCR, it probably has typos in it. That’s the bad news. The good news: you don’t have to accept this situation. What’s special about the year 2008? Nothing, really....

self-publishing, author, indie author, indie publishing, publishers

How to Prepare for Self-Publishing: Formatting for Hard Copy

This is part five of a six-part series. Ebooks might be cheap to produce and distribute, but many authors still choose to do a short print run or make their books available in stores on a print-on-demand basis. Readers still like printed books—they’re not going away any time soon! And even if you don’t...

audiobooks, amazon, kindle, audible

How Amazon and Audible Are Pushing Audiobooks into the Mainstream

In reading DBW’s recent interview with Hugh Howey, I was surprised that he never mentioned audiobooks even though he obviously believes in the format. Howey has 37 audiobook titles on Audible.com, and he published at least 16 of them personally. Howey’s remarks about Amazon made me think about the company’s tremendous influence on the...

self-publishing, author, indie author, indie publishing, publishers

How to Prepare for Self-Publishing: Ebook Distribution

This is part four of a six-part series. You’ve finished your book and you’re about to take the plunge and release it as an ebook. How can you make sure you’re fully prepared so that the process goes as smoothly as possible? Of course, you’ve already read the first three posts in this series,...

author, marketing, facebook, twitter, webinar, website

5 Online Marketing Trends Authors Should Consider

Recently I had two different companies come to the house for some home interior improvements. Both of these men pulled out their iPads and showed me samples of different designs to choose from. All I could think was: What did people do before iPads? And, how did we even get by growing up without...

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...

Publishers Need to Question Everything

My Advice to Publishers: Question Everything

I’ve given myself a few moments over the last month to look at some of the ventures I’ve been fortunate to be involved in, as well as the business plans that arrive in my email. In each case, I have instinctively tested them against basic business principles. I’ve also been reviewing my publishing businesses...

self-publishing, author, indie author, indie publishing, publishers

How to Prepare for Self-Publishing: Ebook Formatting

This is part three of a six-part series. You’ve got your finished manuscript in Microsoft Word and you’re ready to turn it into an ebook. You need to convert it into MOBI format (for Amazon Kindle) and EPUB (for everywhere else). There are various companies, tools and programs that can convert your file for...

amazon, ebooks, publishers

Amazon, Ebooks and the Lack of Innovation

It’s 2016. We are landing rockets on floating platforms in the ocean. Engineers are developing high-speed transportation systems in which pressured capsules ride on air cushions facilitated by linear induction motors. A network of high-altitude Wi-Fi balloons is being designed to float on the edge of space so that everyone on the planet can...

How Authors Should Develop a Workable Marketing Plan

The Author’s Guide to Book Marketing: Part 2

In part 1 last week, we discussed the two basic questions that should drive any author’s marketing strategy. Below, we show how to turn that strategy into a workable plan. Step 1: Set your tactics Using all you’ve learned above, list every way in which you’ll reach your reader around publication. A classic marketing...

self-publishing, author, indie author, indie publishing, publishers

How to Prepare for Self-Publishing: Cover Design

This is part two of a six-part series. Good cover design is the single most obvious way of making sure your book stands out on the shelf and looks professional. Do Your Research Look at your competition, both in hard copy and online. What looks professional and what looks bad? Why? Make your own...

audiobooks, digital audiobooks, authors, publishers, self-publishing

The Audiobook Boom: What’s Happening and How Can I Be Included?

Audiobooks have long been operating in the digital space. Well before ebooks were gaining major popularity, digital audiobooks were helping audio publishing grow. With the introduction of the iPod at the turn of the century and the adoption of smartphones over the last decade, audiobooks have been booming: over the last five years, both...

Who’s Afraid of Reader Analytics?

Who’s Afraid of Reader Analytics?

There are authors and publishers who fear reader analytics. This has been a fact since my first presentation on “Project Crowberry” in spring 2014, since followed by Project Honeyberry, Project Apricot, Project Pomegranate and soon Project Honeydew. Reader analytics is going from strength to strength and has been featured in the New York Times...

How Authors Should Develop a Workable Marketing Plan

The Author’s Guide to Book Marketing: Part 1

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...

self-publishing, author, indie author, indie publishing, publishers

How to Prepare for Self-Publishing: Editing

This is part one of a six-part series. As a self-published author, it’s your responsibility to make sure your book is as high-quality as it can be, and an editor is an indispensable resource who can help make your book look professional instead of amateurish. Getting off to a Good Start Ask your peers—other...

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...