Expert Publishing Blog

publishers, data, big data

How the Panama Papers Show Publishers the Value of 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...

audiobooks, print books

Why Audio Is Better Than Print

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

The Global Golden Age for Independent Publishers Has Begun

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,...

books, publishers, search, discovery, metadata

Topic (Keyword) Research & Analysis Insights for Publishers

In this article, you’re going to get an insider look at how to effectively research and analyze keywords for print and online publishing. The data that you have at your disposal is incredible, and it’s vital that a publisher extract all the knowledge it can from understanding how its target audience seeks out topics...

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,...

authors, facebook, marketing, books, sales

3 Facebook Changes You 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 to 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...

curation, publishers, books, readers, consumers

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...

publishers, bots, augmented reality, amazon, alexa

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...

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

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, author assistant, books, sales, self-publishing

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...