Expert Publishing Blog

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...

marketing, books, authors

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...

marketing, books, authors

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...

seo, publishers, google, search, content

Will an Open Web Liberate Reading Data?

At last week’s BEA, it was announced that the IDPF, the standards body for ebooks and responsible for the current EPUB specification, is considering merging with the W3C, the standards body for the web at large. This would mean that instead of having its own standards body for digital books, the publishing industry would...

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

Are We There Yet?

Ebook sales for “traditional publishers” seem to have hit a plateau. In the latest quarterly report from Simon & Schuster, for example, digital sales (including digital audio) fell approximately 10 percent, and HarperCollins has reported drop in digital revenue, as well. In some sectors, this has become a cause for celebration: the book is...

e-reader, e-reading, ebooks

A Consumer Feature and Marketing Opportunity on E-Readers

We take it for granted that when we open our favorite ebook app it automatically jumps right to the last book we were reading. And while that’s handy, I’d like to see at least one other option when I open the app. How about a reader-customized landing page? This page should be fully configurable,...

Should Publishers See Themselves as Service Providers?

Should Publishers See Themselves as Service Providers?

Today’s publishers have it pretty rough compared to previous generations: they’ve seen the sequential rise of the Internet and ebook software upend their traditional business models, and in many cases have risen to the challenge admirably. Despite this shift, though, the last thing they want to hear is that more change is coming. Data...

So Who’s Afraid of Reader Analytics?

Reader Analytics Is No Silver Bullet

The title of this post may surprise some readers. Why is the author, who is the founder of reader analytics company Jellybooks, saying that reader analytics is not a silver bullet that solves all the acquisition, discoverability, marketing and sales problems of publishers? Well, Jellybooks is based on the principles of openness, transparency and...

seo, publishers, google, search, content

Here’s Where Innovative Publishers Need to Focus

There are a number of key attributes successful publishers will be known for in the future, and these core capabilities will be very different from the ones that have led to the modern empires of the Big Five. Some attributes will remain the same, of course. For example, it will always be crucial for...

audiobooks, print books

Make Audiobook Creation Your Goal for 2016

Recently, an author commented in a writer’s forum that he was just starting to create audiobooks and felt like he was coming late to the party. I could understand why he’d feel that way. After all, news sites and other authors often discuss the explosive growth in the audiobook market, noting that this industry...

books, ebooks, data, readers, publishers, authors

How to Make Reading Relevant to Today’s Consumer

In a world where users can access entertainment from their mobile devices anytime and anyplace, all forms of media are competing against each other for a resource that is quickly becoming scarce: user attention. Media consumption patterns are increasingly mobile, increasingly digital and often multi-platform. This evolution has created a “multi-tasking” form of consumption, in...

Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble Should Carry Indie Books

An open letter has been making the rounds the last couple days that pits the self-publishing community against one of the banners of big corporate publishing. Here’s an excerpt from indie author Cambria Herbert’s “An open letter to Barnes and Noble” (Emphasis is hers): This isn’t just an angry letter because I got another form rejection....

Why Is Text-to-Speech Only an Afterthought?

Why Is Text to Speech Only an Afterthought?

I spend a lot of time commuting to and from work in my car, and I try to use the time wisely. I cycle through a playlist of podcasts every week, but I feel like I’m missing out on other types of content. Regardless of your daily commute, I’ll bet you’d feel the same...

A New Service to Help Authors Wrangle Reviews

The Great Amazon Page Count Mystery

How Amazon pays authors for work included in Kindle Unlimited (KU) made headlines across the inter-webs recently. Ann Christy’s post “KU Scammers on KU – What’s Going On” even made it on to the homepage of Hacker News. The discussion raises many interesting questions about what reading data Amazon collects and how Amazon uses...

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

Books Cannot Become Mere ‘Content’

I originally wanted to title this article “So What Is a Book Anyway?” as the last few years have seen a shift in what actually constitutes a book. Taking a step back, when we were children we were taught what a book was by being handed, naturally, a physical book. It had a cover...

How Authors Should Advertise on Facebook

Why You Should Consider Advertising to Your Own Fans on Facebook

The chatter about Facebook ads in book marketing circles these days is all about building massive email lists and selling books. And although I am in that corner, I also believe that there are many entry-level advertising opportunities for authors with smaller platforms and budgets to grow their fanbases and email lists without breaking...

ebooks, indexing, production, e-book

Here’s How Indexing Could Evolve with Ebooks

Last month 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 to...

Automated Cleanup for Word Manuscripts

Automated Cleanup for Word Manuscripts

If you have been doing ebook development for any amount of time, you have heard a lot about XML workflows. These conversations, sometimes in hushed tones of trepidation and other times in hopeful anticipation, usually tend to end in the conclusion that an XML workflow is just not possible, is too costly, or does...