Expert Publishing Blog

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,...

Who’s Afraid of Reader Analytics?

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...

Exploiting the Full Potential of the EPUB3 Format

Exploiting the Full Potential of the EPUB3 Format

If you are a publisher of books that are not strictly narrative, are your ebooks a mirror image of your print books? Or have you taken advantage of the capabilities that the EPUB3 format provides to offer readers an enhanced reading experience? Ebooks, in rudimentary form, have been around since the 1980s, predating many...

Page Load Speeds

Page Load and Page Crawl Speed

Shave your body hair. Wear form-fitting suits and caps. Improve your balance and form. No, these are not the latest fashion trends (unless you are a swimmer). These are tips from USA Swimming for reducing friction and improving speed. In competition, these tips—when combined with training and ability—can mean the difference between getting one...

How to Format the Table of Contents in an Ebook

Best Practices for Ebook Front Matter: Table of Contents, Part 1

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...

How Structured Data Markup Affects Publishers

The Optimized Publisher: Structured Data Markup

In the old standard “Over the River and Through the Woods,” a trip to Grandma’s house exposes our noses and toes to the elements over an arduous journey by sleigh. Wouldn’t it be great if there were a shortcut to Grandma’s that allowed us to get there faster without exposing us to frostbite? In...

The Right Tool for the Job

The Right Tool for the Job

“What you have to understand about us,” says every publisher ever, “is that we are a little bit different. We’re not like everyone else.” I talk to a wide range of publishers about their workflow and processes, and it’s true that each publisher’s route to market is crafted to suit their particular style, culture,...

Who Cares How You Read? Just Read.

Who Cares How You Read? Just Read.

There has been a lot of press lately about data that looks like it’s pointing to declining ebook sales and surging print sales. There has also been some chatter about the inferior experience of reading ebooks. The biggest point, though, that I think gets lost in some of the print book / ebook hullabaloo...

The Optimized Publisher: Heading Tags

The Optimized Publisher: Heading Tags

In one of my earlier posts, URL Structure and Site Architecture, I talked about the importance of organizing your site via a hierarchical structure and mapping your website by categories and subcategories. In this post, I am going to explain how good page architecture can not only keep your site well organized, but also...

Ebook Production 101: The Copyright Page

Best Practices for Ebook Front Matter: Copyright Page, 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...

Another Big SEO Factor for Publishers

Meta Description Tags

When we talk about something being “meta,” we are aware of the self-referential nature of the object—a movie about a movie, a song about a song, etc. And when the prefix “meta” is used to talk about Search Engine Optimization (SEO), it is being self-referential in relation to your website. In this part of...

Why Book Publishers Need to Produce Compelling Digital Content

Content – Fresh, Exciting and Inviting

In one of my blog posts for Digital Book World, “Your Content Is the Problem,” I pointed out that duplicate content can hurt your search engine rankings due to Google’s preference for unique content on your website pages. In the past few installments of this series of SEO guidelines for book publishers in the...

5 Tools That Can Double Your Ebook Sales

5 Tools That Can Double Your Ebook Sales

Thousands of writers use our sales tool, Selz, to sell their ebooks, so we analyzed the sales of those in the top 10th percentile to find out how they are so successful. Here are the five most common tools used by our top sellers to drive sales. Tool #1: Abandoned Cart Ebook buyers put...